Weekend Update 02-04-2012

Ben Witherington’s daughter reposed unexpectedly and suddenly from a pulmonary embolism. She was 32 and her name is Christy. My eldest is 30 and shares that name. No parent should outlive their children. I can’t say I understand his grief, having experienced nothing similar. But I’m sure it’s a nightmare that we all, as parents, have had, even if we’ve never had to live the nightmare. My heart breaks for him. I read his post and he says what I have always said (as a Christian, that is) in the face of evil and death. Romans 8:28 is my verse. I’ve said myself that if God is the author of evil, suffering, and death then he is not a good God. He is a malevolent God and to hell with him. I don’t know that I would be able to show the same faith and grace exhibited in that post in a similar situation. I would like to think that I would, but I’m not so sure. Kyrie eleison. Lord have mercy.

May God grant us to live in the truth. If you’ve never lived in an environment shaped by abuse, addiction, mental illness, or anything else that distorts your perception of reality, Fr. Stephen’s point may be less obvious. “It is in this light that the importance of telling the truth is revealed. The truth is more than a moral commandment: it is a necessity for true existence. Lies have no existence – they are efforts of destruction and distortion. There can be no salvation within a lie for there is nothing to save.”

God loves you, period. Indeed. Very well said.

Who cares how deserving the poor are? The post makes an excellent point. I particularly like this statement because a lot of people don’t seem to grasp it. “Just because a person’s actions got him into a situation doesn’t mean that his actions can get him out of it.” Exactly. Of course, I guess I was one of those “undeserving poor” as a teen.  But my daughter wasn’t. Moreover, a lot of factors were affecting my decisions and actions, many of them less than conscious. There are many ways in which we are all less “free” than we suppose and their is no bright line between those who somehow deserve their fate and those who don’t. And finally, though the article doesn’t discuss it, from a Christian perspective, if you are asking if someone deserves help, I would suggest you might be asking the wrong question.

Austerity doesn’t work when faced with a depression. It’s been a disaster in Britain and across Europe with many countries suffering worse than they did in the 1930s. Moreover, that’s long-standing common economic knowledge. Everyone just ignored it for political reasons. We haven’t followed that path yet, but we’re not out of the woods. We have one political party that still actively wants to implement policies that push us down the same path of destruction Europe has pursued. Cuts at the state and local level are largely offsetting the little being done at the national level. And a full-fledged depression in Europe could drag us along behind them.

According to Romney, safety net programs do no good for the poor because the money never reaches and, at the same time, do such a good job of caring for the poor that he’s not concerned about them. Go figure.

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