Tuesday, January 11, 2011

God's 'right'-hand brand

Click screenshot to read full-size

If you're running a Catholic website -- and not only that, a Catholic apostolate, an organization meant to cooperate with God in the saving of souls -- what the
hell does this have to do with anything?

I think that's a question not only Living His Life Abundantly, the apostolate run by Johnnette Benkovic that's behind the screenshot, but for a whole Catholic subculture centered on
EWTN, the Eternal World Television Network. What the hell does a murderous madman's politics have to do with saving souls?

What does it have to do with the Catholic faith?

What does it even have to properly do with the culture wars, which are the bread-and-butter of "Catholic radio" and
EWTN? And what would possess a "staff journalist," much less a Catholic one, to quote a story from World Net Daily (home for birthers, extreme ideologues, "tea-party patriots" and all manner of life forms on public discourse's outer limits) like it was . . . ahem . . . gospel truth?


WHAT DOES this have to do with the fundamental reality of what happened in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday?

WELL, SINCE the Democrats have put "enemy" politicians in the crosshairs, too, the Catholic Church -- or at least some holier-than-thou elements of it -- have no insights to share about the coarsening of American political discourse? The tendency toward dehumanizing one's ideological opposites? I mean, apart from "Nanny nanny boo boo!"

Does Right make right . . . or, at least, stooping to the left's level make Not Wrong?

Have the Living His Life Abundantly people -- the whole Catholic radio and
EWTN crowd, for that matter -- decided the one unforgivable sin isn't against the Holy Spirit but, actually, is "being a Democrat"? That one's highest calling in the Christian life is throwing culture-war brickbats at "Them"?

That the only people worthy of salvation (and if they think anyone is worthy of salvation, they need to hang up their scapulars . . . and their 501(c)3 tax exemption) are those who vote the right way?

Or the Right way?

I WORRY that someone, somewhere must be spreading a really bad interpretation of Matthew 25:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'
Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'
He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'
And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
UHHHHHHH . . . I'm just a stupid blog guy, here, but I really, really don't think Jesus was talking about conservative politics when he placed the sheep on His right. In fact, a lot of this passage mitigates against what passes for the political right in America these days.

It's a self-evident fact, at least for those with eyes to see, that the Almighty is not a Republican. Or a Democrat, either. He may be a Fabian socialist, but don't quote me on that.

You watch, that last sentence is going to come back to haunt me -- perhaps via an article by "staff journalist" Susan Brinkmann, OCDS.

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