@willworkforwork - i'm an atheist. have been for years, but... i've read the bible. front to back, old testament and new (book of revelations is still one of my favorite things ever - it's TERRIFYING!).
One thing that always blows my mind is how uncharitable people can be to the downtrodden unless that charity goes through their church (or taxes, depending on the person's political leanings :)). One of the Big Ideas that Jesus had was the idea of being really awesome and giving to the people around you, especially those who needed it most. Based entirely on my understanding of scripture, I'd think that he'd take a look at this thread and just shake his head at it.
Here's a favorite of mine from the old testament:
“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’
And how about some NT clarity as well:
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
1 John 3:17
But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
Ask yourself: Would jesus have said no to the person on the corner? I'd bet not - he'd take the time to find out WHY they were there, offer a ride (what would jesus drive?) to a shelter or maybe a restaurant, and be generous not only with his resources but with his spirit. So many of you have hardened your hearts to the lowest in our society due to your beliefs and anecdotal experiences. It might be time to actually live by the spirit Jesus tried to teach.