I am trying not to sink into either anger or despair.
At the state and national level, politicians are taking aim at the misguided and seemingly flat-out evil they can readily find in those they have identified as enemies: elected leaders of the opposing party.
This impasse in sensibilities has huge implications. We have borrowed from our children’s future in order to buy a short-term fix at the state level. At the national level, the jousting for ideological bragging rights may result in untold catastrophe.
All this while the chasm between the rich and the poor grows ever more immense.
We are not a “Christian” nation. Clearly we are not. Scriptures are a recurring drum- beat calling us to awareness of the plight of our brothers and sisters. That plight is our business, it is our concern, it is our call to heart action.
What is the best instrument of redistribution? Many, and rightfully so, insist that government is an inefficient manager of playing-field leveling. So, consequently, government ought not be trusted with such.
But if not the government, then who and what and how? Those who insist on downsizing (and the downsized are seniors on fixed incomes, children who didn’t choose to be born into poverty, and people shaken by health crises) have much to say about what isn’t working: government.
The same voices seem to believe that government does work to mandate decisions about intimate life decisions.
Evidently in such thinking, government cannot be trusted with ensuring that each child born in this country has access to fullness of life, but it can be trusted to enter bedrooms and bodies.
I am afeared. The rhetoric saturating our nation is all about finger pointing. It’s a great diversionary tactic; it feels good to take aim and fire at another while the tender dream of “justice for all” burns itself into extinction.
There is enough for all. Economists have named it, and in the unsoundbited portion of our tender souls, we know this to be true. God has promised ongoing care and nourishment for creation.
So while children are starving in Somalia, elders are wrangling vulnerability in Minnesota, and assets are stockpiled by the increasing few in our nation, we could choose to stop the slashing of he-said-she-said and work with what we have.
We have enough. How will we see it shared? We move toward becoming a nation grounded on Christian values when we ask that question and work with what we have – our government, our churches, our hearts – to live into the power of communal care.