Generation Cedar

I recently posted on Facebook, about an interaction I had:

“He says to me, ‘Well, if you can feed them without my tax $$ I guess it’s great if you want to have lots of kids.’ Me, thinking: ‘I appreciate your permission to reproduce on God’s timetable. We have never stolen your tax $ to feed our children. You, on the other hand, don’t mind stealing mine to educate your children. Somehow, I’m not allowed to bring that up though.’ *Inconsistency bugs me*

Because it does. I have much more respect for a person I may disagree with yet who thinks and behaves consistently.

Most of my readers know I’m not a fan of government subsidies, regardless of whether we’re talking post office or cell phones. Yes I understand the convoluted mess we’ve gotten ourselves into that makes these seem necessary. Yes I know people who have felt they had no other option and I don’t judge them. No I don’t agree with people who have children to get more food stamps. The conversation here isn’t about when, where how or if it’s right, so I’ll ask you to stick to the point if you want to comment. The point is the hypocrisy.

Some of the comments on my facebook status reflect the inconsistencies still deeper:

“If we are going to go there…..given the choice I’d rather use government money to feed my children than educate them…..

Doesn’t the assumption that large families are eating off the government just irk you? I cannot seem to understand why THAT of all things bothers people so much. In this country we now have government healthcare, subsidies for driving electric cars and installing energy efficient windows in our own homes. The government pays for education from preschool through high school and sometimes college. Not to mention after school programs, the school lunch programs, etc. There is unemployment “insurance” and bailouts of almost every industry. Investments–whether you’re rich or poor–are insured by our bankrupt government. The government subsidizes genetically modified corn, wheat, and soy, not mention dairy. We could go on and on. And we are going to fuss at anyone who has more than three children if they get food stamps? That’s just….crazy. It really is.” -Daja, The Provision Room

We. need. thinkers.

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53 Responses

  1. I really appreciate this! My family has been on food stamps for the past year and a half while my hubby is finishing seminary. We were actually encouraged to by people here. But I still know it’s not the most biblical way to live, and that’s truly what I long for. I have to admit that we haven’t been too careful all the time about what we are buying, but, lately, I’ve really been trying to change that and budget and meal plan. I, also, need to be consistent, and if I say that my main goal is to live for the glory of God and do so according to scripture, then I need to attempt that in every way possible. It really is a heavy arm, though, it’s hard to get out from under. We rely on the government way to much.

    1. To Amber and anyone else who struggles with this: may I suggest the website and blog The Prudent Homemaker. This woman (Brandi) is a mother of six and amazing and inspiring with her frugality and how she feeds her family so well from her well-stocked pantry. Aside from the excellent content, her blog and website (they are separate but connected) are beautiful to browse as she is talented at photography. I understand all too well your dilemma as a I am a single mother of five– not currently employed–who could absolutely not feed my children without food stamps. However, I think what really gnaws at most of us “recipients” is whether or not we are being good stewards of our funds…I for one am ashamed of my lackadaisical spending and am working toward stocking up my pantry, teaching myself better habits, and working toward that day when I can say goodbye to Uncle Sam’s help.

      1. Marie –
        Just remember that being a good steward means using the food stamps you get positively. (I’m not saying you aren’t.) But if you are using the money to purchase food that you then make yourself vs processed junk then you are doing good. Too often people get food stamps and think that means buy up frozen pizzas and the like. Now THAT is being a bad steward. It sounds to me like you have your head on straight & are doing the right things. Keep it up! And don’t feel bad about using the program that IS there to help. There WILL come a day when you don’t need it. Until then just keep being a good steward of the funds and be happy knowing that God has a plan for you & your family. It WILL work out…I promise.

        I was a single mom for years – we got back together and have had 4 more children. Our family income is less than $25k/yr and we are working on our family business that includes our entire family. We live by the you have to work in order to eat. I have had a wayward teenager a time or two defy me and refuse to work. Guess what? After going hungry the next day I saw MORE productivity out of that child! Keep praying & looking to God for guidance. You will figure out ways to cut corners on expenses. You will find solutions to problems that affect you. The trials are there to draw us closer to God.

        I’ll pray for you & your children. Bless you!

        1. I’ve never visited your blog before, but the food-stamp issue struck close to home. My sister and I are trying to help our parents who are in their 80s survive. We did not catch my father’s Alzheimer’s until after he has basically ruined their finances. My mother has gone from spending $20,000 a year on clothes and personal goodies, to living on $12,000 a year. There were times when I thought about SNAP. I realized if I were to go to the local food bank for help, I would get them help, then go and take my own life over the humiliation of it all.

