The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.
I was disheartened this week to hear about the new budget proposal out of the White House and the many possible cuts to our country’s social safety net. “We’re not going to ask for your money anymore unless we can guarantee to you your money is used in a proper function.” These were the words from the Office of Management and Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, when he spoke of the “compassionate” intentions of this budget. The monies cut would be applied, of course, to more defense spending.
I appreciate this very much, Sir. I love the idea of a properly functioning and compassionate-minded budget.
But truth be told, I would prefer to be a nation that is measured, as Mahatma Gandhi suggests, by our treatment of the most vulnerable in our society, not in how beefed up our military is or how tall our border wall will be.
This new budget has me recalling the bumper sticker from the 1980’s that dreamed of a world where the Air Force holds bake sales for bombers while schools receive all the funding they need.
I still have that dream.
And no matter what fear-based decisions are coming out of the White House, I will stand firm in the ancient teachings of Jesus and the prophets who came before him:
“This is the kind of fast day I’m after [says God]:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’.”
~Isaiah 58:6-9 (The Message)
This is the kind of compassion and generosity I desire for this nation and for the world!
So, you say you need more money for an even bigger military and your “great, great” wall?
May I suggest a bake sale?