The War on Poverty
Syrian refugees in Lebanon (image via Wikipedia Commons)

Poor people are being murdered, beheaded, raped and terrorized by well armed gangs of mostly young men in Syria and in Mexico. What do these places and people have in common? Almost nothing. Is it about religion? Obviously not. I will bet you that most Mexican drug cartel members consider themselves Christians and have Christian symbols tattooed on their bodies. Muslims and Buddhists are no different, and depending upon where you are in the world, a Buddhist is as likely as a Muslim or a Christian to be involved in the murder or persecution of another person simply because they are of another ethnic or religious identification. The common denominator here is poverty. That’s what it is really all about. These people have no hope, no chance at a good education, a good job, or a decent life. They are hopelessly ignorant. Violence and criminality are their only alternatives. Recognizing and understanding this simple fact, we can see that the real war is of the wealthy against the poor, and that this war is an international war that knows no borders and no boundaries. By understanding and joining forces with ordinary people around the world who are also struggling for existence, we take the just fight to a higher level. When we help a poor person in Egypt, we help ourselves. When we help the poorest among us, we help ourselves. Sounds like something Jesus would have said, doesn’t it? That’s because he did. “What you do unto the least of my brothers…”

© 2014 by Paul Kennedy

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