Not surprisingly, life expectancy dropped a full year and a half in 2020, partly due to the pandemic but also partly to the opioid crisis we are still experiencing in the United States. The decline was greater for men than for women, for Hispanics and Blacks more than for non-Hispanic whites. Disparity in illness and health care must be listed among the reasons.
Other kinds of disparities fuel this difference. The kind of work that marginalized people do is certainly one reason, and poorer, more crowded living conditions is another. Many of our lower paid health care workers come from minority groups, and with the increase in nursing home infections, we certainly hope their workers have been vaccinated.
Commentators keep talking about the radical changes we must make as a society in order to decrease disparities, but some politicians hold back from such change, afraid that those changes will diminish their power. We should take a lesson from the kings in Scripture and history; namely, those who try to hold onto power unjustly secured both the wrath of God and of the people.
Prayer for the Day
We cry out to you, O Lord, to grant us vision for this day,
For we are a fearful people unsure of direction;
We know we are not blameless for the injustices we see around us,
But complicit if we do not work for justice.
Grant us, O God, a new insight into our lives and those of others,
So we may work your righteousness for all.
In the name of him who is your voice of justice,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Thoughts for the Day
Genuine equality means not treating everyone the same, but attending equally to everyone’s different needs.
Terry Eagleton, British literary critic
Our minds must be as ready to move as capital is, to trace its paths and to imagine alternative destinations.
Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Professor, Syracuse University
Acclaim the Lord, for God is good, and God’s kindness is forever.
Who can utter the Lord’s mighty acts, can make heard all God’s praise?
Happy are those who keep justice, who do righteousness at all times.
Psalm 106: 1-3 (Tr. Robert Alter)