          Those who lack the compassion to understand this salient point need to put themselves in shoes I thought I would never fill. Food Stamps allow for the person who needs help to have some dignity. Being forced to go to a local food bank basically destroys what dignity a person has. Personally, I would rather die than do such a thing. Until that moment, I had always been an advocate for food banks, and had, over the years, contributed generously to our local one. Not any more. I don’t think people understand how stressful and degrading not having money is. I never did until now. Once upon a time I was a trust fund baby – I had everything. That is no more. I have learned, these past three years, that the average Christian is completely lacking in compassion. It has been a bitter experience.

          I’ve also learned that those who say adversity brings us closer to God are fools. Most of the time it makes us angry at God – if we are honest about it. The old line that God never gives us more than we can deal with is no where in the Bible. But – in the Sermon on the Mount, Christ requires us to be compassion and do things out of love – for him. I don’t see much of that these days.

          As far as using what little cash one has to buy frozen pizza – there’s a reason. When they are on sale, you can get several different cheese pizzas for $1 each – that’s a meal. No, it isn’t a good meal, but it is filling. Five bucks buys five pizzas – five dinners when you are literally living on little if anything. Don’t castigate a mother who is trying to make sure her children’s empty stomachs are full – of anything. Disparate times call for disparate measures.

          I watch women who are dealing with their SNAP cards. They are tired, over-worked, and disparately trying to make ends meet. When you have SNAP cards, they cannot be used to purchase ‘hot food’. If a woman is working 8-10 hours, she must go home and stand on her feet several more hours to cook. I just don’t see much compassion there, then again I hate cooking. Where the person who has just a little more can stop off and get her kids something quick, the woman on SNAP, if she has nothing else, must spend additional hours preparing meals. Oh, I know this is the right thing to do – but is it?

          Frankly, I don’t think we’re doing enough to help people. Ezekiel 16 tells us that the reason God destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah was because they had an abundance of food and refused to share with the poor. It wasn’t because of homosexual activity but because of cruelty toward those who were in need. The ancient Hebrew texts go even farther into the tale. If this is true, then this country is in deep you know what. We have an abundance of everything and Christians who should be the most compassionate, are the ones who appear to begrudge help the most.

          Christian? I would hate to be the person denying a family even food stamps and then be required to explain to my Father in Heaven why I allowed them to go hungry because I was sick and tired of paying taxes. Oh, I changed my opinion on that, too, when I discovered how difficult it is to survive on nothing. I’ve learned from my mistakes. I will never again complain about taxes going to any sort of public assistance. I know, it’s not the thing to do these days, but I’ve also had my eyes opened by my change in circumstances. I guess I’ve gone from being a staunch conservative to an advocate for the poor and those who need public assistance.

          The Pink Flamingo

          1. Hi SJR,

            I’m very sorry about the struggles you and your sister are having as you try to help your parents while dealing with your father’s Alzheimer’s. I had a grandparent who died of Alzheimer’s, and I know that is a hard road to walk for the family of those suffering with that disease.

            I also understand your point about dignity and public assistance. Many years ago, my husband and I and our then-small family were on medical assistance for a brief time, and we were treated with much less dignity by clinic staff when we came in for appointments than when we were not on MA, which isn’t right.

            So I understand where you’re coming from with your post. However, I hear much anger in your tone, and you have misrepresented many Christians — true followers of Christ — with a lot of your statements.

            There is much I could say in response to what you’ve written, but for time’s sake, I would mainly like to focus on the first couple sentences of your third paragraph:

            I’ve also learned that those who say adversity brings us closer to God are fools. Most of the time it makes us angry at God – if we are honest about it. The old line that God never gives us more than we can deal with is no where in the Bible. But – in the Sermon on the Mount, Christ requires us to be compassion and do things out of love – for him. I don’t see much of that these days.

            There’s a tremendous amount of anger in that first statement, and it’s not surprising that you follow it up with the second, about being angry at God (“if we’re honest about it”). I would ask you a couple questions: First, if it’s really true that most adversity makes us angry at God, then for the people who don’t say they’re angry, do you simply decide they’re not being honest about their feelings? What gives you the right to make that judgment? Are you and most of the people you hang out with angry about the adversity you are facing, that you decide that most everybody must feel that way?

            I know many Christians who have faced extreme adversity, and all but one of them grew closer to God as a result. Friends who have lost spouses, either suddenly in accidents, or after long battles with cancer. Relatives whose young son was stabbed to death by his playmate. A very dear friend who lost babies two pregnancies in a row, both within one hour after birth.

