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

JoeAnna’s House fundraising campaign reaches $4.5 million

Offering ‘home away from home’ for families of KGH patients

2014 murder case finally goes to trial

Steven Randy Pirko was charged with second-degree murder in 2016

Flood recovery work set to begin in Kelowna

The first phase of $5 million dollar flood recovery plan for Upper Vernon Creek will begin on Monday

Kelowna exhibition showcases nature of Haida Gwaii

The Kelowna Art Gallery is holding a reception for Gwaii Haanas – Islands and Sacred Sites Friday

Accused in Kelowna murder heads to court

Chad Alphonse is accused of killing Waylon Percy Junior Jackson, back in 2016

Canadian junior captain returns to Rockets lineup

Dillon Dube will be back in Kelowna’s lineup Wednesday night after world juniors and bout of flu

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

Public asked to report bat sightings

White nose syndrome leads to bats flying in winter or death.

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Song penned for Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton

Curling Time released to celebrate Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Most Read