Monday, October 6, 2008

Another Opinion

After sending out an anti-abortion ad to my entire list, which included non-Christians and some very politically and religiously liberal Christians, I have received back some amazing flack, and more "unsubscribes" than usual, even from good friends who don't want me to send them a political opinion but have no hesitation from sharing theirs with me.

One person did engage in a very healthy dialogue with me, and while we didn't agree we were able to agree on the problems of communicating such issues.

In times like these, I discover who my true compatriots are in our fight for moral values, and who claim to be reading entirely different history books, written perhaps by Keith Olbermann. Here's one I received today. The writer is referring not only to my anti-abortion ad, which I asked people to pass around, but to my claim that the Democrats where principally responsible for the financial crisis for their refusal to back Bush and McCain regulations requested in 2001 and 2004. I'm unsure why the McCain camp is not capitalizing on this well documented history; perhaps there's a dark lining for McCain. But that McCain, Bush and numerous Republicans led the effort for new and tougher regulations at Fannie Mae, and that the Democrats beat them back, seems to be well-documented thanks to CSpan and YouTube. The greed factor is another huge issue... that frankly, the regulations may have helped contain. Anyhow, here's a recent rant on me, with some comment.
Dear Stan,

I am so very sorry that you feel this way, as I am very much a kindred spirit of the late, great Tim Russert, who said that "I was born a Democrat; I was only baptized Catholic".
And therein lies a horrifying moral problem, on two levels. (1) Democrats have dramatically changed their moral values over the decades, from a party that supports the poor to a party that endorses killing the unborn. There's also a more subtle difference, whether intended or not. But Democrats are more socialistic and willing to give out unrestricted welfare, whereas Republicans tend to be more captialisitic and ask people to work for the money. Both positions are valid, as long as we avoid extremes. As the saying goes, "Keep them poor so they will vote for us next time. If they get rich, they'll vote Republican."

(2) It is morally irresponsible and morally relativistic, and thus eternally dangerous to attach your identity to a moving target (any political entity) and not with something infallible which is irrevocably tied to God's history of salvation—Catholicism.
You are an overly simplistic idiot to think that these "neo-fascist, reactionary, running dog lackeys of U. S. imperialism, and their war-mongering hordes", aka the Republican Party, care one damn hoot about anything other that the aggrandizement of their own personal wealth, to the exclusion of all other concerns. Period.
There you go again. Did the schools you attended teach you that name calling was a valid way to convince others of your position? You should look up several of those words in the dictionary. "U.S. imperialism?" Unless you're going to change the definition, about the only imperialism we've committed was during he Civil War when we insisted that the South do away with slaves and we forced them to stick around. "War-mongering hordes?" I know many think Bush is a war-monger but the other prevailing opinion is that he's fulfilling his constitutional obligation to defend us against aggressors, that have attacked us numerous times. I'm of that camp. Although you may be one of those that think 9/11 was an "inside" job. You never served in the military, did you? It would help your argument if you could cite evidence rather than just name calling. The name calling is easy, and thus makes you look overly simplistic, and that other stuff you said.

While I am technically an independent, I have voted Republican recently because they agree closest to my moral values. That is, I care about others and I see the economic principles upon which the R.P. is based as helping the poor the most, by creating jobs and getting them off welfare. The staunch Republicans I know are sacrificing a great deal for others. Bush's record is one that has sacrificed much, especially politically for the poor in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a nation we have sacrificed a lot of money hoping to turn their lives around and give them hope, at much cost to us. None of that is related to your claim of engrandizement or personal wealth. To pull back from these battles is being selfish. Cindy Sheehan was one of the most selfish women ever to hit the media. She didn't care what her son thought or why he went to war, all she could think about was how she felt. She never realized that the death of our soldiers guaranteed her right to act like a selfish twit.