            How was it that these people all grew CLOSER to God following those circumstances, and not the other Christian to whom I referred, who moved away from God after adversity? Well, I’m not going to claim to understand the mystery of how God works in us following adversity, but one thing I do know about the people who grew closer to God is that they ALREADY had a close and personal relationship with Christ, growing in the desire to gain in wisdom and knowledge and grow in obedience to God, BEFORE their strong trials came. In fact, the friend who lost those two babies shortly after their births had, many years before, recognized how fearful she was of so many things, that she prayed and asked the Lord to strengthen her faith in Him, even if it took very difficult circumstances to accomplish that purpose.

            He did, and she is one of the most faith-filled, joyful, God-praising individuals I am privileged to know.

            Now let’s take a closer look at your first sentence from your third paragraph: “I’ve also learned that those who say adversity brings us closer to God are fools.”

            I would be curious to know how you define the word “fools”. When I think of a fool, I think of the words of Psalm 14:1 — “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”

            How is it that the people I mentioned above, who know adversity brought them closer to God, are fools? Is it foolish for them, and me, and all who know them who want to proclaim God’s goodness and mercy, to speak of those blessings the Lord has wrought?

            I am very sorry that you have so much anger and bitterness, especially, it would seem, toward Christians who don’t seem to you to have much compassion. It is unfortunate that you seem not to be moving in circles where you see true Christian love and compassion expressed toward those in need. LARGE numbers of Christians I know, not just in my geographical area, but all throughout the U.S. and in several countries around the world, people I know online, are ministering in ways that would blow your mind.

            I pray that you will find your comfort in the One Who is the Source of all true comfort, that He will soften your angry and bitter heart, and open your eyes and bring you in contact with people who are acting as the hands and feet of Christ, praising God as they minister His love to the hurting world.

          2. Also, SJR, because you indicated you don’t see much Christian compassion these days, I’d like to point you to the following link, where you can find many examples of Christians who are ministering in diverse areas to needy people.


            I would encourage you to read at least some of the stories you see at this link to get a picture of what Christian compassion can look like, and how ministering the Word of God along with delivering humanitarian aid nourishes not only the body, but even more importantly, the soul (which government can never do).

            The stories at the link can also serve as examples to Christians looking to join or start new ministries that help the needy without the inefficiency, waste, and fraud that characterize too many government programs.

  2. Thank you! My husband works for the state of AL and they have not given them any kind of raise in 5 years (and that was a cost of living raise. We live way under the poverty level on his modest income. We have been on food stamps for about 2 years now. I would love to get off, but he can not find a job anywhere else. People tell us we have too many kids (3) and look down on us, but 2xs every month money comes out of my husbands paycheck to pay so people can have food stamps. Our thinking is we are just using what is ours. By the way they take $400+ out of his paycheck every month and we don’t spend that much every month on food. We also homeschool and pay for public education, sometimes I wish we could only pay taxes for the government subsidies we use. We are anxiously awaiting when we no longer need to use this service.

    I will say, the system is flawed. We were asked if we wanted some of our available to cash, and we said no. I have seen people use that option to buy new rugs for their bathroom. Those are the kind of people that most other stereotype food stamp users after and it is those people most are really upset with.

    1. While I understand where you are coming from, (as my hubby makes under $30K a year and for a family of 6 that too is under the poverty line), we stopped receiving WIC after my third baby, under the conviction that it was govt handout…we currently manage to live, just scraping by…and are hoping that as the kids get older, it will be possible for them and us to work at a family business to earn some income too…it’s hard…we’ve struggled and wondered too…as whether govt funds are ever “God’s provision”…blessings…

      1. Would you educate me as to where, Biblically, we are told to avoid food stamps? Only if it were me and I saw my children going hungry, no conviction would keep me from feeding them. None. For my part I’d gladly starve, and I know I can get by on next to no food at all, but a child whose body is still growing and needs all the nutrition she can get? She can’t eat my principles or my Bible for that matter.

  3. I have read the Little House books to my boys and the thought occurred to me that it was more important to them that they be free to fail, to starve, and to make their own way by the sweat of their own brow, than to live sumptuously by the hand of the govt, and under the thumb of the govt…I’ve wondered a bit, when Pa would say,”Uncle Sam is rich enough to give us all a farm…” but even so, the homesteading land he received or Almanzo or anyone else, could only be awarded by a man’s work at proving up…so while the govt “gave” it, at least it was a reward for the man’s effort… And they were no stranger to hunger and poverty…there were times in their lives when they ate cornbread and salt pork and whatever wild things were growing (like blackberries or plums) for months on end…yet today, CYS would come to your door… There have been times when I say to myself that it would be nice to not have to pay an electric bill or a water bill or gas bill…but in our modern society, it’s like the govt WANTS everyone sucked into the system…no exceptions… a friend of mine was just informed that they HAD to PAY for the new sewer line that was being connected into their village…upwards of $5k or more to pay for it, but they HAD to hook up or be fined…so now they must pay a monthly bill for a system they didn’t want and couldn’t opt out of…

