173 Responses to Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand: An Assertion With Evidence

  • Bonchamps says:

    I’ll have more to say later. For now, though, I want to point out:

    1) Thomas Aquinas did NOT write about “Distributism”, which is a word coined in the 20th century.

    2) Aquinas’ remarks on distributive justice are in no way at odds with a free market economy based upon private property rights.

    3) Distributism (the 20th century idea) is not mutually exclusive with a preference for the free market and balancing the budget – if anything it is more at odds with the welfare-statism advocated by the left.

    4) Distributism does not mean “redistribution of wealth” but rather widespread distribution of private property. It can take completely voluntary, non-coercive (i.e. non-statist) forms. Wealth doesn’t have to be confiscated from one group and given to another in order for society to promote a wider distribution of property.

  • Bonchamps says:

    Sure. So maybe ease up on Ryan a bit. I mean, I can only think of one politician who has actually proposed “Distributist” legislation – Rep. Dana Rohrbacher. Most people have never heard of it. Most Catholics have never heard of it. It certainly isn’t a prerequisite for a Catholic running for office to have heard of it and subscribe to it. So to fault someone for not advocating it seems a bit out of place.

    A consistent defender of the free market has to defend voluntary collectivism. This is why Objectivism, which is a dogmatically individualist philosophy, is not the same as libertarianism, which places non-aggression at the center of its moral compass.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    No, sorry. I’m more interested in Catholic unity than in GOP unity that continues to ignore the unborn and has Log Cabin Republicans helping write the platform. I’m doing a write-in for Catholic unity as I have spoken of extensively on my blog. http://www.catholicbandita.com

    I maintain that Paul Ryan is a Randian, with a philosophy that is anti-Gospel, and further that he is a part of the problem in the Republican Party that keeps social issues out of the discussion. He is driving a wedge between Catholics at a time when our unity is the most critical issue of all. Catholic identity is THE issue, not preserving the power of the anti-life GOP.

  • Bonchamps says:

    Ok. Well, I don’t think he is a Randian, or that is possible to govern as a Randian even if he is. In any case, he’s simply running for Vice-President. It’s not like he’ll ever be in a position to effect a Randian transformation of the United States – just like Obama never was or will be in a position to effect a Marxist transformation of the United States.

    I don’t see how you can accuse him of “keeping social issues out of the discussion” either, when he has made his pro-life views well known.

    Catholics who care about their Catholicism are a very small minority in the United States. Our fate is necessarily determined by struggles between much larger groups for power. This means that our most pressing question – politically, I mean – is which of these groups will do the least harm to the things we value most. I maintain that the answer is the GOP. All other questions are secondary because we face an existential threat from the anti-clerical Obama regime.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    As I’ve stated repeatedly, my concern is Catholic unity and Catholic identity. It works against Catholic unity and Catholic identity for a Randian to run as a “Catholic.” It causes confusion about what Catholicism is and Who Jesus is. It works against the Church the same as Joe Biden’s position does. As such, I cannot possibly support either ticket. I have to serve as an example of what Jesus is. That is far more important than an election, and is my true duty as a Catholic.

  • Bonchamps says:

    Ok. Well, my concern is for the rights of the Church, particularly her right to exist in and influence the public sphere. The GOP respects those rights. Many elements within the Democratic Party and the broader Obama coalition do not. So the choice is simple, and it does not signify ideological agreement.

  • Bonchamps says:

    We can’t control what people choose to see. The Church in her purest, noblest form will still be rejected by many men. In fact, the more pure she is, the more she will be rejected.

    We do live in a country, though, in which even though men may reject what the Church offers, they generally respect her right to offer it. This could change if the Obama coalition remains in power for the next four years.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    We don’t need government approval for the Church to exist and carry on her mission. Also, the fact that we cannot control what people choose to see does not give us license to deny ourselves the opportunity to show Jesus to them and to deny them the opportunity to see Jesus.

  • Bonchamps says:

    Yeah… I didn’t say we needed government approval. We should be willing to go to our deaths. But the Church also has rights which must be defended by Catholics. It makes no sense to remain indifferent the rights of the Church.

  • Foxfier says:

    And for heaven’s sake, don’t just link videos, PLEASE. There are enough folks who don’t have the blessed time to watch the video, work out what the point of whatever clip is shown is for the person citing it– assuming they can even get their machine to show it, which I can’t right now– then check the context of the video, THEN check the logic, then form a response.

    I’ve taken to figuring if someone can’t be bothered to make their argument with the video as support, I can’t be bothered to treat it seriously. (See also: the folks who make contentious claims then can’t be bothered to offer any evidence at all.) Mostly because of the habit of liberals to have an edited clip with lots of commentary, but I’m digressing.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    I’m not sure why so many forget that Romney had a contraception mandate and insists that this election is not about social issues but the economy. It is not being “indifferent to the rights of the Church” to refuse to vote for Mitt Romney. To the contrary, Mitt Romney is himself “indifferent to the rights of the Church.”

    As for the video, I posted as I post on my own blog. I’ve been informed that when I post on TAC that I should use the same style as I do on my own blog. I have no plans to change the way I write unless it violates blog policy.

  • Foxfier says:

    As for the video, I posted as I post on my own blog. I’ve been informed that when I post on TAC that I should use the same style as I do on my own blog. I have no plans to change the way I write unless it violates blog policy.

    Cool beans, just don’t expect me to pay any attention to arguments that require that I go, watch a video and formulate your side of the argument before I respond to it. It’s hard enough figuring out what folks are saying when they just say it, without trying to figure out what they’re implying with their choice in video clips.

    G.K. Chesterton was a proponent of Distributism. No heretic, he.

    One doesn’t have to be a heretic to be wrong about the proper action, at this time, in economic matters.

    Are you actually accusing Ryan of being a heretic?

    Go something solid to back that up? From memory, there’s a LOT of stuff here that’s non-binding, choose as best you can type stuff. (No matter how much folks like to insist that, say, the death penalty is as bad as abortion– it ain’t. For a clear example that I’m fairly sure everyone here is aware of.)

    If saying that Rand had something worth saying is it, there’s other folks who noticed she was seeing real problems, even if her solution was crazy bad.

  • Bonchamps says:

    Lisa,

    I do not believe that Romney will impose the HHS mandate. He would be rejected by his own party if he did so. Romney is not running for dictator of the US. He is running for president. He is limited in what he can do and much of what he actually does will be dictated by the broader interests of his political coalition.

  • Foxfier says:

    Foxfier, your admiration for Rand seems to reduce the credibility of your objection to my post.

    ….

    Seriously?

    That would be a LOT more viable if something like, you know, I HAD AN ADMIRATION FOR RAND was around.

    Admitting that she had some bit of worthy commentary, along the lines of frikkin’ PAGANS, ain’t much.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Bonchamps, are you saying the end justifies the means? It’s okay to support evil to stop evil? I disagree.

