Should Catholics Support Ron Paul?

Should Catholics support Congressman Ron Paul? Is it reasonable for Catholics to support Congressman Ron Paul? What is said regarding his father is true for Senator Rand Paul as well. They follow the same ideology, they have the same advisors, and they have the same monetary backers. An apple never falls far from the tree.

Anybody who has followed my posts over the last year know that I have struggled to come to terms with Libertarianism and its implication with applying and contrasting it to our Catholic faith. I recognize the Catholic Church does not endorse any specific political or economic system. It stands in judgment of them all.

When I read the below article though it really sent alarm bells going off. Lew Rockwell is referencing Ron Paul’s newest book, Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom. How can a Catholic support this position on abortion? Even if they can legitimately support this position, should they? In all fairness to both Lew and Ron I need to read this and other related portions of this book to see his comments in full context.

Campaign For Liberty – It’s Time to Rethink Everything by Lew Rockwell

The book is arranged alphabetically, which makes the subject of abortion the very first entry. Where do you suppose Ron Paul stands on this issue? Let’s just say that if you think you have followed the conventional debate, you are in for something completely different.

Ron is a vehement opponent of abortion, and he explains why in ways that will bring readers around to his perspective (which is that of a man who has delivered thousands of babies). Then he moves to the entirely different area of public policy, pointing out that a centralized edict on this subject runs contrary to every moral and practical dictate of human liberty. A centralized pro-life policy is as wrong as a centralized mandatory-legalization policy. He wants a repeal of Roe. He doesn’t want state funding. But if a community wants to permit the practice, while he would certainly oppose that at the local level, his view is that the federal government should have nothing to say about it either way.

His position is shocking and out of the mainstream, to be sure, but it is also supremely practical. In innumerable communities around the country today, abortion clinics compete with alternative women’s clinics to provide for those in need of pregnancy services. In fact, if you want to look where the pro-life movement has seen gains, it is not in the area of political organization but in providing a market service for those who are seeking an alternative to abortion. This is a case in point of how liberty serves to work out our core disagreements.

I recognize that good Catholics can disagree on the prudential application of moral matters. We can and should debate on how abortion should be limited or prevented, but something seems to be going astray with this line of argument above.

I wonder if someone could make the same argument regarding slavery for example? Sure it’s evil but lets have one neighbor do it who supports it and another not do it who rejects it. If it’s evil it must be prevented to serve the common good. The entire presupposition from a Libertarian perspective though is that all government is evil. How is this reasonable?

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115 Responses to Should Catholics Support Ron Paul?

  • Ron Paul has supported a constitutional amendment to ban abortion. He refuses to support federal regulation because he believes it to be unconstitutional. I think it’s permissible for Catholics to oppose pro-life legislation on the grounds that it violates morally neutral provisions of the Constitution.

  • I think Lew is coloring it with his own views, a tendency he has. Ron Paul has proposed Constitutional amendments to ban abortion, has proposed defining life as beginning at conception to clearly trigger the 14th amendment, but thinks the Constitution has it currently as a state matter, so he would ban Roe. I have heard him speak on this many times and can’t believe for a moment he wouldn’t want it banned in his state. Even when he did run for the Libertarian presidential seat, when he wanted to make a point about Nixon going off of the gold standard, and deficits, he told the Libertarians that he was pro life and wouldn’t run his campaign any other way. Because of him there are now a whole BUNCH of pro life libertarians.

  • The United States is a Federal Republic

    Normally the regulation of things like abortion is a state issue.

    It becomes a Federal issue if there is a civil rights aspect.

    Roe v Wade alleges right to an abortion is a civil right so it is Federal though there is nothing in the Constitution to support it.

    A case could be made that it is Federal issue from the right to life clause in the 14th amendment thus making abortion unconstitutional.

    If Dr. Paul is saying that he will follow the Constitution as written and oppose abortion in that frame work then he well in his rights under the principle of subsidarity.

    If he saying he would decline to oppose abortion within limits of his authroty there is a big problem.

  • I am not in favor of libertarian ideas.

    You have about as much chance of being nominated to run for president as does Ron Paul.

    Paul would not appropriate or empower the federal government to regulate anything.

    More important: Paul would not appropriate one cent to commit abortion or to promote the murder of millions of babies. Paul would serve as the polar oppsite of Obama and what went on last night when the dems, including phony catholic congressmen/women, would have cut off troops to keep abortion/PP funded, and then lied about it.

    In my opinion, just about any pro-life candidate would be, say, forty-three million times more morally acceptable to REAL Catholics than the extremist abortion-promoting, jobs destroying, inexperienced, unskilled, unlucky child currently in the White House.

    In 2012, should Catholics support Barracks Obama? Is it LICIT for Catholics to support Obama? What is said regarding his father is true for Obama, as well. They follow the same ideology. Who are Obama’s advisors? Who are Obama’s monetary ($1 billion) backers? An apple never falls far from the tree.

    We must pray for the conversions of democrats pretending they are Catholics.

  • No clue as to why Llewellyn Rockwell considers the position he attributes to Paul – which has been the default view within the Republican Party for 35 years – to be ‘shocking’ and ‘out of the mainstream’.

    (As to your title question, one does not need a ‘Catholic’ reason to come in out of the rain. Dr. Paul has never held an executive position; failing that, he is not a maven of any particular department of public policy; failing that, he has little history of having acquired the tools and built the relationships that would allow him to work Congress. He does not belong in the President’s chair).

  • I think it is surely a matter of prudential consideration and conscience in our time. I am not a Libertarian because I am a catholic. But it may, provisionally, be a way to deconstruct the Babel we have allowed to be constructed in the last 30-50 years. It could be a return to ground zero, as it were, allowing people who think alike to gather where they will, and live as they wish.

  • The Church needs to do all it can to prevent abortion. The best government would probably arise out of a confessional state, that is, a state which formally and in fact recognizes the Church as the font of truth and morality. In such a state, abortion, as a grave moral evil, would be a crime. It’s not likely that the U. S. will become such a state.
    Catholics have an obligation to seek the welfare of their state. Forgoing (yes, there’s no “e” when it’s used in this sense) making abortion a crime (no help anyway to those desperate women who would obtain one despite violating the law) in order to pull the rug from under the feet of those who are promoting and profiting from abortion is, at least, prudential if not a positive good. Making the members of the culture of death responsible for funding their programs with their private resources, making their abattoirs fair game for intensive protests and peaceful intervention would, in turn, allow the Church-sponsored havens for burdened, confused and unwilling mothers all the more attractive by comparison. Once abortion is not state policy, the sinfulness and futility of abortion will become more and more clear.
    Interestingly, the Paul/Rockwell position would work for pornography as well. Pornography is more hidden, and, in some ways, even worse than abortion. Rather than having the state make each person (who sins by creating or enjoying it) a criminal, allow each locality (community) to set its own standards. If a no-porn community receives pornography, its members would be empowered to interfere with the pornographer wherever he may be found. Thus, again, the business aspect of it undermined and pornography resumes its pre-Enlightenment status wherein it was the secret sin of a scattered few thereby compelled to recognize themselves as sinners. By contrast, porno purveyors today thrust the stuff at us saying “the Supreme Court says this is just fine.”
    You don’t want to make the U. S. or the Church a totalitarian regime. As laudable as it would be to work at reducing the “amount” of sin, it simply couldn’t work on 300 million people from the top down.

  • The position that a certain level of government should be forbidden from upholding Natural Law is contradictory to the Faith, including Rerum Novarum.

    In other words, no, it’s not in keeping with our Faith to support Ron Paul.

  • The term “promote the common good” is the devil in the details and that is what has led us to the state we are now in. The United States is not a theocracy it is a republic that secures and protect the rights of all. This promotion of “common good” has been used to guarantee “women rights” which is abortion from the liberals perspective.
    Guarantee “rights of atheists” by forbidding prayer in the classrooms or religious displays on public property.
    It is because of these extreme liberal beliefs I believe in the separation of church and state and freedom of religion which ALLOWS me to be a Catholic. Just look at what is happening with the Muslims and the pressures to enact Sharia Law. God gave us all free will and make no mistake we will all be held accountable for our actions. If my neighbor choose to go to hell then by all means yet allow me the RIGHT to make the correct decisions.

  • We should not accept the argument that because the Left has co-opted the term “common good” to bring about destructive policies that we now have license to reject the common good altogether. We may not reject Catholicism simply because some have co-opted its terminology.

  • Ron Paul’s error is not merely in rejecting federal authority to ban abortion. His main error is in promoting the use of federal authority to allow abortion.

    His so-called “Sanctity of Life Act” would be a FEDERAL LAW (an Act of the federal government) stating that the unborn are “persons” but that States have authority to allow abortion.

    A federal law declaring that States may allow abortion of “persons” flies in the face of Catholic teaching. It’s co-opting from the opposite end……..as in co-opting federal power to deny the common good, specifically, the inherent Right to Life.

    His bill is not a “States Rights” bill. It would be a federal law saying that States have authority to allow the killing of innocent persons. Further, States do not have “Rights”. They have “Powers”. People have rights.

  • WE ARE NOT A THEOCRACY! If that is the form of government you want then get out of my country! What you are proposing will NEVER work as it has been tried and always ends with disastrous results.

  • Umm, how does anything Lisa said suggest support for a theocracy? That’s just silly.

  • Thanks, Paul. ;-) I wonder if Angie is for a federal law codifying that States have authority to allow the killing of innocent unborn persons.

  • I am a Catholic first and an American second. I believe that our republic under the US Constitution protects my beliefs and allows me to practice my religion. Although it is not perfect it is the best system by far as we are governed by men when on this earth.
    To allow for the “common good” to be implemented by government you allow that body to dictate morals and define what is and is not for the “common good”. Common good has many different meaning to many different people. You are assuming that the Catholic views would be accepted as being equal to the “common good”. One only needs to look around to see that “common good” today is interpreted in a secular fashion. The separation of Church and State has become freedom FROM religion as being in the common good….. how is that working for you. How is it working for you that many states would like to demand parental notification prior to an abortion and are horrified that school employees may aid in an abortion of a minor!?! you like that one… well it is being done for the “common good” according to the liberals….

    Allow good to prevail and cut off all funding for evil and then and only then will you have a chance. The government should be very small and barely noticeable in our lives.

  • Catholics can be of the right, but should not be right-liberals. Their human anthropology is false. Virtue is more important than freedom and liberty. And the family, not the individual, is the fundamental unit of society.

  • Angie, though you use many words to do it, you are still arguing for rejection of the idea that the common good should be reflected in our government’s laws, and you are arguing it based on the fact that the Left has co-opted the term. It is opposed to our Catholic Faith to reject the common good. What we need to do is clarify what the common good is, not reject the common good.

    Note, I’ve edited for grammar.

  • I am arguing it based on the fact that it is a subjective term. You are aurging infavor of it becasue you see YOUR beliefs as bing for the common good…. America is NOT about YOUR beliefs being pushed on others, it is about each being able to be free…. even God gave man free will yet you want to dictate that…. hmmmm…..

  • It’s not a subjective term.

    From the catechism: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/1907.htm
    “First, the common good presupposes respect for the person as such. In the name of the common good, public authorities are bound to respect the fundamental and inalienable rights of the human person. Society should permit each of its members to fulfill his vocation. In particular, the common good resides in the conditions for the exercise of the natural freedoms indispensable for the development of the human vocation, such as ‘the right to act according to a sound norm of conscience and to safeguard . . . privacy, and rightful freedom also in matters of religion.’”

    In a nutshell, we can’t advocate for law based on “free will”, as you claim, but on “sound norm of conscience”, first and foremost….and then “privacy” and freedom that is “rightful” freedom.

    From the catechism: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/1910.htm
    “Each human community possesses a common good which permits it to be recognized as such; it is in the political community that its most complete realization is found. It is the role of the state to defend and promote the common good of civil society, its citizens, and intermediate bodies.”

    You refer to my “beliefs”. My beliefs are Catholic. For example, as a Catholic, I understand that a federal law saying that States are within their authority to allow unborn child murder is an evil law that is opposed to our Faith. (Ron Paul’s bill.)

  • Hey Paul… “Umm, how does anything Lisa said suggest support for a theocracy? That’s just silly.”

    Yet you pull the definition of common good right from catechism … no theocracy there …. (sarcasm off) …

    I do not believe in abortion, I refuse to support it, and I resent my taxes going towards it. I also do not and will not support a government that dictates robbing me and many hard working people of their money to support “common good” in order to buy votes. It is a Pandora’s box….

    If you want to promote the common good then do it as a individual, church, or community…. not as a government mandate.

  • I voted for Ron Paul in the 2008 primary, because by the time I got to vote, I found him to be the most credibly pro-life candidate on the ballot. Romney and McCain I didn’t trust on the issue, and Huckabee, while sincere, didn’t seem to have made it a priority as governor, and had not actually proposed anything as concrete as Paul’s Sanctity of Life bill.

    Hell, yes, a Catholic can support Ron Paul. Anybody who wants to overturn Roe is advocating a huge improvement in the status quo, and empowering pro-lifers to fight abortion as we’ve never before been able to.

  • Supporting a federal law saying States can legitimately allow murder of unborn persons is neither “credibly pro-life” nor something Catholics can rightfully support.

  • Yes I am Catholic.

    So, are you not supporting the other parties as well. Have YOU ever voted for the Democrats that worship the liberal goddess Margret Sanger. Why not spend some time on the new Democratic Party a.k.a. the New Socialist Party.

  • If you’re Catholic, why do you object to the catechism? And why do you think I support the Party of Death?

  • I do not object to Catechism I object to Socialism.

    What party do you support for I am independent and am not affiliated with any party.

  • You stated:

    You refer to my “beliefs”. My beliefs are Catholic. For example, as a Catholic, I understand that a federal law saying that States are within their authority to allow unborn child murder is an evil law that is opposed to our Faith. (Ron Paul’s bill.)
    *****************************************************************************

    It is federal law that alows it and many states are trying limit it and in some instances do away with it. You are opposed to this???

  • Well, you objected to my citing the catechism. From a Catholic, I would have expected either agreement with my reference or perhaps some objection to my interpretation of it. It sounds to me that you are more political than faithful but please show me I am wrong about that. I’m Catholic. Everything else is secondary, even my country.

  • and yet you do not state your political affiliation…. could it be that you cannot defend your party of choice…. interesting ….

  • The propensity to attribute evil motivations to good actions is the fertile ground upon which conspiracy theories are planted and grown.

    This is a Catholic blog. I’ve cited the catechism. You objected to the catechism. You will excuse me if I’m a bit perplexed.

  • Both Mssrs Paul suggest repeal of the Civil Rights Voting Act of 1964, as well as completely dismantling the saftey net such as medicaid, medicare, social security, etc. In light of the Church’s many Encyclicals on labor and social justice I don’t feel that a devout Catholic can hold a Libertarian political view. Much less his opinion on abortion.

  • I’m not aware of anything in the Church Fathers — or the Catechism — that opposes the repeal of the Voting Rights Act of 1964.

    Much of the Church’s teaching on labor and social justice has been taken out of its intended context. We have frequently been told that the Church mandates that corrupt government must tax us at gunpoint to make us “virtuous.” It doesn’t.

    Mandatory charity is not charity. And while the family is the basic building block of society it is only one person at a time who is saved — or damned.

