Posts Tagged ‘Corruption’

The Moral Disease in Albany

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

One of the basic observations of the moral and spiritual life is that sin is contagious. Once it infects a person, it spreads within them, and it spreads to others. This is why we should never give an inch to the Evil One, and never excuse “small sins”. If we start accepting “small sins” in one area of our life, we’ll soon be committing greater sins in that area and then sins in other areas as well. Likewise, if we associate ourselves with sinners, and especially if we approve them and applaud their sins, then we will soon be infected by their disease. As the Catechism says, “Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin” (1863) and “Sin creates a proclivity to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and reinforce itself…” (1865).

There is no better proof of this than our state capitol, Albany, and the contagion of sin that infects it so deeply.

Yesterday, the corruption trial of one of the Governor’s closest friends and former aides ended in a conviction on multiple counts of the abuse of public office for personal gain. His pattern of bad behavior is a microcosm of the pervasive corruption of the “pay to play” influence peddling that goes on in state government. That venality reached to the very vestibule of the Governor’s office is not surprising. The entire system is corrupt, nobody seems to care, and nobody is doing anything to correct it (except, it seems, for federal prosecutors). In fairness, I have to add that there is no evidence that the Governor was involved in the financial corruption of his aide. There is, rather, ample evidence that the Governor suffers from what St. Augustine called libido dominandi, the lust for power and domination, which is a corrosive moral disease.

The pervasiveness of the moral corruption can be seen even more vividly at Planned Parenthood’s lobby day yesterday. It is bad enough that adulation is given by public officials to an organization that can aptly be called Murder Incorporated — they kill over 300,000 unborn children a year nationwide and tens of thousands in our state. But at yesterday’s event, the Governor effusively praised the retiring head of that evil organization and, in a move that both shocks the conscience and turns the stomach, gave her “The Governor’s Medal for Public Service”. The moral disease in the soul runs very deep when one equates “public service” with killing of the most vulnerable people with impunity and then celebrating that horror as if it were a laudable contribution to society. We really need to pray for the Governor.

The scope of the moral contagion went even further yesterday. Our State Assembly passed four bills, including a bill to expand late-term abortion (A.1748), by a vote of 93 to 44. The primary sponsor of the bill, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (D – NYC), said during the debate that the issue of abortion is important to her because she remembers a woman who died during an illegal abortion and the doctor who “dismembered her and placed her body parts in the sewer line.” She apparently feels no compassion for the hundreds of unborn babies who are dismembered every day in New York.

The Assembly also passed the “Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act” (A.9957), which promotes the anti-life ideology of the contraceptive mindset, the so-called “boss bill” (A.566) which would violate the rights of religious organizations to make employment decisions based on their beliefs, and an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution (A.7990), which sounds fine but would likely be used to establish constitutional rights to unlimited abortion on demand.

The Prophet Isaiah correctly identified the lie that sits at the heart of this epidemic of sin — “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (5:20)

Clearly, we need to act in the temporal realm to elect only public officials of good character and who respect the natural moral law and God’s law. But the spiritual illness that is daily evident in Albany is so deeply ingrained in our society that it cannot be healed except by a spiritual remedy. Cardinal O’Connor used to say about the anti-life mentality that it could only be cast out by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). We have our work cut out for us in both departments.

A New Disgrace in Albany

Friday, May 20th, 2016

The appalling New York government never fails to disappoint in its ability to be shameless. This time, it’s not just a matter of their reprehensible ethics. Now it is literally a matter of life and death.

With no prior public notice or advance warning, the long-time anti-life Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, Dick Gottfried, has scheduled a committee vote on the recently-introduced physician-assisted suicide bill. This was learned on Friday afternoon, and the vote is scheduled for Monday. The committee meeting has been called “off the floor,” which means that nobody in the public will have any idea ahead of time where or when it will take place. It’s a stealth meeting on an issue of monentous importance.

This is an outrageous abuse of power. The issue of assisted suicide is deeply controversial and highly complex. If it is going to be considered by the Legislature, it demands a full and extensive debate, with all sides having a chance to be heard. Evidence needs to be considered, the moral arguments have to be heard, and a careful weighing must be made of the consequences for the public good.

That, of course, is a nice ideal, but it surely is not the way the New York Legislature does things. Instead, this kind of legislative skullduggery is a violation of every principle of good government and fundamental fairness. Even if it is not a technical violation of New York’s Open Meeting Law, it surely violates it’s spirit and intention. Those who are most at risk in this area — elderly and disabled people — are being betrayed by those who are supposed to represent them.

If the bill’s supporters are so sure of the merits of their argument, why are they resorting to such a sneaky tactic? Could it be that their arguments have now been rejected unanimously by two New York courts, and they realize that the more people learn about assisted suicide, the more they are leery about legalizing it?

New York’s government is notoriously dysfunctional, and deserves its reputation as one of the worst in the country. This latest maneuver brings it to an even more disgraceful low point. The Assembly leadership should feel ashamed — if they’re even capable of it.