Of all the issues upon which to stake your name, there is something cosmically lost about choosing things like fighting against emergency food services, and against healthcare for those without a doctor they can call when they’re sick.
“This bill makes getting Americans back to work a priority again for our nation’s welfare programs,” House Speaker John A. Boehner was reported as saying in The New York Times, a twisted, send-them-to-bed-without-supper-and-they’ll-stop-being-poor mentality that shows a complete detachment from the reality of poverty.
What makes this all the more heartbreaking is the way these people campaign as crusaders of Christian values.
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Jesus chose to live his life dedicated to those that most needed him, regardless of how they personally profited him. He had one lobbyist, God, and his constituency was limited only by the amount of people on Earth.
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 Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
And [John the Baptist] would answer and say to them, “Let the man with two tunics share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise.”
Is this fair, that those with much should give away to the poor a portion of what they worked so hard to gain? I’m not sure, and I really don’t care. It’s not our place to judge. It is our place to serve.
While corrupting faith-based values beyond recognition these same leaders also eschew the findings of the scientific community, a worst-of-all-words nowhereland. Placated by donations and a place at the finest of tables, somehow the word ‘progress’ has come to be defined not by what most benefits humanity, but by how much wealth might be accumulated through the process—no matter the process, be it machines of war and death or this poison we smoke that they know is killing us or the ‘food’ we eat they know is polluting our bodies or all of things we are told we have to buy to be successful and happy, all of this crap, this vile flickering-light Styrofoam dust that we sell our very days to afford.
There is reason to hope that the modern Christian movement might reform from within. The new Pope, Francis, has made serving the poor the focal point of his tenure thus far. He has called for an end to the obsession over abortion and homosexuality. A new dawn could be upon us in the Roman Catholic Church.
But change does not come from orders-on-high. Change comes from within each of us.
My Christian brothers and sisters, if you are led to believe that cutting programs that feed the hungry and heal the sick are in concert with the commands of our God, you are being guided down a path of darkness, a devilish vacuum of cynicism that sucks out the natural Christ-like compassion born in us all. Email your elected officials at every level and let them know your values. Speak your truth and you act as an agent of the God.
Millions are likely to fall into a web of poverty because of the decision to cut food stamps. Millions sit at home today as their health (and hope) falter, confused as to how how a sovereignty that trumpets itself as a Christian nation could possibly let their blood drip unattended. I can only hope that these souls remember this passage from Luke, and I pray with them that it is true.
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.”