Friday, December 28, 2012

Michael Moore on America's Violence Fix

Lots of folks find Michael Moore too much. I myself find his ability to speak uncomfortable but illuminating truth refreshing, and I suspect that not a little of that ability--and his keen moral insight--come from his Catholic (and working-class) roots. Here's Moore's assessment of why we won't solve our American gun problem anytime in the near future:

We are a country whose leaders officially sanction and carry out acts of violence as a means to often an immoral end. We invade countries who didn't attack us. We're currently using drones in a half-dozen countries, often killing civilians. 
This probably shouldn't come as a surprise to us as we are a nation founded on genocide and built on the backs of slaves. We slaughtered 600,000 of each other in a civil war. We "tamed the Wild West with a six-shooter," and we rape and beat and kill our women without mercy and at a staggering rate: every three hours a women is murdered in the USA (half the time by an ex or a current); every three minutes a woman is raped in the USA; and every 15 seconds a woman is beaten in the USA. 
We belong to an illustrious group of nations that still have the death penalty (North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China, Iran). We think nothing of letting tens of thousands of our own citizens die each year because they are uninsured and thus don't see a doctor until it's too late.

As I say, I hear an eminently Catholic moral voice in the preceding observations, and one that remains in solidarity with poor folks and people struggling to make a living for their families with limited funds and by dint of hard work. We have too few such voices left in American Catholicism, as our bishops turn themselves and our church into a Republican country club.

We need to cherish the voices remaining in our midst that retain a vital connection to traditional Catholic social teaching, and which articulate it clearly and plainly for the American public square. As the year ends, I'm grateful for Michael Moore's Catholic witness in the media.

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