by Jack McLain – Secretary, Constitution Party of Florida
The woman stood at the corner with a sign reading, “Homeless – Two Children – Please Help.” She resembled an average housewife without signs of drug or alcohol abuse. I stopped for the red light, opened my window, and asked her if she knew of a rescue mission in the area. She named a couple of homes that help folks but said they were full.
I asked her about her children. She replied that they were with her sister. I didn’t have any cash to give her (only had my credit card), but I gave her a Gospel tract with our church address imprinted. Then the light changed to green and I had to move on. But her forlorn face remained in my memory.
Then last night I read of the homeless with a photo of a nice looking woman with a baby in her lap and a small boy sitting next to her, apparently on the ground or pavement, mother and son holding signs reading, “Homeless – Please Help.” The article, “Middle-class homelessness hits new high in U.S.” told of a 38 percent increase in homelessness in the last three years, that there are now an estimated 1.6 million children, or one in 45 children, out of their homes (American Free Press, 1/23/12)..
The one organization in our nation that represents homeless families and children is National Center on Family Homelessness. President and founder, Dr. Ellen Bassuk states, “Those hardest hit…are the children. As many as half…are less than six years old. A lot of these children are living in cars and abandoned buildings.” The article went on to list the States with the largest numbers of homeless children: California, New York, Texas, Florida, Chicago, Illinois, and Arizona. (Note that my State is listed).
As I sit at our table to eat a delicious meal in a pleasant home, or as I retire in a comfortable bed, the memory of these destitute families remains. It could break your heart! Could this be the once proud, sufficient America that we have known for many years? I grew up during the great Depression. We were poor, and my parents struggled to keep a roof over our head and food on the table, my brothers and I picked wild berries and sold them door-to-door, but what would it be like to try to live in a car or in an abandoned building, especially in mid-winter in the North? Suppose there was nowhere to turn and no one to help, all doors were closed to your pleas? Frankly, it brings tears to my eyes.
What is the cause of such destitute conditions in America? Suppose it continues or worsens? Our own national government policies, national companies, and the banking field must accept much blame for conditions that exist. Government rules, regulations, and taxation first drove many industries and jobs from the United States to foreign countries, especially to Communist China. Americans cooperated with the purchase of Communist goods. This continues today to our shame. Even the financial crises in Europe are attributed to the disgusting policies of the United States government and bankers.
Banks began to allow the sale of homes without a down payment with many families making monthly payments that they no doubt couldn’t really afford. With job losses and payments ceasing, banks then mercilessly foreclosed on multitudes of homes. I read of a Sheriff who halted a bank from forcing a very elderly woman from her home. Good for him!
Some even very old companies have excused themselves when asked why they shipped their manufacturing overseas and discharged employees, even bragging that they take good care of their Chinese employees (claiming that none are slaves), while other companies continue to manufacture in the United States, to their credit. Does not the answer lie in the almighty dollar? We can manufacture in China, ship the product thousands of miles across the ocean and make more money than if we continue here in the U.S., they would answer. Try to buy a pair of shoes or a dress not made in China or some other foreign country. We do without first! Whatever happened to the word “compassion?” It is replaced with a “pink slip” in the final paycheck of an employee that served his company well for many years. “Sorry,” the boss says, “It’s out of my hands. Good luck.”
Americans have always been generous and beneficent giving to all manner of causes, some important and some unimportant. Clubs, organizations, museums, art galleries, and many humanitarian institutions are started. At this particular time in our nation’s history, churches, organizations, and the affluent have a wonderful opportunity to help their fellow man to have a place to live and a table with food. America should not have destitute hungry children on the street as in some third world country!
With many Americans living in luxury, with money for every need, as well as for recreation, sports, and giving to prospective political candidates, much more thought and prayer needs to be given to those unemployed through no fault of their own. We have known of some very hard workers who are now needy people. Can we not help them to get back on their feet? Do we care? With all the promises that will be made this election year, will any candidates promise to personally help one needy family or to save one child from abortion?
Remember our Declaration of Independence, “that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—that to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…” John Dickinson, a signer of the Constitution stated, “It is not our duty to leave wealth to our children; but it is our duty to leave liberty to them.” We need to consider it our duty to provide life and happiness for them as well.
The Constitution Party Platform is clear concerning Welfare, reading in part: “America’s welfare crisis is a government-induced crisis…Charity, and provision of welfare to those in need, is not a Constitutional responsibility of the federal government…The message of Christian charity is fundamentally at odds with the concept of welfare maintenance as a right…We encourage individuals, families, churches, civic groups and other private organizations, to fulfill their personal responsibility to help those in need.”
If you have not read the message of Congressman Davy Crockett of yesteryear, entitled, Not Yours to Give, we have copies available upon request. Every Congressman should read this message!
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9).