Letter: Caring for the poor

May 20, 2014 

In a May 11 letter, the writer cited Biblical admonitions regarding the poor to justify supporting politicians who prioritize caring for the poor. But nowhere does the Bible assign secular government this role. The Bible is concerned with our hearts -- including our willingness to reach into our own pockets to care for the poor ourselves.

The problem: When we believe government is the primary custodian of the poor, we don't feel called to help, and our hearts are steadily hardened. Exhibit A is Europe, where the affairs of the poor, semi-poor, and not-so-poor have come under the management of the state. The churches are empty, and personal charity is rare. This is not a coincidence, and some actually consider it a good thing.

In his book, Who Really Cares, prominent social scientist Arthur C. Brooks explains his research about charity in America. Initially believing the politically liberal were more generous, the evidence showed him American religious conservatives give 100 times more to charity than secular demographics.

Much of this is religious giving, but his research also found religious conservatives give 50 times more to explicitly secular charities. If we were all this generous, how much would government need to do?

DAVE BROWN, Richland

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service