Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
Mark Brumbaugh, Sunday, February 14, 2010
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. In this Sunday’s homily, the deacon told us that if we have health insurance and someone else doesn’t, we are STEALING. We were told in that same sermon, that we should no longer use the term “Illegal Alien”, and instead should call those folks an “Undocumented Citizen”. The Prayers of the Faithful included praying for Universal Healthcare and Immigration Reform.
Well, not in my church and not in my relationship with God. Have the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church forgotten to “Give Caesar those things that are Caesar’s and give God those things that are God’s?
This sermon started off innocently enough. It referenced Love thy Neighbor as the greatest commandment. It talked about human dignity. It referenced “Principles,” that ought to guide our actions. It then took an irrational detour into political solutions that don’t and can’t work.
Let’s start with a truism. Bureaucracies Cannot Love. A bureaucracy has no heart, no soul, no conscience, and exists mainly because it cannot be destroyed. It is a waste of time to love a bureaucracy, because it cannot love you back. It is not a person, it does not answer to God or the Commandments. It cannot hear a sermon. It is all process and little progress. What progress may result is generally unintentional, inconsistent with the bureaucracy’s own charter and goals, and all too frequently counterproductive.
How often we human beings, through good intentions, ignorance or even intentional avoidance, ignore this. We try to attribute human emotions to a bureaucracy and then treat the bureaucracy as a person to be loved or hated. (P.S. Perhaps this explains why so many loyal “company” men leave as disappointed and disgruntled former employees.)
Want examples? Was the Church right when it deemed the earth was flat? Is Congress concerned about your welfare? Does your company love you? Have we ended poverty? Has the education system improved over the last 50 years? Do you have social security (little s, little s)? Are we in danger of global climate change? How’s that labor union working out for you and your job security?
Practically speaking, for the Church to tell us to assign our personal moral obligations to the largest bureaucracy of all, the US Government, by calling on us to support a redistributionist agenda, is fundamentally immoral. It is ignorant, irrational, and probably illegal.
Here is a Principle that seemed to be a cornerstone of said sermon. Human Beings have a right to dignity. What does that mean? Well, to me it means the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It means having the right to own private property. It means having the right to work as hard (or little) as one desires, reaping the benefits (or consequences) of one’s labor. It means freedom to choose one’s life path and to what extent one prioritizes one’s needs and wants. It means personal responsibility. To take any of these away must surely diminish the fundamental dignity of man.
It does not mean that we should assign to any bureaucracy the right and function of “Robin Hood.” By what “right” or principle, should we assign to anyone or anything, the right to confiscate the fruits of our labor under the guise of compassion? I submit that to do so is worse than just getting robbed. It is shirking one’s responsibility to love their fellow man, visit the sick and imprisoned, feed the hungry, clothe the poor; INSTEAD, entrusting that moral obligation to a thief; one that has already demonstrated it cannot have compassion. It is impossible to do good by confiscating, by force, the fruits of another’s labor. This has been tried in every communist, Bolshevik, Marxist, dictatorship, and progressive government in the world today. It has never worked and now you know why. It also does not work in the United States, and when tried it contributes to the decline of our quality of life and our ability to help others within and outside our country.
I tell you, I am flabbergasted!
Does my Church really want to assign to the US Government (or the United Nations for that matter) something as fundamental to human dignity as health care?
Does it want the same entity that protects pornography and takes down nativity scenes, to determine who gets what health care and who pays what for it?
Universal Health Care will necessarily result in some bureaucrat determining cost effective treatment for each malady, including decisions regarding end of life and abortion. My Church wants that?
Is the Church ignorant of the law that no person be turned away from an emergency room regardless of ability to pay?
Shouldn’t the level of medical care be better determined by a lifetime of personal choices and their consequent ability to afford care?
Why can’t I buy insurance across state lines?
Why does the government tax us on health care costs that aren’t specifically exempted by special tax regulations?
Why will I have to pay an extra 40% on the insurance I have worked all my life to maintain, while stevedores in Los Angeles are exempt because they have a union voting block?
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops should be asking themselves this morning, “What was I thinking?” And parish clergy should be careful to stick to personal moral responsibilities and not support for Government Programs.
A lot of conservatives, like me, are regarded as callous and selfish. Many rally to the class envy call that we fortunate few have won life’s lottery. (Question…How can a government program based on (class) envy, which I thought violated one of the ten commandments, come to any constructive result?)
First of all, whether I am callous, selfish and fortunate is between me and my confessor, and God. He will judge whether or not I am worthy, generous, and use my talents in a way that pleases Him. It is NOT up to some vote seeking bureaucrat to determine how moral I am and then take forceful action to make me as moral as he thinks I should be.
Second, private charities are my choice of sharing. They are efficient in distributing their services and have no distractions such as, “what are polls or my constituents going to think?” They have at least the prerequisite to be able to do good.
