Do you consider yourself a patriot? A libertarian? A Christian? – By Katie Joy Ussery
Whatever way you define yourself, I hope you see the value in donating to Liberty Iowa’s clothing drive for veterans who are homeless or in need.
One of my favorite sayings is that a true patriot does not have to obey or like his government, but must love and defend his country and fellow citizens.
I do not agree with the constant interventionism in which our government chooses to engage, but one thing I believe with all my heart is that we as American citizens owe our troops an inexpressible debt of gratitude, our prayers, our compassion, our respect, and our help whenever it is needed.
If our government continues to recklessly put them in harm’s way, it is our duty to help them pick up the pieces when they return home and show them that we, as their neighbors and fellow Americans, have their backs when it is clear that the federal government and Veteran’s Affairs do not.
As libertarians, we believe that, by nature, voluntary association is best.
We believe that charity is not at all charity when it is forced, and we believe that the government, no matter how well-intentioned, is inefficient, ineffective, and immoral when it forces one part of the population to give in order to give to another.
As a libertarian, my rationale for eliminating a function of the government is often met with a question, “Well how would that get done without the government?” or “So you don’t think that is necessary?”
We, as libertarians, know that the solution lies in voluntaryism and private charity.
If we want government programs to be ended, we need to show that we, as private citizens, neighborhoods and communities, are capable and, most of all, willing to take care of our fellow man and stand in the gap.
And finally, as a Christian, the most convicting passage for me concerning charity is Matthew 25:35-36
- For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
I have a very specific memory tied to this verse.
Back in my days with Drake Choir, we would go on US road trips.
In order to cut costs, we would have a homestay with a family whose child performed with us that night. In Colorado my senior year, we hadn’t sung with any choir this particular night, so we weren’t really sure who would be housing us or who would even be in the audience.
The seats were packed during our concert, and as they began to assign us to our homestay families, we found out that each and every one of them were members of the church in which we sang.
I remember being flooded with gratitude and awe at these people who gained nothing from this bargain but the sheer gift of giving. It would only be a room to sleep for the night and breakfast in the morning, but it was much more than a lot of people would ever be willing to offer at least two strangers.
On our way out the door, we stopped by a wall in the church, located near the kitchen the church regularly used to feed the homeless, as we were informed very proudly by our homestay family.
The wall had Matthew 25:35-36 painted on it, and I remember standing there with the two strangers who were about to take me in for the night, and I saw, through receiving and grateful eyes, what it means to physically care for others, what it looks like for a church to fulfill their responsibilities of feeding the hungry, taking in the stranger, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and lost, ministering to the physical needs of others.
It may not seem like much materially, but that kind of simple, charitable giving from one person to another can be a very powerful and spiritually inspiring action.
It feeds and comforts not only the body, but the soul. I believe this is the way all Christians are called to act; to constantly be ready to give to whoever is in need without thought of repayment or personal gain or whether the person in needs deserves it.
We are to show the compassion and love of Jesus, which has no limits and knows no bounds.
So don’t forget to RSVP to Liberty on the Rocks tonight, and help me make our clothing drive for homeless and disabled veterans a success!