Some are saying it’s much to do about nothing and harken back to a Shakespearean play. But Shakespeare had a way with insights into the human condition.
I am wondering how Jesus’ call to love thy neighbor, and the golden rule of Christianity, and other long standing world religions stands up against such FaceBook posts as what city council member Broyles posted and the Valley Courier published recently: “On March 30 Broyles had posted: ‘Out of self-respect--be Republican. Democrats love poor people because they think that poor people will vote Democrat. Republicans hate poor people because they think the dignity of man is above being poor.’”
Some call for his resignation and others are planning a recall.
Or the letter to the city mayor that was published and submitted by an anonymous person by the initials TG. The writer essentially says she has paid her taxes to live in a private retirement community where residents pay money to be upper crust.
Nowhere in Christianity’s big book do I find edicts to discard the other. In fact, quite the contrary. We see the story of the Good Samaritan. So many who passed the hurt traveler were too busy, too rushed, too good to stop to tend the soul. Hebrews 13:2 says don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!
FB responses to TG include: “Sounds like this ‘judging Janey’ experienced some inconvenience, and likes to call people ‘nasty’. But I don’t hear her offering any solutions. I wonder what she’d do if her genealogy class turned up any ancestors who went through hard times? Might give her some perspective.” Another post: ‘. . . it might be time to roll up your sleeves and help people less fortunate to get on a track towards self-sufficiency.” Finally this one: “Sad but this is an issue all over the United States due to the heroin epidemic, until we find a solution this will be ongoing, I’m very upset by some of the words she chose to describe these people.”
Comedian John Fugel sang words returned to GOP Facebook page: “If you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying that you want a country based on Christian values. Because you don’t!” Some readers may recall that Jimmy Carter was purported to have said them.
It is time as one poster wrote “to roll up your sleeves” and solve humanity’s problems. After all, Jesus taught the people how to fish even when he produced miracles of bread loaves and fish.
So suppose that Shakespeare knows much more than we give him credence for. On OpenDemocracy.net, the following was posted: “King Lear on the heath in the midst of a violent storm goes further, as his sudden material impoverishment brings him awareness of the plight of others so afflicted: “Poor naked wretches, wheresoe’er you are, / That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm. / How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides, . . . “ and the author continues to exhort change: Expose yourself to feel what wretches feel, /That thou mayst shake the superflux to them, / And show the heavens more just.”
As a society, let’s embrace each other’s humanity and be more like the Good Samaritan, Jesus and the insightful woman who raised Shakespeare to be a keen observer of plights.
--Nelda Curtiss is a retired college professor who enjoys writing and fine arts. Contact her at [email protected]