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America was founded on the ideas and principles of rugged individualism and personal responsibility, and at times these ideals are warped into an excuse to overlook the poor, downtrodden and displaced members of society.
As conservatives, we're often pegged as being uncaring or uncharitable. We have called for the government to be more nimble, more effective and yes, we've petitioned our government to do less. Is that because we want people who are in desperate times to go without? No, it's because we believe that those closest to the problem, the community, are better equipped to handle these needs. Far better equipped than an overbearing, bloated bureauracy.
Many of our friends on the right campaign vigorously against entitlement programs. If those same people then ignore those in need; shame on them. Americans are struggling, and not just those who have been devastated by the tornado that just hit Oklahoma. There are soup kitchens, homeless shelters, welfare lines and disaster relief centers filled with people who need assistance. I am not advocating for entitlement programs, I despise entitlement programs. I am advocating for common decency and a return to our charitable roots.
Monday night, in response to the horrific tornado outbreak that has killed dozens across Oklahoma, Glenn Beck and Mercury One, took action instead of waiting for a three-letter government agency to do so. As I write Glenn and teams of volunteers are delivering supplies from overfilled semi-trucks to victims in Moore, Oklahoma, one of the hardest hit areas. Helping our neighbors in times of distress is the highest form of patriotism, we can't all drop everything and drive to a disaster site, but we can all lend a hand somehow.
We as conservatives, cannot advocate slashing entitlements and simultaneously slack off or ignore the monumental relief efforts needed today, and in the coming weeks and months. It is our job to help our neighbors, it is our job to feed the hungry, it is our job to clothe the poor, it is our job to catch our brothers when they fall, and it is our job to pick up the pieces when disaster strikes. We must stop relying on the government to do our job!
As patriots and upstanding citizens, we are called to be our brothers’ keeper. It’s time to step up to the plate and lessen the government’s role in the equation. Churches are supposed to be the hope of the community, not FEMA or the National Guard.
Before "social welfare" programs, people relied on family first, churches next, mutual aid societies and organizations such as the Red Cross, and the government as the last resort. Today, unfortunately that order seems to be reversed. History shows us that citizens, churches and charities are more capable of impacting communities and responding quicker than government bureaucracies. Those closest to the problem are best equipped to assess the needs and deliver the help. That, often times, means you.
During a disaster such as this, we must be willing to lace up our boots, and step out of our comfort zone to serve our neighbors. Follow Glenn's lead, serve.
Photos taken by The Blaze staff.