This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent 2009: Waiting for the Lord

Today, (actually last night at the Saturday vigil Mass), we begin the season of Advent. The Christmas shopping season began before Halloween, which shows that merchants are desperate. Even my daughter thought that this was too early, and she is six.

In the season of Advent, we are waiting for the Lord. This, of course, has many meanings.

When we are children, Advent is the time when we are waiting for Christmas to come, in anticipation of presents and the coming of Santa Claus. We grow out of that fairly quickly, yet that type of sincere anticipation should not be lost in waiting for the Lord, who said you must become like a child in expectation of the Kingdom of God.

Another aspect of Advent is an expectation of the Parousia, the return of Jesus at the end of time and the Kingdom of God on Earth. For some, this makes Advent is penitential season, where people use the season as a reason to go to Confession and do some spiritual housecleaning. This is always a worthy activity, but escape for ones sins is only the first part of discipleship. If that is all you do in your Christianity, you are thinking too much about yourself.

While it is important to invite God into our hearts in this season (although he is already there as the result of our Baptism), me must also seek God in others, for Jesus said that when we act with charity for the least of His brothers, you give charity to him. We should, at the very least, contribute toward activities that aid the poor directly and if we can, we should volunteer our time and have the opportunity to meet Christ face to face in our brothers and sisters. You may find them a mirror to ourselves.

The Kingdom of God is also built on a societal level. This means letting our legislators know as they are home for the holidays, that part of any economic stimulus must mean giving more money to those who need it most.

Tax reform will be on the agenda next, so this is an excellent time to let them know that more should be done for poor and less for the middle class (who benefit anyway when the poor have money - and will also decrease abortions). It is not sacrifice if we don't feel it a little.

Health reform is coming up, so we must emphasize both our views on Life issues and our preference that some reform that helps the working poor get much needed insurance coverage pass. Adding a sick leave entitlement is also an essential aspect of reform, since without it the working poor must still utilize emergency room care so as not to miss work.

Reauthorization of Temporary Aid to Needy Families should also be on the agenda next year (and if it isn't already, we must insist that they put it there) and it is in much need of reform. At the very minimum, life time limits should be repealed, since these cause women to seek abortions because they have no alternative. Lessening work requirements and replacing them with participation in education programs should also be on the agenda. TANF has been used to create a class of working poor with job training rather than real education. It is time to shift its focus to giving people the tools they need to reach the middle class rather than securing low wage employers a stable and compliant labor pool.

This brings up the topic of immigration. This is also coming up next year and we must remind our legislators that we are bound to welcome the stranger, which includes a path to citizenship -and not the onerous path contemplated the last time this was discussed. Most undocumented workers came here and worked exploitative (and sometimes unsafe) jobs for lower pay than they were entitled to, with their employers keeping as profit funds which should have been paid out as wages. Making these workers pay fines and wait almost a decade for full citizenship is simply adding insult to injury. As Catholics, we must demand something better for these people, especially as some of us were the beneficiaries of these ill-gotten profits. If we do seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation this Advent, we must confess that if we are conscious of it. Seeking reform is part of our resolve to not sin again and make restitution.

If we truly seek the Lord, we will see him in the face of the immigrant (who looks more like Jesus than the images we see on most Christmas cards).

3 Comments:

Blogger Brittanicus said...

GET--YOUR--POSTCARD WRITTEN OR PHONE WASHINGTON. TELL FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS, CO-WORKERS TO DO THE SAME?

I KNOW IT'S DANGEROUS TO SPEAK OUT? I HAVE MYSELF BEEN THREATENED, BUT ANYWAY WE MUST WIN THIS ONE..?
The open border movement has started a drive to get those who approve of another disastrous AMNESTY, to send postcards to Washington. Well anti-illegal immigration, pro-sovereignty and--NO--Comprehensive Immigration Reform can do-one-better? Opponents of AMNESTY should call their politician at 202-224-3121, or go there in person to their offices. SPELL OUT TO THE SCREENER OR AID, to take your name and phone number, stating decisively--NO AMNESTY. Then every American, black white, red or brown person, who see this as a treasonous portrayal of American and legal immigrant workers, should also buy a postcard and bombard your Senator or Representative. We can stop this travesty to our immigration laws, because under President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Sen.Gutierrez D-IL, Sen.Harry Reid (D-NV), Speaker N. Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Diane Feinstein D-CA, and the rest of the cast of Un-American characters, will have us paying billions of dollars, to support the 20-30 million plus already here, and then the rolling uncountable numbers that will attack the border once the word is heard from Belize to China.

