Fox News host Bill O’Reilly asked guests of "The O’Reilly Factor" on Tuesday if Jesus would have supported welfare, “a system that hurts one group to help another.”
O’Reilly spoke with Roman Catholic priest Father Gerald Murray and President Barack Obama’s spiritual advisor Joshua DuBois.
Father Murray said Jesus wouldn't support welfare.
“To say that big government was the goal of Jesus’ preaching and miracles would be absurd,” said Murray.
“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,” he added.
“But we haven’t taken care of the poor in America, if there’s 41 – as the president said – million people uninsured, who have to depend on emergency room care,” O’Reilly argued.
“Now, Mr. DuBois, the problem I have,” O’Reilly continued, “is that you’re helping one group by hurting another group, and a bigger group, and so I don’t know if Jesus is gonna be down with that.”
“Well, Jesus would be down for the poor,” said DuBois, who is a Pentecostal pastor. “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 had food in their stomach. The rest comes from the federal government. It’s $7 billion dollars compared to $80 billion dollars, and so if the government doesn’t step in, people are going to go hungry.”
“You’re making a powerful argument, but there’s one huge mistake in it,” countered O’Reilly. “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."
"If you’re 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, then it’s your fault," he continued. "You are bringing the havoc and you’re asking people who may be struggling themselves to put food on the table to give their tax money to you. And you’re not even going to buy food with it. You’re going to buy booze and drugs with it because there’s no government regulation about that.”
“With all due respect, there’s a lot of misconceptions in what you just said about the food stamp program,” DuBois said. “The vast majority of that program goes to elderly people, people who are disabled, 46 percent are children, and then most people are working families … only one out of 10 food stamp recipients is a recipient of cash welfare.”