The Gospel Truth

Papal Advice

March 21, 2013
6 Comments

I will not be so presumptuous as to offer Francis I any advice.

But I would like to ask him to clarify some issues that have been bothering me about my Church and its approach to economic issues…especially with regard to, not only the poor, but also the wealthy.

I took only two courses at Holy Cross in the Dismal Science, as David Ricardo once called Economics.

So I will not pretend to know all the intricacies of a very complex discipline.

And quite frankly it is near impossible to get any two economists to agree on anything.

I am reminded of the old saying that if you lined the world’s economists up in a straight line they would point in every direction on the compass.

So even they do not understand their own subject in a perfect way.

A Church that is poor and it for the poor

There are certain words, ideas and abstraction that confuse me, especially when the poor are involved.

I heard a quote the Francis I said that he wanted the Catholic Church to be poor and for the poor.

I have been a Catholic for nearly 70 years and I cannot remember the poor being the main focus of my faith when I was young or even my first decade of marriage.

The Church is always going to need money…lots of money.

Unless he means poor in spirit.  That would work for all of us.

Sure we had annual drives for the poor and the missions–I remember the little Mite Boxes for our pennies and dimes they gave us each year during Lent.

But the doctrines, teachings and morals were the prime focus to make us worthy of eternal salvation.

Maybe salvation is automatically assumed today.

Perhaps the Church believes everyone will automatically go to Heaven.

Souls in Purgatory

I know for a fact some bishops do.

First I might ask the pope as to where the commandments fit in with the Church’s deep concern for the poor.

I am talking about the 7th and 10th commandments specifically, which require us not to steal the goods or wealth of others or even desire to have what someone else.

As far as I know they are still within the canon of Catholic teaching and doctrine but they are mentioned even less than the 6th and the 9th commandments–the sex commandments.

I wonder how many priests, nuns, bishops and maybe even higher up realize this.

I know the federal government has been breaching the 7th and 10th commandments for as long as I can remember…at least as far back as Franklin Roosevelt.

Was it not Roosevelt who started the class war or what they call today…class envy?

Is not envy still a sin?

I only mention that because it seems to me many old and even some younger Catholics think of FDR as many Christians might think of the Second Coming.

To them it seems alright to steal from Peter to give to Paul.

Steal?

That’s what disproportionate taxation and economic redistribution are in reality.

To paraphrase the great 19th century French economist, Frederic Bastiat if we as individuals did to our neighbors what government do to us every day, we would be behind bars.

Bastiat also explains in his most famous work, The Law why the law cannot defend life, liberty, and property if it promotes socialist policies. 

Saw the evils in big government

Bastiat thought of government, especially big government as little more than legalized plunder.

I know as a Catholic I should be concerned with the poor.

The Bible tells me that to those that are give much, much is expected.

I firmly believe that in my heart, however I should be the one to decide how much and to whom I should give.

That is what a good steward does.

I heard a priest once pray to eliminate poverty.

I think that is a ridiculous notion.

Poverty is a relative term that changes each and every day.

The only way to effect this is to level everybody to the barest subsistence level.

If everyone is poor, which is what happens with socialism, than poverty will have been eliminate.

Is that what they want?

The poor in this country has much more than most of the world’s population.

The United States, which has been blessed with incalculable but not limitless wealth has been the most generous nation in the history of mankind but according to our political leaders it has not been enough.

It is never enough!

To date we have spent over $17 trillion on the poor with all sorts of welfare programs since Lyndon Johnson launched the Great Society and his War on Poverty in 1965.

Used the poor

It was really a war on poor people.

Unfortunately this largesse  most likely have done little for them as total human beings.

The poor today has approximately $40,000 in benefits available to them each year and still we hear the need for more and more…

Does not getting all this free stuff make them lazy?

Certain words from the poverty problem have bothered me for a long time.

The first one is entitlement.

It seems that nearly half of our population is entitled…to what?

Government redistribution of someone else’s wealth—that’s what!

Why are they entitled?

Who and what gives them the right to demand that someone else take care of them?

Where is their personal responsibilities to themselves and their families?

Who empowered the government to redistribute others wealth to the less fortunate?

That’s what personal charity is for and Americans even with their oppressive tax rates still find some money to give to good charities.

The underlying and unspoken assumption is that these millions of Americans are entitled because the wealthy have been oppressing the poor throughout history and now it is their turn to feel the sting of oppression as their possessions, money, stocks, bonds are subject to partial and even substantial confiscation by the powers of government.

You might ask…where is this in the Constitution?

The answer is partially in the 16th Amendment, which established the first permanent income on a progressive scale.

