Thursday, July 13, 2006

They don't plant taters; they don't plant cotton---but they sure can criticize them that do

Sisters of St. Joseph criticize Bush policies

-- At a national meeting in Milwaukee, leaders of the U.S. Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph sharply criticized policies of President George W. Bush "that continue the war in Iraq, that violate human rights along our borders, that intensify poverty, that pollute our earth and that deny our interdependence with all peoples." The women religious, meeting at Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines Center, issued a statement addressed to Bush July 11 when they learned that the president was to speak that afternoon across the street at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, at a fundraiser for Mark Green, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin who is running for governor of the state. Nearly 1,100 nuns and associates, representing 7,000 U.S. Sisters of St. Joseph and 2,500 associates, were at the Milwaukee meeting. More than 60 sisters from other parts of the world were also there. "Committed to relationships grounded in compassion and love, we call upon you and your administration to change your policies and practices," the nuns said.

This is all very well and good, and as citizens, the sisters have a right to comment on the job of the president or anyone else, and to criticize policies of any administration. This is especially true about the war on terror. Let us, however, remind ourselves that vowed religious don't pay income or property taxes. They only pay sales taxes. Yet it is often these same dedicated people who most want to see others pay more taxes. As a vowed religious myself, I think it's a little bit cynical to demand that others pay for the social strategies that you want, without paying some yourself. This would be different if those who were making the above and similar statements were truly poor. But evangelical poverty and true poverty are not identical. Those who practice evangelical poverty always have a roof over their heads, clothes to wear, and three squares a day so that they can practice Christian compassion and love. If the same wished to be truly poor, however, they would have to start paying taxes. If they paid taxes they would have a more authentic voice. I'm sure that they won't agree with me.


DonW said...

Dear Sir, I read this over about three times and I finally " get it"
Thanks for the very good common sense comment and I will keep it in mind for a future date when speaking with my associates when we are doing God's work at our Soup Kitchen at St. Josephs.

Cheers Don Weber

DonW said...

P.S. If you get a chance, check out my blog, where I quote a story about Monks living with Aids as written by the well known American Photojournalist, Wendell Phillips.

thanks again Donw