Sunday, July 25, 2010

Struggling to Survive

I agree with Shirley Sherrod that the problems of American are not black or white, but that of have-nots and the prosperous.  As a country, we like to think of our nation of wealth.  We choose to ignore those that struggle on the fringes of our society.  Just as Republicans claimed that unemployment insurance payments are incentives to not to seek work and that most of the unemployed are just deadbeats, we believe those that cannot make it in our society are failures through their own doing.  We believe we owe such deadbeats very little.  We are so afraid that someone will game the system that we punish those who are poor all the more.  The great sin in America is to be poor.

In evangelical pulpits, the message is wealth.  If you obey God, tithe to the church, to the tel-evangelist, God will reward you.  No good Christian will be poor for long.  "You cannot out give God."   If that message is true, then it follows that the poor are sinners.  Sinners must be shown the error of their ways, not abetted.  Hence government programs that help the poor are simply something that enables sin.  Kill those programs and the poor will start to work, will cease to sin.  This is the underlying philosophy of  the religious wing of the Republican Party, the Huckabee wing.

Some in America claim we are a "Christian" nation.  I do not agree.  A Christian nation would remember Christ's teaching on caring for "the least of these brothers of mine."  This is the time for Christians to speak out.  Make this a "Caring" nation.  People of all faiths must come together to help those struggling to survive in our society.

Income and wealth are unevenly distributed in this nation, therefore we need action on the federal level to aid in the distribution of aid. I no longer believe that states are capable of caring for their disadvantaged.  This should be done on a federal level.  The tragedy of America is that it will not be done.  The Republicans have succeeded in striking fear in American hearts, fear of government, fear of losing what they have.  Americans will not help the least because that help might reduce their wealth, might mean that they have to share a small portion of their American dream.  We are not a "Christian" nation, we will not become a "Caring" nation, we are a "Selfish" nation and will remain so to our ultimate detriment.

Photo by Tobyotter

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