I am a liberal who voted for moral values

By By Anne Looser

By Anne Looser

In the last election, all the Bush supporters who said they voted on moral values confused me. What’s more: Conservatives often neglect moral values.

It’s fine to support a growing economy and strong business, but while they focus on that, kids are going hungry.

Republicans don’t like services for the poor because they want people to support themselves. But children have no agency regarding their poverty. They’re put there.

When I work at the food pantry, there aren’t single people coming in, there are families. What are children to do?

All members of our community should have healthy food, clean clothes, and a warm place to sleep every night.

Our society allows a man like Bill Gates to have enough wealth to purchase a small country. At the same time, we don’t get upset enough to fight for legislation to protect our children from homelessness.

The average age of a homeless child is 6, according to Homes for the Homeless Web site, “the nation’s largest provider of residential, educational and employment training centers.”

1.35 million children go homeless each year, according to the New York-based organization. This should make us question the moral values of our country.

Now, I’m not arguing against the free-market system. I’m not arguing for socialism, or equal distribution of wealth. I am not arguing, as Karl Marx wrote, “to each according to his need.”

I’m arguing there are hungry kids and our society needs to look at solving that problem. There are so many impoverished children that we need to begin questioning our Christian roots. I argue that the poorest and most destitute people among us are healthy, well before the few begin hoarding money.

I don’t have a problem with Bill Gates having six cars. I have a problem with hungry children.

Imagine what the 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds in Salt Lake’s homeless community are doing.

Some are reading, for example, their Jane and Dick books on the bottom bunks in a 6-foot by 10-foot room in a shelter. Some may be waiting for their mother to pick them up from school in the car they live in.

Imagine the effect poverty has on that child being picked up from school. How can we expect a child to learn to become an effective, productive adult when he or she is hungry, living in a car? There are plenty of facts and figures about the effects of homelessness on children, but just put yourselves in the shoes of homeless children. How would it affect your lives? This image makes me question the moral foundation of our Christian nation.

This last election, myriad rhetoric about morals was present. The one moral value agreed upon by all religions is the importance of helping the poor.

The people who confuse me most are the right-to-life conservatives who fight hard to stop abortions, yet fail to increase services for the families and children affected by abortion bans. Sure, there will be many women who will put their child up for adoption, but there will undoubtedly be many women who will die or become very ill, performing an abortion on their own body. The unwanted children who are born will need services. The right-to-life movement wants to ban abortions while also supporting politicians who drastically cut services to the poor. They argue for more children-but less services to help those children.

I realize Republicans want the government out of their lives. But if you took the government out of the lives of homeless children, they’d die.

Republicans want the private sector to pick up services to the poor. I would love for more private citizens to pick up the cost of providing for our homeless children. I wish that medical care for the poor could be free.

I recognize that private organizations sometimes provide services better than the government.

But the fact of the matter is, the work done by the private sector isn’t enough. There aren’t enough volunteer doctors to serve all the children needing health care. The private sector does a poor job with service coordination and consistency. It just isn’t enough. The poor need the government’s help.

Partisan politics aside, its immoral to not ask our government to take care of our poor children. It’s immoral to vote for politicians who cut programs for the poor. You know who they are. It’s immoral to let children go hungry.

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