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

VIDEO: Chilliwack students and staff perform with Steven Point

Chilliwack secondary school students and staff perform song written by former Lieutenant Governor

Chilliwack maternity ward closure narrowed to two weeks

Fraser Health says they’ve found a solution to an expected 13-week shortage of obstetricians

Pioneer Park playground opens for fun and play

The $160,000 playground is wheelchair accessible and funded partly through grants

After 30 years, Agassiz’s Miss Marge set to retire from Variety Play

From 1989 to today, Miss Marge has taken generations of kids through the district play program

RCMP believe Missing Hope teenager was headed to Chilliwack

Keely Reeze Loewen, 18, last in contact with a family member on June 13

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

VIDEO: Rare white killer whale captured by drone near Campbell River

The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means ‘moon.’

B.C. oil tanker ban squeaks through final vote in Senate

Bill C-48 bars oil tankers from loading at ports on B.C’s north coast

Teens have privacy rights, doctor tells inquest into B.C. boy’s opioid death

Elliot Eurchuk died of a drug overdose. He was found unresponsive in his bedroom in April 2018

’When thunder roars, go indoors’: How to keep safe before lightning strikes

Each year, an estimated 10 deaths and as many as 164 injuries are lightning-related

B.C. rolls out online registration to speed up evacuee processing

Central Okanagan district tests province’s streamlined emergency management digital self-registration

NHL Draft 2019: First-round mock selections

Hughes expected to go No. 1 overall; Canucks have 10th pick

New Westminster police seek video of fight between two teens

Police responded to a fight at Pier Park in the early hours of June 14

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Most Read