Support the Café
Search our site

Sister Simone Campbell on the invisible 46.2 million

Sister Simone Campbell on the invisible 46.2 million

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK and leader of “Nuns on the Bus,” tour has written an op-ed for the On Faith section of The Washington Post’s website. She says:

While I applaud any political candidate who puts the interests of the middle class ahead of the privileged class, we need to acknowledge that at this critical time in our nation’s history, 46.2 million people live in poverty. We’ve heard more angry talk about how threatened cutbacks might impact a fictional TV puppet than we have over how it will affect actual families living on about $250 a week.

When one candidate dismisses 47 percent of all Americans as “victims,” while his vice presidential pick dubs them “takers,” it’s time to shake off the stigma and recognize the true faces of the struggling Americans among us: returning veterans unable to find a job or too traumatized by their war experiences to look; senior citizens burdened by high healthcare costs and struggling to pay their grocery bills; men and women who have to settle for low-wage part-time work without benefits because they can’t find a full-time job; people who can’t make ends meet working for minimum wage. Many have paid their fair share of taxes throughout their working lives, taxes now funding government programs helping them retrain for new jobs, pay the rent and put food on the table. To them, “government” isn’t a dirty word, it’s a saving grace.

Income inequality has soared to the highest levels since the Great Depression. Yet productivity at many companies is climbing alongside profits – in part because company leaders made a business decision to keep wages and benefits low in order to keep costs down. Those profits aren’t making it into the hands of working poor Americans. In fact, many of our nation’s hard-working citizens don’t earn enough to pull themselves out of poverty – never mind into the middle class. Programs like food stamps aren’t luxury items like Pay-per-View or Caribbean vacations, to be easily cut from our family budget. In too many households, they are an absolute necessity. What greater American value can there be than making sure all people in the most prosperous nation on earth have enough to eat?

Why can’t we force political leaders to take the concerns of people who live in poverty seriously? This is a profound failure of moral imagination. But we seldom seem to make any progress in this regard.

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rod Gillis

Ironic comment in a way. At a time when the patriarchal leadership of the Roman Catholic Church is cracking down on female religious, here is the good sister championing the application of Catholic social teaching.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café