This morning was a mixture of reflections between the Church and the State. The first stirring toward reflection was when I read an editorial in our newspaper. The other was when I read one of my regular blog sites. Both reflected on "coercion" in different ways.
The editorial was about how our government is beginning to undermine our "right to private property". Our Constitution protects private property from "public use". This editorial went on to tell the story of various occassions where the government "took" from private citizens, or businesses and 're-distrubuted" it for public interests. The point was made in the editorial that money was also property. Whenever co-ercion is used, there is resentment, because man is made to be a "free moral agent".
While many might have disagreed that the wealthy have the right to their money, as many believe that the wealthy can afford to be taxed more and morally, it is reprehensible to have those who are in the top 1% to have most of the "goods". It is still inappropriate for the average "Joe" to begrudge another of their property, unless it was "ill-begotten".
All taxpayers are outraged over the "bail-out" at taxpayer expense, while banks are raising their rates on bank accounts, credit cards, etc. The average taxpayer gets hit through taxes that pay off others debts, and at the same time, paying more to underwrite those same busniesses. It seems to be doubly offensive and disregarding of the taxpayers budgets. This is a "type of co-cercion" by our legislatures and President.
Government was to protect our personal property from another's greed, which is protection from envy, and coveting. But, while the government protected from the greed of another, it did not protect us from our own greed. This is the state of our country. We have become a people that bases their decisions soley on monetary gain. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with considering the monetary in making one's decsions, but basing the whole decision on the monetary is mis-guided and limits more necessary priorities, such as family.
Our country's "state" is not just because of our collective, and private "greed", but also because of the Church's greed. The church has given the impression that this same attitude pertains to the Church. The Church was to be the instrument whereby society could be benefited. In this sense, there is no difference between the Church and State. But, the Church has beomce more politically active, than socially concerned. This has led to a lack of relationship to the Church within local communities. And has distanced the Church to other through political attitudes that are less than pleasant and loving.
I do not believe that a "supernaturalistic" message brings any hope when life is falling apart before one's eyes. This is a "sore spot" for the Church, as it points to the Church's failure to meet the needs before them. The Church's emphasis has been distorted because of its need to grow and become an entertainment center, rather than meeting the human at the point of the human.
It is like that "warmth of my heart" in yesterday's post about Sen. Kennedy giving a dog to the first family. Whatever your political opinion, the human heart is warmed by human contact, human compassion, human affirmation. This is the "universal" that is to be the Church's vision, humanity's interest.
And in that light, there really is no "jew or greek", Democrat or Republican, slave or free, black or white, pure or impure, etc. There is just humanity, which is "god's interest". And "god's interest" should be ours.
Third Sunday of Advent
8 hours ago