Father Kevin’s Reflection – October 23, 2016

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charity-1940x1259-1Here is a couple of news items and some comments…in this week’s Gospel, we find that bureaucrats were a scourge 2000 years ago too. But, Jesus finds a rare one…one who recognizes his fault and seeks reform in his life and forgiveness.

I have been catching up on some of my reading. I was reading the past work being conducted by the St. Thomas More Society out of Illinois. (This is the group working with the Sisters of the Poor (in Denver) combating the Obama Administration and dictates of ObamaCare.) Well, back in 2008, a former member of a Catholic home school association filed a complaint against the “Fishers (Indiana) Catholic Enrichment Society” (aka: FACES). The group was a private association of 11 families to promote education and socialization and fraternity among the home school families. One parent claimed that the group discriminated against her daughter in the meal offered at the group’s “All Souls’ Day Ball”. After repeated disputes and disrespectful behavior from the member, she was eventually asked to leave the group. The State of Indiana proceeded to prosecute (persecute) the Catholic  Society using the Indiana Civil Rights Act.

Now…get this…the issue of the complaining parent: requesting a steak dinner for her daughter (who planned to attend a dinner-dance at a contracted venue).  FACES volunteer mothers decided that the particular parent should bring her own steak dinner, when the rest of the participating children and families would receive chicken. Because the venue was charging by attendance…the volunteer mothers did not lower the ticket price for this particular child. The next day, on behalf of her daughter, the parent filed a complaint with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. Doesn’t it make you shake your head in disbelief? I remember when I was a kid and sat down to eat a meal prepared by my mother, I was taught that starving children in Africa would be grateful to eat what’s on my plate. I wouldn’t think of telling mom to make me something special (let alone take her to court for discrimination). …Oh, I take that back. Sometimes I would ask her to cut my peanut butter and jelly sandwich diagonally because I thought it made the meal more elegant. (It’s important to find joy in small things…not law suits.) Believe it! …Indiana actually took up the complaint and sided with the complainant. It took a ruling from the Indiana Supreme Court to judge the case (you would think supreme courts wouldn’t have to get involved in sandbox arguments).  Worse, this was a split decision with the majority stating: “…This was a case that the Indiana Civil Rights Commission had no business taking on. In doing so, the Commission usurped parental rights, destroyed a small religious group, and wasted taxpayer resources prosecuting a frivolous and petty complaint that it should have instead immediately rejected,”  And, in the end, FACES operations stopped because of all the non-sense. So much for Civil Rights Protections.

What is happening to our nation? Far too much control is being handled to out-of-control, unelected and irresponsible bureaucracies. Nationally speaking we need only to look at ObamaCare.

We, as U.S. citizens who have a moral conscience, need to oppose any civil laws that require immoral acts. In the case of ObamaCare, forcing a Catholic institution to pay for abortifacient, sterilization, euthanasia drugs (not to mention sex change operations, same sex practices) and procedures which are the modern day equivalent to the Roman Emperors forcing the early Christians to offer incense to the pagan gods of the Emperor.

You know, minus this “prochoice” attitude a very weak Catholic argument might be made for universal health care coverage. After all, it hurts my Catholic heart to know some people can’t “check in” to a good hospital.  But it also hurts my heart that to know some people can’t check into a good restaurant or hotel. It could be said, that everyone has a right to eat and sleep, but how is it feasible to say everyone has a right to eat at Ruth’s Chris or the Hilton? You know, I just might have been sold on ObamaCare if the President was more honest about the thing. Imagine…what if he said from the outset: “Let’s make a health care system where those who are rich will pay for their own insurance and sponsor 10 or 20 poor people. The IRS will determine which group you belong to.” Wow, what a charitable society we would thus have. Oops! On second thought, “charity” means an act of love…and of course passing a law to force people to do a charitable act would destroy the meaning charity in the process. But, if a government can destroy the meaning of religion…such a government can certainly destroy the meaning of love.

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