Christianity in America needs some work


To the Editor:

Some readers misread Patrick Schmadeke’s article in The Catholic Messenger. Its theme was not America, but Christianity in America.  America is the richest, most powerful country on Earth.  It is a generous country whose people contribute to the welfare of others at home and abroad. I have lived and worked in other countries and would not change for any.  Yet there are conditions here that do not square with Christianity.

The U.S. contributes large sums of money to foreign aid, but only 0.2% of its GNP while the average for all wealthy nations is 0.4%.  More than 30 countries have lower infant mortality and maternal death rates than the U.S. College tuition costs more in the U.S. than in 28 other developed nations, excluding many from the opportunity to attend. The median poverty rate of school-age children in the U.S. is 13.2%, while the county-level poverty rates ranged from 3.0% to 43.9%.  The poverty figures show wide disparities by race.

Patrick asked us to consider what things might look like if Christians faithfully followed the path that Jesus took in the Gospels.  In Luke, responding to the rich young man who wanted to be a follower, Jesus said, “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  Elsewhere in Luke we are advised that if we have two cloaks or coats, we should give one to a person without. I think Patrick’s point was that our Christianity needs some work.


Glenn Leach, volunteer
Social Action and Immigration
Diocese of Davenport

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