JUST THE FACTS (and some opinion, of course, cause it’s my blog)

I’ve been getting some nasty political type comments from people who think I am looking for a “government handout.” I assume a lot of this comes from the United States. I thought I cleared this up. Let’s look at the facts. In Canada, everyone who is employed pays into a pension fund, similar to Social Security but not exactly the same. Everyone is guaranteed at least a small Old Age Pension even if they never worked. And it is very small – less than what most people need to support themselves if they never had the opportunity to contribute.

The same fund, which is really a state sponsored insurance plan, provides a disability pension for those who become unable to work. I do not benefit from this myself. It is for my husband, and it won’t be much. Most of you out there with jobs make in a week what we expect to see for a month’s income. It will help us get through the time when I need to be at home full-time with him. Social Assistance is miniscule here, less than what most people spend on groceries. It is an emergency only fund, and if one collects it while awaiting a pension, the monies are repaid to the province when the pension is approved. So Americans who think Canadians live in a socialist paradise are mistaken.

I do believe that if one has paid into an insurance fund one should be able to collect from it when qualified. It shouldn’t be so complex.

And the church does have an obligation to help those in need, longterm as well as short-term. I would very much like to be working for the church again, although not in the same paradigm as before. My expectations are much less than they used to be.

“Self-sufficiency” is a lie. We all need others, and Christians especially need other Christians. Consuming less and producing more is the goal of Christian homesteading, I believe, living gently on the earth. So I’m not talking homesteading as in isolationism, but a community effort to be productive and live in harmony with God’s will for His creation.

And I think it cowardly to flame people in blogs, general comments and other internet publication opportunities. I don’t know who you are, where you are, or if you are telling me the truth. And I am sick to death of this “stand on your own two feet or die and get out of the way” neo-conservative, extreme American Republican nonsense. McCain and Palin lost the election for a good reason. Most of the voters didn’t believe their plan would work.

For those who are so sure of themselves, go read Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.” Most of you sound like Mr. Scrooge saying to the charitable gentlemen, “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” Jesus said, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” And He gave everything for us, even His life, so that we too may share His glory. To quote, once again, Bishop N.T. Wright: “Jesus is Lord; Caesar is not.” That is the true gospel message, and amen.

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4 thoughts on “JUST THE FACTS (and some opinion, of course, cause it’s my blog)

    • Thanks, Lucy. The race is not always to the swift…anyone can have a sudden illness, job loss, or other downturn in life. We went from peacefully getting along on one income, to having nothing at all. I have looked for work for four years with no success. Nicholas was working outside his field when he had his stroke. Our savings were already depleted from our prior job changes, so there wasn’t anything left to fall back on. There are so many lessons in this for us. But it is a “strange” blessing! St. John Chrysostom said, “Give thanks to God for all things.”

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