Monday, January 21, 2013

Desiring a Deeper Faith Committment

In Korea where guns are not permitted, the shooting incidents in the States remain a mystery to many. The desk columnist of the Catholic Times discusses the problem within the context of our own culture. 
 
He  mentions that in the States many people want to limit the selling of  firearms while others want the right to buy them without restrictive laws curtailing what they believe is their constitutional right to do so. Because of the possible enactment of measures controlling gun purchases, there is now a hoarding of firearms and ammunition, with many dealers saying they can't keep up with the demand. All this happening despite the recent shooting deaths of 20 children while attending kindergarten class. He attributes this to the western frontier mentality of many Americans who feel a need to possess weapons. He also acknowledges that many citizens are influenced by the gun lobby: the politics of  money. Even though the majority of the people, according to the latest polls, are for a change in the possession of guns, he believes the influential sectors of society will militate against change.

The columnist refers to the book Who Rules America? by William Domhoff as representative of the thinking of many that the wealthy and the powerful  are in control. To protect their interests, Domhoff says they have easier access to the most current information coming from research centers, foundations, and ad hoc commissions, and from insider information from international big business sources, among others. This is not done in any covert way but is legal and easily seen.

No matter how certain segments of society feel about this state of affairs, the privileged groups within society will have control, according to Domhoff, and the hope for change is minimal.

In Korea we also have certain things that will not change. Still very much in evidence are the old regional differences, the bonds of political and economic friendships among the elite classes, the preeminent place and concessions given to the conglomerates in our economic structure, a general unconcern of the government with the common people, and at times the unmerciful unconcern of the most vulnerable in our society. Overall, there is seen a lack of will by our lawmakers to change in any meaningful way the status quo.

What about our religious life? he asks. Looking at his own life, he admits that if he has no personal experience of the truth of what he is asked to believe, or has not seen sufficient scientific evidence for its truth, then the difficulty of giving wholehearted response keeps appearing. Along with this, he believes our mental laziness often prevents us from participating with enthusiasm when we do believe.

What do we understand by community? As Catholics, we believe, he says, that we are a community that has been saved, and yet remain passive, without a sense of meaning, looking for consolation and a faith life that seeks to evade its requirements. We bury out of sight our Christian vision of life. And our clergy often finds it difficult to adapt to the times, holding on to a form of  clericalism. More so than at any time in the past, the columnist believes that Catholicism in Korea is in need of reform, renewal  and repentance.

Will this be more difficult to accomplish for the Church in Korea, or easier, than it will be for the States to do something about ending gun violence?  It may depend, he says, on how serious we are about this year of faith that we are in the process of living?

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  2. I'm in America and have one gun for home defense. A man broke in...I came home right after he left....I chased him donw and choked him from behind til he gave up and gave my things back which included a lethal weapon. Had I not chased him, someone may have been killed with that stolen weapon. I have since alarmed every pain of glass. He threatened to return with a pistol. Therefore we must have guns in the US because our police cannot search known criminals for guns without "probable cause". Are you listening at all? The US will not search known criminals each month or each four months or each year because our laws do not permit searches without probable cause. The result is that hundreds of thousands of criminals always have weapons in the US because they know they can rarely be searched in their houses. Therefore law abiding people must arm to protect their homes BECAUSE. our criminals are rarely searched by the police. The papers here simply never admit the real reasons because liberal thought pretends our search laws are just fine. Therefore they don't print the truth as to why Americans have guns. We need them because our government does not remove guns from criminals until they use them in a crime.

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