punchy line

...and he (Simon Peter) saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth ... not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. - Jn 20: 6-7
-Jn 20: 6-7

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Gospel, Hitchcock and Today's Financial Crisis

In Luke’s Gospel, we read:

He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. (16:10 NASB)

It also translates as “He who is righteous or trustworthy in a very little thing etc. etc. and he who is not, etc. ” You get the gist – gotta get the small things right before you can be trusted with bigger responsibilities or graver matters. And as it turns out, those small things aren’t so small as we might think. They’re actually the basis upon which we can have any certainty at all in matters of great importance.

An unlikely source offers us confirmation, albeit fictitiously: Alfred Hitchcock’s "Suspicion"

In "Suspicion," Cary Grant plays Johnny, a mooch husband who mistakenly assumes he's going to live off his wife Lina’s (Joan Fontaine) allowance only to discover it’s too meager and he has to go to work. Instead of holding down a job, Johnny gambles for income and he deceives his wife, who suspects the worst about his depravity of character after she discovers his dishonesty with money. The suspense builds successfully, though, because the audience realizes along with Lina that if Johnny is capable in lying about smaller matters such as money, he may just be capable of worse things, such as murder.

Again, the foundation of trust in larger matters builds on how soundly someone manages concerns of lesser importance.

Now the link to today’s financial crisis.

Not that it’s a small thing, but we’re in a rather serious economic slump here. It’s so bad it’s surreal.

As important things go, however, money is still less important than moral matters. But if money handling is any indication of a more deeply rooted immoral character (as per my Hitchcock example) then how suspect should we be of the government in instances where it attempts to influence life and death matters, the family, conscience formation, and faith?

So far, we know that our current administration's deviously brokered national healthcare plan requires the violation of consciences for medical workers (according to their own admission). They are attempting to mandate that private health care companies cover contraception, including an abortifacient pill (though the majority of Americans oppose this). Add to this, the push for a federal redefinition of marriage despite the fact that individual voting states have historically opposed it - and you arrive at a government which, if you only suspected that it did not have America's true interests at heart before now, then perhaps the plummeting Dow can give clearer picture on how invested 'they' are in protecting the concerns of Americans over non-material issues.

But, to them, voting Americans are the ones who can’t be trusted, and to justify trying to impose their version of morality on the rest of us, they trivialize our values and then try to excise our right to vote on upholding them. What sways our politicians mostly, it seems, is money, which, for them, ranks above morality in importance. But, even so, the Gospel’s message still holds true: if they still haven’t gotten the lesser, ‘mundane’ (to them, anyway) concern of America’s moral compass right, how on earth are they going to know how to invest and spend our money well?

Answer: they’re not. They’re going to bailout the people who don’t need it, make alliances with our not-so-true-blue allies, and invest in causes that no one really believes in. Moral bankruptcy, it seems adequately forecasts financial bankruptcy and, in this case, visa versa. But we don't have accept it, we can do something about it. Suggestion, for what it’s worth: let’s next elect a candidate who “gets” the not-so-small matter of America's Faith and then perhaps we can again have confidence in achieving the grand promise of economic stability on our soil again.

And interesting site, DefeattheDebt.com, link here.
And, of course, Catholicvote.org, link here.

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