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Writer criticizing Watson shouldn’t twist his words

After reading the Dec. 7 letter, “Entitlement programs keep people in poverty,” I find myself in the unusual position of defending News columnist Rod Watson. Like the letter writer, I often disagree with Watson, though not on this particular issue. I’d like to think that unlike the writer, I don’t have to twist Watson’s words and make up facts to do so. While never actually addressing anything Watson said, the writer instead chose to trot out the old “drug dealers and irresponsible men on welfare” argument. Fact: We are helping to feed the neglected children of those irresponsible men, not the men themselves. More than 80 percent of food stamps go to households with children, the disabled or the elderly.

He then accuses the poor who resort to free food kitchens of overeating while there and berates them for not doing the dishes. I’m pretty sure Jesus and his apostles never asked anyone they helped for anything in return. That’s why it’s called charity.

Most appalling of all was his invention of Bible quotes. The adage about teaching a man to fish may have some merit, but it is not from the Bible. I am a Christian. Since the writer also seems to identify himself as one, I suggest he discuss his interpretation of helping the poor with his clergyperson. And perhaps actually read the Bible before quoting it.

Robert Zielinski

Clarence Center