Friday, December 17, 2004

care of the poor

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Buying Into Failure

one of my earliest sunday school memories is learning the beatitudes. the southern baptist convention sent us teaching materials and included paper jesus' and apostles and pharisees who would all stick to felt watercolor-washed backgrounds. so here's jesus, stuck to a felt landscape, and there are the random people, also stuck to the felt, floating at his feet. and that's how i learned the beatitudes, with the picture of jesus teaching others to care for the sick, the elderly, the infirm, the defenseless.

when did that picture get replaced with a muscular and callous portrait of christianity stomping all over the poor?

defenders of this callous disregard soberly recite, "the poor will be with you always", as if this exuses us from action. we'll also always have disease, death and stupid people. to acknowledge a deficit isn't action. we must do more than just say, hey there's poor people! how about helping poor people?

or did jesus not say anything about that?

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