Today, the House’s Agriculture Committee decided to slash SNAP (formerly food stamps) by more than $35 billion. This is an outrage! Think of all of the families in our struggling economy who still have not found employment to support their families and what this will mean for them. It will mean a lot of hungry nights and mornings for that matter. It will mean that mothers will have to choose between putting gas in their car or feeding their children. It will also mean that the very poor in our society will be pushed even further into poverty, making our nation comparable to a ‘third world’ nation that we hypocritically criticize for their lack of justice.
No matter what your political view is, letting people starve is not a godly idea. In fact, God’s Word commands us to take care of the marginalized in our society. He calls us to look after the poor, the widow, the orphan, the oppressed in our midst, and He could care less what side of the political aisle we are coming from! The Bible tells us that He listens to the groans and prayers of these people, and you know what, He acts on their behalf. Look at what Amos has to say about this:
This is what the LORD says:
“For three sins of Israel,
even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.
They sell the innocent for silver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals.
They trample on the heads of the poor
as on the dust of the ground
and deny justice to the oppressed.
Father and son use the same girl
and so profane my holy name.
God is set on bringing justice to those who call on His name. He will not tolerate this type of evil, and in fact, asks us to likewise take a stand in the same regard. I guess, however, that as a nation we are content with making decisions everyday that basically tell God that we don’t want to follow His Word and stand for justice. I wonder what He has to say about that.
But I also wonder why that is. Why is it, that in a nation that has so many of its leaders, members of Congress, state legislators, pastors, business owners and others supposedly following after God, that our behavior hardly resembles anything that He is about? Yes we have, well some of us have, taken a stand against homosexuality and abortion. And you know what, I believe these are important issues to stand for (although I likewise believe that the way we are standing is horrible and does nothing more than criticize and condemn people, rather than reaching out in love which is what God would have us to do). But these, in my opinion, are not the real issues of our day – they only distract us from the main thing. And that main thing is that in the most developed nation in the world and 43.6 million people (as of 2009) are in poverty!
If you begin to break that figure down, what you will find is astounding.
– Of those poor, only 9.9 percent were non-Hispanic white compared to 26.6 percent of Asians and 27.4 of African Americans
– The poverty rate for children under the age of 18 is 20.7 percent.
What is even more interesting is that 45 percent of the nation’s children are from communities of color, 23 percent are Hispanic and 14 percent are black. These numbers only continue – by 2040 people of color will represent the majority population. And so when a decision like this is made, to cut SNAP benefits so drastically, you have to understand that this decision will disproportionately affect communities of color and children of color.
And then I wonder if this was the point, the intention of those who made this decision. You see, as our nation’s demographics keeps rapidly changing, the children, the people of tomorrow who will be our presidents, our leaders, our decision makers and who will hold so many different positions of leadership, will look drastically different than the people that hold them now. I think that is really scary for some people. I also think that these same people believe that these children who represent this changing demographic are not their children, and so it is quite easy to ignore their needs for the sake of their own children, children who look more like them.
I honestly believe, whole heartily believe that the House’s decision today has everything to do with these statistics. Yes, they want to cut the budget, I get it we are in debt! But more so, I believe this decision served as a means to make sure that what happened in 2008 never happens again. Because if an individual/ family is food poor, chances are they will struggle in education and in other areas, and never be able to reach the levels of attainment as our dear black president.
What thinkest thou? I really want to know.