By that I mean the more you make…not the more they take…which would be fair but the higher the percentage they confiscate.

This is not James Madison or even Alexander Hamilton but Karl Marx.

James Madison.jpg

Not his Constitution

The IRS has a similar tax on people’s estates.

The government does not want people to be able to pass the vast majority of their wealth on to their children and families.

It should go to the government because the other assumption is that they will know how to allocate it better than your children.

This is also Karl Marx.

I suggest people read the Communist Manifesto.

That’s where our tax system came from.

Don’t misunderstand me–I believe we should all help the legitimate poor.

They are those who cannot help themselves or are temporarily down on their luck.

So many of our so-called poor today find more value in working the system than actually finding some job.

Why the preferential option for the poor and just what does that mean?

Are their souls any more important than those of the wealthy?

I would like to hear my Church speak more about attaining eternal salvation for all people…wealthy and poor alike.

Did not Jesus talk of the Eye of the Camel and how hard it was for a rich man to go to heaven?

Since when did the Church become a social agency for political change, Marxist economics and reform?

Some may argue that on Judgment day we will be asked what we did for the least of God’s people.

Is that the poor or could it possible be the unborn?

While I admire the people who work for the Saint Vincent DePaul Society and their concern for the poor, I have been around no better people than those who put everything on the line to witness at abortion clinics around the country.

I met a lovely young woman outside of a Planned Parenthood killing center the other day.

She and some friends as well as many others that included a number of students from my grandson’s high school, St. John Vianney were there to protest the evil going on behind closed doors as part of our local 40 Days for Life Apostolate in St. Louis.

The least of God’s creature?

As a comical side note one woman had three or four small children with her.  The youngest–a little boy spent about 20 minutes throwing stones at the brick wall that read PLANNED PARENTHOOD.

She was vital, fresh and warm..a virtual newlywed.

I was truly energized in her youthful presence.

She told me that the three responsibilities she had to her husband were 1) to help get him to heaven 2) make certain he lived a long time and 3) fix his lunch.

What then are the important responsibilities of the Catholic Church?

I am hoping that Francis I will be able to answer these questions for me.

TRIVIA ANSWER: An Arnold Palmer without the slice.


Why Conservatives Hate the Poor

May 31, 2011
3 Comments

Democrats and other leftists say that Republicans hate poor people and even the elderly.  They run ads that are reminiscent of Richard Widmark’s sinister portrayal of a killer in The Kiss of Death.

Republican operative?

Republicans don’t really hate the poor.  In fact surveys and polls have proven that conservatives are more generous to charities that actually help real poor people.

Remember how frugal the Clintons were when they used to deduct Bill’s old jockey shorts.   Or were they boxers?

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Tax write-off?

And when they finally struck it rich after his eight years in office, most of their donations went to their favorite charity–his presidential library

And Al Gore, a near-billionaire,  gave just over $300 to charity one year.

But the matter is not so much about conservatives hating the poor–what they really hate is poverty.

They know that big government is one of the leading causes of poverty in this country because it kills the inborn trait of incentive that directs us to try to better our own conditions.

Just as the young bird wants to fly on his own, people naturally want to provide for themselves.

But when the mama bird does everything for the young bird, it cripples his spiritual wings and he never leaves the nest.

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Government's favorite species

It’s the same principle behind the axiom–give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach him to fish and he can feed himself forever.

Conservatives’ love is the tough love of self-discipline and direction.

Liberals love the crippled poor, who can never do anything for themselves and become perpetual wards of the state.

They love the poor so much they want everyone in this country…except their closest friends and donors–to be poor.

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Feels government's love

Whether they know it or not the so-called poor, the amorphous category of unfortunate Americans who the politicians trot out before each election have become the pawns in a high-stakes chess game.

The left uses the largesse of all the money they have confiscated from the wealthy to pay for our needs…within reason of course from cradle to grave.

Since they control the purse strings, they get to decide who gets to sleep in the cradle…and doesn’t even get a cradle.

We must not forget their friends at the caring Planned Parenthood Health Center.

They also get to decide which people go to the grave more quickly than maybe God or nature intended.

It is a grave responsibility.  But someone has to do it.

To insure that more people become poor they have consulted their favorite writers.  No, not Jesus or even Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

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Not on the socially preferred list

Instead they have Nico, Karl, Vladimir, Antonio and Sol.  These fellows knew how to make people join the largest club in the world–the growing ranks of the poor.

To do this all they have to do is follow the formula.

First of all, they must remove religion from their schools.  This is best done by having the government provide their education.

Then they can separate the churches from the governments.  Do this they can protect society from religion, instead of protecting the churches from the government.

