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My Take: Being poor on Christmas
December 17th, 2011
11:59 PM ET

My Take: Being poor on Christmas

Editor's Note: Tangela Ekhoff is an inspirational speaker, comedy performer and ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. She blogs about marriage, motherhood and life in Oklahoma at Homegirl on the Range.

By Tangela Ekhoff, Special to CNN

(CNN) - For my husband and me, the crown jewel of success as parents is the shrieks and wanton joy that come when our children open presents on Christmas morning. It’s enough to breach the dams in my eyes. Every year, my husband (the better shopper) picks one big-ticket gift for our boys, the one we call “the Showstopper!”

The Showstopper is the present that is either No. 1 on their wish list or the one they didn’t even know they wanted, until they make confetti of the shiny paper that conceals the happiness wrapped inside. The Showstopper is THE gift. It’s so awe-inspiring that it causes an intermission to present-opening and signals the point when the boys forsake all other gifts to play with the Showstopper. Last year, it was Chuck the Talking Dump Truck.

This year, there will be no Showstopper.

I wish I could say we are avoiding the Showstopper out of solidarity for Americans who are too poor to afford Christmas. I wish we were that socially conscious. This year, the Showstopper will not be part of the Ekhoff family Christmas, because this year, we are the poor.

We moved from Montgomery, Alabama, to my husband’s childhood home of Owasso, Oklahoma, with high hopes and great expectations for opportunity. It is not going as well as we hoped. We have applied for several hundred jobs between us. I was rejected for a job at a chicken restaurant. I am from Alabama. I was born with a frying pan in one hand and a hunk of lard in the other. I’m still mad about not getting that job.

In a former life, my husband was a computer technician. In this life, he slings pizza, rakes leaves, shovels snow, cuts grass and bakes cakes, but it still is not enough money to pay for basics, let alone any utility bills. I use both of my worthless college degrees as microfiber cloths to fight grime as a house cleaner, and out here in Oklahoma, people are not as willing to pay for this service as they are in the South. I speak publicly and perform comedy, but gigs are harder to come by than we originally anticipated.

We thought the move to Oklahoma would turn it all around and send us sashaying back into our middle-class life. Instead, it has given us the final shove into the abyss of poverty. For us, 2011 has been the Worst. Year. Ever.

This is also the first year in the history of our family that we will not buy gifts for some unknown poor child as part of an Angel Tree project. Every year, we would buy hats, socks, mittens, jackets and/or toys for some poor child.

This year, at some church or business in our town, there are two construction paper Christmas stockings hanging on an Angel Tree with our sons’ wish list printed on them. This year, our sons are “those poor kids.” This year, if there is a Showstopper, it will not be purchased by us but by a generous, anonymous individual or family with the means to help us, the underprivileged family.

On the Christian calendar, the season leading up to Christmas is known as Advent. During Advent, Christians pray and light candles to remind us to wait expectantly and prepare for the miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ. This year, Advent is more meaningful to me than ever. This year, our family has lost so much, and I continually pray for a miracle. As our family awaits the celebration of the birth of Jesus, we anticipate and long for a better world not just for us but for others who suffer in the “new” economic reality: poverty.

My greatest hope, as we await the birth of Jesus, is that God restores our family financially. Yes, it’s selfish. I am grateful the Angel Tree project is available to provide my children and hundreds of children in my town with presents this Christmas. But, selfishly, I pray that next year there will be no Angel Tree. My husband and I are both intelligent and hard-working. We want nothing more than to provide for our children.

As we struggle with the new normal, we pray (yes, selfishly) that during this Advent, as we wait for Jesus’ light to shine upon the world, that a sliver of that miraculous light will shine on our little family. Like a child anticipating the rapturous joy of opening presents on Christmas morning, I hold on to my faith and anticipate a rebirth, a renewal, a restoration for our family.

