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Letter distorts how Christians should treat the poor

POSTED: August 11, 2011 1:00 a.m.

This letter is in response to William P. Clark's highly offensive "God made the poor that way so we shouldn't do anything to help them" letter ("People of faith shouldn't give in to wealth envy," Friday).

Based upon his letter, it appears Mr. Clark thinks God made rich people and poor people and the two should never intermingle. It also appears he likes to make up his own definitions for words (as many evangelicals do) by saying God must surely love poor folks as he sure made enough of us. He seems to be calling himself poor.

To this I ask: Do you sleep in a bed at night? Do you eat at least a little something every day? I bet you even have clothes to wear and a car to drive. You, Mr. Clark, are not poor.

Worldwide, 1.7 billion people live in absolute poverty. Twenty-two thousand children die of starvation every day. Fifty percent of the world, more than 3 billion people, lives on less than $2.50 a day. Eighty percent of the world lives on less than $10 a day.

He mentioned Paul's instructions to be content with having food. Poor people do not have food. Poor people do not envy your wealth; poor people envy you not watching your children to die of sickness and starvation in your own arms.

I'm an atheist so, unlike Alan Shope, I guess its OK with you if I give to the poor and openly tell people we should give to the poor. Although, I know the Bible well and I think even your God and his son want you to give to the poor. At least that's how I interpret many passages. Here are a few of my favorites.

1 John 3:17-18: "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

And Proverbs 21:13" "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered."

Devidyal Givens


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