Congregational Development Gurus declared a decade or so ago that the Mission Field for making new Christians was now at our own doorsteps. They said this because then and now the fastest growing religious group in the US was "No Religious Preference".
Many of us have long bemoaned how far we have to travel in order to carry out development ministry in third world settings. Be of good cheer, this is currently in the process of changing as the United States moves towards economic and other policies that will create conditions putting us on par with the solid mid tier Third World developing countries.
Here are some of the concerted efforts towards its accomplishment:
- The destruction of organized labor and the elimination of a minimum wage
- The elimination of regulations that protect workers, the environment, water purity, food purity, and on and on
- A widening income gap that now puts us on par with Uganda
- Pending shortages of drugs for the treatment of a variety of conditions (NYT 8/20/11)
- A plundered economy, the plundering of which shifted cash to financiers and debt to citizens
- A crumbling educational system. The US is now 9th in college graduations and sinking further in other categories. The gaps in education parallel the disparity in incomes on a State by state basis.
- Proposals to further reduce taxes on the wealthy while raising taxes on the working poor in the name of "fairness.
- a medical care system that is spiralling out of control.
So once we are able to return to sub poverty level paid workers, child labor, dirty water and air, contaminated food, an illiterate and innumerate population and so forth we will have not only a "job creators" paradise, but a third world country!
There are lots of people watching these trends, but it is time for the Church to add 2+2 and speak out against this concerted attack on our middle income and poorer communities. We are in a Martin Neimueller; if we don't speak out when they come for the poor to make them poorer, who will be left to speak out for us?