Tag Archives: citizens

the truth in a land of lies

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” ~Buddha

The only question that remains is what do we do with the truth once it reveals itself. A vast number of our fellow citizens seem to prefer the alternative, and would much rather live in a land of lies.

 

the low road

Listening to the current Republican presidential debates one can draw a frightening comparison to the early growth of Hilter’s Nazi Germany. The hatred, racism, bigotry and name-calling is ugly, divisive and wrong.

Such rhetoric appeals to the fear and baser instincts of the unintelligent and uneducated, but does not reflect the moral and spiritual foundation of our nation. No nation will be called great that demonstrates the values of greed, fear and zenophobia being so loudly proclaimed by the two remaining Republican candidates for the highest office in the land.

Turning a blind eye in the late 1930s led to the deaths of untold millions and a global war whose impact is still being felt. All of us need to open our eyes and see what is happening. We need to open our ears and truly listen to what is being said.

Then we need to do whatever is necessary to insure our nation doesn’t take the low road. It’s the road that leads straight to hell.

 

“It didn’t start with Gas Chambers”

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Knowing history can keep us from repeating it. Concern over the direction our country is moving is not enough. Faithfulness calls us to step up and speak out against the hate speech, racism and bigotry that is being encouraged.

Hate speech is not a Christian value. Loving others more than we love ourselves leaves no room for racism and bigotry.

Christians need to demonstrate the love of God by our acceptance and respect of those different than ourselves. And we all need to have the moral courage to speak out against the ugly rhetoric that has become a part of the current political campaigns.

a prayer to make poverty history

a prayer to make poverty history

By: Cardinal O’Brien

Lord of Life,
Open our eyes to make us:

Aware of the poverty suffered by others;
Aware of the immorality of allowing that suffering to take place;
Aware of our rights as citizens to be heard;
Aware of the men, women and children dying as we speak;
Aware that our solidarity gives us strength;
Aware that our leaders may turn a deaf ear but Almighty God hears our cry;
And aware that only together can we: Make Poverty History.

Give us the strength and determination to work towards solutions
and policy changes that can free our sisters and brothers
around the world from the chains of poverty.
Inspire us to challenge our leaders to make debt relief
and fighting poverty a priority,
and make our voices loud and clear.

Amen.

making a difference in Michigan

Not all news is bad. Here is some significantly good news from Michigan.

With over 40 million of United States citizens living in poverty and facing hunger on a regular basis we need more of these types of innovative outreach programs. This is definitely a win-win for all those involved.

Fair Food Network Receives $5.1M to Scale up Successful Program Benefitting Low-Income Families & Farmers 

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow hails Double Up Food Bucks as “innovative partnership”

APRIL 1, 2015 | ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Fair Food Network announced today that it received $5.1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand Double Up Food Bucks, Michigan’s statewide healthy food incentive program that simultaneously increases access to healthy food for low-income Americans and puts more money in the pockets of family farmers.

The grant, provided by the new Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grants program, will be matched with private funds for a total of nearly $10.4 million.

The funds will be used to better serve participants on SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) by expanding the program to more farmers markets and grocery store locations across Michigan and supporting new technology and other innovations.

“We’ve proven that Double Up successfully boosts family nutrition and farmer earnings,” said Oran Hesterman, president and CEO of Fair Food Network and a former farmer, agronomist, and leader in philanthropy. “With this funding, we’ll reach even more people, supporting healthy food environments and resilient rural and urban communities.”

Partners in other states, including Utah and Oregon, also received FINI funding to launch their own Double Up programs with assistance from Fair Food Network.

worth the effort

In my last post I focused on a couple of European proverbs that dealt with both how God provides and our responsibility. That morphed into a mini-rant on the flaws in our US welfare system.

A more familiar saying to most of us, and a response I hear on a regular basis when I teach about ending hunger in our lifetime, is

God helps them that help themselves.

We are told that this little nugget is a Biblical teaching pointing out that the poor are poor because they are to lazy to help themselves. And although there are some poor who are not as industrious as we think they should be, this proverb is just another traditional saying. It isn’t in the Bible.

Many would like to have the Bible to help justify not helping the poor among us, but this proverb is not a quote from the Bible. Look for yourself. It just isn’t there.

As I pointed out yesterday, there are some poor in the United States that have come to the place where they feel entitled to help. This comes from a flawed welfare system that rewards people for not exerting the effort to help themselves.

That doesn’t mean that the hungry in our country should not be helped. Hungry people need to be fed, wherever they are found. How can we tolerate over 40 million of our citizens going hungry on a regular basis?

What is needed is that we fix the broken system. That includes changing the law, It also means changing the values and lifestyles of those receiving aid.

Changes of this magnitude do not happen without tremendous effort and time, but I think it is worth the effort. Do you?