Thursday, July 23, 2009
Charity is not the same as being generous
A reader responds to another reader who wrote "government mandated health care may decrease the amount of charity given to those in need by generous strangers." The second reader responds:
Being charitable is not being generous. It is a duty. I was talking with a friend the other day, and he brought up the fact that we've really lost all concept of "enough," which is to say that the Catholic tradition has always been very strong on the fact that once you have a certain level of stuff/quality of life, the rest that you get isn't yours anymore. It may be that prudentially we are better off letting the individual dispose of that excess rather than the government, but that does not mean that ontologically it belongs to the individual.