Michael Stringer, “It is not a lack of resources but a lack of political will expressed through public policy that prevents the United States from providing for the poor, the oppressed, the widow, the orphan, the incarcerated and the sick.”
In the United States, an allegedly Judeo-Christian nation, the biblical concept of gleaning must be public policy. It should include a living wage, health care, food security, criminal justice, and affordable housing.
In Leviticus 25:6 the seventh year is for the field to be left unsown. With staggered land ownership this provides constant provision for all God’s creation. The same is mentioned in Exodus 23:11. Caring for the poor is throughout the scriptures. This is coupled with the idea of justice, treating God’s creation rightly, not withholding, or defrauding laborers their wages.
The United States GDP per capita is five times its nearest economic peer China. At $62,000 versus $12,500 per person.
It is not a lack of resources but a lack of political will expressed through public policy that prevents the United States from providing for the poor, the oppress, the widow, the orphan, the incarcerated and the sick.
The concept of gleaning is not to concentrate all the wealth in the hands of a few but distribute it among many. Today, 34% of all the wealth in this country is held in the hands of the 1%. This concentration of wealth has skewed the social dynamic. It has created a permanent class of poor, ill-fed, ill-housed, ill-educated, falsely incarcerated, and underpaid individuals. God never intended to have a permanent class of poor people. The notion of a Sabbath year testifies to this.
The American church has failed, being co-opted by white evangelicals and Black pastors for profit, to provide the moral compass needed to fulfill biblical themes. Study after study has shown that by simply providing direct childcare payments throughout the year lifted children and families out of poverty. A White House paper during the Obama administration illustrates how providing the formerly incarcerated with $15 hour wages reduces recidivism. We have the resources; we need the political will the church needs to speak out.