Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Thursday, January 01, 2004  


At our re-instituted Midnight Christmas Mass (the redundency is necessary, I'm afraid), during the time for offering the prayers of the community, we were called on once again to pray for our political leaders to exercise a "preferential option for the poor".

My mind shudders whenever I encounter that phrase in church (or any church document). It is one of those terms like social justice, social activist, or political progressive which implies that the one who applies it is superior in spirit and intention than others.

The job of caring for the poor does not fall to our government and our leaders. It falls to the family, church, and the town. Governments don't exist to care for the disadvantaged. They exist to defend one people from other peoples, and to enforce internal rules of order.

Also, there is an odious, affirmative action quality to the phrase -- "preferential option". Exactly how is government supposed to prefer the poor ahead of others? Two men rob a 7-11. One is poor, the other is not. Does the poor man get a lesser sentence? A better lawyer? A nicer jail?

Why don't the people who make up these ideas (umm, U S Bishops, Vatican Cardinals) give them a moment's thought? People have such a weakness for conducting thought by slogan.

(Remember this gem from Jesse Jackson -- "Justice delayed is justice denied!" Well, if that were true then God might as well be the Devil.)

posted by Mark Butterworth | 2:51 PM |