Friday, June 29, 2012

Let Me Be Clear

The President likes this phrase as a means of indicating that somehow, his message isn't getting through. 

I shall do the same, because it is clear that this is unclear.

I have no objections to our government providing a safety net for the poor, for those who find themselves without the resources to cope with a sudden or progressive or debilitating condition that threatens to rob them not only of life, but of dignity as well, by bankrupting those around them in the struggle to stay alive.  I do believe that we need to provide health care for those who cannot through their employment, manage themselves.  This is part of the function of good moral government. It is in a sense, its only purpose, to create a system of rules and laws that prevent the overflow of chaos, and that also establish a baseline which is an attempt to limit suffering.  Most Catholics including the Bishops as a whole, wanted a government run health care policy expressly for this reason.

But the 2000+page bill that is obamacare, violates our Catholic conscience --it demands things that as Catholics, we can't tacitly accept.

The monstrosity that was upheld yesterday, is a bad plan. It is a bad policy. It is a coercive policy that threatens religious liberty (by the government determining what is and is not a religious insitution, and what moral codes must be ignored to serve the state), and the further demands that grave immoral acts (abortion), be funded by all people of faith who know such acts to be not only sinful but lethal.

To those who start to shout about the Department of Defense, go ahead.   I don't think we should fund the wholesale slaughter of the innocent for grave, casual and all the inbetween rationales that humans can concoct.  I'll join you in saying it's a waste laden department with gobs of good thoughtful people implementing an incoherent policy that reigns death down on strangers for grave, casual and inbetween rationales in our name and probably shouldn't.  I also would submit, we shouldn't be doubling down on this policy by waging war on our own people, destroying them before they could become educated good tax paying citizens for the sake of other citizens who simply declare at the moment, they wish it. 

This healthcare plan like the unmanned drone strikes, changes the game.  We will now fund abortion through taxes without end.  We have been doing it on the sly for years. Now it's out in the open.  It's not better either way. It's wrong either way.  Drone strikes or patriot missles, RU-486 or partial birth or chemical, it's still dealing death without restraint, without reflection, and without any hope of stopping, because our tax dollars never stop being spent, and policy once enacted, seldom gets redacted. 

If no one sees the killing and they aren't reported, it's much easier to pretend we aren't doing evil.  If no one pauses to reflect on the taking of lives because the drones rather than humans are doing the death dealing, we can all pretend we're good moral agents.  I'm a good person even if I slaughter unborn babies on a daily basisBut we all know, what we finance, we support, what we support, we are morally culpable for, what we say to the world with our actions, defines us.  So if we carelessly deal death with indifference, it is clear, we are indifferent to life.  Human life of those not in power, is cheap. Begun, the drone wars have.  We can kill without pesky moral's not true, but we tell ourselves that every time we kill.  "Am I my brother's keeper?"  because that's the way we cope with being less human. 

No one with one ounce of moral sense thinks otherwise.  The only ones who glory in killing are those who are mad. The rest of us cope with killing by explaination: self defense, patriotism, protection of those weaker, policy, sustaining law/order, stopping an evil act, or proclaiming the act itself is not evil, is not killing, is a mercy, is a medical necessity, a choice, reasonable thing, hard heart breaking decision, but it is an act of the will that we must endure, there are more, but you get the idea.

I don't want to bow down before this golden idol, this pharoah called government and do what my God has commanded we should not.  I do not want to knowingly fund evil acts.  Torchure is wrong. Abortion is wrong, unmanned drone bombings are wrong, death sentences are wrong...killing is wrong.  Rubberstamp me as Pro-life (that's fine, I'll take that label), but understand that supercedes both sides' short sightedness. 

I want my government to be good.  It cannot be good by doing evil.  Ceasar has declared we must render what should be God's unto Ceasar, and I say no.  And I will say no with my votes and my voice. I will not be silent simply to be polite.  I will not give a blank check to the GOP or the DNC. You both have blood on your hands and you're both committed to demanding that we fund it mindlessly.  This has to stop.  This is not a government of the people, it is a tyranny of party elite and political will over the general public funded by all but those who do not abide by the rules --those who make them.   Let's call the elected officials what they are, aristocrats and petty tyrants who view the rest of us as little flyover people.  Pay your taxes and shut up. We know what's best. 

