Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Isaiah 1:17

The pattern on many of my posts is pretty familiar. I mention an article or post I’ve read, try to provide a link, and then discuss the particulars of it in Christian and/or economic terms. I read a news article last week that broke me of this pattern. It was about a particular reform movement in many states’ foster care system. Let me emphasize that nothing in this article portrayed the various actors in the foster care system as anything other than loving and dedicated people. But the sum total of our system itself was heartbreaking. It was like I was punched in the stomach. I can’t just dispassionately convey to you the tragic series of events in that article. In fact, it has gnawed on me for so long that I’ve actually lost the article itself.

My family had a glancing but exceedingly unhappy interaction with the foster care system when I was a boy. My parents also informed me at a fairly young age that, should anything happen to them together, that they had written arrangements for me to be raised in one of the Presbyterian orphanages in the Texas/Oklahoma area.

According to Bible Gateway, there are at least 46 references to “orphans” or “the fatherless” in the Bible, always identified as a primary focus of justice. Is this just another area where social gospel Christianity has morphed into “Jesus wants the government to do this for us?” In fact, there are many remaining Christian children’s homes in several denominations, faithfully carrying out the Biblical mandate. One known to me is the Goodland Academy in Oklahoma. You should check it out, or others like it, before you go past the next newspaper article on how we treat the orphans and fatherless of our society.

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