Why the Church Should Come to the Defence of Alcoholics and Drug Addicts

An officer does his 'duty'...
"How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven! It would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle." 

Reading The Telegraph, I saw that society's self-righteous war on vice (for some) goes on unabated.

The Catholic Church condemns vice in whatever form it comes. Holy Mother Church proclaims (well, in some 'eccentric', 'taliban stronghold' parish Churches dotted around the land) that we are poor sinners who can find happiness in Christ alone.

The Church, however, like Her Divine Founder, Our Lord Jesus Christ, can or should be able to smell relativist hypocrisy or indeed ecclesiastical hypocrisy a mile-off. Primarily, the Church is the Instrument of Salvation and forgiveness, the Ark of Truth and Dispenser of Mercy. She is here to save souls in proclaiming the Gospel. While ever conscious of the need to encourage us steadfastly towards holiness of life, She is as acutely aware now of our human weakness, our fragile, fallen human nature as ever She was.

And, if there was one vice Our Blessed Lord could not abide, it was the rank hypocrisy of those who followed the 'letter of the law' rather than its spirit. What Christ saw in the Pharisees was a false religiosity that honoured appearances before God, the law before Justice, sacrifices before Mercy. This is one very, very good reason why the Church should come to the defence of alcoholics and drug addicts whether homeless or not. Stay with me on this one, because, though it sounds terribly wet and liberal, I assure you, that in coming to the defence of drug addicts and street drinkers, we are ploughing very fertile ground for the Gospel and here is the reason.

We live in an age in which sin is glorified, promoted and embraced. We live in an age, and I just so happen to live in a town, where sodomy, abortion, adultery, divorce, all manner of sexual activity, pornography and, up to a point, drunkenness is accepted, promoted, condoned and defended. In this country, sin, even the sin of murder, is enshrined into legislation.

You would think, therefore, that in the United Kingdom, sin had had its victory and that Christ had never come. Everyone is free to sin and live for pleasure alone, for it is a lawless country of loose morality, immorality indeed, debauchery and excess and everyone is partying in a big city of vice and enjoying every minute of it. Or are they?

No, most certainly they are not! It is a case of one law for some and another law for others. This, this, is perhaps one of the profound and grave, secondary, or tertiary scandals of sin - that when the poor sin, they are punished, but when the rich sin, they are protected! So it is, that in media offices around the country, in police, in solicitors, or every level of 'respectable society' you will find all manner of vice, from drugs to the rest. Who is punished? Hardly anybody! If you are a drunkard or cokehead working for a respectable firm and you get wasted every weekend, who is punished? Very, very few. But if you are poor and honest, and you do not pretend to be that which you are not, if you are homeless or a hostel dweller in Brighton, and you sit on a green and drink all day, or you are entrapped by police and found with drugs, what happens then? You are brought before the judge and sentenced to a year and a half in Lewes Prison. When the poor do what the rich do, only in broad daylight, it is called 'anti-social behaviour' and results in jail sentences.

I will bet you what I've got, which is not very much, that the officer pouring a can away in St James Street pictured above is not half as innocent as he makes out. I'll bet you he's a first class sinner, because only a first class sinner would be so blind as to do such a thing to a poor man, forgetting his own sins and hating his brother enough to pour away his drink! I'll bet you that the judges who have judged my friend, Jason, so many times, are not half as respectable as they make out. I'll bet you what I have, which is not much, that half of the judges who have sent Jason down so many times for his offenses are not so clean as they have made out and as they have judged, so they too will be judged. The measure that they have given out will be returned to them!

This, brothers and sisters, this is one of the reasons that Our Blessed Lord loves the poor and encourages us to do the same. He loves Justice. He loves Mercy. He despises all lies and pride. He loves sinners. He loves the honest, the humble, those within whom there is no guile or deceit, not those who live for show, the proud, the respectable, the conceited. He urges us to love the poor because He is in them, mysteriously. He urges us to love the poor because they are punished in this life for their sins, while the rich believe that their money will buy them favour with men, protect them from retribution for wrongdoing and all because they think not of God. He urges us to love the poor because the punishment that He received in place of all of us, the sufferings and the scourgings of His Blessed Passion are renewed or made visible in them. Our Lord Jesus Christ loved sinners. He died for sinners! He still loves sinners!

'How can you love God who you cannot see if you do not love your neighbour who you can see?' 

This was the question posed by St John, the Beloved Apostle. Those who deny the humanity of the unborn, even in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence, scans showing the development of the unborn child, still deny the humanity of the unborn because they cannot love that which they cannot see face to face. We are ploughing fertile ground in showing to society the sufferings of the Poor and the shameful way in which they are treated, since there can be little denying their humanity! They talk, walk, breathe, they are visibly human, and while the rights protected for the rich are so often removed from them, and they are so often treated like dirt, we can stand up and say, "No! These people have God-given dignity and you cannot deny that to them!" They can even say it for themselves. The Church, too, should defend them, since very few in society will do so. A Godless society will despise the poor for it will be blind. Even those who proclaim that there is no God, nor any objective reality, will turn around and condemn the very poor for their actions! Their hypocrisy rises up to Heaven!


We have found a great crack, a gaping chasm, a great weakness in the 'equal' veneer of secular society! Secular society prides itself on its 'equality' and 'fairness', imagining a brave new world in which religion has been overthrown and reason is supreme, of fraternal brotherhood. Yet, it is only equality for some! There is no moral reason, in a society in which there is no such thing as sin, objective wrong, to throw the poor man's drink away since he is only doing what everyone else is doing! How can secular society call itself just and fair, or equal, if society agrees with authorities that do what is reflected in picture above?

In a society in which sin is the certified norm, how can the authorities condemn the Poor whose only crime, in the eyes of the law, is not having the wealth to protect them from the force of the law. It is a supreme and diabolical irony that a post-Christian society, in which morality is arbitrary and relative, in which so much wickedness is excused and deemed acceptable, will quickly condemn the Poor for doing what the rest of society does, only in the open, in the streets. Beggars are routinely given ASBOs and if they breach them they are put in jail. Isn't it about time these aggressive beggars, those charity muggers who want our bank details on city streets were put in prison?! Don't give to these charity muggers because your money will only go on admin costs and their commission will get spent on booze, fags and possibly drugs.

She'll only spend her commission on booze and fags
How much has the 'voluntary sterilisation' charity shown that to us!? Yes! For when the rich abuse their children through adultery and that terrible scourge of society, divorce, nobody comes from the State to take their children away because it is obvious that these are not fit to be called loving parents! But when the Poor are deemed to 'neglect' their children, who is banging on the door with a police officer in tow!? That's right! Social bleeding services!

We, like Our Blessed Lord Who condemned Pharisees, can call these new Pharisees, the men of 'law' and the society that looks down on beggars, drinkers and drug addicts, that locks them away for their 'anti-social' crimes, 'hypocrites' and 'vipers', since those who judge them are no better than those who they unjustly condemn! We can say the same of social services, since in a society ravaged by divorce, psychologically abusing children, who are social services to judge the poor for not being 'perfect parents'!? Because it is a society that has forgotten God, it is a society that has enshrined human hypocrisy into the law of the land!


gurnygob said…
Great post.

there is a new post up at http://thequestforthepearl.blogspot.com
Rusticus said…
My goodness, that's powerful stuff, Bones.

I'm still reeling from it, in fact.

It should have more exposure - would the Herald publish it?
monica said…
Thank you for this. It is powerful because it is true.
catholic editor said…
your inate ramblings will never get published in the herald