October 14, 2011

Letters to the Editor

Submit a letter to the editor electronically | For our letter writing policy, click here

What would Jesus do?

I would like to comment on the column in the Oct. 7 issue of The Criterion titled “Holding onto ideals in a broken world is a challenge” by John Garvey.

Garvey said that his daughter would give her last $5 to a panhandler then not have enough money for the ride home.

I, too, give a dollar or two to many of the panhandlers that I see because at least they are out there trying to do something about their situation.

Unfortunately, a lot of the time the money that is donated is used for cigarettes, alcohol and sometimes drugs. I’ve actually had panhandlers turn down food because what they really wanted was the money.

Jesus said to feed the hungry, and every working person in America does that through their taxes. There are many organizations, especially within the Catholic Church, that exist solely to feed the hungry.

But what many people do not feel is right is the fact that a large percentage of people who receive food stamps, medical care, government housing and an education manage to smoke cigarettes at $40 to $50 a carton, have access to the Internet, a cell phone, cable TV, and sometimes drugs and alcohol that they do not pay for. The health care costs alone for smokers on Medicaid is astronomical.

The poor who receive government assistance should, at a minimum, be required to take a drug test and not smoke.

It is a lot more complicated in this day and age than giving a couple of dollars to the poor. That’s why the poor who need assistance should be referred to the agencies that are equipped to handle their needs.

What would Jesus do? I do agree that it is no longer as simple as giving a few dollars to the poor. It might actually be enabling the poor to continue in the lifestyle they have already become dependent on, and that is not good for them in the long run either.

- Laura Kazlas, Brownsburg

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!