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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

Beyond Red and Blue in the Fight for Food Stamps

Ben Goshow

I am very politically ambivalent, and it's no secret that I chose not to vote in the last national election. I do not believe that every societal problem can be solved by our government. In fact, as a person whose hope is centered fully on the person and work of Jesus Christ, I believe that the world will continue to languish under oppression and injustice until the day of his return. The Bible calls this creation's unfortunate state of groaning (Rom. 8:18-25).

And while my hope depends on a future event, I also believe that Jesus Christ has asked his followers to work and pray for good as they wait. Today matters in the kingdom of God, and it is Jesus who taught us to pray for this day - not just for our daily bread, but for the coming of the righteous and faithful rule of God.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

I am deeply saddened to learn that the American House of Representatives has just passed a bill, which would cut $40 billion from the food stamp program over the next 10 years. The New York Times reported that the program has kept about four million people above the poverty line. Although it's an imperfect program, it does serve to feed many millions of hungry Americans.

I've written my argument for the protection of the food stamp program, and I hope you'll read - and consider sharing - this essay, which is profoundly personal: A Rich Christian in the Age of Food Stamps.

"The solutions we propose for reducing poverty will always provoke an important question: How do we help the poor without creating systems of dependence that inevitably entrap them? Welfare—and work—are both legitimate answers in their own right. As the Church, we will continue to wrestle with how best to live into our calling to "seek justice; correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause," (Isaiah 1:17), but I suggest we might begin, in this time of economic insecurity and rising inequity, by defending the food stamp program, which, for many millions of Americans, is an answer to the prayer our Lord taught us to pray:

Give us this day our daily bread."