Bringing the Text to Life
"Just say no!"
It sounds so simple, fits quite snugly on a bumper sticker, and has the right tonal "sound bite" for our short attention spans - no wonder this phrase has become a kind of national mantra for whatever ails us. But just saying no has never been a real answer, much less a panacea. At best it is a tiny preliminary step.
Just saying no is a negative. People cannot move forward on negative energy, negative power. To make "no" a reality in someone's life - no to drugs, no to crime, no to loveless, irresponsible sex, no to injustice, no to bigotry, no to economic cut-throatism, no to environmental rape - there must be a positive energy force to get people going.
Kids trapped in the cycles of poverty and violence thriving in the world's urban ghettoes need to know they can say "no" and have the opportunity to finish school; say "no" and find a decent job; say "no" and have a loving, supportive family life.
Concern and compassion are not enough - from the church or from...