The Bible says: “The Lord hears the cry of the poor.”

But do we?

Seems we go through periods where we have the ability to be deaf to those cries. I know at times I’m deaf.

But the cries of the poor are louder than my silence.

Recently our new pope threw on his old black shoes instead of the fancy red ones popes usually wear, and with that simple act, he sent the world a message. He chose the name of Pope Francis because he admired a young person (St. Francis of Assisi) who gave up wealth and prestige to be with the poor. Now the new pope has come right out and said it. He told journalists he was ... “for the poor.”

All these actions are helping some of us get our hearing back.

Leaders right here at home risked their careers. They dared to speak out. They are telling us to hear.

Dr. Fred Cerise and David Hood took out paid advertisements to plead with all of us to hear the cries of the poor.

Nobody is suggesting free passes for the able-bodied and those strong in mind.

But they are suggesting that the fragile, the working poor, the elderly, the handicapped, the mentally ill — deserve the dignity and respect the Medicaid expansion program will bring.

Additionally, the poor in Louisiana deserve to not be burdened with taxes that favor the strong, the rich — that would be most of us.

Tax reform, health-care reform ... Really? We come from a loving and caring culture. Our culture tells us that the Lord hears the cry of the poor. Do we? What are our policies about to reflect.

Marie Constantin


Baton Rouge