With Pope Francis talking about “the fragrance of the Gospel,” the Review-Journal printing odes to the glory of unbridled capitalism and doctors in trauma centers growing tired of sewing up victims of mass public killings, you know it’s time to bring out the bullshit detectors. Here, then, is a list of recent events that probably should be given a smell test:
First, in a rather insipid plea to end gun violence in America, Dr. Janis Orlowski, head of a trauma center tending victims of the recent mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., said: “There’s something evil in our society — this is not America. We just cannot have one more shooting with so many people killed.”
Really? Not America? Actually, historically speaking, America was founded on guns, tobacco and slaves. Tobacco (our first export product) made enough money to buy the guns that helped us enslave the slaves to grow more tobacco for money to buy more guns with which to fight off the British. Then, later, there was that little conquest of the West with guns, taking most of America away from Native Americans.
And even today, according to sources, between 1980 and 2007, the United States has averaged about 32,300 firearm deaths annually — a lucrative business for hospitals, funeral homes, florists, gun dealers and the sympathy card industry. Guns are more American than hot dogs. What the heck is this Orlowski thinking? She should take her petty gripes to the National Rifle Association, a patriotic lobbying group that understands the business of America is gun business.
Speaking of business, the R-J recently published an editorial by radio talk-show host Larry Elder (“Capitalism’s merits far outweigh greed,” Sept. 18), wherein Elder pretty much proclaims the sanctity of unfettered capitalism, an ongoing R-J theme.
He opens his article with: “Given the evidence of the superiority of capitalism in achieving prosperity, isn’t it astonishing we still debate its merits?” Gosh, why would anyone have any qualms about corporations strip-mining the planet’s resources for the wealthy to get wealthier and leaving the rest of us behind to man their sweat-shops? Given all that, though, I agree with Elder on this: With 7 billion people on the planet, soon to be 10, now is the time to greedily suck up everything we can, before it’s gone. Otherwise, the Chinese and Indians (from India) will soon be getting it all. And God bless America!
But now Pope Francis is coming out against capitalism (“a god called money”). A pope calling for people to be poor and well, like Jesus? Actually, it sounds as if the pope is telling Catholics to be more like impoverished teachers in Las Vegas. Having been there and done that, I can tell you, dear reader, going poor and nude, even if the pope likes you that way, is not all it’s cracked up to be. Greed really is good. Chip Mosher is a simple classroom teacher.