In many ways our country is still profoundly marked by the founders of liberal capitalism. We carry forward many of the consequences of their lives, for their ideas have become our institutions, their values shape much of today’s economic system which in turn gives rise to materialistic aspirations that are the idols that millions worship today. These values constitute an economic system that inhibits the development of an ethic of sharing.
Society to be Transformed – Canadian Catholic Bishops,1978
Joe Biden’s Presidency Will Be The Polar Opposite Of The Last Four Years
Michael Moore is optimistic that Biden’s Catholicism will help restore America’s moral compass and reverse some of the atrocities committed by the Trump administration. You can hear more from Michael Moore on his podcast, “Rumble With Michael Moore.”
A few times I have written that Michael Moore is the essential Catholic voice in America. All of his films have been vigorous defences of the common good and the dignity of the human person. He somehow grasped at an early age what the Canadian bishops wrote in 1976, that “we stand in the biblical tradition the prophets of Israel where to know God is to seek justice for the disinherited, the poor and the oppressed.the same spirit of God filled Jesus of Nazareth.” No bishop or cleric dared to go where Moore did. His courage was remarkable; he engendered great hatred but he persevered.His faith saw him through.
Michael Moore was the great enemy of cheap grace in our time. He knew authentic grace only came through the way of the cross, serious discipleship.He did this in a contemporary way of truth telling, modern parables called films which deeply unsettled the received wisdom we breathe in daily, the noxious fumes of advanced capitalism.
He challenged the great idols of American life—-status, wealth, fame. Though all of these came to him, his aim never deviated from always making life better for all. Undoubtedly he was despised by Bannon, Barr and Catholics of that stripe, the over 50 % who voted both for Reagan and Trump. Moore rejected the “ piitable comfort” despised by Nietzsche as he set out on the “narrow path” which inevitably led to “ yhe good trouble, the necessary trouble” the late John Lewis advanced. Moore knew intuitively the wisdom of St Oscar Romero
A church that doesn’t provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn’t unsettle, a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed — what gospel is that?
So from one Catholic to another he
sends Joe Biden a letter (edited)
Dear President-Elect Biden:
First of all, congratulations! YOU did it. WE did it! You stopped the madness. A grateful nation – and myself – are in a state of joy, hope and relief. Thank you for that! We are all eager to join with you to repair the damage done to our country — and to eliminate that about our society and our politics which gave us Donald Trump in the first place.
I first met you at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004. It was clear to me from our talk that day that you were not the politician I remembered from the 1990s. On that day in Boston, we were by then over a year into the Iraq War, a war you voted for. My “Fahrenheit 9/11“ had just come out and you wanted to let me know that you were aware of the folly you had been sucked into. It seemed to me that you were doing a lot of soul searching and you wanted to hear my thoughts. To be honest, I was distracted by how perfect your teeth were, and I wondered, could you really be from the working class? By the end of our talk I was convinced there was something that was quite real and very good about you, though perhaps somewhat buried inside. Would it ever come out so the public could see it? As I reflect today on it – and you – I am sincerely hoping that you will indeed govern as a president who’s from the working class. You – one of us – in the White House. That’s how it should feel. Your actions, if bold, and brave, will make that true.
You are also our second Catholic president. I believe you are a person of faith. You and I were taught the same lessons in Catholic school: to love our neighbor, even our enemy; to create a world where everyone regardless of status or station has a seat at the table, and everyone gets a slice of the pie; a world where “the rich man will have a harder time getting into heaven than a camel will have getting through the eye of the needle.” We were taught that we will be judged by how we treat the least amongst us. Do I have that right? Are these not the moral, foundational principles of the coming Biden presidency?
I was so moved by your victory speech Saturday night when you told the immigrants and the children of immigrants that the Dreamers no longer had to live in fear. That Muslims were once again welcomed into our country. That the world could breathe a sigh of relief because we were going to let the planet Earth itself breathe and have some relief. And you told the teachers of America that starting January 20th, “one of your own will be living in the White House.” That just felt instantly good.
So if I may, I’d like to suggest a few things that might make your presidency one of the best this country has ever had.
• Health Care is a human right and every American must be covered;
• Everyone must be paid a living wage and all of us must work to eliminate poverty and rebuild our broken middle class;
• The massive and growing gulf between the ultra rich and everyone else must be narrowed — and the wealthy must go back to paying the taxes they should pay;
• Women must be paid the same as men, and no man or government has the right to tell them what they can do or not do with their bodies.
You MUST create a health system like every other industrial democracy — one backed by the government, not by the whims of the boss where you work or the pandemic that has shut him or her down. This is just plain common sense.
Joe, you’re the guy to fulfill the promise. I’ll help. So will my neighbors on the floor where I live. As will the woman who delivers my mail, the workers who stock the shelves of my neighborhood market, the nurse who just wrote me in tears because yesterday she watched her 22nd patient die, alone, no family allowed, from Covid. Not to mention the millions upon millions of Americans who are ready to be foot soldiers in your army of justice, equality and love. We’re all in! We don’t want to go back to the old “normal.” We want a new normal.
All my best,