Seventy-five years ago today, the United States of America was forever changed–on this date in 1935, the Social Security Act became law.
It was the beginning of a new era in our national life, when as a society we began to apply a basic principle of living in community: we need to make sure all our people survive, and have an opportunity to thrive, all the way to the end of life.
It is a spirit sadly lacking in much national debate today. Too many do not seem to care that 45 million don’t have affordable, accessible health care, and many others are on the brink of losing what they have. Many, especially in Congress, resist simple things like making sure millions of workers have emergency levels of unemployment insurance. Others seem to think that whatever big banks want to do, no matter how it might hurt others, is okay.
Of course, large national deficits are of profound concern. But who is caring about the deficit in health care, or in protections for workers (at work and out of work), or in regulation of industry and commerce so that the public interest is protected? Deficits are more than money.
Sripture claims that the love of money is the root of all evil. Refusing to share a portion of the money we have with others–in the form of charitable giving and taxes–that all may live, sounds to me a lot like that kind of love.
Spare me, spare us, from that kind of love, God.