We fight for others as well as for ourselves. It is honorable, and I am glad to be associated with that effort. War is horrible. But when you fight evil, and people who think nothing of lying to kill you, what's the point of negotiation? The devil doesn't negotiate, unless you're stupid enough to do it, and then he loves it. One of the big examples of such "negotiation" with the devil was Neville Chamberlain, whose "legacy is marked by his appeasement policy regarding his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding part of Czechoslovakia to German dictator Adolf Hitler." (Wikipedia)
They couldn't care less about starving kids, impoverished families, the undermining of the American economy, true National security, or anything other than their own wealth. Not one Christian virtue or goal is any concern of these hypocrites. Just look at their true track record. They've been railing against abortion for nearly 40 years now, but only every fourth one of those years, and only near election times. Yes, that's right, and accurate. Hypocrites, I say.
There you go again, opining but with no evidence. You listen to MSNBC's sound bytes too much -- just because it sounds cool, gains a laugh, or a nod, doesn't mean it is true. If you act this way around your employees, I wonder how many agree with you simply to keep their job. Over generalization doesn't help either.

Wealthy Republicans make good philanthropists, (but I will quickly leave out the greedy rich Republicans (and all others), who are part of the problem). A lot of Republicans give generously to institutions that give back a hundred fold. The rich Republicans I know (and granted I know only a few) are sacrificial, compassionate Christians who overflow with virtue and kindness.

On the abortion front, we not only have been railing against abortion but years, but have made wonderful progress. Where do you live, that you are totally unaware of the progress that Pro Life efforts have made at both the state and national level? Look at the abortion numbers, and the reduction in abortion clinics. Let Obama into office and he'll wipe away all that progress in less than a year with his Freedom of Choice act. He's promised to do away with the Pro Life progress as one of his first acts in office. Do you know anything about the FOC act? Do you think it came from Republicans? Are you drunk sir? Call them what you may, but thanks goodness you have no vote on sainthood. The Republicans I know are the opposite of your claims, and I am one of them, proudly.
They've been calling for their complete control of the Congress to do it first, though. Well, o.k. we gave it to them. Then they said that they needed the Senate also to do the job. O.K. then, we gave that to them. Then in the next election they said that they needed the White House also to get it done. O.K., we gave them that, too. Then they said that they also needed the Supreme Court to get the job done. O.K., we gave them that too. And what did they do with all of this power? End abortion?
My dear sir, what have you done to end abortion? Vote Democrat? If you know anything about our legal system, you must know that the efforts to stop abortion with laws have been very successful in states like Michigan, where I live. You must also know that unlike Democrats, Republicans believe the Supreme Court should rest on the constitution, not on the floor of the legislature. That means the right cases, with the right causes, have to be brought before the court. You act as if you expect a conservative court to act like a liberal court, and make up the laws, based on any case it hears. Sorry, you misunderstand how our country is suppose to work. A much larger majority in congress is needed to overturn a Supreme Court ruling like Roe vs. Wade. A simple majority won't do it, and you need a lot of populous support, which does not exist.
... And what did they do with all of this power? End abortion? HELL NO, they just pursued more and more tax cuts and tax breaks for the super rich and the mega millionaires. Period.
Did it ever occur to you what happens to the money that responsible rich people get? (I'm not talking about the greedy, evil ones, who probably send it to an off-shore bank.) Do you think they hide it in their mattress and take it out of circulation? Not at all. The rich are rich for a very good and logical reason. They are entrepreneurs who try to generate "capital" which is a requirement for productivity and which pays the laborer for "work." You need both, labor and capital (see the Catechism 2432). Although in the extreme the Church condemns both capitalism and socialism, which seek to solve all problems purely through one model. A balance is required (see the Catechism 2426-2436). And the richest folks know that the only way to help the world (and their own pocket) is to invest that money in productive projects that will earn a return. Capitalism, when done benevolently, allows that to happen -- it works wonders for helping the poor and the lives of everyone. The money the rich get they invest, which pays the salaries of their workers, and buys parts and construction, and new plants, all which gets into the paychecks of the part inventors, and the steel workers, and the guy who makes their lunches, and sells amusement ride tickets on the weekends. Rich guys that do nothing with their money are not rich for long. But giving tax breaks to entrepreneurs, whether rich or poor, does stimulate the economy and creates jobs.