I expect a miracle. And in this season of Advent, miracles happen every single day.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Tangela Ekhoff.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Christmas

soundoff (1,294 Responses)
  1. Kelley

    This lady has now put up a Paypal link on her blog so she can collect y'alls money. I'm betting this isn't what CNN had in mind when they published her article.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • George

      If this is true, it is disgusting.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • lookingatthebigpicture

      it's true, she did...
      I find it really hard to feel sympathy for people who can't buy presents when there are people that are literally starving. I'm not a republican and I'm not trying to judge, but I really believe some perspective is required. Take this opportunity to teach your children that Christmas is not about monetary gifts, it's a lesson they will keep with them forever!

      December 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Jessie

      I saw the paypal link for donations on her blog this afternoon when I went to check out her blog. That was when I decided this is a blatant attempt to get people to fork over money to her. Interestingly the paypal link has been removed. Wonder if CNN let it be known that they didn't appreciate it. I'm guessing they won't be publishing any more articles by her.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Mr Chihuahua

      Sister gonna meet the real showstopper when mister IRS man come to da door askin bout some paypal caper lol!

      December 19, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  2. MormonChristian

    Many of us are in the same boat economically. And while it isn't easy. we are finding it a good opportunity to focus on what really matters – family and faith – and celebrate a Christmas closer in spirit to the first Christmas. Certainly very few of us in the US are celebrating in a stall, with sheep and donkeys, without the warmths, comforts and food of the Season we have come to associate with Christmas.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  3. derptard

    She needs to gtfo Oklahoma! If you can't find a job there, move somewhere better! Whoever heard of moving to Oklahoma to make it big?

    December 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      takes money to move, bozo.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • George

      @bluey

      Then she should save up that money and forget about what presents she is or is not buying.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      Did you actually read the article George? There is no money. There is no money to save..."there is still not enough money for the basics..." Sounds like you need a good dose of hardship, George.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  4. Mitch

    I wish that we had a president that could admit that we have been in a depression since 2007. I wish that we had a congress that believed that services to the poor were not shameless but trillions of dollars to trust fund babies is creating jobs. I wish that we had a supreme court that believed that corporations were not better people than those born of mothers and that human beings should not be second class citizens to the corporations who fund elections. I wish that we hadn't wasted trillions of dollars on two wars against countries that did not attack while supporting and enriching that one that did. I wished that the american people believed in people instead of wallstreet.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  5. Joe

    Give her a bucket to cry in. Merry Christmas

    December 18, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • idontthinksotim

      lemme guess – republican?

      December 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  6. Notthisyear

    Yup-this year has been the worse, financially. No gifts for the kids (my nieces and nephews). For once, I'm glad I have no
    kids. I wouldn't be able to handle their disappointment. But frankly, when I pass the shopping center, it's packed like sardines.
    Good for the merchants, but a commercialized train station. All these happy faces in TV commercials and ads almost make me
    depressed. I want to get over the holidays, so I can be randomly depressed over random incidents, not because I wasn't
    let into the party. Peace and Good Cheer ...or Tide or whatever soap you use.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  7. Jennifer

    I have no sympathy for a child crying over not getting a huge toy under the tree every year. It's material, and children need to be raised with more respect for important things in life. Instead, they should be waking up and not taking for granted the wonderful parents that brought them into the world, much less something they'll grow out of in a few years. For the sake of rebuttal, children of these ages CAN comprehend this sort of thing. It's just they are rarely exposed to it. If you want to survive, and make money, try harder. I think if we all tried harder, we MIGHT just get a little something more from the experiences.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  8. BettyWooster

    Unless you have "been here", you can't know the pain of being well-educated, experienced, talented, and desperate to work, yet being at a point where not only can you not afford to buy anything at all for Christmas, including a turkey, but wondering whether this is the month when you will have to dump your house, but continue to pay on the mortgage for years since you owe more than the market will bear while you make do in a studio apartment somewhere.

