What that social activist really said

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.

Editor, Black Press

Re: Time to enrich the poverty debate (B.C. Views, March 10).

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

Just Posted

Nail-biter win caps successful tournament for senior Mustangs

‘They were making junior mistakes — but that’s okay,’ says coach

Film club holds birthday bash for 75-year-old Hope Cinema

Hollywood starlet Judy Garland will grace the big screen in Hope on Dec. 19

Waterworks plan in final steps, says Hope District

Council approves borrowing of $1.8 million, upping water bills almost $50 a year

Petition for free menstrual products turned over to UFV president

Almost 1,300 signatures collected calling for all campus bathrooms to be stocked

New hiking trail to be built overlooking Hope

Waterfalls, rocky outcrops featured in new trail near Silver Creek

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Surrey councillor wants the policing transition process to ‘immediately stop’

Brenda Locke to make motion at Dec. 16 meeting to reconsider current plan

UPDATE: Highway 1 reopens after vehicle incident near Boston Bar

Initial reports of a jack-knifed semi truck had closed both directions of the highway

Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 Stanley Park stabbing

Lubomir Kunik was found by a man out walking his dog on the beach late on Feb. 1, 2017

Vancouver homeless camp brings community, safety, home, says resident

Encampment in the city’s Downtown Eastside is one of many that have sprung up in B.C.

Most Read