SAINT OLGA

SAINT OLGA
MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER, SAINT OLGA, PATRON SAINT OF CONVERTS

Thursday, January 26, 2017

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CONSERVATIVE CATHOLIC

Lying has always been considered horribly sinful, in Old Testament and in New. We are not supposed to give false witness against our neighbor, but fellow Catholics do this all the time, while defending this vehemently. They're very confused.

It is very disturbing that the man elected to the highest office in the land is a horrible, continual and bald-faced liar and many  Catholics defend his lies, without even bothering to try and ascertain the Truth. I find it shocking, especially since most Catholics that I know who voted for him only did so because there is a chance he will reverse Roe v. Wade with his choices for Supreme Court Justices. I doubt that will happen, but I certainly understand why some would take a chance on him, hoping that he WOULD follow through.

My problem is that I am a convert and I learned my religion at the knee of the desert fathers and mothers, the mystics and saints of the church. I read myself into the church, while the flesh-and-blood church bears little resemblance to the early church, or even to the present-day convents. The mother superior of a Carmelite convent warned me that I would have a hard time adjusting to parish life, having spent a lot of time in a Hindu convent and being accustomed to the mystical contemplative life.

Oh, how I wish I could hide in some out-of-the-way skete, but I'm physically not able. I NEED the world and its medicines, wheelchairs and scooters, but coming into contact with the sickness of our church has made me want to cry for IT much more than I would ever cry for myself.

WHERE is the Catholic faith I read about in the Hindu convent? Where is the faith for which I left my monastic life behind?

Another thing I see, almost daily, is that many Catholics are confused about politics. They imagine that there is such a thing as a "liberal" Catholic or a "conservative" Catholic when, in fact, there is no such thing. "Liberal" and "Conservative" are POLITICAL terms that have nothing whatsoever to do with Catholicism, which is not a political party. Why don't people know this? It is confusing to me.

Someone actually wrote me today and told me (on Facebook) that being a liberal is sinful! The fact of the matter is that there are aspects of each political orientation that are sinful and neither one is better than the other. It shocked me, though, that someone actually thinks such a confused thought, conflating religion with politics.

If politics was the solution to the world's ills, Jesus would have come as an earthly king, instead of a poor dirty kid, born in a stable and held in the animal's feeding trough. His whole life, he worked with his adopted father, Joseph, in hands-on physical labor.

The liberal ideology wants to allow mothers to kill their babies with abortion. Conservative ideology kills the poor, the sick and the old by removing government programs that help them. Liberals kill them fast and young. Conservatives kill them old and slow. Each is bad.  In fact, the liberals don't FORCE anyone to have an abortion, whereas the conservatives DO force economic policies that kill vulnerable populations, so perhaps it is the conservatives that are the sinful ones. What about THAT? 

Conservative economic policies benefit the rich and squash the poor, creating the perfect environment for lots of abortions because babies are expensive. Conservatives don't like to pay for other people's babies. They don't want to pay to abort them, and they don't want to pay to raise them. Conservatives do not like babies unless their parents are wealthy and never need help. This is why the conservatives don't follow through with promises to make abortion illegal again. They don't want to pay for other people's babies.

Catholics who identify primarily as Republicans and/or conservative dislike paying for other people's babies so much that they sometimes forget the church's longstanding proscription against contraception and end up "disagreeing with the church" about it. They want the poor people to have access to contraception so they don't have to pay for the babies of the poor. Artificial contraception is not pro-life and cannot be condoned in a faithful Catholic life. It is "inherently evil," according to Holy Mother Church.

According to the Catechism, a man having a vasectomy is as sinful as a woman having an abortion. Having a vasectomy is "intrinsically evil" and must never be done, "no matter how good the reason." How many people KNOW this?  How many Catholics are using vasectomies and other forms of artificial contraception, on the one hand, and loudly decrying abortion on the other?  A man cannot serve two masters. You are either pro-life or you are not. You can't cut it in half and say it is alright to frustrate God's generative power on the one hand, but not on the other. Are you open to life or not?

