As the Democratic National Convention meets in Charlotte, North Carolina the mandate of caring for the poor has largely dropped out of the conversation, replaced by a more popular focus on the middle class.
The United States is one of the world's most religious and religiously diverse nations. Nearly all of the world's religions focus on the requirement of truly religious people to care for the poor.
HuffPost Religion hopes that politicians and voters of all parties will continue to place the needs of the most vulnerable at the center of their campaigns. As Mahatma Gandhi is reported to have said: "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."
Do you have a favorite scripture passage concerning care for the poor? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add it our collection.
O ye rich ones on earth! The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease. - Baha'u'llah, The Hidden Words
Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little. - Buddha
In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of. - Confucius
Then he looked up at his disciples and said: 'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 'Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. 'Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. -- Luke 6:20-21
He who feeds a stranger and a tired traveler with joy attains infinite religious merit. - Mahabharata XIII 7.7
And O my people! Give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due: commit not evil in the land with intent to do mischief. That which is left you by Allah is best for you, if ye (but) believed! - Qur'an 11:85-86
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of the harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God. - Leviticus 19:9-10
There are the lowest men among the low castes. Nanak, I shall go with them. What have I got to do with the great? God's eye of mercy falls on those who take care of the lowly. - Guru Granth Sahib: Sri Raag
The power and glory of God is given to those who give protection to those in need. - Yasna 27.13, Avesta
O children of dust! Tell the rich on the midnight sighing of the poor, lest heedlessness lead them into the path of destruction, and deprive them of the Tree of Wealth. - Baha'u'llah, The Hidden Words
Truly, misers fare not to heavenly realms; nor, indeed, do fools praise generosity. But the wise man rejoices in giving, and by that alone does he become happy hereafter. - Dhammapada 177
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. - Mark 10:21-22
There is none other than who does greater good than the one who removes the hunger of those in a difficult situation, helpless, weak and disturbed. - Mahabharata XIII.59.11
That which ye give in usury in order that it may increase on (other) people's property hath no increase with Allah; but that which ye give in charity, seeking Allah's Countenance, hath increase manifold. - Qur'an 30:39
For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever. - Psalms 9:18
He who works hard honestly for what he eats, and shares it with others has found the true path. - Guru Granth Sahib: 1245
He said also to the one who had invited him, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." - Luke 14:12-14
Acts of sacrifice, charity and austerity should not be abandoned, but should be performed because sacrifice, charity and austerity are the purifiers of the wise. - Bhagavad Gita 10.05
Verily those who give Sadaqat (charity), men and women, and lend Allah a goodly loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit) and theirs shall be an honorable good reward. - Qur'an 57:18
Do you think you are a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? declares the Lord. -- Jeremiah 22:15-16
Do not rob the poor, because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate, for the Lord will plead their cause and rob of life those who rob them. - Proverbs 22:22-23 <em>Submitted by David True</em>
And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' - Matthew 25:40 <em>Submitted by Shantha Ready Alonso</em>
"He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight." (Psalm 72:13, 14 NIV)
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