    1. Laura –
      Funny that you brought up Little House on the Prairie! As our family grew and our finances got cut I began to raise my kids like this. To eat you must work. They have an active hand in our garden, food prep, and even food storage. They also have to help around the house without *gasp* an allowance because they are learning that if they live on their own nobody will pay them to clean their own house. I am thankful that God led me on this path because of it I now have 3 teenage boys that either has a job or are operating their own “businesses”. I don’t take it easy on them either…they are required to buy things they want/need that aren’t part of the family budget (which they helped draft). If they didn’t put it in the budget then it’s their own responsibility to purchase it. (I have one that failed to add deoderant to his budget. While I did purchase it because he needed it, he was told that he’d have to find a way to make up the cost involved since it was already discussed at the FOUR family budget meetings we had. LOL)

      I am so thankful that God has opened my eyes to homeschooling because if they hadn’t been home there are so many of these things they would have never learned!

  4. Throughout the last few years my family has been on food stamps off and on. Through unemployment and cut hours I felt we had no options at the time. We live on what qualifies as poverty level, with a family of five. It used to be 7, but my two oldest have grown up and moved out. I detested being on food stamps, and will wait until it literally means starving before I will apply. My husband and I will sacrifice, sell things, give up luxuries like tv, phones, internet, etc. I was actually told in a phone interview for food stamps once that I should place my children back into school, put the little ones in daycare, and then claim the daycare expense. I was stunned. “So,” I asked the lady. “You are saying that I should send my children to public school, send my babies to strangers for hours every day, pay those strangers, and because of the expense, still be on food stamps?” When you are on food stamps, and you don’t want to be, it eats at you. You swallow your pride and do what you have to do to get through the crisis time. Recently we qualified for food stamps again. During my prayer time I just felt God telling me, “Rely on me, not on the government.” So, I planted my garden as usual. I prayed over it this time though. It has flooded twice, but the garden is still growing strong. We are eating a lot more rice. We have some dietary restrictions (dairy, greasy foods, gluten), but still I am finding ways to create meals that work for little cost. It’s scary to not depend of what you’ve had to depend on before when tough times come. And I will not judge those that use food stamps during tough times, or have such a fixed, low income that they would literally starve, like the elderly or disabled. The flaw is that the “system” can easily make you dependent on it. Often people have a higher standard of living by working less hours and collecting food stamps than working full time at a job with a low wage and no benefits. That’s sad, but that is also the reality. You really have to just detest food stamps to willing give them up if you qualify. Until the system crashes and there is no money to give out, or until society changes the thinking in this area, the problems with the plan will continue and probably grow. Government subsidies in every area except “food stamps” and maybe “unemployment” all seem to be acceptable in the eyes of most citizens and law makers. I rarely hear that maybe we should grow gardens if we are able, can foods for food storage, or even just save during the prosperous times for the times when things are not prosperous.

    1. Cathy –
      One thing you said REALLY stood out to me –
      “The flaw is that the “system” can easily make you dependent on it.”

      I received them years ago as a young single mother with 2 kids. I did have a job but it wasn’t enough to live on. I noticed that when I got a small raise ($0.10/hr) they cut my food stamps by $200/month. You do the math….I was now making approx. $16 more each month and lost $200 worth of food stamps because of it. My own case manager at the time (when I complained about it) told me to quit my job and that I’d get even more than that $200 I lost. Talk about stunned. I was flat out flabbergasted that they were telling me how to “work” the system. So they encourage people to NOT work so they get the maximum out of their food stamps! Crazy!

      I have always looked at the program as a help when you needed it. That you use it while getting back on your feet and then stop getting the assistance. The program is NOT set up that way though, sadly.

  5. We lived on food stamps while husband was in school. I can say that we are no healthier living with food stamps than we are now. My children in their youth only ended up developing picky eating habits because they grew up eating frozen french fries rather than homemade goodies. I have discovered the wild-edible garden that surrounds us. Yes Dandelions, burdock, lambs quarters and such are edible. Imagine a dandelion crust or creamed burdock for supper. Yum! Just look at menus from the past. They include so much more of nature’s goodness. a cook book from 1930s had creamed asparagus, stewed tomatoes, fresh salad, and custard.

    Canning can be expensive so I have been trying to figure out how to solar-cook, lacto-ferment foods or dehydrate them via air and heat.

