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Old 06-07-2013, 05:33 PM   #16
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The same place they always are: providing food and shelter for low-income families.
Right, just like they're also adopting all those unwanted kids whose births they insist on?

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The problem of hunger in this country is far greater than one that churches alone can address.
Absolutely. And this is a point almost always made by "liberals" and, to give credit where it is due, the Catholic Church.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:57 PM   #17
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Right, just like they're also adopting all those unwanted kids whose births they insist on?
Actually, a number of churches and denominations have developed ministries to help families sponsor foster children or adopt them, and sponsor outreaches for mothers who have given birth to babies they can't support. As I'm sure you're aware, the adoption process is both time-consuming and expensive. But there are a number of movements within churches and denominations to remind people of the call to care for widows and orphans. I'm connected to several in LA as my wife and I start to explore the process of adoption ourselves.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:05 PM   #18
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Unfortunately those that want to defund government programs don't get this.
I don't disagree. There are those who are simply cold-hearted SOBs who want to cut off aid altogether; there are others who are responding to a history of abuse within the EBT system, and it's an unfortunate truth that certain people will always try to game the system. I don't think defunding government programs is the answer to the problem, but I don't think government funding alone is the answer either, since the problem of homelessness and hunger is an ongoing one. Malcolm Gladwell has done some fascinating research in this area. If it's true that, as statistics suggest, it takes 20 people to get 1 person off the street and back into being a functional member of society, it will take a concentrated effort by government, the private sector, and non-profits working together to make that happen. (Not to conflate homelessness and hunger, but the two are often connected.) Regardless, it will take more than government funding to address the systemic issues that have led to this crisis. It's too simplistic to look at hunger issues as an issue unto itself; there are issues of poverty, immigration, urbanization, etc that have all led to the situation. Disentangling those strands is a complicated process. It would be nice to see someone put together a holistic approach to the issue, but that requires some real vision.

Where there is a will, there is a way, but there are so many societal challenges that we face, and I think it will take someone with real muscle to make this issue a priority.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:54 PM   #19
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Actually, a number of churches and denominations have developed ministries to help families sponsor foster children or adopt them, and sponsor outreaches for mothers who have given birth to babies they can't support. As I'm sure you're aware, the adoption process is both time-consuming and expensive. But there are a number of movements within churches and denominations to remind people of the call to care for widows and orphans. I'm connected to several in LA as my wife and I start to explore the process of adoption ourselves.


Does this exclude gay couples?
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:12 PM   #20
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Does this exclude gay couples?
I'm sure that there are churches with gay members who are helping or encouraging their members to adopt.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:48 PM   #21
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Nathan, I don't disagree that some of these people are active in their churches. But to say that all these pro-lifers who protest are where they "always are" and helping out is ludicrous since we all know that is not true. Some percentage is, but a large one is not.

And just like some churches help with adoption, on the whole a VERY SMALL proportion of adamant pro-lifers have participated in adoption.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:06 AM   #22
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if you want to talk about extremes

it is my experience that pro-lifers are more inclined to adopt than pro-choicers
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:29 AM   #23
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I don't disagree. There are those who are simply cold-hearted SOBs who want to cut off aid altogether; there are others who are responding to a history of abuse within the EBT system, and it's an unfortunate truth that certain people will always try to game the system. I don't think defunding government programs is the answer to the problem, but I don't think government funding alone is the answer either, since the problem of homelessness and hunger is an ongoing one. Malcolm Gladwell has done some fascinating research in this area. If it's true that, as statistics suggest, it takes 20 people to get 1 person off the street and back into being a functional member of society, it will take a concentrated effort by government, the private sector, and non-profits working together to make that happen. (Not to conflate homelessness and hunger, but the two are often connected.) Regardless, it will take more than government funding to address the systemic issues that have led to this crisis. It's too simplistic to look at hunger issues as an issue unto itself; there are issues of poverty, immigration, urbanization, etc that have all led to the situation. Disentangling those strands is a complicated process. It would be nice to see someone put together a holistic approach to the issue, but that requires some real vision.

Where there is a will, there is a way, but there are so many societal challenges that we face, and I think it will take someone with real muscle to make this issue a priority.
I completely agree. I'm part of a local nonprofit council and been active with a church community for 16 years. The council deals with 80+ nonprofits in the community that deal with health and human services, and many of them are associated with a church in some way. And the two biggest concerns I always hear: those that are not involved don't understand how interconnected we all are. In other words issues such as poverty, drugs, mental illness, diabetes, domestic and child abuse, etc. most of the time have some link. So when you shut down support for one, you effect the other. And the other is how hard it is to get all these nonprofits and churches, who are often fighting for the same thing, to communicate and work together.

There's a certain portion on the right that's calling for some extreme measures on social programs, and I can tell you it's placing some churches on the fence. Here in Texas we reported a surplus and have a pretty large "rainy day fund", yet Perry called for cuts in education and made HUGE cuts to nonprofits, as a result he's losing some of his church support.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:33 AM   #24
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if you want to talk about extremes

it is my experience that pro-lifers are more inclined to adopt than pro-choicers
And in my experience most of the couples that I know who adopted are wealthy liberal "elites" who are pro-choice (and typically waited until later in life to have kids but then couldn't).
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:39 AM   #25
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living in California my whole life I know people from left to right,
I suppose there may be a study or survey out there to see who's experience is more representative of the whole
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:13 AM   #26
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Nathan, I don't disagree that some of these people are active in their churches. But to say that all these pro-lifers who protest are where they "always are" and helping out is ludicrous since we all know that is not true. Some percentage is, but a large one is not.

