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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