Make God a totally private matter and then legislate to remove most of the private areas.

The schools can also get the kids mixed up in sexual activity as quickly and as early as they can.

These same godless schools also show them how to put a condom on a banana.

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Of great educational value

That is a great educational skill that can come in handy as they get older.  It will also get them to eat more fruit.  I am not certain if a condom would fit over other fruits, like apples and watermelons.

They can also teach them all about the different varieties of sexual expression.

It will take away all the hang-ups their parents had and any sense of shame about their bodies will quickly disappear with their inborn sense of modesty.

And if they should be punished with a pregnancy, such as our fearless president fears for his own daughters, the country is fortunate that we have  those friendly faces at Planned Parenthood.

To prevent this situation Obama has taken great pains to ensure that his friends at the  local clinic will make certain that his daughters are relieved of any punishment thanks to millions of taxpayer dollars.

Of course those unfortunate girls who don’t listen to the president will be happy to know that their out-of-wedlock babies will enhance the certitude of their ability to join the ranks of the poor.  Then the president can take care of them for life.

They will have to drop out of school and most likely become working moms at the local grocery store or local mall.

Millions of these women, who were seduced by the call of nature, had their futures taken away from them because of their teachers, friends and a sexually saturated culture that has forced God to the sidelines.

Had they followed the rules of morality, instead of the seductions of nature and friends, they might have avoided the ranks of the poor.

This is not an endorsement of the president’s warning…only the statement of the fact of how liberal government is always working for their love of the poor.

And while all their teenagers are getting it on and hooking up in the love-dominated co-ed dorms of our leading universities, their mothers and fathers…especially those in conservative households are disrupted to the point of distraction.

To find evidence of this, one need only go to the local mall to see the flood of teens strutting around in attire that would not be fit for even a beach.

I can often feel and even smell the sexual energy that accompanies these public demonstrations of hormonal overload.

And many of them have just attended or are going to the late show that can visually show them dozens of new circumstances and stimulations that will push those electric impulses from their brains rights into their pelvic regions.

Moms and dads may coalesce but none want to see their babies turn into the chemical zombies I see at these malls.

Liberals also think that Americans, especially those who worked long and hard to make a lot of money are too foolish to know what to do with that money…so the friendly tax man must take as much of it as he can get away with.

I think that’s what 19th century thinker, Frederic Bastiat called organized plunder.

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Was opposed to big government

The progressive income tax has been a boon to big government and liberals since Karl Marx and Frederick Engels promoted it along with the death tax, and the public school in their 1848 pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto.

They also promoted a central bank or what we call the Federal Reserve system to help relieve people of their wealth I presume but that’s more an issue for Ron Paul.

Private property and wealth are great buffers against poverty.

Liberals hate these buffers because when people have money, property and wealth they won’t be poor and therefore the Democrats can’t love them and overwhelm them with their goodness, decency and compassion.

Selfish people like this are the bane of a great society and an obstacle to the kind of paradise that will eventually replace the pie in the sky kind of fanaticism that had dominated most of the country’s religious traditions until now.

So to recount the enemies of poverty and the poor are the conservative traditions of religion, the family and private property.  That makes them the enemies of liberalism.

According to socialists, these institutions are the vehicles of hate for poor people and must be eliminated.

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Enemies of the poor

We can rest assured that our fearless leaders in DC are doing  everything in their enormous power to move religion out of the public marketplace, break-up the family and confiscate as much wealth from their rightful owners as the law will allow and then some.

The future of poverty depends on it.

In case you missed my article, The Wimp Factor for RenewAmerica, here is the site:

http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/borst/110514 


Why Liberals Hate Horses

October 19, 2010
1 Comment

The competitive racing of horses is reputed to have originated among the prehistoric nomadic tribesmen of Central Asia who first domesticated the horse about 4500 BC.

For thousands of years, horseracing flourished as the sport of kings and the nobility.  It is the second most widely attended U.S. spectator sport, after baseball.

The interaction between horses and their owners, as well as the notion of winning and losing has ordinarily resonated very well on the screen.

The Jeff Bridges 2003 movie about Seabiscuit is a case in point.

After all who can hate a horse?

Liberal can—that’s who!

According to Rush Limbaugh it appears that liberals or at least some liberals have expressed a profound hatred of a new movie about a winning horse and his owners.

My wife and I saw Secretariat the other night.  It is the dramatic presentation of the behind-the scenes story of one of racing’s greatest winners.

In 1973 Big Red won the sport’s coveted triple crown.

370

The best horse of all-time?

It is a feat that has been accomplished only eleven times since Sir Barton won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont in 1919.

It is composed of these three different races in five weeks and in three different states and at varying distances.