And just like some churches help with adoption, on the whole a VERY SMALL proportion of adamant pro-lifers have participated in adoption.
Sure. Everyone has issues that they are invested in, and it's impossible to give all time to every aspect of every issue. Even the "pro-life" movement is vast and wide, and you'll have people focused on reaching across the aisle with pro-choicers the same as you'll have people standing outside clinics. I'm just saying that the (understandable) implication you seemed to be making that pro-lifers don't give a shit about anything other than their one cause doesn't necessarily hold up to scrutiny.

If you want to tar and feather hypocrites, I'm all for that. But I think you'll need to be specific with your labels of hypocrisy. Is that fair?
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:44 AM   #27
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For sure, specificity is always best.

But in this case I think that you are misunderstanding my point a bit.

I specifically referred to pro-life protests, so let's consider the people who actively protest in front of abortion clinics, Planned Parenthood, in Washington DC, etc. Even if we accept for the sake of argument that they ALL volunteer with their churches to help the poor or assist with making adoption easier, that is great but that is a private, personal action. On the other hand, they are electing to loudly influence public policy and the political debate by protesting and by supporting politicians who run on platforms of supporting unnecessary medical procedures like transvaginal ultrasounds. This is where the hypocrisy comes in. They are making an active choice and have garnered (in my view) disproportionate influence in the abortion debate but you simply do not see them publicly voicing their displeasure with the state of our society. In fact, a great many (probably the majority) of them vote and support a Republican party which in fact makes it very difficult for single mothers and the poor to support their children. So my point there stands: if you choose to be loud and proud on an issue and march with photos of dead fetuses, but then you vote for a politician who says that women can't get pregnant from rape, even if you also volunteer at your church, you are a hypocrite.

You may disagree, of course.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:55 AM   #28
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The main reason the US "food stamps" program went from actual stamps to the EBT card was because people sold their food stamps at half of face value to buy drugs and items they couldn't afford otherwise.
Ah, the ebt card. Surely everyone agrees on that, no? The left can pat themselves on the back for providing a public assistance program less likely to go drugs, and the right can sleep easy knowing that at least their tax payer dollars aren't limiting the personal liberty of the poor by dictating the kinds of foods that can be bought with food stamps--because even though they're useless, scum of the earth leeches on the system, they have the fundamental right as Americans to buy as many Oreos and Doritos as every other citizen. And scratch tickets, can't forget the scratch tickets! Scratch tickets for everyone!
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:11 PM   #29
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I specifically referred to pro-life protests, so let's consider the people who actively protest in front of abortion clinics, Planned Parenthood, in Washington DC, etc. Even if we accept for the sake of argument that they ALL volunteer with their churches to help the poor or assist with making adoption easier, that is great but that is a private, personal action.
Apart from the once-a-year large national march on Washington, I'm not familiar with large-scale coordinated pro-life protests. Most protests in front of abortion clinics, PP, etc., tend to be smaller and ad-hoc. (Not quite "one girl standing in front of a clinic a la JUNO," but of that variety.) As a result, you're more likely to see volunteers at a soup kitchen on Friday nights than you will see protestors in front of a PP clinic on Saturday mornings.

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So my point there stands: if you choose to be loud and proud on an issue and march with photos of dead fetuses, but then you vote for a politician who says that women can't get pregnant from rape, even if you also volunteer at your church, you are a hypocrite.
Fortunately, given how badly Akin lost his election bid, as well as other Republicans who had made similar statements, even those you deem as hypocrites may be closer to the center than you may realize. Voters abandoned politicians with such extreme views as those, so I think there is a stronger common ground.

I realize we've shifted away from discussing hunger specifically to a broader discussion of issues related to quality of life, but given the ways that so many churches mobilize their members to serve in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, street ministry, and otherwise address a broad array of social ills related to quality of life, it's still a valuable conversation to have.

ETA: For the record -- generally speaking, you protest the things you can't otherwise do anything about. I'd much prefer churches not protest hunger issues, but continue to take action to end it. A quick search on churches focused on the issue yielded thousands of results, a few of which can be found below. Hope it answers the question of the original thread...

http://eocumc.com/news/2013/05-20-13...ofsaviour.html
https://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe...the-Issue.aspx
http://newsok.com/religious-group-se...rticle/3696055
http://www.baptiststandard.com/news/...s-about-hunger
http://texashunger.wordpress.com/201...aks-at-baylor/
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:13 PM   #30
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This makes me wonder what their parents spent their money on.

I read a piece in the paper on how most welfare receivers in the UK now go to food stamps, because they're 'so poor'. Yet in the same article they blab about going to the barber's and nail/tanning salons, and talking on their iphones.

I don't think here in the west we have THAT many true hunger issues. Of course I know there are real poor people out there, but I think a large part of the people that nowadays claim they're poor actually suffer from poor monetary management. They are too fucking stupid to prioritize food before luxury items.
Well I'm sure there are some people who fit that profile, but in the US there are plenty of working poor people who don't have iPhones or get their nails done who are one paycheck away from not being able to feed their families. These days there are plenty of middle and upper middle class people who are one paycheck away too. I live in a suburban town that is middle and upper middle class, and we have a food pantry that serves a large number of town residents. Plenty of people are also one medical crisis away from hunger. There is no doubt in my mind that the US has true hunger issues. Plenty of it is hidden, and plenty of it has nothing to do with poor money management. If you're putting an iPhone above feeding your children, well that is blatant neglect.

sorry, the quote was all weird for some reason and your user name wouldn't show up properly galeongirl
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