Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 8 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! 1 Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon 1 Tell A Friend 5 (15 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   64 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

American Hunger and the Christian Right

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 7   Well Said 6   Valuable 5  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 11/3/13

Become a Fan
  (20 fans)

I have seen hunger, up close and personal, right here in the richest nation on the planet. And, despite what the so-called "Christian" right keeps telling us, I know that laziness does not explain why poor people are poor.

I grew up in a small, depressed Appalachian town. My family had enough to eat because we had a large garden that yielded enough fruits and veggies to last throughout the year, and because my Italian grandmother, who lived with us, knew how to turn some cheap flour and yeast into wonderful homemade baked goods.

We also regularly fed many of the kids from the neighborhood, who would flock to our house when they smelled the delicious aromas emerging from the kitchen, where Grandma held court each day.

But we couldn't feed them three meals each and every day. So much of the time I saw my less fortunate friends and their siblings munching on mayonnaise sandwiches, or, if they were lucky, SpaghettiOs with buttered bread.

The parents in that town were not lazy. In fact, many of them worked harder than any Congressman or CEO.

My father was an auto mechanic. In fact, he was a mechanical genius, having built his own tractor (for the aforementioned garden) from spare parts. But he had neither the education nor the opportunity to make it big. He wouldn't have wanted to. He was comfortable in his little garage, adjacent to our modest house, fixing the townspeople's cars and trucks. But he could charge only what the market would bear. And, in that town, people didn't have much money to spend.

Most of the other fathers worked either in the nearby coal mines or for the Pennsylvania Railroad, which ran through the town. Often, the workers would go on strike, and I would see my friends panic because of the hardships they would endure when the household income went away for a time. But collective bargaining is a human right, and labor strikes are a frequent part of that. Without the unions and strikes, things would have been even worse. Fortunately, many of these families received food stamps.

Today, two of the GOP's main goals are to cut social services like food stamps (now called SNAP) and to crack down on the unions - with the ultimate goal of eventually destroying both. And they are doing this at a time when our troubled economy has created more families that desperately need these support systems. These people are not lazy - there just aren't enough jobs to go around. And many of the employed are stuck in part-time jobs, or are struggling to make ends meet at minimum wage.

Still, the GOP just continues to feed us the myth of the lazy poor, as they have for decades.

They have the nerve to call themselves "Christian". But, as I recall from reading the Bible, Jesus fed people liberally without judging them. The loaves and fishes, if you believe the story, came with no strings attached; they were simply an act of Christian generosity.

Sadly, Christian generosity is something we rarely see these days in Washington or on Wall Street.

 

Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

No Excuse for Racial Profiling

No, Dan, America is Not a Christian Nation

Tea Party Talking Points, Translated

The Myth of the Christian Right

They Still Cling to Guns and Religion

Racism Then and Now

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
25 people are discussing this page, with 64 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

