Thursday, June 28, 2012

Conscientious Objection and Obsequious Bishops

No Catholic is obliged to support the preferences that the Bishops offer:

Following enactment of ACA, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has not joined in efforts to repeal the law in its entirety, and we do not do so today.The decision of the Supreme Court neither diminishes the moral imperative to ensure decent health care for all, nor eliminates the need to correct the fundamental flaws described above. We therefore continue to urge Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, legislation to fix those flaws.

It is not a teaching of the Catholic Church, it is merely a personal preference of most Bishops in this time and place in USA.  The fact that there is a well known superior means to ensure decent health care for all is available and in place makes the preference of the Bishops curious, especially since the Bishops preference does violate church teaching on subsidiarity.

The church has been in a pas de deux with the state since the beginning, at times antagonistic, at other times obsequious.  We live in such times.  Mother Cabrini and other nuns built the Catholic Hospitals and schools and demonstrated an alternative to the state for the provision of health care.  The Bishops collectively sold that birthright for pottage, and are now reaping what they sowed.

Talk of Bonhoeffer is ill-advised for people who have had undying support for the regime.  And constantly cite Romans 13 and "prudential judgment."  From Panetta, to Chris Cox to Sebelius to Pelosi to Roberts, the powers that be that control the state can depend on Catholics to advance their agenda of warfare, usury and welfare, and the bishops to give everyone a pass.

And how come?  Follow the money.  Bishops can claim the mandates apply to all Catholic orgs, even those who take no tax money, and so it is an assault on religious liberty.  But those orgs that take no tax money are a sliver of the total money the church gets.  The bishops are like bears in Yosemite, who can no longer fend for themselves as they depend on handouts.

Why were the bishops not listening when warned about this 40 years ago, or 80 years ago?  Where were the bishops when individual Catholics had their rights violated?  No wonder the Vatican keeps stressing the laity is on their own, expect no help from Catholic Bishops in the USA.

This is not an act of division on my part to complain, it is just a realization that the Bishops have excused themselves from the conversation, for money.  We are on our own.

Here is a typical lie that people of good will must endure:

And in case you’re a little fuzzy on what Dr. Morse was talking about, consider the fact that the U.S. Government is preventing our Church from helping combat human trafficking because our beliefs in rejecting contraception, and abortion, don’t meet the Administrations “standards.”

Since when does combatting human trafficking depend on government cooperation?  The lie is we cannot do it without state support.  

One of the most dangerous things in life is to believe your own PR.  The Bishops and Catholic social justice types and the right wing warmongers are all in for a surprise.  Your opinion never mattered.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Back in the USSR

A cold war series of jokes went like this:

Soviet microchips - largest in the world!

Soviet wristwatches - fastest in the world!

Soviet wheat - rarest in the world!

In a trope on that riff, USA has announced the largest computer in the world.  And for what have our tax dollars been directed.

Sequoia will be used to carry out simulations to help extend the life of aging nuclear weapons, avoiding the need for real-world underground tests.

Well, there.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Romans 13

The new testament tells us to submit to authority.  The right wingers take the pledge of allegiance to idolatrous heights.  They love their state.  But at the same time, they advocate the overthrow of other states.  This is a contradiction.

The state the right wingers adore came to be in disobedience to authority, the American revolution.

The constitution of this USA provides for slavery to be legal.

It is not the just war haven we are told it is.

Laurence Vance has an interesting take:

Christians who recite their "obey the powers that be" mantra and chant "Romans 13" when they want to put a divine stamp of approval on U.S. wars and militarism are falsely leading people to believe that defending US wars and military interventions has something to do with obeying the government. Obeying the government has nothing to do with believing everything the government says, accepting everything the government does, supporting the government’s troops, or defending the government’s wars. The US government hasn’t commanded any American to think or say that the war on terror is a good thing, that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are just wars, that US foreign policy should be supported, that prayers should be made for US troops, or that the US Navy is "a global force for good." And the government certainly hasn’t commanded any individual to go kill and maim on its behalf in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no draft. No one was forced to join the military. And no one who bothered to study US military history for five minutes would joined before these wars began and not known that there was a chance he would have to kill and maim for the state.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pro-death Catholics

With both Santorum and Gingrich pretending to be Catholics as they promote murder overseas, the top torture/drone killer is of course a Roman Catholic as well.  While bishops engage in a existential struggle for the life of the church in the USA by trying to keep government handouts flowing without strings, the general population gets the idea that the Catholic Church is pro-war.

Why is it that the same "Christians" who tell us to submit to authority (Romans 13) also want to overthrow other regimes.  Rather contradictory.

There is a prudential judgment regarding going to war.  There is not regarding murder.  That the bishops fail to make this distinction is failing in their teaching mission.  We'll all go into the fires, but that which is gold will be purified, and that which is dross will burn up.

Nary a peep from the bishops whose existence depends on handouts from the state.  In America, the only place a Christian can expect fraternal correction is from comedians.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Shall Not Kill

Here is a very good summary of the apparent contradictions in the Gospel regarding Jesus and self defense.

Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" "Nothing," they answered. He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: `And he was numbered with the transgressors' ; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment." The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied. (Luke 22:35-38, NIV)

No one has related this to 1 Samuel 8, and many other instances, wherein the laws God lays down are short of divine but doable by humans.  Jesus needed to bring the apostles from brawling thugs to Christianity within a few moments.  Jesus says "get swords" which makes perfect sense to the apostles, and then "that is enough."   Time was clearly short, and as the evening proceeded, we see Peter and the others were still woefully uncatechised.

But enough what? Enough swords for the task at hand, enough of the nonsense of killing (swords are for killing and the commandment is "thou shalt not kill")

I wish I was a Greek and Latin scholar so I could know if this a good interpretation.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

More Military Roles for Women

Once we get used to women in the military, in combat roles, then drafting women too will be a natural consequence.  The present draft proposals have a version that includes women.

Now, why would women want to be in the military?  Of course I have heard all of those reasons and they are ridiculous in light of a better question.  Given what only women are capable of, why would they waste themselves in a life in the military?  There is no job in the military a man cannot do.  Soon women too.  But, there is no job in the military that would offer a women as much challenge, interest, goodness, benefit and glory, if women want that, than raising a family.

As an advertising campaign, how about: Women in the Military - Be Less Than You Can Be!