I’m almost 50 so “Oh snap” is not generally in my vocabulary. The urban dictionary says it is a phrase of surprise, misfortune or insult. So I think it is an apt phrase to use for this past week’s comments over SNAP – supplemental nutrition assistance program – more frequently referred to as food stamps. President Obama severely cut funding of SNAP through the Farm Bill. While I certainly appreciate the cry of waste in Washington, food should be the last place we cut.
Most families who utilize the SNAP program are not abusing the system. Many single moms trying to raise children after divorce or abandonment rely on this program while they rebuild their lives. Many parts of the country continue to have pervasive unemployment and for those looking for work, SNAP is often a necessary bridge until they can obtain employment. Contrary to popular opinion most people are not chronic recipients of SNAP. Most have fallen on difficult times and need help. Help which they might find from Salvation Army or a church, but help which they should also receive from the government. The government that purports to be of the people, by the people and for the people. I’m pretty sure Lincoln meant all people.
Jim Wallis covered this topic best in his blog this week so I will simply encourage you to read Jim Wallis’s blog. I especially appreciate the clips from Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. Please watch them. Please also watch Jim Wallis’s video. Honestly I sometimes watch Fox News and can agree with some of what is said, but this is pretty ludicrous. One commentator actually attacks the poor for buying diapers with their food stamps. As he says, “The swaddling cloths were good enough for baby Jesus; they are probably good enough for your baby too.”
Using Jesus to attack the poor is about as upside down as you can possibly get. He gave up all the riches of glory for us. He was a suffering servant. He fed the poor and lived among them. He asked us to do the same. He warned us to not judge or we too would be judged. He said let he who is without sin cast the first stone. He said whoever would be first, should be last and the servant of all. We should love and serve others. We should go and do likewise.