  • repeal of the Civil Rights Voting Act of 1964
    And this would disenfranchise someone how?

    dismantling the safety net such as medicaid, medicare, social security, etc
    Arguing for the dismantling of a government safety net is not the same thing as arguing that the safety net should not exist at all. I believe you’d be hard pressed to find an instance where they advocate that. Furthermore, if you read much of what they write or hear what they say at any great length, you would understand that this is an area where they believe the safety net should be private charities and churches.

    Ron Paul’s error is not merely in rejecting federal authority to ban abortion. His main error is in promoting the use of federal authority to allow abortion.

    His so-called “Sanctity of Life Act” would be a FEDERAL LAW (an Act of the federal government) stating that the unborn are “persons” but that States have authority to allow abortion.

    Lisa, I think I understand what you’re getting at here. It is an unacceptable end result. However, a mere repeal of Roe will end up with the same result as Ron Paul’s “Sanctity of Life Act.” Places like N. Dakota will successfully outlaw abortion, while Washington will bend over backwards to expand its access to middle schools at tax payer expense. Like I said, unacceptable. But what seems to be missing in this discussion is that Ron Paul also has sponsored a Constitutional amendment (at least once that I know of) to encode into American law the scientific fact that life begins at conception, and thus is worthy of protection.

    What seems to be at issue is his fierce (if sometimes misguided) approach to the Constitution. I see him earnestly trying to work within the framework of the Constitution. And for that, he seems misunderstood by a great many. The “Sanctity of Life Act” is but one piece of the puzzle in his approach to abortion. A Constitutional amendment is another. Together, I see an end result compatible with Catholic theology. With that, yes, I believe a Catholic can in good conscience support Ron Paul for whatever office he pursues.

  • Paul, Just This Guy……. I wrote here about why Rosa Parks’ violation of the law that required her to give up her seat on a bus run by a private company was in keeping with Rerum Novarum.

    http://lisagraas.com/2011/04/07/about-that-post-i-was-gonna-do-on-libertarianism-and-catholicism/

    One cannot be a libertarian as defined in America and be a faithful Catholic.

  • I would have to read Ron Paul’s amendment proposal but the word “conception” cannot be used in American law on this issue because “conception” means “beginning”. It has to be “fertilization”. Also, you can’t have it both ways. His “Sanctity of Life Act” would be a federal law saying that States have authority to allow the killing of innocent unborn persons. You can’t be for something and against it at the same time. The legislation you describe is fundamentally opposed to the one I am familiar with, so if it exists as you say, then he is either incompetent or is playing some kind of political game. I’m open to an alternative explanation.

    Read the link in my previous comment. It is not legitimate under Catholic teaching to claim that efforts to have a federal abortion ban should be tabled. Unless and until the federal government upholds the Right to Life, it is not a “government” that is “rightly apprehended”. (Rerum Novarum)

  • His “Sanctity of Life Act” would be a federal law saying that States have authority to allow the killing of innocent unborn persons.

    It doesn’t say that at all. It says that:
    1. Unborn humans are people, entitled to equal rights under the 14th Amendment.
    2. The Supreme Court and the federal courts shall have no jurisdiction to rule on the definition of personhood.

    These two provisions would serve to vacant Roe, which explicitly notes that if life begins at conception, then there can be no right to abortion. (Roe, like so many other pro-abort writing, depends on a pretended ignorance about when life begins).

    The immediate effect would be to throw the abortion debate back to the states, but the law would be a powerful tool for pro-lifers, who could simply sue under the law to put abortion clinics out of business, and to invalidate laws protecting abortion.

    It would be a thunderbolt that would immediately save hundreds of thousands of lives, and would quickly lead to the end of legal abortion in the U.S.

    I believe that, as a Catholic, I can support that.

    As for the other, one may argue about whether mandatory charity and all the rest are the best way to achieve their stated goals — I don’t think that they are. But I continue to doubt that the Apostle’s Creed implies any requirement for the Roosevelt’s New Deal.

    As for Rosa Parks, I wholeheartedly agree that to disobey an unjust law is in keeping with Catholic teaching. But that doesn’t mean that there must therefore be a Voting Rights Act of 1964.

  • I’m not sure what you’re reading. There is a bill like Ron Paul’s that has a Fourteenth Amendment provision, but Ron Paul has called the Fourteenth Amendent “the imaginary Constitution”. There’s an article about it on the Lew Rockwell site.

    Further, again, you can’t be for something and against it at the same time. If he both supports and opposes the Fourteenth Amendment, that speaks to character and would be a strong argument for a Catholic not to support him.

  • Here is a site with a useful list of encyclicals which would, if carefully read and observed counter many things suggested by Mr. Paul and others who identify themselves as libertarian in philosophy.

    http://www.educationforjustice.org/catholic-social-teaching/encyclicals-and-documents

  • Grass states:

    ” If he both supports and opposes the Fourteenth Amendment, that speaks to character and would be a strong argument for a Catholic not to support him.”…

    We get it YOU hate the man, but not everyone is as misinformed as you. He may believe in something but that does not make it Constitutional. He is only pointing out rules that must be followed. If you disagree with the man for that fine but stop slandering him…. or have you been given special authority to do so… There are rules and procedures to be followed and he is only pointing them out not supporting racism as you are alluding to.

    and please do not star off saying you do not hate him …. it is obvious by your tone you despise him and everything he stands for….

  • This is a debate based on reason. It is nothing personal and I never said anything whatsoever about what might be in his heart. I cannot read hearts.

  • then answer the question as to your political affiliation…

  • There are two reasons that I won’t answer that question. (1) It’s irrelevant to this debate, and (2) I tend to think that no matter how I answer, you will attack the fact that I am of that affiliation.

    You’ve already attacked the fact that I won’t answer it when it clearly has nothing to do with this debate.

  • Lisa, your rejection of subsidiarity, or rather, your liberal National Catholic Reporter style definition of subsidiarity (that local governments are not sufficient to do anything) is contrary to Catholic teaching.
    The Church teaches that as many things as possible should be handled at as local a level as possible. Libertarian/constitutionalist politics are not opposed to Catholic social teaching but rather the embodiment of Catholic social teaching.
    Ron Paul has been married for 50+ years. He’s a pro-life OB/Gyn, so on the personal level he’s probably done more to save babies than most politicians. He is one of the few federal politicians who’s even had the courage to promote legislation completely ending _Roe v. Wade_. Attacks on his pro-life credentials are calumnious at best.

  • Plus, Ron Paul supports the consistent life ethic taught by John Paul II and Cardinal O’Connor, something rare among Republicans.

  • Irreverent to this debate?!?! You are discrediting an entire party because of one man. You are fearful of an attack due to your party affiliation all while hiding behind the cross. I have been completely open and forth coming and now it is time for you to as well. You are the coward and I do not respect cowards!

  • JC, The only time I ever refer to the National Catholic Reporter is to criticize their Leftism….so I don’t appreciate that characterization of my views. Subsidiarity is about economics, not social issues.

    I’ve already made the case on the legislation he supports and no one has clearly rebutted my arguments. His legislation is not at all “pro-life”.

  • Well said JC… applause!

  • Angie, I’m not going to engage with you anymore on this thread, okay?

  • Break my heart simpleton….

  • Why not? Liberal Catholics insist that they are following subsidiarity by supporting Democrats because they think it’s impossible for various things to be done at the local level. Your argument is that you think it’s impossible for local governments to outlaw abortion, so it has to be a federal crime.

    Subsidiarity is about all issues. Haven’t you read _Mater et Magistra_? Canon Law addresses subsidiarity in regard to education, for example.

    A Catholic who can homeschool should homeschool. A Catholic who can afford parochial school and can’t homeschool should use parochial school. A Catholic who can’t do either may use public school, but the public schools should be controlled primarily by local parents.

    That’s Catholic social teaching. The Church does not promote powerful central governments–indeed, the opposite.

