Televangelist Pat Robertson said May 19 that drug addicts who don't have jobs should be left to starve themselves, per the Bible (video below).
Robertson was responding to one of his viewers who wrote in complaining about homeless people who are addicted to drugs and requiring health care in Massachusetts, notes Right Wing Watch. The viewer said that in the town next to hers, drug addicts were intentionally overdosing themselves near hospitals in order to be revived with Narcon.
The viewer wanted to know what the Christian response should be to the addicts, and complained about her tax dollars paying for the health care of people with addictions. The viewer added that she wanted her money to go toward putting her twin children through college.
"[A]ll I can see is me being punished with higher taxes!" the Christian viewer wrote.
In his response, Robertson paraprhrased 2 Thessalonians 3:10 as his Biblical basis to allow non-employed drug addicts to starve to death: "It's tough love, 'if the guy doesn't work, let him not eat.' There are a bunch of people who are just bums and they're trying to ride in on the charity of others. And tough love will say, 'I'm not going to give you something.'"
2 Thessalonians 3:10 states: "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."
The verse makes no mention of drug addiction or denying people medical care because they are addicts.
You cannot continually give things to people who are down and out. You take away their sense of worth and their sense of pride. And If these people are out drugging themselves, let them starve to death. I know that sounds hard, but that's the way it's got to be. You've got to say, "Alright, I'll give you a job. Here's something you can do constructive. I'll give you some work and when you work something, then I'll give you some food to eat."
Robertson said that he was quoting the Apostle Paul, "If you don't work, you don't eat."
Robertson did not mention that the next verse, 2 Thessalonians 3:11, refers to these non-workers as "busybodies," not addicts: "For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies."