Monday, July 13, 2015

McCarthyism Syndrome

In the  question and answer section of the Peace Weekly a priest asks: In private conversations he is often asked why does the Catholic Church disregard the countries' security problems, and  continue to criticize the government. When he hears words which incites people he is upset but when he gets these questions he is at a loss for words, and feels silence is the best answer but remains irritated. 

The columnist understands his perplexity. He doesn't agree that the Church has no interest in security. Korea is surrounded by strong countries, and North Korea has has shown hostility to the South. No one wants to abandon our security. However, the Church's understanding of security is much more extensive than the ordinary citizen, and looks towards the future. Many see security only as related with Communism. 

He gives the example of the training of children in Japan.They are taught to be considerate of others. In order to get them accustomed to the cold, children wear short pants in the winter. They receive leadership courses, patience is considered a great virtue, and are taught frugality. There is a difference in the way we can look upon this formation: on the short term we can see the sincerity of the Japanese, in the long view we can see them wanting to form a strong populace, and in case of war be able to withstand the difficulties of daily life.  

The columnist  compares the Japanese children with Korean children. If the children does well in studies parents have a tendency to ignore their behavior. This later shows up in society. We have even in small things uncontrollable emotional outbursts, and those with little knowledge want to solve difficulties with emotions.

The Church is an alternative community which tries to deal with these problems. To have care for the other,  respect the other, to educate the whole person to live with others. It is  education for life. 

One of the maladies of our society is the  McCarthyism syndrome: (a witch hunt, unscrupulously accusing people of disloyalty by saying they were Communists). When we hear criticism of the government, persons speaking honestly and see a need to change certain behavior, we have those who consider it a subversive act. We still are dealing with this kind of thinking in Korea. It is an emotional problem.Those that point out the problems in government may truly love the country and are doing more for the security of the country than those who do not criticize.

We need to understand each other and respect each other's opinions.When we don't allow the others who think differently to speak and call them communists we are dividing the country, and we can see this happening in many countries of the world. As Christians we should see this kind of attitude as working against building the kind of world that God wants. 

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