Let ‘Em Die: TEApublican Quotes Bible To Justify Letting Poor Starve To Death


In a disgusting display, even by TEApublican standards, Stephen Fincher (R-TN) quoted the “Book of Thessalonians” from the New Testament to justify letting the poor starve.  Fincher smugly stated on the House floor:

The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.

Of course, it’s a well-known attribute of conservatives to see things in black and white while often missing more nuanced aspects of real life.  In Fincher’s warped mind, people that need help are just lazy moochers who should simply pull themselves up by their bootstraps, even though, as most liberals know, many of these people don’t even have boots–or functioning  feet in the context of this analogy–for that matter.

We have three points to make to Mr. Fincher and anyone else who buys into this absurd and disturbing way of thinking.

1. Most people on SNAP are not “unwilling” to work.   Food insecurity is a real problem in America, but indolence is not to blame.  From a Center on Policy and Budget Priorities (cbpp.org) piece titled, Contrary to “Entitlement Society” Rhetoric, Over Nine-Tenths of Entitlement Benefits Go to Elderly, Disabled, or Working Household:

Some conservative critics of federal social programs, including leading presidential candidates, are sounding an alarm that the United States is rapidly becoming an “entitlement society” in which social programs are undermining the work ethic and creating a large class of Americans who prefer to depend on government benefits rather than work.  A new CBPP analysis of budget and Census data, however, shows that more than 90 percent of the benefit dollars that entitlement and other mandatory programs spend go to assist people who are elderly, seriously disabled, or members of working households — not to able-bodied, working-age Americans who choose not to work.  This figure has changed little in the past few years.

Entitelment Society Lie

Conservatives have also proven to be shameless lying hypocrites in many cases.  Take Mark Sanford, who just won a congressional seat in South Carolina, for example.  After much finger-wagging, Mr. Sanford voted to impeach President Clinton over the Lewinsky sex scandal, yet asked for forgiveness–without any sense of irony–after being caught romping with his mistress in South America on the tax payer’s dime.  It would seem Rep. Fincher also fits this mold.

2. Hypocrite Fincher took millions in farm subsidies. From AlterNet:

The reason this is even more egregious than the usual Republican class warfare is that Fincher himself is a poster boy for government dependency. It’s not just that he’s benefited here and there from some government help. That sort of low-level hypocrisy is almost to be expected from these types. But Fincher has received millions –  $3.2 million as of June 2010 – in federal crop subsidies. The people who refer to themselves as  Tea Partiers threatened to derail his candidacy over this, but then they realized that they have no principles, and supported him anyway. He’s now a member of the “Tea Party Caucus,” which, amazingly, is something that actually exists. Fincher’s brother and father also snatched another $6.7 million in subsidies as Stephen geared up to run for Congress on a platform of eliminating “wasteful government spending.” The “wasteful spending” that he had in mind, of course, was that which serves policy aims with which he disagrees, such as keeping poor people alive.

And, finally, let’s examine the TEApublican’s penchant for cherry-picking documents to suit their agendas.  Whether it be the Constitution or the Holy Bible, these folks love to take what fits into their preconceived narrative and leave the rest behind.  Fincher is clearly no exception.

3. The Bible also says:

The Old Testament

Psa. 82:3  Give fair judgment to the poor man, the afflicted, the fatherless, the destitute.

Prov. 14:31  Anyone who oppresses the poor is insulting God who made them. To help the poor is to honor God.

Prov28:27  If you give to the poor, your needs will be supplied! But a curse upon those who close their eyes to poverty.

Prov22:9  Happy is the generous man, the one who feeds the poor.

Bible quotes sources: 



continue to source article at aattp.org


  1. If the Tea Party has their way, we’ll all be broke and in need of food subsidies; except for the wealthy elite, of course. They’ll give use GMO #2 field corn, while they eat organic produce. I wouldn’t be so down on Christians if they didn’t keep electing these greedy hypocrites.

  2. The third part, in my opinion, should be much stronger than it is. A handful of nostrums from Psalms and Proverbs are beside the point. This man calls himself a Christian. Quote him

    It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.(MT 10:25)

    Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (MT 25:34-40)

  3. The lack of any media regulations, in the US, allows liars like this to be paraded every night of the week on “news” channels without anyone knowing he is deliberately lying to better line his pockets and screw you.

    Is there not some clever American out there that could work out some legal process that would silence the lies?

  4. The lesson here is not that there are hypocrites in office, or that the affluent disregard the benign fortune that delivered them to their lot. Rather it is this:

    The devil can cite scripture for his purpose. –The Merchant of Venice

    Here is an exemplary confirmation that our concerns of religion are valid: People will use scripture to confirm what they want to believe anyway, and justify action that would otherwise be immoral.

    When apologists suggest that religious faith is moral, and irreligion is not, refer to this moment as a shining example of how religion not only strips us of our consciences but does this to our rulers and legislators, so that not only is pernicious policy made law, but it is done so in God’s name.

    Religion is dangerous.

  5. “Of course, it’s a well-known attribute of conservatives to see things in black and white while often missing more nuanced aspects of real life”.

    As is the case with this article. I don’t know the rights and wrongs of this story, but I have found other articles on the net with a different slant – still critical, but not as critical as this article.

    Also the farm subsidies that he and his wife have received are, I’m sure he’d argue, beside the point. Maybe, to receive $3.2m in subsidy over the last 10 years, he spent out $6.4m as per the subsidy rules?

    All I’m saying is – if you want me to get annoyed about this guy, then give me facts. And, if possible, both sides of the story. Because this article, as it stands, has all the hallmarks of lazy, one sided, hyperbolic journalism.

