Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Who counts?

Over at Country Contemplative, I lost my temper. And I'm not sorry. Not even a little bit.

It began with a post about the Catholic bishop who wants to deny communion to Rudy Giuliani until he repents him of his abortion stance. In reading the linked article, I came across the quote:

Asked if the same would apply to politicians who support the death penalty or pre-emptive war, he said, “It’s a little more complicated in that case.”

And weeell, I lost my temper. How dare this man who knows exactly where his next meal is coming from, what will happen if he gets sick, this man who is able to get his words into the paper pretty much at will, how dare he judge the sins of the powerful and wealthy more lightly than he does the decision of a woman in a scary position?

If I, an editor who lives in a little apartment on the edge of the city, set out to kill even 20 people, the world would be horrified. I would be sent to prison (my state is currently not carrying out death sentences), and it is very likely that my husband would have to change his name and move to avoid being harrassed. If I hired someone else to kill 20 people, I'd still be a monster.

How many have died from "preemptive war"? (Hey, wasn't that our problem with Japan in WWII? Just askin'...) How many, innocent or guilty (since the poison, the rope, the bullet, the chair, the pyre, the guillotine don't know the difference) have we coldly, with forethought, put to death?

For that matter, folks, how many die every day because they don't have access to basic health care? How many children are born with birth defects after their mothers didn't have access to pre-natal care? Where is the outrage against taking from the poor to give to the rich?

But bishops, like presidents, don't have to worry about making the rent every month. They don't have to decide which of their medicines they can afford this time (gotta get the diabetes under control, so the heart medicine will have to wait 'til next month...) or how they're going to cover the utilities. They don't have to worry about bringing a child into those conditions.

They don't have to worry about their physical security. They don't have to worry that tomorrow morning, they will get to choose what they want to eat, then they will be strapped down to a table and killed. They don't have to worry that they will be raped and murdered in a country that's turned into Hell. They don't have to wonder if tomorrow they'll be ordered into a kill or be killed situation.

That's the difference between bishops and the people their pronouncements affect.


Blogger Don said...

Awesome. You are eloquent beyond description. You are a prophet and I'm glad you have had a chance to write all this. John Bunyan once said, “it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” You are blessed to have a heart with words.

10/04/2007 5:05 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Thank you. It just infuriates me that people will look to this man as a spiritual leader, and he uses that position to further marginalize the already marginalized and to excuse the wrongdoing of those in power.

10/05/2007 5:54 AM  

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