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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

To the Herald-Whig

The Quincy Herald-Whig published this letter last Monday, April 6, 2015. I wrote it after an emotional discussion arising from the killing of a twelve-year old child on Quincy's northwest side.

To the Herald-Whig:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Who is my neighbor?

A man who fell among robbers.

In our town, Quincy, there are people who have fallen among robbers. We are told that food pantries are in greater demand than in times past. People who had jobs have lost those jobs. We are told that successful politicians will provide jobs, while at the same time we are told that politicians should not provide jobs, private enterprise should.

Young people who want to "contribute to society" find that society does not make contributing easy. They are told that they should do well in school. But it is hard to do well in school when you do not eat breakfast. It is hard to eat breakfast when one of your parents is in prison and the other one is working three jobs and is at work when you should eat breakfast. It's hard not to be in prison when the color of your skin makes people suspect you of bad intentions when you walk down the street. If people treat you like a criminal, why not just be a criminal and prove them right?

The man who fell among robbers should have been more careful. He should not have been traveling alone. It was his own fault that he got robbed.

When people are poor, it's their own fault. They don't work hard enough.

Any support you might have had from me is qorban (Mark 7:11). Any support you might have had from me will be taken care of by the invisible hand. But it takes patience. The invisible hand is slow.

The invisible hand might move faster if the government would give it a boost, but that would mean raising taxes. The Third Great Commandment is: do not raise taxes. Under no conditions should you raise taxes. Everyone needs every penny they earn, no matter how many pennies they earn. Don't touch my pennies.

We love our neighbors as ourselves. We contribute to the Good News of Christmas. That should be enough. We pass by on the other side because we work hard, and that poor man should have been more careful. We are in a hurry. If we don't hurry, the invisible hand will punish us.

We love our neighbors as ourselves.

 Joe Zimmerman, OFM  (the newspaper editors added "Rev." to my name)