Were chuches ever 'social safety nets'?

EXC
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Were chuches ever 'social safety nets'?

From abcnews.com:

"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."

Questions:

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


Beyond Saving
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 Some do. Many churches

 Some do. Many churches have food pantries and routinely engage in a variety of charitable contributions. I have worked with church groups on a variety of charitable projects.

 

As for 1: Because the government seeks to seize power in every role it can. The government does thousands of things it doesn't need to do- just because the government does it does not mean the government was actually needed. 

 

2: Many hungry, homeless and poor do go to churches then turn around and go to the welfare office too. A handful are decent enough folks to only take the charity they need. Others simply work the system and get everything they can for free. 

 

3: We also have secular organizations that perform similar functions. We certainly need a lot more because the mentality that it is the governments job to do charity work is becoming part of our societies mentality. About the only good thing religion does is motivate people to be charitable. As atheists, we should also do our part to make private charities the answer to our countries problems rather than the force of government. Donate to a charity today or even start one yourself. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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You're asking why churches

You're asking why churches don't want to give their money away?

Long as the vatican stands, the answer is obvious. Sticking out tongue

As for the government, it's ALWAYS taken on this role. The methodology may change from generation to generation and nation to nation, but there's always been a government welfare system to take care of the most vulnerable in one way or another.

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In the US we are the

In the US we are the government. Politician are better at promising new things. That is how they get elected. So the government keeps expanding. Churches are just another human organization that have to grow to stick around. They too take in more than they deliver. Churches have a more narrow view of the world which makes them more dangerous. The catholic church is obscenely wealthy while claiming to take a vow of poverty and look who gives them most of the money. A beautiful racket to behold. The church I used to belong to did help people but it was always to evangelize and bring in more people to bring in more money. No free lunch.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

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Most humans need a sense of

Most humans need a sense of community. I guess you feel protection. It is like nationalism. I recall now that I did get a summer job with a church member who worked for a guy who also belonged the the broader church. It is like a family, so nepotism. These people gave me eternal truths, so why wouldn't I help them where I can. I don't want to be embarrassed in heaven. So I believe that even today churches help people especially insiders, but it is not giving blindly and is far more subjective than from the government. They are both flawed.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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Vastet wrote:You're asking

Vastet wrote:
You're asking why churches don't want to give their money away? Long as the vatican stands, the answer is obvious. :P

I liked this part Eye-wink

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Beyond Saving wrote: Some

Beyond Saving wrote:

 Some do. Many churches have food pantries and routinely engage in a variety of charitable contributions. I have worked with church groups on a variety of charitable projects.

 

It always seemed like a side show.

Beyond Saving wrote:

As for 1: Because the government seeks to seize power in every role it can. The government does thousands of things it doesn't need to do- just because the government does it does not mean the government was actually needed. 

 

So you agree with Franklin Graham's claim, the churches were doing an adequate job, but government stuck it's nose in where it was not needed? I can't understand why the politicians that use god to get elected can't then ask the churches to do this job.

Beyond Saving wrote:

2: Many hungry, homeless and poor do go to churches then turn around and go to the welfare office too. A handful are decent enough folks to only take the charity they need. Others simply work the system and get everything they can for free. 

That's the problem with charity, there are no checks, no quality control. It's only purpose is to make the giver feel holy or good, not actually solve a problem long term. If a theists' giving doesn't really help is unimportant because Mr. Invisible knows your heart. And he never tells anyone they are wrong.

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

3: We also have secular organizations that perform similar functions. We certainly need a lot more because the mentality that it is the governments job to do charity work is becoming part of our societies mentality. About the only good thing religion does is motivate people to be charitable. As atheists, we should also do our part to make private charities the answer to our countries problems rather than the force of government. Donate to a charity today or even start one yourself. 

Where is there a charity actually based on results? A charity that doesn't reward the behaviors that caused poverty in the first place? Seems like all charity is 100% about making the givers feel good about themselves and not using science and reason to solve problems. Could atheists ever start a long term results based charity?

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:So you agree with

EXC wrote:

So you agree with Franklin Graham's claim, the churches were doing an adequate job, but government stuck it's nose in where it was not needed? I can't understand why the politicians that use god to get elected can't then ask the churches to do this job.

