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"Love Your Neighbor as Yourself": Failing Grade for Religious America

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2013-09-30-HomelessandHungrychildatlardbucket.org2.jpgA 2012 University of Chicago study reveals that the U.S is among the five most religious nations. How does that play out?

Listen to sermons throughout religious America and you are likely to hear variations on the lofty principle featured in both the Old and New Testaments: "Love your neighbor as yourself." But as we well know talk can be cheap. Perhaps that's why the Epistle of James calls for action: "Faith without deeds is dead" (James 2:14). And Judaism mandates "mitzvahs" (good deeds).

Let's take a look at how our neighbors across America are doing and how we are treating them in 2013.

• "U.S. Wealth Is Now the Most Concentrated at the Top Since 1916."

And Congressional Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps

• Distribution of Wealth in America

2013-09-30-Landandwealth3.png

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• "400 Richest Americans Are Worth More Than the GDP of Canada or Mexico."

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• Eighty percent of Americans share only seven percent of all the money in America

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• 46.2 million Americans (15.0 percent) live in poverty.

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• 10.4 million Americans living in poverty are the "working poor."

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• 16.1 million (21.9 percent) of children under the age of 18 live in poverty.

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• The poverty rate for U.S. children is the highest in the Western world.

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• 14.9 percent of households (17.9 million households) are food insecure.

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in the food stamps.

• 4.8 million seniors (over age 60), or 8.4% of all seniors were food insecure.

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• 1 in 6 Americans live on incomes that put them at risk for hunger.

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• Over 14 million American children rely on food banks for assistance.

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• Over 640,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in the US.

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• More than 1.6 million children experience homelessness in America each year.

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• About 62,000 or 13 percent of all homeless persons are veterans.

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

• "American Workers: Hanging on by the Skin of Their Teeth."

And House Republicans pass $40 billion cuts in food stamps.

Wealth inequality is widening, the rich are richer than ever, corporate cash levels are at an all time high, poverty is increasing, hunger is on the rise, many working poor live in shelters, homelessness is rampant--and what is Congress' response: Cut $40 billion from the food stamp program

I'm glad we are a religious nation

Bernard Starr is a psychologist, college professor and journalist. He is the author of Jesus Uncensored: Restoring the Authentic Jew. Website: click here.