    Further, Obamacare was pretty much authored by Mitt Romney so, again, you have nothing there to defend.

  • Bonchamps says:

    Lisa,

    I don’t “support evil.” It is a strategic choice that does not involve direct cooperation with evil. Have you read absolutely nothing about how Catholics are to approach voting?

    Romney is running on an anti-Obamacare program. I don’t know if he will follow through with his promises to suspend it and support the rights of the Church. What I do know is that Obama will intensify his assault on the Church, upon civilization, and upon rationality if he is elected to a lame duck term.

    In strategically supporting Romney, I am simply supporting the idea that the guy who we aren’t and can’t be sure about is better than the guy we can be sure about. Four more years of Obama will be an unmitigated disaster. Four years of Romney gives us a little breathing space. Not much, and not for long, but something is better than nothing.

    I will post on this in full soon.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    As a single and disabled mother of four under the poverty line, I’m very disappointed that you would vote for a ticket that sees me as the problem in America.

    Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

  • Bonchamps says:

    Lisa,

    I don’t know what world you inhabit, but it isn’t the reality I live in. I think you’ve invented problems that don’t exist and made criticisms of positions that no one holds.

  • Bonchamps says:

    In any case, when considering political matters, I put the good of the Church above all things. A society in which the Church is silenced and oppressed is a society that has lost any hope of redemption, a body without a soul. The GOP will not make things better, but Obama is determined to extinguish the light.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    I would say that defending our Faith instead of defending a political candidate who will not defend our freedom (criticized the Boy Scouts as the Chick-fil-A protests went on), and led on a contraception mandate in his own state, is for the good of the Church.

  • Bonchamps says:

    “[T]he Church cannot stand by, indifferent as to the import and significance of laws enacted by the State; not insofar, indeed, as they refer to the State, but in so far as, passing beyond their due limits, they trench upon the rights of the Church.” — Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Did you send that quote to Mitt Romney when he brought “gay marriage” and the contraception mandate to Massachusetts? Did you send it to him when he criticized the Boy Scouts for not accepting “gays” while the rest of us were eating at Chick-fil-A?

  • Bonchamps says:

    Lisa…

    People played clips of Romney criticizing the Boy Scouts many, many years ago recently. I mean… do you even try to be accurate with these accusations?

    You are obsessed with Romney. I don’t care about him, really. Obama is the problem, the menace to be addressed. He is our declared enemy, and he is on the offensive. He must be stopped.

    I find your entire way of thinking to be unreasonable and irrational. You want to live in a cocoon of political purity, go ahead. Catholics are not mandated to agree with your personal opinions on political matters.

  • Bonchamps says:

    Why would I send anything like that to a Mormon? What strange, silly questions. I do not expect Mormons and Protestants to govern as Catholics ought. I accept that I live in a country in which Catholics have to co-exist with other religious groups as well. Do you? Do you honestly think that you are obliged to stay out of politics until the state is run by faithful Catholics? Because that is absolutely false.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    I never have understood why people call me “obsessed” when I present evidence refuting their points. What is it about people that makes them want to personally smear those who are offering evidence about something?

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Try reading the link again. It explains that he was asked about the Boy Scouts statement during the time of the Chick-fil-A discussion, just after the protests, and his campaign said that his position on the Boy Scouts has not changed. In other words, the position was re-affirmed, representing a current criticism of the Boy Scouts.

  • Bonchamps says:

    First of all, you didn’t present evidence. Your link didn’t support your claim. You refuted nothing.

    Secondly, you come off as obsessed because you don’t listen to reason. I’ve made it clear numerous times that I am not so much supporting Romney as I am opposing Obama’s violent attack on the Church. And yet you continue to pound away as if I am defending Romney’s integrity or something. Even if Romney is as bad as some people think he is, he’s still not Obama and that still counts for a hell of a lot.

  • Bonchamps says:

    Lisa,

    It says he ducked a question, and then his campaign spoke for him, saying that his position hadn’t changed. This is not the same as Romney “reaffirming” his earlier positions.

  • Bonchamps says:

    You still don’t get it. You come off as obsessed because you’re hammering away on an issue that I’ve made clear doesn’t matter to me. Some discussion!

    It isn’t about Obama the man. It is about what Obama represents. Millions of people share his view, and if any one of them were Romney’s opponent, I would say the same things about them. So this is an absurd objection. It’s not about “Obama” vs. “not Obama.” It’s about “vicious assault on the Catholic Church” vs. “benign indifference towards the Church.” The latter is vastly preferable to the former.

    I do not, never have, and never, ever will demand perfection or even goodness out of politics, especially American politics. We are required to participate as Catholics, and as Catholics we are required to defend the legitimate rights and interests of the Church. Right now, this means opposing Obama with all of our effort. This is far from the only thing we must be doing. I certainly don’t think there are political solutions to our great moral and spiritual crisis as a civilization. But while politics cannot necessarily help us, it can hurt us, and so we cannot be detached purists. I reject that.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Considering that I wrote the post and considering that you keep disagreeing with it and won’t just walk away from it, I am continuing to defend my position. I will not call you ‘obsessed’ though.

    Again, I’m not demanding perfection at all, but rather that a Catholic be Catholic. Jesus does want us to be perfect, and that is truly my aim. I should think that Paul Ryan might be appreciative that I would offer this correction, as I was appreciative when you corrected me on the fact that Aquinas did not himself alone define Distributism, per se.

  • Bonchamps says:

    No, you are insisting that Ryan has to adapt to your personal interpretation of Thomas Aquinas, which is rife with errors, or else he isn’t sufficiently Catholic and can’t be supported by Catholics.

    We have nothing more to say to one another. Do what your conscience dictates. Mine is ok.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    Lisa Graas

    Your concern with Catholic unity as our most pressing need is well founded.

    A century ago, Maurice Blondel wrote, “With every day that passes, the conflict between tendencies that set Catholic against Catholic in every order–social, political, philosophical–is revealed as sharper and more general. One could almost say that there are now two quite incompatible “Catholic mentalities,” particularly in France. And that is manifestly abnormal, since there cannot be two Catholicisms.” (History & Dogma)

    These words are still true today, and not only in France.

    Too many Catholics are still stuck in a “Throne and Altar” mentality, with the Church as the “Spiritual Power” alongside the “Temporal Power” of the State, rather than an evangelical presence, a “leaven,” that nurtures efforts in society ordered to the coming of God’s Kingdom. As Blondel knew, it is grass-roots efforts “from below,” to establish a just society, rather than through institutional structures, that will lead persons of good will to respect Christianity and “to find only in the spirit of the gospel the supreme and decisive guarantee of justice and of the moral conditions of peace, stability, and social prosperity”

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Indeed, you understand my thinking, MIchael. Truly, it is far more grassroots than any Ryan supporter as it is at the nearest point to a person and to God — the heart.

    May the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ Be Ever in Our Hearts.