Well I don't know if they were doing an adequate job. Just that they did, and still do to some extent, provide those types of services. Some seem to do it for the sole purpose of proselytizing, others seem to have a genuine desire to aid the disadvantaged. What do you think Bush's faith based initiative was all about? He was asking the churches to partner with the government to do charitable work. Churches have to ask people to give money with only the imaginary threat of hell, government can use the real threat of guns.

 

Add to that the fact that giving money to poor people is an easy way to get a ton of votes. Any cut in the rate of federal spending is always met with accusations that poor old people won't get their SS check and people will go without food stamps and therefore starve in the streets. As a vote getter, social safety net programs are king. What politician is going to pass that up?

 

EXC wrote:

That's the problem with charity, there are no checks, no quality control. It's only purpose is to make the giver feel holy or good, not actually solve a problem long term. If a theists' giving doesn't really help is unimportant because Mr. Invisible knows your heart. And he never tells anyone they are wrong.

There is quality control in private charity. The people giving and running the charity have the responsibility to make sure the charity is effectively achieving its goal. Yes, there are a lot of charities that are garbage. Many churches raise funds then use them more for themselves than for charity. I tend to agree with you that handing someone food does little good, so I don't go out of my way to give to food banks. It is the responsibility of the giver to determine whether a particular charity has a good cause and whether or not they are achieving it effectively. Many people are too lazy to do so, but it is their money. Let them be scammed.  

 

EXC wrote:

Where is there a charity actually based on results? A charity that doesn't reward the behaviors that caused poverty in the first place? Seems like all charity is 100% about making the givers feel good about themselves and not using science and reason to solve problems. Could atheists ever start a long term results based charity?

A little confused here... all charities are results based in the sense that they have a specific goal and use money/volunteers to work towards that goal. Sure, some have misguided goals. So what? Sure, many homeless shelters, food banks etc. are taken advantage of and most do little to help fix the problems that led people to those situations, but that doesn't take away from charities with more effective goals.

 

I believe that the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has gone a long way towards advancing the fight against cancer since I started donating to them 14 years ago. How is that anything other than using science and reason to solve a real problem?  

 

Other charities don't seek to "solve" a problem but just to make someones life suck a little less. Make A Wish or Hunt of a Lifetime both cater to children with terminal diseases to give them the experience of a lifetime. I believe that is worthwhile. 

 

I am also involved in an orphanage down in Mexico. It is ran by a religious organization, but they take in kids who are abused and provide them with an education and a family environment. In a country where those kids would have grown up with no options, the orphanage hopes to give them choices other than joining a drug cartel. There are no secular charities that are active in Mexico that I am aware of, it takes a certain kind of crazy to live down there and devote your life to helping those in need when you could live in the US. From what I have personally seen, they have made a very positive influence on the community they are in. 

 

And yeah, giving to charity makes you feel good. So what? 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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EXC wrote:From

EXC wrote:

From abcnews.com:

"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."

Questions:

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?

I don't know if it is true or not...

Many churches do indeed run social programs: homeless shelters, food panties, donation ministries, among other things. Many denomination used to run charity hospitals (in fact, I was born in one!) too, but for some reason or another the cost of running them became to high.

Governments are secular organizations, and now they've assumed many of these things that were previously done by religion with social programs.

 

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:......

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

...... food panties, .........

 

 

I have to assume you mean "pantries", but that is so much more boring.

I would like a pair of chocolate ones, please.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Beyond Saving wrote: A

Beyond Saving wrote:

 

A little confused here... all charities are results based in the sense that they have a specific goal and use money/volunteers to work towards that goal. Sure, some have misguided goals. So what? Sure, many homeless shelters, food banks etc. are taken advantage of and most do little to help fix the problems that led people to those situations, but that doesn't take away from charities with more effective goals.

 

The goal should be to put themselves out of business. To make the need for such charity unnecessary. It seems nearly all charities encourage the behaviors that cause the problem in the first place. Law of unintended consequences.

Beyond Saving wrote:

I believe that the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has gone a long way towards advancing the fight against cancer since I started donating to them 14 years ago. How is that anything other than using science and reason to solve a real problem?  

A lot of the charities seem to claim for decades they are on the verge of cure and they just need money now to find a cure. I think researchers exaggerate claims to keep the money coming in. Maybe just funding basic research and education would be better than "finding a cure". But this is how they must market themselves to get people to give.

Also, even if they find a cure, that means they save lives. Since there is a worldwide food shortage, these saved people eat the food that would have gone to someone else. Why is a middle aged American worth saving at the expense of an African baby?