    In the Holy Roman Empire at the peak of Christendom, most of the control was at the local level. It’s why you have all those German fairy tales about princesses–every Duke was king of his own dukedom, and owed fealty to his king, who owed fealty to the Holy Roman Emperor, but the Holy Roman Empire didn’t micromanage his empire, and that is the model for government the Church teaches, just as

    Here’s what I know: the most devout, traditional Latin Mass attending Catholics I know, who oppose freemasonry and oppose foreign entanglements and unjust wars, support Ron Paul.

    I personally wouldn’t support Ron Paul except as a VP candidate or as the best of the available options–in 2008, I voted for Huckabee–but I resent the implication that Catholics cannot support Ron Paul, since some of the people I respect most on an individual level are Ron Paul supporters, and precisely because Ron Paul supports certain aspects of Catholic social teaching–opposition to the New World Order and opposition to war among them–that most Republican Catholics conveniently ignore.

  • JC, I must agree with you for the most part. When it come to voting I find myself voting for the less of the evils. When it comes to Ron Paul I respect the man and an supportive of him. I happen to agree with him 90% of the time yet I would love to see more of men like him in Congress… about 20% would really shake things up and keep the conservatives on their toes.

  • His “Sanctity of Life Act” would be a federal law saying that States have authority to allow the killing of innocent unborn persons. You can’t be for something and against it at the same time.

    Not sure where you’re getting this. Moreover, it seems to be an unfair characterization of his position and the bill itself. An excerpt from this law states the following:

    ‘(1) protects the rights of human persons between conception and birth; or
    ‘(2) prohibits, limits, or regulates–
    ‘(A) the performance of abortions; or
    ‘(B) the provision of public expense of funds, facilities, personnel, or other assistance for the performance of abortions.’

    But even if this act has the only affect or returning the abortion debate back to the states, it is the same thing as having the SCOTUS overturning Roe. It is in effect the same thing that I’ve read about and been lectured to about why I need to vote GOP. In fact, I recall having local Republicans telling me I needed to vote McCain/Palin for the Supreme Court so we could eventually overturn Roe. If Ron Paul is to be criticized here, then it would only seem fair to criticize the whole reason we need to elect Republicans to get the right folks on the SCOTUS.

  • Subsidiarity is not a legitimate argument on abortion. All levels of government must uphold the right to life. If they fail to do so, they are operating in illegitimacy on the point.

    There is no such thing as a perfect man-made government. All governments made my man operate in some level of illegitimacy. Their legitimacy depends on whether or not they uphold what is good and right and true. The Catholic Church defines what is good and right and true. The more a government upholds what is good and right and true, the more legitimate it is under God. It will never be fully legitimate as a man-made institution. It is less legitimate if it does not uphold the right to life. This idea that the federal government should not uphold the right to life is an illegimate claim. As I have noted, his legislation does not merely turn abortion back to the States but would be a federal law saying that States have authority to decide whether or not an unborn person may be killed. It is illegitimate for the federal government to official say as a matter of law that States have authority to allow that, and yet, that is exactly what his legislation does.

    Your point about Roe is no point at all because Roe could very well be overturned merely by the Court recognizing the scientific fact that the unborn child is a ‘person’. If the Court did that, the child would automatically be protected by the Fourteenth Amendment which, as noted, Ron Paul has referred to as “the imaginary Constitution”.

    I’m not sure why this is so difficult for everyone to understand. It’s as clear as day to me. I believe that Ron Paul has issues with the Fourteenth Amendment and that his problem with that amendment affect his legislation as a secondary matter. I absolutely believe that Ron Paul hates abortion and would like nothing better than for no one to ever get one, but this does not mean that he knows what he is doing when it comes to the law. He’s not a lawyer. He’s a doctor. I’m not a lawyer either, but my top priority is not to limit the federal government. My top priority is ending abortion.

  • Break my heart simpleton….

    Angie, I am putting you on notice. Any more personal attacks of this nature and you will be banned from commenting.

  • “Here is a site with a useful list of encyclicals which would, if carefully read and observed counter many things suggested by Mr. Paul and others who identify themselves as libertarian in philosophy.”

    I would agree that one cannot be a libertarian (at least as I understand it) and a Catholic. Much as I would say that in 2011 one cannot be a Democrat and a Catholic.

    “He’s a doctor. I’m not a lawyer either, but my top priority is not to limit the federal government. My top priority is ending abortion.”

    Though I think from reading the comments, it is likely that returning the decision to ban abortion to the state level, while not perfect, will in fact reduce abortions. Thus, I think a Catholic, at least on this point, can licitly support Paul.

  • Why is it so difficult to understand!?!? You twist and tweak the facts so that they support YOUR assertion. What does the 14th amendment have to do with an unborn baby… according to you it enables the libertarians justification in killing them?????… real logic there…. oh, i forgot you are no longer addressing me, heartbreaking…… I cant wait for your next debate ….why not on the evils libertarians and their plans to unite with the Grays in the UFOs located under the sea……. (dramatic music insert)

  • Phillip, his legislation is not in keeping with subsidiarity because it would be a federal law (tempted to use all caps on “federal law” for emphasis) stating that an unborn child is definitely a ‘person’ AND that States have authority to allow abortion.

    It’s federal permission to kill the innocent.

    I’m Catholic and my Faith transcends all parties, but here is the Republican hierarchy of authority which I would argue is more in keeping with Catholicism than libertarianism is.
    First = God (who has established Rights of Persons). Because of God, the rights of the human person (as defined by God and delineated in our founding documents) are FIRST in the hierarchy. Rights of Persons are FIRST.
    Second = State Powers
    Third = Federal Powers

    Example, the founding of the Republican Party by Christians who left other parties to join together to have the federal government uphold the human dignity of the African-American (abolish slavery at the federal level). Would that Christians today were so determined on the matter of abortion!

    Here is the Libertarian hierarchy of authority.
    First = State Powers
    Second = Rights of Persons
    Third = Federal Powers

    The only thing libertarians have right on this is that federal power is last in the hierarchy. They fundamentally fail in the First and Second.

    This is born out by their constant claims that State Power trumps all attempts at the federal level to protect the God-given Rights of Persons.

    It is born out in Ron Paul’s legislation which hypocritically uses federal power to place State Powers over the Rights of Persons.

    The Republican view on the hierarchy of authority is most in keeping with Catholic teaching because it puts the LEGITIMATE (God-given) rights of the human person first.

  • A note: I refer back to my previous remarks on the illegitimacy of a government that does not uphold Natural Law.

    In other words, States are listed second in the hierarchy for Republicans, but if the States FAIL to uphold the Rights of Persons, then the States lose their legitimacy on the point and it is the duty of the federal government to ensure that the Rights of Persons are upheld.

    I remember twenty years ago when the vast majority of politically active conservatives I knew did not have to have these things explained to them. It was common knowledge. What happened?

  • Your point about Roe is no point at all because Roe could very well be overturned merely by the Court recognizing the scientific fact that the unborn child is a ‘person’. If the Court did that, the child would automatically be protected by the Fourteenth Amendment which, as noted, Ron Paul has referred to as “the imaginary Constitution”.

    I’m not sure why this is so difficult for everyone to understand. It’s as clear as day to me. I believe that Ron Paul has issues with the Fourteenth Amendment and that his problem with that amendment affect his legislation as a secondary matter.

    If the court did decide in such a manner, it would be the same net at Ron Paul’s legislation. In it, he uses the language of “person”. If the Fourteenth Amendment applies in the overturing of Roe via the SCOTUS, it applies just as much as in Ron Paul’s proposed legislation. On to Ron Paul’s alleged problem with the Fourteenth Amendment… a quick Google search for “ron paul imaginary constitution” yields something entirely different than what’s been asserted here. In fact, the first four links are the same article published on various sites where he laments the abuse of the Fourteenth Amendment, specifically as it was used in the Lawrence v. Texas case (i.e. the right to privacy).