How very true.Christianity today especially among ... by kappie on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 8:34:27 AM
Kappie:  For the record, I am not a southerne... by Mary Shaw on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 9:27:00 AM
Poverty is not created by Christians.  It is ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 2:10:43 PM
As I read this important article, I believe Mary i... by Daniel Geery on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 3:01:21 PM
You are correct.  Mary says that the GOP, the... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 3:56:26 PM
I shall try to answer promptly with my "genetic ha... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 7:51:38 AM
Ignorance is a root of the problem.  Unfortun... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 1:39:19 PM
It was not "created" by the so called christians, ... by kanawah on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 6:33:40 PM
Uh...who was it who said, "As ye do unto the least... by Shireen Parsons on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 9:27:16 AM
This is what the folks who support Share-Internati... by Betsy Whitfill on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 9:29:40 AM
Very well written and so true.Thank you Lord Jesus... by George W.Reichel on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 9:35:07 AM
"[...] and because my Italian grandmother, who liv... by Ad Du on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 9:41:14 AM
Today's Republicans are neither patriots, nor do t... by John Lake on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 10:42:17 AM
Today's Christianity is a farce and no way resembl... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 10:51:12 AM
The Christian Right is neither.... by mrk * on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 11:14:47 AM
Yes, Jesus fed the poor. You will note he did that... by Joe Reeser on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 11:21:37 AM
Poor Reeser and your calcified mind-set. Yeah, Bad... by Ralph Demers on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 12:09:10 PM
I give you permission to call my mindset whatever ... by Joe Reeser on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 2:31:58 PM
You can stay a complete idiot as long as you you w... by Michael Dewey on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 3:14:04 PM
And sadly, believing that everyone who doesn't agr... by Joe Reeser on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 4:39:38 PM
Good grief, for decades the right has been talking... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 1:18:11 PM
Unions aren't "smaller government." They certainly... by Joe Reeser on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 2:36:38 PM
In this day an age Unions are the smaller Govt tha... by Michael Dewey on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 2:55:03 PM
Unions have declined in the private sector because... by Joe Reeser on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 5:08:12 PM
The breaking of the middle class has much to do wi... by Michael Dewey on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 6:17:08 AM
Unions have declined because management has system... by kanawah on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 7:09:18 PM
I would much rather protect myself than have 57% o... by Michael Dewey on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 2:59:11 PM
The defense budget is not 57% of your taxes. Healt... by Joe Reeser on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 4:57:18 PM
All of your comments above are quite wrong and ign... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 1:28:43 AM
Social Security and Medicare are not administered ... by Joe Reeser on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 1:50:40 PM
How wrong.They are the contributions and premiums ... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 8:35:20 PM
"We the people" do not have the right to take mone... by Joe Reeser on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 1:52:30 PM
Nobody took your money and gave it to another. It ... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 8:18:36 PM
For the year 2014 Defense is 57% of the discretion... by Michael Dewey on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 6:21:00 AM
The Congress is under no legal obligation to fund ... by Joe Reeser on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 1:59:28 PM
This is still Constitutional while your kind claim... by Michael Dewey on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 4:13:43 PM
[[ike2]]... by Michael Dewey on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 4:14:55 PM
Okay.  I'd like to ask you a few questions. &... by Judy Palmer on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 5:16:10 PM
I do the "right thing." I volunteer at a local hom... by Joe Reeser on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 2:14:18 PM
Jesus fed the poor through magic, not the result o... by Richard Pietrasz on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 2:02:58 PM
If magic is so easy why do so few people do it wel... by Joe Reeser on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 2:41:29 PM
So...what are you saying here?  First we take... by Judy Palmer on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 2:18:10 PM
What I'm saying is that it isn't the job of govern... by Joe Reeser on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 4:37:26 PM
Who are you to judge who is lazy and who is not? &... by Judy Palmer on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 5:31:31 PM
Who am I to judge? LOL Are you serious?? The gover... by Joe Reeser on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 3:10:45 PM
"It's mostly a selfish action by people looking to... by Lester Shepherd on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 8:59:19 PM
Beautiful, sensitive...powerful article....the hea... by Ralph Demers on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 11:39:37 AM
 That's what I'm talkin' about! I've bee... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 12:04:33 PM
Today, two of the GOP's main goals are to cut soci... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 1:19:52 PM
I taught  children from Appalachia in 1991. T... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 1:36:23 PM
For the wealthy, laziness is a virtue rewarded by ... by Richard Pietrasz on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 2:04:41 PM
My god, you people are blinded by partisanship. L... by KurtB on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 8:33:01 PM
Boy oh Boy!I cannot describe how good a mayonaise ... by Tom James on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 11:03:48 PM
The reason for the existance of poor families is d... by David Chester on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 5:39:51 AM
Christian Charity as if....My right wing Pennsylva... by Michael Shaw on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 10:43:26 AM
And how much of that lack of 'Christian charity' i... by Joe Reeser on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 5:15:30 PM
So you and people like you gave up charity because... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 1:46:47 AM
"  Evil loves to masquerade as good.  "... by E. J. N. on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 at 2:00:10 PM
Your reference "About Christianity" is absolutely ... by David Chester on Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013 at 6:01:59 AM
Thank you, David. Very kind of you to say.... by E. J. N. on Thursday, Nov 7, 2013 at 2:17:22 PM
Mary was talking about Republicans, and especially... by E. J. N. on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 4:28:01 PM
erk your bad comments certainly erk me!   ... by David Chester on Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013 at 6:11:06 AM
The "Goats" vs the "Sheep" story is relevant here,... by E. J. N. on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 1:30:13 PM
The most wonderful thing the unions made was the m... by kanawah on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 6:31:02 PM