Why we help the poor– from the Bible

The United States of America is a hugely diverse country. Every language, race and religion can be found here. It is also a place for us to celebrate these vast differences… whether one proclaims a certain religion or none at all. We have to respect one another. Even as the separation of Church and State is the respected and honored practice of the USA, it’s also important to look at our laws in context.

I know many people will not agree with my faith, but there are also many that do. That being said, I would like to share some Bible verses that have spoken to me… particularly as election day approaches.

Proverbs 22: 1-2, 8-9, 22-23

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all. Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of anger will fail. Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor. Do not rob the poor because they are poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate; for the Lord pleads their cause and despoils of life those who despoil them.

James 2: 14-17

What good is it, brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled”, without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[b] is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

This year, we face a critical choice about the direction of our country. Many in the GOP have promised to decimate vital social programs that care for our nation’s poor, disabled and elderly. As with any government entity, these programs are imperfect, but is that a sufficient reason for them to be destroyed. If we get rid of things like MediCare and Social Security, where will these people turn? They aren’t able to work for themselves like the majority of the nation, but does that mean that they don’t have the right to live? Does that mean that we don’t have a responsibility to care for them? To care for US?

There are many organizations that help our poor outside of government… churches, food banks and non-profits. Their work is vital. But the fact remains that the need for our nation’s poor is too great for these groups to meet alone. The debt and deficit are important, but so is taking care of our people. We can do both… we can solve our nation’s fiscal issues without having to sacrifice the needs of the poor. We can do both, and we MUST do both.