Woody Guthrie discovers Catholic hypocrisy

“Son, I have been in this service [Roman Catholic priest] all my life. I have seen to it that thousands of men just like you got to work for a meal. But, right at this moment, there is no kind of work to do here. No kind of work at all; and therefore, it would be just a case of pure charity. Charity here is like charity everywhere; it helps for a moment, and then it helps no more. It is part of our policy to be charitable, for to give is better than to receive. You seem still to retain a good measure of your pride and dignity. You do not beg outright for food, but you offer to do hard labour in order to earn your meal. That is the best spirit in this world. To work for yourself is to help others, and to help others is to help yourself. But you have asked a certain question; and I must answer that question in your own words to satisfy your own thinking. You asked if there is work that you can do to earn a meal. My answer to this is: There is no work around here that you can do, and therefore, you cannot earn a meal. And, as for charity, God knows, we live on charity ourselves.”

(Guthrie was an iconic folk singer and the inspiration of the 1960s folk song movement especially Bob Dylan. He was a hobo during the 1930s Great Depression.)

Bound for glory p210

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