Holiday season

Make room for others this holiday season

(Walter Chavez / Unsplash)

Meveryone knows the story of Christmas: The miraculous birth of a child by a Jewish virgin, who was told her baby was the son of God. But in this story hides a key lesson that we could reflect on today.

While Mary and Joseph were on their way to her hometown of Bethlehem, they were looking for a place where Mary would give birth. Many scholars interpret the translation differently, but Luke 2: 7 (King James version) states that Mary put her child in a manger “because there was no room for them in the inn.” I can only imagine what Mary and Joseph thought when they sought shelter and safety but found little support. Yet in a place where cattle usually stayed, they found room.

Today, in what seems to be an ever critical condition for our world, I feel that many are trying to hear the same words: There is room for you.

The people have the power

The history of the United States has been marked by conflict, often related to the fact that some people felt that American democracy had no place for them. Yet these fights embody the spirit of democracy. What is supposed to make this nation special is that we don’t live in a monarchy where only lineage should rule. We do not supposedly live in an oligarchy where only a few elite citizens rule. Neither do we live in an autocracy where one person rules with absolute power. We live in a democracy where all the people have power.

The founding fathers of this country built it on the principle of democracy because they were under the rule of the British Empire. They knew there was no place for them there, so they declared independence and formed their own government. But over 200 years later, the American people are still arguing for more space from our leaders.

Sadly, this month our nation’s Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Dobbs case against Jackson Women’s Health, which challenges Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. If the court decides to uphold the ban, thereby setting aside the precedent on abortion rights established by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, some people have argued that this will open up the possibility of overturning other long-standing precedents. Justice Brett Kavanaugh mentioned that school desegregation and same-sex marriage were meant to overturn precedents, but they were decisions that expand rights rather than contract them. These are decisions that made more room for the American Inn.

Build a better future behind the hostel

New headlines lit up early Sunday morning when U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (W.Va.), a well-known moderate Democrat who used his influence to shape Democratic-majority Senate policy, announced his opposition to the latest version of President Joe Biden’s $ 2 trillion Build Back Better legislation that aims to provide universal pre-k, provide paid parental leave, extend the child tax credit, fight change climate change, cap insulin costs at $ 35 per month, and cut health care premiums. Proposal offers other provisions broadly aimed at reducing poverty in the United States Since Manchin’s announcement, reports have surfaced that he privately questioned whether low-income families could spend responsibly when they received tax credit payments.

If this is really Manchin’s position, it is not only insulting, but disappointing. The bill has been considered by many private and public organizations, including the Congressional Budget Office, which largely agreed that the bill would have minimal impact on the federal deficit (another concern of Manchins and Republicans) by report to President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax. cuts. The evidence is clear that this long-negotiated and eagerly awaited legislation would dramatically improve the lives of many people.

While Manchin could make room for more American families – including the many mothers COVID-19 forced out of the workforce and the 94% of West Virginia children who could benefit from the credit payments of child tax, he selfishly and short-sightedly calls a political blow to his party and, more importantly, to his constituents.

It’s time to make room for others

For all of these reasons and more, a critical election season will befall Americans in 2022. Are you registered to vote? Are you prepared to be careful when the 2022 Oklahoma Legislature meets in February? Do you support attempts to create more space for more people? Will you oppose efforts that do the opposite?

This holiday season, I hope we will reflect on our nation’s history and look into our hearts. When have global societies been better when we have limited space to others? If we are to survive as a prosperous society, we must make room for every living being. Nature demands it. Our hearts really desire it.

Let’s make room for those who have no home; for those who do not have access to health care or access to voting. We need to make room for those who do not have access to safe abortions and for those who have inherited societal deficits. Although biblical, the story of the birth of Jesus Christ can serve as a symbol that miracles occur when there is room for others.

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