i taught sunday school this past sunday for the first time since the semester has started (i’m one of the college sunday school teachers). we are going through an 8 week curriculum put out by ethicsdaily.com that is surprisingly wonderful. this past sunday, we talked about economic justice…and those of you who know me well, know just how difficult a time i have with that topic (yeah. right. read that with all kinds of sarcasm).
it was pretty good stuff…we talked about the year of jubilee and how that was never actually practiced…how we can be working for economic justice for our time…how to create some jubilee in the 21st century. they raised some great points and had some really good discussion.
it’s amazing to me…and convicting more than that…how little of this stuff we actually do for others…myself included. i think about it…i guiltily buy clothes at old navy…still purchase coffee from dunkin’ donuts instead of getting the fair trade stuff…i haven’t really done much for economic justice in the recent bit…and that needs to change. because there’s a different economic system to which we ought to adhere. and there’s research out there to show that we really can do more to alleviate injustice and oppression. a lot more. and even though we were told more than once that we would always have the poor among us, that doesn’t give us a reason not to try to eradicate poverty.
the questions remain: how can i, how can we, become jubilant partners in the 21st century? how can we take steps to counteract and eradicate economic abuses? what if we see some things as no longer an option? what if i declare in my house, for example, that the only coffee we will consume will be fairly traded coffee (and i don’t mean go to starbuck’s where they sell it, but it’s not typically part of their daily menu)? can i give up my punkin spice latte in the fall months? can i give up the holy nectar of dunkin donuts? can i stop shopping at places that make their money from the sweat of laborers somewhere far away? how do i know that some place else isn’t doing the same thing? can i, in good conscience, ever purchase a diamond? how can i support the men and especially women in developing countries who have small businesses but can’t get fair wages for their work (let’s face it…there’s only so much you can purchase (that you need) from 10,000 villages)? perhaps some of the reading i’m trying to do (trying because there’s so much for school i already have to read) will provide some of these answers…