The Gospel Truth

Social Justice and the Repeal of the 7th Commandment

March 18, 2010


Our current president is playing by FDR’s rulebook.  He goes from pillar to post to demonize the insurance companies, bankers, Wall Street—anyone who has the money that he lusts after as a means to further aggrandize his power.

In all honesty, not all wealth is legitimate.  Just look at many of our political leaders–the very one who promote the confiscation of the wealth of prominent and successful Americans–they are the same ones who have grown fat off the American landscape.

This raises the question: is all this hate speech and demagoguery against the very people who drive the American economy and whose success represents the largesse on which millions of Americans feed a good thing?

Does it not create in the lower classes, the poor of this country–many of whom look as if they have not missed a meal, many of whom have cell phones and seem to have enough money for entertainment–a sense of entitlement that they think the private property of the wealthy somehow belongs to them?

Isn’t that what a socialist agenda breeds?

Does their poverty thanks to government’s prompting and encouragement create feelings of hate, envy and sloth? Are not these still capital sins in the Catholic Church?

What does all this government pandering do to their ability to see the face of God?  Or is that now unimportant?

Could one not make the argument that pushing for a preferential option for the poor, as well as calling health care, food, water, transportation, employment a right–does much more harm than good for the downtrodden?

What happens to their incentive to better themselves…to rise from their meager circumstances into something better?

Is that what social justice really means?  Is this what the deacon meant?  Do the poor deserve jobs because they are poor?  Do they deserve food because they don’t have any?  Do they deserve health care because they can’t afford it?

I think our government has deliberately confused rights with our needs.  Sure millions of people need lots of things.  Does that mean government has to provide these things to them with someone’s else’s money?

Government is also confusing rights with responsibility.  People, even the poor, have a responsibility to provide for themselves.  They need to stay in school—we still have free schools.

Government has made forced charity a right that gives little benefit to the recipient and absolutely no benefit to the giver.

If you stay in school, you would have the marketable skills where someone would want to pay good money to employ you.

The poor need to work, even at menial jobs as young people, so they can get a start.  They need to confine their sexual activity to the marriage bed.  And then they need to stay married.

Government needs to stop its punitive taxation which drives millions of Americans jobs to India, the Far East and anywhere taxation is more favorable.  Government literally bites the hands that feeds us.

The poor need to monitor their sexual habits better.  They need practice chastity or celibacy to avoid pre-marital pregnancy, which forces girls to drop out of school or young couples to rush into an early wedding.

Yet don’t fall for the canard that abortion will prevent this.  No it will not alleviate poverty as some writers contend.

It will only lead to promiscuity and more pregnancies and maybe even serious health consequences that will further deepen  the confines of poverty.

Promiscuity equals pregnancy!  That’s how Planned Parenthood stays in business by repeat victims.

And maybe the most important proposal is to stay away from your government.  The United States government loves poor people so much that they want everyone to become poor.

I remember hearing Alan Keyes during one of his religious/political addresses bemoan what government has done to his people.

If only more people had listened to him, he might have beaten Barack Obama during the 2004 Senatorial campaign that landed us in much of this mess.

Keyes made the point that the black family had been better off during slavery.

He said that the black family had been better off during the Great Depression?   (I doubt that the black family will do well in our next Depression if the president has his way.)

What happened?

Lyndon Johnson declared his infamous War of Poverty, which I submit was more a war on poor people.

The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield told a joke that captured the sense of Johnson’s WOPP.   Saying that he ran into a beggar on the street…so I threw a hand grenade at him!

Johnson basically destroyed the black family as an identifiable social unit.

Welfare checks replaced the man of the family because to collect the woman could not be living her husband.

That was 1965 and not too long after the black illegitimacy rate climbed to around 25%.  Now I think it is about 75%. That’s what I guess the progressives would call progress.

The white community has not been far behind, now at over 25%, as our school engineers have done everything they can to destroy the traditional family.

And what does illegitimacy have to do with poverty?  It’s just one of its causes–the more illegitimacy, the more poor people we will have.

Americans used to hate the dole, the old word for welfare, because it slapped at their dignity and their pride. It came with a stigma, saying that a man had failed to support his wife and children. No responsible husband and father wanted to accept something for nothing.

Now it is a badge of honor, a right of entitlement.

What happened?  FDR prolonged the Depression by his wasteful economic policies so that the acceptance of government assistance was the only way to survive.

Liberal historians perpetuated his myth for generations until people finally realized that he had done nothing for 10 years but tread the same stagnant water.

Thank goodness for Pearl Harbor or it would still be going on!

Now the dole is institutionalized to the tune that even our largest companies, apparently too big to fail, get in line so that government can bail them out and save their bonuses.

I advise everyone to read Peter Schweizer’s new book, Architects of Ruin: How Big Government Liberals Wrecked the Global Economy–and How They Will Do It Again if No One Stops Them

So maybe I am not too far off base when I say that social justice as it is practiced today by some of our religions and most importantly our federal government is not justice at all.  It is as 19th century economist, Frederic Bastiat called organized plunder.