  • T. Shaw says:

    Lisa,

    What does anything you wrote have to do with the developing disaster we will suffer?

    The Obama regime is at war both with the Church (not the catholic liberal church) and with the private economy (not its plutocrat Wall Street cronies/cash bundlers who solely benefited from stimuli, $3 trillion of FRB largesse, etc.).

    The regime’s goal is equality of depravity and destitution.

    Ruined persons are easier to control.

    Romney/Ryan’s, please God, may save us from the terrible horror.

    T.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Absolutely nothing in the linked video is objectionable.
    Furthermore, Objectivism was Rand’s philosophy. One cannot be a “Randian” without being an Objectivist, something Ryan explicitly states he is not, unless the word “Randian” is just loose rhetoric for anyone that finds elements of Rand’s books instructive or even compelling. One does not have to be an Objectivist to be sympathetic to the dominant themes of “Atlas Shrugged” and “Fountainhead.” And more precisely, one can be a Catholic and still broadly agree with those themes.
    Finally, the debate over what the poor are “due” is confused over the word’s moral meaning addressed by the Church versus its legal understanding considered by Ryan. One can favor a preferential option for the poor without expressing that option as a legal entitlement.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    I’m just dumbfounded. Ryan says in the video that Ayn Rand explained the “morality of capitalism” and this is fine? Speechless.

    There is far more from Ryan on Ayn Rand. Far more. It’s just that the video seemed to me to be quite enough. Wow.

  • Tom K. says:

    If he follows Aquinas, as claimed, this would make him a proponent of Distributism.

    This is a stunning assertion. The difference between Distributism and distributive justice is not subtle. If anyone reads that passage from the Summa and gets “redistribution of wealth” out of it, that says a great deal more about their reading than about St. Thomas’s writing.

    Moreover, what Rep. Ryan claimed is that he follows St. Thomas’s epistemology. In context, he may have merely meant he shares St. Thomas’s opinion that religious truths can be known by the human mind. If he meant it more broadly, then he is a moderate realist. One can be a moderate realist without subscribing to any particular political approach to inequity of wealth.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    “In context, he may have merely meant he shares St. Thomas’s opinion that religious truths can be known by the human mind. ”

    Facepalm. I’m sorry, but I am beginning to feel a bit insulted by the gymnastics routine in avoiding the obvious. The concern about Ryan has been in regard to economic matters, hence the concern about his praise for Ayn Rand on economic matters, hence the political blowback he experience, hence his replacing Rand with Aquinas. You appear to be trying to find a way out for him. I have quoted Aquinas’ thought on the matter and have posed that Ryan’s philosophy in no way resembles it. Further, I’ve asked that you show the quote from Aquinas (what you call it doesn’t matter, just show the quote) to conservatives who have never seen the quote before and ask them if it describes Ryan’s economics.

  • WK Aiken says:

    The virtue of an idea is found more in its tautological and pragmatic assertions than its origins. Even though it was a flawed, pagan megalomaniac who elucidated “enlightened self-interest” in such a way as to make it morally palatable, that fact has absolutely zero to do with anything else originated there. The idea stands on its own value. It happens often that something utterly reprehensible creates something valuable and healthy.

    Volkswagen.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Another defense of Ayn Rand. I’m looking for a defense of Catholic teaching. Anyone care to answer yes or no regarding whether the poor are “due” assistance simply because they are poor? Anyone?

  • Tom K. says:

    You appear to be trying to find a way out for him.

    What I am trying to do is draw conclusions that follow from the evidence. “Epistemology” is a word that has a meaning. That meaning is not “economic principles.”

    Whether Ryan’s economic principles are consistent with Catholic Social Teaching is, therefore, a different question than whether his epistemology is consistent with St. Thomas.

    Further, I’ve asked that you show the quote from Aquinas (what you call it doesn’t matter, just show the quote) to conservatives who have never seen the quote before and ask them if it describes Ryan’s economics.

    I can hardly help what conservatives might say, but that quotation doesn’t even describe St. Thomas‘s economics.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Lisa,
    Capitalism is an economic system based on private property and freedom of exchange. Without capitalism there is no freedom. There is no freedom of the press if you cannot own a press. No freedom of religion if churches cannot make their own economic decisions (think contraception mandate). As such, capitalism is a moral system precisely because it allows people to act in accordance with their conscience, something that a command economy necessarily restrains. I think you are encumbered with a naive and cartoonish understanding of capitalism. A necessary component of capitalism is the rule of law, not only to enforce contracts but also to ensure that markets operate fairly. Determining when it is beneficial to regulate markets is an exercise of prudence. Many efforts at such regulation, although well-intended, turn out to be corrosive to the common good (consider the relationship between the growing welfare state and the state of the family in the US — as originally observed by Daniel P Moynihan, hardly a Randian), which is why economic conservatives such as Ryan view these efforts with a skeptical eye. Catholics can share this skepticism or not, and still be good Catholics.
    Freedom is a moral good, and capitalism is not only its economic expression, it is a necessary condition of political freedom. These are philosophical observations made by many thinkers, but ordinary folks don’t traffic in philosophical observations. They do read novels, however, and Rand’s novels served as effective briefs on why capitalism and freedom are morally superior to communism and dictatorship. It is true that Rand’s Objectivist philosophy was grounded in atheistic self-worship and is odious beyond measure. At bottom this is because she failed to distinguish between allowing people the freedom to pursue their self-interest in accordance with their consciences, a moral good, from the idea of encouraging people to be selfish and uncaring for their fellow man, a vulgar evil. Nothing in Ryan’s record or statements suggests that he misunderstands that distinction.
    And yes, Lisa, the poor are due assistance just because they are poor. But not necessarily in the sense you may mean it. Demands for yes or no answers are the work of bullies and simpletons. Since you are not a simpleton, I encourage you to get off your high horse and start behaving.

  • WK Aiken says:

    “While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

    When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. ‘Why this waste?’ they asked. ‘This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.’

    Aware of this, Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.’” Mt 26:6-12

    So, are the poor “due” assistance by simple virtue of their poverty? In reading this, I would say “No.” “The poor you will always have with you . . .” makes it pretty plain that poverty will never be cured. The pursuit of such a futile goal when its desired outcome is impossible has value only to one who does so out of personal commitment to Christ, which “government,” not being a single human being, cannot hold. So, State actions are without virtue; it is only the charitable action of an individual that has value beyond temporal price.

    Does this mean we abandon the poor, since they’ll be here anyway no matter what? Absolutely not.

    In placing the metaphorical preparations for His burial (which cannot be regarded without His resurrection) above the immediate well-being of however many poor people the sale of the perfume would have helped, He gives us the priority set. We are to look at the greatest and most overriding element of His entire ministry: He came into the world to save us. Not “them,” or “some of us here,” but everybody – equally, without regard to earthly station or heredity.

