Monday, May 14, 2018

Rambling thoughts on poverty

BatesSt68kidsSo I'll probably need to make a list for confession. Recently, I have been imbibing in some rather mean spirited YouTube videos. They are feeding my judgy side. They are about a kind of people found in my ethnic group in my country who are a result of what happens when you have the Sexual Revolution and the Great Society running hand in hand in the sunset. The only good that has come from this, and I'll need to tell YouTube to stop having them appear, is they are a good reminder of why a guaranteed income is probably a bad idea.

When I first heard of a universal guaranteed income I thought it was a good idea. The idea being, get rid the various government agencies for the poor and just give the poor the money. I liked the idea of smaller government and believed that the robots will take our jobs. But then I was reminded of the negatives and the road to Hell the negatives paved with free government money.

The problem of growing single mother headed households is one. This I will put at the feet of the Great Society, which provided the financial incentive, and the Sexual Revolution which took away the shame. Yes, no one is going to get rich on welfare and food stamps. And yes, we should have a safety net. However, both have made my ethnic group suffer. Too many Black children are being raised by single mothers, which makes them poorer (spiritually and financially) than children with both parents and siblings where they share the same mother and father. I have recently become a mother and I don't think I could do this well without my husband. This is especially true when are darling little boy has deprived me of precious sleep and I am not fully functional.

What does this have to do with Christianity? Well Christ mentioned that the poor will always be with us. No generation will have the luxury of not having to deal with the poor. Besides making sure they don't starve, we do a disservice when we discourage the things that will get them out of poverty (good schools, teaching skills that are actually in demand, etc) and encourage things that make their life worse (broken families, passing students on to the next grade without the skills, excusing behavior that makes them unemployable).

Sunday, April 08, 2018

When the Seventh Day Adventists came over

My husband is Presbyterian. I am a Roman Catholic. Our son is an unbaptized babyman who we'll baptize as either as a Presbyterian or Catholic around the age most kids are confirmed. We live near several other churches and a mosque and there is a 7th Day Adventist church on our street that tries to be helpful with some of our neighborhood struggles (ie the old men on the corner who sell heroin). And we've tried to be friendly with various representatives from the church, including them in some block activities and maybe showing up at events that they hold open to the community.

One day in passing (Saturday most likely) I mentioned to a lady from the 7th Day church that my mother in law had passed away. Later that week I get an email from her asking if she and someone else from the church could stop by. So later in the week she and the pastor came by. We talked about the babyman, how great Mike's church is for families, how their church is trying to attract more families, and eventually Mike's mom. They also came with cards and gifts. The card was signed by various people in the church expressing sympathy. It was really sweet. At the conclusion of the visit the pastor led a prayer.

It was a Christian thing.

Nope not gonna nitpix about theological differences.

The body of Christ is good.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Thursday, November 10, 2016


LUKE 6:27

 But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you


 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

This is for all of our friends. Liberal, conservative, neoconservative and libertarian.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Feelings of the future

First, doom, doom and more doom, with a side of doom.

I've had 'feelings' about the future. Most would come in the dreams that stuck with me, minus the dream about the pillow sized chocolate bar I dreamed of as a kid. Sometimes as 'feelings', I no better word. I predicted the presidency (of the US) since about Reagan with some fuzziness somewhere around the Bush II years. This year I feel Mr. Trump will be president, even though all signs point to other outcomes.

I also feel that my dear husband will have boys. When he gave me a call about a birthmother wanting to interview us earlier this year, I was excited until I heard that she was carrying a girl. It is not that I want boys over girls, as I think of boys, males in general, as idiotic mobile pee units.  Girls follow directions and sit still more often than boys, or guys or my beloved husband. So I knew it wasn't going to work out but I figured the interview, later interviews, would be a good experience. Maybe that experience will bring me closer to my own loud, squirmy, mobile pee units. Even with the doom.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Community of Saints

I was listening to a Focus on the Family podcast about perinatal hospice, and the struggle with the family's faith while they prepared for the death of their unborn child. And being a historian I thought about the countless stories in the past of stillborn and infant death and the families in the Anglo speaking world's (sticking with the material I know) pain, suffering and loss; a particular pain that is less felt among middle class Christians in America.

I love the community of saints, those throughout time and space who worship our G-d, who have suffered. Some suffering is unique to their particular place and time, as I doubt few people will have to go through what some of their early martyrs had to endure. But with demands of a bigger and more controlling government over everyday life, I can imagine it could return in another form.

The Christians of the past who maintained the faith provide me strength. So do the saints of the present who point to Christ and help me find my way to him also support my walk. It is not only in their success but mainly in their suffering. I think of Barbara, the mother of my husband's old landlord, who lost her sight after a stroke of some sort.  She accepted this with such grace, saying it wasn't what she wanted but what G-d willed. She remained cheerful and strong through the various other health challenges age brought her family.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Same G-d

In the Sunday Washington Post Magazine there was a piece about an African refugee camp where the residents are trying to escape the violence of the Sudan. One of the photographs was of a barn with benches, well a church, but it looked like a barn with benches. The caption said it was a Presbyterian church. Outside the church you could see children? other people through the wire "windows".

Sunday was my monthly obligation to attend my husband's suburban Presbyterian church.

So in my mind I was comparing the two. Not to go into too much detail and kill too much prose, we are in an earthly heaven. My husband and his fellow congregants don't and probably will not encounter some of the struggles as those Presbyterians in the camp. They both will struggle with sin, envy, adultery, idolatry, and the like. However it would probably express itself differently. Still sin, regardless of the quality of the water. Jesus died for all of us.