As such it is a grievous violation of the 7th Commandment of the Catholic Church, which says Thou Shall Not Steal.  If you or I took something from someone else we would justly go to jail.  But when government does it, it is someone else’s right to our largesse.

To confiscate the earnings, investments and wealth of successful Americans and give it to a class of entitled people whose government-induced lack of incentive has made them perpetual wards of the state is a crime against the universal freedom that our Constitution guarantees, as well as a dehumanization of the very people government and the churches pretend to serve.

Look for my Sunday letter in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Catholic annulments.

A Saturday Morning Stroll

January 22, 2010

The recent seismic disaster in Haiti should cause all of us to pause and consider the fragility and fleetness of life.  As the poet John Donne wrote centuries ago, every man’s death diminishes our own lives.  When the bell tolls for one or for 250,000 Haitians, it signifies that some day a bell will toll for us.

At Holy Cross my alma mater in Worcester, Massachusetts, it has been standard policy for many years to send a simple postcard, tolling the bell for a newly deceased classmate.

I have always dreaded receiving these messages of death.  While the harmless looking cards might signal the loss of a friend whom I had lost track, they also contained the unwritten message that someday, Holy Cross would be sending a card with my name on it.

Most people don’t like to think of death, especially their own.  I think Woody Allen had it right when he said: I don’t mind dying. I just don’t what to be there when it happens!

I doubt if any Catholic or Christian can ignore thinking about it.  It is part of the ritual of our faith.

On January 22nd of every year the Catholic Church takes part in a national memorial service all over the country to recognize that a “culture of death” that has regrettably become part of the American heritage, embedded deeply, not just in the Federal Constitution but also the mores of the land.

Two years ago my wife and I journeyed to Washington to march on the 35th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision that established abortion as part of our culture.

The weather was overcast and a bit chilly but the rain and snow held up for the entire afternoon.  It was just the two of us, and 350,000 of our closest friends that marched up Constitution Blvd. toward the Supreme Court Building.

We walked right in front of the Archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond Burke as he led about 60 seminaries in the Rosary.  I came perilously close to tripping him as I veered into his path at one point.

It was so refreshing to see the young and old, walking together for a cause that truly exposes the evil that has slowly been poisoning the soul of America’s true humanitarian spirit.  The overwhelming response to the devastation in Haiti just underscores the deep contradiction that abortion has caused in America’s soul.

Like the millions of stricken Haitians, the unborn are a part of our human family.  They are an endangered species that has fewer rights than the bald eagle or the snail darter.

As the march ended and we were working our way back to the historic Willard Hotel where we were staying, the sun peaked out from the clouds… as if God was giving us His thanks.

My wife later told me that this march was one of the most memorial things she had ever done as a Catholic.  That’s saying something because we were married in the Church, had three children and four children baptized and two Catholic weddings.

My wife and I usually do the local march in St. Louis.  This January I had to leave her home.  After a Mass Archbishop Robert Carlson led us over to the Planned Parenthood “killing center” on Boyle and Forest Parkway.

It wasn’t a bad day–a little chilly.  We have made this eight block walk in all sorts of dismal conditions.  One year there was a light snowfall we walked to Forest Parkway.   My wife had several snowflakes randomly decorating her hair and earmuffs.

I think at that moment she looked more beautiful to me than any other time I could remember to that point.  I wish I had the foresight to have taken her picture.

This year as I strolled along the route, trying to keep up with the prayers coming through the hand-held radios, my mind started wandering.  I could feel this wonderful and exhilarating sense of peace and unity. I was among the best and nicest people I had ever know.  What a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

Over the 24 years I have been associated with this cause, these people have filled me with a sense of compassion, dedication and humility that I have never had before.

I felt warm just by being around them…no matter what the temperature. I have watched them age, some could hardly walk and yet they still come every year.

When we got to the site, we lined up on the west side of their building and said another Rosary.

A recent issue of the Sunday Visitor featured the story of a nine-year-old girl who joined her mother at an abortion protest, not unlike this one, at the notorious site of the late Dr. George Tiller’s abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas.

Before his murder last year Tiller performed late-term abortions.  I have even seen pictures of his oven that he used to dispose of his victims.

When one “client” eased by in her car the little girl asked her not to kill her baby. Perhaps it was her innocence or the pleading eyes of the little girl, or maybe the grace of God— perhaps they were the same thing but she decided to spare her child and drove away with the life within her intact and uninterrupted.

Rumor spread quickly our ranks that the protestors that do this every week had similarly saved another life. Maybe it doesn’t sound like a lot but to those two babies it is everything.  Life is truly a gift from God that we all have to cherish and respect in all its stages.

I used to have a bumper sticker “Chose Life” for years.  A friend told us that her daughter–pregnant and unmarried— saw it in my driveway and decided to keep her baby.  We just never know when what we do will positively affect another person’s life–in this case two people’s lives.

As I was standing there, I noticed that Planned Parenthood had a sign about their “quality, affordable health care.”  It sounds like “Obama Care,” has now become “Obamabortion Care.”  If pregnancy is a disease, I guess we are all a little bit sick.

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