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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
November 24, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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November 24, 1991

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PAGE Z ARKANSAS CAI IOLIC NOVEMBER 2.4, 1991 Thank Cod for the blacks, the Catholics and the Jews. Those are. the folks who saved Louisiana from David Duke. Louisiana, a heavily Catholic state, trounced David Duke, the former KKK Grand ~Vxzard and neo-Nazi who blames everybody but white Christians for their problems. Sorry, Dave, but the blacks and the Jews aren't your problem. White Cathohcs, however, In'ned out to be something of a disappointment on elec- tion day. An ABC exit poll, which is hardly scientific but revealing nonetheless, suggests that only 48 percent of those voters turned thumbs down on Duke. That means that 52 percent tried to put the scoundrel in O~]ce. Although former Archbishop Hannan of New Orleans credits Catholic voters for helping to defeat Duke, and the Jewish Aslti- Defamation League has thanked the Church for its help in routing the racist, the white Catholic vote in Louisiana is no badge of honor, but a source of shame. White Protestants performed even worse. Some 62 percent voted for Duke. Three out of every five white Protestants wanted a Klansman Nazi as governor. Worse, 69 per- cent of persons describing themselves as '%om again" Christians voted for Duke. The people who defeated David Duke, the people who ought to be getting the credit from the white Catholics and Jews, the people who got the job done are the black voters of Louisiana who turned out in record numbers to send a message that radsm has no place in the statehouse. Black voters, who have never consistently formed much of a bloc at the polls, finally proved that the black vote is, indeed, some- thing to be reckoned with, espedally in the South, especially when the white Protestant vote is scratching itself in let~ field and the white Catholic vote is waiting for the ball to drop from the sky. Sure, the Catholics and Jews helped. But the black voters, of whatever religious per- suasion, carried the day. Let's hope black voters open their eyes and gaze upon their power. It's time. DKH /~(al~l~:~ kl.publi~ w6ekJy (a(4:~ the first S~rP lmr~=t, ~3~,~ r~ll~llc: ~ d Littm Rock Artmmms ~,IIP~.,P:.O.: Bctx 7417. 2500 ft. Tyler ~t.. LJffia R~cK : ................ .:ii: . PUBLISHER And w J. McOonaU, Sishop MANAGING EDITOR F%v.: Albert J. Schneider EDITOR Oeborah K. HaLer CIRCULATION MANAGER Agt~s Kn~tig AOVERTISlN6 MARKETING MANAGER Ron M. Hall PRODUCTION MANAQER Rent. Jame~ M. Schmlz . EDITORIAL I PRODUCTION ASSISTANT W, David Mabu~J ixmd. $1S wlth your name, addre~ Iba Ramos and her daughter, Gelina, told their Jesuit employers at the Catholic University in El Sahrador they felt insecure in their house in a poor neigh- borhood. So they were allowed to stay at night in the kitchen at the Jesuit fathers' residence where they worked as cooks. Then the terrible army-led massacre in December 1989. Elba and Celina died along with the priests. So the Jesuits are now string the Army for damages: about 13 cents for each Jesuit killed, and 250,000 times that for Elba and Celina. Why did Ramos feel insecure in her poor neighborhood? Having lived in one such neighborhood from 1975-77, I tan explain the length the government went to to make life difficult: a pare-military organization called ORDEN kept a dose eye on everyone, myself included. ORDEN members were more likely to be mem- bers of fundamentalist sects than of our Catholic Bible study groups. A carnival with its blaring music came (was sent?) with boring frequency to make it hard for people to reflect calmly on their plight. Night patrols of machete43earing, mili - led vigilantes made repeated "mistakes" identifying innocents as "fleeing thieves." Police made frequent sweeps, always ask- ing for ID and participating in forced recruit of youth. In the midst of all this was another hooker. I became aware of it when mem- bers of our home Bible study groups asked if they should let their child have a Padr/no (English) who would give them $20 a month. Sodal workers filled out applica- llllW[l()llll Fr. Bernard Sm d fion papers in considerable detail and took photos. Parents asked me: Is it for real, and what will it mean for us? I investigated. The national direc- tor, an American who had previ- ously run the organization's in- ternational office in Rhode Island assured me, yes, a short time previ- ously the govern- ment of El Salvador had authorized their operating in the country. Under what conditions, I asked. Quite favorable ones, he told me. Limi- tations? Very few. The government selected the neighborhoods where they could spon- sor children; the government would have free access to their files; the neighborhood service organization run by the government would receive 20 percent offthe top of every contribution and use it for "Community Betterment Projects." Would a