Last week, in response to the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s War on Poverty, Rep. Paul Ryan released a Poverty Report arguing for severe cuts to many of the programs that provide assistance to the working poor. Rather than offering concrete suggestions of his own on how to assist struggling families, the report simply attacks programs that have prevented millions of working Americans from falling through the cracks.
It is striking that often the most strident attacks on these programs come from those who, like Ryan, are devout Christians who claim that they cannot separate their faith from their politics. While Christians certainly can disagree on any number of policy issues and the most effective way to achieve various goals, Scripture does have some pretty clear teachings on how we are to treat the least of these in our midst. If leaders are going to insist on legislating their faith in the bedroom, then it should show up in the boardroom too. That’s why we’ve put together this Scripture and Policy Poverty Guide. We’ll be posting new sections every few days over the next couple weeks outlining many of the challenges facing struggling Americans, attacks and responses, and relevant Scripture. Links to each new section will be added below.
Use these with your libertarian uncle or that cousin who is always quoting the Bible to shut down a discussion. And please share your thoughts in the comments section. Are there arguments or passages we missed? Disagree with anything here? We’d like to hear.
The authenticity clause: As with everything we do at Faithful Democrats, we believe authenticity and humility are required whenever engaging faith in the public sphere. It is not the intent of this Guide to say that the Bible supports every progressive policy goal or any specific budget proposal. But since so many progressives can speak authentically from a place of faith, this Guide is meant to provide the tools and resources to be able to do so on the issue of poverty in our country.
Scripture and Policy Poverty Guide: