Last month, spurred by a post written by my brother Jim, I posted an article called “Does Government Assistance Discourage Private Charity.” The post was also published by Red Letter Christians where it elicited quite a bit of discussion. The discussion was interesting, but after reading it, I realized I should have used the word “personal” in the title instead of “private.” Most of the comments centered on the relative merits of government charity versus religious charity. It made me wonder if the discussion participants had read my post since I included stories about person-to-person acts of kindness rather than institutional generosity. But as luck or fate would have it, Jim gave me another chance to get it right. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Social Injustice’ Category
A couple of months ago my brother, the Reverend Doctor Jim Robinson, posted a blog titled “Hard Work vs. Government Assistance.” It was well-written and thought-provoking, but I thought it was incomplete.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that my brother and I love each other, but we fall on opposite sides of the political fence. He is as liberal as I am conservative; however, we’re both reasonable adults, and we’ve learned to discuss our differences in a civilized manner. In fact, he has a passion for civility, and his blog is “dedicated to hearing ‘both side’ of any issue.” But in this particular post, I think he failed to take into consideration that some issues have more than two sides. I think this is particularly relevant in issues involving caring for those I call “the least of these.” (more…)
A sure way to start a riot on Facebook is to post a political comment. Nobody agrees on anything political with the exception of the national debt: that it has reached critical mass and that we have to stop spending money we don’t have. Ideas vary widely as to where cuts should be made: the military budget, tax advantages, entitlement programs. Some of the cuts will come after the elections, but some of them are happening right now, and some of them are happening right here in Emory, Texas. The media pundits throw around lots of impersonal words when addressing this issue, but it’s harder to talk about when there’s a face attached to the cut. (more…)
I’ve been getting a lot of “social justice” input lately. In addition to Christian’s blog which focuses a lot on the subject, a friend lent me the movie “The Help,” another friend lent me the book by the same name, and Blockbuster finally sent us “Blind Side” after months on the waiting list. All that input gave me a lot to think about. I had at least one awake-in-the-wee-hours morning along with several unproductive session at the keyboard trying to organize my thoughts into something coherent. After working for several days on a post about the lack of choices available to the disadvantaged, I realized how arrogant it was of me to try and understand the problems of those who have never enjoyed the privileges I have. I also realized how arrogant we privileged sometimes are in our acts of charity, assuming we know what others want and need without giving them a choice.
In December, I wrote a post called “Confessions of a Book Junkie” about my lifelong love of books. After reading about my way of keeping track of the books I’ve read and the books I want to read, my cousin commented that perhaps I was a list junkie as well. Earlier this month I wrote a post titled “I’m Addicted,” and my son said it might be more aptly titled “Confessions of a Co-Dependent.” And my brother, after reading some of my comments on Christian’s posts, said he thought I might be a closet liberal. Maybe my next book should be titled “Confessions of…” Saturday I added another confession to the list. (more…)
It seems that movies have the effect of raising my consciousness about racism, at least enough to write about it. I watched “The Help” last night. It was a wonderful movie, funny, heart-rending, inspiring, uplifting. But it also evoked vague feelings of guilt, a familiar feeling for us codependents who feel responsible for everything, even the things we had nothing to do with. I certainly had nothing to do with any of the situations seen in “The Help.” Mom and Dad worked hard to provide the things we needed as we grew up, but our lifestyle was anything but lavish. Our home more closely resembled the homes of the maids than the mansions where they worked, and no one I knew had hired help except one family whose house I never visited. But I still felt a little guilty because I was so unaware of what was going on in a lot of the world. It makes me wonder what kind of injustice is going on now that needs my attention. (more…)