Friday, October 17, 2008

This years Al Smith dinner

In the 1920s New York state Governor Al Smith ran for president. He was Catholic so he lost to Herbert Hoover. Every year the archdiocese of New York holds the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. Prominent people are always invited, it is a premier event in the NYC social calendar. This year Senator John McCain sat on one side of Cardinal Egan and Senator Obama sat on the other. Judging by the photos a lovely time was had by all. This whole thing bothers Deal Hudson of Inside Catholic and it really bothers me. Jesus sat with prostitutes and tax collectors--- the scum of Israel but he didn't politley ignore what they were doing. Our Lord called them to repentence. When Mary Magdalene met Jesus she never went back to her old life again. Matthew stopped cheating and abusing his people (tax collectors were paid a share of the taxes they collected and had a staff called exactors to smack the snot out of anyone who didn't want to pay up) and followed Jesus. He became a saint and a martyr.

I know the dinner is for Catholic Charities (which ought to be run like a Catholic organization or be shut down as far as I'm concerned) and I know the two guys running for president are usually invited but the sight of Cardinal Egan sitting there grinning like a mule eating peaches with Obama by his side is distasteful and somehow embarrassing. Maybe it's time to rethink the Al Smith dinner.