In reply to the letter "Individuals, Not Government, Must Care for the Poor" (March 22): I don't quite know where to start in replying to the Rev. James Holland's rant on social justice. It took me a while to fully realize that he was actually saying what I thought he was saying.
His words "The Christian works of charity have no place in American politics because the Scripture ... does not demand Caesar ... feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless and the frail."
As a nonreligious person, I can't really comment on what Christians want of their spiritual leaders, but I know that if I were a member of Rev. Holland's church, I would seriously consider whether I wanted to be associated with someone who thinks that anyone in favor of using tax dollars for social programs are "ideological ghouls like Lenin, Stalin and Hitler." There's more, though, as he goes on to call liberal Catholic social justice "obscene."
Besides the huge stretches of Jesus' teachings that this type of thinking ignores, Rev. Holland's screed ignores many of the truths that this country was founded on. Whether or not the Scripture demands the government take care of the disadvantaged is not at issue; the Scripture does not make policy in his country. This is a secular country which used many Christian teachings to form its Constitution. I am thankful that our founders did not use Rev. Holland's interpretation of the Bible, or the poor and hungry among us would be left to the "charity" of mean-spirited, intolerant religious leaders such as him.