This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
In "Medicaid, the Legislature and genetics" (Opinion, Feb. 6), David Irvine suggests that our legislators apply Christian principles. When one asks government to apply the teachings of Jesus, one shows a fundamental misunderstanding.
Jesus emphasized the actual doing of good works by individuals, not their receipt. If Irvine personally helps an individual in need, two people benefit. But if government does it instead of him, just one party benefits, and then without the love from individuals who personally sacrifice to help others.
Irvine quotes Jesus about individuals helping other individuals, but Jesus never suggested that his followers use government to do the job he taught them to do personally.
After coming upon a wounded traveler, the Good Samaritan didn't criticize local leaders for failing to help travelers. He personally helped, as one ought to help his neighbor.
If Irvine wants to encourage more government action to help those who lack medical insurance, I join with him. But let's not pat ourselves on the back for being good Christians.
And if our legislators turn us down, let's not criticize them for failing to be good Christians.