    So we have to take the whole package at once; the poor are due assistance because we are commanded to be charitable, which means personal action, not state-mandated extortion. They are due assistance because in so doing, we show faith in God over faith in mammon, which precludes faith in state-run programs. They are due assistance because they, like all of us, are Creations, and as such immeasurably MORE valuable, not less, than any inert physical object, even gold, and especially political considerations.

    The poor are not “due” assistance because of their poverty, because it is not for their sake we serve them. It is for our own.

  • jvc says:

    This continued obsession with Santorum disturbs me. It’s a pre-occupation among Catholics who couldn’t be bothered to get interested in national politics or the presidential election until Santorum became relevant in Iowa.

    The single-issue obsessed Catholics, like Santorum, who prattle on about social issues and only social issues do not serve well the issues they claim to support. The culture of life will not develop in a world without economic opportunity.

  • Mike S. Kabrana says:

    Don’t worry Lisa. Paul Ryan is no Randian or blind free marketeer. Just look at the way he has voted on major issues since he was elected to Congress:

    Paul Ryan on Bailouts and Government Stimuli

    -Voted YES on TARP (2008)
    -Voted YES on Economic Stimulus HR 5140 (2008)
    -Voted YES on $15B bailout for GM and Chrysler. (Dec 2008)
    -Voted YES on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending. (Jul 2009)

    Paul Ryan on Entitlement Programs

    -Voted YES on limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. (Nov 2003)
    -Voted YES on providing $70 million for Section 8 Housing vouchers. (Jun 2006)
    -Voted YES on extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks. (Oct 2008)
    -Voted YES on Head Start Act (2007)

    Paul Ryan on Education
    Rep. Ryan went along with the Bush Administration in supporting more federal involvement in education. This is contrary to the traditional Republican position, which included support for abolition of the Department of Education and decreasing federal involvement in education.

    -Voted YES on No Child Left Behind Act (2001)

    Or read what Michele Malkin wrote about him:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/04/17/the_million_taxpayer_march_96036.html

    In Madison, Wis., GOP Rep. Paul Ryan — hyped as a conservative “rock star” — was well received. But I heard from staunch fiscal-conservative constituents who refused to be silent about Ryan’s complicity. He gave one of the most hysterical speeches in the rush to pass TARP last fall; voted for the auto bailout; and voted with the Barney Frank-Nancy Pelosi AIG bonus-bashing stampede. Milwaukee blogger Nick Schweitzer wrote: “He ought to be apologizing for his previous votes, not pretending he was being responsible the entire time, but I don’t see one bit of regret for what he did previously. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to let him get away with it.”

    He is just your typical Republicrat/Democan. Romney/Ryan/Santorum/Obama/Bush/Gingrich – Don’t worry one’s the same as the next – more spending, more government, less freedom, more war.

  • bill bannon says:

    Ryan’s budget ideas regarding Medicaid caps for the Federal government will affect anyone here who is not a millionaire who ends up in a nursing home from health reasons. A person who has a modest house and worked as a furniture maker their whole life but has only saved 100K after child related bills may end up losing that savings and the house in a nursing home stay of 5 years at which point he is put on Medicaid which then pays the nursing home bill. By capping the Fed’s part of that bill and transferring the obligation to the state, Ryan can say…”it’s the local governments obligation”. Will the state continue to pay for 20 nurses at your nursing home or, in fearing the emigration of state tax payers to other states, will the state reimburse your nursing home for 10 nurses only who then are stretched and less likely to to check your anal area for stage 4 bedsores that imbibe feces into the body.
    That is what some Bishops will be looking at. Does Ryan’s small government amount to hidden early deaths because states can only tax so much before tax payers move to less taxing states….ask New Jersey. Is subsidiarity in the case of Medicaid a hidden killer of not only the poor but of the non millionaires who worked their whole life. Ryan is a millionaire ( 2 to 7 mil…partly from wife’s inheritance…not all from “making” something) and so by that time of his life, he and she can pay yearly if he has a long nursing home stay. But he’s making decisions that thus never importune him and his wife.
    The Bishops are caught however between him and Obama so I don’t think they’ll be vocal on behalf of Medicaid whose federal cuts can affect them in a nursing home also unless they have saved quite a sum. In this world everyone is poor potentially in old age unless they have saved
    quite a sum.
    Ryan has Bristol Myers Squibb stock which makes inter alia birth control pills. Just be ready for a tv moderator to bring that up if the debte question concerns insurance/ contraception mandates.

  • jvc says:

    Can the Santorum fanatics help me with something? How effective was Santorum in advancing Catholic values? Was he effective at all? Would we be closer or farther away from repealing Obama’s anti-Catholic agenda if, right now, Santorum were the nominee?

    The answer is obvious. We would be even farther away, because there is no way Santorum would have won a presidential election (which happens to be, by the way, the only way to affect public policy in a democracy).

    So all of your crying and complaining is actually not even advancing Catholic social teaching. It’s an emotional outburst because someone who identifies with you personally lost. Electing Romney and Ryan will do more to advance a great many aspects of Catholic teaching than sitting on your hands, but you are content with your tantrum, and many of you will continue your tantrum through the election.

    The problem with being a single-issue voter is that you don’t actually accomplish anything in advancing your issue. Your own obsession hurts your ability to advance the issue. The pro-life cause is our most important cause. But ignorance about economic policy or anything else associated with government will only hurt our ability to promote the pro-life agenda.

  • c matt says:

    We would be even farther away, because there is no way Santorum would have won a presidential election (which happens to be, by the way, the only way to affect public policy in a democracy).

    I don’t think that is necessarily true. Look at Ron Paul’s candidacy – although next to nil chance of winning, he brought into play many issues that otherwise would be ignored, and influenced races for other offices (senate, house) that can have an impact. It may lack the “quick fix” everyone is hoping for by capturing the white house (a fix, I might add, that is in no way certain), but it does have an eventual impact. The left did not take over the culture overnight. Santorum’s run could have a similar effect.

  • jvc says:

    Ron Paul has done an excellent job educating the voters about fiscal and monetary policy. Definitely true.

    I don’t think Santorum has had any kind of effect, nor did he seem to even try to have such an effect. He was and is a mostly mediocre politician and policy thinker.

    Ultimately, public policy only changes after gaining enough of a majority of public opinion that a majority of office holders are elected to make such change. I think Ryan is the type of politician who has enough of a gift of thinking and speaking that he can make such a change. We’ll find out in November. I don’t think Santorum does, and therefore supporting him without asking whether he is effective at all in convincing others of his viewpoints if personal vanity.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Very glad that Mike agrees that assistance is “due” to the poor. Indeed, that is the teaching of the Church.

    http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2462.htm

    It is an act of justice to give to the poor, in and of itself.

    Can anyone show me where Ryan has taken that view? The Church is the opposite of Ayn Rand on this point. Ayn Rand would say that no one should sacrifce for another unless they get something in return, which seems to be what some of you are arguing….that the poor have to do something to “earn” your money.

