The Poor Need Justice
A recent letter made disparaging remarks about liberals who only throw couches and food to a person "in a hole." Amazingly, conservatives would throw this poor victim a "rope" that would allow him/her to climb out of the hole and in one short step graduate from college, secure employment and become a card-carrying consumer.
Admittedly, caring for the most vulnerable among us is challenging and complex. Once you become involved, you begin to ask why. Why are these folks going to food pantries? using food stamps? ending up in shelters for the homeless?
From my perspective, we need charity, but we must continue to strive for justice. If someone's arm is bleeding, we put a bandage on it. It's the natural thing to do. If the bleeding does not stop, we may have to apply a tourniquet.
In keeping with this analogy, the food pantries are like the bandage. They are the first line of defense. Food stamps are the tourniquet, until we can get further help. What people really need is education, job training, jobs that pay a living wage, affordable housing and day care.
People need to become financially independent. That requires conservatives and liberals working together to provide a couch and a rope.
It's like the old adage, "Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." When this happens, we will close the food pantries and shelters. Then we would not just get people out of homeless shelters and the working poor off food stamps, but we would lift people up and out of poverty and guarantee all people a secure place around the table of life.
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