I'm doing that now. I get a lot of tax breaks because I'm in business. And by some measures I am financially rich. But I haven't taken a paycheck in nearly 10 years, choosing instead to "pour" my money back into building a couple of businesses, which pays for inventory and salaries, and such. And thus, every dollar this "rich Republican" gets for the past decades has gone into the pockets of others... for their good, and the good of us all. Oh sure, I expect to profit some day. But, even then, the profit will go right back into other investments, while spending a portion of my income to live on. So, all this hooey about the rich getting tax breaks as an evil thing.... well, it better be true, or you'd be out of a job. Even as a fireman and EMT, the money you get comes from the rich families that pay 80% of the taxes in this country. You should be glad.
All they ever do is keep pulling out the old anti-abortion banner like a dirty old handkerchief from their back pocket, wave it around once every 4 years, and count on fools like you to do their dirty work and bidding.
I'm glad to be a fool for God's good will, and the life of the unborn. But I don't do this only every 4 years. I am thinking about it, praying about it, nearly everyday of my life. And you should be too. And it's not a "dirty old handkerchief" but "a bloody sacred handkerchief" with the red sustenance of the innocent soaked through and through.
Wise up and read a little history first, pal, before you go on any further with this drivel.
I wonder what the last history book you read,... perhaps it was a diatribe against the evil doings of the U.S.. Who wrote it? Drivel? Hmmm?
What's going on here is the perennial old battle between capital and labor. It goes back thousands of years, and will continue to go on until the Second Comming, with the same ole groups of victims all along- the poor and powerless.
You really need an education. As I said before, capital and labor are both necessary for progress. If you think otherwise, I'd like an example. Oh, I suppose you'd like to quote Marx - a tyranical socialism. Well, that is one solution. But it's been tried with pretty bad results. Do you want to try Marxism again? We're close to it, and in some ways beyond it. Vote for Obama. He's already got middle school teachers training his storm troopers. (See YouTube.) complete with the Nazi typed posters opening up the video. And his programs will cost more than the bailout.
Fetuses are just the most helpless of all the victims, but certainly not those that suffer the most, though. It's the children and young parents who do, along with the elderly poor of our country. As a neighborhood career fire captain and paramedic in the poorest parts of the city for the majority of my career, I've seen them; tried to confort them; tried to support them, tried to encourage them onward and upward against staggering personal and economic odds; tried to feed them when I could afford to do so; and indeed also tried to comfort the inconsolable young ones at their parent's funerals, when their parents died prematurely from their impoverished state of existance.
Well, hats off to you, seriously. But the poor are poor for a host of reasons, and my bet is many of those reasons lie at the doorsteps of the ideologues who would give the poor money and never teach them to fish. The poor will always be with us, if for no other reason than the poor are made up of people who for whatever unfortunate reason have little initiative, discipline or intelligence. Not all, of course, are poor for that reason, and some do need help. We are commanded by Christ to care for the poor. But "care" has different meanings. Giving out money to the capable, without requiring of them labor, has never been a very good solution. Look at the tragic cases of many unprincipled, greedy lottery winners a year later. Dirt poor and often in debt.