I hope that Deacons, Priests, Bishops and the Vatican will rationally study human nature and history. Some good reading material can be found from Ayn Rand, or Mark Levin.
I have personally long wondered why the most eloquent supporter of human dignity, Ayn Rand could have become an atheist in her later life. I’m even today, not sure she actually was an atheist, as her moral compass was just too strong. However, after today’s homily, I now know why she rejected religion.
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Mon Feb 15 19:13:42 2010
From: Vic Biorseth
Our sympathies are with you. If the Deacon wanted to promote Obamunism, that would be his right, but the homily at Mass may not be the most appropriate approach. In our experience clerics that lean Left politically always seem to preach “doctrine light” and to love experimental liturgy. While that may not be the case in your church, if your Pastor was made aware of that sort of thing and he put up with it, that would be a signal that you might want to shop around for a better Pastor. I hate t say that sort of thing, because it makes us like the Protestants, who change churches and even denominations based solely on the philosophy or personality of Pastors; but here we are, in the Catholic community in contemporary America.
A couple of points.
There is a major difference between what you might hear from any given Catholic pulpit and what is taught by “The Church,” which is to say, the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Pope cannot be everywhere, and the Church in America, like the Church in Europe, is burdened with an overabundance of Liberal Bishops who teach heterodox versions of major points of the faith. Depend on the Bible, the Catechism and the documents of the Councils for your truly orthodox doctrine. Find an orthodox Pastor and support him all you can.
You are quite correct; civil law and non-ecclesial politics are completely outside the domain of the Church. All any American cleric is allowed to do is to speak out, with freedom, the same as any other citizen. But they do not speak with any religious authority on matters involving civil government and politics. Clerics may not even hold political office without special dispensation first, and to my knowledge no such dispensation has ever been granted.
Where the lines get blurred is where faith and morals meets hot political issues. This is where you need to pay attention to proper doctrine and read between the lines of the homilies you hear. Most usually the preacher who over-emphasizes “social justice” issues will not be the one who talks down abortion or contraception or homosexuality or fornication, etc., in his homilies. Today, in America, the Catholic topic of Social Justice is now so tainted in my mind that I just assume outright that it is Communist inspired revolutionary rabble-rousing. Excuse me, I meant to say Community Organizing.
Also, the Church never “deemed” that the earth was flat. There is and never was any doctrine addressing geography or astronomy or anything worldly. The notion of a flat earth was an idea with general social consensus here and there, probably not universally held, discussed by people both inside and outside the Church, but never formally addressed by the Church. The notion that early Christians were “flat earthers” is a myth. There were no more or less Christians or Jews than pagans who might have fit that description. The idea had nothing at all to do with theology; it was merely an idea that enjoyed some broad general consensus at one time.
I think you’ve got government and bureaucracy pegged right. There is no way any bureaucrat is going to do anything that really needs to be done any better than you or I could do it.
Date: Tue Feb 16 10:16:28 2010
From: Mark Brumbaugh
Location: Spring, Texas
Thanks for your comments. Thankfully I was only visiting this church for a memorial mass for my daughter-in-law, who died following childbirth in December. We had 40 members of my extended family and all were jaw dropping shocked. Thankfully our pastor is less "enlightened."
I sent a note to the pastor of the church concerning the homily and received the most condescending, obnoxious, spiteful reply. All of that is being sent to Cardinal DiNardo, who I hope will listen, but in fact it was his letter to Congress that was the start of this whole mess.
I suggest your readers check out insidecatholic.com and read Deal Hudson's article on the need for a Catholic Tea Party.
Thanks for being here for an avenue for discourse.
Date: Wed Mar 03 22:46:23 2010
From: Mark Brumbaugh
Location: Houston, Texas
What happened to "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods"? (except their health insurance for which they have labored for years to provide for their family.)
I have to be really honest here. If I were to find that I was dying of an illness and the only way my life could be prolonged would be to hire a politician to go take money from a hard working person at gunpoint and bring it to me to pay for my health care .... I would rather die. Period. End of story.
Folks, it is really this simple. Take your bleeding hearts to the confessional.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Converted Page to SBI! Release 3.0 BB 2.0.
Date: Fri Feb 28 19:53:01 2014
Location: Lindenhurst ny usa
Our ancestors, Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, and God expected them to work in order to eat and survive. Is God a bad God? I think not. People should work for what they want and not expect others to carry them financially. God is Good!
Date: Sat Mar 01 06:20:13 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
Exactly right. It begins to look like these kinds of stories are not mere scattered anecdotes from the pews. We are seeing the twin vices of sloth and envy being virtually institutionalized within the Church.
Underhanded, Machiavellian preparation for Marxist Revolution includes the promotion of sloth and envy in the population. A clear majority of Catholic Bishops promote sloth and envy under the title of Social Justice.
See the new Establishment Bishops page.
Date: Sun Nov 30 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
Changes pursuant to changing the website URL
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