Charity in Truth


Why does it take 250,000 sperm to fertilize an egg?*

What liberal leftist commie pinko came up with this agenda?

* Resisting a “downsizing” of social security systems;
* Support for labor unions and the rights of workers in a global economy marked by mobility of labor;
* Combating hunger “by investing in rural infrastructures, irrigation systems, transport, organization of markets, and in the development and dissemination of agricultural technology”;
* Enshrining access to steady employment for all as a core economic objective;
* Protecting the earth’s “state of ecological health”
* Ensuring that the targets of international aid programs are involved in their design and implementation, and trimming the bureaucracy sometimes associated with those programs;
* Lowering domestic energy consumption in developed nations, investing in renewable forms of energy, and adopting new more sustainable lifestyles;
* Curbing an “excessive zeal for protecting knowledge” among affluent nations, “through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care”;
* Opening up global markets to the products of developing nations, especially in agriculture;
* Commitment among developed nations to devote a larger share of their gross domestic product to development aid;
* Greater investment in education;
* More generous immigration policies, recognizing the economic contributions of migrants, both to their host countries and to their countries of origin by sending money home;
* Support for micro-finance, consumer cooperatives, and socially responsible forms of business;
* Reform of the United Nations and international institutions of economics and finance, in order to promote “a true world political authority … with real teeth,” though one informed by the principle of subsidiarity – meaning respect for the liberty of individuals, families, and civil society;
* Opposition to abuses of biotechnology such as a new eugenics.

I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that if any of this ever worked its way into proposed legislation, it would never get out of committee, or at best, survive a filibuster. Much too radical for our esteemed senators, including “centrist” Democrats.

Nice try, Pope Benedict.

His new 30,000 word encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) is pretty progressive, coming from an ex-Nazi and all. And it’s been published just in time for President Obama’s visit to the Vatican this Friday.

It will be interesting to see how its call for “a true true world political authority” to oversee the economy and work “for the common good”, it’s critique of the exploitation of the needy by the greedy will be received by Catholic commentators like Bill O’Reilly, Pat Buchanan and Bill Bennet and think tankers like Michael Novak. I’m sure that they’ll very politely tell him to shove it where the sun don’t shine.

Concerning the list above, I did leave out one item:

* Seeing “openness to life,” meaning resistance to measures such as abortion and birth control, as not only morally obligatory but a key to long-term economic development;

As a political matter, I suppose “resistance” is a bit better than an outright ban, though individuals are still going to do what’s in their economic and psychological interest, whatever the overarching legal framework.

As for “morally obligatory”, however one feels about the morality of abortion, I’ve never understood how the Catholic Church puts abortion on the same plane as birth control. And I say that as someone raised Catholic, attended Catholic school for 10 1/2 years (asked to leave) and having had a priest in my extended family. During my eight grade bout with aggravated puberty, I had to use the only Church approved birth control method available to me at the time, the rhythm method. (Though I have to admit that calculating my girlfriend’s menstrual cycle each month did improve my math skills.)

Maybe the Catholic Church believes that life begins  before fertilization, which has always made me think of that Woody Allen movie where he plays a neurotic pararchuted sperm inside an airplane, agonizing over whether this was the real thing or whether he was going to be launched into space from a masturbated penis and end up splattered on a ceiling somewhere…

But I digress.

The economic argument that abortion and birth control are the ” key to long-term economic development”– huh? How the hell does tens if not hundreds of millions of more mouths to feed and bodies to house and brains to educate improve long-term economic development? Not to mention how their gigantic carbon footprint would undermine the goal of protecting “the earth’s state of ecological health.”

Nonetheless, the Pope’s 30,000 word encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) is pretty progressive, coming from an ex-Nazi and all.

A godless humanitarianism is, humanly speaking, a noble gesture, but true religion is the only power which can lastingly increase the responsiveness of one social group to the needs and sufferings of other groups. In the past, institutional religion could remain passive while the upper strata of society turned a deaf ear to the sufferings and oppression of the helpless lower strata, but in modern times these lower social orders are no longer so abjectly ignorant nor so politically helpless.

Religion must not become organically involved in the secular work of social reconstruction and economic reorganization. But it must actively keep pace with all these advances in civilization by making clear-cut and vigorous restatements of its moral mandates and spiritual precepts, its progressive philosophy of human living and transcendent survival. The spirit of religion is eternal, but the form of its expression must be restated every time the dictionary of human language is revised.

-The Urantia Book

[*Why does it take 250,000 sperm to fertilize an egg? Because they won’t stop and ask for directions.]

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