Friday, October 09, 2009

Moore False Teaching

Spirit & LifeĀ®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 04, Number 33 Friday, October 9, 2009


First, I haven't seen Michael Moore's new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story," and I have no plans to do so. But from friends and the media I've heard a great deal about how Moore "gets religion" in his new movie, or at least how he gets religion to say what he wants it to say. In this case, the religion exploited is Catholicism, a religion I know a little something about.

Is anyone else tired of Hollywood types and politicians who spend most of their public lives ignoring Church teaching, but who suddenly show reverence for the Faith when it appears (even superficially) to complement their already determined position?

I'm told that near the end of his "love story" Moore lines up a series of Catholic clergy to agree with his general premise that Capitalism is evil. Moore's hypocrisy aside (is he charging people to see his movie?) this premise is not at all Catholic.

As the Holy Father reminds us in Caritas in Veritate, "the market" as such, is not evil, nor is participating in free market economic activity for personal gain. The problem arises when one is only acting for his personal gain and when one exploits others for one's own ends. Greed is evil, and it is people who put greed above the common good who commit evil acts, and who can create an evil system. We have certainly seen the fruits of this greed in the ongoing economic crisis, but to reduce capitalism to the worst actions of its evil practitioners is simply nonsense.

When you take money that you earned from your job and tithe to your Church (or, ahem, your favorite international pro-life organization) you are participating in capitalism. Of course, when you greedily exploit the market and hoard your winnings or spend them on bad things, you are also participating in capitalism. Generosity is good, greed is evil.

And if Mr. Moore is offering socialism as the preferred Catholic economic/political system, he has an entire other "documentary" to make (although one might say that his pro-Castro "Sicko" comes close). But as anyone who is familiar with his work knows, he's not very big into presenting both sides of a story, or explaining anything beyond his carefully crafted narrative.


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