Abandon Your Desensitization

(Desensitization is a real word.  I looked it up.)

I would like to alert you to a New York Times article written by Frank Rich about how desensitized we as a nation have become towards the actions of a corrupt government during the Bush years.  Since we have come to expect corruption within our government, there is little outcry anymore when scandals are exposed.

A collective outcry is missing from the Catholics as well.  Our faith is rooted in the love of God and calls for actions that proclaim that love.  Anything that challenges that love of God and the rules he sets forth (love thy neighbor) should be met with a strong uproar. 

I’m going to use the problem of poverty as an example.  I would say that feeding the rich while forgetting the poor is something all Catholics should be outraged about and thus take action.  It seems like a pretty simple idea to get behind doesn’t it?  And there’s not much controversy surrounding it.  All you do is act in ways that directly help the poor.  So why is a collective cold shoulder turned when actions and policies are made that benefit the haves and ignore the have nots?

Currently these situations seem to be met with cynical, defeated attitudes.  I’m sure most would say they find the plight of the less fortunate important, but sympathy alone means nothing.  Making all Catholics realize this is important.

I’m asking a lot for such a multitude to get behind crucial moral subjects, but I don’t think I’m at all out of place for making such a statement.  The potential strength of the Church is huge.  Our outcry could move mountains.  We just have to remember how we felt before we became so used to a system that through its corruption leaves behind millions of the less fortunate.

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About danielrosmann

I am a farmer from southwest Iowa. I raise organic cattle and hogs as well as various organic crops. I type with two fingers and average about 4 words per minute. I start many sentences with I. Also, I'm less funny in person probably.

6 thoughts on “Abandon Your Desensitization

  1. First I have to take umbrage with the ultra liberal Frank Rich of the ultra liberal NYT comment, “how desensitized we as a nation have become towards the actions of a corrupt government during the Bush years.” As far as I remember, Bush was not impeached nor did he have multiple adulterous affairs while he was in office. I also don’t recall Bush being brought up on any corruption charges or being indicted for such. So what is Mr. Rich referring to?

    Rich or others may not agree with the Iraqi war, but since Congress approved the move and had full disclosure of the same intelligence, I don’t think anyone with any sense can point fingers exclusively at Bush. (Rich himself is the one who has been de-sense-itized. Pun intended!)

    Now to the subject of your article:
    I think a collective outcry about the role of a Congress that is 30% Catholic might be a place to start with. I think if you looked at the percentage of charitable contributions each Catholic member of Congress made to organizations serving the poor, I think you’d find we’re sending people to Congress who personally don’t have a heart for the poor, except when it comes to taxing others to force them to redistribute their hard earned money by force.

    I don’t disagree with your premise that we are called to help others who are worse off than us, but to use Frank Rich’s false premise that it’s a corrupt Bush government that is forcing us to be desensitized to the poor is a straw man argument (If the statistics are true about liberals’ charitable donations, he’s probably basing this on His liberal friends attitudes).

    Frankly, those who trust in Christ DO give to those who are suffering (check the facts of conservative giving versus liberal giving). Those who don’t believe what Christ truly represents, don’t give to those who are suffering. Therefore the answer is to share the Good News with as many people as possible so they become true followers of Christ with a heart for the poor.

    “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf; Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:20-21

    “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from Me you can do NOTHING (my emphasis). John 15:5

    I encourage you along with this author, give unreservedly to the poor, because you know that your Father in Heaven will always take care of you. Compassion.com is a great place to sponsor a poor child (plug, plug)

    Warmest regards in Christ

  2. First off I doubt God judges people the same way you and I do. What does it matter if the Bush administration didn’t have more corruption charges brought against it? Is God going to say, “Well they promoted torture, but nobody was indicted for it, so I guess it’s alright with me.”?

    Secondly why are you politicizing the act of giving? That is completely ridiculous. It’s sentiments like yours that result in nothing getting accomplished with any government backed poverty relief.

    Thirdly – “A collective outcry is missing from the Catholics as well. Our faith is rooted in the love of God and calls for actions that proclaim that love. Anything that challenges that love of God and the rules he sets forth (love thy neighbor) should be met with a strong uproar.” That means anything! Senseless war, poverty, abortion, climate change, etc. Why do you politicize these issues and then become selective as to what is important to you? To call yourself a Christian and be selective in these issues is hypocrisy.

    I’m sorry, but I am a little angry. When politics are used an excuse for no action being taken to help the less fortunate, it miffs me. Also, you are probably right, the desensitization started long before the Bush years, but that doesn’t justify any wrongdoing.

  3. D. Rosmann:
    All people will be judged by God as is clearly stated in God’s Word. The best we can do on earth is to listen to the FACTS (not hearsay or opinionated op-ed pieces from liberal newspapers) and expect our courts to enforce the law. If justice is not found here, it will certainly be found in God eventually.

    My first point was about the spin of Frank Rich in his article. He creates a straw-man that he and his newspaper have created over the last few years. Corruption certainly didn’t begin with the Bush administration and certainly doesn’t end with the Bush administration. Riches point is pretty obvious that he thinks that the Bush administration’s corruption is what is making everyone “desensitized”. Are you desensitize? I’m not desensitized! Who’s Mr. Rich talking about then?

