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Ellison Reminds Christians of Poverty Priorities

The man who seems to scare the shit out of Virginia Christian, well, at least ONE Virginia Christian, is reminding us all of a very salient Christian story and the fact that poverty in America, the richest country in the world, is unacceptable and—yes—un-Christian.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress in America, used the story of Jesus and the miracles of loaves and fishes to illustrate his point that scarcity is a myth. He says if Jesus could feed 5000+ people with five loaves of bread and two fish, then America can certainly eradicate poverty. The fact that we haven't, he argues, is by choice.

"If scarcity is a myth, then poverty is not necessary. America need not have 37 million Americans living below the poverty line. It is a choice. Hunger is a choice. Exclusion of the stranger, the immigrant, or the darker other is a choice."


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Comments

Yet we're easily the most charitable nation on earth; we still have the most to offer immigrants; and conservatives, who are usually the more devout, have been shown to be more charitable than liberals.

We are the only country whose poor people are fat. Drive by a housing project sometime and count how many cars are nicer than yours.

Poverty in America is not going to get political mileage but it's mention might buck up the chins of the self-important. Poor John Edwards is going to run his campaign on it.

If Ellison said "We need to reform our education system from the ground up, create more business opportunities in rural areas, assure that each citizen has access to health care"--those specifics I can get on board with.

I don't know, Bar. That's sounds an awful like the old Wlefare Queen rhetoric of old. Look around New Orleans and tell me there isn't poverty. Look around Appalachia and tell me the same.

yes, many people make bad, even stupid, financial decisions, but that doesn't mean they're living the high life.

Poverty in America is a national disaster. One that we want to overlook so we can be all comfy warm inside, take a look out your window into your back yard this what you will find.
600,000 Homeless, 13% living below the national poverty median of $15,000 a year, 23% living below the national cost of living median at $24,000 a year. Another 17% live less than $2,000 a year above the COL median. 53 Million Americans live below, at or just above these figures of this the National Census counts 36% as children. More than have the population America lives paycheck to paycheck is only one paycheck away from being homeless. These are facts. They have been facts since we started recovering from the depression in the 30's. President Johnson declared war on poverty in 1964, when are we going to start looking at own back yard. I hope soon, real soon. However, people would rather listen to political rhetoric so they can remain all comfy, cozy inside.
Stop poverty in America. You can sign a petition do so at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/513471917?ltl=1168319598
Or visit F.H.C. Ministries web site to learn how you can get involved. http://www.fhcministries.org

First, of course we should direct resources to the people along the southern coast after a natural disaster.

Next, there's a grain of truth to that WQ rhetoric. Ask anyone in social services. Great senators like Daniel Patrick Moynihan recognized this. I'm not saying that's all there is to it (the loathsome notion that people "deserve" to be poor). I mention it bring up a bigger picture than this simplistic political rhetoric, this handy but misleading umbrella called "poverty."

I also have to take issue with the framing of your piece--I'm not sure it matches what Ellison is saying--but the idea that Christians need to be reminded of charity is insulting and uninformed. Almost every church I know of has missions to inner cities and developing nations.

(I also know you gotta bang these puppies out with a new homie at home--I do appreciate the effort!)

"I also have to take issue with the framing of your piece--I'm not sure it matches what Ellison is saying--but the idea that Christians need to be reminded of charity is insulting and uninformed. Almost every church I know of has missions to inner cities and developing nations."

It's was really a jab at that dipshit Goode, not ALL Christians. Of course there are countless good Christian organizations (as well as Jewish, Muslim, and secular groups) out there helping the poor. We all know that.


And yes, there are too many people abusing the welfare system, just as there are too many abusing corporate subsidies and tax shelters. But to say--or even imply--that poverty is not a problem is to ignore millions of people who need our help.

Hey Bar-

"We are the only country whose poor people are fat. Drive by a housing project sometime and count how many cars are nicer than yours."

Having recently slipped below the poverty line myself, I can tell you that it ain't easy buying healthy food with little cash. You wind up eating a lot of cheap food, which tends to be high in fat/cholesterol/starch. Turkey burger is expensive - ground round 'Manager's Specials' isn't.

As for nice cars, I haven't noticed a lot of poor people driving nice cars, or driving cars at all for that matter. I can barely afford gas for mine these days...

The point is, poverty isn't easy or simple. Once the ice starts to crack underneath your feet, you have few options.

Shecky, I still object to "poverty" as some emotional trigger, some de facto righteous position.

Mind you, I'm talking about politics, here. When a politican tells me about "poverty," what he's really telling me is "Send us more money and we'll fix it."

Well, we are looking at the Great Society, right here, 40 years on. Are things better? We don't have time to deal with it all in a post, but let's look at one aspect. I'm sure you'll agree with me that Public Education is a great and necessary thing, and a key (I think THE key) to future success. But I would submit that its status as a federal football to be punted back and forth has done more harm than good. Yet the calls keep coming for more money. And that money goes right to education's bloated administrations, trying to keep up with myriad absurd federal guidelines.

But we're not allowed to talk about it, because education is also a sacred cow.

Meanwhile, the ACTUAL problems continue to be ignored--often in the name of political correctness--while appeals are made to our emotions.

THAT'S ultimately what I'm talking about.

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