An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Posts tagged ‘Social justice’

Change of Heart

My aunt who has been blind and suffering severe dementia
since a major stroke last summer has been on blood pressure drugs, blood
thinners, and heart medication ever since. She has resided in a care center following
her initial hospitalization except for three weeks spent in a hospital
psychiatric ward for dementia patients to evaluate and prescribe for her
anxiety and hallucinations. Currently, she is in the hospital with acute
respiratory failure, urinary tract infection, and heart problems.

Both she and her son are ardent Republicans although neither
is prosperous, and both have loudly criticized health care reform or any kind
of assistance to the needy. The tab for my aunt’s medical treatment is picked
up by Medicaid.

A pollster on the evening news last week reported that
Republicans’ take on the current battle over deficit reduction versus
maintaining Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits now divides on an
income basis. Affluent Republicans prioritize deficit reduction while middle
class and lower income Republicans favor saving their benefits. I suspect my
cousin now has a different view on the need for Medicaid in modern America.

I’m in favor of reducing waste in government spending as
much as anyone. But what has puzzled me for years is relatives and neighbors (who
are not particularly affluent) quoting talk show hosts and politicians(who are extremely
affluent) about the fairness of tax breaks for the rich and the unjustness of
social programs for the poor.

An abstract for a Sunstone Symposium session scheduled for
August 4, “Why Do Women Fight Against Their Own Interests?” explains it. “Society
ends up shaping the very thoughts in our minds so that the world as it is seems
natural and normal, the end result being that many of us accept it without

Women aren’t the only group who often fight against their
own interests. Too bad humans can’t question the status quo until it impacts
them personally.

Missing the Rapture

George and I received two phone calls Saturday to see if
we’d been raptured. We were flattered that anyone, especially relatives,
thought we’d be candidates.

Instead of being taken up to Heaven, I spent Saturday
morning at a League of Women Voters meeting. I learned that one elementary
school in Salt Lake City has 400 homeless students. The family shelter is
filled, and state budget deficits and spending cuts leave no funds for building
a second family shelter. Currently, excess families are housed in the regular
shelter at night—but must leave in the morning—like Will Smith and son in the
movie, Happyness.

The principal of this school has set up cots in a small room
for kids from the regular shelter who get sick at school. She can’t send these
sick kids home because they aren’t allowed inside the shelter during the day.
This year the legislature cut funding for summer school programs, so these
homeless kids will be on the streets all day all summer.

We Utahns should be grateful last Saturday was not the Day
of Judgment. I can’t believe God will hold us guiltless when we refuse to
increase taxes slightly in order to provide for defenseless children.

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