How appalling to see the Lewiston mayor’s proposal to publicly list public assistance recipients with the obvious intent to shame them. (If it were really to see where our tax dollars go, we could be listing all the people with property tax abatements, or a home mortgage interest deduction!)

He thinks nothing of the harm inflicted on children, mothers, veterans with PTSD, people with mental and physical illnesses, people with addiction struggling to quit and recover without the aid of health insurance, people with long-term disabilities waiting the interminable years for their disability benefits to come through, people who just plain lost their jobs. I work daily with people who need help and they are human beings struggling to survive and then better themselves in very difficult circumstances.

Every day I say to myself “There but for the grace of God go I.” What would Mayor Robert Macdonald do next – give them all scarlet letters ? Make them sit in the back of the bus?

That he and other politicians prey on stigmatizing people who need assistance and rile up feelings of public hate toward a vulnerable group for political purposes is dangerous and despicable. It is in stark contrast to the pope’s reminder to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Mary Henderson