To Serve or Not?

Written by Christianity and the Confusion on January 4th, 2006

Over 37 million

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          Americans are living







                  below the poverty line.







 As a people we have always







         believed that our hard work







                  would be rewarded,







                                 but vast numbers







cannot even pay their








        bills, not even with two







                         or three jobs.







More than one in 10







        Americans live below








                       the poverty line,








and the gap between







            the haves and have-nots







                      is widening.








It is shocking that 37







        million Americans







                  live in poverty.








                         That is 12.7 per cent








of our population –







        the highest percentage








               in the developed world.









                        The impoverished








                                    are found from







the hills of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Kentucky






         to Detroit's streets,








                  from the Deep South








                           of Louisiana to








the heartland of Oklahoma.







     Each year since 2001








           their numbers have








                      been growing.








Under George Bush Junior








      an extra 5.4 million








             have slipped below








                          the poverty line.








Yet theirs is not







           a story of the







unemployed or the








      destitute. Most have jobs.











                  Many have two.







                              Even families with








two working parents








        are often one step








                  away from a crash –







                          a medical bill








or factory closure –








         one step away








                        from disaster.








                                     The minimum wage








 of $5.15 an hour







        had not been raised








                      since 97 and,








adjusted for inflation








          it is at its lowest








                            since 1956.








The gap between








       the haves and







              the have-nots








                        looms wider than








ever before.







       Faced with rising








                     poverty rates,








Bush's trillion-dollar








          federal budget recently








                      raised a considerable amount









                             of defense spending








for the war in Iraq







      while slashing massive amounts








                from welfare programs.







                           Even though less








                                        than 2% of








the budget has ever







       gone to these







              welfare programs








                      the far right has









longed for the day









         when they could







                       abolish them.








These Conservatives







       seem ignorant of








             the foundation on which








                  this Country was built.








Just look at how the







          Constitution begins:














We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.








How do we insure








       the domestic tranquility








                 with over 37 million







                          living in poverty?









How is the








          general welfare promoted








                 when nothing is








                           done to raise








the living standards







           of all Americans?








                 How is our








                        Liberty defended









with an organized









         effort to reduce the









                  incomes of all but








                    a handful of the elite?









If nothing else this








       is not establishing Justice








                and without that








                     we are only steps away








from losing our status







        as the land of the free.








            The United States








                     has 269 billionaires,








the highest number







        in the world. No one







                would begrudge them








                       their inherited wealth








but how rich do








          they need to be?







                  The bigger question is








 who is paying the









            price for them to







                        live in such luxury?









Did you know that









       almost a quarter of









                all black Americans








                      live below the poverty








line and 22 per cent









        of Hispanics have








                      fallen below it. Beyond








The 37 million living








      In poverty there are 46








              million Americans live







                     without health insurance.








There are 82,000








          homeless people in








                      Los Angeles alone.








This is anything but a joke!








         Providing for the








                least in our society








                       is not only Christian








it is at the heart








        of means to be an








               American! From the







                        earliest days when







we were but mere








        Colonists we formed








                communities to support








each other. Whether it








        was a building of a









                 home or to put








                         out a fire our








fore fathers came together.








            It was this sense









                    of community on







                            which our Country







was built.








It is this sense of








         community that the right








                   seems to have lost. 










This type of anti-social






      mindset that would







             abandon so many









                       to the suffering of








                               poverty is difficult








to understand.  Some would








       equate it with the same








               type of anti-social







                        mindset that caused








so many deaths  









        during the








              Second World War. 








                      What is closer to








the truth is that they









            lack a sense of empathy;









                     they cannot comprehend








                              why anyone would








 choose to be poor as









       if it was a choice. 









              For those who have








                      had wealth handed to








them with little or









        no effort, it seems








                   so easy.  Theirs is








                               not an evil heart









rather one which









        has been darkened








              by confusion of selfishness. 









                     It befalls all mankind








to look beyond their








        own understanding and









                try to see the world









                   through the eyes of others.








  So long as we see









         ourselves at the center








                   of the Universe there









                         will always be sorrow. 









It is only when we









         put Christ in that








                    place and reach out









                            to all humanity








that we can hope








                 to see true justice.


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why in the world would anyone want to enlist with the way that this administration has been treating the troops? They over work them and under fund them. They have been cutting their VA benefits down to the bone. I'm just surprised that there hasn't been more desertions.

  2. Anonymous says:

       What do you think about those who will criticize Murtha for undermining the military? Do you think that Murtha is the problem with recruitment or is it Bush?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Murtha is in a role of leadership and should think before he speaks. We are at war with a very evil enemy and to think that anyone in his position should be supporting the troops. I just think it's wrong to discourage our youths from joining the military.

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