Just a few months ago, my wife and I had occasion to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. And, recently, I had read a book which chronicled the history of the slave trade emerging from France to Africa to the West Indies. Both experiences left me wondering how it was that any human being could act so inhumanely to a fellow human being. The whole thought process leaves me wondering how good people, who speak so passionately about the brutality of abortion, tolerate little children being left without adequate nourishment or health care. Or, how can decent people, who are concerned with human suffering of their fellow citizens, rise up in arms against efforts to raise the minimum wage to give some relief to hardworking people who work 40-50 hours a week and still cannot provide enough to meet their families’ daily needs.
I hear rants and watch long discourses on conservative television expressing concern about America’s headlong plunge into socialism by embracing programs like food stamps, school lunches and aid to dependent children, and by attempting to extend the status quo of health care to all Americans. The thought then occurs to me that even if half of American people acted in accord with their own religious beliefs, whether Christian, Jew or Islamic, there would be no need for government programs to alleviate the suffering of our fellow human beings in this nation.
At least one root of our problem lies with our leaders, such as our current governor of Texas. He talks a good game, but doesn’t walk the talk. I recall our governor launching his aborted attempt to run for president with a big prayer vigil in a football stadium in Houston. Mr. Perry proceeded to wear his Christianity on his sleeve like a badge of honor, but his conduct belies his true commitment to such laudable values. Only a short time back it was revealed that, even though Governor Perry has increased his net worth --on a governor’s salary, yet-- by a couple of million, the last records of his charitable concern revealed he had donated only $200 to his church. And some of that was in the form of secondhand clothing which he and his wife donated! His and other similar right-wing phonies who attempt to use religion as a political stepping stone remind me of the sage observation that what you do speaks so much louder than what you say.
It seems to me the best way to eliminate costly social programs so detested by right wingers is for us all to adhere to our religious beliefs by showing concern for our fellow man.