    How do you think I’m politicizing the act of giving? We’re all free to give to the poor anytime and anywhere. I don’t believe the government should tax us so it can transfer our money to the projects it deems important/urgent. If you think that government backed poverty relief is working, I would suggest you study the history of this. You will find it has been an incredible failure. Poverty is greater in the world today even though billions have been thrown at it. Had we been able to keep our money instead of it being taxed from us, we could have sponsored effective programs that really help people out of poverty. Instead most government programs increase poverty by prolonging the welfare mentality until it becomes entrenched into an entitlement programs. Those current entitlement programs will go bankrupt soon and poverty will live on waiting for our personal participation.

    Warmest regards in Christ.

  4. Mr. Issman,

    I don’t completely understand your argument. It seems that it all stems from your belief that for some reason liberal = evil. I would hope that you would look beyond that idea. Also, you mentioned liberalism in who gives more and that’s what resulted in my comment about politicizing the act of giving, which was quite evident:

    “Frankly, those who trust in Christ DO give to those who are suffering (check the facts of conservative giving versus liberal giving).”

    I looked this up and found a book that confirmed what you said, though I also found much criticism of what was considered a “charity” among conservatives. Also, giving was mainly described in terms of dollars and not in providing volunteer service, which is often much more important.

    I was also rather insulted that you imply that I do not trust in Christ, since I consider myself more of a liberal. I’m not sure why you would say such a thing unless it stems from your earlier hatred of all things liberal. I’m not sure why you gave yourself the right to pass this sort of judgement, but I ask that you refrain from doing so in the future, as you have now done so in comments from two of my entries.

    As I said earlier, I realize corruption existed long before the Bush administration, but clearly this administration was more abusive with it than any recent administration. You say you are not desensitized, but you must be more than you even realize to not recognize this magnified corruption. Otherwise, based on the FACTS, you would be more outraged about the Iraq War, the poor response to Hurricane Katrina, the torture situations, the illegal wire taps, the tax cuts to the rich, etc.

    I never said that government backed poverty relief is working. It should be made to work, however, and it can be done with major policy change and bipartisan support. What will not work is this idea that the people with money will give substantially more to charity if less is taken from them through taxation. That is merely wishful thinking.

    And I do know much of the history of goverment backed poverty relief. What about the New Deal? We’re looking at a possibility of that occuring again. That wasn’t an incredible failure like you say. It helped millions who were suffering.

    Also, taxation is not this incredible monster that you make it out to be. And it certainly does not feed into any sort of vicious circle that increases poverty. In fact, the opposite has proved itself with the ever widenening gap between the rich and the poor in this country largely due to the tax cuts for the rich. And besides, the liberal Obama clearly outlined his plans to lower or eliminate income taxes for those not making large amounts of money each year. I would call that goverment backed poverty relief as well.

  5. Dear Daniel,
    I don’t think I ever said I hated liberals or liberalism or that liberals = evil. You are attributing those things to my words. Just because someone has strong words about something or someone does not automatically mean that these things are hated. I think you may have just past judgment on me.

    I don’t agree with the NYT and Frank Rich on most of what they write. Am I free to do this or not?

    You also state that I’m passing judgment on you about your salvation. I was making the point from the statistics that say that statistically conservatives give much more of the income percentage-wise to charity than liberals. That’s a pretty well known fact. That certainly doesn’t mean that some liberals don’t give a lot to charity.

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree regarding government programs solving the poverty problem. I’ll leave that “wishful thinking” to you. Jesus tells us himself that we will always have the poor with us. We will always have the opportunity to give to the poor. The desperately poor people that I’ve met may be poor in resources but they far exceed us by being rich in spirit.

    There are many experts who would explain how the New Deal extended the depression longer than it would have lasted had FDR not done what he did.

    Here’s my sincere wish for you Daniel; I hope someday you get the opportunity to receive a big $100,000 bonus and find out that the government requires you to contribute $40,000-$50,000 to its coffers. It is at this moment when most people realize that the government is too big and wasteful.

    If you want a perfect example of how the government contributes to poverty take a look at what the government sponsored organizations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac just did that require the government to spend almost a trillion dollars (so far!!!) to rectify a very corrupt business model. How many homes have been foreclosed on and how many jobs have been lost as a result of crazy legislation that said that everyone, no matter what their income, ought to have a home loan? The world will reel from such poor government policy for years; possibly even a decade. The government creates poor policy and then we expect the government to correct the problem with more poor policies. That’s wishful thinking.

    I appreciate your thoughts. These are important topics that should be explored from both sides.

    Warmest regards in Christ.

  6. I know Jesus said the poor we will always have with us but it doesnt mean we shouldnt try to eliminate it. I don’t want to glorify or tolerate poverty just because of the spiritual benefits we see in the poor. It seems to me that we could fall into using the poor as a means to an end, for our own benefit, certainly not theirs.

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