    I absolutely believe that Ron Paul hates abortion and would like nothing better than for no one to ever get one, but this does not mean that he knows what he is doing when it comes to the law. He’s not a lawyer. He’s a doctor. I’m not a lawyer either, but my top priority is not to limit the federal government. My top priority is ending abortion.

    Whether you agree with it or not, he is an “original intent” kind of guy with regard to the Constitution. That frames his approach to everything, including abortion. He’s trying to work within the framework of the law that we do have (the Constitution).

  • His interpretation of the Constitution is not in keeping with Catholic teaching….and that is the entire point. The traditional Republican interpretation of the Constitution is more in keeping with Catholic teaching than Ron Paul’s interpretation is.

  • “Phillip, his legislation is not in keeping with subsidiarity because it would be a federal law (tempted to use all caps on “federal law” for emphasis) stating that an unborn child is definitely a ‘person’ AND that States have authority to allow abortion.

    It’s federal permission to kill the innocent.

    I’m Catholic and my Faith transcends all parties…”

    Lisa,

    I don’t know about all that. I suspect there are good and bad points to Paul and what he is trying to do. My point is, regardless of the outcome of whether Paul philosophically or not is in line with the Church, is that what is proposed will help reduce abortions. That is, returning the decision to the states will result in some states banning abortion and this will reduce them as a result.

    It is a pragmatic judgment which Catholics can make. It does not endorse an errant philosophy, which would be wrong, but works with those who will in the end reduce an evil.

  • These two statements are opposed to each other.

    1) “…regardless of the outcome of whether Paul philosophically or not is in line with the Church…”

    2) “…It is a pragmatic judgment which Catholics can make…”

    No, I have shown that his legislation is opposed to the Catholic Faith, which means that a Catholic should not support Ron Paul. That’s the question posed in the headline.

    Further, his legislation is part of his overall philosophy, so he would fail on any number of measures because he is completely wrong on that fundamental point. It would impact more than the abortion issue, in other words.

    Finally, there are several potential candidates who understand and agree with Catholics that it is the duty of all levels of government to defend and uphold the Right to Life, many of whom are quite fiscally conservative, like Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Allen West or Marco Rubio. Though perhaps not quite as fiscally conservative, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich also would agree with Catholics that all levels of government must uphold the Right to Life.

    Supporting a candidate for President who condones illegitimate government practices when many other candidates are available who support legitimate government is not in keeping with the duty of Catholics.

  • as defined on Wikipedia:
    “Theocracy is a form of government in which a state is understood as governed by immediate divine guidance especially a state ruled by clergy, or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.[1]

    From the perspective of the theocratic government, “God himself is recognized as the head” of the state, [2] hence the term theocracy, from the Greek ????????? “rule of God”, a term used by Josephus of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.[3] Theocratic governments enact theonomic laws (rules)….”

    Note: We are a constitutional republic!

    As such we do not have the privilege to say “because God said so”. We must therefore work within the boundaries of our Constitution not some of the time but all of the time. Paul is consistent in his beliefs as a Christian and as a libertarian and yes he is both. To alienate Paul in the crusade to protect the unborn is negligent and insane.

  • His interpretation of the Constitution is not in keeping with Catholic teaching

    Explain.

  • You mean explain AGAIN? Just go back through and read my long and detailed explanations.

    I have home schooling to do and an article to write. Blessings, everyone! And Happy Feast of St. Gemma!

  • “No, I have shown that his legislation is opposed to the Catholic Faith, which means that a Catholic should not support Ron Paul. That’s the question posed in the headline.”

    “Supporting a candidate for President who condones illegitimate government practices when many other candidates are available who support legitimate government is not in keeping with the duty of Catholics.”

    I read the post as Paul’s position on abortion and not his running for President. Is he running for President? If so, are the others you mentioned also running?

    “I wonder if someone could make the same argument regarding slavery for example?”

    From this I take the substance of my comment. Could a Catholic make that argument for slavery. For the sake of argument, let’s say that the answer is no. But if it was 1850 let’s posit that the law of the land is that slavery could exist in any state and the ownership of slaves was left up to individuals. This according to Federal law. If someone came along who said I will allow the states to decide, could a Catholic support that. I am saying yes as I would know that some states would ban slavery and the net result would be a reduction in evil even if the legislation was not perfect.

  • “You mean explain AGAIN? ”

    LOL…. no, please do it in a logical fashion this time please…..

  • I have shown that his legislation is opposed to the Catholic Faith, which means that a Catholic should not support Ron Paul.

    It is born out in Ron Paul’s legislation which hypocritically uses federal power to place State Powers over the Rights of Persons.

    Frankly, I don’t believe you have adequately demonstrated this, especially in light of the text from the bill he’s proposed numerous times. The full text of the bill doesn’t appear to bear this out.

    Further, his legislation is part of his overall philosophy, so he would fail on any number of measures because he is completely wrong on that fundamental point.

    His interpretation of the Constitution is not in keeping with Catholic teaching…

    Ok, so this left-brained engineer went back and re-read some posts. (Truthfully, I would have preferred a nicely laid out, point-by-point rehash. Translation: I’m a nerd.) Lemme see if I get your position right, Lisa… Ron Paul’s view of the Constitution is flawed because it libertarian, and thus opposed to Catholic teaching due to a hierarchy of values?

    No less, I will address what I think your position is… First, I believe your characterization of libertarians is flawed. It does not jibe with my personal experiences as well as what I’ve read about libertarianism in general. Nor does it seem to mesh well with the notion that libertarians are accused of being all but a short step away from anarchists. Rather, my readings and my friendships with libertarian-minded people demonstrate that the person is first. They rail on and on about individual liberty, and the loss of rights/freedoms to various levels of government.

    Second, much of what I’ve seen of Republicanism (or what passes for it anyways) in recent years tends to centralize more and more. Think “No Child Left Behind” or “Medicare Part B”. This leads me to question whether or not they really recognize the true hierarchy of authority.

    Third, the notion that Ron Paul views the Fourteenth Amendment as an “Imaginary Constitution” is a misunderstanding of his position. I provided a google link earlier, which the first four links were the same article: Federal Courts and the Imaginary Constitution. The premise of the article is about the activist judges legislating from the bench. I don’t see anything confirming the notion that Ron Paul has issues with the Fourteenth Amendment itself. If I’m missing something, please provide a link.

  • Wow, thanks for the great response! I guess I provoked some folks with the topic of this post.

    I haven’t had a chance to catch up on all the comments, but I thought it would be helpful to refer folks to the COMPENDIUM OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH.

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html

    Earlier on there was a debate about what the “common good” is. Refer to Chapter Four.

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html#CHAPTER%20FOUR

    The logical end of Libertarian political thought is anarchy. Refer to the thought of Murray Rothbard, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Roderick T. Long, Walter Block, Lew Rockwell, etc. For example, listen to these episodes of the Lew Rockwell Show.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/lewrockwell-show/2008/11/14/68-are-you-an-anarchist/

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/lewrockwell-show/2011/01/19/183-we-do-not-need-a-state/

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/lewrockwell-show/2009/07/29/126-walter-block-is-an-anarchist/

    Does The Non-Aggression Axiom which drives Libertarian thought concern anybody?

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/lewrockwell-show/2008/08/04/11-the-non-aggression-axiom/

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/block1.html

    Stem Cell Research: The Libertarian Compromise
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block5.html

    Refer to Defending the Undefendable – The Pimp, Prostitute, Scab, Slumlord, Libeler, Moneylender, and Other Scapegoats in the Rogue’s Gallery of American Society

    http://books.google.com/books?id=MHU4KkvxSMsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=defending+the+undefendable&hl=en&ei=aVujTevqFcPo0QHq-ImRBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

  • The Fourteenth Amendment as Ron Paul interprets it “IS” imaginary.

