LETTER: What that social activist really said

Re: Time to enrich the poverty debate (B.C. Views, March 9).

I am always astonished how the quote “The poor shall always be with us” is used by people who show very little understanding of theology or compassion for the poor.

This particular quote was used by Jesus to remind his followers about their priorities. The complete quote is: “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.” (Matthew 26:11)

When taken in the context of his ministry, it is clear that what Jesus is pointing to is the fact that as long as there are needy people in this world, his followers must always walk with them and support them in their efforts to sit at the table of plenty. Faith-based social activists like myself would suggest that if the teachings of faith were lived out in the political and community structures that we create, poverty would not exist.

But as Tom Fletcher said, for 2,000 years we have been struggling with how to open the hearts and minds of people who look at the world through the lens of scarcity and competition; who believe that the more stuff one has the more successful one must be; and whose love of personal comfort and convenience has cost the earth dearly.

Poverty is not a simple thing that will be fixed by putting single mothers back to work. It is a complex problem that will need a range of complex solutions.

I challenge you to enrich the poverty debate by taking the politics out of this issue and working harder to see the real human beings behind the numbers.

Susan Draper

Victoria

Just Posted

Local tongue-in-cheek opportunists flog snow huts

‘Executive’ and ‘eco-friendly’ one-bedrooms pop up on Craigslist and Used Victoria

Province urges backcountry adventurers to stay safe this weekend

Search and rescue responded to 28 incidents last Family Day weekend

Snow storms prompt reminders to prepare for emergencies

Province reminds public of essential supplies

West Shore fundraiser serves up hope for kids with food allergies

Proceeds assist Oral Immunotherapy Research Program at BC Children’s Hospital

Sidewalk Trio reuniting at The Oaks

The next Blues for Eric scholarship benefit concert is Feb. 23

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read