How We Talk About “The Poor” Matters

I’m guest posting for J. R. Goudeau today for her Questions of Travel series. Here’s a little sample of my post about how we talk about “the poor.”

Who are “the poor”?

I don’t think I know who “the poor” really are. I’ve often spoken of them imprecisely and, most importantly, impersonally. “The poor” become this problem that is out there. I’ve spent most of my life living with that disconnect.

If I’m truly honest, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve even used “the poor” as a trump card of sorts in theology debates without necessarily committing to help anyone. I didn’t really know who “the poor” were, but I knew that Jesus helped them and it made me look a lot more virtuous when I upstaged another perspective like this:

“Jesus didn’t have time to fight over [evolution/politics/marriage amendments] because he cared for the poor.”

Have you ever heard that kind of reasoning before?

Read the rest of the post over at J.R.’s blog.