I'm hard pressed to find the Bible verses that direct governments to take care of the poor. In fact, the New Testament is a call to individuals, not to governments. Individuals commit sin, not governments. Christ died so that individuals can have their sins forgiven and enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. The New Testament is rather silent on what social programs governments should provide to their citizens.
But it's not silent at all on what individuals should do. Christians are commanded to help the poor, who will always be among us, and the meek, who shall inherit the earth. There's no grace in having a government forcibly take your money and spend it on the poor; voluntarily giving to the poor, however, earns God's favor.
Such religious belief, now 2000 years old, makes sense even today. We've seen what's happened with the Great Society and the War on Poverty. We've seen generational poverty. We know that people value that which they work for more than that which they're given. This is why welfare-to-work is a good idea--a hand up, not a handout, so to speak. Teaching a person to fish instead of giving a person a fish. Socialism isn't supported by Christianity.
It turns out our brains may be hard-wired in ways that support that 2000 year old religious belief.
CHICAGO, Illinois (Reuters) -- Knowing your money is going to a good cause can activate some of the same pleasure centers in your brain as food and sex, U.S. researchers said Thursday.
People who participated in a study got a charge knowing that their money went to a charity -- even when the contribution was mandatory, like a tax. They felt even better when they voluntarily made a donation, researchers found... (emphasis mine--Darren)
He and colleagues were hoping to find out whether there was something in the act of giving itself -- and not just the social and egotistical reward of being a philanthropist -- that offers satisfaction.
"The fact that we find pleasurable activity in those mandatory tax-like situations strongly suggests the existence of pure altruism," he said.
Of course, simulating a tax is quite different from paying taxes to a government with policies you may or may not support, he noted.
Be generous. It's good for the poor, it's good for you--in more ways than one.