    It seems that the govt’ system of feeding people is the worst method of feeding people. The first method of feeding people is from the bread of life. Learn recipes from there first (lentils, bread, barley etc) as well as a healthy spiritual diet not surrounded by worries and concerns from this world via media. Then start looking into other free-bies like wild-edible foods (fishing, hunting, edible weeds etc). Fixing the way people are fed changes things.

    1. Laura –
      Sadly too many people on food stamps believe that they have no choice but to purchase processed foods. Back when I DID receive food stamps as a single mom raising 2 kids alone I would ONLY purchase food that I could home cook. I think too often the convenience of having food stamps make people not think through their decisions in what they DO purchase. I was able to make the $400 a month I got stretch so far just by purchasing differently than so many on food stamps do. So just because someone receives food stamps doesn’t mean you can’t cook nice, healthy, homemade meals. I know because I did.

      I know that you are speaking in past tense in your comment – and I’m NOT trying to pick a fight it’s just something that I realized while I was on them. All the cashiers would be amazed that I paid with food stamps because even they could tell the difference between food stamp receipients vs cash payers.

  6. Consistency is one of my hubby’s pet peeves. Then again, when discussing things like beliving in God, saving the environment, and evolution, it can be really good thing. There seem to be a lot of people who don’t take things much further than the next step or two. Most of his co-workers get miffed when he reminds them that saving paper is good, but it’s a renewable resource. They also tend to be annoyed when he asks them why they even get out of bed in the morning (or why they don’t just go on random killing sprees when the urge hits them) since ‘nothing’ happens when we die. I guess we tend to repeat what we hear the most without really thinking about it.

    1. Smitti- What you said makes me very sad. How is atheism/ agnoticism at all hypocritical with not killing people? As an atheist, I can assure you, I have never, ever wanted somebody killed. My lack of faith in a higher power has not made me a bad person, in fact, I think I am very compassionate and full of love for all. I have never felt a need to go on a killing spree. I have a code of ethics that are probably simlar to the Bible’s (and no doubt is more Jesus- like than most Christians) but it doesn’t come from a fear of punishment or hell or a hope of reward. Is his belief in god the only thing stopping your husband from doing such a thing? I find that so terrifying.

      I once read statistics (which I always take with a grain of salt) that said religious people are often not as altruistic as non-religious people when it came to charity or volunteer work. I wonder if that is why some people need religion, because they need to be told to be a good person and can’t just be one naturally? I have heard so many people with the argument your husband gave, and it is really, really scary to me to think that people are only good because they feel they have to be. What if your husband’s faith is shaken? Would he be more likely to do something horrible? If you feel this is the case, please, look into getting him the help he needs.

      1. Um, I think the point he was trying to make is that the code of ethics for an atheist has no basis apart from a person’s own personal decision of what is right or wrong. There is no higher power making these determinations…so then each person is out for themselves…If there truly is no God, then WHY is what Hitler did wrong? He was just acting on his convictions, wasn’t he? And what makes his convictions less valuable than other peoples’? I’m speaking tongue in cheek here… A Christian is not bound by rules, but by Christ. Christ CHANGES your want to…He takes our hearts of stone and gives us hearts of flesh…apart from our being able to do it…

  7. Liberalism is hypocrisy. A woman has a right to kill her baby in utero but the minute the baby is alive, it’s murder. Large soft drinks should be banned while alcohol, which destroys lives and families every single day, is legal. Public school systems, especially colleges, indoctrinate children but a Christian family should allow their children the freedom to choose their own religion. The beloved Mother Earth is more important than the people living on it. This is all hypocrisy to me. The list can go on and on.

  8. Let me encourage and attest to those of you who have experienced financial struggle…

    We have, for many years lived well under the “poverty level”, and probably still do, according to the size of our family, trusting God for our needs. He promises that He knows that we need food and clothing and that we should not worry about those things if we belong to Him. When we take Him at face value, He does not fail.

    On a practical note, when we first slipped into financial distress, we depended on credit cards much the same way one might apply for food stamps. Looking back, once we got out of that, we realized that had the credit cards not been an option, we would still have survived. How? You do something else, as in our case, my husband picked up some extra work and we truly scaled back to necessities.

    Just a word of encouragement…

      1. Lo,

        you make food from scratch. Eat lots of soups, beans and fruits and veggies that are in season. Stretch your meat mixing it with cheap veggies like cabbage, squash and others. You plant a garden. You stop eating convenient food like packaged frozen dinners, breakfast cereal, American cheese, fast food and other junk food.

        You drink water instead of soda, milk and other sugary drinks. You raise chickens for eggs.

        Instead of buying clothes, toys and books for your kids, you receive donations from friends. Or you shop at the thrifty store or at your local library. And then that money you saved you use for food.

