One is warned early in life never to debate religion or politics - except if you are a columnist.

My recent column criticizing the Republican radical Tea Party saying one thing and doing another that was so unlike Christian values that they flaunt has caused some mental gymnastics from some of my readers.

One minister wrote stating he understood my point stressing hypocrisy and then submitted Biblical scripture to apparently point out that feeding the hungry is not the responsibility of government or political parties.

That may be so, but some Christian values and principles are not explicitly found in the Bible.

Catholicism, Lutheranism, Orthodox Christianity, Methodism, Anglican Communion, et al, encourage their parishioners to live the Corporal Works of Mercy (To feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked, harbor the harborless; visit the sick; ransom the captive, and bury the dead).

Would a Jew, a Buddhist, an Atheist, a Muslim not feel the pain in his heart for a starving human being holding out his food bowl for small morsels to keep him/her alive? Is compassion not a human value?

Christian missionaries are scattered throughout the world, many in harm's way, trying to eradicate the wretched conditions of millions in need of corporal and spiritual assistance.

Before our hypocritical elected Ebenezer Scrooge leaders ask, "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?" shouldn't these healthy, three meals a day, politicians who seek to cut $39 billion in precious food stamps, be aware that there are millions of patriotic Americans among our 20 million unemployed who, through no fault of their own, need our help?

Now we find that the Arizona Republican governor has stopped welfare checks to some 5,700 needy families by an average of $207 a month per family.

I am not asking to feed the world but to feed our country.

The Bible teaches that Jesus abhorred hypocrisy as evidenced in Matthew 23 who wrote about the Pharisees preaching one thing and doing another. Jesus said, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone."

Indeed, woe to scribes and Pharisees and unto you the Republican Tea Party - hypocrites!

I give you President John Adams' toast: Independence forever.

Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at Reach him at