Sunday, January 01, 2006

Garrison Keillor to the woodshed, please.

It seems that our sometimes curmedgeonly host of A Prairie Home Companion did a piece spoofing the Pope some time ago, and it sent a loyal Catholic listener into a fit of rage. Read the exchange here, right now, before you go any further. (Quickly, too. I am unsure how long this link will be up).

Now, we can probably agree that the reader went a bit overboard in his response. Way overboard. Let's just say that if this reader had been a Titanic passenger, he would have drowned long before the ship struck the iceberg.

Keillor is correct in that people need to get used to their religions being poked fun at. We simply need to live with it. As if this reader/listener wasn't aware of Keillor's ongoing spoof in his Tales from Lake Woebegone. I mean really. The Catholic church in this fictional community is "Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility." That is a SPOOF!!!

However. . . .

Keillor says something at the end of his response that demands attention.

If the Democratic party is out of step with the Church, it's because the two are separate and independent, and because the church believes that its teachings on abortion and gays and contraception are more important than its teachings on social justice. Christ said a great deal about the poor, so one would think that's important in Christian theology, but you can make up your own mind about that. If you're outraged at a piece of comedy about the Pope and you accept with equanimity the people in your party cutting Medicaid, then you're a very interesting Christian indeed

He went down the tubes with this statement, and he ended up saying much more about the Church than he is qualified to comment upon, thereby showing that the listener -to a point- is correct. That Keillor is in fact an anti-Catholic bigot.

because the church believes that its teachings on abortion and gays and contraception are more important than its teachings on social justice.
Um. yeah, it does, and for damned good reason, Garrison. You may note, Garrison, that when issues of social justice were of paramount concern at the end of the 19th century, the Pope (Leo XIII) issued Rerum Novarum, THE seminal document on the rights of the worker, demanding fair wages, an end to child exploitation and the right of collective bargaining. All of which then came about in the industrialized West. You had better believe that this fight is still going on in developed countries, Mr. Keillor; you simply can't see it because it doesn't happen in St. Paul, New York or Denmark. None of those places need to hear the teaching. They have already learned from it.

To equate the cutting of Medicaid as on par with the teachings of Rerum Novarum, or to suggest that the Church has abrogated its responsibilities to these teachings is a bigoted smear; and normally, I would think you are above it, save for what Mark Shea has accurately labled your "reflexive Protestantism."

You also suggest that the Church places issues of abortion, gays and contraception above social justice. Take the teachings on homosexuality out of the discussion, as that is a different topic. Abortion and contraception are the same argument. And here is your error.

Do you know the difference between a conservative and an environmentalist, Mr. Keillor? A conservative wants to build a cabin in the woods. An environmentalist HAS his cabin in the woods and wants to prevent anyone else from building theirs.

You are like the environmentalist, only in a much more sinister and deadly fashion.

The Church now puts abortion on the front burner for a simple reason: They want to give people the CHANCE to complain about their Medicaid being cut, rather than killing them before they are old enough to worry about it.

It's that simple. Once the Evil Party (Democrats) safeguards the rights of those MOST HELPLESS in our society (the unborn), THEN I will join them in their fight against the Stupid Party (Republicans) in getting more Medicaid. (HT to Mark Shea for the Evil/Stupid party labels).

You are like that environmentalist, only worse: Since you already have your life, you now wish to prevent others from getting theirs.

The Church now addresses issues of life because the issue is THERE. It wasn't so in the 1890s.

Shame on you for your heartlessness.
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