  • Here are some additional points.
    1. Stephen Hand – This may be a way to deconstruct “Babel” and start at ground zero. First, as a realist I doubt this deconstruction is even possible and even if it was accomplished I am not sure what would be constructed in its place would be any better. Classical Liberalism is fundamentally flawed and this new Libertarian world would soon run off the rails as well. It has fundamental design flaws.

    2. S. Peterson – I agree with your point about a confessional state.

    3. Lisa Graas – I stand with you. Thank you for your significant contribution to this post.

    4. Paul Z. – thank you for providing correction.

    5. Jonthanjones02 – I stand with you.

    6. G. Alex Garver – I stand with you. Thanks for the link.

  • Thanks for writing the post, D.L. It is important to discuss these issues.

  • The Fourteenth Amendment as Ron Paul interprets it “IS” imaginary.

    Source, please.

  • 7. JC – Lisa is not a “NCR” Catholic. I don’t believe she is against either subsidiarity or solidarity. You bring up an interesting point though regarding many traditional Latin Mass Catholics supporting Ron Paul. I made that exact point in one of my earlier posts on this topic. Refer to Tom Woods, Judge Naplitano, etc. One friend who is a rock-solid traditional Latin Mass Catholic asks the following question and makes an important point.

    “My question to use is: assuming (and I don’t know….it’s a question that needs answering) that Ron Paul opposes abortion on moral grounds, is it permissible for a Catholic to believe, as a matter of political philosophy, that laws (such as abortion etc.) should be made principally at the state/local level and not the federal level?

    The charitable / benefit of the doubt approach to Ron Paul would be to assume/presume that this is what he believes (while of course not a Catholic). I’d like to hear an argument as to why abortion MUST be prohibited by federal rather than state/local law.”

    8. Angie – You must admist there are a wild mix of folks who claim to be Libertarians, some of whom are very anti-Christian and anti-Catholic. For example, refer to these interviews of the Daily Bell which publishes Ron Paul’s articles and many others closely associated with the Mises Inst.

    Tom Harpur on Bible Mythology, and Why He says Jesus Christ Never Lived Historically

    Occultist Jordan Maxwell on the Foundations of Western Religion and Society, and Why Nothing Is as It Seems

    Jeffrey Armstrong on the Mysteries of Indian Culture, the Relevance of Hindu Vedas and the Reality of Ancient Flying Machines

    9. Phillip – Much of what has been discussed regarding how exactly to reduce abortions is a matter of prudence. Good Catholics can disagree about which tactics, policies, or laws are best to use to do this.

    10. Big Tex – The logical end of Libertarian political thought is anarchy. Honest Libertarians are very open and vocal about this. Refer to my comment above giving specific examples of this fact. I would also refer you to this book – Democracy: The God that Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order and this interview – Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe on the Impracticality of One-World Government and the Failure of Western-style Democracy.

    All these folks are very close to Ron Paul. Lew Rockwell was his first Chief of Staff. Dr. Tom Woods, Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Dr. Walter Block, and Dr. Roderick T. Long are all long-time friends and close associates. Dr. Paul is one of the original members of the Mises Inst. and still actively participates in their events. You know a man by the friends he is close to. I am sure some of them have already been part of his congressional hearings or will be.

  • Big Tex, if he supported the Fourteenth Amendment as a traditional Republican does (e.g., Jim DeMint’s historical position on abortion), he would never, in a million years, consider supporting a federal law that says States may decide on the killing of innocent “persons”. As it stands, he authored just such a bill.

    I rest my case.

  • Does anyone else find it rather ironic and a little funny that anarchists are so vocally supportive of Ron Paul? Why would they care unless they view him as a legitimate and real instrument who will achieve their goals?

    I would also ask folks to seriously consider the flaws of Classical Liberalism which is the “beating heart” of Libertarian thinking. Refer below to these important posts on this topic by Dr. Chris Burgwald and Dr. Joel Barstad.

    Liberalism

    The American Dream

  • A note about Traditional Catholics supporting Ron Paul. There are a significant number of Traditional Catholics who are not exactly “Pro-Israel”. Ron Paul’s positions on Israel likely have much to do with Traditional Catholic support for him. I would argue that issues about Israel are generally matters of prudential judgment whereas abortion is not.

  • D. L., I consider myself to be (generally) a Classical Liberal, but a Catholic first, of course, so I’m interested in your thoughts on it.

  • Lisa,

    Chris Burgwald, Christopher Blosser and myself have been exploring this topic for many years now. Burgwald and I are normally on the same team or side of this discussion, but he’s always much more brilliant than I could ever be. We (Blosser and I) haven’t always agreed about this topic, but a beautiful friendship among all of us has resulted from this dialog. You must read Dr. David Schindler and Dr. Tracey Rowland from my perspective. Blosser would recommend others. We’ve collected together some of the best thinkers on both sides of this discussion on one website, which is directly below.

    The Catholic Church and the Liberal Tradition

    Here are some Classic Posts from my blog. Some of these interviews are only found or collected together on my blog and no where else. Take the time to read them.


  • Thank you! I’ll bookmark these in a folder and check them out. Blessings!

    Also, I mentioned previously in this thread that today is the Feast Day of St. Gemma. It’s listed at both Catholic Online and Patron Saints Index as being today….but the Passionist Nuns here in Kentucky say it’s actually in their breviary to be in May…..so thanks to this mistake, I get to celebrate St. Gemma’s Feast Day twice this year. Yay!

  • Thank you for the excellent post. I would clarify one thing however. There are few political positions with which the church officially sides, however she has been consistent in condemning socialism, and making subsidiarity a core principle.

    One thing I would add is that I am not sure that, no matter how much we oppose it, it would be proper for the government to ban all abortions. As citizens, while it is proper for religion to inform our social policy, it is not proper to insist that that policy conform to our religious derived positions. Somewhere there is a line, it is just that it is not always clear where that is.

    Finally, in Mssrs Paul defense, there is a difference between pro-abortion and pro-choice. I would kill for the federal government to remove itself from the issue and allow the battle to be waged on the state and local level.

  • As Catholics we don’t have to reduce reality. We can be for the preferential option of the poor and also be Pro-Life and Pro-Family… We can love both Dorothy Day and Russell Kirk. Catholicism should not be reduced to contemporary political categories.

  • As it stands, he authored just such a bill.

    Thanks, Lisa. I finally connected the dots. I concede your point, and indeed Ron Paul’s sanctity of life act is flawed. I’ve also been pondering if this piece of legislation is part of a two-part approach, but it doesn’t appear to be. Rather, it appears to be a means to get something sooner than by going the route of a Constitutional amendment.

    Thanks for your patience.

  • Mr. Jones, I believe I’ve traveled a similar journey as you have done. I noted when you joined this site (or sometime shortly thereafter), you began reading much of libertarian thought. I also noticed a transition in tone in your posts… from one who recently discovered a new, and yet novel political philosophy with a great enthusiasm (it has all the answers!) to a more temperate tone. This was me over the past couple of years, but not in blog form.

    For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t consider myself a Ron Paul supporter at this point (even prior to this discussion). He just doesn’t have what I want in a chief executive. There are somethings I do like about him. Until today, I thought he had the best approach towards ending abortion in our nation (which explains my persistence in this thread). His quirkiness is something that has helped me reconsider and think critically about a number of issues (foreign policy, monetary policy, and fiscal policy) rather than be spoon-fed by conservative talk radio and Fox News.

  • Big Tex – we share the same experience.

    I am thankful that Tom Woods first pushed me to study Libertarian thought more seriously. Ron Paul (and others) made me more aware of monetary and fiscal policies as well as economics in general. This study also forced me to get my own person fiscal and investment house(s) in order. I am deeply grateful for that.

    Tom Woods, Lew Rockwell, Robert Murphy and others were all very gracious and good to me personally. I hope to maintain their friendship and would happily sponsor any posts/articles they would like to have on The American Catholic. They are good men and on that I have no doubts.

    At this point I have came to the conclusion that I cannot personally support either economic anarcho-capitalism or political anarchy. I am open to learning more though and it is my hope that the good folks above along with Jeffrey Tucker and other Catholics join us in this conversation.

  • Is this development below a good thing if you are a traditional conservative or a social conservative? Will the “Rand Alliance” strengthen or weaken the Pro-Life/Pro-Family movement? As Catholics where should our allegiance rest? I would be curious to know your thoughts on this matter.

    The American Conservative (TAC) – May 01, 2011 issue

    Rand Alliance: Can the Tea Party Learn to Love the GOP?

    The Young Right Turns to Liberty

  • I’m not the person to ask, I suppose, because I am a Kentuckian who wrote in “Trey Grayson” in the general election because Rand Paul turned over a forged document to ‘prove’ Kentucky Right to Life was lying about him………while he was sending out fundraising letters with their organization name, implying they support him.

    http://www.lifenews.com/2010/04/22/state-5015/

    Not to mention the fact that he’s not even the Tea Party candidate.
    http://lisagraas.com/2010/10/29/the-tea-party-movement-in-kentucky-split-over-rand-paul-part-two/

    Rand Paul is the Fox News candidate. He doesn’t represent me.

    And that is not the only reason. I don’t consider Rand Paul to be an honest man.

  • Thanks Lisa for the comments and the links once again. I was completely unaware about all of that stuff about Rand Paul. Wow, WOW!

    I would ask others, and you if you haven’t read them, to read this two current TAC articles. It seems to me that the Libertarians, both young and old, are trying to push social conservatives out of the G.O.P. To be sure they are trying to lessen whatever influence social conservatives do have in the Republican Party. Is this a good thing? Are they really our allies?

    Is it possible that Libertarians are a Trojan Horse within the G.O.P. and Pro-Life/Pro-Family movement?

    It seems to me that Libertarian ethics are fundamentally flawed and are incompatible with Catholic Social Ethics. What am I missing?

  • Interesting you should say that, D.L., because I used to be a Palin supporter and I was just having a debate with a Palin supporter explaining why I am now supporting Michele Bachmann (I could support Rick Santorum, too, or other candidates who support actual laws to end abortion). I was called a “RINO” for supporting Michele Bachmann.

    I recommended to him that he read the platform and he told me he was too busy reading Going Rogue to read the platform.

  • Let’s compare Ron Paul to Rick Santorum. When I watch this video of (or read) Rick Santorum it’s not even a hard or close decision for me. What do you (& others) think?

    Rick Santorum Challenges Kennedy 50 Years Later
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDvYEPy6bYE&feature=player_profilepage

    Senator Rick Santorum: Charge to Revive the Role of Faith in the Public Square

    Rick Santorum, speaking at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtBz0tSR0kU

    Rick Santorum Takes on Jihadism, Showing Moral Coherence and Political Courage

  • At this point, the two people whose candidacies I’m excited about are Santorum and Bachmann. I’d love to hear what others have to think. Unfortunately, I don’t think there are other candidates out there who are either viable or who will stand with us on life issues like those two would. I’m always open to alternatives.

    I think I’ve already added so much to this discussion that I’d like to invite others to offer their ideas.

  • Ironically Tea Party members are supporting candidates based on fiscal conservative values for the Tea Party had never voiced an opinion on social issues. This being the case can a Catholic support Tea Party candidates?

    There are some here bashing libertarians which in its pure form is not nor could it ever be a viable party. Libertarians are just right of right so to speak. They have beliefs of small government and huge personal responsibility. They believe in communities dictating rules and regulations but in small amounts. They also favor parental rights and responsibilities in raising and educating their children. How is any of this anti-Catholic or contradictory to Catholicism !?!? Well it is not in fact it supports Catholicism.

    But there are some here that will bash libertarian leaning beliefs because??? Maybe they are not truly conservative at least not fiscally and therefor are fearful of be truly responsible for their life and future.

  • Angie,

    By your own admittance above I do not consider it a good thing for anyone, regardless if they are a Libertarian, Tea Party or whomever, to ignore social (or ethical) issues, i.e. abortion, euthanasia, stem-cell research, gay marriage, etc. That’s completely unsatisfactory to me and I suspect to a few others as well.

    There also seems to me to be a real animosity of libertarians against social conservatives which TAC addresses in their articles linked above. Now combine that with the garbage being promoted on libertarian sites (i.e. The Daily Bell who strongly promote Ron Paul and others closely associated with him) which is explicitly and directly anti-Christian/anti-Catholic. Refer to the links in my above comment regarding this fact.

    I am not “anti-libertarian” but I do have a problem with their ethics and the philosophical system of classical liberalism which undergirds it. My invitation to Tom Woods, Jeffrey Tucker and other serious Catholic Libertarian thinkers remain open. Lew Rockwell and party are good people. I hope they take me up on the offer. That conversation would be very productive and beneficial for all.

  • D.L.

    Do you see a difference between a candidate with respect to its party’s platform verses their beliefs? With reference to Ron and Rad Paul they both oppose abortion and in fact Ron Paul has practiced this belief. He has introduced legislation supporting that fact. My problem is as a pro life supporter my entire life who has voted pro life, financially supported pro life, signed every pro life petition, and gathered signatures on petitions, I find it self defeating and to go after an individual who supports life and has tried to protect the unborn. Ron Paul has do so while working within the boundaries of the US Constitution. To maliciously attack this man and is wrong!

  • It has nothing to do with him personally. The philosophy that the federal government has no function in the defense of life is fundamentally opposed to the Catholic Faith. It doesn’t matter who believes it….it’s wrong.

    Explaining how a position of a political figure is opposed to Catholicism is not a ‘malicious attack’. The way you have treated me on this thread is a malicious attack.

  • I reside in CA where pro-choice is the norm. Most of the CA representatives are not just for abortion, they live to support it. This being the case I am flabbergasted that a pro lifer would try to discredit a powerful supporter of pro life. I feel that you are taking a step backwards in the crusade for life.

    I have not “maliciously” attacked you for I have not lied about your beliefs or actions. You discredit Paul’s beliefs and actions and falsely place him in the pro choice camp. That IS wrong! Paul’s beliefs that aborting should be fought at the state level by no means discredits this moral beliefs that abortion is wrong.

    You are opposed to the issue of the roles of states’ rights and powers verses the federal government’s power. Your issue has to do with powers and procedures rather than moral ideals.

    I am requesting that you not discredit all the input this man has added in the fight for life such as his Sanctity of Life Act of 2005, which actually wants to define life a begin at conception. This is huge!

  • States don’t have “rights”. They have powers. People have rights.

  • Are you therefor objection to states having “powers” verses “rights”? Are you then against all who believe in States’ “Rights”? How do you then feel about the US Constitution?

    All of these issues may be debated and have a profound impact on the issue of abortion.

  • Angie, I don’t believe anyone here is trying to disparage Ron Paul nor do I believe anyone here claims that he isn’t pro-life. Simply put, his “Sanctity of Life” Act is flawed. While recognizing the humanity of the unborn on its face, it illogically goes on and lays out a system under which CA and NY and WA babies can continue to be slaughtered, even if babies with the good fortune to be physically present in another State cannot. This is an abrogation of the right to the equal protection of the unborn. Thus, Lisa and others have put forth that there are better pro-life candidates.

  • According to Lisa and I would believe others would also agree …”In other words, no, it’s not in keeping with our Faith to support Ron Paul.”

    You and all here have the right to support other candidates but to say Catholics should not support Ron Paul is what I disagree with. I am pro life and am thankful to people like Paul. I am resentful of anyone who goes after a viable supporter of the unborn. IMO, to say Catholics supporting Paul are not keeping the faith is false.

