Petition 81264

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Poverty (81264-C1-¶163.E)

Amend ¶163.E as follows:
  
E) Poverty – In spite of...Since low wages are often a cause of poverty, employers should pay their employees a wage that does not require them to depend upon government subsidies such as food stamps or welfare for their livelihood.  Because we recognize that the long-term reduction of poverty must move beyond services to and employment for the poor which can be taken away, we emphasize measures which build and maintain the wealth of poor people, including asset-building strategies such as individual development savings accounts, microenterprise development programs, programs enabling homeownership, and financial management training and counseling.  We call upon churches to develop these and other ministries which promote asset-building among the poor.

Rationale

Leviticus 25 and other Biblical passages emphasize asset-building by returning land to the poor and empowering enslaved persons with wealth upon emancipation.  Starting or supporting ministries like those listed above are well within the capability of local congregations to make a lasting contribution to God’s work of eliminating poverty.