Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.
“You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality; and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God gives you.” - Deuteronomy 16:19-20
We Americans, however, have outgrown all that barbaric Bronze Age stuff about a God who defends the alien, the orphan and the widow, as well as all that stuff about judging impartially and not taking bribes. In our repaganizing civilization with its scorn of the poor and our tender devotion to Mammon we are only too ready to cut slack to the the extremely rich and powerful with tender tears of pity, while bringing down the full weight of punishment (and then some) on the weak and poor. Indeed, a good working definition of American justice in the present hour is that things which are sins when ordinary people do them are not sins when rich and powerful ones do them.
That is why, when you are Too Big to Fail (aka Too Rich and Powerful to be subject to consequences of your sins), you can steal millions of dollars and do no prison time at all. All you have to do is bat your big blue eyes and promise not to do it again—oh, and keep from bursting out in hysterical laughter until you are safely inside your limo.
On the other hand, if you are poor and hungry, steal a hundred bucks, think better of it and turn yourself in because your mama didn’t raise no thieves, you get 15 years. 15 years. That man’s mistake: not being rich enough to purchase two human deaths in a hit and run killing, which would surely have covered the cost of a hot dog.
Likewise, if I, as a private citizen, were to break into your home and because I thought you might have something I want, the police would rightly arrest me. But when the Apple Corporation, as a private (but extremely rich and powerful) corporation, wants to send goons to break into your home because they think you have something they want, the police help them.
Similarly, when a poor man wants to sponge off others at an OWS protest and says, “Pay for my tuition” people scorn him for being a sponge. When a giant corporate CEO says, “I drove my company into the ground and hundreds of people out of work. Gimme $37,000,000” we give it to him and point to the OWS guy as the big problem. A few thousand bucks is a fortune. $37 million is a statistic.
Again, when a poor person tries to sell her baby like a piece of meat, the MSM covers this story with shock. But when a giant rich evilcorp wants to chop up a lot of babies and sell them as meat for embryonic stem cell research, people who oppose this are denounced as enemies of science by the MSM (rich corps all), despite the fact that cures resulting from ESCR currently stand at an impressive ZERO, while adult stem cell research has yielded all sort of happy results.
In the same way, incest, like most other grave crimes and sins, is only a crime and a sin for poor people in the US. When rich and powerful people in big business and government do it
...this is hailed as “synergy”.
Most hilarious part: when you point all this out, it’s called “class warfare” by the powerful people who are making war on the poor and who are oh-so-ready to feel pity for themselves.
Nonetheless, God sees—the God who warned the corrupt and powerful a long time before propagandists had invented terms like “class warfare” to shout down all objections to the protection of the rich and powerful from the consequences of their actions:
Hear this, you who trample upon the needy, and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, “When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great, and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and sell the refuse of the wheat?” The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds. Shall not the land tremble on this account, and every one mourn who dwells in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?” “And on that day,” says the Lord GOD, “I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son, and the end of it like a bitter day. “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it. “In that day the fair virgins and the young men shall faint for thirst. Those who swear by Ashimah of Samaria, and say, ‘As thy god lives, O Dan,’ and, ‘As the way of Beer-sheba lives,’ they shall fall, and never rise again.” (Amos 8:4-14)
That God has scattered the proud in their conceit and lifted up the lowly, that he has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty is not Marxism, but Marianism and found in the Magnificat. It our place as Catholics to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. And that too is a thing to be grateful for this Thanksgiving weekend.