Thank God for the Green Bay Packers!

How great is it (even though I am a New York Jet fan) that the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl this year?  At least the good people of Wisconsin were able to start the year on a hopeful and happy note.  From what I read, it seems like it’s been downhill from there.

I don’t understand what the Governor of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin legislature are doing. I do understand that states and municipalities are drowning in red ink (remember why?) .  I understand that in order for the United States to be competitive in world markets there have to be adjustments and compromises made on all sides (rich people have to make them, too).  But eliminating collective bargaining!?!  Did the man ever study American history?  Or – and this possibility sends a chill through my spine – does he look back on the era of the robber barons in blissful nostalgia? 

There’s a line from the movie Wall Street (the first one) that comes to my mind.  Martin Sheen, who plays the leader of the mechanics union at Blue Star airlines says that the only difference between the pyramids and the Empire State building is that the Egyptians didn’t allow unions. 

I can’t look into Governor Walker’s heart, so I have to assume he is trying his hardest to do what he thinks is right ,just as I am.   Both of us have our blind spots.  There’s an iron clad moral principle within Catholic Christian teaching, however, that states the end does not justify the means.  One can never do evil even if the intent is to achieve a good end. (It’s one of the key moral principles that supports the Republican party’s pro-life position.)

In a world where multinational corporations rape and pillage the global countryside at will, leaving no stone unturned as they look for the most desperate areas of the world which can be exploited for cheap labor and where the rules and regulations that assure a safe and humane work place are myths, how can any step aimed at weakening unions – the only practical protection against such aggression -possibly be anything but evil? 

What would happen to the middle class in the United Sates should the Governor’s efforts spread, as apparently is now happening in Ohio?  (Here’s a hint – it would  be a good idea  for the Smithonian Institution to prepare housing immediately so that the last middle class family in America might have a place to live.)

Governor Walker says he is going to make history.  My hope is that he will be remembered – in the same way that Senator Joseph McCarthy is remembered.

Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)

(Beginning this Wednesday – 3/16 – and continuing through all of the Wednesdays in Lent, I will be co-leading a retreat at St. Thomas More parish in Happauge, NY.  Please come and pray with us if you find yourself in the area one Wednesday night.)

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