There are numerous versions of Matthew 25:40, typical of which is, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." In none of these versions does it add, "unless you can rationalize that your brothers and sisters have not done enough to meet their own needs and therefore do not deserve your assistance." That unstated addendum, however, pretty well describes the current Republican Party's attitude toward America's least fortunate citizens.
From America's earliest origins, we created an underclass, mostly but not entirely African Americans, and consciously denied to that underclass the resources needed to rise into the mainstream population where opportunity abounded for anyone willing to work hard. In the current globalized, automated market economy, that underclass struggles even harder, and it has grown to include many thousands of citizens from other groups who once had little difficulty achieving comfortable middle-class self-sufficiency.
Our nation's present economic problems are greater than any party can solve easily, but the Darwinian health-care and food-assistance policies advocated by the Republican Party are essentially genocide-by-neglect, and those policies won't solve anything and are not policies that reflect America's basic decency.
MARTIN BENSKY, Richland