    I think the point is that the American Dream has been and continues to be pickpocketed from us by politicians on both sides, but primarily Republicans, who have grown an ability to ignore the obscene nature of the money, OUR money, that they spend. The Dream is gone when taxes are so high, and for little of substance in return, that you can't work enough hours in a day to get ahead. Only the people making 1% level income can do that because they don't actually work for their income; if you are anywhere in the 99%, including at the top of it, you can't work enough hours to get ahead of the tax burden foisted on us by the Bush era r a p i n g of our economy. It's much, much bigger than "Chuck the Talking Dump Truck", but if Chuck would talk, he'd probably ask for a DNR, then drive himself off a cliff.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  9. Andrea

    I think that her reference to the lack of presents is just an example of what is different this year for her family and how far her family has fallen. Stop hating on her and go help someone in need instead of spreading your anger and patheticness.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  10. Deb

    "Poor if you want to be" just doesn't cut it as an explanation anymore. That's what is so moving and sad about this story. And if you don't call 2 college degrees a foundation, I think maybe you need a better mental foundation.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • George

      Yes, but what kind of degrees are they? Even if she has degrees in education, why isn't she working? When was the last time she worked as a teacher? Why does she call them "worthless degrees?" In my area, there is a shortage of teachers. Something here smells rotten.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If there's a "shortage" in your area, George, it's because 1) It's an undesirable place to live, or 2) teacher pay is lousy.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  11. Janet

    Personally, I think these parents should've been honest with their kids a long time ago about the money situation. If they've done a good job with raising their kids, then their kids should be understanding of the situation.

    As for the Salviation Army Angel Tree Program, I had planned on donating to them, but found out that they donate money to anti-LGBT lawyers. I'm very ashamed of them for doing this, and will NOT be giving to them in the future.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  12. Greg Thomas

    The showstopper is the birth of Christ. Maybe the blessing is more and more people will come to appreciate true show stoppers, not consumer goods made by laborers in other counties.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Jennifer

      I agree completely.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  13. Perplexed

    Tangela Eckhoff I'm sorry you felt compelled all those years to teach your kids that material possessions are the key to happiness rather than instill in them that it's not the gifts that are the focus of the season, but the spiritual enrichment that is more important. Now all you have on your hands are a bunch of kids with their hands out and no remote idea of why that "showstopper" is nowhere in sight and a big deep hole in your psyche because you can't deliver on those goods. Some people just set themselves up for disappointment.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  14. David

    Like last year, I'm not celebrating Christmas again. I've lost everything because of this recession. I still can't find work. I still can't make it on my own. I owe on a college bill for years that taught me a career field that folded in the same time frame it was projected to grow. So obviously, I can't afford to go to school to learn something else. There is no hope and very little happiness in my life. The last thing I feel like doing is celebrating anything other than the fact I'm still alive and deciding to keep it that way...at least for now.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      Try to keep the Faith David. You never know what is around the corner. You are by no means alone.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Lisa

      Really David? So your career sucks and that dictates your life? So you can't get a job in your field, suck it up and go flip burgers if you have to. Hinting to suicide is pathetic. Killing yourself is the most selfish act anyone can ever do. What about your family that needs and loves you? How do you think life will be for them? My husband just lost his job and I would rather be poor and struggling to make ends meet then him having your mentality and ever thinking of taking his own life and deserting us.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • puhbah

      Replying to Lisa:
      You know something, there are times when people actually are on the brink of ending their lives and sometimes it just takes one nasty comment, such as yours, to create an even stronger feeling of worthlessness and do the deed. How can you say something so heartless, *especially* during this time of year when we are (if you are of any spiritual faith) commanded to love, nurture and encourage one another.

      David, every generation goes through trauma: the great depression, WW1 and 2, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War and subsequent recessions. And millions are affected. And you are one of them as am I. Just sit in the presence of your God~ He knows everything that's going on. Just go to him for comfort and keep moving forward. What we're all learning now is how awful it is to be in these situations and we will remember that and help all we can when he have gotten out of it. God bless.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Iggy Agnostic

      @Lisa

      "So you can't get a job in your field, suck it up and go flip burgers if you have to."

