Home > Bp. Breidenthal, Elder's Soft Inside, Life in General, The Family, Theology > The blank guilt trip courts the blank check : Responses to Bp. Breidenthal’s Easter Sermon, (Part 4 of Many)

The blank guilt trip courts the blank check : Responses to Bp. Breidenthal’s Easter Sermon, (Part 4 of Many)

8 June 2010

Continuing my fisk of Bp. Breidenthal’s 2010 Easter Sermon..

As noted in the title, there is a bit of a false guilt trip being laid on the Easter morning congregants, before the bishop gets to the false application of the pummeled text:

“Again, we know that saying yes means giving to others as Jesus has given to us pouring out his own life for our sake.  We know that we are to be delighted to share what we have earned with others with those who have less, with those who deserve it, and with those who don’t deserve it.  We know that we are called to work together to support public education, to support the dignity of everyone, and safety for all and to give of our resources for that.  But it is hard to imagine freely giving away what we have earned from such difficulty.” 

– Bp. Breidenthal

But of course, every guilt trips needs an object of guilt.  Accordingly, he continues with this zinger at the end of this paragraph  (wait for it, waaait for it ..)

“How can we contribute our resources and our wisdom to address the root causes of violence in our city?”

Heh.  I love that line.  It’s as if there are these very noble people huddling around DSO clergy in their quaint ivory towers, and gee, if they would only keep throwing money at the problem of urban violence, it would go away.  Well, no .. if they would only throw money at the designated Episcopal cleric (who is of course wise beyond everyone), it would go away. 


Actually, I do have to appreciate the question a little bit.  This issue is something that weighs particularly heavy on my heart.  I would give anything to fix a problem like that. 

The problem is, I can’t fix a problem like that by throwing my wisdom at it, or my money.  I can’t even fix it by throwing money at the decaying decrepid state public school system (apologies to the good teachers who have so far, slowed its descent into the abyss) as the bishop suggests elsewhere in his “sermon.” 

Let’s first consider education as a remedy.  The kids who have the parents that are encouraging the good education, who apply themselves with uncommon consistency throughout their primary and secondary academic careers, who make it into college, who get the financing to go to college, who don’t get mixed up with drugs or sex while at college, who find the right mate or wait for the right one to come along, who find that first career-track job that pays not great but enough …  why, they don’t move back to the undesirable urban neighborhoods.  Rather, they become jaded suburbanites, or (if they’re blessed enough) move into Bp. Breidenthal’s neighborhood, or one like it. 

Oops.  So much for education being the magic bullet that fixes the problem of urban violence.  Oh well. 

As for the wisdom that governs the hands of the people holding all of the money that will be thrown willy-nilly at the problem of urban violence .. well, that wisdom hasn’t even begun to ask the right questions. 

I am not familiar with Cincinnati.  I am however mildly familiar with the problem of urban violence, and (to borrow a phrase) the “root causes of violence in (a) city.” 

Folks, it works like this:

Suppose someone gets beat up and robbed. 

What’s supposed to happen is an eyewitness reports the incident to the police.  The police use their resources (including tips that come from the neighborhood) to capture the criminal.  The criminal is brought to trial, and he is (through the process of the fair trial) found guilty.  Then he’s sentenced.  Then the sentence is carried out, and the public safety is no longer threatened, and life is able to resume. 

I hesitate to use the word that describes this, because it’s such a wax-nose for liberals.  It’s called (drumroll please) justice.  No, it’s not the justice where there is equal pay for equal work.  Nor is it the justice where we compel rich people to pick money off of their money trees that they are keeping mum about, and just fork it over to the poor.  No, this is real, honest-to-goodness justice.  It’s the kind of justice that wacked out so-called clerics and college professors take for granted so much, that they have to make up a new meaning for the word. 

Again, I have never been a resident of Cinci, so I can’t speak for the “root causes” of urban violence in that city.  I do know however that when one thing in that process of justice (cursory outline, above) breaks down, then more things about the process break down.  Soon after that, neighborhoods become %&*#holes, and the violence is tolerated by all tiers in the local justice system. 

I am convinced that outside money will never solve that problem.  This is because outside money chases after the flavor-of-the-month-problem (much like the Episcopal Church chases after the flavor of the month perversion).  In fact, I am convinced that nothing outside of neighborhoods that tolerate violence can fix the problem. 

I am convinced that the problems need to be fixed by the neighborhoods themselves. 

And the only tools at our disposal are families, policemen, the Church, and the courts.  But the Family, that prehistoric system of government that survives to this day, would be the ideal way to address the problem imho. 

Gee, I wonder what would happen if the Evil One attacked the institution of the Family – you know, the real one, instituted by God in the Garden? 

Oh dear.   

Uh – oh.

– Elder

PS – As I write this, I realize the potential to hurt good people who have been victimized by violence, by saying that they are their own best means to fix the problem.  We don’t mention such things to people in mourning.  Nor should we. 

Nevertheless, for people who live in such neighborhoods, the truth will set them free. 

So, at some point …

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