Thursday, March 17, 2005

Come Again?!

Yes, I do realize that Brian Koch, whose Viewpoint article I severely criticized in my editorial response, has written another article in response to my Viewpoint earlier in the month (man, there has to be an easier way of explaining this every time) but I unfortunately will not get to that till later in the evening when I have more time on my hands (considering I did not have Theology this morning – don’t you just love cancelled classes – I should have had the time to do so but I decided to head over to the Rec Center and work out instead), so for right now I will post some quick comments concerning Steven Blackwood’s “Loss of Catholic Character Widespread”, in which he responds to Douglas Zabrowski’s Viewpoint article that criticized the loss of Catholic values here at Marquette University. The unfortunate thing about this article is that, despite making a few valid points about how times have changed, it goes seriously overboard in its interpretation of the Ten Commandments.

Steven in his editorial warns readers of the “evils of materialism (coveting)” but in a way backtracks on this declaration, saying clearly "Capitalism could not exist without at least partially negating these two [the 9th and 10th] commandments”.

For reverence purposes, below are, word-for-word from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the 9th and 10th Commandments:

(9) You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.

Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

(10) You shall not covet . . . anything that is your neighbor's. . . . You shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
First off, there is a tremendous difference between materialism, which I and my fellow Catholics would hardly consider as ‘evil’ (there are certainly worse things then this within theological teachings), and coveting, which is a desire to have something that belongs to something else. I will admit that, yes, passionate desire to require certain goods would fall under the definition of materialism, but where exactly do you draw the line? What one person might consider as modest, a poor person may define as excessive. How does Steven expect us to do this exactly?

There are those out there who believe we must adhere to every single word Jesus Christ uttered from his mouth, which includes the relinquishment of all our earthly possessions in order to live in poverty and peace with the spirit of God (I do not believe that is exactly what he was alluding to, but I am trying to make this a short response, so I will not argue too much about it), but in all honesty, whether we are speaking in terms of the time period in which Jesus lived or now, this is just unreasonable. It may have been easier back in ancient times to have lived in complete poverty seeing as how Jesus was speaking mainly to groups of people that did not have much to begin with, but now days not even the poor within the United States (if you can actually define them as being ‘poor’ with their colored televisions and cars that are better then the ones my friends and I own) would be able to do this, let alone give it a second thought.

I guess I am conflicted as to the message Blackwood is trying to convey - either he is being serious, in which case I would have to disagree with his standpoint and claim that though we, more specifically Marquette University, need to adhere to Catholic values and teachings for the sole fact that they promote themselves proudly as Jesuit educational institution and by turning their backs to teachings they claim to value then they simply pulling wool over the eyes of potential students who buy into that image, or he overexaggerating to prove a point objectifying Zabrowski's editorial, a view that I would also have to disagree with. In any event, I wish I could tell you what he trying to say but what don't you visit the Marquette Tribune website or pick up a copy up, read it, and judge for yourself. As I always stated on this blog folks, I just present the facts to you and allow you to make your own decision. I am doing this all in an effort to create a more balanced presentation on a particular subject or subjects, a matter The Marquette Tribune needs desperately to apply to more in their own work.