Gregg Collett is the father of 10 children and a Libertarian candidate for District 11, Position A of the Idaho House of Representatives. He relies upon Medicaid to pay for his children’s medical expenses. He is also a Mormon.
So does that make him a hypocrite? Here is how he answered the question.
“Am I a hypocrite for participating in programs that I oppose? If it was that simple, and if participation demonstrated support, then of course. But, my reason for participation in government programs often is not directly related to that issue in and of itself, and it certainly does not demonstrate support.”
Mr. Collett seems to be saying that his reasons for enrolling his children in Medicaid has nothing to do with his political beliefs. He is absolutely right. Libertarianism at its core is a political philosophy. It seeks to address the problems created from too much government interference in a person’s personal decisions. Libertarianism will never tell a person how to spend their money or raise their children. So why is it proper to judge a person’s actions against their political beliefs?
The other interesting piece of this story is Mr. Collett’s faith. He is a Mormon. His faith teaches the importance of being self-reliant and financially independent. All members are encouraged to find meaningful employment, create a budget, and live within their means. But what should a Latter-day Saint do if he works and lives within his means, but is still unable to provide for his family? Should he refuse to receive any government assistance? Do we think it is proper to judge a person’s actions based on their political beliefs?
To me there is no hypocrisy in being Mormon, needing help and admitting that you need help. If a person is unable to provide financially for his family, then he should seek help from others. Pride or fear of what others may think often can be a deterrent to seeking help. It shouldn’t be. It also shouldn’t matter where this help comes from.
Jesus Christ taught that we are all beggars. We depend upon Him for our substance and our riches. As a Latter-day Saint, if we seek to emulate Christ, why should we care who is asking for help and why they are asking for it? All that matters is that help is given. The true hypocrisy lies in those who espouse to believe in a compassionate and loving God, yet are quick to judge those who seek His compassion and love.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.”- Matthew 7:1-2