Smith: The war on compassion

Smith: The war on compassion

February 17th, 2014 Robin Smith in Opinion Columns

Robin Smith

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Some measure compassion by their personal commitment of time and treasure to benevolence through a church, synagogue or faith-based nonprofit group.

The goal of meeting the needs of the down-and-out, the unemployed, the homeless and the helpless is at the center of the "good works." Acts of service not only assist needy people but make a personal connection of faith and community.

Yet, it's growing more evident that the preferred vehicle of the social and political left to meet the needs of individuals and families is through the government.

The most recent example is showcased in Robbinsdale, Minn., where an elementary school received a threatening letter penned by the attorney representing the American Humanist Association.

First-, second- and third-graders worked alongside hundreds in the community on a service project, "Feed My Starving Children," packing small containers of essential, nonperishable foods to be shipped to Haiti. The food packages were assembled and set for shipping in the Calvary Lutheran Church with a goal to send 750,000 items to nourish the poor.

And there's the alleged offense.

"The school has clearly violated the Establishment Clause," barked Monica Miller, the legal attack dog, using the term "egregious" to describe the service project.

The school district spokeswoman, Latisha Gray, indicated that school officials had no reason to believe any law or policy had been violated.

"There was absolutely no proselytizing," noted Gray, emphasizing that each child had to have parental consent to participate in the field trip, with many parents joining the charitable effort. Alternatives were made available by the school for any children with food allergies, parental desire in the other options or special needs to coincide with the charitable outing.

The Humanist organization is a national group which "represents atheists, agnostics and other non-theists."

The irony gets so thick a chain saw is needed.

On the website, americanhumanist.org solicits contributions, planned giving at death and membership with donations "tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law."

You see, the "good without God" group demands that kids on a community field trip to feed poor kids be halted and that the high offense of a parental-approved presence inside a structure that is used as a church on the weekend be viewed as a breach of Constitutional law.

All this fit-pitching comes while the American Humanist Association is receiving the same tax deductions as the church that's trying to assist the poor.

But, the Humanist tax-free website says the "issues" they are litigating regarding use of public facilities include "human rights, promoting peace, reproductive freedom, women's rights, LBGTQ rights, and civil rights." The group is aligned with coalitions such as the Center for Conscience and War, International Family Planning Coalition, LGBT lobbyists, Stop Torture Now and Save Darfur.

I suppose I missed that focus on assisting the poor and the hungry.

See the pattern?

The most recent Congressional reports issued from the investigation into IRS targeting showed that each and every audit of a current 501(c) group was conservative or faith-based in nature, and that the new applicants for a 501(c) tax status were overwhelmingly conservative or faith-based.

The church of the left clearly views "charity" with other peoples' money as compassionate via the 79 means-tested, government welfare programs while insulting a caring hand and a heart of virtue. Compassion, indeed.

Robin Smith served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party, 2007 to 2009. She is a partner at the SmithWaterhouse Strategies business development and strategic planning firm and serves on Tennessee's Economic Council on Women.