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The Nanny State vs. Christianity

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This is a transcript of Joshua DuBois’ December 3, 2013 appearance on The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News.

O’REILLY: “Unresolved Problem Segment” tonight the nanny state versus Christianity. This topic is being hotly debated and is being used by some left-wing politicians.

This is a RUSH transcript from “The O’Reilly Factor,” December 3, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O’REILLY: “Unresolved Problem Segment” tonight the nanny state versus Christianity. This topic is being hotly debated and is being used by some left-wing politicians.

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: We are the richest nation in the world. And well, when Jesus had those you know five loaves and two fishes, he didn’t ask if they had food stamps he didn’t ask anybody how much money they had. He fed them because they were hungry.

O’REILLY: Also last week Pope Francis said that income inequality is immoral. But he didn’t get very specific on that.

Joining us now from Washington Joshua Dubois the author of the book “The President’s Devotional: The Daily Readings that Inspire President Obama.” Mr. Dubois advises the President on spiritual matters. Here in the studio Father Gerald Murray, Roman Catholic Priest. And we’ll begin with you, father.

You know, Congressman McDermott is trying to convince people by saying that Jesus would feed the poor which he would. We all know that.


O’REILLY: Ok but would he impose a system that hurts one group to help another group?

MURRAY: Not at all. In fact, to say that big government was the goal of Jesus’ preaching and miracles would be absurd. I think that comparison of food stamps and the feeding of the 5,000 is out of order. No, Christ came to inspire us to follow him, his teaching and part of that teaching is we take care of the poor and we do so for spiritual motives.

O’REILLY: But we have been taking care of the poor in America if there is 41, as the President said, million people uninsured who have to depend on emergency room care and they don’t have health insurance. So we really haven’t taken care of them.


O’REILLY: Wait, wait. Let Father Murray in and then I’ll get over to you.

MURRAY: Well in comparison to other countries in the world we have done pretty well. But it’s true we have to do better. I don’t know that the solution is nationalized healthcare.

O’REILLY: Ok. Now Mr. Dubois, the problem I have, as I stated is that you are helping one group by hurting another group and a bigger group. And so I don’t know if Jesus is going to be down with that go ahead.

DUBOIS: Well, Jesus would be down for the poor. He would want to make sure that every single person in this country had enough food to eat. And the bottom line is if you add up every single private charitable dollar that feeds hungry people in this country, it’s only 10 percent of what we would need to make sure everyone has food in their stomach. The rest comes from the federal government — it’s $7 billion compared to $80 billion. And so if the government doesn’t step in, people are going to go hungry. And that’s the bottom line.

O’REILLY: You know you are making a powerful argument but there is one huge mistake in it. And that is that some of the people who don’t have enough to eat, it’s their fault they don’t have enough to eat. Particularly with their children and this — this is where it really becomes dicey.

If you are an alcoholic or a heroin addict or a drug addict and you can’t hold a job and you can’t support your children and that’s the circumstance of millions and millions of people not most but a lot a substantial minority ok.

And then it’s your fault, you are bringing the havoc and then that you are asking people who may have be struggling themselves to put food on the table to give their tax money to you and then you are not even going to buy food with it you are going to buy booze and drugs with it because there is no government regulation about that. And that’s my problem.

DUBOIS: Yes, with all due respect that there is a lot of misconceptions in what you just said about the food stamps program. The vast majority of that program goes to elderly people, people who are disabled; 46 percent are children.

O’REILLY: But they are children who aren’t being supported by their parents. That’s where they are.

DUBOIS: Actually no only — most people — most of the food stamps goes to working families only one out of 10 food stamp recipients are the recipient of cash welfare. So that it’s — I’m not saying it’s not a problem but —


O’REILLY: My parents didn’t make a lot of money and they were able to put food on the table. And I’m just seeing a system now that creates dependents.

All right. Now let’s go over to the dependence question. All right so Jesus is there, and — and he’s walking around and his main message is compassion. Correct?

MURRAY: It’s conversion and part of conversion is to be compassionate to our neighbors — absolutely.

O’REILLY: Ok so the tenet of Christianity, we have to be compassionate towards you know love your neighbor as yourself that’s it you got to be compassionate.

MURRAY: That’s correct.

O’REILLY: Ok but there are some people that we see that are suffering through their own fault. All right? So how do Christians deal with that?

MURRAY: Well, we challenge people to live up to their nature.

O’REILLY: But they’re not going to.

MURRAY: Well, you try, you do your best.

O’REILLY: But what’s — what’s my financial responsibility to their children?

MURRAY: That’s a matter — no it’s an interesting question. We do have to help people, particularly those who can’t support themselves — children. Now the mechanism is to get them the money, that’s a very interesting question.

O’REILLY: It is. And that’s my problem.

MURRAY: Yes and believe me, private charities do a much better job of taking care of children as Mr. Dubois pointed out.

O’REILLY: There is not enough money. Now Mr. Dubois I give a lot of money and you probably know this, to children’s charities ok.

O’REILLY: Ok children who have derelict parents. And I say you know it’s not the kids’ fault so I’m going to give the money to the kids. But I don’t give it to charities unless the charity hands it to the kids, all right, gets it right to the kids. So I’m circumventing the drugs and the alcohol and the other craziness, all right? And I know charities, who do that and they do it well.

But a lot of charities don’t. And the government certainly doesn’t. The government throws it with no drug testing, no counseling, nothing. Bang right in there. And a lot of that money goes right down the drain. Go ahead.

DUBOIS: But Bill, I would tell you I don’t live in a derelict country. There are some folks who have the problems that you describe. But that is not the vast majority of food stamp recipients.

O’REILLY: It’s about 15 percent of the population.

DUBOIS: $12 an hour, $15 an hour trying to put food on the table. And they just need a little help from a compassionate country to stretch their bills.


O’REILLY: So you don’t think — you don’t think that we are creating a culture of dependence here in this country now?

DUBOIS: No I think we are creating a culture where we’re trying to give folks a hand up so they can get out of poverty. That’s what SNAP does, that’s what the food stamp program does. That’s not saying there are some exceptions to that absolutely there are abuses. And we need to get rid of them.

But for the most part people who are receiving food stamps in SNAP are not derelicts they are not dependence. They are folks who just need a little bit of help to put food on the table.

O’REILLY: All right, very good debate guys. We appreciate you both coming in. Merry Christmas to you.