The “Poor” in America

YOU know poor? You have read about it, seen pictures about it — but you don’t KNOW poor! I have been to Africa, and Southeast Asia…I KNOW poor.

And, as you may recall from my previous blogs, I grew up in an apartment with my Grandmother, and we never owned a phone or a car. I grew up POOR.

But we do have the richest poor in the world. After trillions of dollars spent since the Great Society we have the same percentage listed as “poor”as we did before the Great Society. Now that doesn’t mean that the money hasn’t helped — it has. The Census Bureau reports that the AVERAGE “poor” owns a car, multiple flat screen TVs, a computer or X-Box, did not suffer any deprivation of food over the last year, and lives in more square feet than the average middle-class of Europe.

We here is San Diego have one of the top five homeless populations in America. I did a study almost 20 years ago on five cities of the truly poor — the homeless. In each of those cities the ratio of homeless to Christian Churches was seven homeless per church — churches used a few hours a week…while the homeless shiver in the cold and wet next Winter, just remember that the churches are warm, dry…AND EMPTY!

More importantly, Jesus ORDERED HIS followers to help the poor, and those church parishioners include Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, Beauticians, and perhaps most importantly EMPLOYERS. Want to solve the homeless problem by 8 am tomorrow morning? I know how! They are the truly POOR!

(When I published this opinion decades ago, a Minister threatened to pull his advertising from the newspaper, another asked me to lunch to “see where your head is.” A parishioner, and friend, sent a LTE saying that I didn’t understand the problem…the homeless have lice, and besides there would be insurance problems. I replied that Jesus ministered to the Lepers so she could handle lice, and I did know that Jesus said help the poor unless there were insurance problems.)

What Jesus DIDNT do, is tell HIS followers to get the Roman government to help the poor — he ORDERED HIS followers to do so!

The president recently remarked that churches should get more involved with the poor and he was exactly right. What he didn’t say is that one of his first acts was to stop the federal funding of those churches and charitable organizations that were used as the funnel for what should be a diminishing of federal funds, until those churches and charitable organizations can build the infrastructure to assume their rightful positions.

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