Saturday, November 16, 2013

Aggression Against the Poor

The attack on abortion rights is aimed principally (intentionally or not) at the poor. Because the rich always have the means, one way or the other, to provide for their families, and/or seek an abortion. But it's the poor who suffer the most when women are denied the rights of choice. 

Much of what's done in the name of "morality and religion" is nothing less than full-out aggression against the poor - from state house to state house to the federal government, much of the rhetoric and legislation is designed to punish, humiliate and embarrass the poor - making life ever-harder for them. 

None of this makes any sense - it's like a pack of ravenous beasts, bellies full and already satiated, seeking just one more kill, but rather than killing the prey, simply running it down, until the prey falls exhausted, and still no kill, but only waiting … and when the prey attempts another move, it's beaten down again and again.

I watch some politicians with their goofy smiles showing well-cared for teeth and sporting fine clothes and spay-on tans, slavering over their next piece of legislation - "We'll show these takers; we'll hurt 'em for being so lazy and unproductive. Shame on them, and shame on us if we let 'em get away with their schemes to defraud welfare and live on food stamps. We'll show 'em a thing or two."

The poor are vulnerable and defenseless … they're easy prey for the proud and the powerful who seem to get some kind of a moral kick of out punishing the poor.

So I wonder - who are the advocates of the poor these days? We have some good voices in our land, no doubt, but so many who might otherwise be counted on for a friendly voice on behalf of the poor seem compromised by the influence of the great powers and principalities of reactionary forces in our land. 

The poor of America are not stealing us blind or hurting us. Because the poor are poor; they can only live on the margins of society and survive on the crumbs that fall from the tables. Yet, when a hand reaches for a crumb, there are some eager to slap that hand away with fierce condemnation. 

There is a hardness of heart gripping America right now … years of crummy politics telling us that "government is the problem" and too much war and too many lies … along with Wall Street binging and America's lack of will to stop the robber barons from pillaging the public coffers and tilting the game board in their favor.

I have a hard time seeing how this can end well for us. If the arc of history bends toward justice, those persons, powers and principalities, who fight against the arc of justice will ultimately find themselves broken by it and cast aside into the darkness (Matthew 25).

In the darkness of their own choosing, the powerful will cry out for water, and demand of Abraham that he send Lazarus to dip his finger into some cool water and drip it on the rich man's tongue - it would seem that the rich man, even in hell, remains unrepentant and demanding, expecting Abraham to do his bidding, willing to hurt further the poor man, who, no longer sits at the rich man's gate, but now resides in Abraham's bosom instead (Luke 16).

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