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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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October 16, 2008

Remember the poor

Perhaps you’re like me, a little relieved the debates are over. Let’s get on with it. I’m anxious (and afraid) to learn who our next president is. And perhaps this falls squarely in the “be careful what you wish for” category: but it will be interesting to watch how he, his administration, Congress (and all of us little people) deal with this mess of war, economy and general angst.

Mostly, I’m tired of all the attention being showered on the middle class, poor plumber Joe and hockey mom Mary. I’d like to see a little—make that a LOT—more mention of the poor. I know I’m affected by high gas and grocery prices, but I can’t even imagine how this economic downturn is affecting the poor, and the poorest of the poor. They are the ones who need to bend the ear of the candidates on every level of government. And when they can’t or don’t or won’t, we of every class need to do it for them.

Today our presiding bishop said this in a pastoral letter regarding the presidential election, “With the current financial crisis sweeping the United States and the world, it is too easy to forget those who are most vulnerable, people who live in poverty here at home and abroad. They deserve our attention too, as we prepare to determine this nation’s direction for the next four years. Instead of personal attacks, I appeal to the McCain and Obama campaigns and related message groups to bear in mind and recall for all of us the situations of our sisters and brothers who will suffer the most from our current economic turmoil.”

Let Bishop Hanson’s reminder be for us as well. And if the assisting minister dismisses us on Sunday with “Remember the poor” let’s really do so, and hope the politicians do too.

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