Generous Orthodoxy  




Thursday, January 03, 2013

Poverty, race, and guns...thoughts on the tenth day of Christmas

The front page of the NYTimes today has a striking photo of a young black boy in Chicago holding up a sign saying, "DON'T SHOOT: I want to grow up." I read an op-ed recently that stayed with me. It pointed out that the great majority of people who die from gunshot wounds in the USA are poor, black, or Hispanic. This factor seems to be lost on the NRA and other gun supporters who think of gun owners as white people.

Everyone keeps saying that this is the moment, after Newtown, to finally do something about guns. Alas, even if we are able to "do something," there are so many millions of guns already out there that the benefit of controls will be minimal. A change in culture, which is required, is what is really needed. Speaking of a change in culture, there are almost no guns in Japan today, and virtually no one dies of gunshot wounds.

In America, the problems of class, race, and poverty continue to be overwhelming.  I very much liked what was quoted in the Times from the Urbi et Orbi Christmas message of Pope Benedict. He is right on target, it seems to me, about what ails our societies. "We want ourselves," not God and his commands on behalf of the welfare of the least of these.

If these issues are not something to preach about, what in the name of Christ is?

Here are the two links:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/us/a-soaring-homicide-rate-a-divide-in-chicago.html?hp&_r=0

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/25/world/europe/pope-calls-on-faithful-to-make-room-for-god.html