Editorial: Religious Perspectives on Caring for the Poor

September 6, 2003

Source: The Kansas City Star


On September 6, 2003 The Kansas City Star ran a dually-authored editorial on religious perspectives on caring for the poor. The two authors, Lama Chuck Stanford of the Rime Buddhist Center and Monastery and the Rev. R.L. Baynham, pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church, offered their perspectives on what their respective faiths have to say on the subject. Stanford spoke of the Buddha's concern for the poor: "The Buddha spoke often about generosity and helping others. The Sanskrit word dana translates as generosity, gift or charity...Generosity is one of the six paramitas (perfections) and one of the 10 contemplations on the path to becoming a Bodhisattva (an enlightened being)." Baynham's comments included the following: "When Jesus saw the poor, he ministered to their needs, and we are challenged by his example to do all within our power to assist persons who are in need. In doing so, we also exemplify a quality of person that gives God the glory in our behavior."