Recently, our two local Catholic Bishops releasedÂ a list of not-for-profit organizations that people should not give money to.Â Among these were organizations which provide health servicesÂ for women and food for poor people.Â To get on the Bishops’ bad list they only had to have a whiff ofÂ association with abortion or gay rights.
The Bishops struck me as so outrageous that they were almost paradies of themselves.Â They seemed like Old Testiment characters that were for stoning children and approving slavery.
In today’s Fargo Forum, letter writer Jeanne F. Dotson said she wondered if the Bishops “…have ever suffered from breast cancer…parented a child who is physically or mentally disabled..been raped or abused…suffered from an ectopic pregnancy or other life-threatening, life-disfiguring or life-taking event?”Â
We often think of our governments as being out of step with the problems of the ordinary person.Â Church leaders, on the other hand, have had the reputation of understanding life at the street level.Â For some reason, the tables have turned.
If clergy like the Bishops want to engage in micro managing peoples decisions about voluntary donations, I think it would beÂ helpful for them to first have some actual experience with life outside the Bishops’ residences.Â Â While experience on the streetÂ does not inform a person on every facit of ordinary life, it surely must do more broadening of one’s perspective than being a lauded and isolated Bishop.
The good thing is that when peopleÂ in “authority” demonize groups, ordinary citizens often step up their support of these same groups.Â That’s what I’m doing.