  • Dale Price says:

    It seems safe to say that Ryan is as confused and influenced by the culture as the average Mass-attending Catholic of his age and life experience.

    It also seems to me that he is trying to thread a needle, and not exactly convincingly: he wants to distinguish Rand’s fiction (of which he is obviously a big fan) from her philosophy. For the first, it’s obvious he’s a big fan–there is no way to deny that that doesn’t deserve a derisive snort.

    For the second, it’s equally safe to say there are mercifully few–and endlessly squabbling–proponents of full-on objectivism. It’s not a particularly appealing or credible philosophy in any event, and appeals to the naturally querulous.

    The most useful analogy may be to compare Rand to another 50s pulp sci-fi writer with an obnoxious pack of devoted proponents: L. Ron Hubbard. It is possible to enjoy Hubbard’s pulpy space operas without being a Scientologist. However, one should be on guard against Hubbard’s philosophical/religious stylings, and not be an uncritical fanboy.

    Frankly, it’s more possible to separate Hubbard’s fiction from his religious construct, given that some of his stuff was just pure pulp. Rand was writing with Her Purpose firmly in mind at all times.

  • jvc says:

    Lisa, stop obfuscating and get down to specifics. Show us exactly where Paul Ryan has denied that people should help the poor.

    Of course, like any confused person, you probably believe that it is the State’s responsibility to help the poor. Naturally, by doing so you also help crowd out the Church’s opportunity to assist them. Paul Ryan, as a solid Catholic, believes it is the responsibility of private individuals to assist the poor, not a coercive state.

  • Foxfier says:

    Facepalm. I’m sorry, but I am beginning to feel a bit insulted by the gymnastics routine in avoiding the obvious.

    Then you know how the rest of us are already feeling.

    Look, you claim that Ryan is a “Randian” because he doesn’t utterly reject everything Rand said, just because she said it; us pointing out that there is some good in Rand’s themes means that your assumption is wrong. Same way people can say nice things about capitalism without endorsing an absolute market-based view of the labor market.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    What confuses me is when I boil it all down and ask the basic question, you reply “stop obfuscating and get down to specifics.” That confuses me. I am confused by things that make no sense, and it makes no sense for you to demand that I do exactly what I just did. It’s chaos, to me.

    What I “probably believe” has nothing to do with anything.

    “Solid Catholics” don’t say they follow Aquinas when they actually follow Rand. As I noted in my post, if someone claims to follow a certain philosophy, then they should be able to demonstrated it. The criticism of him re: Rand was not in regard to whether he believes in God but rather his economic policy. If he follows Aquinas INSTEAD OF Rand on economic policy, then it follows that he believes the poor are “due” assistance rather than having something required of them in return for assistance. Having said that, I am asking that someone please show me where he has demonstrated it. Further, I do believe only one person among you on this thread has agreed with Aquinas that the poor are due assistance as a matter of justice. It appears to me that the “Catholic Right” may itself be more Randian than Aquinan.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    We all should be more careful with words. Whether it is the state’s responsibility to care for the poor depends on the role its citizens assign it. Plainly, each of us individually, and working collectively as a commumity, have a responsibility to assist the poor (leaving aside what others have rightly pointed out regarding the elusive nature of the definition in modern society). There is nothing wrong, in priinciple, with the community deciding together to use government as an instrument to do this, just as there is nothing wron, in principle, with the community opting instead to rely on private charity. Either approach is consistent with Church teaching, just as is the hybrid approach favored by most American Catholics (including Ryan). Selecting the right approach or balance is a matter of prudence, and to suggest that only a robust statist approach is consonant with Catholic teaching is mistaken, and usually grounded in hubris. We live in a fallen world without perfect and obvious answers to the problems of the human condition.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Foxfier, I claim he is Randian in that he was continually praising her, saying she is responsible for him getting involved in politics, praising her “morality of capitalism” as she defines it, etc, and that his “conversion” to Aquinas was not a conversion at all but was a claim issued as a result of political blowback. Further, he did speak a falsehood re: “urban legend” in that very same claim, which indicates that he doesn’t seem to have been in the mood to speak truth that day, and further, he was enabled in this by Costas at NRO, as I noted in my article. If you have a true conversion, it’s not mixed up in lies, and one can also demonstrate that his “newly found” philosophy is actually what he does, in fact, believe. I am not seeing that. In fact, I am seeing the opposite as the Romney/Ryan ticket repeatedly claims that nothing matters in this election but money (the economy). That was shown forth just recently in the Meet The Press interview where Paul Ryan insisted that “gay marriage” not be discussed.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Mike, correct, but are others “due” assistance? No. Only the poor are due assistance, and while Paul Ryan seeks massive cuts in programs for the poor, he not only has voted for war, but also for TARP. Further, it is true that the budget is an American budget, and it is also true that the debt has caused a crisis. The poor are not to blame for this crisis, yet they will feel the brunt of the suffering as the wealthy get tax cuts. You may argue that the tax cuts create jobs, but that then means that your priority is “jobs” not “helping the poor.” That is Randian. It is saying people must work or get nothing. As long as Republicans are arguing that “jobs” trump everything and the entitlements must be cut while the wealthy get tax cuts, it is nothing more than Randian philosophy at work. Rick Santorum’s message was a different message, but the Republican Party said they didn’t want to discuss the family. Hence, Paul Ryan endorsed Mitt Romney in Wisconsin and effectively neutralized the Santorum “threat” to the Romney campaign, knocking Rick Santorum out of the race. Now, I am left with an Ayn Rand ticket and I simply cannot vote for that. I will cast a protest vote.

  • jvc says:

    Lisa, you are a liberal. You clearly believe in coercive welfare state the forcibly takes from one group of people and gives it, not to the poor, but to preferred political classes. And, in fact, you don’t actually care about the poor. If you did, you would recognize that government welfare is the worst kind of welfare. It does nothing to help the people that politicians claim it will support. If you cared about the poor, you would be eager to get government out of the charity business so that the Church could regain her role in assisting the poor.

    I don’t know how many times this needs to be stated, and clearly you are afraid of this fact, but Rick Santorum is a weak politician and a weak advocate for Catholic ideas. If anyone is actually interested in how to effective advance Catholic teaching, and not simply engage in emotional pandering, one must admit that Paul Ryan is a much better and more effective advocate. Santorum cannot successful engage in the battle of ideas. Ryan already has.

  • jvc says:

    As to Mike’s pointed comments, we should hope that Paul Ryan continues to read up on Mises and Hayek and the rest, so that we don’t have any more TARP-esque trip ups after he and Romney are elected in November.

  • jvc says:

    As to this unbelievable claim that Ryan is a Randian, are we now supposed to believe that if anyone anywhere supports or appreciates some ideas of one writer, he must be endorsing everything that writer has ever written? My favorite writer is Whittaker Chambers. You probably haven’t the faintest clue who that is, Lisa, but he didn’t get along with Ayn Rand. Do I agree with everything Chambers wrote? Of course not. I think he was completely wrong on several things. But I appreciate and enjoy enough of his writing to cherish what he has done. Outside of God, the Angels and those in the afterlife, no one is purely evil or purely good.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    I am a “liberal” but Ryan’s plea to bail out banks is “conservative?”

