Bless the children of Chicago

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs. … And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:14, 16).

In the past days, three children—2 year old Lavontay, 11 year old Takiya, and 12 year old Kenari—were killed in Chicago. Jesus invited these little children to come to him in the fullness of their lives, yet they were stopped by gun violence. Like Jesus, we must bless our children. We must reduce the violence in Chicago and protect our children.

The Trump administration tweets that it  will “send in the Feds” to address violence in Chicago. We do not need more federal law enforcement. Rather, we would welcome a federal investment in education and job creation … thereby blessing the children of Chicago.

The Illinois General Assembly and Governor Rauner have failed to pass a budget for nearly two years. We do not need a stalemate. Rather, we would welcome our Governor and legislative leaders take responsibility to pass a budget that includes adequate revenue to fund much needed social services and education resources … thereby blessing the children of Chicago.

Mayor Emmanuel wants to increase the size of the police force. We do not need greater force. Rather, we would welcome the Mayor supporting an ordinance that would use millions of city surplus funds for violence prevention programs … thereby blessing the children of Chicago.

Deploying the Feds, blocking a State budget, or increasing the police force do not address violence. Instead, we must deploy and allocate community resources that address the root causes of violence, particularly in neighborhoods most affected. We must end the killing of our children by investing in our children. As followers of Jesus, we must not let violence stop our children from the blessing of life.

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