        You stop eating out or eat once a week on the day that children eat free.

        You pray and ask God for wisdom and follow His plans not yours.

        We do the above and more at our house. So far, God has been faithful and everyone is healthy and fed. Ah, another thing… take your health care seriously and do your own research instead of running to the doctor or ER for every little situation.

        We haven’t spent more than a couple hundred dollars a year for healthcare since my last child was born 3 years ago. WE don’t have insurance. We pay cash for whatever we need. Praise the Lord!

        It’s doable. If only more people would take responsibility for themselves. Like Kelly, I understand that people go through difficulties and every case is a different one, but don’t stay there. The idea is to get a little help and move on, not stay dependent on the help from the government.


        1. Tereza, while I respect your ability to do all these things, what of families whose circumstances do not provide such fare? People living in city apartments have a hard time raising chickens for eggs. Farmers’ markets are coming into vogue where I live, thank goodness, and indeed some of them take food stamps. 🙂 But most of what’s available, grocery-wise, in many neighborhoods is a corner store, and corner stores only offer food at all at inflated prices, never mind what’s healthy. Bussing out to proper supermarkets is an ordeal; can you imagine trying to transport your groceries back?

          I am grateful that I haven’t needed much in the way of health care myself without insurance; that said, a tooth wants filling badly, and yearly physicals are a good idea for all of us. I had an uncle steadfastly refuse to get help for the nagging pain in his belly. His appendix burst in church. It was cancer, not merely appendicitis, and it seeded all over his insides. He died after an agonising fight which might have been prevented had the appendix remained intact.

  9. You know, the average government school gets $10,000 per child per year of tax payer money to teach children in a God-free zone.

    Food Stamps generally runs less than $1000 per child per year to keep body connected to soul.

    Yes, I wish we didn’t have either. Neither is the Godly way to handle either being or helping the poor.

    But as a Christian and a tax payer, I would much rather give a little kid a little money to buy food than a lot of money to learn there is no God any day.

    Many honestly feel they have no other options. And often they are paying just as much in taxes as anyone else. I find much of the “food stamps is evil” talk to be so much “I got mine. you can go fry ice.”

    Until the conservatives (Christian or not) pull the Public-School-log out of their own eyes, they won’t make any headway on Food-Stamps-splinter.

    1. Betty,

      “But as a Christian and a tax payer, I would much rather give a little kid a little money to buy food than a lot of money to learn there is no God any day.”

      “Until the conservatives (Christian or not) pull the Public-School-log out of their own eyes, they won’t make any headway on Food-Stamps-splinter.”

      Yes, and yes. Thank you. It’s so obvious.

  10. I’m encouraged to hear that other reader of this blog (which I love) used food stamps. The problem comes when we use them just because we “qualify” and not for a real need. There are times when even as a Christian who believes that we should not rely on the government may need to ask for help to survive. We are in that situation. My husband was forced to sell his business (a Fed Ex route) due to company structure changes. He sold, he worked for the new owner, new owner let him go, we lived off the money from the sale, tried to start a small new business, he worked some more at a temp job, we ran out of money – and I mean completely, -no unemployment, absolutely no income, he looked for work, found a part time job, this goes on and on.

    We have a very small church who just cannot not afford to support a 10 person family such as ours. We took food stamps. It was an emergency – we waited until we had nothing. We stopped paying all credit card bills, house payment, we couldn’t even pay our utilities let alone food and diapers, etc.

    I’m not really sure what my point is here 🙂 but just to have some point of connection with others who have struggled. We believe our hearts were right and that the Lord is not dishonored by our taking government help for a time.

    My husband starts a great full time job on Monday, praise the Lord we’ll get out of this situation soon!

  11. Please realize that, when you have kids, you are accepting government subsidies whether you think you are or not. How much of your income is exempt from taxation because you have kids? Do you belong to a church? If yes, then that’s another government subsidy; churches are tax exempt. Be consistent in your thinking!

    1. “Jeannie”,

      I am consistent. I am not the one walking around telling people they are “allowed” to have children only if my tax dollars don’t pay for them. It’s kind of the point; we can’t avoid all government subsidies–that’s just the country we live in. The point (since you obviously missed it) is that you can’t complain about large families based on your fear they might use food stamps, when you are using others’ tax money to give your own children lesser needs.

      And, a church doesn’t have to be subsidized–only if they claim 501-C exemption status.

  12. First of all, you are being inconsistent by only choosing the subsidies you do not use to speak about. Come on now Kelly, let’s think consistently!

