Thursday, April 19, 2012

Getin Jenky With It

I believe Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC lives in the great state of Illinois, and could therefore take a boat to Canada. He might violate a few border laws if he did not get the correct clearance first, and it is a long way by boat. But he could travel the length of Lake Michigan, hang a left at Cheboygan, and be in Canada.

I think Jenky would like Canada. True, it is not as “Christian” as the USA (with only 77% of the population being Christian as opposed to 78.4% of the folks in the USA) but it is close. The big difference would be the amount of Catholics. Roman Catholics in the US only account for 23.9% of the population, but in Canada they are a whopping 43.2 %.

I personally like Canada for a number of reasons. Here are a couple of them:
  1. They are the second largest country on earth by landmass, and have a much smaller population than the US. This gives the country tons of wilderness space. Much of it is awesome.
  2. They have universal healthcare. Everything that is an approved procedure is paid for by the government.
  3. They have no legal restrictions on abortions or vasectomies.
Catholic religious institutions run 87 of the state funded hospitals in Canada. I am lead to believe that, unlike the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Catholic hospital in Barcelona Spain, the Catholic Hospitals in Canada do not regularly perform abortions or vasectomies. In other words the Canadians have figured out how to have a much more comprehensive public healthcare system with fewer legal restrictions than exist in the US, and all the Catholic everything has not been forced to shut down.

Why would I bring this up? Surely Bishop Jenky knows all this? In a recent public religious address (The April 14th homily at men's march and Mass in Peoria- podcast available at: ) the Most Reverend Danny Jenky compared president Obama to Hitler and Stalin (and Otto Von Bismark for good measure) in his desire to support federal healthcare legislation (Obamacare) which would destroy everything. You think I’m engaging in my usual hyperbole? Perhaps I am a bit, but less than usual. Here is a quote from Dan’s homily:

“This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries -- only excepting our church buildings – could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the instrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.

No Catholic ministry – and yes, Mr. President, for Catholics our schools and hospitals are ministries – can remain faithful to the Lordship of the Risen Christ and to his glorious Gospel of Life if they are forced to pay for abortions.”

All this shuttering will happen because of some legislation which is considerably less like funding abortions was passed in the US. I don’t think what is working for the Catholic Church in Canada is like them being forced to pay for abortions and vasectomies; it is just that what is happening in the USA is much less like it. I’m trying to figure out where Jenky is coming from in his hyperbolic attack, and then take a couple steps back towards reality (not necessarily all the way back) till I enter an area I like to call “sane”.

It floors me that people for whom a Church pulpit has been purchased spout such vitriol from it, and blame it on their theoretically “loving” god. Because our president has pushed a healthcare package forward that will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, and may even prevent the untimely death of thousands, he is labeled a mass murderer like Hitler and Stalin?

Go figure; eh?

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