Sunday, December 12, 2010

This is shameful

As Congress begins wrangling over budget cuts and other austerity measures, I hope they do not lose sight of the plight of the most vulnerable among us — the ones who have little say and few choices: the nation’s poorest children.

The gap between those children and the rest of our children is already unacceptably wide, and it cannot afford to get wider. In fact, a report entitled “The Children Left Behind,” released by UNICEF last Friday, examined inequality in well-being on a wide range of measures among children in 24 of the world’s richest countries.

Notice that America’s rankings are among the worst.

Parents play a large role in this inequality, but so do local, state, and federal policies. As the report wisely asks, “Is there a point beyond which falling behind is not inevitable but policy susceptible, not unavoidable but unacceptable, not inequality but inequity?”

Absolutely – yes!

This is shameful. I would hope that our politicians would move to improve this situation. But at the very least, I hope they do not make it worse by cutting education and social programs that help the poor.

Matthew 25:40 says, “And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me.” This goes both ways. If you do good things for people, then you have done it to the Lord. But if you do things that hurt people, especially the downtrodden, you have also done that to the Lord.

Read the report: