Saturday, October 09, 2010

Is bragging about how poor you are some new Catholic fad?

I recently came across two new blogs the other day and found myself getting agitated, utterly pissed off really, as I read them. Both bloggers are Catholic. Both are married and are highly educated and usually live a very modest lifestyle by choice. Fine and dandy. Both seem delighted, extol the joys of low income living and are critical of people who have TV and cars, send their kids to school and who don't frequent thrift shops*. Neither seems to do any charity or parish work. One feels great solidarity with the poor as she walks home with her organic groceries instead of driving to a suburban grocery. Oh for Pete's sake... Well, I think the whole organic thing is a expensive bit of showing off. All food, everything that lives or lived is organic matter. My wooden coffee table is organic. My plastic pink Crocs are not. My TV is inorganic. My broccoli in the freezer is organic. Uncle Chester mouldering in his grave is organic matter. Keiko the robot is inorganic.

One woman complained that her friends were mean when she signed up pre-natal food assistance, (I think she was talking about WIC). I stand with the mean friends. WIC is supposed to be for low income pregnant and postpartum women who don't have a lot of options. It provides supplemental food and nutritional information in order to prevent fetal malnutrition and all the maladies and miseries that come with it such as cretinism. It was not meant for people who choose not to work in the field that they studied at college. If you can travel for fun, buy expensive items when the mood strikes you and have a computer at home then you are not the woman who WIC was meant to help. If you are playing at being poor with the knowledge that you can drop the game at any time, then WIC was not intended for you. By taking it you are stealing from women who really need and from the rest of us who work and pay taxes.

Mother Teresa didn't play games. She went to the slums of Calcutta, not to be smug or show everyone how holy she was. She went for the love of Christ. I do hope poor mouthing -- almost bragging about one's low income isn't becoming some new young Catholic trend becuase if it is, someone, and this might be the job for the laity, better step in quick and call it for what it is: silly and insulting to genuinely poor people who don't have the option to change their minds if things stop being cool.

*I enjoy shopping at thrift and consignment shops but I don't consider myself more virtuous that the woman who wouldn't be caught dead in one.


paramedicgirl said...

I don't know anything about these two blogs, or the women you mention, but I must say that I try to buy pesticide free food whenever possible. It does carry the label "Organic" however. This is twice now I have come across Catholic blogs that seem to criticize those who buy organic produce.

I buy organic because I do not want to get cancer from eating foods that have been sprayed to death with insecticides or have been so genetically modified that they don't even resemble the original product.

I have learned which foods absorb the most pesticides, and which foods don't, so I know what foods to buy organic and which ones where it really doesn't make a difference.

Does that make me an oranic snob? I think not. No one outside of my family knows my shopping habits. I don't blog about it, I just cook healthy, darned good food!

KBernadette said...

We're Catholic, poor by choice, and eat organic foods. It costs way too much, but it's worth it for health reasons and the expensive aspect helps us eat less.
I don't live my lifestyle as a fad, but as one who strives to be authentically Catholic, that is, to stay at home and raise my babies as God intended me to. I won't go so far as to seek government assistance, but I don't see how a Catholic choosing to live on less can be considered any more insulting to the poor than a Catholic who chooses to have much more than they need.

Dymphna said...

What I mean is: the organic lady isn't poor. She buys expensive organic and feels as poor as St. Francis. Organic food aint cheap. She's just play acting. My moter once had to make it on a big bag of grits for a months at a time. She wasn't thrilled with her situation and she certainly didn't tell anybody. When you're really poor it's not fun.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I agree with you Dymphna :)

Lola said...

Tee Hee Hee "Uncle Chester organic".

BTW WIC offices are more than happy to put well-off women as well as poverty stricken women on the program. No, not millionaire types, but pc owning, cable tv subscribing, home-owning women are more than welcome to apply and receive WIC.

Yes really.

I think we have a bit of Pride on parade with the two ladies you described.

Oh, I recognize it because I suffer from Pride myself. Many choices made by or observations of people or the culture at large is too easy to criticize. Especially easy to criticize Conspicuous consumption. (And anything that isn't a necessity fits that definition for me.)

My grandmother was working poor for most of her life. She couldn't stand "poor-mouths'. (I remember going to the farmers market long ago befor it was 'chic' with her as a young child. Once we bought a live goose for dinner. Lordy that was a fun bus ride!)

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"My plastic pink Crocs are not."

One conspicuous theory about how petrol originated says it started out organically too.

Then one is divided if millions of years ago, while dinos were and men where not, or in the Flood, when both where killed en masse.

Organic food means "organically grown food" which means that insecticides have not gone through as many transformations as your plastic pink Crocs. Like those who use lady birds to do away with lice.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"Mother Teresa didn't play games."

Perhaps not about poverty, but there are other issues.

Like, at least public, orders not to convert dying Muslims or Hindoos.