Rome, NY Sucks

But At Least We're Not Utica

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Pope John Paul II - What Side Was He On?

Over the past week, politics has reared its head in the world of the Vatican and the late Pontiff. Rome (Italy) is a very political place, but not in the right/left obsession this country has. Conservatives have generally accepted the Pope as one of their own, while liberals are yet again waffling between calling him bad on social issues and good on economic ones.

That's right. It seems the Pope had an economic policy agreeable to the Democrats. Of course, that 'policy' amounted to what most of us call Christian Charity. Like most Christians, the Pope stressed the value of feeding the hungry, treating the sick and caring for the poor. He also criticized the accumulations of material posessions over spiritual fulfillment. To Catholic Democrats, this translates to Social Security, Medicaid, redistribution of wealth and progrssive taxes.

The only problem is that the Pope hated socialism. I say that specifically, because not only did his native Poland suffer under Communism, but also under the Nazis whose totalitarianism model was that of a socialist government that decided what people needed to earn, eat, read or worship. Even the socialist democracies in the modern world are creating a formless society where religious faith diminishes every year.

As a Catholic, I have always found the most beautiful part about faith is that we as human being are given the choice to believe or not believe. We also have to live our lives in a way that we feel best expresses our values. In that sense, the liberals have it all wrong. Government mandated 'charity' is not charity at all. It is the decision of a relative few about how people should be treated. The Pope did not tell the people of the world that they have to pay more taxes for government programs any more than he told Jews to convert to Catholicism.

I feel extremely inadequate to the task of interpreting John Paul II message. I can only say that we would like to believe that the goal for good Catholics is a lack of materialism and a try empathy for the disadvantaged. The Church has had a long tradition of caring for people. They don't cut checks so much as offer support, physically, emotionally and spiritually. While the United States may not be charitiable in terms of government funds to the outside world, (a claim I don't agree with for many reasons) the American people are the most charitible people. This is a measure of the moral values of people, not of politicians. Much like nations have rejected religious government, we should reject government handouts and instead pursue personal growth.


  • At April 09, 2005 11:58 PM, Blogger ReasonInRevolt said…

    Modern Socialism is compatible with Catholism, take a look at the many socialist governments in South America , Spain, Portugal and the victory of the Communist Left in 16 of 20 districts of Italy itself.

    Jesus teaches us to love and help one another, abhores violence and the corruption that individual wealth brings. All these ideas are consistent with socialism. Obviously Stalinist regimes did not demonstrate any of these characteristics, but we need to focus on what socialism is really all about to envision a better future.

    Hey, I am sorry that Rome is in such bad shape these days. Many upstate towns are in such decline. These cities built the foundations of America through manufacturing and ingenuity and have been left behind to the wastebin of history. It is really sad. I am in the Finger Lakes, btw.

    Cheers brother,


  • At April 10, 2005 1:24 AM, Blogger RomeHater said…

    Modern socialism seem to be a soulless enterprise. If you look at the native populations of the European countries and even the US, you find people are less interested in having children. Even if you don't believe in it, the appearance is that a government where the state takes care of you lessens the procreation of its people.

    To me, socialism is no better than capitalism at fighting corruption. The advantage of capitalism is that it spurs personal economic growth. It means more freedom in a fundamental sense, including the freedom to fail. A lack of charity in America is in my opinion a call for greater faith among its people. It is also a call to teach those who have the value of giving to others.


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