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The following is the introduction to an article titled What the Most Influential Religions Say Regarding Treatment of the Poor
In most religious traditions, charitable alms or almsgiving, which is giving materially and/or financially to those in need, is an act of virtue, charity, empathy, compassion, and love. And, it is even an obligation.
This issue is crucial especially because for the last three decades since the "Religious Right" gained political power colluding with Ronald Reagan, they have been preaching the Reaganite "Gospel of Prosperity" that turns Christianity up-side-down. For example, it claims that the rich are blessed and the poor deserve their lot because they are "not self-reliant." And in fact, that misleading right-wing partisan ideology actually blames the victims of poverty.
One of the terrible consequences of Reaganism is that about 23 percent of American children live in poverty, giving the United States the second highest rate of child poverty out of 35 developed countries. About 20 million Americans live on less than half of the outdated federal poverty level. And of all the children in poverty, about 97 percent of them live in households in which at least one adult works full time.
The truth is that the main causes of the problems around poverty, hunger and homelessness is the greed and selfishness of some of the wealthiest few who hold 95 percent of the nation's wealth, and the main related problem is insufficient wages for the working poor.
That is why it is important to understand the real truth, especially about the intent of Jesus of Nazareth, but of all other great spiritual teachers and founders and developers of religion, because they all not only rebuked the greedy and the selfish who lust for unjust financial gain. They called upon all of us to be just and fair, and to help and care for the elderly, the disabled, the disadvantaged, and the needy.
That, by the way, is in fact why the Founders of the U.S.A. intended for government to "promote the general welfare" to ensure domestic tranquility and justice for all.
It goes on to point out what Judaism, Christianity and Islam say about how we should treat the poor, and also mentions what other religions say about it, which is much the same thing: "Treat all other as you would want to be treated if you were them