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Poverty

"Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out  because it is in their power to do it. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them.They defraud people of their homes, they rob them of their inheritance. Therefore, the LORD says: 'I am planning disaster against this people, from which you cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly, for it will be a time of calamity.'"    - Micah ; Micah 2.1-3


"Saying, 'When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?”—skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.'"    - Amos ; Amos 8.5


"They have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not seek justice. They do not promote the case of the fatherless; they do not defend the just cause of the poor."    - Jeremiah ; Jeremiah 5.28


"When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied."    - Torah Redactors ; Deuteronomy 26.12


"When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow."    - Torah Redactors ; Deuteronomy 24.19-21


"At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands."    - Torah Redactors ; Deuteronomy 14.28-29


"If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit."    - Torah Redactors ; Leviticus 25.35-37


“The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers."    - Torah Redactors ; Leviticus 25.23


"Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan."    - Torah Redactors ; Leviticus 25.10


"When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God."    - Torah Redactors ; Leviticus 23.22


"When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the LORD your God."    - Torah Redactors ; Leviticus 19.9-10


“Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed."    - Torah Redactors ; Exodus 23.12


"But during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove."    - Torah Redactors ; Exodus 23.11


“If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest."    - Torah Redactors ; Exodus 22.25


"Indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave  and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captive all the peoples. Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying, ‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?’"    - Habakkuk ; Habakkuk 2.5-6


"The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice."    - Ezekiel ; Ezekiel 22.29


"Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud people of their homes, they rob them of their inheritance."    - Micah ; Micah 2.1-2


"The LORD enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: 'It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses.'"    - Isaiah ; Isaiah 3.14


"Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, saying, 'When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?'— skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat."    - Amos ; Amos 8.4-6


"Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless."    - First Isaiah ; Isaiah 10.1-2


"Thus says the LORD: For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they sell the innocent for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals— they who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and push the afflicted out of the way."    - Amos ; Amos 2.6-7


"The wicked remove landmarks; they seize flocks and pasture them. They drive away the donkey of the orphan; they take the widow’s ox for a pledge. They thrust the needy off the road; the poor of the earth all hide themselves. Like wild asses in the desert they go out to their toil, scavenging in the wasteland food for their young. They reap in a field not their own and they glean in the vineyard of the wicked. They lie all night naked, without clothing, and have no covering in the cold. They are wet with the rain of the mountains, and cling to the rock for want of shelter. There are those who snatch the orphan child from the breast, and take as a pledge the infant of the poor. They go about naked, without clothing; though hungry, they carry the sheaves; between their terraces they press out oil; they tread the wine presses, but suffer thirst."    - Job ; Job 24.2-11


"Poverty is not caused by fate; it is caused by the actions of those whom the prophet condemns."    - Gustavo Gutiérrez ; A Theology of Liberation: 15th Anniversary Edition (p. 166)


"You see, there's an immediate relationship between God, oppression, liberation: God is in the poor who cry out. And God is the one who listens to the cry and liberates, so that the poor no longer need to cry out.”    - Mev Puleo ; The Struggle Is One: Voices and Visions of Liberation


"Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and will be repaid in full."    - Wisdom ; Proverbs 19.17


"But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you."    - Jesus ; Luke 11.41


"Anyone who claims to be fighting against the problem of oppression and does not analyze the exploitive role of capitalism is either naive or an agent of the enemies of freedom."      - James H. Cone ; A Black Theology of Liberation


"Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who are kind to the needy honor him."    - Wisdom ; Proverbs 14.31


"The poor of this world—the Galilee of today—are where we encounter the historical Jesus and where he is encountered as liberator."    - Jon Sobrino ; Jesus the Liberator


"I intended to show that nonviolence will be effective, but not until it has achieved the massive dimensions, the disciplined planning, and the intense commitment of a sustained, direct-action movement of civil disobedience on the national scale. The dispossessed of this nation — the poor, both white and black — live in a cruelly unjust society. They must organize a revolution against that injustice, not against the lives of the persons who are their fellow citizens, but against the structures through which the society is refusing to take means which have been called for, and which are at hand, to lift the load of poverty."
   - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; The Trumpet of Conscience


“But the poor person does not exist as an inescapable fact of destiny. His or her existence is not politically neutral, and it is not ethically innocent. The poor are a by-product of the system in which we live and for which we are responsible. They are marginalized by our social and cultural world. They are the oppressed, exploited proletariat, robbed of the fruit of their labor and despoiled of their humanity. Hence the poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.”    - Gustavo Gutiérrez ; A Theology of Liberation: 15th Anniversary Edition


"The Glory of God is a poor person who lives."    - Jon Sobrino ; Jesus the Liberator


"Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow."    - Isaiah ; Isaiah 1:17 


"[Jesus'] basic issue, still basic today, is that most people have solved the human dilemma for themselves at the expense of everyone else, putting them down so as to stay afloat themselves. This vicious, antisocial way of coping with the necessities of life only escalates the dilemma for the rest of society."    - James M. Robinson ; The Gospel of Jesus


"God is present in the poor of this world."    - Jon Sobrino ; Jesus the Liberator


“If there is no friendship with them [the poor] and no sharing of the life of the poor, then there is no authentic commitment to liberation, because love exists only among equals.”    - Gustavo Gutiérrez ; A Theology of Liberation: 15th Anniversary Edition


