Wait until next year


Doris Kearns Goodwin captures the persistent hopefulness of her childhood years as a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers in her memoir, Wait Until Next Year.

She listened to the games over the radio with her father, using score pads that remain today in her attic. The Dodgers came close, year after year.

The baseball fans among you will know if this persistence was rewarded!

It is my prayer that United Methodist people will be persistently hopeful as we urge clear thinking and helpful movement in the legislative process. It is our calling to work with elected leaders in our counties, towns, cities and state to find ways to garner and focus resources in just and wholesome ways.

There are no simple solutions. However, it is essential that we focus our efforts on the needs of children and their families and upon the public schools of our state. We have the capacity in Mississippi to do better for the most vulnerable among us in the next legislative session.

The legislative session is over for this year. However, every household will continue to shop for groceries week by week. Mississippi will continue onward with the highest food tax in the nation. This is glaring and deeply troubling.

The tax structure of our state is regressive. This means that the burden of taxation falls most heavily on those with the fewest resources. The Biblical witness is consistent: we are to be compassionate toward the poor, to seek to ease their burdens, to structure our common life in ways that make gentle their lives.

Our loyalty to the tobacco industry is misguided. Tobacco is not grown or processed in Mississippi. Cigarettes are not manufactured in Mississippi.

The resistance to raising taxes on cigarettes, a product with no redemptive value and no link to the economic lives of Mississippians, is deeply troubling.

There is time ahead for good work together with our friends in public office. May we go forward together with wisdom and perseverance.