  6. Bill Maher noted at Christmas time in 2011 that, for all their complaints about a “war on Christmas”, they dislike its generosity and don’t seem to understand Scrooge is the bad guy. (The episode of Real Time With Bill Maher in which he pointed this out also quoted a then recent “won’t work, don’t eat” characterisation of self-reliance by Michelle Bachmann, so Fincher’s evil isn’t new among modern Republicans, although I think his use of Thessalonians to defend it is.) And his summary of their attitude to the less fortunate was word perfect: “I find it ironic that Republicans have such disdain for the lazy, and yet their solution to every problem is, do nothing.”

    Maher is one of many who have observed there aren’t enough jobs for Americans to all work, so we can’t conclude an unwillingness to do it without further evidence. Indeed, although I can’t remember the source, I once read research showed that not only did most unemployed Americans want to work, but most employed Americans would like to work longer hours.

  7. I believe that phrase was in the old Soviet Constitution as well as the bible. So does that mean that Stephen Fincher is really a Communist?

  8. Starving through lack of effort is one aspect of natural selection. That we have mental faculty that gives us an exceptional inclusive fitness that can also elevate us above evolutionary forces. There is fossil evidence that our forebears cared for the sick and incapable. It is a cognitive mechanism from the dawn of our history.

    For Fincher anyone who cannot work for whatever reason must perish, there is no mediation in the phrase that he quoted. Just another example of a religio excusing inanity and inhumanity with selected examples from his book of batshit.

  9. Ah yes the extremist literal view of the bible, says everything about the book as it does about the man happy to quote it.

  10. The quote from 2 Thessalonians 3:10 is not even an alleged quote from Jesus but only a portion of a letter from Paul to the church of Thessalonica. I agree with jozersky (comment 2), one should go to the source of the belief system, not collateral sources. (also, the original article mistakenly attributes the book of Isaiah to the New Testament)

  11. The response to point 3 will be, predictably, something along the lines of “When the government helps the poor then we’re being forced to help through our tax dollars, and that’s not what the bible wants. Bible wants us to do it as a personal blah blah argle bargle…”. It’s always interesting how the government is supposed to be hands off of religious matters when it comes to helping the poor, being kind to foreigners, or any of the actual “good” qualities of christianity, but remain front-and-center concerning oppressive policy (gay marriage, women’s health, alcohol purchases, public prayer).
    I realize my point runs the risk of being “straw man”, and that Mr. Fincher didn’t make this claim, but I can assure you that’s the response you’ll get if you start quoting “be nice to poor people” verses to conservatives.

  12. And of course they don’t like it when anyone brings up the fact of the “working poor” – people who work long hours for minimum wage and need food stamps because all of their income is spent on rent and daycare and transportation to the cruddy jobs which they can’t rise above because they can’t afford a college education. Meanwhile, if any of these fat old teabaggers had to work as hard as the working poor, they’d drop dead of heart attacks in a week.
    In reply to #7 by Jos Gibbons:

    Bill Maher noted at Christmas time in 2011 that, for all their complaints about a “war on Christmas”, they dislike its generosity and don’t seem to understand Scrooge is the bad guy. (The episode of Real Time With Bill Maher in which he pointed this out also quoted a then recent “won’t work, don’t e…

  13. Heck, those hypocritical, judge-mental loonies rarely follow anything of their bibles.ost have never even read the damned thing. If they ever did, they would notice a lot of sayings from their Jesus to give away all eartlhy riches, give to the poor, etc and so on. But these rich conservative republicans simply ignore those parts of their bible. Doesn’t justify their agendas.

    Speaking of Bill Maher, I LOVED the end of his segment on the Hypocrisy of Christians where he ended with this, “Christians, if you ignore everything Jesus ever said to do then you cannot be called followers of Christ. You’re just fans.”

    ha ha ha

  14. Oh Yeah a great Prophet said that Jesus also loves the Trailer Trash ! Blessed be Jesus for creating the trailer trash for without them we shall be as a lamb against the wolf !

    DArcy Proverbs

  15. “Necessitous men are not free men.”† People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made. –President Franklin Delano Roosevelt


    † This phrase originated in a 1762 English property law case. Welfare programs are intended to prevent the despair of natural selection, e.g. hungry people resorting to crime such as murder and stealing (and has been historically demonstrated, cannibalism) out of legal necessity, in order to survive.

    We’ve walked these train tracks before.

  16. As atheists (i.e., the non-religious) we should try harder to combat religious zealotry with their own doctrines. Theological conclusions are in no way concrete, validations can sway and contradictions are numerous, so it’s easiest to counter their hateful remarks with their own books. Granted, there are a great number of different ideas whereas certain dogmas stand and one could indeed posit that in order to be a literal Christian one would have to obey a plethora of violent, immoral commands, but every Christian plucks specific scriptures here and there. So, how confusing it must be for a believer to have to process such apparent paradoxes and direct contradictions? This should be taken advantage of more often.

  17. It’s not possible for me to hate the TEApubilcans anymore than I already do. However, the “cherry picking” TEApublicans don’t give a rat’s ass about “The Old Testament”, so all of the OT quotes are stupid in the extreme.

    Of course, the moronic NT should be just considered an extension of the idiotic OT, but most American Fundagelicals will (ignorantly) tell you they only follow the NT.

  18. In reply to #22 by ThereIsGrandeur:

    As atheists (i.e., the non-religious) we should try harder to combat religious zealotry with their own doctrines. Theological conclusions are in no way concrete, validations can sway and contradictions are numerous, so it’s easiest to counter their hateful remarks with their own books. Granted, ther…

    Honestly, I couldn’t disagree more. The best way to combat the religious is to continually point at the ridiculousness and absurdity of religious texts ruthlessly. To use any religious text as a tool would end up playing right into their hands and to an extent it would give credibility to religious texts.

Leave a Reply