Sunday, January 8, 2012

do you hear anything about the poor?

As a reporter, although retired from day-t0-day journalism, I remain facinated by politics and continue to watch political skirmishes on the local, state and national levels. As we head toward another national election, I am puzzled by the lack of discussion on one particular topic: the poor.

Recent statistics show that more people are legally poor in the United States than ever before. Poverty is on the increase.

As Christians, we are constantly advised in scripture to be aware of thee poor. The book of Proverbs is full of zesty little nuggets about the poor. A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. (22:9) The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. (29:7)

Even the Old Testament prophets warned the government about lack of concern for the poor. I will be quick to testify against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice....(Malachi 3:5)

All I am hearing in political debates is one shameful attack after another against the individuals who have chosen to run for public office. Millions of dollars are spent on this media sewage spill. Occasionally, as if almost by accident, an actual national issue is brought up for consideration, but I can guarantee that concern for the poor is not among the list of issues.

Perhaps it's because one must be so wealthy to consider running for office. Many rich people seem to have little concern for the poor. I find it interesting in the Bible story about the rich man and the poor man, that the author finds it important to mention the name of the poor man, but the rich man remains anonymous.

All of this to say, before you go to the polls in your elections---local, state and national---find out where your candidates stand on the important issue of justice and mercy for the poor.

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