On poverty

21 05 2009

I was speaking with a friend last week about the gospel, poverty, and activism. One of the things he said was “The best way to fight poverty is to make the poor uncomfortable in their own poverty.” I am trying to remember that what I think of when I think of poverty is not always what other people think. I assume he was thinking of the poor as those who take advantage of government programs and people’s hospitality, not an Iraqi family living in the midst of a war (a new report just came out saying that one in four Iraqis live under the poverty level). Regardless, I think this statement is telling of many people today, and I have a few responses.

1. I highly doubt that those who are truly living in poverty find it comfortable.

2. We are so distanced from the poor that we blame them for their circumstance instead of reflecting on our own greed and critiquing those systems of government and religion that systematize oppression.

3. We have believed a lie and ignored the gospel’s call.

What are your thoughts. I have many more, but it would end up being a rant.