Secretariat won all three races, capping off his crown with an incredible 31-length victory at New York’s Belmont Stakes.

It was a wonderful movie, staring the demure Dianne Lane in an inspiring role as a strong-willed woman who put winning and saving the family farm above her secure and cozy life in Colorado.

How could anyone find fault with that?

Then I started thinking about this movie being a paean to conservative values.  Its protagonist, Penny Chenery, had a crisis in her family.

The mother of Lane’s character, Penny Chenery dies early in the movie and her grief-stricken father drifted into the deep recesses of his own mind.

Penny valiantly tried to make a go of the farm at great personal sacrifice and to the discomfort of her husband and four children.

The real drama occurred after the father’s death from a stroke.

As Penny’s boorish brother, the economics professor and her lawyer husband advised her, they needed to sell Secretariat to pay the six million dollar estate tax bill.

But Penny would not quit.

370

Penny would not quit

She showed a deep-seated American trait of intelligence and ingenuity to circumvent the intended destruction of her family-run farm.

Penny was the personification of economist Julia Simon’s argument that man (and woman), with his ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit is the ultimate resource.

This is what created the drama of the movie and perhaps the real complaint behind the liberal Angst.

Penny was able to pay her taxes by establishing a consortium of investors in Secretariat’s projected winnings—all on speculation.

The movie is also a vivid illustration of the innate harm of the estate tax or the death tax that has confiscated billions in family wealth.

What most people forget or never knew is that the estate tax is one of the most onerous planks in Karl Marx and Frederick Engels’ 1848 pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto.

Salon columnist Andrew O’Hehir found some even darker things about American individualism and traditional values that upset his mental applecart.

He savagely attacked Penny’s character, even demeaning she was dressed in a resplendent collection of period knitwear and steel-magnolia ‘tude.

To O’Hehir she is like a classed-up version of Sarah Palin feminism.

This leftist critic was upset that Lane’s iron-willed superwoman, striking and magisterial but utterly nonsexual, illuminated from within like a medieval saint does not have despicable characteristics that would make her his kind of gal.

I thought liberals liked strong women.

370

A strong woman liberals hate

This is is by far the strongest character Lane has ever played and she carried the role with a dignity and aplomb that hopefully will win her an Oscar.

Maybe they only love certain strong women, who abort their children, cheat on their husbands or sleep with other women?

Lane does none of that.  She is June Clever, who just passed away this week, without the pearls, who will do anything to preserve her family’s traditions…and enjoy the thrill of the game.

O’Hehir was also disturbed by his perception that so many all right-thinking Americans are united in their adoration of a Nietzschean Überhorse,

The Nazi implications of his thinking are as subtle as a train wreck.

To him Secretariat is creepy, half-hilarious master-race propaganda almost worthy of Leni Riefenstahl—a symbolic window dressing for a quasi-inspirational fantasia of American whiteness and power.”

For O’Hehir to see this in Nietzschean terms is as appetizing as a 300 pound woman, trying to squeeze into a size 4.  It just doesn’t fit.

On the cover of Time magazine... Super Horse

A Nazi Horse?

Religion is also another problem for O’Hehir.

While director Randall Wallace references barely mentions the social context of the times, O’Hehir is convinced that this movie was constructed and marketed with at least one eye on Christian consevatives, who flock to Tea Parties and embraced a movie of a similar vein from last year, The Blind Side.

The film opens with a voice-over passage from the Book of Job and ends with a hymn.

Wallace, also the director of We Were Warriors and the writer of Braveheart and both Mel Gibson movies and is one of mainstream Hollywood’s few prominent Christians who has spoken openly about his faith and his desire to make movies that appeal to people with middle-American values.

O’Hehir also finds a troubling racial subtext in Secretariat in the groom, Eddie, who is an African-American groom belongs to a far more insidious tradition of movie stereotypes. Eddie dances and sings.

370But can he dance and sing? 

He loves Jesus and that big ol’ horse. He is loyal and deferential to Miz Penny, and injects soul and spirit into her troubled life.

I guess O’Hehir prefers the gang-banging, rap-spouting, drug-dealing nihilists whose stereotypical figures dominates in movies about black people today, as being more reflective of African-American culture.

He is upset by movies with strong family members, with its moral values,who support each other in the long run.

Liberal criticism of  this movie that does not have any scenes of gratuitous sex or violence and does not have any foul language is proof positive that liberalism is a mental illness.

It is probably unfair of me to say that all liberals hate horses.  I know that many are quite fond of the proletarian horse boxer (Barbara?) in George Orwell’s novel, Animal Farm.

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A Liberal's kind of horse


About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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