Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Poor and the War.

So I've recently discovered Chuck Currie's blog, and I've discovered a few faith/politics related gems.

This one is about how Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council says that 'life issue' (i.e., anti-abortion) is a tenet of Catholicism but feeding the poor is NOT.

Now let's take a second to talk about 'John Kerry Catholicsm.' In the 2004 elections, the media all their splendor had to paint conservative Catholics as the 'good Catholics' and liberal Catholics as the 'bad Catholics,' which is exactly what you would expect when you try to look at Catholics through the old Puritain lens of all-or-nothing religion, take it or leave it. It's a very simplistic ideology embraced by very simplistic fundamentalists and, ironically, non believers.

So Tom McClusky is the conservative. He's supposed to be the good Catholic.

Let me tell you, children, that anyone who claims that loving and serving the poor is not a tenet of Catholicism has a putrid, rotting, cavity-ridden, piss-and-vomit-smelling understanding of Catholic social teachings.

McClesky also claims that views on the war are not tenets of Catholicsm. Maybe he is right. Maybe they are merely the leanings of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Vatican.

I used to belong to a discussion group for Catholic music ministers, and when the war started, I tried to start a list of peace-oriented songs as a resource, knowing that my pastoral team would be calling on themes of peace and compassion.

I got one response that was basically, 'I am a very conservative Catholic, and I think Mass should be a sanctuary, an escape from the problems of the world, and you shouldn't bring up controversial issues.'

Now, I try to be professional. But I go to Mass to experience the Word of God and to take Holy Communion; if I wanted an escape from the world, I'd fire up the bong and schedule a massage. Give me a break. I have no interest escapist liturgy committe that is just there to pass me the collection basket and has all the spiritual direction of a hard candy shell. I don't go to Mass to escape the world; when I go to Mass, I go to join the world.

The best part, though, the best part is how the person tried to bully me with "I am a very conservative Catholic." Ooh, I'm so scared. He might as well have started his rant with "I am a jelly doughnut," because in my mind, that would at least be more flattering.

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