Teaching compassion makes you a Nazi?

“Conservatism,” it would seem is to treat everything you disagree with as Nazism.  Let’s put it bluntly, I am not old enough to have been able to say what it was like to have lived in this country during World War II.  My late father did know what it was like to have fought during that war.  Those who fought Nazi Germany and the Axis powers were fully aware of the atrocities wrought during those terrible years.  What you do even unto the least of these…you do even unto me can hardly equate with concentration camps and crematorias.  But, in the mind of Thomas Sowell, it does.

Seems his latest beef with high schools, colleges and universities is the (old) left imposing some strange new value that is totally alien to the American way on young people receiving an education.  Young people who can’t graduate unless they engage in “community service.”  And that as long as they are somehow “coerced” into community service; they are in fact being denied freedoms.  Sowell decides that there are community services being aimed at people who don’t deserve a helping hand:  those who refuse to work and those with drug habits.  Then again, I would have thought that community service, giving something back to the communities in which you live, was a moral value worth aspiring to.  Silly me.  Or that it might teach personal responsibility.  If you have to deal with a guy homeless by choice, a vagrant who refuses to work, you can decide if you would really like to live his miserable existence or if you would rather aspire to making a better future for yourself.  If you had the first hand experience of taking a hard cold look at the miserable lives of drug addicts, they too would set the example of what not to be.  Then again, there must be something wrong with the idea that working with sinners and teaching them the ways to improve their lives, as that puts you in line with “Nazi style thinking” even as it deprives you of freedom.  In which case, the Gospels, which I’ll assume that Sowell has surely read, are “Nazi style thinking.”

Christ did not advocate that the purely lazy should get a helping hand.  But, I highly doubt that Christ would have cast instant judgment on a man who had just lost a job, a family driven from their homes because of natural disaster or home foreclosures, bad economic times that force them to seek charity from food banks or to keep food on the table, to obtain food stamps.  Christ would have seen a need for compassion toward those people struggling just to make it and often losing.  Found in the bible, a poor man who sat at the gate of a rich man’s house.  This poor fellow you can think of as an “aggressive panhandler” because he was begging for scraps of food and money.  He was also a terribly ill person.  Daily, the rich man passed him by without so much as a look, didn’t even care to give the “aggressive panhandler” the time of day and generally heaped scorn on the sort of trash that would dare to pollute his pristine gate. But, the “aggressive panhandler” eventually died.  Eventually, the rich man did too.  Guess where the “aggressive panhandler” ended up?  At peace in the arms of God and the rich man?  Cast into the outer dark.  Oh yeah, “Nazi style thinking” to be sure.  But then we also see where the rich man’s freedom to make up his own mind got him, don’t we?  He was free to choose to act against one of the firm rules of religion, acting compassionately.  For failing in his moral obligations, according to Christ, he was also appropriately punished.

If the so called (old) left is introducing “community service” as some kind of foreign concept into an American way of thinking, then I purely have to wonder what by definition Sowell thinks the American way is?  If fires drive people out of their homes in California, where are they expected to shelter, how do they obtain clothing, what about food?  Don’t communities come together and provide for those in immediate need because of such an emergency?  Yes, they do.  Why not teach young people that yes you are your brother’s keeper?  Yes, you do have some responsibility for the welfare of your neighbor.  I can think that there could not be a better means of teaching moral responsibility within an educational backdrop than a community service that eradicates trash out of parks where children go to play, cleaning up overgrown landscapes and turning them into parks for people to enjoy, helping the frail elderly with their driveways and sidewalks when a heavy snow falls.  A few of many examples where real community service would not only be an acceptable idea but also truly aids and teaches young people something of value.  Would you harm someone you did something for?  I would think that the act of doing something for another person is the greatest sign of respect that anyone could show.

Well, Sowell wants to call the idea of “respect” an act of Nazism; then he does have a problem.  Until of course, he doesn’t receive any because of his off the wall truly new left views.  Then of course, you are free to agree with him, anytime.  But if you do not, then it becomes bitch, bitch, bitch, moan, whine and groan.  Only a new radical would turn something positive, young people learning how to act on the behalf of the unfortunate, into something ugly.  (Republished in the Spokesman-Review 4 December 2008)

A better teaching of moral values within an educational setting than those the religious radicals insist on politicizing.  Family values, for one.


One Response to “Teaching compassion makes you a Nazi?”

  1. kinderjuffrouwen Says:

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