People: the church should give all its money to the poor.
Jesus: nah. Use that expensive ointment on me.
People: but the poor, the poor, the poor….
Jesus: shut up. If she wants to use her money for me, it’s cool.
Poverty sucks. It surely does. But fetishizing poverty, and making attendance upon it the be all end all of every deed and act is a bit silly.
Should we help folk? Sure. Should poor folk be our only concern? Nope. Fetishizing the poor, furthermore, has more to do with people wanting to feel better about themselves. They want to feel as though their own privilege isn’t problematic so they focus on the poor as though they would trade places with them if only they could. But of course we all know they won’t.
Put simply, faux concern for the poor really is just a way to feel good. The poor become a means to an end, and serve no other purpose but to be the object of feigned love. The poor are objectified when they are fetishized.
If you really want to help the poor, do something about income inequality, a fair minimum wage, access to good health care for all, the elimination of ‘food islands’, and other things that actually impact lives.
Tossing money at poor folk doesn’t help them. It only makes you feel better about yourself.