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February 2, 2020

Has this devotional grounded your resistance to Trump in Scripture and empowered you to act for the common good? If the answer is "yes," then please help us reach more progressive Christians. Become a Patron today.
And yet somehow there's never money for the poor or disabled
This week it seems that the eyes of the administration have been on our brothers and sisters who are already struggling to carry the burdens on their backs.  From those on Medicaid who would be left without access to quality healthcare if the state they live in so chooses, to those who are unable to work and rely on disability payments to survive (see here for more) the news has been full of policies and plans that further seek to other and dehumanize large portions of our communities.

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. - Proverbs‬ ‭29:7‬ 

I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. - ‭‭Psalms ‭140:12‬

Even in the midst of impeachment proceedings, the Trump administration has managed to find new and increasingly cruel ways of attacking those among us who are doing their best to simply survive in a country that too often turns a blind eye and hard heart to them. The timing makes it clear: Trump will allow nothing, not even the shame of impeachment and lack of voter support, to stop him from making America great for those whom he recognizes as worthy - those who look, think, and act like him, with privilege oozing from their pores. To do so, he is perpetuating myths and stereotypes that the GOP so often relies upon - like "our economy suffers because of those who rely on help and support of the government." (More here.) The administration seeks to perpetuate the lie that the recipients of these programs are liars, lazy...that they are others. This supports the “us vs. them” thinking required to uphold systems that allow the rich to accumulate wealth beyond imagination without paying any taxes to the federal government.  

What could possibly be the benefit to creating even wider wealth disparity?  Of adding red tape to systems already at the brink, unable to keep up? As Adam Serwer explained in his now-classic Atlantic article, the cruelty is the point. “This isn’t incoherent. It reflects a clear principle: Only the president and his allies, his supporters, and their anointed are entitled to the rights and protections of the law, and if necessary, immunity from it. The rest of us are entitled only to cruelty, by their whim. This is how the powerful have ever kept the powerless divided and in their place, and enriched themselves in the process.”

We cannot allow this administration to lie and divide. Combat these lies with truth: our federal budget is bogged down with military spending, yet we focus on the vulnerable because it’s easy and convenient.  Sign up to participate in the Poor People’s Campaign and learn ways to fight the systems that intentionally create poverty.

God of Mercy and Justice, 

Set our feet and minds on the path that will lead to real and meaningful change.  Help us as we seek to live lives that honor Christ, and to be aware of those around us who are bending under an oppressive and unjust system.

Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, that we fail not them nor You.

Save us from weak resignation to the systems and injustices that rage against everything you stood for.  May we never stop striving to create the kindom on earth, as it is in Heaven.

Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, serving You whom we adore.


(Adapted from the hymn "God of Grace and God of Glory" by Harry Emerson Fosdick)

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