To: All White Evangelicals, prepare yourselves for my “rant.” The war on the poor (low income people), is wearing my patience thin; not that I had much patience to begin with. I somehow fell through the cracks when the Good Lord was handing out gifts. I certainly did not receive the gift of patience.
Okay now, it’s been several weeks since I’ve uploaded a new post. As most of my readers are aware I’m not consistent with posting new articles. I’m told that’s a no-no out in the blog-a-sphere. I also however am quite determined, as with everything else within most of my life, to be the exception and not the norm. I refuse to make stuff up just to be “consistent” in writing my articles, papers, letters, etc.
Between working on my bachelors in divinity, sleep and working, I don’t spend as much time perhaps as other bloggers; keeping up-to-the-minute with news, trends, and related articles. This Saturday morning however, a post shared by Christian Headlines (.com,) quickly stirred me almost to a point of anger, if not outright outrage.
You see, as hard as it may be to believe, little upsets me more than when a certain group of people look down on another group of people. This happens of course, in a myriad of ways. As an example, one of my biggest annoyances is when I hear or see people condemning others for eating fast food much of the time; resulting in many cases, those people gaining wait. It’s absolutely disgusting to see and hear people badgering, condemning, belittling, and blaming others for their own life choices and the results they may attain; as in being overweight by eating so-called junk food at fast food restaurants, as opposed to doing something to make a difference, bring about change, and help those that need help.
So, this morning, as I mentioned, this post came across my Facebook News Feed and I was appalled by the headline, “Are the poor to Blame for Their Poverty?” It is the second half of the title that upset me, “Over Half of White Evangelicals Think So.”
As a minister, God may not be smiling down on me as I write this, but being a minister has little to do with what I write here this morning. I simply don’t understand how anyone can beat people up for eating unhealthy, fast food. When a fast food restaurant offers two double cheese burgers for two bucks and a good, near-healthy salad for seven dollars or more, it’s easy to understand (by a normal-thinking human being) what will get ordered most of the time.
According to this article, (Posted 8/4/17), authored by Veronica Neffinger, 53% of white evangelical Christians are “likely to say that poverty is the result of lack of effort. And, to some extent, I can agree with that statement.
However, I believe there is much more to it than that; more than mere effort, being the problem. But, before I continue in my response to this article ad its specific topic, I want to get back to the example of unhealthy food versus healthy food. For over a hundred years, fast food has been a staple throughout every corner of the U.S.
And, it’s pitiful to see all the different “eat-healthy” programs that find their way out of the different Presidential Administrations and in to the public. Every new idea or program that I have ever seen spurred by a city, state, or federal government agency has been nothing short of complete hypocrisy and, dare I say it, yes, for show.
I have seen no one, no company, organization, or government entity make an honest attempt to solve the issue of unhealthy foods versus healthy foods to anyone, let alone the lower income communities.
I am certainly not poor. Until the economic meltdown of the mid two thousand (s), I had always earned a good wage. But if one has to declare poverty on the basis of ability to purchase healthy food, I am almost downright as poor as homeless person standing on a corner asking for money.
When I go into the grocery store and have a choice between a single loaf of bread with a price of $5 or more, and a double-store-brand-loaf at a price of $1.99, it doesn’t take a JPL scientist to figure out which one to grab.
Please, tell me again what anyone is doing to get healthy food onto the tables of the less fortunate, (providing they have a table). When one can go into a restaurant and get a large, double-cheeseburger, good-sized order of fries, a large soft drink, and all the ranch dressing one could hope for, starting at $5 or $6 and a semi-healthy salad (ala cart), at the same price or higher, what do you think most will order?
Organizations and government entities are without a doubt all talk and no action where healthy food and any-income people are concerned. I challenge you to challenge me to go out into your neighborhoods and find real, healthy foods, that are either cheaper or at list comparable in price to more traditional foods purchased.
It has been my own observation in every supermarket I’ve visited, that high-quality, healthy foods, cost two to four times more than their “standard” counterparts, yet the government and other organizations are “concerned” about our health and fitness. Oh! And don’t even get me started on the over-priced “organic” foods.
Now, on to the ChristianHeadlines.com article that started my rage-engine this morning. As a Christian, I am extremely disappointed to see the opinion floated about in this piece. And the white evangelical Christian wonders why they’re always under attack.
With respect, I am hurt by the remark quoted by Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I will post a link to the article. I don’t want to simply repeat it here for you. If I understand this quote correctly, how exactly do “bad financial decisions” relate to a lack of effort on one’s part? And don’t point to people choosing to spend their money on booze and drugs to rebuff my question; for I don’t believe that accounts for most of low-income families in the world today.
That said, I have no rose-colored view of the situation either. I indeed have seen people whom have made little, if any effort, to improve their situation. I have seen the people who have chosen to spend their money on drugs and alcohol. I have also seen those that have made a real effort and end up with little to show for it.
There are literally thousands of reasons why a person or family is either living in poverty or at the lower end of the income scale, and few of them have anything to do with effort. We need more effort by “the powers that be” to make a positive impact and seriously work to make changes in this country and around the world.
We need more people with the means and ability to make a difference, to step up and help the less fortunate step up. And I’m not talking about charity. I’m talking about helping other get up on their feet. I’m talking about a few more people getting second chances instead of write-offs.
Original article in response: