This is the first of 7 installments in our series, “Compassion, Not Compulsion: Why the Welfare State Fails to Lift the Poor.” This guest post
Pope Francis addressed the United Nations assembly at a recent conference regarding solutions to world hunger, saying that states across the world should increase their aid efforts and coordinate more closely. He even suggested that capitalism and free markets are the cause of malnutrition itself in the third world.
Christians who identify with a Left political ideology frequently appeal to state intervention in the market as a means of promoting the common good. This is especially true as it relates to many Christians who place an emphasis on promoting social justice. Having attended a Jesuit University where progressive politics were dominant and social justice was held in very high esteem, I can readily attest to this. For examples beyond my personal anecdotes, see the anti-libertarian conference Erroneous Autonomy at The Catholic University of America, and note some recent trends among protestant Christians.
This essay continues the Christian Theology and Public Policy Course essays by John Cobin, author of the books Bible and Government and Christian Theology of
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