    If it woud ensure that your children would actually receive proper nutrition, then I think you should take foodstamps or WIC. I know your children lack an education that could help them get by in the real world, and I wish you allowed them the best chance instead of denying them of it. Back in the days of Little House on the Prarie, children died all the time from lack of nurishment or medical care. I do not have kids, nor do I want them, but I do want all of the children in my community to be given the best opportunities. I want them to be vaccinated to ward off the diseases that could kill them and recievd the medical attention they need as they need. I also want them to receive a good education. I want these things for the sake of my community now, and for it’s future. I am happy to work hard and pay my fair share to contribute to these goals and I feel lucky that I am able to do so, as many are not.

    For people who call your children blessings, you don’t seem to treat them as such.

    1. Oh Lyssa,

      Don’t embarrass yourself with such naive comments, meant to be condescending. Major problem: your opinions are refuted by well-documented studies. Currently, public schools all over the country (including 75% of the schools in our state) are receiving a “failing” rate. All the while, homeschoolers are thriving, getting full-paid tuition into major universities (not that I consider that the only evidence of a good education, but I know that is your measure), running their own businesses, and a whole host of other things.

      In short, I wouldn’t deprive my children of a second-rate education (and a lot of other junk that comes with it) when they can get a real one in the classroom of the world, where NOTHING is out of reach for them. I’m sorry your children are being deprived of such.

      I’m not being inconsistent by not speaking about certain subsidies. As I answered another commenter, it’s inconsistent when you go around giving other people “permission” to have children based on your preferred subsidy. Pay attention, read more clearly and do your research on education!

      1. What happens to parents who simply cannot afford to homeschool? What if a parent is raising his or her child alone? Public schools exist to provide an education for those who are not lucky enough to have access to private tutelage of any kind, and in this day and age, even just that public school diploma, even if the school itself is failing, opens doors you wouldn’t imagine stay closed to those who haven’t got it. I worked briefly as a customer service representative trying to sell students on higher education (to include trades), and the number of schools we represented that did not want GEDs staggered me.

        That’s shameful in itself, but a rant for another day.

      2. Home-schoolers come in all different flavours though. Some are thriving, some are doing okay, while others are doing very poorly. Even if homeschoolers in general are doing exceptionally well, it doesn’t really mean you are. You use the ACE curriculum if I remember correctly.

    2. Lyssa, I’m just stunned. WHY are you even at this blog? It is obviously a Christian blog about big-family, Christ-centered living. I’m sure Kelly–and all of her regular readers–don’t expect a group mono-think, but do be so completely, philosophically different–and with a closed mind; you obviously are not here “seeking”– do you really have no other way you prefer to spend your time?

      Your views make me sad, but you certainly are entitled to them. Not sure why your choosing to beat up on a lovely lady with a lovely family who has done much to serve her neighbors and community.

    1. Or maybe English is only one of the several languages she speaks? In my case, English is my third language. German is my fourth. I thank public school for teaching me so well.

      1. Your German probably beats mine; I learned it as a small child and never did understand the whys behind the grammar, only, like any native, what felt right. 😉

  13. I think that I have trouble this idea of thinking consistently— as in you have the same opinion about something when applied to every situation (am I reading into this correctly?).

    While many of you may disagree, I am going to say yes, I do think consistently. I think consistently that I can not determine what is best for another person. When I was younger, I was much more idealistic. There was a right and a wrong answer for everything– issues were black and white. However, as I have grown up, moved, married, met different people from various backgrounds than my own, loved people, dealt with loss and heartache– I have realized that there is peace in the gray. Hardly anything (aside from those things that are on the far ends of the good and bad spectrum) is all good or all bad. I choose to live in the gray- to not judge what is best for anyone else, but rather to encourage them to make the right decisions for themselves. Therefore, I say that government programs are not all good, or all bad.

    I too would like to know the biblical reference on why it is not biblical to use government programs. This is why I check this blog from time to time— I love to understand others opinions and thoughts, and then decide if those opinions agree or alter my own opinions.

    1. Krisin,

      Actually, you are not understanding what I mean here by “thinking consistently”. Re-read the example in the post. It has nothing to do with your definition. It simply means you can’t extol, expect, love and cling to one form of socialism (in this case, one person’s tax dollars paying for your child’s education) while simultaneously expressing your disdain with a different form, to the point of telling someone whether they should or should not have children.

      Also, there isn’t any reference in this post to why it is biblical or not. But practically speaking, most taxation and subsidy programs are a form a theft. The Bible does speak clearly to that. Certainly, since we’ve been accustomed to so many forms for so long, the answer isn’t an easy or instant one, and I don’t pretend it is. But there are answers that would better suit our society if we were willing to even begin.

