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  • Deacon Dan Wright serves the Diocese of Austin, Texas. His work outside the parish is as a special education teacher serving students with significant cognitive disabilities.

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  • Family activities, spirituality, liturgy, Christian apologetics, social justice topics, special education issues, and promoting the peace and unity of the human family.
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« World Mission: Bring Gospel to World Oppressed by Poverty and Violence | Main | Keeping the Most Important Thing in Plain Sight: An Evening Reflection »

June 04, 2007

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forget me not

I agree wholeheartedly with this view. I believe Capitalism can be even more insidious than Communism because undertneath the apparent openness of capitalistic society (respect for basic freedoms), there seems to be a hidden agenda that may ultimately bring more people to lose their faith than communism or other repressive totalitarianisms managed to do. I think that whenever society forces its hand on the faith of the people forming that society, there is a good chance that people will react, and consciousness raised, albeit in conditions of oppression. On the other hand, the seemingly free and economically developed western civilization leads us to believe we do not need religion, and we become numbed by indifference. The current contrapposition of Islam vs Christianity seems to be the only thing that has awakened some consciences, but it has only resulted in the radicalization of religious fanaticism, whether it be Christian or Islamic.

Gypsy

There is a passage in the Gospel in relation to something else entirely, but when I first read it many years ago while my gas was shut off and I was trying to make a vast amount of pea soup on a hot plate, and I nearly despise pea soup, I thought how much it reflected the condition of the wealthy vs that of the very poor: To the one who has much, even more will be given. (Furred shoppers at Manhattan storefronts.) To the one who has little, even that little bit will be taken away. (Bag-people in the last 2 pews of St. Patrick's, because all the steam grates that bitter winter were taken.) Unfortunately, that example only with different venues exists in every large city, but more and more in the smaller ones as well.

We have to pick our battles / local talking points, because few of us can/will succeed in doing any more than a personal good about or against an outrageous capitalism, but I do know (as do all employers, no matter what their faith or not, no matter how remote from their struggling employees!) that a truer living wage would be all that many folks need to get by. That, and some group medical care which might be discounted to the working poor for purchase (lest they be wound and bound in Government's paperwork forever), and some truly affordable housing. I know for a fact that it doesn't have to be as hard as it is, and it isn't this hard, when Democrats are in office. But Democrats have had a tendency to let Catholics down almost as consistently as Republicans, now.

How hard it is to see a kid walking to the homeless shelter from school.. he'd surely qualify for the bus distance, but I think maybe he didn't want any others knowing where he's living. An interim shelter is one thing, but if there's nowhere to go from there ($200+/wk. before taxes won't rent more than a studio), it's a dismal outlook. Who'd have thought America itself would need Habitat for Humanity? Why is this so? Who has stolen all options?

At this point of re-building (or .. building up..) Iraq (and wherever..) with sweat-laden tax dollars taken right off the backs of the poor, the poor need to vote in every election they can get to. I'll gladly give rides, but I'll leave other folks to direct them to suitable candidates.

Just like Democrats, socialism has its foibles. What all Christians who consider themselves stewards, especially those who have more than enough, can do is reduce, reuse, recycle, grow our own, sew our own, keep emissions down to a non-leaded non-roar, volunteer, (re)create employment wherever possible, fund some grants, and share. Just simply share. That has immediate positive results toward a common good.

Idealistic maxims/condemnations do not, as the rejection of GM food showed, as the immigration roundups prove.

Gabrielle

I was reading Thomas Merton's last talk, the one he gave in Bangkok just before he died. It was, "Marxism and Monastic Perspectives." It's well worth reading, if you haven't already done so. I'd like to share a tiny passage with you; of course, the passage focuses on Marxism, but I think we could substitute many of the political/economic structures or world views and see the relevance:

"I think we should say that there has to be a dialectic between world refusal and world acceptance. The world refusal of the monk is something that also looks toward an acceptance of a world that is open to change. In other words, the world refusal of the monk is in view of his desire for change. This puts the monk on the same plane with the Marxist, because the Marxist directs a dialectical critique of social structures toward the end of revolutionary change. The difference between the monk and the Marxist is fundamental insofar as the Marxist view of change is oriented to the change of substructures, economic substructures, and the monk is seeking to change man's consciousness."

We are our brother's keeper. What is necessary first is transformation of the consciousness, of the heart, be it a capitalist heart, a Marxist heart or a totalitarian heart.

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