Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quote - Poor

"When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor are poor, they call me a communist."
-Bishop Oscar Romero, martyred leader of Nicaraguan church

Something to think about in our world of taxes...and what they pay for.

4 comments:

dan said...

I've come across this quote a couple of times in my life and it's really powerful.

He's pointing out the way we like to live. On the one hand we like to see people doing good things, but when someone starts to ask questions that challenge the way that we live...we get defensive.

Notice that this verbiage was used by the republicans during the election...Obama is a communist! He's going to change the way that you live. My boss this summer who is a huge right-winger, was ok with being taxed for defense, but was willing to fight to not be taxed for welfare.

Phil Strahm said...

In a perfect world...I'd be a fan of communism.

In our Wednesday Bible Study we were studying James and talking about the poor and some of our youth just have this view that "all poor people are worthless and giving them money doesn't help...they need to get a job." They just don't see them as real people who need help...and food and housing need to be taken care of before you can teach them skills to get a job.

dan said...

"poor people just need to get a job" is such a poor understanding of the nature of poverty. sadly, the majority of people living in affluence have no idea what it means to be poor and all the implications that come with it.

how did you respond to these students' comments?

Phil Strahm said...

Well it wasn't the first time we talked about this issue...and I think most of the kids get it.

One student in particular is a big war/history buff and wants to join the marines. This student loves going on mission trips and serving and works really hard...but then at the same time doesn't like serving in our own community.

Because of his views on war/history he has a very negative view of the poor (just get a job) and did try to attach a biblical concept to communism much like this quote.

It's an ongoing discussion that I will touch on briefly again tonight as we continue to study James for Youth Bible Study.

God has to break his heart open towards these people b/c it's a little hardened on this topic. Hopefully God can use me to help him...and any others who are still struggling with understanding this issue.