When I pointed out that I thought taking money by force from taxpayers so that pols could redistribute to their political favs was tantamount to theft run by a protection racket, Alte disagreed, noting that the RCC (Pope Leo XII) decreed some time ago that the State had a role to play in ameliorating human suffering with other peoples' money:
The contention, then, that the civil government should at its option intrude into and exercise intimate control over the family and the household is a great and pernicious error. True, if a family finds itself in exceeding distress, utterly deprived of the counsel of friends, and without any prospect of extricating itself, it is right that extreme necessity be met by public aid, since each family is a part of the commonwealth. In like manner, if within the precincts of the household there occur grave disturbance of mutual rights, public authority should intervene to force each party to yield to the other its proper due; for this is not to deprive citizens of their rights, but justly and properly to safeguard and strengthen them. But the rulers of the commonwealth must go no further; here, nature bids them stop....The socialists, therefore, in setting aside the parent and setting up a State supervision, act against natural justice, and destroy the structure of the home. [Bolded text my emphasis]The Roman Catholic Church has historically had difficulty separating Church from Caesar, and this quote above merely provides evidence of that continuing difficulty. I suppose I should be glad for this, however, since it was this difficulty that led directly to the Reformation and the birth of both Protestantism (yay!) and the Enlightenment (boo!). Now to be fair, however, Protestants have had their own difficulties keeping the temporal and ecclesiastical separated, most recently with the rise of "right hand of God" Progressivism that was so in vogue at the turn of the twentieth century and the effects of which we all still suffer under today. Needless to say, I'm far less sanguine than Leo XII about the ability or willingness of the State to go "this far and no further" when it comes to the rights or property of its subjects; seems the natural progression of government is to go "that far" and take it even further if given half a chance. Better I think to declare completely off limits to government the property of other men, other than taxing citizens to provide goods that may only be obtained publicly (like national defense), rather than allow the proverbial camel's nose under the tent (and we end up with immoral monstrosities like welfare and Kelo).
But my issue isn't with 300 year old Romish papal decrees or mainline Protestant misbehavior, but how both human failings fail to properly grasp the black and white and red text of the Bible.
First, we are instructed to help the poor, first in Deuteronomy 15, Leviticus 19, Leviticus 25, Proverbs 14, and Matthew 25. This is without dispute. But who is to receive this help? Marvin Olasky writes:
Liberal use of the Matthew 25 quotation (and many others) raises severe questions of biblical interpretation. The Old Testament emphasizes not alms but opportunities to glean, and not subsidies for sitting but exhortations to be industrious. If we use Matthew 25 to baptize the welfare state, even though its result has been two generations that never learned about the importance of work, what do we do with dozens of verses from Proverbs? Some example: "Lazy hands make a man poor... Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.... The sluggard's craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work.”Clearly, the modern welfare state that hands out cash payments with no litmus testing involved runs contrary to the Biblical prescription regarding to whom alms should be targeted. Indeed, as opposed to the welfare state which seems to have no end to the spiritual injuries it wishes to inflict on those it supposedly "helps", we see in Deuteronomy 14:28-29 that the tithes shall be given to the poor only every third year. Meaning that it is not meant to be a long-term lifestyle, and certainly not across generations. Moreover, the burden of caring for the poor and indigent falls first to the person themselves (1 Thess 6:3-12), then to their family (1 Tim 5:3-16), and only then to other third parties such as the Church or government.
Second, if we liberally play with Matthew 25, are we placing in opposition the teachings of Jesus and those of Paul? The apostle provided to the Thessalonians and us not a suggestion but a rule: “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle… We gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’ We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat."
Such are the Biblical instructions for how the poor are to be cared for and who is to be doing the caring. But what of my earlier point about the welfare statement being little more than an immoral theft executed by a protection racket? There are two supporting elements for my claim: first, social contract theory, and the second, the Bible itself.
Social contract theory postulates that we men give up a portion of our rights, voluntarily, in exchange for the delivery of certain goods from the collective, such as security, laws, courts, roads, et cetera. These goods are of course paid for with taxes. The key word here is voluntary; if a member disagrees with how these taxes are spent, he can agitate for change. If the disagreement is intractable, he votes with his feet and leaves for other districts with governing practices more to his liking. However, if the citizen is unable to leave, either by condition or by State coercion, or is otherwise prevented from withdrawing his consent (as is the case of the USG taxing the incomes of former US citizens who have emigrated to other countries), then the contract is broken. In this case, such taxation is truly theft, theft carried out at the point of a gun.
Second, the Bible itself, in my interpretation,* states quite clearly that our giving is to be voluntary, from our hearts as evidence of salvation, and not appropriated for the aggrandizement of others. First, I give you Matthew 6:1-6, which instructs Believers to give in anonymity:
1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.Public charity does not count as giving in anonymity, and politicians using the money confiscated from others by force to be charitable in their own name is nigh upon blasphemous.
Second, from James 2:14-24 and Ephesians 2:8-9, we see that faith without works is dead, but works without faith is also fruitless:
James:So we see that, in addition to being immoral (welfare leads to objectively poorer outcomes), welfare is also unBiblical. And in some ways, welfare is an offense to God himself, for it impedes the willingness of the people to carry out His commandments with the correct state of mind and heart.
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good  is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
* As I do not subscribe to the Marian religion, I am blessed with the ability to read and interpret Scripture for myself and am not confined to accepting the interpretation of another mere man as Gospel.