Nobler traditions

Dear Editor:

I read in The SUN where a lady is upset with a five million dollar salary for a football coach, peanuts compared to what will be spent on the Super Bowl.

I also finished reading the annual report of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to research on the auto immune disease Scleroderma. This disease results in a hardening of the skin, then the internal organs and then premature death. My grandson is afflicted with Scleroderma. My wife suffered her entire life from Crohn’s disease another auto immune aliment. Auto immune diseases afflict millions of Americans and modern medical science is powerless.

The Scleroderma research foundation is a non- profit organization supported entirely by charitable contributions. With a budget of less than two million the foundation supports about a dozen outstanding researchers at the nation’s premier medical institutions.

I usually write lamenting the fact that most Americans know little science; but worse they know even less theology. Most have never read the Bible themselves and are easily mislead by modern day charlatans.

The story of Lazarus (not the brother of Mary and Martha) as recorded in the gospel of Luke has always haunted me. Lazarus is so poor the dogs lick his sores. The rich man always passes him by. After death, their roles are reversed. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount as recorded in the gospel of Matthew defines what it means to be a Christian. Later in the same gospel Jesus rails against the false prophets and hypocrites. Jesus’ message is childishly simple: look after the sick and poor and beware of the big shots. C.K. Chesterton said that going to church on Sunday no more makes one a Christian than standing in a garage makes one a car.

It is gratifying that Pope Francis is reminding Christians of their nobler traditions.

Bob Dungan

This story was posted on January 23, 2014.