febboy at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Sep 11 13:47:58 MDT 1997
Following was cut and pasted from my Libertarian newsletter:
NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
For release: September 10, 1997
For additional information:
George Getz, Deputy Director of Communications
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
E-Mail: 76214.3676 at CompuServe.com
Don't praise Mother Teresa -- be ashamed,
Libertarian Party tells American politicians
WASHINGTON, DC -- Politicians shouldn't praise the memory of
Mother Teresa -- instead, her life and good works should make
politicians embarrassed and ashamed, the Libertarian Party said today
"The life of Mother Teresa was a silent rebuke to everything
politicians stand for," said the party's national chairman, Steve
Dasbach. "For politicians to capitalize on her death with flowery
praise is ghoulish hypocrisy."
The tiny, Nobel Peace Prize-winning nun -- whose name became
synonymous with selfless devotion to the poor and downtrodden -- died
on Friday at age 87. She will be buried Saturday in Calcutta, India.
No sooner had the announcement of her death been made than
President Bill Clinton memorialized her as "an incredible person." In
1996, when conferring honorary American citizenship on Mother Teresa,
Clinton said she showed "how we can make real our dreams for a just and
But Clinton -- and all the other political eulogizers -- miss
the central point of Mother Teresa's life, Dasbach said.
"Mother Teresa reached into our hearts while politicians reach
into our wallets," he said. "Mother Teresa never once demanded that
people help her; she humbly asked them. That's why she was loved the
world over. Can you imagine how different her legacy would be if she
had relied instead on the coercive power of taxation, rather than on
the uplifting power of private charity?"
And although American politicians claim their goal is the same
as Mother Teresa's -- helping the poor -- the contrast between them is
stark, he said.
"Compare Mother Teresa to American politicians," said Dasbach.
"Mother Teresa kissed the hands of dying lepers; she washed her own
clothes by hand; she slept on a thin mattress; and she picked maggots
from the wounds of Calcutta's homeless.
"By contrast, politicians make speeches in the air-conditioned
luxury of the Capitol Building; they attend $5,000-a-plate dinners; and
they spend other people's money on political causes that will get them
re-elected," he said.
That's why Americans instinctively see the difference between a
truly moral person like Mother Teresa -- and a typical Washington
politician. And that's why they generate such a different emotional
response, he said.
"To illustrate the difference, just picture Mother Teresa with
a gun," said Dasbach. "Picture the tiny nun demanding that you hand
over your paycheck to feed the poorest of the poor in India. The very
idea is jarring, because she never resorted to force, even to achieve
the noblest of goals.
"Now picture Bill Clinton or Newt Gingrich wearing monastic
robes, traversing the streets of Calcutta, humbly asking passers-by for
voluntary contributions to help them feed the hungry. The idea is
equally jarring, because politicians don't ask for your money; they
"Americans understand that true, moral charity can't be
achieved at the point of a gun," said Dasbach. "Maybe that's why
politicians are held in such contempt, while Mother Teresa was revered
by hundreds of millions of people."
By the time of her death, Mother Teresa had built her
charitable works into a worldwide institution. Her Catholic order,
which she founded in Calcutta's slums in 1948, had grown to include 600
orphanages, soup kitchens, medical clinics, refugee centers, and AIDS
hospices, in 100 countries worldwide. Her Missionaries of Charity is
staffed by 5,000 sisters and brothers and thousands of volunteers.
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