The Crusader Online

March 13, 2009
Vol. 50 No. 17

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The Chaplain's Corner

I am ninety miles south of Tijuana, Mexico as I write this Corner. A phrase I have heard several times since arriving translates as, "When America catches a cold, Mexico gets pneumonia."

People here are hurting - more than usual - from two sources. One is global recession afflicting all of us, the poor more acutely than the non-poor.

The other is irrational fear born of sensationalistic journalism. American news reports have made a visit to Mexico sound like something only a person with a strong death wish would do.

So would-be visitors cancel vacations. Study abroad sites shut down their Mexico programs. Church groups post-pone mission trips here. Meanwhile, I walk the streets freely among friendly people whose towns experience grinding povery but little violent crime.

As Susquehanna learned during the so-called cancer scare, reckless reporting is not a victimless crime.

I look into the eyes of a boy whose newly-jobless family lives in a home made of cardboard boxes, and I call it by its biblical name: sin.

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