Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A World without Catholic Charities

I think it will come as no surprise to anyone that I have strong opinions about a myriad of topics. The Catholic Church among them. I am strongly anti-Catholic church, but not Catholic people. I have no issue with someone who chooses to follow the faith, it just isn't for me. One of the reasons that I feel so strongly about it is the hypocrisy of allowing people like Nanny Pelosi to meet with the pope and to receive communion, especially in his presence. My church wouldn't allow someone like the strongly pro-abortion politician to receive communion. You want to espouse those ideas so publicly and pass the laws that undermine church teaching you shouldn't be allowed to partake in receiving the holy sacraments.

But my opinion doesn't cloud my judgement when it comes to the autonomy that they should receive when it comes to the right to worship. Catholic Charities does works around the entire world for the betterment of society. They help the forgotten children get into the homes of the childless among many other things. I know several people who adopted through Catholic Charities.

More than 90% of the homeless shelters and soup kitchens in this country alone are run by faith-based groups. They never ask what faith, if any, you are. They will give you shelter and food. They will give one time loans to the people who may be on the verge of homelessness. They help people with young children keep the electricity and heat on in their homes. They clothe the needy.

In the aftermath of Katrina the faith-based groups worked tirelessly to help the victims get back on their feet. They are still there in some cases. The same is true of Haiti. Our world is a better place because of faith-based charities.

Over the weekend at CPAC I was having dinner with a friend who ran into a friend who is a liberal and she joined us for dinner. She told me that she didn't see it as an attack on the church. She reminded me that many catholic women use birth control. Ok, I suppose that is true. But it doesn't matter if many Catholic women use birth control or not. The church doesn't run by polls. It runs by a doctrine based upon the belief system set out in the bible. Just because many of the "faithful" choose not to follow the doctrine doesn't mean that the doctrine doesn't exist. It doesn't mean that the doctrine should be changed. It doesn't mean that the doctrine is misguided. Nor does it mean that the church should have to pay for it. All human beings fall short of the will of God. Every last one of us. Sadly, far too many Christians fall into the cafeteria style religion that has become all to common in modern-day society. We pick and choose what we take from the faith and leave the things that we find hard or go against what modern-day society tells us is acceptable in the world. This being the case makes it even more imperative that the church stands its ground. The moral guidance that faith gives our society should not be watered down.

The exemption for faith-based groups exist. They are so stringent that they hard to achieve, but not impossible. I once worked for a charity called the prison fellowship ministries. I only worked there on a contract basis, but the full-time employees have to sign something saying that they accept Jesus Christ as their savior. If you are unwilling to sign it, you can't be an employee there. It is that simple. But most faith-based charities don't require that. You can be of any faith to work there and they will help anyone of any faith, or lack thereof.

I asked this woman if she would be alright if Catholic charities and other faith-based groups stopped helping people of different faiths. She told me she would fine with that. Really? You are willing to forgo the good these organizations do just to prove a point about birth control? I was stunned to say the least. I would like to think she doesn't have a firm idea of what faith-based groups do around the world.

But I got to thinking, maybe that is the point. Maybe this is the whole reason that they are pushing this. Stay with me now. Say that many faith-based groups do decide to change the way they run their organizations. They will only administer help to people within their own faith in order to stay in compliance with the exemption. What happens to all the others who will no longer be getting the help that they give? They have to turn to the state. Especially if they are not people of faith.

It would be virtually impossible for the faith-based groups to know if the people they are helping are truly people of that faith. I wouldn't put it past atheist activists to try to get services from a faith-based group and then publicize the fact that they were not truly just administering to the "faithful". Many good people would lose jobs at Catholic University's and hospitals. Many people in need of service would be turned away.

Many government grants go to Catholic charity groups all over the country. They are much better at administering to the needs of the poor and underprivileged. This will all have to stop. The programs again would fall back to the pervue of the federal and state governments. The entire reason that they were given to the faith-based groups in the first place was that they helped more people for less money. They understand the needs of an individual community much better because they live there. They dont' fall into the one size fits all mentality that is the norm with government based programs.

So the next time that President Obama talks about helping the poor we need to remind ourselves of the damage he will cause by pushing this mandate to its logical conclusion. The poor will become even more underserved, unless of course they happen to be of the same faith of the organization down the street that could and would help.

I don't think this was the hope and change that people voted for.

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