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on being your poor brother’s keeper

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

A while back, I made a post about how the new pope seemed “progressive” to American ears just because he lived humbly and seemed committed to helping the poor – which (I argued) didn’t seem like the kind of thing a conservative leader, even a religious one, would do. Celeritas rightly called me on this because as she pointed out progressives aren’t the only ones concerned with helping the poor; they’re just the only ones who think the government should be taking a leading role here.

I was reminded of this conversation (which I meant to come back to and elaborate on, but never quite got around to) when I read the Methodist President’s Easter mesage.

“Being poor isn’t good for you. How can someone be well when basic human needs are denied; when access to everyday life is denied and the power to change is being removed?” he said.

“Poverty is a bad thing. It causes social ills. Ills do not cause poverty any more than spots cause measles.is a

“But blame is always a way out of feeling uncomfortable about injustice. We’d prefer to think that others ‘had it coming’ and we try hard to distinguish between the worthy and the unworthy.” (via Christian Today)

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(Deleted comment)
marta_bee
Apr. 1st, 2013 12:00 pm (UTC)
I quite agree, Alex. And to be fair, most Christian conservatives I know do try to help as much as they can; they just support doing it on their own or through their church rather than through the government. The question I was trying to get at was, is that enough? I don't think so, but not for religious reasons. It's just that the causes of poverty are too systemic for individual, private groups to really address them.
But yeah - I definitely agree
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