We Are Our Brothers' (and Sisters') Keepers.

I'm probably flailing at straw men, here, but bear with me a moment.

I've heard it said that some people say "Am I my brother's keeper?" when they argue against social programs, spending money to help people less fortunate than themselves, the whole concept of having a government to take care of people who may not be them or their loved ones. "Am I my brother's keeper?" What responsibility do I have, they argue, to help others who may or may not have gotten what's coming to them. I didn't cause their suffering, so why am I responsible for their care?

It surprises me that some of these people who take this tack, by how they act, even if they don't make this quote directly, don't realize where this quote comes from. You see, it's from the Bible. And before they suggest that this gives God's backing to ignoring the needs of others, note that it's from the Book of Genesis, chapter 4, verses 1-9. It's what Cain says to his parents, Adam and Eve, when they come to him and ask, "Where's Abel?"

Because, of course, Cain has killed Abel. And hidden the body. And made it quite clear within the story that his actions and sentiments are not something that we as decent human beings should be modeling.

So, if anybody does ask, "Am I my brother's keeper?" the answer is, emphatically, "Yes!"

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