Sunday, October 4, 2015

Apathy Spreads Quickly

Apathy that spreads easily throughout the world has to be addressed. This was the topic of an article in  With Bible. An educator emeritus gives the readers his  strong  views on some of our problems.

Korea's minimum hourly wage was 5,580 won (US $5.31 cents) for 2015, and was raised 8.1 percent for 2016 to 6,030 won, (US 48 cents). It was a struggle for both labor and  business each complaining: labor saying it was insufficient to improve the life of the workers, and employers claiming it would be difficult for small business.

Difficulties in economic life are often blamed on the workers which is offensive, many who consider themselves middle class accept this situation and keep quiet; heartbreaking, and the writer includes the church. Opposition to a raise in the minimum wage in the States was received by the President: "Try to live on the minimum wage I can't do it," put an end to the squabble. In the fast food world in New York the minimum wage was raised to 15 dollars an hour.

He singles out the church for not saying anything about the way much of society sees labor problems:  shifting the responsibility onto the workers. The professor emeritus, says the church has not in his estimation said anything about the situation in Korea outside of some platitudes.

A year has past from the visit of Pope Francis to Korea. We have already forgotten what he said, and only remember the event. Strong, said the writer,  were the words he spoke on the plane back to Rome from Korea. Parents of the victims in the Sewol disaster gave  the pope a yellow ribbon cherishing the memory of those who died in the Sewol Disaster. Someone approached the pope, and said would it not be proper to be neutral on the incident and remove the ribbon. The pope answered: "in the presence of suffering we can not be neutral."

It is not sufficient to give condolences to those who are hurting in society but before the harm is done to speak out about the problems. Bishops have the responsibility to do this, and when they don't they are putting the Gospel in the coffin and burying it. He misses the courage in the time of  Cardinal Kim.

When the Christians are  Pharisees and the priests are the Sadducees  the church is no longer the light and salt of the earth and just another group in society. The number of young people and elders who are committing suicides is staggering, the number of workers who are irregular is one third of the labor force; this, he opines, is worse than in the time of Jesus.

He concludes with a desire to see a change. The Church is not worrying about society but the society worries about the church. This is not the society that Jesus wanted us to have, and before the people become activated it requires the bishops and priests to wake up.

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