Monday, February 08, 2016

God bless ______________

I am still reading Jen Hatmakers disruptive little book 'Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity.' I haven't been blogging a lot about it. Partly because I've just been reading, but partly because, dang... it's pretty convicting stuff. I'm trying to soak it in. Very good reminders of a time that seems so long ago.

Here are some snippets from early on in the book:
  • Of the 6 billion people on planet Earth, about 1.2 billion live on twenty-three cents a day.
  • Half the world lives on less than two dollars and fifty cents a day.
  • The wealthiest one billion people average seventy dollars a day (This places you and me in the upper, upper, upper percentages of the global population).
  • If you make thirty-five thousand dollars annually, you are in the top 4 percent.
  • If you make fifty thousand dollars annually, the top 1 percent.
  • Someone dies of hunger every 3.6 seconds.
  • Last year twenty-two million people died of preventable diseases; ten million were children.
  • Twenty-seven million children and adults are trapped in slavery (sex slaves, labor slaves, child soldiers, and child slaves) because of economic crisis. More slaves exist today than every before in human history.
  • More than 143 million children in the developing world have been orphaned (equivalent to more than half the population of the United States).
  • In the last hour:
    • Over 1,625 children were forced to the streets by the death or abuse of an adult.
    • Over 115 children became prostitutes.
    • Over 66 children under the age of fifteen were infected with HIV.
  • Roughly 1 billion people in the world do not have suitable housing, and 100 million are entirely homeless.
  • 780 million people lack basic water sanitation, which results in disease, death, wastewater for drinking, and loss of immunity. *Americans consume twenty-six billion liters of bottled water a year.
  • We spend more annually on trash bags than nearly half the world spends on all goods combined.
  • Fifty-seven million children worldwide work every day instead of go to school.
  • Four out of five Americans are high school graduates.
  • The poorest one-fifth of the world owns 1 percent of the world's cars.
  • The richest one-fifth of the world owns 87 percent of the world's cars.
  • Roughly forty million people (the equivalent of about seven Jewish Holocausts) die annually from starvation, disease, and malnutrition.
  • 69 percent of US adults and 18 percent of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.
  • The United States makes up 4.5 percent of the global population, but we consume 20 percent of the world's oil.
  • We consume twenty million barrels of oil a day; next is China at just 9.2 million a day.
  • 20 percent of our imported oil comes from the Persian Gulf. We put military bases on two of their three Islamic holy sites, and when criticized, one US official replied that the United States "must have free access to the region's resources."
  • When a group of leaders from 172 developed nations begged US government leaders to explore intervention options for environmental standards via the Earth Summit, President George H.W. Bush said, "The American way of life is not negotiable."
"Brand America is in trouble. I ask you humbly: can you see why when Americans say democracy, the world hears greed? What seems like basic freedom to us sounds like vast consumption to everyone else. The tongue-in-cheek 'First World Problems' we joke about while lamenting, 'I just used my last Pandora skip for the hour, and the next song is even worse' is part and parcel of the image we are outsourcing to a suffering planet. We appear indulged and entitled and oblivious to global crises and our contribution to the disparity."

"It is easy to see how, when people are impoverished and desperate yet know we have everything they need in the cushions of our couches, a tyrannical leader can influence them toward our harm: 'I'll feed you and get you a gun. We'll fight greedy America.' We'll never be safe while we ignore the extreme poverty of everyone else. Some kill by violence, but we've let them suffer and die by neglect."

Whew... See what I mean? Some serious statistics. And, lest we get all high and mighty in our disdain for our country... she then drops this little bomb:
"Let's set aside what America is or is not giving and answer for ourselves: What are you doing? What am I doing?"