Did you know that Afghanistan produces the majority of the world's heroin?
South American heroin has become the most prevalent type of heroin available in the United States (particularly in the Northeast, South, and Midwest)...
The Global black market drug trade is r-e-a-l-l-y big business: accounting for over 400 billion dollars a year.
Honduras, through which nearly 80% of cocaine passes on its way to the United States has the highest murder rate in the world.
The Mexican government has estimated that 90% of the murders in that country are drug-related.
The United States is the largest importer of illegal drugs. Most of the U.S. imports come from Mexican drug cartels (organized crime syndicates).
There are as many as 10 million children involved in prostitution worldwide.
UNICEF reports that about 30 million children have been trafficked. Sexual slavery accounts of 79% of cases.
It is estimated that between 100 - 300 thousand children in the United States are involved in prostitution.
It is estimated that around 30,000 children die of hunger and malnutrition everyday.
The United States is the world's largest dealer in weapons of war.
It is estimated that private citizens in the United States possess nearly 300,000,000 guns.
Recent news reports indicate that over 50,000 children and mothers have fled the drug and violent cultures of Central American countries for refuge in the United States: most representatives of the American right-wing blame this situation upon President Obama and his waiving of deportation of the "Dreamers": youth who were brought to this country as children and have lived here virtually all of their lives: Senator Ted Cruz has said, "The reason these children are coming in staggering numbers is because the President has been promising amnesty."
Of course, Senator Cruz habitually distorts truth to fit into his version of reality (as do many others). I have included in this piece a few samples of another reality: one framed by the real staggering truth: we are a people sorely conflicted! With roots in the Jewish-Christian traditions (expanding then into the spiritual presence of every world-faith onto these shores: including people of no faith and creative new faiths): we intuit that we have been summoned by Love, yet live as if that is not true. Imagine living in Senator Cruz's brain: you are a devout Christian, and yet you need to lie, distort, and manipulate... how would you reconcile the Love espoused by Yeshua with the confusing muddle of judgment and rage that is Senator Cruz? And Senator Cruz is the favored representative of the Tea Party!
We can't preach peace and then turn a profit from war. We can't preach Love and then jail our youth for seeing through us to our disturbing core, and who then turn to drugs for either relief or for work. We can't sit idly addicted to our "reality T.V." shows while tens of thousands of children die everyday of hunger, sell themselves in prostitution to survive, or who are abducted and coerced into sexual slavery -- and pretend that all is well. We really can't buy the drugs smuggled into our country by criminals and then judge, harass, or condemn the mothers and children who flee their homes and homeland on the slim chance they might find a better life!
If we were to actually "Love Loudly", as the Poet of Nazareth suggested we do, wouldn't we be welcoming the immigrant mothers and children with open arms? If we were to actually "Love Loudly", as the Poet of Nazareth suggested we do, wouldn't we be building justice, peace, and equality into every aspect of our religions, economics, cultures, and politics? If we were to actually "Love Loudly", as the Poet of Nazareth suggested we do, wouldn't we be the most peaceful, kind, humble, compassionate, respectful, deliberate, merciful, and forgiving people on the Planet? Yes, if we were to "Love Loudly", we would find a way to feed everyone, welcome everyone, build justice into the fabric of every culture, and so many more creative things: because we would truly know ourselves as "possibilitarians" created "by love, for love, to become love" (Simone Weil): and that if we believed that about ourselves, we would know that it was true about everyone else as well: T-h-I-s radiant integrity would change the world in a day, in an hour... maybe even in one single minute...
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.