Unemployed does not mean unwilling to work

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In response to letter writer C. Colpo’s take on Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians and Pope Francis’ comment about capitalism (“The Bible Also Backs Up GOP Attempts to Limit the Welfare State,” Dec. 27 letters), I suggest for consideration: Paul was indeed proposing that those “not willing to work” should not eat. But to equate the “unwilling” with those who are unemployed and would be very willing to work is not the way most Christians view the unfortunate.

As if not sufficient to categorize the poor as unwilling workers, they are also presumed by the letter writer to be responsible for all social ills, ranging from gun violence to drugs, because of their “idle hands,” which are only ready to be put to use after a quick visit to the closest soup kitchen.

Another lapse in logic occurs in the interpretation of Pope Francis’ comment on capitalism. The pope’s comment is hardly an “attack” if understood in context. It merely underscores the easily documented reality regarding distribution of wealth in the world when the creators of wealth become misers, do not pay a living wage and hide behind the myth of trickle-down economics.

As the influence of unions declines, the problem becomes more apparent. I agree that the Catholic Church has often historically been remiss by aligning itself with corporate and monied patronage, but Pope Francis seems to be suggesting a new direction.



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