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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
May 19, 1995     The Message
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May 19, 1995
 

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4 The Message  for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Taking the time to make a difference-- Faith or fanaticism: an examinati They told me to be careful, be- ! cause the man was some kind of a "religious fanatic." I took the warning for what it was worth, and went out on the sales call. I was not worried about dealing with a "religious fanatic." I thought the worst thing that could happen was that I would waste a lot of time listening to some long stories. I was working for a radio sta- tion in a small town at the time, and part of my job was to sell ad- vertising. The man I was going to see had a small company in a nearby town. He made and sold camper shells for pickup trucks. I remember feeling some apprehension as I went to meet him. I wondered what I would do if this fa- natic asked me questions about my own religion. What if he knew more about the Bible than I did? That was certainly possible. What if he wanted to argue about faith and works? How should I respond? Despite my nervousness, the first meeting went extremely well. He did not talk about religion, and neither did I. We talked about the business at hand. He talked about camper shells for pickup trucks. I talked about the benefits of advertising on radio, and how many more people would hear about what By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR he had to offer. He agreed with me that he wanted more customers. I promised to write and produce the commer- cial that would give potential cus- tomers the information they needed about his product. That was it.No talk about reli- gion. Or the Bible. Or faith and works. Not only did we not argue. We came to a quick agreement. He bought a flight of commercials. A day or so later, I wrote and produced the advertisement. I in- cluded the brand name, the loca- tion, the phone number, and some words of praise about the quality of the camper shells. The spots were scheduled and began to be aired. That's when he called. The message I received when I came into the office was very clear. It was from the "religious fa- natic" and he was upset about his commercial. He wanted to talk with me. Immediately. I called, with a little apprehension, and a great deal of puzzlement. The commercial did not say very much--just the name, the location, the phone num- ber, and a few words of praise about the best camper shells in town. How could there be a problem? I found out quickly. The name, location and phone number were absolutely correct, he told me. But the was also a very simple problem, he said. shells were good, very good, in fact. But they not the best. Another company made than he did, hsaid. So he had to call commercial changed. I guess he really was some kind .... natic. He was honest. Talk with family or friends, or membdS ( small community, about the "religious the news. What are their characteristics? Who I cides whether some one should be or an "extremist?" Do you agree? Who are the people in your c according to their principles? What do you want people to think about religious convictions? Will they know you are ( by your love? Or by your faith? Or by your If you have children, what do your religion? Do they see you act in what you say you believe? , * * Take a little time to take the Examine your own convictions. neighbor. Honor a merchant who lives Questions and comments are welcome Christian Family Movement, P.O. Box Iowa 50010. , Washington Letter Balancing the federal budget deficit against bishor)s' princi By MARK PATrlSON pastorars issuance, he s Catholic News Service "swirled around Catholics should be WASHINGTON (CNS) -- House and Senate Republicans in May offered separate plans to re- strain federal spending and elimi- nate the federal budget deficit by the year 2002. Since the U.S. bishops' 1986 pastoral letter, "Economic Justice for All," "the bishops have spoken to the need about balancing the budget and getting the fiscal house in order," said Thomas Shellabarger, U.S. Catholic Con: ference domestic policy adviser on economic and urban issues. The Senate plan would eliminate the Cabinet-level Commerce Depart- ment, and cut defense spending, Medicare, Medicaid, foreign aid and hundreds of domestic programs. The House version would eliminate the Commerce, Education and Energy departments and get rid of 13 fed- eral agencies, 69 commissions, and 284 programs. One disclaimer: The GOP plans are only that -- plans -- and may bear no resemblance to what fi- nally gets through Congress and is i The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evanswl/e P .............. shoo G  GCrm E ..................................... r.....Pa Lnga P  ................... /Housm ................................... P Staff Writer ............................ Maw Am Hughes Address all communica'dons to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post offce in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica. tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication   Press oEvarb accepted by President Clinton. Shellabarger acknowledged that "the devil is in the details, which we haven't gotten a lot of yet." .... The bishops' pastoral did not di- rectly address the national deficit, other than to note it as one of 24 separate areas the pastoral could not deal with in depth but deserv- ing of further study by Catholic universities, foundations and other institutions. However, the pastoral offered principles and insights that could guide observers into determining whether Congress, in its budget- cutting zeal, is throwing the baby out with the bath water. Still, the GOP plans serve as a starting point for discussion, as does one principle outlined by the bishops in a message to readers of the pastoral: "Every economic de- cision and institution must be judged in light of whether it pro- tecta or undermines the dignity of the human person." What we're looking for in the details is what happens with Medicare and Medicaid. We're going to be taking a look at hous- ing and community development -- housing, the conditions that people live in," Shellabarger said. Wie're going to be looking at, I'm sure, foreign assistance. We're going to be looking at how the Earned In- come Tax Credit is dealt with, and the food and agriculture provisions." A quick overview of the some the budget provisions concerning SheUabarger, their estimated sav- ings and how the money is to be saved: -- Medicare: The Senate plan would save $170 billion in 1996 and $257 billion in 2002. The House plan would save $177 billion in 1996 and $242 billion in 2002. Each plan has different ideas on how the savings would be made. -- Medicaid: Senate -- $121 bil- lion in 1996, $150 billion in 2002. House -- $122 billion in 1996, $149 billion in 2002. Medicaid growth would be cut from 10 per- cent a year to 4 percent, with state deciding how to spend the money. -- Community development: Senate -- $10 billion in 1996, $5 billion in 2002, cutting community development block grants in half. House -- $10 billion in 1996, $6 billion in 2002, eliminating the Tennessee Valley Authority. --Agriculture: Senate -- $12 billion in 1996, $9 billion in 2002, cutting farm price supports and crop insurance. House -- $12 bil- lion in 1996, $7 billion in 2002, cutting crop production payments. Defense spending was not leR un- touched in the plans, with per- year savings estimated at between $263 billion-S279 billion between 1996 and 2002, the biggest single cut. But a close second is welfare and other income support, tar- geted for per-year savings ranging from $225 billion to $292 billion over seven years, in part by pass- ing welfare control to the states. - The pastoral said, "The fulfill- ment of the basic needs of the poor is of the highest priority. Personal de- cisions, policies of private and public bodies, and power relationships must all be evaluated by their ef- fects on those who lack the mini- mum necessities of nutrition, hous- ing, education and health care." Opponents of the cuts have ar- gued they would bring great harm to the poor and provide little means to help them escape poverty. Supporters have just as strongly argued the current sys- tem has bred dependency and low- ered incentives to get off welfare. / BY Book b | The Christian steward returns to the parish a pot-| Ilion of God's gifts as an act of faith, eommltment,1 | and love, and in giving generously, renews and affirms Ida or her personal faith. The bishops themselves said in- the pastoral, "A thorough reform of the nation's welfare and income- support programs should be un- dertaken." It also asked people to avoid "a punitive attitude toward the poor. The belief persists in this country that the poor are poor by choice or through laziness, that anyone can escape poverty by hard work and that welfare programs make it easier for people to avoid work." The pastoral has continued to influence "some of the more inter- esting" theological thought of the present day, said Jesuit Father J. Leon Hooper, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. Much of the discussion since the and the people on society." In concrete termS, borne out, acco: Hooper, in talk of policies we have, doing at the talk about cutting Medicaid, one has.to strongly on specific just who is d= much." In the end, the ple will ask budgets, "What does this send care for people on society?' Bishoi: ,,; sched The following activities and events are listed schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger