We can be selfish, ignoring the destitute. We can disparage the working poor and helpless. But we can't justify such attitudes without exposing our hypocrisy. You can't pretend greed is righteous. But some people try. They distort and misquote the Bible to defend their prejudices. One recent letter-writer, opposing help for impoverished victims, claimed the Bible doesn't mention secular governments helping the poor. He doesn't read the Bible thoroughly enough.
I found 14 Bible passages (there may be more), all specifically requiring secular governments to bear responsibility for the welfare of the poor. Two passages praise kings who help the poor. Ten passages condemn unjust rulers. Four of these threaten punishment, even destroying nations because their leaders harmed their poor.
If any of these Bible passages are relevant today, this should scare us.
Their message would be: When Congress reduces food stamps and other public assistance, God is enraged.
JOY RASCH, Kennewick