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.