There are numerous verses in the Bible commanding people to help the poor, but the Christian-based Family Research Council (FRC) claims that doesn't include the government helping the needy.
FRC head Tony Perkins recently told Christian radio host Janet Mefferd that while Christians should be active in politics and government, they cannot support the government helping poor people, noted RightWingWatch.org (audio below).
"I think as Christians we'll be held responsible for the policies adopted by this government because it’s us,” said Perkins.
"Is that saying the government has a responsibility to care for the poor? That’s not what scripture says. The scripture handed that responsibility to you and I as members of the faith, followers of Jesus Christ,” Perkins later added.
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"[Jesus] never said to Rome, to the Romans that, 'You guys need to make sure that you're taking out of one person's pocket to give to another.' He said, 'No, you sell all that you have and give to the poor, you take that responsibility,'" stated Perkins.
However, there is not one verse in the Bible that forbids any government from helping the poor.
Perkins, who has not sold all of his possessions to give to the poor, is also incorrect about Jesus, who actually told people to pay their taxes ("taking out of one person's pocket to give to another") to Rome in the Book of Matthew 21:22:
They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.