I have to admit it, I’m a News Junkie. I watch cable news, Local News, and listen to Siruis Satellite and Internet and traditional broadcast radio. However, over the last few weeks, I have been tuning out. I’ve been trying to put my finger on this. The other night I was having trouble sleeping, and I turned on my favorite cable channel. After watching a financial broadcast, I sat down in the kitchen in the middle of the night. Trying to wade through all of the cacaphony of the previous day, I began to weigh the complaint of the day about the ‘need for more funding for the poor’.
Politicians were complaining about the need to spend more money on inner cities. People representing themselves as residents of a crumbling inner city complained that they didn’t have enough ‘benefits’, and blamed other politicians for their plight. Setting aside the origins of these problems, I had to ask myself: how did we get to the point where people demand ‘benefits’ for which they have possibly never earned? I know many people who believe the government is the answer to every problem. It is my belief the government is the locus of the extension of poverty, hopelessness, and crime.
There the chasm rests.
A few years ago, a relative of mine posited this theory. We were discussing ‘ObamaCare’. She was 100% for it. Her statement went something like this: “we need a simplified program because insurance companies make their policies incomprehensible to their policy holders. People just can’t read and comprehend their policies. We need the government to take over and simplify the system.” Good sentiment. But, I had to point out: “you were a teacher for 35 years. Why can’t your students read?”
I get tired of being told my obligations. My Catholic Church tells me to give more money to the Diocesan Appeal. OK. But then my Church pivots and promotes illegal immigration. My Diocesan Newspaper is chock full of articles extolling the virtues of illegal immigrants, pressing us for push for political action to give them ‘more benefits’. Where does the Church get to tell us to pressure our representatives to change laws to accommodate lawbreaking? Where does the Church get to tell us those who broke the law get to be rewarded with largess for their crime? Where does the Church get to tell us that OUR ancestors who obeyed the law are rendered moot in favor of a new wave of immigrants who are not here by legal means? Where is the Church’s concern for the hundreds of thousands of people who have applied to come here Legally?
My problem with Obligations is a simple one. I see it in our media and in my practice.
The focal point is this:
I know my obligations. I was taught them by my parents and my teachers. My first obligation was to take care of myself and not be a burden to anyone else. I was also taught to expect nothing from others, the government, or institutions. Those ‘benefits’ had to be earned.
We have lost this. Politicians want us dependent on ‘benefits’ paid for by someone else. This pathology leads to intellectual atrophy, interest in self-development, and a cancer of the spirit. The Church seeks the ‘benefit’ of new members for which it did not have to ‘earn’. The Church relies on the government and politicians to cover the lawlessness in paper, and thereby get to ‘keep’ its flock.
The political term ‘liberalism’ is mostly useless in this comparison. Yet, the pathology of ‘government solutions’ is its own religion, held to more tightly than love of country and love of God. This is where the Obligation ends. ‘Government’ even in its most benign state is a virus that needs to be observed.