The Good Samaritan
The parable of the good Samaritan is one of those stories from Jesus that is used by many people and is referenced often in the news. If someone does a good deed that is newsworthy they are deemed a good Samaritan. If a taxi cab driver returns a passenger’s briefcase full of cash they are a good Samaritan. If a bystander sticks up for someone being bullied or a victim of a crime in the heat of the moment they are a good Samaritan. Our culture honors these people and rightly so. We need people who do good things for no other reason than it being the right thing to do.
The larger story is about more than just performing a good deed. Paraphrasing the words of Jesus in Luke 10, a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the road he was robbed, beaten to a pulp and left for dead holding on for dear life. Two people passed by who happened to be priests saw the disfigured man and just walked on by paying him no mind. But then the outlier, the Samaritan, saw this human being that was beaten down through no fault of his own and was moved with compassion. Converting that compassion into action, the Samaritan bandaged the man’s wounds, gave him shelter bringing him to an inn and paid the bill for the stay. And not only did the Samaritan pay for the shelter, he gave the innkeeper a credit card for any further charges incurred bringing the man who was beaten back to full health.
Making the Connection
Today there are people who are continually robbed and beaten down, only it is not by physical means but by the economic system that has past its prime: capitalism. The crisis that was created by the wealthy is being paid for on the backs of the poor. The two priests who ignored the man laying on the road are the Senate and House of Representatives. The failure to renew unemployment insurance for those beaten down and unemployed for no fault of their own displays these rich rulers lack of compassion. They have just walked on by expecting inaction to be motivation for the beaten down to find a job.
Call to Action
We must demand that our politicians bend to our will and renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. The government must act like the good Samaritan and get the people who have been robbed and beaten down by the predatory actions of capitalist bankers back on their feet. Write your representatives. Let them know you are outraged and demand their action to extend long-term jobless benefits. How shall government pay for this? Let the rich pay for it.
We should not expect the people who have been beaten to a pulp and left for dead to pick themselves up by their bootstraps. If one is unemployed, we are all unemployed. If one is struggling we are all struggling.