I have given people jobs just to see them, after a short time, incapable of just getting up and coming to work. Or they do not like a boss telling them what to do. Or, they don't like taking baths, or showing others respect. I know teens today that I'm sure will be poor tomorrow, in spite of my sacrifice to help and teach them employability skills. Christ said the poor will always be with us. But don't blame the Republicans. It's part of natural law, a law that should teach all of us, as you have learned, to care for those who cannot care for themselves. I do it. You do it, evidently. And the Republicans do it through jobs. But don't claim that the poor are poor because of the men who create the majority of the jobs in this country made them poor. That is backwards reasoning.
Talk about the carnal, secular, whores of mammon... these Republicans are them! I Could go on and on, and try to explain it more pointedly to you, citing historical references and such throughout the last 4,00 years of history, but if you can't figure it out by now in the Old and New Testiments, and especially through the hypocrites of the Gospels, then you likely never will.
Can you cite one historical reference? Without the rich, unemployment would be sky high, for the reasons I just explained to you. And what does the Old and New Testaments have to do with any of this? The Gospels are hypocritical? You must mean something else, perhaps that there are hypocrites spoken of IN the Gospels. But where in the Gospels is owning capital exposed as wrong? The rich young ruler? Ah! His problem was that he LOVED his money and his belongings. It wasn't that he was rich, it was that he loved it more than he loved Christ or others. Just whom do you suppose the vineyard owners were that were paying salaries. Or the rich man who gave money to his servants to invest. Were they sinful? Were they hypocrites? Who pays for salaries, the man who gives his wealth away, or the man who wisely manages his wealth so he can meet payroll? Every laborer needs a rich capitalist to invest in business ventures. (And please don't confuse tyranny with riches. They are not related, anymore than the poor mob boss who beats up on this neighbor for not paying for protection. Greed and Tyranny may go hand in hand, but they can be found among the rich and the poor equally, although the rich will get more press exposure.)
So, I will end this reply with the simple wish that God Bless you, that he keep you even closer to his Mind and Will, and that you have a deeper re-examining of just what kind of Christianity it is that you are trying to sell here. It ain't one that I've ever seen in 8 years of Dominican parochial schooling, 4 years of Marianist High Schooling, 4 years of Jesuit college education, or even 2 more years of Jesuit graduate school education after that. But sell it somewhere else, not here.

Yours Truely,
Well, perhaps you better revisit some of what you were taught. If that truly was your education, you were very badly formed, and know very little about how this great country has been able to help the poor around the world more than any other nation in history. We are rich, and we are generous. Perhaps you should visit India or the Dominican Republic and see true poverty. I have been to India. By comparison the poor in this country have it well off, especially when you show up as an EMT or with your fire trucks. People that help, like you, just don't exist in third world countries. Here we have hospitals that will help the homeless, or should. We have running water. We have many non-profits that give them clothing and churches that give them food. We have an incredible infrastructure, that does not exist most other places in the world. Your EMT inner city experiences and presence, are examples of the greatness of this country and the use of our tax dollars to help those that need it most, along with so many other programs. And the last time I checked, Republicans supported the work you do among the poor.

By the way, it's just a guess, but Republican entrepreneurs probably invented most of the gear you use. It seems to me that Democrat entrepreneur is an oxymoron, although I'm sure I'm wrong in some instances, it might be a true generalization. That would make an interesting study.

Another thing you should realize is that because Republicans like to see their money go further, and they realize that government is one of the most inefficient enterprises around when it comes to spending money, Republicans tend to fund social welfare through non-government sources, like faith and neighborhood groups. I have always given generously to such programs because I know some bureaucrat won't steal or mishandle it.

Stan Williams

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I also meant to say that we pro-lifers will miss President Bush when he's gone. He's been holding out against an onslaught of Culture of Death issues. His decision not to use federal funding for additional fetal stem cell research was courageous -- and he was proven right as we've seen that adult stem cells are really where the research is leading. But we didn't know that back when he made his decision.

    And just wait till Obama gets in and signs the Freedom of Choice Act, which he's promised to do as his first presidential act. That will undo decades of painstaking pro-life work. And then he'll get to appoint two or three Supreme Court justices, who clearly will be radical pro-aborts.

    Your emailer thinks that the pro-lifers and Republicans haven't done any pro-life work?? Just wait till you see all our work undone in one quick penstroke, and with a few quick Court confirmations. It will be devastating. Then he'll see just how much had been accomplished in slow and painful steps.

    Keep praying.