      That's very easy for you to say. You have no idea how depressing being out of work is. And you have no idea how depressing it is to study for so many years and then be told to go flip burgers.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      David,

      I think Lisa is married to George! I believe that we only receive things in life that we can handle and what brings us down only makes us stronger. Dig deep and do the best you can. Snicker at the self-centered folks, who have no empathy. You have the ability to dig deep and out in the hard miles.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Lisa

      I am FAR from heartless just tired of everyone feeling sorry for themselves. I wasn't lucky enough to even have the opportunity to go to college and get a degree. We didn't have the money nor was I educated on student loans and grants that were available. Growing up there were 8 of us in a 2 bedroom apartment. Everyone did what they needed to do to make sure we had food on the table and a roof over our heads. Neither of my parents had even a high school diploma but you never heard them even once say they couldn't get a job without it. There were no complaints. We all were healthy and had each other.

      This man has so much more than so many people and he is just sapping away. Boo hoo... you have a college degree and can't find a job in your field. That paper will get you in the door for so many other jobs. The people I truly feel sorry for are the ones that can't help themselves. The starving and abused children, the elderly with no one to help, not a selfish degreed unemployed guy who wants to end it and destroy everyone around him.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Lisa

      And David, if you are really contemplating suicide please reach out to to a family who is currently living their lives mourning the loss of a family member to suicide. See how their lives are now without that person in it and then decide if its the right thing to do.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      You know Lisa, times are completely different from when your parents were working...completely different! To compare them is plain stupid. My parents only went to grade 7, but they did great...because times were different. The point is, if you don't have something nice or constructive to say, just keep your mouth shut. Positive is what folks need, not some fool saying, "suck it up". We're supposed to build people up, not chop them down over your opinion.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Lisa

      Bluey – times are different I agree but guess what? David is still a step ahead of me with that piece of paper in his hands. Im a stay at home mom and im out there looking for a job since my husband lost his. Im not going to complain and expect sympathy from anyone but if I DID have that piece of paper my job would be so much better. You may be someone that gives sympathy to all but I am not. Sure I feel bad for David but it could be so much worse. I NEVER would have commented on his post until he hinted at suicide. I've worked in a police department and there is NOTHING worse than having to watch someone being told their family member took their own life.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Iggy Agnostic

      @Lisa

      You still don't get it. Everybody's situation is different. David may be suffering from clinical depression in which case saying "suck it up" is offensive, insulting and insensitive. Being out of work is one of life's stressors that can bring on clinical depression. You are judging others based on your experience and on your reaction to stress, but by now you should have learned that people are different. You are worse than George.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Iggy Agnostic

      @Lisa

      So he hinted at suicide, and you decided that it would be a good time to pile on the insults? What a gem you are.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Lisa

      Iggy you may diagnose him as clinically depressed but I say selfish and needs to put on a pair of big boy pants. He is ahead of the game and just needs to direct his focus away from the negative and see everything he does have. PS – I have a friend that is clinically depressed and we have been friends for several years. Good news.. she is still alive and I tell her like it is. She has her health, a great family, and people who care about her. Life for everyone is always worse without the people.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Lisa

      Oh..and Iggy to your "you still dont get it" comment. I DO get it. He is considering killing himself. What you don't get is I have witnessed police officers having to give the news to the deceased persons family. You are feeling sorry for the wrong person here. Suicide is NEVER the answer unless you hate everyone around you so much that you would do that to them.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Iggy Agnostic

      @Lisa

      I never said suicide is the answer. However, I don't feel sorry for the police who are doing their jobs anymore than I feel sorry for a doctor who loses a patient. Yes, it is painful for families, but that doesn't give you to right to inch someone closer to the edge.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Lisa

      @ Iggy or maybe he will look at the other side of the situation. Suicide is NEVER the answer. And the police officers job should be focused on protecting everyone not having to write a report and inform a family that someone has killed themselves.

