Public Square & Theology 101

Health and Wealth: Thoughts on Poverty and the Affordable Care Act

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The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act brings larger questions about poverty and morality to the forefront of our national discussion. We all want to care for “the least of these.” How do we best go about eradicating poverty and empowering the poor?

These questions, like the healthcare debate, are complex, with no simple answers.

Nevertheless, Dr. Jay W. Richards offers insight into these issues in his latest book, Indivisible. He raises an important point for Christians to consider in light of today’s ruling:

Many Christians and other people of faith  support these programs not because they want to grow government but because they want to help the poor and needy. That’s laudable. Social justice, however, should not mean government leveling…Such expansion doesn’t solve problems. Instead, it creates generational cycles of poverty and pathology in communities that were once poor but socially healthy and upwardly mobile. If we want to help the poor rather than just feel bad for them, then we need to learn how poverty is eradicated and wealth is created.

Dr. Glenn Sunshine dives deeper into poverty issues in a series written for our blog. Here you can read about principles of relief, redistribution, and the church’s historical perspective on poverty. We encourage you to utilize these resources as you think more deeply about these questions.

How should Christians go about caring for the poor? Have these resources been helpful? Leave your comments here

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