Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ObamaCare vs. ChristCare

Quite apart from the issue of providing abortion funding either by specific inclusion or by a lack of well-defined exclusion (as has been proposed and repeatedly rejected by House Democrats), there is the larger question of whether the Catholic Church should be cheering this enormous extension of government control over the lives of Americans, funded by the coercive power of taxation. I don't think it should.

Our Church is about saving souls, first and foremost. Yes, our cooperation in that process will naturally lead us to care for the material needs of the poor and unfortunate. But it profits us nothing to provide that care through government, since that simply forces someone else to pay for it. Forcing someone else to give their money is not a virtue. Only if that care is enabled through our own direct, intentional, sacrificial giving, does it form a part of the change of heart that our Savior is asking of us.

If it's common now to refer to the president's proposals as ObamaCare, I would say that we Catholics should be focusing on ChristCare: an organized voluntary taking up of other people's healthcare burdens through the voluntary, sacrificial giving of ordinary Catholics.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

What else went wrong

At a local book sale recently I picked up a book with the intriguing title The Catholic Heritage, by one Lawrence S. Cunningham. I'm always interested in learning more about the contributions that Catholics have made over the span of the Church's history. Given the book's title, it seemed reasonable to expect that I might find out some new things along that line.

I stopped reading at the following:

It is no longer possible to think of Catholic theology; there are a number of theologies which work within the larger tradition which we call the "Catholic tradition".

And what are some of those "theologies"? Liberation theology. Feminist theology, including the execrable work of Mary Daly.

It's not so much that I think Mr. Cunningham was wrong when he was writing back in 1983. The big problem is that he was probably right. And that's another thing that went wrong after Vatican II: knowledge of and respect for the theological heritage of the Church took a back seat to the feelings of us Boomers, who were by then thoroughly accustomed to having our demands for "relevance" and "meaningfulness" catered to.

It was the beginning of a Church of teenagers, not a Church of adults. Maybe -- just maybe -- the generation of young Catholics we see today is actually willing to grow up, at an age when my generation was not.

The "mass" I left behind me

The recent nauseating "Mass" depicted in this video is a perfect example of what drove me away from attendance at Sunday Mass back in the 1970's. The irony is that the "reformers" thought that this kind of thing was going to be the key to keeping my generation in the Church. Think again, guys. And, another thing: ask God to forgive you for dragging His Church down into this relativistic, self-indulgent, politicized, ugly muck.