We got our World Vision gift catalog in the mail recently. Paging through the overwhelming list of giving opportunities (clean water, school tuition, clothes, food, etc. for poor people around the world), I was jarred to see an opportunity to provide school supplies for U.S. school children.
I’m not about to say anything new here, but we U.S. citizens seem a little too comfortable with this state of affairs, so I think it’s worth mentioning again: our nation easily spends billions of dollars on wars we never budgeted for, destroying people and property in other places, while cutting funding for educating our children, citing the deficit, the recession, hard times, whatever.
In an interview with Michael Moore for his documentary Sicko, former British cabinet minister Tony Benn said that his government, coming out of World War II, decided that if they could afford to kill people, they could afford to help them, and subsequently built a nationalized health care system (or “nationalised” as they would spell it).
I’m all for nationalized health care here too. But I’d also love to see proper funding of our schools. And to do that, I’m thinking we should stop funding these despicable wars. But I realized recently that the world powers (including our own nation) really don’t want world peace. Peace would mean that everyone would have enough, that no one would hold too much control. Peace for the poor among us would be a great gain. But peace for the wealthy and powerful would be a painful loss.
So, let’s just talk about world peace, especially at this time of year, and let’s feel good about giving to causes that our government lets fall by the wayside. We get the warm fuzzies, and they can keep blasting people in other places.
One problem, though – our government is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Why do we speak of it as “them”?
(I realize this post is raw and far from highly reasoned. We can hash things out in comments if you’d like. Let’s have a conversation!)