Should poverty be the main concern of religion?

Poverty


  • Total voters
    22
Jul 2008
5,397
Sharkland
#1
According to Michael Sean Winters, an American journalist and writer who covers events in the Roman Catholic Church for the National Catholic Reporter, responding to Pope Francis' selection as Time's man of the year says:

"Very prominent Catholic conservatives like professor [Robert] George, George Weigel, have spent the last 10 years telling us that there were five nonnegotiables for Catholics in the public square. Abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia — they never included poverty. Well, clearly the whole thrust of this document is that if you are serious about evangelizing, if you want to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, then [you had] better put concern for the poor front and center. And this is not just individual charity — one on one — this is a requirement of our society and therefore, of our state."

So do you think that concern for the poor should be the main concern for religion?
 

Haakbus

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
3,716
United States
#2
Jesus said that the greatest commandment is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself."

If someone loves their neighbor as the commandment says, then they'll help them if they're poor. If they love God as much as it says, then they'll love their neighbor as themself (I know, bad grammar, but I can't think of another word:))
 
Oct 2012
1,266
SF bay area
#3
The question is general, but the text accompanying the question is specific to Christianity.

I get that the message of Christ, as he resisted the Hasmonean Temple Cult, had a strong emphasis on caring for the poor, but I don't see why religion in general would have any interest in economics. Did the Old Testament include the social concepts of lifting thy neighbor from poverty as did Jesus?
 
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Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,453
Athens, Greece
#4
It should be the main earthly concern of religion.

However, the main concern of religion should always be the soul and its relation with the divine. This is the domain for which it was created in the first place, after all.

Poverty should be the main and primary concern of politics. It is not. Should religion fill our collective failure to promote anthropocentric politics?
 

Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,925
Romania
#5
According to Michael Sean Winters, an American journalist and writer who covers events in the Roman Catholic Church for the National Catholic Reporter, responding to Pope Francis' selection as Time's man of the year says:

"Very prominent Catholic conservatives like professor [Robert] George, George Weigel, have spent the last 10 years telling us that there were five nonnegotiables for Catholics in the public square. Abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia — they never included poverty. Well, clearly the whole thrust of this document is that if you are serious about evangelizing, if you want to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, then [you had] better put concern for the poor front and center. And this is not just individual charity — one on one — this is a requirement of our society and therefore, of our state."

So do you think that concern for the poor should be the main concern for religion?
The main concern of religion should be for the salvation of the soul, charity is derived from it. As St. John Chrysostom said at the end of Homily 27 on the Gospel of St. John (CHURCH FATHERS: Homily 27 on the Gospel of John (Chrysostom)):
These things I say continually, and I will not cease to say them, not so much because I care for the poor, as because I care for your souls. For they will have some comfort, if not from you, yet from some other quarter; or even if they be not comforted, but perish by hunger, the harm to them will be no great matter. What did poverty and wasting by hunger injure Lazarus! But none can rescue you from hell, if you obtain not the help of the poor; we shall say to you what was said to the rich man, who was continually broiling, yet gained no comfort. God grant that none ever hear those words, but that all may go into the bosom of Abraham; by the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom, to the Father and the Holy Ghost, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
 
Feb 2011
9,998
Cumbernauld Scotland
#6
I have just signed a petition about food parcels are an accepted way of life now. Although it a temporary solution to a growing number of people that can't afford to feed themselves in the last five or so years. I have notice there has not been any cutbacks with royal family expenditure and governing forces. It seems like the churches have pick up the responsibility of the that the government refuses to deal with. I would like to see poverty as history, it is only corrupt governments that cause it.
 

ib-issi

Ad Honorem
Mar 2011
3,403
just sitting here
#8
Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Mark 10:17-31 NLT - The Rich Man - As Jesus was starting - Bible Gateway
Very , very few of us have the strength of mind to ever do that , and it seems always to be at the back of peoples mind to leave as much as you can to your own children . i believe the above sentiment is good .. but i would be too afraid to go ahead with it myself .

I think a good rule of thumb as a reason for being, for religion would be to make as many people happier in their lives as possible,it is not only money that does this , having a friend you can rely on , or respect , feeling you have a purpose in life , or just some sense of security could make a lot of peoples lives much happier.
 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,365
#9
Historically Religion has used the poor to further its own agenda... When people are desperate they are more open to listen to anyone who promises them a better life, be it priests or politicians, especially if these promises are initially backed up by some charity.... Communists also made use of this... Or Hamas more recently

So its better if the priests stay away from the poor, else they tend to turn then into religious fanatics and suicide bombers
 
Feb 2011
9,998
Cumbernauld Scotland
#10
Historically Religion has used the poor to further its own agenda... When people are desperate they are more open to listen to anyone who promises them a better life, be it priests or politicians, especially if these promises are initially backed up by some charity.... Communists also made use of this... Or Hamas more recently

So its better if the priests stay away from the poor, else they tend to turn then into religious fanatics and suicide bombers
I totally agree with you.:)
Food parcels should be part of history and not part of everyday life of today.