heavy-drinking parent waste their child's money? No. The social worker would decide what the child needed each month and provide chits redeemable at only certain clinics or stores. I asked why the parents couldn't choose their clinic or store. Well, these businesses had made "special offers" to help the poor. Altogether a distasteful and compromis- ing situation. The parents noted it would take on special meaning at election time and be an excellent way to get informa- tion on just anyone (such as Elba Ramos who worked for those "Subversive Jesuits"). The Jesuits are now suing the Army for damages: about 13 cents for each Jesuit killed, and 250,000 limes that for Elba C.dim. How can U.S. Catholics who want to sponsor a child in poverty-stlicken places like El Salvador make sure they are not paying to harrass the likes of Elba Ramo~ The National Catholic Directory lists people and organizations that make them- ; selves accountable, auditable even, within the U.S. Church. A listing in The Direc- tory is like a Better Businesspeople's Bu- reau approval. Is your child-sponsorship organization listed? If not, your money might be financing unsavory operations beautifully manipulated by controled in- formation flow, slick pubficity and inspired by the Doctrine of National Security rather than Catholic Social Doctrine and Gospel Values. (Fr. Bernard Survil lives and works in Guatemala.) l& llL f ILI[i Dolores Curran of time without football or I don't cook Thanksgiving dinner." "Gosh, I wish I could do that," a young woman said, "but my father and father-in- hw have to watch every game. We even have the game on during dinner." year at a gathering of 150 women What is there about women who keep in early November, the topic of Thanksgiv- fighting for family time while men put a ing football came up. There was some prior alue on footlxdl? I agree with the heated anger ex- first woman who told her family to choose. pressed over which If football is more important than family comes first in fatal- togetherness, then I would find a family with lies. "I am really which to celebrate the holiday and leave tired of fighting for the men at home to watch television. Thanksgiving," one When I said this, a lot of women nodded woman said. in agreement. "Why not have a Thanksgiv- "Last year, I ing for those who don't put football ahead asked the family to / of conversatioin and enjoyment of one an- choose the time of ........ tl other and let all those men and women day for Thanksgiv- "- who prefer football congregate at another hag dinner. They home?" one wife suggested. Not a bad idea. studied the game Another woman spoke up. 'Tvejustgiven schedule and chose 4 PM as the best time. up on uying to eat together on Thanksgiv- So I planned everything to be hot and ready ing. I cook a turkey the day before and set at four. it and the trimmings out on a table in the "But when 4 &dock came, they didn't TV room. People can eat whenever they want to leave the game they were watching, want in front of the TV set." So much for He asked if they could bring the dining room. When my friend said he spent most of the dinner hour friends to tape the game for him. "i-Ie ined our dinner," my friend said, "Why did he accept the invitation?" Addiction to TV footlmll is as as any other addiction. For a brief period time several years ago, the football agreed to non-game holidays but ing revenue was so great, they soon their minds - and our holidays. "I'm not going to days in the kitchm for a Odrt)mdnute dinner." I guess I just can't understand having; family reunion and then tuming it over football. With time in the extended so limited these days, Thanksgiving is of the few times we can get together share conversation, memories and Why have Thanksgiving in the first placeI football is the main event. Maybe the answer one woman gave the right one. "I'm glad we have My family can't, converse about anyt J anymore. They ve forgotten how to t,aP[ together. So we just turn on the game a# nobody has to relate to one another." Interesting, isn't it, that we call the relations? My I waited a half-hour and told them dinner a family dinner. was getting cold. They came to the table Later, a friend told me about the time but theywere angry, ate fast, and went back some good friends of theirs came to town to TV." and they had a dinner partly on Monday So what was she going to do this year to night for them. A mutual friend and her prevent a repeat? "I told them to choose husband, "whom she had the good sense to between Thanksgiving and football," she leave eventually," according to my fiiend, said. "I'm not going to spend three days in accepted the invitation but when he real- the kitchen for a sullen thirty-minute din- ized they weren't going to watch Monday ner. Either they agree to a three hour block Night Football, he became frantic. Copyright 1991 Alt IhtNL4ting Co. kingdom does not belong to this world. For this I was born and for Feast of Christ the King this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice. (John 18: 36a,37b) Sunday, November 24