Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Biblical Way to Care for the Poor

The religious left tells us that budgets are moral documents.  The religious left also assumes that the federal government should take up the cause of helping the poor.  One report says the federal government runs 126 different anti-poverty programs1.
The religious left further tells us that across-the-board budget cuts will hurt the poor.  But how do we define the poor, and who gets to define them?  Are government programs always the moral high ground?  What happens if our national debt has reached $16 trillion because of budget deficits (Obama: nearly $5 trillion in four years, a record), while our national income (GDP) is smaller?
Are those big-government budget deficits moral or immoral?  Where's the moral high ground in that?
Despite the 126 programs, does anyone notice that we still have poor people?  Maybe we need another way.
What does the Bible say about helping the poor?
From the outset, I admit that I get nervous about applying specific Biblical texts to our modern national policy.  The Torah was the law of God, so ancient Israel was a theocracy.  We shouldn't bring these old laws forward to today in all their literalness and details.

No comments: