As I mentioned in my other post for today (“Things to Ponder”) I heard some interesting things the other day. The ones I posted first generated, I hope, a few smiles. But this one didn’t and as the title indicates, requires some serious thoughts.
It was on NPR (I listen to WAMC) and dealt with the number of homeless veterans in this country – see “A Push to Help U. S. Veterans Fight Homelessness”). Homelessness in this country is a problem that we don’t seemingly want to discuss.
We tend to think of the homeless in less than favorable terms and often as individuals not worth helping. But we ignore the fact that more and more families with children are becoming homeless. When a family loses their home through foreclosure, they often times cannot find housing, even though both parents are working. There is a partial solution called “Family Promise” and I will probably put some things up in a month or so. My home church is part of the Dutchess/Orange network and we will be one of the host churches.
But the fact that there are homeless veterans speaks to a more serious problem. Look at the proposed budget before the House of Representatives and tell me that we are not encouraging a culture of war in this country (I first thought about this four years ago – “An On-going Culture of War”). We went to war in Iraq (how many years ago?) and we are still in Afghanistan. We keep pouring money into a seemingly endless pit called the military-industrial complex but we won’t spend money to take care of our veterans when they come home!
We cut our support for the veterans; we cut our support for women and children and tell them they are on their own. And apparently this is what it says in the Bible (my inference from another NPR story –“Christians Debate: Was Jesus for Small Government?”). I would just like to know where. When I read the Bible, I am reminded that the single over-riding theme is the relationship between people and God. We are supposed to take care of people, not throw them away.
And yet that is what we seem to be doing. We keep spending money on wars but not on the people who fight them. We keep finding ways to let the rich keep their money but we aren’t willing to spend money on healthcare or housing or food. We keep cutting spending on education and research so sooner or later we are going to be in a position where we aren’t able to help anyone and we won’t be able to think of ways to do it anyway. Just something to think about.