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Also in this episode, Prof. Mark Silk, director of the Leonard Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College in Hartford, unpacks the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, which is now exempt from complying with certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act pertaining to coverage of contraception.
The Brake the Cycle of Poverty group, the subject of the previous episode, looks back on the ride in the synopsis below:
“The ride this year was long and hard with rides to and from Cornwall Bridge and Stratford. 250 miles. Our audiences were good-sized (25-30 each place) and receptive to our message.
“This year we offered white papers and sample advocacy letters on 5 poverty “sub-issues”: minimum wage, immigration reform, SNAP cutbacks, unemployment insurance and tax reform. People seemed very happy to have these short concrete approaches to the issue; they sought them out at the end of the presentations in the five parishes. Another new element was the presence of state representatives/senators at each presentation; they spoke briefly and on point and personally. We were glad to have them.
“Our visits to soup kitchens/shelters in Middletown, Bristol and Hartford were once again enlightening and inspiring. At the finale, Sr Pat McKeon spoke of the ‘normalcy’ of these institutions in our society … that we are used to them, that it’s good to have them, as signs of a caring community. All true, she said, but we must be careful to not think that is the way it’s supposed to be. People don’t belong in shelters and shouldn’t be eating in soup kitchens … especially in the strongest economy, the richest nation, the richest state … we need to change the system, change the economy to recognize the dignity of each person, the dignity of work … that we are made to contribute productively to society as best we can … to participate in God’s creating of the kingdom as God wants it to be.”