Friday, October 22, 2004

Random Thoughts Today

We are mostly under the weather today. My daughter came home from fall break with 'mono' - the rest of us are just fighting colds. The animals still get attended to, but the usual eagarness, care and attention is somewhat lacking. It is a lesson for the kids that even though they are sick, the animals are not toys - the dogs and chickens need to be fed exercised, etc. (maybe there will be more sympathy from them for Mom when she is sick).

In reading the presidential voting thoughts of Charles de Nunzio I am reminded how frustrating it is to be a voter with no true representation. I know many Catholics active in Republican politics in SC who have blinders on when it comes to Bush - just because the alternative of Kerry is so upsetting. But when does the compromise sell our soul? Just the latest instance: when Bush ignors the rebellion of his Vice President on the most fundamental issue facing this nation (marriage) - how can we trust him when it is obvious that he doesn't understand what the most crucial issues facing America are? I am fortunate (conscience-wise) to never have lived in a battleground state. I don't recall having voted for a major party candidate for president in some years.

In reading the excerpt from the Introduction to "The Church and the Land" by Fr. Vincent McNabb (a book I am wanting to read), posted by Jeff at el camino real, here, I wish indulgence to expound upon the whole notion of the "sole bread-winner" and economic systems for a moment.

When we speak of the "sole bread-winner" - we must realize that this whole phenomenon is an anomoly of the middle of the 20th century and is not historical. The historical fact is that both father and mother worked to put bread on the table, clothes on the children and a roof over their heads. Often it was the mother in the garden and spinning wheel and father either in the greater fields or in the shop connected to the house, but even these roles overlapped depending on individual families. The industrial revolution and its evolution to the present-day economic system first took the father from the home, and in more recent years the mother. Both (historically) always needed to work to economically sustain the family - but their work was in or close to the home.

Today, because the work is outside the home it is more destructive to families. The children don't work with their parents and learn at their knees. The husband and wife are less dependent upon each other. Further, the temptation to put career fullfillment (once the temptation only for men, but now for women also) ahead of the family has more pull when the work is done outside of the home. So the goal should not be to return to the days of the sole bread-winner, but to return to concept of both parents working at the home.

Fortunately this goal is becoming more and more a possibility for some (through the internet), especially the better educated - but unfortunately not for the majority.

The econonic system which has given us unprecedented leisure money has also broken our families. Unfortunately most are not willing to give up societal wealth in exchange for intact families (maybe via distributism?). And most Conservative (and Catholic) Republicans don't understand that the economic system they champion has been instrumental in accelerating the breakup of the family. (Although admittedly, some good things have come out of this system.)

And I think this has been the concern of our Popes from Leo XIII to John Paul II with regard to capitalism, (as well as other economic systems).

From the small holding in Bethune -

Oremus pro invicem! - Let us pray for each other!


1 comment:

Jeff said...

Very good points with respect to the "bread-winner" issue. It seems that our age has placed unnatural demands on both men and women, in so many ways contrary to nature.