Thursday, September 20, 2012






And The Word Is 'Lie'

The Archodicese of Philadelphia is the sixth largest, by number of Roman Catholics served, diocese in the United States.    In an article reprinted by The by Huffington Post, David Gibson reports


A series of recent developments are renewing questions about the Catholic bishops' alignment with the Republican Party, with much of the attention focusing on comments by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, who said he "certainly can't vote for somebody who's either pro-choice or pro-abortion."
In a wide-ranging interview published last week (Sept. 14), Chaput also echoed the views of a number of prominent bishops when he praised Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan for trying to address the "immoral" practice of deficit spending through his libertarian-inflected budget proposals.
"Jesus tells us very clearly that if we don't help the poor, we're going to go to hell. Period. There's just no doubt about it," Chaput told National Catholic Reporter.
"But Jesus didn't say the government has to take care of them, or that we have to pay taxes to take care of them. Those are prudential judgments. Anybody who would condemn someone because of their position on taxes is making a leap that I can't make as a Catholic."
Chaput stressed that he is a registered independent "because I don't think the church should be identified with one party or another." But he said that the Democratic Party's positions on abortion rights, gay rights, and religious freedom "cause me a great deal of uneasiness."
The Archodiocese of Philadelphia is the sixth largest, by number of Roman Catholics served, diocese in the United States.   It should be, therefore, a big deal that its spiritual and bureaucratic head appears to be throwing his lot in with the Republican Party.    Gibson continues
He added that economic issues are "prudential judgments" open to a variety of legitimate approaches. Abortion, on the other hand, is "intrinsically evil" and must always be opposed.
That is a talking point voiced by many Catholic conservatives, including Ryan himself. Last Friday, Ryan told the Christian Broadcasting Network that opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, and support for religious freedom, are all "non-negotiables" for a Catholic politician while "on other issues, of economics and such like that, that's a matter of prudential judgment."
The debate over Catholic social teaching has become an unanticipated focus of the presidential contest, and has exposed growing divisions within the church.
Bishops like New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have voiced support and sympathy for Ryan -- a disciple of the late philosopher and atheist Ayn Rand, the patron saint of modern libertarianism.
For those who have never heard or read the word "prudential" except in relation to insurance, rest assured it is a legitimate word.   I'm sure of it.  The Internet says so.
Some of you may wonder why Archbishop Chaput says issues "of economics and such like that" are matters left to one's judgement while he refers to the deficit as "immoral" and implies that those who see it differently not to be taken seriously.   Call something "immoral" and if the other guy differs from you on it, his viewpoint is simply not legitimate.  It's a fairly subtle way of cutting off all discussion.
So the Archbishop's mind is made up on reproductive freedom; that's his prerogative.   His view of economic issues, in which help for the poor takes a back seat to an obsession with the deficit, is unfortunate.    So, too, is his idea that, of all things, deficit spending is "immoral."
Opinions may differ, and your mileage may vary.  But Chaput asserted definitively "Jesus tells us very clearly that if we don't help the poor, we're going to hell.  Period.  There's just no doubt about it."
Conservatives, comforted if not thrilled by the Archbishop's right-wing opinions, will not question Chaput's statement about Jesus Christ.  And liberals are fond of recalling Jesus' concern for the poor.   Therefore, few if any individuals will give a second thought to the remark.
So off this non-Catholic Christian goes to the ultimate source, Strong's Concordance, in finding words in Scripture, and traces all references to the word "hell" in the Old and New Testaments.  And to assuage doubt of readers, below are all verses (from the English Standard Version) in the Bible containing the term (all but the last two from Jesus), with an accompanying verse when necessary.

Matthew 5:22   But I say to you that everyone who is angry with this brother will be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire.
Matthew 5:29   If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.  For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
Matthew 5:30   And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.  For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
Matthew 10:28    And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matthew 18:9   And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.  It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
Matthew 23:15    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
Matthew 23:33   You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?
Mark 9:43   And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.
Mark 9:45   And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.
Mark 9:47-48   And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out.  It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.
Luke 12:5   But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I told you, fear him!
Luke 16:22-23    The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
James 3:6   And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
2Peter 2:4...9   For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgement... then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment...

"Jesus," the Archbishop assures us, "tells us very clearly that if we don't help the poor, we're going to hell."  And don't dare question him:  "Period.  There's just no doubt about it."   Except of course, that there is nothing in the Bible substantiating his claim.   Nothing.
One can speculate why Chaput says something he must know isn't true.   Contending he is a registered Independent, the Archbishop remarks "I don't think the church should be associated with one party or another."     Concerned about being accused of being unfeeling or inhumane, he establishes his compassion bona fides by telling us that if we don't "help" the poor, we're going to hell.
I am not accusing the Church, or even the Archodiocese, of anything.  Nor am I accusing Archbishop Caputo of  violating the Ninth Commandment (though that would make for a slick ending).  Otherwise, given that many theologians interpret 'false witness' as something beyond mere fibbing, I would be making the same error as Chaput, reading things into Scripture which just aren't there. 
But this is clear:  Archbishop Charles Chaput is making it up.   And what he's making up he undoubtedly knows is false.   There is a word for that.


1 comment:

Susie Madrak said...

Chaput is a well-known right-wing weasel who's in bed with the Republican Party. I suppose his current position is "nothing below the waist"?

Many real Catholics have a big problem with Ryan's beliefs. See America, the Catholic weekly:

http://americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&entry_id=5368

Warned

"The agency I represent,," explained main character Donald Cherkenlagenhagenflagen, "is one of the oldest in the business.&q...