    JVC, it is not “coercive.” It’s government reflecting the will of Christ that the poor are “due” assistance. It is no more coercive than the government protecting the unborn or refusing to fund programs that distribute abortifacients.

    It only “feels” coercive to you just as anyone would feel the law is “coercive” if they have no moral objection to the behavior that law is limiting.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Is there some conservative rule book that says jobs have to trump everything else? Yes, it’s called Atlas Shrugged.

    Just as the Left divides the Church with error using Saul Alinsky, the right divides the Church with error using Ayn Rand.

    I prefer Jesus to both.

  • jvc says:

    Government regulation and taxation is not coercive? Ask anyone who actually pays taxes what would happen if they stopped paying them. This isn’t difficult.

    Keep crying over Rick Santorum. It will make you feel better, but it will do literally nothing to advance the poor or the unborn. Which makes me doubt that you actually care about either.

  • Phillip says:

    There are so many issues in play here. First it would seem that Aquinas is proposing a theological truth and not an economic policy. That is, justice requires rendering to each their due. His most dramatic teaching on this is that it is not stealing if a starving person takes bread in order to sustain life. That is, the right to the private property of the baker is not absolute and the right to life of a starving person will take priority over private property. (If I recall, though I cannot find it at this time, Aquinas did require that the person reimburse the baker for the bread if and when he did have the resources. Thus a requirement on the poor to restore what was taken.)

    But how to make this policy? What is due a poor person. Clearly health care and food, shelter and education. Clearly there are numerous education, health and food programs in the US at this time. Are they perfect? No. Are the vast majority of the poor served? Yes. Are there gaps? Yes. Will cutting at this point significantly impact the poor? That hasn’t been shown.

    But this does need to be shown if an argument is to be made the Ryan (and the “Catholic Right”) are expressing a disregard for the poor. What is the actual condition of the poor in American today? Do these programs actually help them while at the same time meeting the condition of CST that dependency is not fostered (yet again a requirement on the poor.)

    At the same time we have to take into consideration the sustainability of such programs (thus Ryan’s reference to the recent comments of Pope Benedict) as well as the effect such programs have on the right to private property and industry of those engaged in producing goods. These are also aspects of CST.

    Here’s some insight on the true poverty in America.

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2011/05/the-preferential-option-for-the-poor

    The bottom line, I think one can agree with Ryan without being Randian. One may even be a Thomist and agree with him.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    I’m not crying over Rick Santorum. I’m crying over the lost souls.

    Yes, all law is coercive in nature, but law is not unjust in and of itself because it is “coercive.” As I said, it “feels” coercive to you because you disagree with it. You feel that just as someone would feel the coercive nature of any law they disagree with.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Thank you, Phillip. Certainly there is a lot to debate about on those points, but I began this talking about the preferential option for the poor and ran into some trouble where it seemed to me that there was not even a sense that the poor are “due” assistance. If we can at least agree that they are “due” assistance, that takes me back to Aquinas (Ryan’s new economic adviser to replace Rand?) that those in priority should be the poor. In other words, if Ryan does follow Aquinas instead of Rand, then it follows that he would support the preferential option for the poor as has always been the position of the bishops. Having said that, as I noticed in my previous comment, this is not the message of the Romney campaign. Their message is Randian in nature. Rick Santorum’s message was a pro-family, pro-business, pro-defense message. One cannot have a good economy if one focuses on jobs and throws everything else under the bus. That is a very Randian thing to do, too.

  • T. Shaw says:

    “Mr. Shaw, you are talking about economic disaster. I am talking about the loss of souls.”

    Will helping Obama to win save a soul?

    Kudos to WK Aiken 7:35am. The poor will always be with us. It’s salvation that is the priority. Do not fear that which only can kill the body. Fear that which can kill the soul.

    The woman anointing Jesus with expensive perfume is presented in Matthew, Mark, and John (I think Matthew, Mark and Luke have the similar passages).

    I will only add that St. John (12.1-8) tells us the complaining party was Judas, the one who was going to betray Our Lord. St. John states that the complaint was not beacuse he cared about the poor, it was because Judas was a thief.

    Lisa, does all that mean you hate Rand Paul, too?

  • jvc says:

    I think you need to figure out your talking points. On the one hand you claim that something is not coercive. On the other hand you say all law is coercive. Figure it out.

    I find your comments appalling and disgusting. A little more charity in thinking through Paul Ryan’s philosophy would do you a world of good.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    jvc, all law is coercive. Whether you “feel” that coercive power depends a lot on whether you agree with the law. It’s not hard to figure out.

    I’m sorry you find my comments “appalling and disgusting.” I believe I have been charitable. If disagreement is appalling and disgusting to you, then I have no control over that.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Mr. Shaw, I am a Kentuckian and it is common knowledge around here that I wrote in a name for U.S. Senate rather than vote for Rand Paul mostly because of this issue. This is nothing personal against Paul Ryan. In fact, it is worse than the situation with Rand Paul because Ryan is Catholic and should know better. Further, Rand Paul has not, to my knowledge disavowed Ayn Rand as Paul Ryan has. And even further, if he has, in fact, rejected Ayn Rand for Aquinas, why the continued defenses here of Ayn Rand? I was accused (falsely) of promoting a condemned theology and it was asked that perhaps my comments should not be allowed, but it is okay to defend Ayn Rand in defense of Paul Ryan, who claims to no longer follow her?

  • jvc says:

    We know who to blame when Catholic universities and hospitals are shut down in 2013 after Obama wins. The people who couldn’t be bothered to vote for a political ticket with a 100% pro-life, anti-gay marriage Catholic because of their emotional connection to a big government Republican like Rick Santorum.

    At least you will be able to feel morally superior while the Bishops make plans to go underground.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    Mitt Romney pioneered the contraception mandate that could shut down Catholic hospitals. Further, if Catholics were united as one instead of bowing in allegiance to failed political parties, our hospitals would most certainly not shut down.

  • Phillip says:

    But “due” again begs the question. Are their needs not being met? Will Ryan’s plan necessarily gut those programs? Are those programs even helping?

    Also, Justice as a virtue is rendering to each person their due. This is giving the poor that which they need to live. But it is also recognizing what is due to others in society even if they are not poor. The wording in the papal documents originally was “preferential concern” for the poor. This does not imply (as option does) that one must necessarily chose something for the poor. In fact, if one will unjustly take from someone to care for the poor, one is committing an evil (one cannot choose evil means to achieve a good end.) So if one’s due (even if one is not poor) is violated in order to give to a poor person, than one is not acting as a Catholic – Thomistic or otherwise.

