If there was ever a time for the church to start preaching all the messages the Bible gives about money, wealth and poverty, surely that time is now.
I offer this piece of overwhelming evidence: Times are so tough these days that even the White House press secretary needs a living wage! Stop laughing. I’m serious.
Tony Snow announced his resignation Friday before last. According to ABCNews.com, Mr. Snow will “leave before the end of the Bush presidency, because he needs to make more money.” It includes this direct quote from Snow himself: “‘I will not be able to make it to the end of this administration, just financially.'”
The article reports that the press secretary earns $168,000 per year. I don’t know if Mrs. Snow works outside the home or not for a little extra income, but they do have kids, so maybe she’s a full-time homemaker.
I do know that Tony had surgery for colon cancer and missed several weeks of work. We all know that missing work, combined with the exponentially rising costs of medical care, will set anyone back a good bit monetarily.
And, obviously, the nature of his work for the White House prohibits him from working nights delivering pizzas for a little extra dough (no pun intended–well, OK, pun intended).
I’m just a small town Baptist pastor, and I know a lot of other preachers–from other towns big and small, and from other denominations. And I can tell you that we all wonder how our families are going to make it another two years. Heck, many of us don’t even know how we’ll make it till the end of the month. But then again, we all pastor some folks who don’t know how they’ll make it till the end of the week.
So, Mr. Snow, I have a favor to ask. You see, many of my Christian brothers and sisters loved watching you on Fox News, and many of my Christian brothers and sisters helped put your present boss in office, who then gave you your low-paying job.
All I’m asking is that while you walk out to go make more money for you and your family (and God bless you for taking care of your family’s needs), don’t forget the rest of us who are suffering as you, too, are suffering.
Use your contacts and connections with the big-whig politicians and business leaders to lobby for a living wage for every American citizen. Use your connections to lobby for a dramatic overhaul of our healthcare system so we can all receive the care we need. Speak up for all of us Christians who put politicians in office because they tout biblical values, but then do nothing to carry forth the biblical mandates for economic justice for all.
So, go forth, Tony, and may God bless you in your search for a living wage. But may we all remember that you need a livin’ wage, I need a livin’ wage, and all God’s chillun’ need a livin’ wage.
Bert Montgomery is pastor at Campbellsburg Baptist Church in Campbellsburg, Ky.
Pastor of University Baptist Church in Starkville, Mississippi, and the author of five books, including “A Rabbi & a Preacher Go to a Pride Parade,” Montgomery also teaches religion and sociology courses at Mississippi State University.