Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

Focus on the (Poor) Family

Since this is my first post here (thanks for welcoming me!), I should probably introduce myself as a new intern for Bread for the World out in California, officemate of my esteemed blogging Bread colleague, Holly. My internship is geared towards thinking about how conservative Evangelical concerns and social justice concerns might find common ground. In a way, I'm emphasizing the "nonpartisan" nature of our organization in a different way than you might normally think. Not only are we not tied to one particular political party, but we find common cause amidst all members of the Body of Christ, in the spirit of Ephesians-like unity.

Today I'm thinking about the affects of poverty on the family. There was an interesting short article in the Washington Post about this recently and also a post about it (with about a billion comments and counting) over at the God's Politics blog. Meanwhile, I've been thinking on my blog about what Dr. Dobson's Focus on the Family (FoF) might have to say about hunger and poverty. As you might expect, one finds a good deal on the website about how strengthening families is one of the most profound ways to work against poverty. And to that, I say Amen!

On the other hand, this issue is a two way street. Poverty makes it harder to have a strong family. FoF certainly recognizes the negative affect that a bad financial situation can have on families when it comes to gambling. In fact, FoF even goes further to cite poverty as a major cause for divorce. In one report, FoF proclaims that a higher divorce rate in the Bible Belt is due not to religious affiliation, but rather  "is due primarily to increased rates of poverty and of marriage at younger ages" in that region of the country. In other words, according to FoF, poverty is a major threat to the family. Not their words, but it doesn't seem to be an unreasonable conclusion! Rather than getting caught up in doing one or the other (strengthen families vs. assisting people out of poverty; individual responsibility vs. structural injustice; etc.), why not work on both?

Finally, the last paragraph in FoF's Colorado Statement on Biblical Sexual Morality states that, like the example of Christ, we must show love to those who find themselves in hardship (including poverty), whether or not that is the result of their own sexual sin. This paragraph is quite profound and I was surprised to find it, but it is clear as day. And I think that is a call to all Christians to show love to those in poverty, not just as the result of sexual sin, but all sin (even "laziness," God forbid!). So, in the end, FoF says that we should show love to the poor, no matter whose fault their poverty is. Amen! Now these are some "family values" I think we can all get behind.

 

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Comments

Focus on the Poverty-and-Hunger in America do the high commeity high prices of food today.

The Earn Income Means Testing for Public Assistance such as Food Stamp, Cash Assistance should be replace with a buy-in-program that so much recipient can certain to keep thir benefits such as SSI, SSDI, Food Stamp, Cash Assistance when they do work and wants to work and have a savings account and wants to save for their future without losing food stamp/cash assistance, SSI, SSDI, Benefits that will make their lives much better.

There still so many barriers to employment opporturnities, for persons with disabilities, welfare recipients who working trying to better his or her self without being penalized.

There is still discentive to work and to save because their are at risk losing food stamp, cash assistance, SSI, SSDI, benefits.

Thanks for the comment, Jocelyn. To be honest, I'm a little confused about what you're trying to say... particularly in that first sentence: "Focus on the Poverty-and-Hunger in America do the high commeity high prices of food today."

But if I understand your last sentence there, I will agree with you that it is a complicated situation for those who are not quite poor enough to qualify for assistance, but do not have enough money to survive.

In this particular post I wasn't making any specific judgments about what is the best approach to welfare and the like, but simply pointing out that conservative Christian folk don't have to be afraid to be concerned for the poor.

very interesting, but I don't agree with you
Idetrorce

One effect of the global crisis is too much poverty. The people suffer a lot because of the reality that we have a lot of choices to choose, but sometimes we are afraid to take some risk. Don’t think the U.S. is the only country that is feeling the economic pinch and needing payday loans. Our northern neighboring country is also in a tailspin over the recession. It’s clear that the Asian and European financial system is faltering, but we often forget how strong the ties are between America and the great nation of Canada. Banking institutions worldwide are feeling the ill effect. It has been a difficult time in the Canadian government, apprehensive on how to handle the problems caused by the economic crisis. The situation is not getting any better any time soon. Members of Parliament were determined not to work with the Conservative Prime Minister. It seems to be they are heading for a vote of No Confidence, effectively a removal of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister, in response, has asked the Governor General (the head of Parliament) to adjourn the parliament to allow him more time to concoct an effective plan to deal with the crisis. Hopefully this chaos will be unruffled and resolved as soon as possible. So remember. Although many of us are trying to endure these hard times and may need payday loans, we are not alone. Click here to read more on payday loans.

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