To the editor:
Father McBrien is first and foremost a political activist, secondly, a priest. Somewhere along the way, Truth became a casualty of “the struggle,” while accumulating a plethora of misinformation which he uses to justify his column about Katrina and Social Justice.
While FEMA shares some of the burden in the overall response to Katrina, Father McBrien looks the other way giving nodding approval to the gross criminal dereliction of local and state officials, where a stunning lack of leadership prevented any successful implementation of evacuation plans, and was directly responsible for many of the deaths and misinformation that occurred within the first 72 hours. Mixing in the corrupt nature of Louisiana, which for over 80 years has siphoned tens of billions of state and federal dollars, cheating the most vulnerable members of society — the poor, the old, and the sick. For these and all of our sins, Father chooses to silently absolve “our brothers keepers.”
As for his drumbeat of tax breaks for the rich, and the immoral policy designed to “starve the beast” of government, the resultant fallacy of telling us raising taxes is What Jesus Would Do is an absurd leap. He fails to mention that the lowest 53 percent of wage earners do not now pay taxes. Bush has outspent the last administration in non-discretionary spending by over 50 percent, while federal employment is up 13 percent. In point of fact, it is a bigger government.
Americans of faith know full well Jesus cares deeply for the “least of these,” but we also know that nowhere did Christ proscribe compulsory charity as a remedy for poverty. Extirpating indulgences from others is not what Jesus has in mind.
High in his ivory tower at Notre Dame, Father McBrien is far from reality and distant from truth.