Were chuches ever 'social safety nets'?
"A hundred years ago the social safety net in the country was provided by the church," the Rev. Franklin Graham told Christiane Amanpour. "If you didn't have a job, you'd go to your local church and ask the pastor if he knew somebody that could hire him. If you were hungry, you went to the local church and told them, 'I can't feed my family.' And the church would help you. And that's not being done."
1. I looked for evidence of this claim, I can't find much. If true, why did the government ever take on this role? Were they not doing a good job?
2. Why don't churches volunteer to take on this role again? Why don't hungry, homeless and poor sick people go to church first instead of the welfare office and emergency room? Why continue to give churches tax breaks?
3. Since churches don't want to take on this role even though they are commanded to do so by their holy books, what good is religion and why don't we just have secular organizations instead?
“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca