I had the privilege of being on a live blog for the first time last night and I enjoyed the insightful tough questions and comments that were directed at the person who was the focus of the live blog.  Some of those comments were directed at me as well.    The event was very interesting and I was delighted to meet other bloggers too.  Some of the comments provided a look at the issues from a different perspective and I appreciated the frustration and anger that were clearly issues for all but especially to others and I am well aware and share perspectives of other issues as well.


One of the issues touched on last night was the issue of healthcare and it’s lack of inclusion for those that have to, at times, decide between their next meal and their medication.  The decision to allow kids to be kids and be able to enjoy sports or rollerblading but for the sake of the family have to say no for fear of injury, injury that could bankrupt a family.  The impact of something so innocent as allowing your kid to participate in sports, can have long term consequences to a family – like years of debt for hospital bills. I’m not just talking about football or soccer, which can likely have injuries however serious or slight, but things that some of us take for granted like rollerblading, bike riding, playing a number of more “mild”sports.  

It’s not just sad, it’s deplorable and of course this is nothing new to anyone that is uninsured.  I’ve heard and read of those that have just become so cynical that they see no hope, no alternative and no way out of the situation and depressed from the lack of action that the current administration has exhibited.

Today the local paper’s headline read “Bush is eliminating the food program for the Elderly” – the headline is enough to break my heart.  My husband Barry Welsh is the Congressional Candidate for Indiana’s 6th District; he is also a Pastor of a small rural congregation in Laurel, IN of approx. 40 – 50 people.  There are a number of them that are elderly and some of them are shut-ins and yet they are faithful to their community and the church that exemplify human compassion.  Out of everyone’s pockets in this church (like so many other rural churches around the country) we are operating a food bank that currently is feeding 60+ families per month.  We provide whatever we can afford to; food, soap, shampoo or conditioner, combs and blankets and a host of other items that we can purchase as inexpensively as possible.  These people take the time out of their busy schedules and help prepare each family with enough food to get them through – there have been months where we weren’t sure how we were going to feed these people but somehow we’ve always been able to scrape by.  I know of several organizations both secular and religious doing the same thing – we all get phone calls or unexpected drop-ins requesting help.  In a lot of cases the expressions on the faces of those requesting help make me want to weep, because they’ve been used to providing for their families and had honestly never thought they would have to ask to feed their families.  Some have not even had the money to heat their homes, one young gentleman brought his wife and two little boys and pleaded to be able to use kerosene heaters because he was laid off at one of the plants and couldn’t afford to heat the small home they lived in. People don’t want to be poor, they don’t want to have to ask to feed their children or seniors don’t want to have to ask for soap or shampoo or food because they’ve had to spend their meager pension check on the heart medication or insulin keeping them alive.

My husband Barry has been a Pastor going on the last 9 years and has been in the position of having to face people who are distraught both emotionally and physically because they need help and this is one of the primary reasons he has chosen to run for Congress.  All who have any ounce of compassion or conscience for that matter find it difficult to watch idly by while more and more people are being stretched and strained to the limit.  The 6th District alone, made up of 19 counties has added over 17,000 families to the roll of living in poverty since 2000 alone – 17,000 FAMILIES, not just persons but FAMILIES that is 17,000 families that include children and the elderly, the disabled and those without JOBS!!!  In my opinion, re-electing Mike Pence the Representative of the Congressional 6th District in Indiana is not asking for change – he’s had his opportunities to make changes and what is his paramount concern???? He wants to increase the individual political contributor’s threshold from over $100,000 to $6,000,000 – YES I said 6 MILLION DOLLARS!  That alone, to Barry and I, is a moral issue – how can someone who represents the people of the district be of moral character when he’s ignoring the pleas of the people he represents who are in dire need (like a lot of people in this country) and he’s more concerned it seems with how much he can fill his political coffers than being able to help lift those within his own district.  Morality doesn’t have to be about religion, it has to do with being human, being compassionate and considerate of one another and in my opinion knowing the difference between just and unjust.

The expression “Pay it Forward”, random acts of kindness, serving others as our Military, Fire Departments, Police Departments, foundations to assist those less fortunate – all show the actions that, I’ve seen personally as well as in the news or in the papers, of people who do good things aren’t doing them necessarily to glorify themselves but to actually HELP others.  If the “powers that be” haven’t shown basic human kindness in helping the people they represent by now, and show no indications that they have heard their constituents let alone acted on what they’ve heard, then I believe there is no foundation to believe they will act differently.  If they aren’t helping GET THEM OUT OF THERE – put someone in that WILL CHANGE!! If you don’t know about the alternative, then find out about your choices.  There are more people than there are representatives – make your representative accountable, keep them accountable or find someone who will be accountable.  This is a country founded on change, the unwillingness to be “Second Class Citizens”, the fierceness of personal rights and equality to all, why would we settle for less, especially now?  So I ask, have we had enough yet?  Have we had enough “Second Class” treatment? I say, Enough is Enough!

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