- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 29, 2006

The man on the street thinks the Bible says money is the root of all evil. But he’s mistaken. The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil. Greed is the problem, not money itself. Greed can hurt society’s most vulnerable members.

Hardly a week passes without news about children being mistreated somewhere. Not long ago, New Jersey citizens were shocked when authorities found a 7-year-old boy’s decomposed body in the basement of a Newark home. Two starving siblings, barely alive, were discovered nearby. No one seemed to have noticed these children hadn’t been around lately.

Four adopted boys — ages 19, 14, 10 and 9 — were later found scavenging in garbage cans near their Collingswood home. The 19-year-old, a walking skeleton, was put in a hospital cardiac unit. Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) caseworkers had noted nothing amiss with the boys in 38 separate home-visit reports, filed over two years. New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey called for criminal charges against the caseworkers who didn’t “notice” the starving boys.

After the dead boy was found, New Jersey allotted $30 million for 366 new DYFS caseworkers. Clearly, failure pays — at least in state government.

These and many similar tragedies were caused by greed. Children under government care are squeezed, as if by a vise, from two directions. From one side by government agencies and personnel who perform their duties negligently — apparently just for the money. From the other side, by foster parents or other “caregivers” who misuse the meager child-care funds furnished by government. The four starving boys — denied proper food — were subsisting on peanut butter and cookies (plus all the garbage they could scavenge). Their parents had wasted the state’s subsidies.

Public education is another place where greed hurts children. Incompetence is education’s “horn of plenty.” School systems reward poorly performing schools with additional staff and new programs. When nothing improves, more money is poured into still more “improvements”. Greed is the winner at this table.

One example of educational greed involves bilingual instruction. Although studies consistently show denying English immersion to immigrant students retards their development, some schools insist on bilingual instruction. To remedy the poor results, more bilingual teachers are hired. Someone is doing well out of this, but it isn’t the students. When California finally abandoned the bilingual approach, immigrant students’ academic performance soared.

Abortion is another example where greed harms individuals and the nation. Young people were told they could slake their sexual desires without worry. If contraception didn’t prevent an unwanted pregnancy, abortion was a backup. Evacuating this “blob of tissue” would clear things up as if nothing had ever happened. Unfortunately, as millions of American women now realize, this was not just a lie but a damned lie. Years after an abortion, many women still suffer from depression, low self-esteem and guilt, as well as myriad physical problems.

Men also know what abortion has wrought. One “tough guy” of my acquaintance observes a certain day every year with solitary hours of drinking and grief. It is the anniversary of the day when his child, conceived when he was a careless young man, was reduced to biological waste. That killing blighted his life. Only God’s grace can free him.

Abortion’s greed is financial as well as sexual. Prospective parents demand deliverance from the cost and inconvenience of the new life. The abortion “provider” wants his fee. But the industry’s $11 billion a year economic “product” is far outweighed by the loss of 40 million Americans who are not there. At a modest estimate of $1 million per life, the loss totals $40 trillion.

The millions of illegals now streaming into the country to replace those 40 million missing Americans are yet another part of abortion’s inconvenient wages. The end in not in sight. Abortion has inflicted a grievous wound upon the nation.

At another juncture in our history, a terrible wrong produced ruinous effects. The wrong was slavery; its effect was the Civil War. In his Inaugural address of March 1865, President Lincoln spoke of the wages of greed and God’s fearful justice: Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said 3,000 years ago, so still it must be said, “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

We’re still paying for the greed of slavery; we’ll pay for the greed of abortion, too. Even if we can stop the killing, generations will pass before America is cleansed. The greed that motivates child abuse and educational cupidity will also cost us dearly.

Ancient wisdom holds that whatever you think you’re getting away with will return to bite you. We’ve forgotten this, but we’re going to relearn it.

WOODY ZIMMERMAN

Author of a weekly column, “At Large,” in the Atlantic Highlands Herald, an Internet newspaper.

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