Thursday, 26 December 2013

Boxing Day Madness.... "are there no poor houses"....?

Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" should be required study and mediation for all. It is, a fine complement to Pope Francis' powerful indictment of the voracious capitalist spirit that roams the world seeking the ruin of souls. For yes, as St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out: the average man needs food, sustenance, shelter etc. to have a chance to lead a decent moral life. And yes, as the Pope pointed out in his recent counter-thrust against the enemies of the Church (that is, those evasive dissenters who believe they can wriggle themselves off the hook by giving the exhortation a "Winnipeg Statement treatment"), the capitalist has grave moral responsibilities before God and man. 
The exploitation and refusal to pay a man a living wage are two of the four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance. Willful murder (e.g. abortion) and the sin of the flesh that is now considered a preeminent virtue being the other two. It is no coincidence that all these sins are legal and highly prized in the decadent West. 

All of this brings me to my main point: the perversion of Boxing Day.  Victorian protestants began a fine tradition of boxing up a small little gift for the less fortunate employee and handing it out on the Feast of St. Stephen. The milkman, the postman, the coalman.... all these and more receive a little something from their Upper and Middle Class employers. What do we have today? Nothing but a rapacious spirit of greed and exploitation. The greedy capitalist, the greedy and mean-spirited purchaser; the poor exploited underclass of retail being forced to get up at 5 a.m., work for minimum wage at a box store to satisfy the vile consumer and the evil capitalist. 

Friends, please do not go shopping on this day. Celebrate St. Stephen's Day. If you are an employer, please give a small gift to your employee. Or, please consider a donation to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, who do so much good work in helping the needy. 

1 comment:

Lawrence and Susan Fox said...

I promise not to go shopping -- even online. Whoops, does going to the grocery store count? They got a dollar out of me for the weekend meals for poor kids in Littleton, Colorado. (American kids who are eligible for the school lunch program need food on the weekend because their parents can't provide it! Help us, Canada quick. Donate. U.S. Citizens need food)

Sorry for the levity. You make a great point in this article. I make a card and include a large tip for my garbage men. They are always thrilled, and put my cans right next to my garage door as a result. They also leave me a card -- we make the exchange through the garbage can, of course, if you are wondering. I sneak out late at night and tape the card to the top of the can, because we have thieves who steal the garbage man's tip in Colorado.

But yes, I am horrified by the young people, who are working these low-paying jobs, and old people with bad hips working at Walmart. Walmart serves the poor, and hires the poor. The elderly poor also work at Costco offering samples of food. One of my closest friends, a waitress in her early 20s told me she makes $4.32 an hour, yes below minimum wage, but she is expected to make up the difference in tips. Sometimes, she doesn't make much in tips because business is slow. She is too poor to buy health insurance, even Obama "Care." How will young men get married and have children without a suitable income? I see them washing the vegetables at the grocery store. But this wretched government doesn't provide any other employment. The prosperity dried up after President Bush left, and our citizens chose the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history.
God bless you. Susan Fox