      December 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  15. Kelly Boston, MA

    When we realize that the strongest class in America is the middle class. We are the largest group of people in the U.S. We work for the rich, so they would have nothing without our help and we help the poor – mostly because that is usually our extended family. We are seen by the poor as the rich. We are seen by the rich as foolish. We view the poor as uneducated. The bottom line is that the middle class is the best class to be in. We work hard and know the meaning of working hard. We compete with each other and have ambition. But we were taught to fear and we live in that fear...fear of being poor makes us cautious about making decisions that could make us rich. That fear is something we can work through by educating ourselves in books by Napoleon Hill, Steve Covey, etc. However, the strongest point here is that If united, the middle class would drive the most significant change in the U.S. We need a movement. I'm ready. I'm not sure if "Invade" Wallstreet is the way to go. I will tell you this though – at least they are out there doing something. Parents need to motivate their 20+ kids to wake the hell up or they will be retiring much later, working so much harder, have a difficult time keeping their credit down, have crappy healthcare, etc. By the way, I'm 34 years old. Two kids, own a home, have an MBA degree and have a great job. No one handed me anything. I came up poor, but I knew what I wanted and as I slowly attained it, I set my vision higher. It is possible. Don't give up. Remember – your middle class – the strongest class in the nation. Blessmyhome2@yahoo.com

    December 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  16. Deusxmach1na

    The wife and I are waiting until after Christmas to exchange gifts that way we can hit up after Xmas sales and our finances can catch up. There is more to Christmas than gifts and I for one feel fortunate to have what I have this Christmas. Even if we can't afford presents for that day it will still be an awesome day of family and giving. Merry Christmas to all my fellow Americans!

    December 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  17. Kelly Boston, MA

    When we realize that the strongest class in America is the middle class. We are the largest group of people in the U.S. We work for the rich, so they would have nothing without our help and we help the poor – mostly because that is usually our extended family. We are seen by the poor as the rich. We are seen by the rich as foolish. We view the poor as uneducated. The bottom line is that the middle class is the best class to be in. We work hard and know the meaning of working hard. We compete with each other and have ambition. But we were taught to fear and we live in that fear...fear of being poor makes us cautious about making decisions that could make us rich. That fear is something we can work through by educating ourselves in books by Napoleon Hill, Steve Covey, etc. However, the strongest point here is that If united, the middle class would drive the most significant change in the U.S. We need a movement. I'm ready. I'm not sure if "Invade" Wallstreet is the way to go. I will tell you this though – at least they are out there doing something. Parents need to motivate their 20+ kids to wake the hell up or they will be retiring much later, working so much harder, have a difficult time keeping their credit down, have crappy healthcare, etc. By the way, I'm 34 years old. Two kids, own a home, have an MBA degree and have a great job. No one handed me anything. I came up poor, but I knew what I wanted and as I slowly attained it, I set my vision higher. It is possible. Don't give up. Remember – your middle class – the strongest class in the nation.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  18. hlub87

    my parents were very poor. my siblings never had any Christmas gifts ever. There are time where we have nothing in the fridge but one carrot and that's no lie. Many night we went to bed hungry. In college I worked hard and whatever I made I gave 70% to my parents to buy food for my younger siblings. I remembered one year as I was wrapping christmas gift for my two youngest brother I couldn't stop crying because they had nothing but two pants and two shirts and that's no lie. I did my laundry when all classmate were in bed. I used the soap dispenser in the bathroom to wash my cloth. That's all I could do. Gifts were out of the question and food was more important. Today, all my siblings are so blessed. we've overcame our hardship. Everyone is doing well in life. Our faith in God has kept us going when life is it's hardest. God has richly blessed my family. America, hang on. Don't give up. Your loved for one another is priceless and that's more important than possessions.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  19. JR

    Sorry, but I just don't see how someone can be out of work for months and months unless you live in a town that is deserted. Are there no McDonald's, Walmart's, Wendy's, etc.. to apply at? They are ALWAYS hiring.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • jmg

      You may say they are always hiring, but many of these low wage jobs don't like to hire the 'college educated' because those are the people who are going to still be looking for a job and jump ship as soon as they get an offer, meaning that the minimum wage job would have invested money on training, but gotten very little or negative return from the employee. Many of the long term unemployed are overqualified for these low wage jobs, but there is nothing in their field in their town. Companies won't pay for relocation and if you have nothing, you can't afford to move without abandoning everything you own – but then you would arrive at your no location with nothing.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Shibs

      JR, I'm very much a proponent of personal responsibility and carrying your own load, and I'm always skeptical at the complaints of those who say they can find no work. But I have to say that your comments sound awfully close to those of ol' Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, who urges the charity workers who visit his shop on Christmas Eve to refer their poverty-stricken clients to the prisons, the union workhouses or to simply die and decrease the surplus population.

