Friday, March 12, 2010

Social Justice

Recently some Gas Bag on the airwaves had some sort of transient ischemic attack (or something) while being filmed, and made incredibly bizarre assertions that the phrase "social justice" when used by church people means those church people are both Nazis and Communists at the same time.


That's quite an assertion.

And completely asinine.

Last I checked, the Nazis and the Communists were on opposite sides of the Second World War.

The Great Blowhard in question demanded that his listeners immediately leave any church which dared to speak that horrible phrase, because otherwise, the CommuNazis (or is it NazCommunis?) were going to seduce them into eating their own young, or something.

Hate to break it to ya, folks, but irrespective of whether you use a "Catholic" or a "Protestant" Bible, you're still gonna find Jesus saying, in Matthew 25:

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

In part based on this text (and others), for almost 120 years now (since 1891, to be precise), the Roman Catholic Church has taught officially that steps must be taken to relieve "the misery and wretchedness pressing so unjustly on the majority of the working class." Now lest Mr. Gas Bag get his anachronistic panties in a CommuNazi bunch over this, Rerum Novarum ALSO affirmed the right of private property and specifically rejected communism.

How is the right to private property a communist notion? Or a National Socialist idea? How is the specific rejection of communism a communist notion? (I suppose one might be able to argue that this latter point could, possibly, be construed as being one supported by Nazis, since they were fighting the Communists....)

Mayhaps Mr. Gone Batty's parents read him one too many stories about monsters under the bed.

In his defense, to be fair, it must be terrible living with that much fear, constantly.

These are, of course, strictly my own opinions, and do not reflect those of any other person, institution, or organization, either living or dead.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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Kanani said...

What a dork.
Unfortunately, I think there is way too much fear, resentment, and suspicion these days. Far too many polemics that are held up to be "leaders" in so many ways.

I don't like pundits. They sound so smart in their little sound bites, and do far more harm than good.

seg said...

If social justice is defined by the church as "redistribution of wealth by government" that is wrong and communist. If social justice is defined as "helping the poor" as Jesus said, then I am all for it.
It is a shame you have to resort to name calling when you disagree with people.

mary grech said...

Hey Bro, funny you should blog about this. Have been attending a series about Paul's letter to the Romans entitled "Justice and Empire". Getting tons of good background info about the time that letter was written by Paul. The instructor Larry Wellborn runs in pretty "tony" theological circles I'm told. In the book we are reading recommended by Larry, that author really believes that social justice is to be carried out by the government - as if they are the only ones to do it "corretly". Many at the church we attend feel the same way - they look to government for the answers. Funny but from what I'm learning in Romans, Paul used the "slave motif" as a powerful way to reach those in Rome precisely b/c so many WERE slaves. He (Paul) urges them to "die to sin" (no longer be a slave to it) because Christ's death and resurrection have freed them from that type of slavery. (Is not the current welfare state just another form of slavery?) I notice neither Christ or later Paul didn't urge the slaves to take up arms, or demand better living conditions from their masters. Christ and later Paul did not go to the government and demand they regulate working conditions....No they urged THE PEOPLE to be responsible, and practice compassion to their fellow human beings. When I look on the national Episcopal website under social justice I see lots of people urging government intervention. ITSN'T that the church's job? I use church to include ALL denominations. So far the priests I've asked both Catholic and Episcopal dodge that question. Why are so many "church goers" adament about the quote "separation of church and state" but will gladly let the government do the church's job. Are we that lazy? Perhaps thats what the "blow hard" you quoted meant? PS did you hear the actual show or are you relying on quotes from the ever so reliable media???? Sometime I'd love for you to answer one of my replys. Lovingly your baby sister MG

Bro Steve said...

I agree with you Fr Tim. Folks try to twist the Biblical principal of compassion into something that fits their idea of little-to-no government, probably so they can attend their church on Sundays and still feel good about themselves while they maintain that peoples ignorance and laziness is the reason they are poor, sick or otherwise 'needy.' Bible versus you gave for illustration do not work Fr Tim for many of these people, unfortunetely, just as the example of the Good Samaritan doesn't work either. I know because I had a conversation along these same lines with a couple of friends two days ago.

seg said...

Ok. Bro Steve (or Tim) so what is your definition of "social justice"? Was the Good Samaritan from the local government? Please answer these questions.

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