The Good Samaritan, from the Church of Saint-Eutrope in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Photo by Romary

If you’re a Catholic and went to Mass this morning, you know that today’s gospel reading was the parable of the Good Samaritan. It was the basis for our priest’s sermon on charity, who noted that the prevailing pagan concept of charity was at best, a quid pro quo. He quoted Plato, who wrote that “a poor man who was no longer able to work because of sickness should be left to die.”

But this passage he cited from the Roman philosopher Plautus had a familiar ring.

You do a beggar bad service by giving him food and drink; you lose what you give and prolong his life for misery.

Remind you of anyone?

Here’s Southern Baptist Sharron Angle:

You can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and getting one of those jobs that is an honest job, but it doesn’t pay as much. And so that’s what’s happened to us is that we have put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry and said you don’t want the jobs that are available.

Here’s Presbyterian Jon Kyl (who scored 0% on the AU’s church-state separation), saying the same thing.

…continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work.

Finally, there’s the GOP Lt. Governor of South Carolina, Andre Bauer, who brags about “standing up for God” on his website but said this of the poor.

My grandmother was not a highly educated woman but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.

Now I’m not suggesting that we should extend unemployment benefits because my priest says so. There’s plenty of purely secular justifications and it’s sound economic policy.

But it’s really galling to see these Republicans prance around waving crosses and bibles and “standing up for Jesus” while demonizing the poor in the most un-Christian ways imaginable and legislating like a bunch of pagans.

How do they keep getting away with it?