Friday, March 20, 2015

Who Will Take Care Of Him

I posted this last year, but I feel that it needs to be posted again.

As I am packing my suitcase for my trip I am worrying about Jake.  Not about my absence right now because there are adults that are going to look after him for the twelve days that I am going to be gone.  I worry about what will happen to him after I leave this world.

Who will make sure that he has food?  Who will make sure that he sees the doctor?  Who will make sure that he gets his medication?  Who will take him to the store for his video games?  Who will make sure that his clothes are clean?  Who will make sure that the world doesn't hurt him?  I couldn't protect him from the school district and the emotional and psychological abuse that they heaped upon him, but I have learned so much since then and I protect him with all that I have now.  Who will make sure that he has a place to live, heat, electricity, and air?  Who is going to do all of the things that I will no longer be able to do?

Many times he has told me that he wants to die when I die.  He tells me that he doesn't want to live without me.  I don't want that for him.  I want him to live to a very old age.  But, what have we done to make him want to?

Why do we allow our teachers, principals, administrators, legislators, etc. to hold our children's lives in their hands?  Why do we continue to allow these people to destroy our children's futures and lives?  Why are these people not held accountable for their neglect and abuse?

What is going to happen to the other children like Jake?  Society doesn't care.  They see our children as a drain on taxes, a nuisance in the classroom, a hindrance to their children's education. 

I have read more than one commentary that says that special education students shouldn't be in the classroom with their children.  Their children are advanced students that will make a difference in the world and they need all of the resources that the school district has to help them attain their goal.  Well, my child could have made a difference, too.  But, the resources that he so desperately needed were not there.  They were used on the students that would score high on tests and make the district look good.  They were used on band uniforms that would make the district look affluent.  They were used on AstroTurf that made our football team look better.  They were used on a swimming pool to make the swimming team look better.  They were used on an administrative center that make the district look as good as the county to the west. 

I don't want anyone's pity.  My son has blessed my life in so many ways.  I want people to get angry.  I want them to get as angry as I am and I want them to stand up and say, "I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore."  I want millions to stand up and say that EVERY child is special and deserves a chance at a future.   I want EVERY parent to go to bed at night knowing that their child has gotten EVERY chance at a successful future and that they can die without worry.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Chumbley: Right to work all wrong for Missouri

Chumbley: Right to work all wrong for Missouri

Missouri's General Assembly is preparing to pass the deceptively titled Right to Work and Paycheck Protection bills. These bills are an attack on workers and an offense to the God of justice.
As a Christian, I believe that Jesus is the full and perfect revelation of God, who is love. And Jesus teaches me by example that love is willing and actively working for the good of all people. In the gospels, for instance, when Jesus sees a multitude of hungry people, he has compassion on them and feeds them abundantly with bread and fish.
Daily, inspired by Jesus and empowered by his Spirit, I strive to show compassion toward those in need and to advocate for justice for those who are exploited and oppressed. God is the God of justice, who is working through others for a just world. The Hebrew prophet Isaiah exhorts: "Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause." And Jeremiah says, "Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed."
And so my faith in Jesus Christ, who embodies the God of justice, demands that I speak out against the deceptive and destructive Right to Work bills in the assembly. This legislation is not what it purports to be. According to independent research, if these bills were to become law they would be ruinous to workers. The facts are that RTW states, including Oklahoma, do not attract new business. Nor do they spur economic activity or expand employment. Moreover, workers in these states make much less money than workers in pro-worker states.
The real aim of anti-worker legislation here and elsewhere is to reduce wages (except for occupants of corporate offices and board rooms), eliminate health insurance and other benefits and remove regulations that ensure worker safety — all for the purpose of generating maximum profits and compensation and benefits for the owners and investors in anti-worker enterprises.
Like all human beings, Missouri workers are made in the image of God. They are not production costs to be reduced or expenses to be eliminated. And workers should be treated justly and with respect. They should not be stripped of their God-given rights and dignity, emptied of all productive capacity, impoverished and then discarded like useless machinery.
RTW legislation is right for the billionaire Koch brothers and their American Legislative Exchange Council, which drafted it and directed our Assembly members to secure its passage into law. But it is wrong for the working people of Missouri and wrong in the eyes of the God of justice.
Members of the Missouri General Assembly, hear the word God speaks through his prophet Amos: "Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." And obey. Do right, not wrong.
The Rev. Kenneth L. Chumbley is an Episcopal priest in Springfield.