NC protests split on Bible's message to help poor

Jun. 12, 2013 @ 05:17 PM

Over the last two months, hundreds of protesters have walked out of North Carolina's capitol in handcuffs to oppose policies by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

While a broader coalition of supporters is building around the "Moral Mondays," they were started by the state chapter of the NAACP. The inspiration behind the protests is a throwback to the biblical message of civil rights leaders fighting segregation.

They argue that cutting benefit programs and cutting tax breaks for low- and middle-income families violates Jesus Christ's teaching to care for those with the least.

It's running into another school of Christian thought followed by many Southern conservatives: The best way to help the poor is through private charity, providing jobs and promoting self-reliance, rather than government programs.