Beyond Saving wrote:

Other charities don't seek to "solve" a problem but just to make someones life suck a little less. Make A Wish or Hunt of a Lifetime both cater to children with terminal diseases to give them the experience of a lifetime. I believe that is worthwhile. 

 

I don't see a downside with this, if they keep the scam artists away.

 

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

And yeah, giving to charity makes you feel good. So what? 

Nothing wrong with feeling good. But from my experience when feelings are involved rationality gets thrown out the window. People will believe what they want to believe if it makes them feel good.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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ubuntuAnyone wrote: I don't

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

 

I don't know if it is true or not...

Many churches do indeed run social programs: homeless shelters, food panties, donation ministries, among other things. Many denomination used to run charity hospitals (in fact, I was born in one!) too, but for some reason or another the cost of running them became to high.

Governments are secular organizations, and now they've assumed many of these things that were previously done by religion with social programs.

 

The one thing we know is that religion is immune from any scientific analysis of the net benefits of their charity, just like all their other beliefs are immune to analysis.

Sadly, the same thing is true of government social safety nets. They are done to make supports feel good rather than solve real problems without negative or perverse unintended consequences.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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I know someone who has hit

I know someone who has hit several churches here in town and they have paid some of his bills for him and provided him and his live in and child with food and some medical care.

He is a leech with absolutely no pride and simply doesn't want to work. He has intentionally cut his hours down so that he can get on food stamps. Yes the charity of the churches are as abused as anything. They are probably big suckers for someone who can cry on demand.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
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EXC wrote:A lot of the

EXC wrote:

A lot of the charities seem to claim for decades they are on the verge of cure and they just need money now to find a cure. I think researchers exaggerate claims to keep the money coming in. Maybe just funding basic research and education would be better than "finding a cure". But this is how they must market themselves to get people to give.

Also, even if they find a cure, that means they save lives. Since there is a worldwide food shortage, these saved people eat the food that would have gone to someone else. Why is a middle aged American worth saving at the expense of an African baby?

Survival rates have increased substantially. I doubt there will ever be a perfect "cure" found, I'm not sure it is possible but the techniques and technologies that they use to treat it today are substantially better than they were 10-15 years ago.

 

And a person eating in America has absolutely no effect on a kid in Africa. People are starving to death in Africa because of distribution problems, mostly caused by extreme violence. Even if you go anorexic, you will not be saving the lives of any kids in Africa. If you want to do that, the only way is to go do some charitable work over there to teach people how to grow food for themselves. Or follow in the footsteps of the late Norman Borlaug who fed millions of people in the world through his research. You can donate to various universities that have good programs that support those types of research.  

 

Like I said, there are some charities that are a waste of money either because their goals don't actually solve the real problems, or some of them are outright frauds with only a little of the money doing good. However, there are many charities out there that do great things for people and have a positive effect on their lives. In my mind, it is up to the donor to have due diligence in examining exactly what the charity is doing and to go out in the field and see first hand what the money is being used for before making the decision. Any legitimate charity will be more than happy to host you at a site where they work. Just like any other business investment, you ought to check things out before you make your investment. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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robj101 wrote: They are

robj101 wrote:

 They are probably big suckers for someone who can cry on demand.

I'm a big sucker for a dog that can look cute on demand...

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Beyond Saving wrote:I'm a

Beyond Saving wrote:

I'm a big sucker for a dog that can look cute on demand...

<~~

So what's she going to sucker you out of, lol.

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EXC
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Beyond Saving wrote: And a

Beyond Saving wrote:

 

And a person eating in America has absolutely no effect on a kid in Africa. People are starving to death in Africa because of distribution problems, mostly caused by extreme violence.

 

And the extreme violence is caused by food shortages and the high price of food, which is a global problem. The militias and criminals steal the aid food because the price is so high. The most profitable things grown in Africa are coffee and coca exported which takes away from the food they could grow for themselves. So the more consumed here does affect prices and hunger around the world.

Beyond Saving wrote:

Or follow in the footsteps of the late Norman Borlaug who fed millions of people in the world through his research. You can donate to various universities that have good programs that support those types of research.  

More food means more overpopulation. Technology to grow food in areas that destroy the native plants and animals. There are all the unintended consequences when messing with a complex system.

I think something to promote rationality or researching the workings of the human mind would be more my style.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca