Author Topic: As concerns secular employment  (Read 707 times)

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Offline Stephen Francis

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As concerns secular employment
« on: September 16, 2013, 07:55:11 AM »
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  • +JMJ+

    I lost my very lucrative job a few weeks ago (I was falsely accused of a violation of policy, and under a customer's threat of lawsuits, I was dismissed so the client I worked for would not have the legal problems). I went from nearly $50,000 a year to zero, with no appreciable savings and no 401k or other fund I could draw from.

    Recently, there was an article posted here expressing a sentiment that said, in effect, "if you have a marketable skill and there's a chance to be paid for USING that skill, you need to go do it" or something to that effect. Anyone recall what article I mean? It was published on a secular blog, IIRC.

    Anyway, I have a wife and three young children to support. We home-school, thus, educating our children and keeping our home is my wife's work, and she and I are in total agreement that she should not be working outside the home.

    I have been a musician for nearly 25 years. I have performed at almost every level with the exception of theaters and stadiums. I've been in the seediest drunk-infested holes in the wall, and I've been in nightclubs. I've played many kinds of popular music and have always been very well received.

    My dilemma is this: if I so chose, I could contact a couple of other men I know, rehearse some material that we all know in common already, and be ready to be paid to play music in the clubs within a matter of a couple of weeks.

    If everything were equal (the money being offered staying the same as it has for some time now), I PERSONALLY could be making $300 a week AT THE OUTSET, in other words, right from the first few gigs I booked. That's not a lot of money, but it's the same amount of money that I'd be making if I worked in a fast-food place (which I cannot do because of my physical problems).

    If I've got the skill set, there's work to be had and I can get to work fairly quickly, what reasons would there be for me NOT to go back to playing music in the clubs?

    I can think of a few, potentially:

    1) I don't drink alcohol anymore, and these places make their money selling alcohol [I'm not 'in recovery'; I just choose not to drink]

    2) these places are full of people who routinely attend so that they can indulge various immoral appetites

    3) the music often contains suggestive or scandalous lyrical content

    So... do I get over my 'scruples' and go sing rhythm and blues music in the nightclubs so I can make money to support my family, or do I sell off everything that's not essential, find odd jobs, or seek out other ways to keep us solvent?

    Bear in mind that I have physical problems which severely limit my ability to take most jobs. I can't lift, I can't stand or sit for more than a few minutes at a time without pain, I have a cardiac arrhythmia and a severe cataract in one eye.

    I have a commercial driver's license, but I can't pass the Dept. of Transportation physical which would be required for me to accept a driving job.

    I didn't even physically qualify for the job I just lost; I was hired sight-unseen because the company didn't have anyone else on the payroll who would commute for (at the time) only ten hours a week. I would not be eligible to be hired for that job if I were applying today.

    So... advice? I do have a strong leaning in one direction here; I just want to get other opinions because I am sure that the majority will favor one choice over the other.
    This evil of heresy spreads itself. The doctrines of godliness are overturned; the rules of the Church are in confusion; the ambition of the unprincipled seizes upon places of authority; and the chief seat [the Papacy] is now openly proposed as a rewar

    Offline songbird

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    As concerns secular employment
    « Reply #1 on: September 16, 2013, 08:24:56 AM »
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  • I know someone who does the same thing you do, and does not like making the music required for the humanist weddings and such.  He also teaches music for those who wish to learn.  Do what you do and try to find gigs(?) for other events? as well.  I find it such a shame to have good music gone to waste and not appreciated as it could be.


    Offline Timothy

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    As concerns secular employment
    « Reply #2 on: September 16, 2013, 08:44:17 AM »
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  • I don't know, at the moment, what to advise you on a new job, but I would suggest (if you are in the U.S.) applying to unemployment compensation as soon as possible.  There are often strict deadlines about that after losing your job.  It will at least keep you and your family afloat until you find something more permanent.  It is not welfare, but almost like a type of government insurance that you have been paying into with your taxes while you were working.

    Offline Stephen Francis

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    As concerns secular employment
    « Reply #3 on: September 16, 2013, 09:38:26 AM »
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  • Timothy, I failed to mention that I do receive unemployment benefits. We also receive food stamps, but not "cash assistance" (welfare) because the county organization will not qualify our family if both parents are not either working or enrolled in a "work program". We would be required to put our children in a public school.

    I have expressed to the county officials that we home-school our children and thus my wife cannot possibly leave home to participate in a "work program", nor are we going to put our children in a godless school system.

    See, it's considerations like these that have caused me (tempted me?) to think about returning to the world of secular entertainment. It's not really "work", I'm a good musician and there is demand.

    The questions I have are not practical, they're moral and spiritual.

    The one idea that keeps crossing my mind is that none of the saints ever did such a thing. Even St. Francis of Assisi and Venerable Solanus Casey, both musicians, only used their talents to glorify Our Lord and Our Lady after their conversions (Fr. Casey was, admittedly, not particularly gifted in music except in his boundless enthusiasm LOL).

    Lately, as my prayer-life and devotional efforts have begun to bear more and more fruit, my mindset has almost always been thus: "I want to be a saint. How did the saints behave in their relationships to God and to the world in which they lived?". That has always been a mental exercise that has helped me to re-order my priorities fairly quickly.

    I suppose there's no difference between what I am proposing and going to work in, say, a liquor store. People are going to come in of their own volition, it's legal for them to do so, and I would not be allowed to make "value judgments" on their choice to purchase booze. I would simply be doing what my job required of me, and those who would act irresponsibly or immorally would do so to their own detriment. I would not be encouraging their behaviors; I would simply be selling a product that they could use or abuse.

    On the other hand, perhaps there is a difference. Maybe the lyrical content and philosophical motivation of such secular music (yeah, yeah! have a good time! hey mama! let's have fun while we still can!) is, while not entirely gravely sinful, at least conducive to creating near occasions of sin.

    I doubt there are too many traditional Catholics on this forum who have spent 20 years playing rock music before they converted... but I'm curious as to whether there are quotes from Popes, Fathers, etc that touch on these themes. I know those who COULD find them will post them if they exist. Thanks in advance.

    Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!

    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
    This evil of heresy spreads itself. The doctrines of godliness are overturned; the rules of the Church are in confusion; the ambition of the unprincipled seizes upon places of authority; and the chief seat [the Papacy] is now openly proposed as a rewar

    Offline ggreg

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    As concerns secular employment
    « Reply #4 on: September 16, 2013, 10:12:47 AM »
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  • I'd draw up a list of pluses and minuses (with weightings) and ask yourself how much of an occasion of sin it is for you to be in entertainment venues.  Some people are more resistant to these sort of things than others.  Like many other occasions of sin, one can also learn to cope with them if practical realities mean one has to be exposed to them.

    I went to a Jazz Bar in Redwood City last week which was directly opposite my hotel.  It was full of couples from young to old watching a Jazz Orchestra playing.  I am sure in the audience there were men cheating on their wives and women on their husbands.  Everyone was drinking, some people looked somewhat drunk.  The usual crowd basically.

    But that is not my problem.  I just sat there had one drink and enjoyed the music.   They let me in for free as it was halfway over when I arrived there so I ordered an expensive cocktail by way of saying thanks to the club owner.  You have to separate the primary effects of what you offer from secondary effects.  It is perfectly OK to work in a supermarket where contraceptives are sold and even work on a checkout and put them through the till.  If you are over-scrupulous life becomes practically impossible, (which is one reason that there are a subset of Trads who cannot function very effectively as adults)

    My alternative entertainment for that evening (I had worked hard all day) would be sitting in my hotel room with the Internet. It's arguable, which is the greater occasion of sin.  The music was typical Rat-Pack Vegas Lounge stuff.  Not evil, but not particularly edifying either.  Personally, I like that music and I love watching and listing to skilled musicians playing live music.

    The other thing to ponder is what it looks like on your résumé if you give up the career you have been doing and become a full time musician.  So, you might still consider applying for jobs in your former line of work and going to local job interviews in the day and working gigs in the evening.  Once you've been out of work for a year or two you are not very likely to get employment in your former field again, because employers will either assume you could not get a job, or you preferred to be a musician, neither of which is particularly attractive to them.

    I have no idea what musicians earn, but making $50k per year would probably not be able to be achieved without some time "on the road", I would guess.

    Good luck, whatever you decide.


    Offline Cantarella

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    As concerns secular employment
    « Reply #5 on: September 16, 2013, 10:28:19 AM »
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  • Here is a nice article about "How to Act when a Workplace Demands Moral Compromises".

    http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/k020-Credentials.html

    You may gain some insight from that.
    If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary for baptism and thus twists into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit" (Jn 3:5) let him be anathema.

    Offline Tiffany

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    As concerns secular employment
    « Reply #6 on: September 16, 2013, 11:14:24 AM »
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  • If it's any consolation I'm sure your UE benefit is *much* higher than what you would recieve on TANF and UE has far less requirements to stay elgible for it. UE doesn't require a "work" program for 30+ hours a week like you have found that TANF does. Hope you find something  soon.  :pray:

    Offline Matto

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    As concerns secular employment
    « Reply #7 on: September 16, 2013, 12:54:54 PM »
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  • I think it would be wrong if you played music that was sinful to listen to. But if you played music that was not sinful to listen too I think it would be alright.
    I Love Watching Butterflies . . ..


    Offline rlee

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    As concerns secular employment
    « Reply #8 on: September 16, 2013, 10:55:54 PM »
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  • Have you considered talking to a good traditional Priest about your questions?

     

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