      1. The Bible does not say Taxation is theft:
        Matthew 17:24
        “After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

        “Yes, he does,” he replied.

        When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own sons or from others?”

        “From others,” Peter answered.

        “Then the sons are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

        Matthew 22
        Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

        But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

        “Caesar’s,” they replied.

        Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

        When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

        And Romans 13, words of Paul

        “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

        “Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”

        “Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

        1. You are right–I stand corrected. Government does need certain forms of taxes to carry out their duty, protecting citizens, punishing evil, and promoting good. The problem is who gets to define what those things are. We are commanded to pay taxes, which is why I do, even though I disagree with the gross misuse of our tax money. That’s why I think we should obey by paying, all the while appealing to what we believe are unfair taxation practices.

  14. There are two reasons it is believed to be anti-biblical to take food stamps.

    1) It is holding the IRS gun to your neighbor’s head and forcing them to pay for your child’s food, what would be stealing using any other weapon.

    2) It is relying on all mighty uncle sam instead of God.

    I understand both views and tend to agree with them, but know there are those (including some dear friends of mine) who literally have to choose between food stamp or public school. These friends have lousy soil and can’t grow a decent garden though they try every year(and can’t afford potting soil to fix it), do grow chickens for eggs, take side jobs when they can, live in the cheapest housing short of the homeless camp, cook from scratch, shop at thrift stores, etc with all the “helpful hints” commonly offered. Yet because of the size of their family they can only afford half of their food each month. They would literally have to choose between food for 2 weeks each month and their mortgage payment if it wasn’t for food stamps. I would rather pay their food stamps and know their children are receiving the best education available in America, one that honors God, than to pay for their PS education so mom could work outside the home (which would cost about six times what their annual food stamps comes to).

    The same man who gave Kelly “permission” to have lots of children, would probably say the same thing to my friend IF her kids were in ps instead of taking food stamps. Tain’t right.

  15. love your last comment. we. need. thinkers. Bless God we’ve been taught and have taught our children how to think critically, consistently, and theologically. Worldview is often a discussion at our table. By God’s mercy to us.

  16. We live in NY state. NY currently averages about $16,000 per year per child on public education. We have received food stamps & other services in the past. Even at our poorest our services cost the government significantly LESS than the $48,000 PER YEAR NY would spend on publically educating our children if we sent them! In fact, we are saving the state of NY *significant* amounts of money by having me stay at home, keeping our kids home & receiving other services like food stamps instead of having the state pay for their education.

    Complaining about food stamps is just a knee jerk reaction most people have. I’ve worked at WIC as a breast feeding counselor. The #1 myth people believe about people who receive WIC/Medicaid/Food stamps/HEAP/etc is that they are all a bunch of unemployed losers mooching off the hard working tax payers. Sad to tell everyone that the VAST majority of my clients were working, in fact many were working two or more low paying jobs and still needed assistance to keep their head above water. It’s a myth that all people who are on assistance are in the system for life, popping out babies every other year to keep their benefits. There isn’t any real data to back it up. Am I saying it never happens? No. It does sadly. However, the majority of people who receive food stamps & other welfare services do so for a limited amount of time and are usually off it within a couple years.

    Do you drive on public roads? Do you send your kids to public school? Have you ever utilized your town’s fire or EMT services? Use a public library? Visit a public beach? Received public emergency services like FEMA? Had a public health nurse visit you home? Plan on receiving Medicare & Social Security when you’re old? Used public school therapy services like speech/PT/OT for your homeschooled child? Gone to a national or state park? Guess what — you too are using public services!

    The reality is that *everyone* uses public services in some way shape or form in modern America. It’s pretty much unavoidable, but sadly it’s only the ones that are used by those with lower incomes that are stigmatized.

  17. The problem is not being on the food stamp program…the problem is ABUSING the food stamp program. Sadly too many churches aren’t helping out their parishners when they find themselves in a position of needing help. If a family is using the program to help themselves out while they are getting things under control, or getting themselves into a better position to provide for themselves. Fine. Get food stamps. Unfortunately there are too many people that see this as a “free” service at their disposal for however long they choose. They abuse the system. They wait to have kids until they ‘would’ have to go to work and then mysteriously have another child. My favorite of all times though – I was at the store buying our weekly groceries when approached by a lady trying to SELL me her food stamps! Not only did I verbally admonish her then & there – I also spoke to the store manager about it who called the police and the lady was arrested. I was also told that she (& any person in her family) would be barred from having food stamps probably for life. Sad thing – this was NOT an isolated occurrance because it has happened to me at least 12 times since we moved the end of January. People getting food stamps just because they are eligible and then selling them to buy drugs andor alcohol. NOW THAT peeves me….

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