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An Excerpt from Credo by William Sloane Coffin

In this book brimming over with wisdom and insights, William Sloane Coffin ponders the Christian path of a politically engaged spirituality. Here are three quotations on poverty and the spiritual practice of justice that is needed to address this issue.

• "The way we are cutting taxes for the wealthy and social programs for the poor, you'd think the greedy were needy and the needy were greedy."

• "The primary problems of the planet arise not from the poor, for whom education is the answer; they arise from the well-educated, for whom self-interest is the problem."

• "Christ is not only a healer of individuals. He is also a prophet to the nations. While he walked the earth, Jesus delivered people from paralysis, insanity, leprosy, suppurating wounds, deformity, and muteness. But again and again in word and deed he returned to the plight of the poor, whose poverty, in true prophetic fashion, he considered no historical accident, but the fruit of social injustice. What would he say and do in our hard and uncertain times, in a world of thirteen million refugees, a world one-half of whose children never as much as open their mouths to say 'aah' to a doctor, a world in which almost every country is robbing the poor to feed the military? And would he not pronounce our own nation a greedy disgrace? Whole cities could live on the garbage from our dumps, on the luxuries we consider necessities. The world with its triumphs and despairs, its beauty and ugliness, has today moved next door to every one of us. Only spiritual deafness can prevent our hearing the voice of God in the clamor of the cities. Only blindness of a willful sort can prevent our seeing the face of the Risen Lord in the faces of the suffering poor. The glory of God is the human race fully alive, and that means at least minimally fed, clothed and housed."


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