Today is the feast of St. Blaise. At Mass this morning Father Fisher talked a little about the saint. A bishop in 4th century Armenia, St. Blaise gained renown when he came upon a woman and her son who was choking on a fish bone. He prayed that God would remove it and the boy promptly coughed up the bone. Later in prison, someone brought two candles to his cell where he languished without light. He was later martyred, his arms hung on a tree, his flesh raked off by his persecutors.
The combination of his curing the throat and the candles has led to the practice of the faithful lining up to have their throats blessed with two candles crossed on their throat. Father Fisher used two thick candles that had been entwined on the bottom and formed into a soft Y. He said they were from St. Blaise’s basilica in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia.
While the blessing asks to protect each person from any ailment of the throat or other malady, Father observed that he likes to extend the prayer beyond the physical. He prays that he might cough up the truth whenever it is needed, despite the desire of others not to hear it.
What a juxtaposition considering what President Obama said at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday.
Out of his throat we heard him call for the wealthiest to give up their tax breaks, saying it should be done not out of economic necessity, but in line with the Bible.
“And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense. But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,'” Obama said, noting Jewish and Islamic teachings say much the same thing.
Of course, Obama skews it to mean financial blessings. Redstate noted:
The idea that government welfare is somehow the fulfillment of Jesus’ teaching on charity is a common misconception that many people make, Christians included, and it’s the main reason that liberals believe conservatives are Christian hypocrites. Perhaps if the president visited church more often than only during campaign seasons, he might not be so confused. See, not only do we spend time praising God in church, we also gain insight from our pastors who have surely spent more time in the word of God than we have.
While Obama may have been correct in saying that government mandated, shared responsibility is equal to the Islamic belief that those who’ve been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, he is incorrect to group in Jesus’ teaching, “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.” Aside from the fact that Jesus was discussing requirements from God, not the government, he was actually teaching his disciples that they were stewards of God’s gift of Revelation. Their requirement was to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. It’s the crux of Christianity that Obama seems to miss. Jesus came because we are imperfect. We could never fulfill all the requirements that the pharisees loved to lord over the people. Jesus’ coming ended the rule of law and the began the acceptance that our only way to God was through Him. Yes, Jesus very much emphasized the importance of giving to the poor, but as a reaction in joy to what we’ve been given; not because of a law. Giving out of obligation is not truly giving, it’s merely following the rules. Just ask anyone who’s ever written a check to pay their taxes, I doubt you’d find them excited.
The Bible also teaches that everything we have, including money, belongs to God. We are called to be good stewards with His money. The government is the epitome of mismanaging money. If you truly want to help the poor, you should probably seek out charities; but that would require a bit of work on the part of the giver and a great many find it easier to just let the government run every aspect of their lives. So it is that welfare money ends up spitting out of strip club ATMs, and those same people who paid their charity to the government wonder why government hasn’t solved the issue. Perhaps they should ask the 27 Democrats who voted against stopping welfare checks from being used at strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores.
Quite. First, it was disgusting that he used a day of prayer as a campaign stop. But beyond that, he used Jesus to promote his socialist ideology. He’s done it before, twisting the phrase “Am I not my brother’s keeper,” to justify Obamacare, tax hikes and social programs. There’s a special place in hell for people like this. Presumption is a sin against the Holy Spirit last I looked.
Interesting, too, that records of Obama’s personal charitable giving are puny. In 2000, the Obamas gave .9% to charity. It jumped to 6.1% in 2006. All are well below the 10% tithing the Bible he loves to quote expects.
But what good is a charitable act that is coerced? If the government takes the money and allocates it, where is the personal sacrifice? Is the government your conscience? If it is, it is a poor substitute, and does not qualify for personal virtue.
I would remind Obama of Jesus’ admonition “whatever you do for the least of my brethren you do for me.” I think it’s one Obama wants to ignore. The least of my brethren, the most vulnerable baby in the womb, is something Obama would dispatch.
What a juxtaposition the feast of St. Blaise is to Obama’s speech! What comes out of the president’s mouth is not the truth. He is corrupting it.
WWJD? According to Obama, it has been supplanted by WWOD? He would supplant God as the omnipotent power we are to obey.
I’ll stick with St. Blaise.