“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”-Thomas Jefferson

“…The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” -James Madison

"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."  Unfortunately, most Americans today believe it is the responsibility of the US government to provide for the general welfare, and then some, to all people.  Notice I did not say citizens?  We also have the issue of believing that our general welfare should sustain and support millions of illegal aliens.  It's billed to us as charity.  However, as is always the case, words have meaning and their meaning impacts how words are utilized.

English author and Oxford professor C.S. Lewis coined the term "verbicide", meaning the dangerous situation of exchanging true meanings of words for the false.  It was recognized to be incremental, or immediate.  The understanding that there is deep value in the true nature of words was understood by Confucius, who stated,

"When words lose their meaning, people will lose their liberty."

Ancient men, and the Founding Fathers of the United States clearly understood that word meanings, when written in the context of their original language, should be kept in the context of their original language.  Inventing new phraseology to give acceptance to socialist efforts today, does not change the original language of the Founding Documents and the Constitution and the intent therein.  Changing the definition of "murder" to exclude stopping a beating heart within a woman, does not change the original definition of murder by the Creator God and continued in understanding by the Framers of the Constitution.  Changing the definition of "marriage" from a man and a woman in a life-long covenant before the Lord God, to include whomever has emotional or sexual feelings and wishes to join as if they were man and woman, does not change the definition.

Likewise, changing the original meaning of the clause of "general welfare" to include the provision for a government run entitlement society, does not negate the intent of the wording, given it's original understanding.

Senator Sam Ervin, during the Watergate era, had an understanding of verbicide and the resulting Constitutional degradation that follows when he said,

"Judicial verbicide is calculated to convert the Constitution into a worthless scrap of paper and to replace our government of laws with a judicial oligarchy."

James Madison wrote a letter to Henry Lee, in which he illustrated the importance of not twisting the meaning of words to change societal understanding:

I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution... What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in the modern sense.

Today, our culture has come to understand charity in a modern sense.  When the government began "ensuring the general welfare" with financial subsidy taken from the taxpayers, it was redistributive wealth in origin, and sold in it's verbicide and shortened title, "general welfare."

Welfare was not a term of redistributive wealth at the time that our nation was founded and organized in the Constitution.  Even years later, in Noah Webster's Original Dictionary of 1828, "Welfare" was defined as:

WEL’FARE, noun

Exemption from misfortune, sickness, calamity or evil; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; prosperity; happiness; applied to persons.

  1. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applied to states.

It wasn't until the 1904 edition, that the slightest word meaning changes were being made to introduce socialist slants:

1: welfare adj. of, relating to, or concerned with welfare and esp. with improvement of the welfare of disadvantaged social groups {~legislation}.

2:  receiving public welfare benefits {~families}.

Notice, these were small, societal reflections of understanding of the words.  A verbicide, and a small manipulation of previously understood definitions. Historically, the word "welfare" had been a noun, and it was now transformed into an adjective.  FDR capitalized on this incremental desensitization of the definition, to sell his socialist programs to a country run aground by government misconduct and interference.  In his own words FDR stated:

If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.

This new-found need caused him to believe he was above the need to prevent usurping of his elected powers.  He then felt justified, in part, by the re-definition of the idea of welfare vs charity.

Charity was understood at the Founding to be a Biblical premise.  God Almighty commanded charity for those who follow Him.  The government was never commanded to take the funds and to redistribute them to socialistic and sinful programs.

Charity is born out of a heart submitted to Christ.  Our nation was always a charitable nation.  We sought to ensure the "general welfare" of our citizens, by allowing for them to pursue their lives free from a tyrannical imposition of government redistributive programs.

However, today, Christians and non-Christians are taxed and pushed to a point that makes charity a lot more difficult for most.  When the government takes the wealth of paychecks, takes it on sales of goods and services, takes it at toll booths, takes it at the sale of personal property, and then spends far beyond what is taken, one has a difficult time being charitable whatsoever.  The term charity has been exchanged for welfare, born out of the discarding of the true meaning of the words.  When paychecks are taxed, and the money is given-either directly or siphoned through other programs, to fund abortion, the complete needs of illegal aliens and handed out on earned income credit, etc., a people have little left to give.

Taking the money and giving it to someone in need is not charity, because the money was not given.  That's thievery.  It's time to return to the definitions of words that were used in their original context.  They matter.  Understanding that charity is a heart issue, and cannot and should not be forced by a tyrannical government, on citizens who are commanded instead by an Almighty God to be charitable,  is the first step in understanding how to prevail out of it.

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