Thursday, July 12, 2018

FAITH IS POLITICAL

   I just learned that some of separated asylum seekers' children who are now being returned do not recognize their parents.  They cry to go back to the people who were taking care of them.  In deep shock, they are asking their parents why their parents "went away," a sign that they may be scarred for life.

   And then Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, blindly and inhumanly said that what the Trump administration has done for the separated children is "one of the great acts of American generosity and charity."  

   The most charitable thing we can say is that the Trump administration has gone morally insane.  We are witnessing the results of brutal torture that was explicitly ordered by President Donald Trump.  Remember, the people who crossed the border are not immigrants who have no rights.  They are asylum seekers who have Constitutional rights.  Their "crime" was that they crossed the border at the wrong points.  Their punishment is the torture of separation.

  This happened in a country that has a Christian majority, many of whom voted for this torturer.

   To my Catholic brothers and sisters who voted for Trump, I ask, "Why didn't your Catholic consciousness tell you that something like this horror could very well happen?  As Catholics, did you fail to see and realize that Trump is a man who cares for no one and nothing but himself, in short, that he is the very opposite of Jesus?  Did you put this horrific truth aside and vote for him because you want the Supreme Court to outlaw abortion?  That may now very well happen.  So where do we go from here?"

   Our Catholic faith enables us and makes us responsible to build the Kingdom of God on earth.  God's Kingdom is right here, right now, within our towns and cities, in our nation, waiting to become ever more clear and effective.  We are responsible to turn our towns and cities, our entire nation, into a place where peace, justice and love, even sacrifice for others, are ever increasingly present.  It doesn't take a prophet to know that right now this is not happening. In fact, just the opposite is happening.

   It is impossible to read the New Testament and not see that practically on ever page Jesus or a Biblical writer is telling us to beware of wealth, and above all, to care for the sick, the poor and the vulnerable of our society.  Jesus reserves the harshest warnings for those of us who don't care for others.  He goes so far as to identify with the "least" of us and say that what we do for the "least" of our brothers and sisters, we do for him. (Mt. 25:40)

   Let's get to the bare facts, as Jesus did in his time.  Our Catholic faith does not tell us to base our votes on our narrow mindedness, or on our craving for wealth and social privilege, or on our prejudices or our anger, and on hatred for others.  Yet this is happening today on a scale so dangerously high that is threatens our democracy itself.  Many of us Catholics today are working for the destruction of the United States of America.  Many don't even know that we are collaborating in our country's destruction.  Look at the crowds who attend the campaign rallies that Trump insists on holding almost weekly.  So many of us are so deluded that we actually believe we are saving our county and "making it great again."

   As Catholics we live in Christ, who is our Way, our Truth and our Life.  In truth, we should see that we are daily being lied to  (over 3000 times in his first year!) by our President.  We should see that he is an anti-Christian, destructive force in our country and in the world.

   So how does our faith apply to today's politics?  We should all begin by examining our own conscience so we could clearly see the deep shallowness and corruption of our politics in the light of our Catholic faith--and also in the light of our biases and prejudices.  Then, because our politics are so corrupted, we should demand that every one of our leaders tell the truth.  We should expect and demand that no matter what party they belong to, our leaders must clearly see why they are in office and that they must provide first and foremost for all the needs of the poor, sick and vulnerable that they cannot provide for themselves.  If they don't do this, then we should tell them loudly and clearly that we will vote them out of office.  That is the least we can do.

   The Catholic Church does not exist one hour a week on Sundays.  The life and work of being a Catholic in today's world takes up 24 hours of every day.  We are all called, enabled and responsible to work to elevate our society and where necessary, humbly correct it in the saving grace of Christ, so that our society becomes more just, peaceful and charitable.  We are here on earth to show our fellow Americans and all the peoples of the world that our faith is real and it is energizing us to be effective in our everyday world--because that's where Jesus lived in his day.













      













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