Author: Jason King

The Diversity of Poverty

The Atlantic just ran an interesting article entitled “Poverty, Compounded.”  The argument goes that poverty is not one thing but rather the accumulation of many things.  The articles cites a Brookings Institute report that looks at a) five different kinds of poverty “squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease” and b) how those who are poor usually suffer not from one of these poverties but rather two or three of them.  The authors argue that this approach helps to explain at least three things. First, why poverty differs by race: “the majority of blacks and Hispanics live with at least...

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Why Laugh?

Don Rickles, Mr. Warmth, died last week. He was known for zingers like “When you enter a room, you have to kiss his [Frank Sinatra’s] ring. I don’t mind, but he has it in his back pocket.” “Oh my God, look at you. Anyone else hurt in the accident?” “You know, every night when I go out on stage, there’s always one nagging fear in the back of my mind. I’m always afraid that somewhere out there, there is one person in the audience that I’m not going to offend!” While he was often referred to as an insult...

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Fourth Sunday of Lent: Seeing As God Sees

Reading 1: 1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 Reading 2: Ephesians 5:8-14 Gospel: John 9:1-41 Sunday’s readings  all address seeing correctly.  They contrast God’s sight with human sight. The prophet Samuel is even warned about the difference in anointing David as the new king: “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” Samuel must look past the cultural norms of privilege.  He must look past Jesse’s older sons who would have had more status in society, who were of “lofty stature”. ...

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The Need for Community

It doesn’t take much to realize we are a fractured and divided society.  Robert Putnam noted this collapse of community some time ago in his Bowling Alone.  No more do we hang out in social clubs or recreational leagues.  Unlike previous generations, we invest less in our neighbors and our society.  Putnam continued this diagnosis in Our Kids where he chronicled our continuing separation.  Schools used to be places where kids from diverse economic backgrounds attended classes, participated in clubs, and played sports together.  Now, schools are separated by class, and sports, music, and extracurricular activities are private endeavors...

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