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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Faithfulness

"Your mission in today's world is to faithfully safeguard certain important values: total religious freedom; the respect for human life at every stage; ... the importance of the family; the appreciation of cultural diversity." JPII, Czestochowa, 1991
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First thing in the morning, we have to look at the front page of the Modesto Bee and it is about Father Illo's letter regarding voting for Barak Obama. I am amazed, on the one hand, that this is front page news. On the other hand, this is Modesto. When all is said and done, no matter how many black-tie affairs are run by the Gallos or the Knights of Columbus, we are a town of dairy farmers and cowboys, itinerant farm workers and factory slaves. In fact, I think I just insulted the farm workers and factory slaves - they are a lot more intelligent and discerning in what is really news than the so-called educated group sitting in the Editor's room at the Modesto Bee.

My friend Susan once remarked that the Prop 8 issue was a non-issue as this only concerns people who are gay so who cares what anyone else thinks regarding a gay relationship. I understand how she feels. This letter that Father Illo sent out to the parish only affect the members of the parish - why is this front page news?

I will tell you why.

The big deal right now is a push to remove the tax-exempt status of churches because of the influence over politics churches have in this country. What people who are pushing for this fail to understand, however, is that it is the social programs of these churches that keeps this county from looking like Calcutta. It is the foodbanks run in little store front churches, the utility bills paid by St Vincent de Paul and the rent paid by InterFaith Ministries. It is the Redwoods Recovery Center for women and children, founded by a Catholic and now supported by The Church of Modesto - an umbrella group to which all the major congregations belong and to which St Joseph's is the primary contributor.

Take away our tax-exempt status and those go away.

Oh, but these people yell, the taxes paid will support government programs that will take their place!

REEAAALLLLYYY??????

This is when my snarky mouth starts to act up. I mean, how utterly stupid. I work for the government. Do you want to know how quickly the measly, and I mean MEASLY, amount of money raised by taxing churches will be swallowed up in bureaucracy? Do you want to know why these programs are helpful and necessary to the community? Because they have NO OVERHEAD....do you know of ANY government program that has NO OVERHEAD?????

Anyway.....

We are taking the little one to have breakfast with Santa after Mass. May God help these people....including me....
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You have faithfully helped the followers of Christ,even when they were strangers to you. (St John 1:5)

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