Every single time a program comes on the air, whether the television of the radio, and it's about "pro life," the only thing discussed is abortion. What a sad state of affairs. It seems that only the unborn are alive, in the minds of some people.

Republicans, in fact, do not want the government to help ANYONE who is vulnerable: the sick, the disabled, the poor. They do not want any social programs. They talk about "free markets" and "choices," but the poor, disabled and elderly do not HAVE any choices. They don't have enough money to have choices, especially if Social Security and Medicare are turned into voucher programs that we have to use to purchase needed services from for-profit businesses instead of not-for-profit Medicare? How is that going to work, exactly?

So - back to the man who called me sinful because he imagined that I am one of them damn lubruls. The arrogance of certain conservatives who impugn the character of people whose economic policies run more toward the liberal side, is a terrible sin in itself. Arrogance is pride, and pride goeth before a fall.

In matter of fact, I am neither liberal nor conservative. I am CATHOLIC. I am pro-life. I am against abortion. I am in favor of social programs. You cannot pin me down to any political orientation because I am not a political animal. I am CATHOLIC. Neither Democrat nor Republican will satisfy my yearning for a world in which life is honored, celebrated, supported and held up to God with a grateful HUZZAH!

I pray that all my Catholic brothers and sisters will actually study their faith and stop reading the twisted opinions of priests and others who've become obsessed with abortion and Republican trickle-down economics that has NEVER worked. There is more than one way to kill a person, and abortion is just one. It's a terrible thing. I wish it was illegal, but being pro-life requires more of me than simply being against abortion. LIFE is an enormous topic.

Being PRO-LIFE means being PRO-PLANET and environmentally savvy and caring. It means taking care of animals properly. It means caring about my neighbor to the extent that I want him to live as well as I do. Being PRO-LIFE means being PRO-CREATION, and using the creative gifts that God has showered upon me, especially in a spirit of worship of Him. PRO-LIFE is making chaplets for my friends who pray in front of the abortion clinics. PRO-LIFE is making hats for the homeless who refuse to shelter under a roof, even during the coldest nigiht. PRO-LIFE is feeding a hungry guy - even one who reeks of alcohol. PRO-LIFE is guarding our food supply from dangerous chemicals and crazy DNA experiments (like putting fish genes into tomatoes so they don't freeze). Being PRO-LIFE means protecting the water supply for all peoples and demonstrating against the fracking pipeline that risks the safety of the water of the indigenous peoples. Being PRO-LIFE means being AGAINST CAPITAL PUNISHMENT unless there is absolutely no other way to protect society against a violent predator. Being PRO-LIFE means treating domestic and wild animals with kindness AND RESPECT . 

I'd also like to see the wages increased so that families can afford to have as many children as they want, and mothers can afford to stay home and raise them. THIS is pro-life also. Wages have been kept artificially low for more than 40 years now. When I was working, I saw my income go DOWN over the years, while my responsibilities and my bills increased. Now, wage reform, in addition to being a LIBERAL economic idea is ALSO a PRO-LIFE idea. Am I sinful for being in favor of this liberal idea that I believe will result in fewer abortions and more big families? Nope. HUGE topic.  HUGE.

Poor medical care kills the poor, who die at least 10 years sooner than wealthy people. Why is no one up in arms about that?  I will answer that. Because some Catholics have conflated Catholicism with Republicanism. Republicans hate social programs and, especially these days, want to privatize everything so that everyone has to fight for every ounce of life. Survival of the fittest, is what it boils down to.

In an economic system in which only the strongest survive, the old, the sick and the disabled are naturally the losers and die off. Jesus would never approve of this.

Every time we get into a dialog about social programs, the know-nothings pipe up and equate social programs with socialism and claim that the liberals, and therefore the Democrats, are socialists. It's another LIE. Social programs have the SAME relation to socialism as Social programs has to ice cream socials. Socialism is characterized by the OWNERSHIP OF ALL BUSINESS BY THE GOVERNMENT.  Social programs are common to MANY different types of government that have nothing to do with socialism. (If you didn't learn this in High School, folks, Google is your friend. Hell...break out the dictionary,, for cryin' out loud.)

