Texans are more religious than people in the nation as a whole. Explain how this impacts Texas politics and policy. Relative to other states, Texas provides minimal social services. Discuss why such a religious populace provides minimal social services to those with the greatest need.
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I don't have any direct knowledge of the religious attitudes of Texans or the effectiveness of Texas' public assistance programs, so I'm just using some reasoning here.
The religious folks you're referring to may be part of the religious right, who tend to vote Republican. Republicans do not support public programs to the degree to which Democrats do.
However, that does not mean that Republicans do not help the needy. Many of them do it on their own time and at their own expense, they simply feel that the nation should not bankrupt itself with costly public programs that create and foster dependence on government help.
Presumably, this is because the majority adheres to a religious faith in which there is the idea of individualism. They presumably go with the idea that "God helps those who help themselves." They do not think that it is truly charitable to simply give social services to those in need because that would end up making those people dependent upon the government. Therefore, there is no tension between the idea of religious belief and small government.
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