In the first instance, I am glad there is an agreement with me by Stephanie Mermigas that advancing social programs is not “socialism,” and thus those who categorize candidates as “socialist” or advancing “socialism,” by suggesting social programs benefitting society’s least among us, are certainly misinformed and deceitful in using the label. There seems to be a lot of such labeling going around, and it is reassuring for Ms. Mermigas to point out the distinction.

In addition, her biblical quote may be a moral compass if applied to those who can work and just choose to be “idle”. However, Paul was addressing those who stood idle, including those referred to in his previous chapter who decided to not work and remain idle because of their thought that the coming of the Savior (Parousia) was imminent. His admonition concerns “unwillingness rather than inability.” There is a difference. James: 1-27 describes true belief, in part, as “looking after orphans and widows in their distress.” This would include needy children and widows, the disabled, those with special needs, the elderly, those who need health care and others who cannot earn a living wage and are deserving of help. Paul’s instruction was that those who were idle because of that erred thinking should join with the others in this true belief.

Marc J. Weinpel

Idaho Falls