Saturday, 9 November 2013

Getting the Disasters We Have Earned

About 29% of the U.S. population not in the work force (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Another 7.3% unemployed (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Which takes that number over 1/3 of the country. Add another 16.6 % of underemployed workers (Gallup)and we have a grand total of 52.9% of the American population without full-time work.

Idle hands are the Devil's playground.  That was  a phrase I frequently heard while growing up.  As a side note, for centuries young ladies were taught to keep their hand folded together whenever sitting in conversation or otherwise not engaged in work, in order to discourage the appearance of  sinful use of the hands.

Today, it is a safe assumptions that those idle hands are more likely plunged into a bag of Cheetos purchased with an EBT card while the eyes of the owner of those hands views porn or posts on Facebook, rather than hands folded in prayer.  In our post-Christian world, the notion that prayer would make a difference in our individual circumstances, or in our global ones, is almost non-existent.

I offer a series of events in the Philippines as an example of how turning away from God and prayer has impacted a country in short order.  Understand that there could be other explanations for what is happening in those islands.  Of course, the same could be said for any situation on the entire planet.

In December of 2012,   the Filipino Congress approved a controversial Reproductive Health Bill that, "Among other objectionable provisions, the RH Bill would force medical professionals and businesses to promote and perform a full range of “reproductive health services,” regardless of conscientious objection. The bill promises to fine and jail opponents who spread as-yet-undefined “malicious” falsehoods about the bill, and would pay for contraceptive services with taxpayer funds." (  This comes from a country that has a Catholic Population of about 80%. (Wikipedia)

In the 1990's and again in 2006,  some cities in the Philippines tried to reinstate the practice of pausing throughout the day for the Angelus.  Philippine churches used to ring the Angelus bell three times: at 6 a.m., at noon and at 6 p.m., although contemporary generations only remember the evening Angelus bell.  The reinstatement of the practice was voted against primarily because it was thought that it would interfere with traffic.

 As the government of the Philippines has taken strides to secularize the country and take a utilitarian view of human existence that replaces the primacy of prayer with the speed of traffic, and the sacredness of life with utilitarian contraception and abortion services,  prayer has been taken out of the public square. In the past year the country has been hit by 6 typhoons, the latest of which is being described as the strongest in recorded history.  There have been earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and floods.  It is easy to note scientific reasons, but Catholics are called to see the signs of the times.

In the Philippines, the change from a Catholic country to a secular one has been shockingly rapid.  The pain the country's people is experiencing as a result of the disasters this year in also shocking in the force and rapid succession of each event.

In the United States, our decent into pain has been different.  We've had moments of extreme pain from disasters, but those moments have been followed by a numbing malaise, like taking a prescription to mask the pain.  Our idleness is not  marked by famine.  It is lulled into a pensive comfort where even the poor can drive cars, watch cable, and eat to excess.  It is a poverty of soul, full of resentment and envy of those who continue to work to support those who no longer do.  Workers see the unemployed as lazy, and the unemployed see the workers as greedy.

And neither workers nor the unemployed stop to pray.


  1. Suzanne, there are many people who want to work but cannot get work. I know one woman who applied for 96 jobs in a few months and got none, not even an interview or a card thanking her for her application.

    There are many college students who are out of work and want to work. The problem is not idleness but the disruption of our infrastructure by several administrations who have undermined small businesses and discouraged business loans for Americans.

    The big guys do not want the little guys competing. And, one of the biggest problems never, ever addressed is that contraception and abortion have created holes in the infrastructures of education in some areas. Schools are closing for lack of kids.

    And, when Big Brother government took over education, a bad move, many excellent teachers did not agree with No Child Left Behind, just as many will, rightfully, rebel against Core Curriculum.

    I know many people who want to work. Many. The strictures regarding self-employment have become so draconian one cannot even cut lawns in some states.

    The problem is that people have voted consistently for socialism and now that they have got it, they are beginning to understand it destroys real work.

    Pray for those who want to work.

  2. I know that many want to work but cannot find it. I know that because I am among the underemployed 16%. That doesn't change the temptations that idleness presents to those without work. I see unemployment as a disaster affecting over 50% of our country. It is soul destroying. My point is that we have been on this long slide into sloth for a long time, and it is a real catastrophe. Just as the disasters in the Philippines are a catastrophe.

  3. I agree and being back in the States, I am amazed at the blindness. So many people think that their lifestyles are just going to continue....ostriches


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