Ceasar has told us we must do this or we cannot render acts of mercy (care for the sick --Singer (bio-ethicist and advisor to administration, prof at Yale has said, the Catholic hospitals should simply close if they won't comply).   No.  Again, let me be clear.  I say no.   Get stuffed.  We will do good.  We will not comply.  We are being slowly boiled to only allow the goverment to perform the corporeal acts of mercy, such that we shall absolve ourselves of the acts, the obligations to perform such acts and remove ourselves from the graces attached to acting itself.  We will also be corroded by our cooperation with evil.   We cannot not be.  We cannot participate/fund an addiction without being part of the problem.  We cannot participate in bullying without being bullies, we cannot cease to be liars if we allow truth to go unspoken, if we allow lies to go unchallenged. 

We are to comfort the grieving, care for the sick, and do this not because the state declares it a good or because the state provides it, but because God do command that we do it, and not by proxy.  We're responsible for our souls and those around us, for all that we do and don't do, so everything we do and don't do counts.  This counts. 

We're called to care for the unborn and the pregnant mother, care for the sick, the dying and the immigrant, the homeless, the stranger, the people in tents across the world from us and the neighbors next door. We're called to pray ceaselessly, to love ceaseslessly, to serve ceaselessly, to be the Eucharist to others and to seek the Eucharist endlessly. We're to see the nails in the hands of our savior and both weep and rejoice, to know that the metal through the bone is for each of us, and to give great thanks for so great a love. We're to hold sacred the beauty of truth, of love, and to pour it out. There isn't a vacation or end to this mission either, it goes on even after death. Further, we're to be endlessly filled and on this earth unsatisfied. But it doesn't mean we're to be wimps or silent or acquiese to evil in this life. The martyrs were not wimps or defenseless, they were brave beyond measure with how they faced death and why. All they had to do is the perfectly reasonable denial. They didn't.

So let me be clear once more.  No.  We will not comply. But let me propose an alternative, one that will be neither Republican nor Democrat but Catholic. We will pay more. We will offer 40%, if the 40% shall be used to ensure that we do not fund war and we do not fund death as a nation, as a people. We will fund the roads and the hospitals and the research, but we will not fund abortion or death from the skies. We will turn the other cheek, offer our shirt, give more to make the society one that does better than the least amount possible, we want our country and our people to be a people of light and life.    Come. Take more if you must. (I'll even give it freely if less gracefully than the saints do).  But do not do perpetuate this grave evil in our name with all that you take.

Pray hard for our country, for leaders who recognize that while we need to provide for the 33 million, (and we do), we also need to do justice by all our citizens, and not destroy the unborn as the price for the 33 million. We need to always do both and --it is the nature of Catholicism, that both and...prayer and service, words and deeds, what is done and not done. Body and blood, bread and wine, soul and divinity. We are never not called to acknowledge the reality is both and. We must be clear.  To be Catholic, we will radically not comply because we cannot do less. 


Karen said...

NO FEDERAL FUNDS can be used to pay for abortions under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Hyde amendment restricts this.

Rose Godfrey said...

If we eliminated third party payers, we'd fix a lot. If everyone paid for their own healthcare coverage, people would ask the questions: what is in this plan? What is covered? You would be able to pick the plan that you actually wanted, not the one that the employer chose. We have, as a nation, been lulled into this sense of security and entitlement, believing that it is the responsibility of the employer or the government to cover this cost. We demand that EVERYTHING be covered then we cry that the costs keep going up (but give me my yearly "free" exams and all the other perks!).

We use Samaritan Ministries, a healthcare sharing ministry. We pay a set amount to another family each month--Samaritan Ministries tells us who needs our help and prayer. We pray for them, send them a note and a check. It is not insurance, we are all responsible for our own care. We learn to shop for the best value and we learn to ask a doctor "what is the cost? Is there an alternative?". It works for us.

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