As I evaluated myself it became obvious that it was this question that prompted me to avoid contact with those who were poor, suffering, or simply different. As I look at the lifestyle of conservatives I have to acknowledge the same pattern. Our political platform declares, "I am not my brother's keeper," and our lifestyle simply reflects that declaration. We may give to organizations, we may pray for the homeless, and we may even purchase free-trade goods; but we would never invite homeless people over for dinner, invite addicts to pray for us, or give up patronizing international conglomerates altogether. Such tactics hit too close to home, and impinge upon far too many of our comforts. In short, I didn't really believe that individuals are the solution to social problems, at least not if the individual in question is me. That is just a line I could use to blind myself to the reality that I could indeed be the solution if I weren't so greedy, lazy, and self-centered.
I confess, I still have some fairly 'libertarian' opinions about policy. I still think the government is possibly the worst place to look for help in solving any kind of problem. But I have come to despise the way those policy opinions so often go hand in hand with private decisions that are patently non-Christian.