The headline on the Drudge Report today reads, "Poverty Soars, Sets New Record." The main picture is that of President Obama apparently working/serving at a soup kitchen. The headline and accompanying photograph is clearly intended to lay blame for our economic woes on the President. It's politics as usual, pure and simple.
My take on the economic problems we face and the record number of poor (46 million), is that this is an opportunity for us as a nation to come together and meet need. No, I'm not proposing some "liberal" agenda wherein we raise taxes to meet the needs of those in poverty through more government programs, but rather it is an opportunity for us to do that which this "Christian nation" has been commanded to do.
From a theological perspective, those in poverty (financial and otherwise) are there for us to reach out to, to help, to provide assistance whenever and wherever possible. No, we're not to overlook the realities of what put those people into poverty to begin with, but we are to deal rather in the here and now. Today, these are people and families who could use some assistance and it is of no consequence how they got in that situation. True, there are some who refuse real assistance - like the alcoholic who just hasn't hit bottom and come face-to-face with their issues. But I would argue that we have a responsibility to seize the opportunity.
Christ said, "the poor you will have with you always." His words have been proven true. He also said, "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat."
We don't need government doing the job that those of us who claim to be believers are supposed to be doing on our own.
I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.