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Mike hopes to see the world turned upside down through local communities banding together for social change, especially churches which have recognized the radical calling to be good news to the poor, to set free the prisoners and oppressed, and to become the social embodiment of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven. He lives with the blessed memory of his wife, in Durham, NC, and has three adult children living in three different states. He also shares his life with the Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, the faculty and students of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and the faithful fans of Duke and Baylor Basketball in his neighborhood.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What November 4 Means: Poverty Isn't Just Going to Disappear

The language of the President-Elect's campaign made note of our mutual responsibilities toward one another. He called for changing how we think and feel about the poor, along with changes that can come through legislation and budgets. Neither of those kinds of changes happens overnight. It does not happen easily. It does not sweep across entire populations without time and effort.

Even if most of Barack Obama's supporters in the election agree with his statements about the poor, at most that is just a portion of 52% of the voting population. That is not to say that many who voted against him may not also share his views about communal responsibility for the poor. Rev. Alan Clapsaddle points out how far the people of Orlando have to go in caring for their most impoverished saints.

Moreover, we must hope and work to see that issues of poverty, homelessness, access to health care, and jobs do not get pushed aside by the crises of banks and wars and stock markets. They are clearly related, but it would be possible to solve the banks' problems, stop a war, and get the stock market stabilized without ever getting around to the least of these. Sojourners announced today an event scheduled for April: The Mobilization to End Poverty. This could be an important organizing opportunity to start change. It will not solve everything. I saw a quotation from Marian Wright Edelman today that is a good reminder:
Justice is not cheap. Justice is not quick. It is not ever finally achieved.

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