May you and yours have good health well beyond this Holiday Season.
Although she still mails Christmas cards, my sister now has a computer thanks to Lighthouse for the Blind. She also has volunteer Spencer, the solar guy, who brings some levity and sunshine into her life as he reads her internet stuff, emails, and wonders about her weird friends…
She recently beat back a cancer scare, as she continues being the trooper pushing her walker and tipping the army of taxicab drivers (sorry Uber) that shuttle her to University of San Francisco lectures, medical checkups, and meetings with her friends in town.
For me, there may not be a Habitat build on this year’s list thanks to bone on bone right shoulder and a rotator cuff tear, which I always thought belonged to those Moby-ized pitchers who flung hard from the starboard..
Most of you who are reading this have been exposed to Christian traditions, especially during this Holiday Season. You know that Jesus was raised by an adopted father, Joseph, a ”Teckton,” or builder. Joseph was a stonemason, carpenter, or likely combination of the two. He built stuff, likely housing, perhaps so future families would not have to be born in mangers.
When Jesus Christ was born about 2,000 years ago, about 300 million roamed the earth. According to the Bible, the Lord ARMED a sandal wearing gang of 12 with not only the words of brotherhood but supposedly the power to perform miracles. They were sent out to spread peace and build things that would make life more comfortable for innocent babies and children, in the hopes that they would grow up with innocence and goodwill.
Jesus did not build an army of soldiers and drones. He didn’t encourage the Roman Empire to expand its war making abilities. He pushed people to do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.
Today there are about seven billion people, who, in many ways are ravaging the earth. Shouldn’t America, the Roman Empire of its time, field an army of one million sandaled Americans to spread peace and build healthy things for the innocents?
It cost us over $1 million per active military volunteer per year to be engaged in battles, without calculating PTSD related costs.
Instead of building a new, big bureaucracy, the AWSC Congressionnal Proposal would send A LOT more paid volunteers to Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Doctors Without Borders, Head Start, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, State Conservation Corps, effective local non-profits, in-need schools, hospital therapy centers, homes for the aged, etc. Fielding a million Americans a year under this AWSC umbrella would cost about $40,000 per year.
It’s a gift to the world that keeps giving all year long. It cultivates compassion, raises our public policy IQ, responds to devastations, helps refugees, wins hearts and minds, and thereby stunts terrorist recruitment.
Imagine how much different today’s world would be had we been doing such a robust NATIONAL SERVICE CORPS for 30, 40, 50 years…
One of the few times Jesus expressed anger was at the money changers in the Temple.
Under the AWSC Proposal The Forbes 400 could fund the fielding of 21,000,000 doing good, paid American volunteers for 27 years by donating 1.1% of their wealth to the cause of protecting innocents. What would Jesus say?
Would you support such voluntary funding by America’s uber-rich?
Want to help make the AWSC Proposal become law, spreading gifts and little miracles all year long?
Pester Congress. Spread the word via media. Use any of People’s Lobby’s Opeds that express something akin to your feelings and put them out in social media, forward them to Congress and candidates. Ask candidates where they stand.
Want to fund a People’s Lobby’s (PLI) intern, who could help with spreading the word?
Prayers accepted, but we are pretty sure God, as busy as he is, is pushing us humans to do more than kneeling to deliver some good amidst the myriad of problems clanging around down here.
Neither Santa nor Jesus delivers what the world needs without a lot more of us being involved.
“We are close to Christmas,” he said. “There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war.”
“What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now?” the pontiff asked. “Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims, and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers.”
Christmas festivities are “all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war.”
“War can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be — a little here, a little there — there is no justification.”
“God weeps,” the pope concluded, “Jesus weeps,” for those whose sole purpose on this planet is to wage war, but who cynically deny that that’s their intent.
May you and yours have peace and good health.
Fr. Nelson’s boys. NorCal video “Breaking bread.” Dec. 2015
Hiding from Mom. “Too idealistic.” August 2015
Change.org will forward a note to your Congressperson.