    Will the current budget lead to increasing dependence on the govt. This is not just. Taking an undue amount of private property, especially if the programs are not helping would also be unjust. These are legitimate questions for a Catholic.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    “Preferential option” is the term I see the bishops using, but either way, the poor are “due” the prominent place in society, as Aquinas (Paul Ryan’s new economic adviser?) stated. The poor will never have the prominent place in society, but that should be our aim (per Aquinas, who is Paul Ryan’s new economic adviser?)

    The question is about whether Ryan has rejected Ayn Rand for Aquinas. Does his plan reflect distributive justice? No, because it does not put the poor first. It puts a lot of other things first.

    I have argued that there will be cost in souls to have a Catholic candidate going around citing Aquinas and having an Ayn Randian economic policy that puts “jobs” first, ignores the family, and slashes spending for the poor. Further, while the Left has its share of Marxists, the average Catholic Democrat on the street is not a Marxist and his view on serving the poor is not Randian. The Ryan candidacy drives the wedge deeper between Catholics particularly with him being the counterpart to Joe Biden.

    Rather than convince me that Ryan has converted to Aquinas’ thinking as he claims, commenters in this thread have convinced me that he has not and that the Catholic Right really does prefer Ayn Rand to St. Thomas Aquinas.

  • Kyle Kanos says:

    Lisa,

    If your ultimate goal is to save souls, then you need to stop trashing talking a nonsense point about the VP candidate. It does not matter if Paul Ryan is a Randian, an Objectivist, a Thomist, or a Distributist; it matters whether Obama remains in Office. Obama began the war against religion, we need to end it. If you want to save souls, you need to vote out the leading general of the army: Obama himself. Support the politicians who have the legitimate chance to end that war, which means Romney and Ryan.

    If you choose to continue the banter against them, then you must accept the fate of Christianity in America: its destruction at the hands of Obama, with your personal help.

  • Phillip says:

    Here is Aquinas on distributive justice. Note it does not mention equality in outcome. Only the “mean” of the virtue. That is, what, prudently, should be done (as justice is governed by prudence.

    http://www.lonang.com/exlibris/aquinas/sum22061.htm

    Again this is not about giving more and more to the poor. It certainly isn’t having an equal outcome. It is meeting the needs of the poor without commiting the evil of unjustly taking from others.

    Now the question is begged again, does Ryan’s plan unjustly hurt the poor? You haven’t proven that.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    I’m confused because just a bit ago it seems you were wanting to know the outcome in asking me if putting the poor first actually helps them. We do not “put the poor first if ‘x’” or “put the poor first if ‘y’.” We simply put the poor first. That does not mean, as the Marxists claim, that our system of government has to have a permanent structure in place of redistribution of wealth. It does mean that in a budget proposal, the poor should be considered first. Rather than spread the suffering by raising taxes, Ryan claims that the poor need “jobs” and that the wealthy should get tax cuts because the poor need “jobs” and yet, there is nothing whatsoever giving them an incentive to create those jobs. Wealth does not, in and of itself, create jobs. Often, it is invested in things that do not create any jobs at all. This is why Rick Santorum offered a zero rate for manufacturers, but not others, to help to ensure that investment would go into job creation, and he sought to block grant entitlements to the states. His plan was truly a Catholic plan. Ryan’s plan is Ayn Rand.

  • T. Shaw says:

    How many Catholics abandoned the primary mission: the salvation of souls and picked up common good, human dignity, social justice, peace, and socialism?

    “Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.’” Matthew 16, 23

    “My kingdom is not of this world . . . “

    Orwell: The humanistic ideal: “Man is the measure of all things and our job is to make life worth living.”[...]
    “But it is not necessary here to argue whether the other-worldly or the humanistic ideal is ‘higher.’ The point is that they are incompatible. One must choose between God and Man, and all ‘radicals’ and ‘progressives’ from the mildest liberal . . . have in effect chosen Man.” Orwell: “Reflections on Gandhi”

    ” . . . poltics, which of their nature are inseparable from coercion and fraud.”

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    Philip

    Aquinas explains his views clearer, when he says, “Community of goods is ascribed to the natural law, not that the natural law dictates that all things should be possessed in common and that nothing should be possessed as one’s own: but because the division of possessions is not according to the natural law, but rather arose from human agreement which belongs to positive law, as stated above (57, 2,3). Hence the ownership of possessions is not contrary to the natural law, but an addition thereto devised by human reason.” [IIa IIae Q66, II,obj 1]

    This implies a wide discretion on the part of the legislator and Catholic teaching has always acknowledged this.

    Pace Rand, Property is a social creation. The laws not only protect and maintain property; they bring it into being; they determine its scope and the extent that it occupies in the rights of the citizens

    As to what is “due” to the poor and the universal destination of goods, Pope Paul VI in Populorum Progressio quotes St Ambrose with approval, where h says “”You are not making a gift of what is yours to the poor man, but you are giving him back what is his. You have been appropriating things that are meant to be for the common use of everyone. The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.” (De Nabute, c. 12, n. 53: PL 14. 747), adding, “These words indicate that the right to private property is not absolute and unconditional.” This accords with St Thomas’s remarks on distributive justice.

  • PM says:

    T. Shaw
    Yes, what is in Scriptures about the poor, about eternal life, and about living in this vale of tears.
    “My kingdom is not of this world . . . “
    Our Lord’s promise of hope to the poor for their abiding faith.

    People read and comment on all kinds of philosophy and the good and bad of it for examples – but not for the purpose of being indicted for the use of a name.

    There are many others around drawing on soul destroying philosophies within the Church that could better use some of this indictment.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    Kyle Kanos wrote, ” It does not matter if Paul Ryan is a Randian, an Objectivist, a Thomist, or a Distributist; it matters whether Obama remains in Office.”

    That is the politics of Vichy. “At least, Pétain and Laval will keep us safe from the communists”

  • Phillip says:

    “I’m confused because just a bit ago it seems you were wanting to know the outcome in asking me if putting the poor first actually helps them.”

    No, what I was asking is whether what is actually done for the poor is helping them. That is distinct from putting the poor first in all things. This is also distinct from considering the circumstances and deciding that the poor should come first. Thus a distinction between a preferential option (always putting the needs of the poor first) vs preferential concern (putting the concerns of the poor first if circumstances require.)

  • Phillip says:

    “‘These words indicate that the right to private property is not absolute and unconditional.’ This accords with St Thomas’s remarks on distributive justice.”

    I do not dispute that the right to private property is conditional. That is pointed out in my first comment where a starving person may take the property (bread) of the baker. What I point out is that justice as a virtue applies to all persons and not just the poor. Every person is a subject of justice. Second, that in seeking the good, the end of caring for the poor cannot be done through unjust means. Third, that serving the poor does not mean ending inequality (as long as basic needs are met there is no need for continued redistribution.) Fourth, that juistice presupposes prudence – that is finding not the extreme of an act (unbridled free market, unbridled poverty programs) but rather that aspect of the virtue that achieves the mean – in this case achieving what justice actually requires given current circumstances.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    Philip

    But, if St Ambrose is right, it is not a question of helping them, but of restoring what has been unjustly taken from them.

