What Jesus Wants For Christmas: No More Impoverished Children

Posted by | December 26, 2010 08:20 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Bruce Friedrich

The New York Times and Politico offer a pair of articles that, taken seriously, capture the true spirit of Christmas. In the New York Times, Charles Blow (now firmly entrenched as one of my “must read” columnists) makes us aware of some damning statistics:

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 42 percent of American children live in low-income homes and about a fifth live in poverty. It gets worse. The number of children living in poverty has risen 33 percent since 2000. For perspective, the child population of the country over all increased by only about 3 percent over that time. And, according to a 2007 Unicef report on child poverty, the U.S. ranked last among 24 wealthy countries.

He rightly calls these figures “a national disgrace.”

And on Politico, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan (pictured) offers these aspirational observations:

This great country, which calls itself “Judeo-Christian,” recognizes the divine in those who are poor, struggling or left out — those for whom there is “no room in the inn.” Pope Benedict XVI explains, “Love of God and love of neighbor have become one: In the least of the brethren we find Jesus, and in Jesus we find God.”

This Christian moral imperative flows from the prophets of Israel, who measured a righteous society not by income or power but by how the widow, orphan and alien were treated. This solicitude for the poor echoes among our Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu neighbors, as well as those of goodwill who do not profess a belief in God.

This beautiful season’s warm sense of sharing and charity brings out the best in us.

Combine the tragedy of childhood poverty with His Excellency’s sanguine theological observations, and we find the true spirit of Christmas: How about if we as a nation commit to a plan for the eradication of childhood poverty in this, the world’s most affluent nation?

Wouldn’t that be a nice birthday present for Jesus?

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: BruceGFriedrich

Vice President, Policy, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

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