North Carolina Protests Underscore Debate over How to Biblically Help the Poor

Should the government assist poor members of the community with social programs, or should that be left up to the church, private charities and community generosity? That’s essentially the question that has caused a major rift at North Carolina’s state capitol in recent months. There, hundreds of protestors have been arrested for promoting what they see as a biblical mandate to help the poor in “Moral Monday” gatherings organized by the local chapter of the NAACP. Many are angry over cutbacks and restrictions for programs that benefit poor families and provide services to low-income areas in the community. Most of the GOP legislators, however (many of whom are also Christians), have led efforts to cut government-run programs and have said the poor are best helped through the promotion of self-reliance, private charities and job creation. The protests and the recent string of arrests continue to highlight the different interpretations of how to help those in need in a democratic society …

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