Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
December 27, 2004
WCR Letters to the Editor
Be with God, with the vulnerable onesOn the first Sunday of Advent, my reaction to "God is with us" written in foot-high letters at the front of my parish church was "Oh no!" "God is with us" has come to mean God is on our side in war, in politics, in prosperity, in righteousness, in culture.
He is our God, the God that blesses America.
I know that "us" refers to all human beings and that we have no right to say that God is ours and not somebody else's but still it was comforting to be reminded on the third Sunday of Advent that "God is with us" means God is with the weak, the blind, the deaf, the lame, the hungry, the prisoner, the stranger, the orphan, the widow, the leper.
God is with the 55 Edmonton prostitutes charged with drug-related offences last week in a police sting in response to complaints of residents and business owners concerned about increased traffic and crime due to prostitution and drugs.
"Cleaning" the neighbourhoods meant targetting the most vulnerable. It is difficult to see how harrassing sex trade workers and jailing them is going to convince them to change their lifestyles when the root causes of prostitution - poverty and addictions - haven't been addressed.
If God is with us, we will ensure that these women have access to safe, affordable housing and the community support they need to stay off the streets, whether it is going back to school or job training.
Most of the women were denied bail and are left to linger in jail for four months, including Christmas, before their first court appearance. A lot of these women have children.
Unfortunately, even at Christmas, there isn't a lot of sympathy for them among Edmontonians.
Sometimes, I think that we Edmontonians are generous and then I see the ugly side of Edmonton as I did this afternoon while waiting for the bus.
A tall Caucasian man, fairly well dressed, came, quietly, politely, asking for a bit of change to make up for what was lacking in the change he held in his open hand for a bus ticket.
As he moved away, three men behind me began to loudly complain: "Those blankety-blank strangers, why do they blankety-blank come here, why don't they get a blankety-blank job!"
God is with us only if we are with the most vulnerable because that's where God is.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.