Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
July 28, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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July 28, 1991

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PAGE 2 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC JULY 28, 1991 Vacation (vay-kay-shun) n. 1. Respite, intermission or rest. 2. A scheduled period during which work is suspended. Obviously, Webster never took three teenagers to the beach in a seven-year-old car during a heat wave on a journalist's salary. Pensacola Beach. Three teens. One with olive skin (immediate tan, no burning, can stay out all day). One with pink skin (will bum after an hour, but wants to stay out). One with lilly skin (wants to rent an um- brella, uses a gallon of sunscreen and wears a T-shirt like a weapon). And me, whose skin does not matter. Only my money and car. One child, the eldest, longs for the wa- ter, the waves, the romance of the beach. She is terrified of aquadc life, and wonders if jellyfish, of which there are thousands within ann's reach, can amputate human limbs. "Do jellyfish have teeth?" I don't know. Swimming in the ocean takes courage. Screw it to the sticking point and get wet. I read one frivolous novel a year. Leave me to it, please. One of the boys spotsan arcade. "Can I have quarters?" Gee, I left all my quarters in Little Rcwk. Had I known you would need them .... The same child has another problem. He has taken a& antage of the beach's shower facilities, and can't figure out how to walk from the shower to the car without getting sand on his feet. This ks of great concern to the child, who likes to maintain a neat appearance at all times, especially when girls are around. The beach has lots of girls around. Get in the car, kid, or ),our feet will be the least of your problems. The youngest buys me a birthday present at a local tourist shop, where a small Made- in-Japan costs $8.95. He wraps the tiny in tissue and asks me to hold it until my birthday in two days. I still haven't found it. Pulling into the driveway, the kid with the clean feet sighs. "Fhat's the best vacadon we ever had." DKH Callhell m msbli~md weekly (except the tirol Sun-: day in Ja,'~.,.July,: Aug,,. ar~l: the la~ Sundew/~ Oe,) for $15 !~r year, by ~e OathoS D~ o| LittM ~ .II, gRtP/IIW$ Ca'd't41, lno., P:O. Box 74~17; 2Yo00 N~ Tyler $1,. LR~ Rock, AR 72217, (50'~)664-0340 [FAX 064.9075], PUBUSHER Most Rev. Andrew J, McDot~ald,. Bishop MANAGING EDITOR Rev. Albert d. Schneider EDITOR Deborah K, Halter wo summers ago I had the good fortune to travel to Guatemala with a group of other instructors from Arkansas where we met with a similar group of educators from that country and Honduras. We spoke of many issues - education, the environment and, of course, the political and socioeconomic factors which influ- ence them. In the course of these dia- logues, we established a close, secure con- nection with these people which allowed everyone to feel free to voice their opin- ions, both positive and negative, about the relationship between the U.S. and their countries. Two points were made which affected my attitude strongly. Many indicated thek prefer- ence that no aid be sent rather it dlizens. The first was their fear that U.S. aid was doing more harm than good. Monies for humanitarian relief rarely reached their destination and served instead to line the pockets of corrupt politicians and military personnel. In fact, itwas indicated strongly that the president was ineffectual, and that Guatemala was controlled by the military, whicfi was widely known for its human rights abuses. I was repeatedly asked why no one was held accountable for the funds to see where the money went. Many indi- cated their preference that no aid be sent rather than have it used against their dti- zens. III IIII()IIII The second point was that these Central Americans had come to realize that the U.& government and its people are sepa- rate entide~ They were discovering through us that not all U.S. citizens supported arms shipments that were used to kill their people. They had previously in- terpreted the administration's actions as being against them - the people - personally, and had not been able to understand our animosity. These two points indicated to me how strong the need was for our government to change its course of actions in Latin America. The more I have learned about the situation in El Salvador, the more I realize how urgent that change becomes. In El Sakador, we see once again a coun- try where the military and fight-wing sup ported death squads are beyond the con- trol of the president. Otherwise, we would have already seen the murderers of the six Jesuit priests, their housekeepe.r and her daughter brought to justice rather than see members of the investigative panel there resign because of lack of cooperation from Ivan Kaummm