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An evil wind is blowing across this land of ours. While it is not the first and probably not the last, the pain and suffering it is inflicting upon the most vulnerable of our nation is a sacrilege.

It began as a zephyr in the 1980s, when the prophets of Wall Street declared "greed is good" and the patriarchs of the Reagan administration assured us, "It is all right to be uncharitable."

The intensity increased as the radio talk-show hosts fostered the idea that the troubles of the average American are rooted in the welfare system and affirmative action while the TV evangelists preached an inverted gospel proclaiming that righteousness and economic success are one and the same.

The consequences were immediately apparent: compassion for the hungry diminished, demands for the arrest of the homeless increased, refugees were denied safe haven and citizens fought to keep developmentally disabled persons from finding a decent home in their neighborhood.

Today, the evil wind has reached full strength. The hucksters of a demonic new covenant purport a concern for a balanced budget while they introduce draconian cuts in programs that feed hungry children, provide essential services to the elderly, and offer basic medical care to the sick and disabled at the very time they propose hefty tax reductions for the most affluent.

What we see being played out in Washington and Albany this month is not simply a travesty of human decency and justice; it is a public mocking of God.

An evil wind is blowing across this land of ours. Now is the time for persons of faith to rise up against the wind, providing shelter for the most vulnerable and crying out against those who, at their own peril, spit in the face of God.

Executive Director
Buffalo Area Council of Churches

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