The governor of my home state of Kansas has gratuitously solved the problem of poverty in one of his political campaign ads for re-election. He is telling a group of obviously well-heeled people gathered in a worshipful audience around him, nodding their heads sagely at his words, that “what we need is not checks from the government, but to go back to the values he was taught by his parents and go to work. He proudly explains: “This is the answer to poverty. Go to work”.
This is either a case of extreme naivete or a case of existential blindness. If it is the latter, which I expect it is, then he really should see his moral optometrist right away and get glasses that aren’t completely rose-colored! What his words are really saying is that he doesn’t have a clue about the causes of poverty—or that he really doesn’t care to inform himself about it as it might then become a political problem to deal with and he might have to recognizes himself and our state legislature as a part of the problem. No health care? Get a job! Unable to work because of health problems? Get a job! Disabled in an accident? Get a job. Mentally challenged? Get a job? Bankrupt because of medical bills caused by no insurance due to lack of Medicaid extention? Get a job!
But I’m sure our governor and the legislature made up of so-called Christians, does not care. After all, the poor will not be a problem in the election so why should they really care—-they’ve been disenfranchised by the governor and legislature in Kansas and most are unable to vote because they don’t have the documentation necessary to register. It’s the wealthy people who support him that our governor worries about, and who vote for him, so why care about those in poverty? And after all, being elected is the most important thing isn’t it?
Why care about the poor and needy? Because they are God’s children. Jesus wasn’t sent to the “political fat cats” Rather, those who were the most vulnerable were always given the highest priority by the Jesus, who our governor claims to follow. Jesus didn’t tell the leper to go get a job! He healed him so he could get a job—-as a leper he was untouchable. Jesus didn’t tell blind Bartimeous to go get a job! He healed him so he could do so and not have to beg for a living. Governor Brownback, if you would follow the One you claim as your Lord—-“GO THOU AND DO LIKEWISE!!”