The real problem we have is that our social programs come nowhere near supplying the needs of the poor, 97% of which are not able bodied and cannot work. All of Donald Trumps blabber about jobs is not going to help the 47 million people in our country who are poverty stricken and living on entitlement programs. Notice...they are STILL poor, even though they've put money into the program their whole lives.

The reason why the social programs do not supply all our needs is that the rich do not pay their fair share. The normal wage earner pays up to 17% of their salaries into the Social Security fund, whereas the rich people pay less than a fraction of 1% because of the CAP on contributions into the fund. Social Security contributions stops for every cent a person earns over $116,000.00 a year! This robs the fund of MILLIONS of dollars of income and is THE reason why we are running a little shy of funds...in addition to the fact that both Democrats and Republicans have stolen money from the fund every year.



If the social programs were run in the same way as they are run in other countries, there would be no problem. America is the only civilized country that doesn't take care of its poor. Now isn't that revolting? The reason why is that the Republicans put up a fuss every time the democrats try to take care of the poor, every time they try to raise the minimum wage, every time they try to pass a bill that helps the sick, the disabled and the elderly.

Isn't it more Christian to take care of the population of a country, to clothe the naked, feed the hungry and visit the prisoner? How can Catholics ally themselves with a party or an ideology that doesn't believe in doing what Jesus asked of us.

It is a cop-out to claim that "Jesus never said you had to force someone to help the poor."  Well, He also didn't say we should force people to pay taxes.  Oh, wait...never mind. He DID say to pay to Cesar what is Cesar's.

The Republican party is the enemy of the poor, the sick, the elderly and the disabled, but that Catholic man called me "sinful" because I have liberal economic ideas? Isn't that backwards and upside down?

The happiest countries in the world, self reported, are places like Denmark, where the taxes are high, and the social programs are adequate to care for the population. It would seem that we do not care about our people at all, in comparison to these countries. CLEARLY, having social programs WORKS for these countries, whereas trickle-down theories have never worked in any ANY countries. The money doesn't trickle down. It stays on the top, with the fat cats. Trickle-down theory is what dictators use.

So, our social programs do not work very well, due to the selfishness of the wealthy and those people who identify as conservatives, above and beyond whatever devotion they claim for Christianity, but there are some conservatives who are sincerely Catholic who recognize the defects in our current system and who step forward to fill in the gaps to the best of their abillities.

I know several of these saintly people, and it is because of them that I am alive.  They identify as conservatives, including the economic orientations, for the most part, but they step in and help the poor who have fallen through the cracks...like me.

They buy me organic food because I'm allergic to pesticides and pesticides give me asthma attacks. They've bought me computers, such as the laptop I am currently using, and even my service dog owes his life to one such earth-bound angel. These are Catholics who walk the talk and who come forward with kindness and generosity in the face of social programs that do not provide life-supporting funds. Not everyone is as lucky as I have been. 

These are the only conditions under which Republican economic ideas can begin to work, and that is if every Republican were to take on one person such as myself who has fallen through the cracks. There are 47 million of us. Can we depend upon the Republicans to come forward and take care of all of us? 97% of us are elderly, disabled, children, or the working poor.

In my mind, allowing for social programs is far more reliable when dealing with the number of poor people we currently have in this country, Trickle down economics has never worked. It is a theory that HAS FAILED but to which many are devoted. 

Does this mean I am "sinful" because I do not believe in this conservative theory? Obvious not.

I would like to ask my Christian brothers and sister to STOP identifying as liberals or conservatives, democrats or republicans, and begin to really identify as CATHOLIC people...because you cannot identify as both. You cannot serve two masters. Either you are Catholic, and you support all Catholic theology, or you are a liberal or a conservative and you only support SOME of the Catholic faith.

Secondly, you need to stop identifying OTHER people as either liberals or conservatives because it's a lie for many of us.

Silver Rose



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