Some people are religious and some people aren't. It's a fact of life - like the fact that some people are athletic and some aren't, or that some people like aspara- gus and some don'L That's not to say this is the way things should be, only that it's the way they are. Obvi- ously it doesn't matter as much in the final analysis whether you bowl or play tennis as it does whether or not you pray. And eating aspmxga~ is strictly optional; spiritual growth isn't. But to those of us who are deeply in- voh,ed .in the life of the Church - who at- tend Mass regularly, who struggle to keep up a discipline of daily prayer, who support the Church financially, who read Catholic publications regularly- our friends, fellow workers and family members who appear to have little or no religious life are some- thing of a puzzle. How can something so important to us be so apparently tmimportant to them? Non-religious persons, on the other hand, often complain that religious people are unin~01ved and aloof- that we're so concerned about getting to heaven we're oblivious to what's happening here on earth. It's very shnilar to the criticism Jesus di- rected at the Pharisees - who were the most openly re ous people of HIS day. The were proud of the way they kept their religious traditions, and Jesus, who also observed the Jewish religious law, didn't fault them for that. What He did critidze them for was their selfishness. Again and again Jesus pointed out that all the Pharisees really cared about was their own comfort. Even their religious practices were done either for their own satisfaction or to impress others. The result was a terrible kind of hypoc- risy. "You cleanse the outside of the cup and dish," Jesus told the Pharisees, "but inside they are full of plunder and self-in- dulgence." Religion as the Pharisees defined it in- duded very little sense of social responsibil- ity. They went to heroic lengths to be reli- gious but they neglected "the weightier things of the law," such as mercy and jus- tice. Who's to sayit's more reli 'ous to attend a Chm service than it is to help a homdem pemon get a new start on life? What God wants from us, Jesus said, is that we treat our neighbors as we would want them to treat us. The entire tradition of the Hebrew prophets can be summed up in that single idea, He said. All of which raises the question of what it means to be religious in the Christian sense. Who's to say it's more religious to attend the military. A negotiated peace settleme is the only solution to this war because tiai , -/ . . , I *q rebel forces are fighting against sodal Lr :. "ustice and litical repression Their wa po " d cannot end as long as the people are eUbs riled basic human fights. ~rt~ Evidence has shown that progress O cts peace talks occurs when our Congress e~7~ errs pressure bywithholding military fund~rasIt But this pressure must be consistent, an e it should not be sent with mixed message*arre Actions mean much to the Hispani~hott people, and if we say we support peaChain efforts while the administration overt lx promises to upgrade military equipmentepoj we lose credibility, and forces which suF uh port the status quo of economic disparit It and social injustice proceed as usual. Th ae n fact that 15 unarmed civilians were cred within days after Mr. Bush announce. ersia his intention to rdease $42.5 million dOJor' t lars in aid strongly suggests that the mi espe tary received a message that persecufio clito of the people is not only permissible, b aent can be conducted with impunity, in More than once Sahradorans have aske th that they be allowed to write their o~_ ,- destiny. The withdrawal of all U.S. fundt:2 for military assistance (as well as ofmilit . advisors and covert operations), the restri% lion of economic support for basic huma needs, and Congressional review of ing are all essential to the peace proces r and efforts of organizations such as th~sl~ U.N. to allow this destiny to happer% Moreover, we need to offer economic i~ centives for a negotiated settlement. SUr (Be~ ~gan "~ a Sp~,---~~. :.~o~,-~,%r~m. H~ Spr/ngs.) a Church service than it is to help a holy less person get a new start on life? Who's say it's more religious to pray than to for an aged relative with Alzheimer's? have always known that being religious the Christian sense involves both action. Their lives are demonstrations rol prayer always leads to action, and the most powerful action always has its in prayer. In Jesus' life there was no the religious and the secular, between inner life and the outer life - and that s has never existed for those who follow most dosely. Being a Christian in the full sense of t word means not only being religious. often means changing our ideas of means to be religious. Copyright 1991 Ivan Kauffman The Subtle Causes. Effects Recov Available for $1 a copy. /takansas Catholic P.O. Box 7417 Little Rock, 7221