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Preferential-Option-for-the-Poor

"Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, 'Bring us some drinks!'”     - Amos ; Amos 4.1


“Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor. He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.’ So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red. Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?”declares the LORD. “But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.”    - Jeremiah ; Jeremiah 22:13-17


"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


"The basic fact is that Christianity as it was born in the mind of this Jewish teacher and thinker appears as a technique of survival for the oppressed."    - Howard Thurman ; Jesus and the Disinherited


"When you gather your crops and fail to bring in some of the grain that you have cut, do not go back for it; it is to be left for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. . . . When you have gathered your grapes once, do not go back over the vines a second time; the grapes that are left are for the foreigners, orphans and widows. Never forget that you were slaves in Egypt; that is why I have given you this command."    - Moses ; Deuteronomy 24:19-22


"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?"    - Isaiah ; Isaiah 58:6


"It is necessary to examine the religion of Jesus against the background of his own age and people, and to inquire into the content of his teaching with reference to the disinherited and the underprivileged."    - Howard Thurman ; Jesus and the Disinherited


"God judges in favor of the oppressed..."    - David ; Psalms 146:6-7


“It is these [the marginalized] whom Jesus tells to have hope, that God is not like their oppressors have made them think, that the end of their misfortunes is at hand, that the Kingdom of God is coming and is for them.”    - Jon Sobrino ; Jesus the Liberator


"To those who need profound succor and strength to enable them to live in the present with dignity and creativity, Christianity often has been sterile and of little avail. The conventional Christian word is muffled, confused, and vague. Too often the price exacted by society for security and respectability is that the Christian movement in its formal expression must be on the side of the strong against the weak. This is a matter of tremendous significance, for it reveals to what extent a religion that was born of a people acquainted with persecution and suffering has become the cornerstone of a civilization and of nations whose very position in modern life has too often been secured by a ruthless use of power applied to weak and defenseless peoples."    - Howard Thurman ; Jesus and the Disinherited


"So He told them this parable, saying, 'What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?'"    - Jesus ; Luke 15:3-4


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


"The masses of men live with their backs constantly against the wall. They are the poor, the disinherited, the dispossessed. What does our religion say to them? The issue is not what it counsels them to do for others whose need may be greater, but what religion offers to meet their own needs. The search for an answer to this question is perhaps the most important religious quest of modern life."    - Howard Thurman ; Jesus and the Disinherited


"What word does Christianity have to offer for those of us who live with our backs constantly against the walls of white supremacist heterosexist patriarchal ableist capitalism?"    - CHANEQUA WALKER-BARNES ; Why I Gave Up Church; Bearings Online. October 12, 2017


"All the poor, insignificant, forgotten people of the world can gather around the manger and dare to believe that the Babe who lies there really belongs to them."    - M. O. Tobert ; (unspecified)


"Neither the familiarity nor the season’s festivities should prevent us from realizing the scandal that God came into human history completely helpless, as a newborn, and was laid in a feeding trough . . . By entering human history this way, God identified with the powerless, the oppressed, the poor, and the homeless."    - R. Alan Culpepper ; (unspecified)


"Emphasis on the Marginalized . . . in Luke the angelic announcement of his birth is made to 'shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night' (2: 8). As a class, shepherds are even lower in the social order than peasants and would qualify quite well as the 'lowly' and the 'hungry' of Mary’s hymn, the Magnificat. This is another overture preparation for a theme very much emphasized in Luke’s gospel. He insists, again more than the other gospels, on the obligations of the rich to the poor, the outcasts, and the marginalized."    - Borg, Marcus J.; Crossan, John Dominic ; The First Christmas


"There is one overmastering problem that the socially and politically disinherited always face: Under what terms is survival possible? . . . [Jesus's] words were directed to the House of Israel, a minority within the Greco-Roman world, smarting under the loss of status, freedom, and autonomy, haunted by the dream of the restoration of a lost glory and a former greatness."    - Howard Thurman ; Jesus and the Disinherited


"We begin with the simple historical fact that Jesus was a Jew . . . The second important fact for our consideration is that Jesus was a poor Jew . . . The third fact is that Jesus was a member of a minority group in the midst of a larger dominant and controlling group."    - Howard Thurman ; Jesus and the Disinherited


Those who shut their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.    - Wisdom ; Proverbs 21.13


"God judges in favor of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry."    - Psalmist ; Psalm 146:6-7


"Mark's Gospel originally was written to help imperial subjects learn the hard truth about their world and themselves. He does not pretend to represent the word of God dispassionately or impartially, as if the word were innocuously universal in its appeal to rich and poor alike. His is a story by, about, and for those committed to Gods' work of justice, compassion, and liberation in the world."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"There must be better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward  a democratic socialism. Call it what you may, call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God's children."    - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; May 1965 speech to the Negro American Labor Council


Suppose someone comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor person in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the one wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the one who is poor, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?    - James ; James 1.2-4


For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.    - James ; James 1.11


Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.    - James ; James 1.9-10


Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world . . .    - James ; James 2.5


"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


And raising his eyes to his disciples he said: Blessed are you poor, for God’s reign is for you. Blessed are you who hunger, for you will eat your fill. Blessed are you who mourn, for you will be consoled.    - Q 6:20–21 (cf. Luke 6.20-21; Matthew 5:1–4, 6 & Gospel of Thomas 54; 69:2 ; Robinson, James M.; The Gospel of Jesus


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.    - Jesus ; Matthew 11.28-30


"God encounters us in the human condition as the liberator of the poor and the weak, empowering them to fight for freedom because they were made for it."    - James H. Cone ; A Black Theology of Liberation


"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


"I am convinced that no one should claim to be doing Christian theology today without making the liberation of the Third World from the exploitation of the First World and the Second World a central aspect of its purpose. There is an interconnectedness of all humanity that makes the freedom of one people dependent upon the liberation of all. No one can be free until all are set free. Martin Luther King, Jr., expressed this point persuasively: 'We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny. What affects one directly, affects all indirectly. As long as there is poverty in this world, [no one] can be totally healthy…. Strangely enough, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.'"    - James H. Cone ; A Black Theology of Liberation


"So the last will be first, and the first will be last."    - Jesus ; Matthew 20:16   


"The Christian community, therefore, is that community that freely becomes oppressed, because they know that Jesus himself has defined humanity's liberation in the context of what happens to the little ones. Christians join the cause of the oppressed in the fight for justice not because of some philosophical principle of "the Good" or because of a religious feeling of sympathy for people in prison. Sympathy does not change the structures of injustice. The authentic identity of Christians with the poor is found in the claim which the Jesus-encounter lays upon their own life-style, a claim that connects the word "Christian" with the liberation of the poor. Christians fight not for humanity in general but for themselves and out of their love for concrete human beings."    - James H. Cone ; The God of the Oppressed


"The cross places God in the midst of crucified people, in the midst of people who are hung, shot, burned, and tortured."
   - James H. Cone ; The Cross and the Lynching Tree


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


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