      Regardless of what you feel about the mistakes and shortcomings of parents, no children should be made to suffer on their account, or in spite of their best efforts, on of all days Christmas.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Cherie

      Unfortunately, many of the places you named do not hire people that are "over qualified." I was laid off for a while from a high paying job as a manager. I couldn't get a job at a retail store, Wal Mart or fast food joint. My friend was laid off at the same time as me and it's the same story with her and she didn't have the management experience I have so she was actually more "qualified" for those jobs than and even he was told she was "over qualified." In my opinion, McDonalds would have benefited from our experience and I was not to proud to have the opportunity to work there.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Joesph

      You do not have a clue what poverty is so how can you speak to it. Your just another arrogant hypocrite. May you experience what you criticize.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Johnny B

      Your comment is so rude to those on here not fidning work. There are jobs out there yes, but there are so many other things involved. Alot of other people are looking for work as well with varying degrees of education and experience.I for one have been over and under qualified. Mainly over. One of these days (probably within a year or less with the way our country is going) you may find yourself in the same boat. And also, yes while the writer mentions show stopper she had also mentioned about buying gifts for poor children as well and now they can't even do that. What a sad state our country is in.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  20. George

    In America you are only poor if you want to be. We all are responsibile for our choices. If she didn't want to be, she should have laid a more solid foundation. Also, she sounds very materialistic – Christmas is more than about presents.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Ozzi

      People aren't poor because they want to be, George. Sometimes life just hands you a curveball.

      But I agree with you-very materialistic. Just because she couldn't give spectacular gifts doesn't make this any less of a holiday. Her priorities are a mess.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Shibs

      Not to little boys, George. And I assume their kids are little boys if they're into talking dump trucks. Talk to a couple of little boys about the spiritual foundations of Christmas for very long and you'll get some blank stares and a yawn. If you're lucky.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • bozon

      CNN always has an editorial choice about what news they display on the site. The underlying question is, why is this article here?? Rather than deal with the oligarchical control of our financial system that put people in this mess.. or deal with the really important issues facing us economically today, we get this prozac pablum of suffering and hope that is designed to 1) show everyone how much better off they are 2) install fear that they can end up this way 3) Frame a religious context around the issue of economic in-equality to add the 'feel – good Jesus!" slant to the story.

      Manufacturing consent to accept the economic impoverishment foisted upon us by banksters@wall street is the name of the game here.. Not some tragedy that is just one of countless thousands playing out across the country everyday..

      December 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      George, that's about the dumbest thing I've read today. You do not have a grip n reality or what is going on in this country. You have no idea what people are going through and everyone's story is unique, and a lot of people did not choose there position in life at the moment. A cold heart like yours is part of the problem.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • George

      People need to pay for their choices. Pure and simple.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      You must have had it easy George. Many, many people didn't choose to be out of work. Many people didn't choose to be where they are either. "Need to pay..." you only pay for bad choices, George...not good ones. You receive from the good ones. I'm afraid I just don't like your opinion, that is based on no real knowledge at all about what has happened in someone's life to get them to this point. I worked my guts out, to build a great home and have a family. In 2009 that all went away when the "don't worry we're stable" company I was VP at closed, then the wife took of with the kids to another state. I need to support my kids too, so I moved. I didn't make those choice, George, they were made for me. My only choice was to be a good Dad or a bad one. I chose good. So don't sit on your high horse and tell me everyone needs to pay for the choices!

      December 18, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Beth

      Well, the fact is that there are far fewer jobs now than in the past. The middle class is vanishing because middle class jobs are vanishing, not because the middle class suddenly became lazy. (eyeroll!)

      December 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Shibs

      George ADULTS need to pay for their choices, I agree. But their children didn't ask to be born to them, and shouldn't be held to account for their mistakes.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What "choices" is this woman "paying for", you idiot?

      For someone who pretends to be a Christian, you are one of the worst examples of it on here, you little putz.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.