    As far as the issue of Libertarian with reference to Catholicism and support there of, that is another issue. One may argue that a “true” Catholic could not in good faith support America and the US Constitution. I would disagree with the latter whole hearty and I would argue that ALL political parties in their purest form are flawed in theory with respect to Catholicism. The only exception would be a Catholic Theocracy.

    I contend this is more of an issue of interpretation of our Constitution with regards to States Rights. R I G H T S not powers.

  • Angie, you just left a comment on my blog this morning saying that fiscal issues trump social issues.

    It’s here: http://lisagraas.com/2011/04/11/palin-ignores-social-issues-in-latest-fundraising-letter/#comment-19421

    I would not call that a Catholic position, and neither would any other Catholics I know, on the left or the right.

    Catholics believe in subsidiarity. It’s good for Catholics to be fiscally conservative, but to suggest that we should allow fiscal issues to trump abortion is exactly the same as saying poverty trumps abortion. It’s just that it’s coming from the far right instead of the far left.

    The only valid philosophy is Catholic philosophy, and Catholics need to vote in a manner that is justifiable under Catholic philosophy.

  • I SAID NO SUCH THING!

    I merely pointed out that abortion is not the ONLY issue facing us today! I further stated that abortion is NOT the cause of today’s problems but is a result of social/financial issues.

    What about starvation how do you feel about that one, or is that not a “Catholic issue”. Look at what is going on… food shortages and the G-20 is meeting . Do you actually think China, Russia, or India give a flying flip about millions of starving people. Ask yourself, why did they cut off the water supply in southern CA?!? What will happen to those farms; what will happen to the food supplies across the world and prices??? If this recension keeps up were are families going to live… in their cars… it is bad out there….

    You are not THAT type of Catholic??? What kind are you then…. one issue only … a lot of good that does….

  • Ron Paul is the only sane candidate. All the so called pro-lifers on the right only use that issue as political gain they are hypocrits. Ron Paul has been very consistent on his Pro-life stance. The Government promotes abortion. Get The Government out! If we had state by state it would be outlawed. If you give the Government all this power then they are able to inforce their gay marriage agenda baby killing and anything else that they want to shove down our throats. The government is not my religion. Ron Paul is not Running as ruler bof the world. Remember pro-life concerns the many innnocent people being murdered in our pointless wars.
    John Paul II STRONGLY condemned the invasion of Iraq.

  • I think I’ve pretty clearly laid out that his position on life isn’t in keeping with our Faith. Also, the question of going to Iraq or not going to Iraq is past. We are there now, and the position of the Vatican is that we should remain until the country is stable, so we can say that those who argued for going in were wrong and we can also say that those who NOW argue for pulling out are also wrong. The latter would include Ron Paul….the most vocal voice against the Vatican’s current position on American presence in Iraq.

  • His position is shocking and out of the mainstream

    It is exactly that of Scalia, a highly touted Catholic in conservative circles.

    The argument that the right to life exists in the Constitution is light years more fathomable than the right to abortion existing there. But I don’t know that the Catholic position on abortion requires that one believe the right to life is in the Constitution. It certainly should be, and my personal legal opinion is that it is (how can you be entitled to due process before the state takes your life if you had no right to life to begin with?). Whether the right to life is there is a legal question; whether it should be is a moral one. Ron Paul’s position is that the right to abortion is not there, but neither is a prohibition on abortion. These are legal opinions, and I think he is right on the first one, but arguably mistaken on the second.

    However, on the moral question of whether a right to life should be there he is completely in line with Catholic teaching – he agrees the states have the right to ban abortion outright, and he supports a Constitutional amendment making the right to life explicit. I do not see where this is incompatible with Catholic teaching (no different from Scalia’s view).

  • Sure it’s evil but lets have one neighbor do it who supports it and another not do it who rejects it.

    HIs position isn’t to allow neighbor by neighbor decisions, but community by communty. Even Aquinas recognizes that the eradication of an evil must be done carefully. Would a SCOTUS case banning abortion (let’s call it Life v. Death) end the debate any more than RvW did? What’s to stop the next SCOTUS from overruling LvD? And it would just swing back and forth. At least the Amendment route has the advantage of more permanence and more community involvement in the process.

    Ron Paul and his opponents on this site differ not on ultimate goal or outcome, but the methods of achieving them. I do not see where the methods espoused by Paul are contrary to Catholic teaching.

  • Catholics believe in subsidiarity

    How is Paul’s position vis a vis abortion incompatible with subsidiarity?

  • Matt, essentially, you’re saying that the Church’s position that all levels of government must defend life is wrong because people would disobey the law.

    The Church’s position that all levels of government must defend life is absolutely correct and you are wrong to argue that Ron Paul’s way is better than the Catholic way he opposes.

    This sort of talk grates on me.

  • Regarding subsidiarity, it is completely misapplied the vast majority of the time, these days. Subsidiarity requires that higher levels of government uphold the good when lower levels cannot, or fail to. Subsidiarity does not apply in the abortion debate because there are always states that will allow abortion. Because they will allow abortion, the federal government MUST act to ban it. That’s in accordance with subsidiarity. The federal government would not have to act if ALL the states would…but they won’t, and we all know they won’t. There will always be some holdouts, so the federal government must act. On the issue of abortion, the greatest travesty in America, there can be no capitulation on this.

  • by the Court recognizing the scientific fact that the unborn child is a ‘person’

    Technically, that is not a scientific fact as “person” is not a matter of science – it is a matter of philosophy/metaphysics, with which science (as commonly understood today) deals not.

    It is a scientific fact that the unborn child is a human being. From that scientific fact flows the philosophical/metaphysical fact that the unborn child is a person.

  • Ron Paul’s error is not merely in rejecting federal authority to ban abortion. His main error is in promoting the use of federal authority to allow abortion.

    Well, I think that is a bit of an unfair characterization of his bill. Even the Holy Father said a Catholic could support legislation that has the intent to reduce abortion, even if it does not specifically eliminate or ban it. This is precisely what the SoLA is intended to do (even if it may be flawed in other respects). By your reasoning, it would be unCatholic to support overturning RvW because it would lead to states being able to allow abortion if they so choose.

    The Vatican’s position on staying in Iraq is a prudential one, and a close one at that – whether our presence there adds to stability or not, or only prolongs a disasterous outcome is entirely debatable.

  • First, I never said his way was better. I said I do not see where it is incompatible.

    Second, we are at a position where 50 states must allow abortion. His bill would arguably reduce that (it certainly can’t increase it).

    Third, the bill would have the same effect as overturning RvW, only it would also remove jurisdiction from the Courts (assuming it is successful) so the overturing of RvW couldn’t be itself overturned.

    Essentially, your position seems to be that the Church requires a Catholic to take the all or nothing approach, and that an incremental approach is verboten. I just do not see where that is required (I would certainly appreciate any citation you could give in that regard).

    I think the disagreement arises because we are really discussing two separate things – (1) Is Ron Paul’s position fully Catholic in an absolute sense, and (2) can a Catholic support him.

    Just because you answer the first in the negative, it does not necessarily follow that you must answer the second in the negative. Just like you could support legislation that reduced (or eliminated) funding for PP, even though funding PP at all, or even allowing it to continue performing abortions with completely private funds is against Catholic teaching.

    Even if RP does not see his position as being incremental, that does not prevent a Catholic from seeing it that way, and supporting him in that incremental step, and then continuing on without him if he does not want to keep moving along.

    Matt, essentially, you’re saying that the Church’s position that all levels of government must defend life is wrong because people would disobey the law.

    Where do you get that? What I said was (actually, not esssentially) that an incremental approach is not forbidden. Such lowbrow ignoramuses such as Thomas Aquinas thought as much.

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