“'Spirit! are they yours?' Scrooge could say no more. 'They are Man’s,' said the Spirit, looking down upon them. 'And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree; but most of all beware this boy [Ignorance], for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!' cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. 'Slander those who tell it ye! Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse! And bide the end!'"
   - The Ghost of Christmas Present ; A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


"[Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] connected the dots between what he called the 'giant triplets' of racism, militarism, and poverty and then challenged us to take back the world from those 'who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.;"    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man


"Democracy is when there is a majority of free, poor men who have authority to rule, while oligarchy is when it is in the hands of the wealthy and well-born, who are a minority."    - Noam Chomsky ; Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power


"Poverty is the cause of the defects of democracy. That is the reason why measures should be taken to ensure a permanent level of prosperity."    - Noam Chomsky ; Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power


"If you check you find that over the course of these years the government policy has been modified completely against the will of the population to provide enormous benefits to the very rich."    - Noam Chomsky ; Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power


In 1957 a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast between poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of these countries, and say, ‘This is not just.’ It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say, ‘This is not just.’ A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war, ‘This way of settling differences is not just.’ This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
   - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; The Trumpet of Conscience


"If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?"    - John ; 1 John 3.17


But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”    - Luke ; Luke 19.8


But when you give a banquet, invite the poor . . .    - Jesus ; Luke 14.13


Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.    - Jesus ; Luke 12.33


So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard:  . . .  the good news is proclaimed to the poor."    - Jesus ; Luke 7.22


Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor,  for yours is the kingdom of God.”    - Jesus ; Luke 6.20


“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me  to proclaim good news to the poor.”    - Jesus ; Luke 4.18


"If there is no friendship with them and no sharing of the life of the poor, then there is no authentic commitment to liberation, because love exists only among equals."    - Gustavo Gutierrez ; A Theology of Liberation: 15th Anniversary Edition


In the final analysis, poverty means death: lack of food and housing, the inability to attend properly to health and education needs, the exploitation of workers, permanent unemployment, the lack of respect for one's human dignity, and unjust limitations placed on personal freedom in the areas of self-expression, politics, and religion.    - Gustavo Gutierrez ; A Theology of Liberation: 15th Anniversary Edition


And John, on hearing about all these things, sending through his disciples, said to him: Are you the one to come, or are we to expect someone else? And in reply he said to them: Go report to John what you hear and see: The blind regain their sight and the lame walk around, the skin-diseased are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is whoever is not offended by me.    - Q 7:18–19, 22–23 (Cf. Luke 7.18-19, 22-23; Matthew 11:2–6) ; James M. Robinson; The Gospel of Jesus


I am hungry because you hoard food. You are cold because I hoard clothing. Our dilemma is that we all hoard supplies in our backpacks and put our trust in our wallets! Such “security” should be replaced by God reigning, which means both what I trust God to do (to activate you to share food with me) and what I hear God telling me to do (to share clothes with you). We should not carry money while bypassing the poor or wear a backpack with extra clothes and food while ignoring the cold and hungry lying in the gutter. This is why the beggars, the hungry, the depressed are fortunate: God, that is, those in whom God rules, those who hearken to God, will care for them. The needy are called upon to trust that God’s reigning is there for them (“Theirs is the kingdom of God”).    - James M. Robinson ; The Gospel of Jesus


"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."    - Ezekiel ; Ezekiel 16.49


"Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."    - Jesus ; Matthew 6.11-12


"When profits are more important than persons, disastrous results follow for the poor of all colors. It does not matter whether blacks or whites do it. This madness must be opposed."    - James H. Cone ; A Black Theology of Liberation


Any message that is not related to the liberation of the poor in a society is not Christ’s message.    - James H. Cone ; A Black Liberation of Theology


"It is ironic that America, with its history of injustice to the poor, especially the black man and the Indian, prides itself on being a Christian nation."    - James H. Cone ;


May the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of His sufferings.

   - Moravian Jesus Followers ; When 17th century Moravians were told that they would not be allowed to teach the gospel to slaves, Dober and Nitschmann sold themselves to a slave owner in order to subversively share Jesus with the slave population a slaves themselves. They boarded the slave ship bound for the West Indies, and as the ship pulled away from the docks, it is said that they called out these words to their loved ones on shore.


"There are some upon this earth of ours,” returned the Spirit, “who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.”    - The Ghost of Christmas Present ; A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


"Happy are those who are concerned for the poor; the Lord will help them when they are in trouble."    - David ; Psalms 41:1


You are not making a gift of your possession to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his.    - Ambrose Of Milan ; Ambrose of Milan, 340-397


Every man brings some modest coin once a month or whenever he wishes, and only if he is willing and able; it is a freewill offering. You might call them the trust-funds of piety; they are spent on the support and burial of the poor.

   - Tertullian, c. 150-220 ; Apology, XXXIX, 1-18


"But the one thing we can all agree on, all faiths, all ideologies, is that God is with the vulnerable and the poor. God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives. And God is with us if we are with them."

   - Bono ; Keynote Address at the 54th National Prayer Breakfast; February 2, 2006


"Stop asking God to bless what you are doing and get involved in what God is already doing, because it's already blessed."

   - Bono ; Keynote Address at the 54th National Prayer Breakfast; February 2, 2006


"It's not a coincidence that in in the Scriptures poverty is mentioned over 2100 times. It's not an accident. That's a lot of air time."

   - Bono ; Keynote Address at the 54th National Prayer Breakfast; February 2, 2006


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