Another Amnesty will just start a stampede, which all taxpayers will have to support. As the fence is now, the underfunded barrier will not stop the human deluge. It is a catastrophe waiting to happen and a matter of survival in America. A majority of tourists who overstay their tourist visa are illegal aliens. Neither crossing the border or overstaying tourist visas, is a violation against THE RULE OF LAW. Unlike other countries--entering America without permission is a minimal offense/'.This is thanks to globalists, business organizations that politicians have catered to for generations. If our laws--WERE ENFORCED--from the beginning, not weakened or dismantled by previous White House occupancy we would not have been--INVADED? NOW WRITE YOUR POSTCARDS AND REMEMBER TO PUT A STAMP ON IT. GOOGLE--your local and state policy makers or find their electoral address, email address and phone numbers. Even your local phone book has this information. THE OTHER SIDE THINKS WE DON'T HAVE THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE, TO STOP THIS CRAZY MOVE TOWARDS THIS ILL-CONCEIVED AMNESTY? THEY WILL SOON FIND OUT THAT THEY ARE--DEAD WRONG!

1:28 PM

 
Blogger Brittanicus said...

We can derail the open border zealots, ACLU, Council of Foreign Relations, Catholic Church, and other congregational faiths and the business owners--NOT FORGETTING FOREIGN NATIONALS--AS WE CAN BEAT THEM AT THEIR OWN GAME? Want to save America from OVERPOPULATION, rising illegal immigrant crime, paying for all their education, health care and other unrevealed government ENTITLEMENTS? VOTE THE MORONS OUT! VOTE SEN. HARRY REID, JOHN McCAIN OUT NEXT YEAR Demand E-Verify as a permanent addition to 287 (g) local police restriction, ICE audits of piratical business. Demand E-Verify to eject illegal workers taking your jobs, so they will leave when unable to obtain a job. EVERYBODY IN THE WORKFORCE MUST BE IDENTIFIED--THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN EMPLOYED FOR YEARS--AND NEW HIRES--EVERYBODY? OTHERWISE IT'S A GOOD EXCUSE FOR OPPONENTS TO FILE A DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT AGAINST BUSINESSES WITH DEEP POCKETS. THAT WAY THE COMMUNIST (FOUNDER) ACLU WILL BE UNDERMINED BY THEIR RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF DESTROYING E-VERIFY, 287 G, ICE RAIDS AND OTHER ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES.

This is a battle we must--WIN--against illegal immigration, but we must have an orderly flow of legal newcomers specially professional people in the highest pinnacle of Engineers, computers and other skills. We cannot, shouldn't accept anymore poor people, when our nation has millions of mixed gender at the bottom rungs of the employment ladder living in poverty. NO AMNESTY, but amendments to the 1986 (IRCA) can achieve this goal, even though the American people are constantly lied to by those in power. Prior to any new laws all those potential immigrants waiting in other lands, already processed should be given first priority in receiving a work visa. While we spend billions of taxpayer dollars on the incessant wars, some of The People's money should have been appropriated for the originally designed border fence, not the single-layer barrier that was underfunded, with no intention of stopping the rush of desperate humanity to satisfy the money-craving business community. Who is also behind pushing for BLANKET AMNESTY? George Soros! The far-left billionaire has donated big money to the ACLU, the New York Times, ACORN and open subversive border groups.

NUMBERSUSA will show you the illegal immigrant costs, Sanctuary State policies and the enforcement gradings of those in Washington. CAPSWEB will explain irreversible population growth in California and nationwide. Other sites of interest on Immigration enforcement is ALIPAC and AMERICAN PATROL and THE DARK SIDE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. OH! DON'T FORGET THE 28 CENTS POSTCARD TO THOSE WHO THINK THEY CONTROL US.

1:29 PM

 
Blogger Michael Bindner said...

Apparently Brittanicus doesn't believe Jesus was serious when I said that as often as you refused to welcome the stranger, you refused to welcome me. Enjoy Hell, Brittanicus.

3:45 PM

 

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