    To repeat his words, “”You are not making a gift of what is yours to the poor man, but you are giving him back what is his. You have been appropriating things that are meant to be for the common use of everyone. The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.” (De Nabute, c. 12, n. 53: PL 14. 747).

  • Phillip says:

    That assumes it has been unjustly taken from them. There is the universal destination of goods – that is all are entitled to the bounty of the earth as part of God’s creation. But if I through my hard work and diligence provide for myself and my family, and the poor person’s needs would unjustly take from those needs, then wrong would be done to me and mine. The unjust taking would be from me and my family and not from the poor.

    Add to this the possibility that the taking actually doesn’t help the poor person and the possibility that the poor person is actually not fulfilling his duties towards the common good (i.e. using his talents by seeking work) than the injustice again is towards me and mine.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    Philip,

    I agree with that. Populorum Progressio gives a good example of an application of the principle, when it says, ” If certain landed estates impede the general prosperity because they are extensive, unused or poorly used, or because they bring hardship to peoples or are detrimental to the interests of the country, the common good sometimes demands their expropriation.”

    The French Revolution that turned 10 million landless peasants into heritable proprietors is a good example of this; an extension of private property, not its negation.

  • Chris says:

    What’s most ironic, is that Ms. Graas supports Rick Santorum, who is on the record supporting the intrinsically evil practice of torture and selective assassination of non-combatant citizens in places like Iran, while claiming to be a ‘pro-iife’ Catholic.

    Paul Ryan, may indeed be lying – and I’m not here to defend him – but touting Santorum’s Catholic plan while ignoring his disregard for human life, is interesting to say the least.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    jvc,
    There is an important difference between a mistake and a lie. Just because Lisa’s characterization of Romney may be erronoeous does not render it dishonest.

  • Bonchamps says:

    MPS,

    You’re defending the French Revolution now?

    Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Clearly some people have made up their minds and are either unable or unwilling to thoughtfully consider what others have to say.

  • Bonchamps says:

    Oh, and MPS – property is NOT a “social creation”; it is an individual, natural right. You can quote Populorum Progresso all day. I’ll come back with Rerum Novarum.

    “Now, when man thus turns the activity of his mind and the strength of his body toward procuring the fruits of nature, by such act he makes his own that portion of nature’s field which he cultivates – that portion on which he leaves, as it were, the impress of his personality; and it cannot but be just that he should possess that portion as his very own, and have a right to hold it without any one being justified in violating that right. ”

    ” That right to property, therefore, which has been proved to belong naturally to individual persons…”

  • Dale Price says:

    That is the politics of Vichy. “At least, Pétain and Laval will keep us safe from the communists.”

    Oh, nonsense. That’s so strained, I can’t call it an analogy. Even the “fascist” tarbrush can only stain so far.

  • Creole says:

    Lisa-
    As R.R. Reno points out in the First Things article , the term “preferential option for the poor” is a liberation theology take on the original Rerum Novarum “preferential respect”.
    What does “helping the poor” mean to you? How does it square with St. Paul’s “He who does not work, ought not to eat”? When Jesus says “What so ever you do to these the least of my brothers, you do to me”, does he forbid possible ‘tough love’ help of denying assistance to nudge the undeserving out of their pathologies keeping them in poverty?

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    Oh, and MPS – property is NOT a “social creation”

    Well, how else is one to read St Thomas’s insistence that “the division of possessions is not according to the natural law, but rather arose from human agreement which belongs to positive law, as stated above (57, 2,3)”

    “Social creation” and “arose from human agreement” are surely synonymous.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Of course, positive law determines the division of possessions. Thomas is correct. If you want to know who owns Blackacre, consult a lawyer not a theologian. But as a normative matter positive law should be in alignment with natural law, which Rerum Novarum correctly observes presupposes the existence of property and property rights. Positive law never perfectly reflects natural law for reasons of human imperfection and prudence, but the notion that a person has no particular moral claim on property he worked to create is inconsonant with natural law, even if such claim must be subordinated to the claim of of another for the purpose of securing a true necessity.

  • jvc says:

    I find Lisa to be completely dishonest in her characterization of Paul Ryan. Ryan has disavowed the philosophy of Ayn Rand, and yet she continually paints him as a man who doesn’t care about the poor and endorses the whole philosophy of Ayn Rand. She knows better.

    Shame on you, Lisa.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    jvc,
    As I said earlier, there is an important difference between a mistake and a lie. Just because Lisa’s characterization of Ryan may be erronoeous does not render it dishonest.
    Defending Ryan from unfair and inaccurate accusations does not require us to be uncharitable or presumptuous.

  • Bonchamps says:

    MPS,

    Aquinas was not writing dogma. He was offering his opinion. We are free to disagree with it, and in this case, a pope has disagreed with it, finding the right to private property in nature and not the largess of benevolent rulers.

    Aquinas was wrong on a few points. I admire his method and his thought-process on many topics, but sometimes he is just wrong.

  • jvc says:

    Mike, I don’t think it’s a mistake. I think it’s blatant and willful. But with that, I’m done with this thread. Clearly this isn’t going anywhere.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Bonchamps,
    I cannot say with certainty, but I’m a big believer in giving the benefit of the doubt. In part this discussion involves the discernment of Ryan’s state of mind, for which there is mixed evidence and can be no absolute certainty. While I do think that Lisa’s depiction of the Congressman takes liberties with the facts, the liberties are not so much provable falsehoods as they are uncharitable and presumptuous inferences. Lying requires a conscious understanding of expressing a falsehood — I think Lisa is simply expressing her honestly held assessment, which assessment is encumbered by her established (even if imperfect) assumptions regarding Church teaching, capitalism, and the role of government that she is not inclined to revisit. It is more akin to invincable ignorance than dishonesty as such. She would be so much better off just explaining why Ryan is wrong as a matter of prudence than as a matter of dogma. But some folks have a very hard time distinguishing between the two. They are just dead set on the idea that their prudential calculus, grounded in their own peculiar life experiences, is the only one in alignment with Church teaching. Conservatives do it too (e.g., it is a sin to vote for Obama, etc.).

  • Bonchamps says:

    “Imperfect” is an excessively polite word to describe Lisa’s articulation of CST, Thomas Aquinas, and Paul Ryan’s views – not to mention poverty, the balance of political power, and just about every other topic and sub-topic that has arisen here.

    You’re right, though. We can’t be certain about Ryan’s state of mind, or Lisa’s for that matter. I don’t think she is a cynical liar, but there is certainly an intellectual blindness brought on by pride.

  • Tom K. says:

    “Preferential option” is the term I see the bishops using, but either way, the poor are “due” the prominent place in society, as Aquinas (Paul Ryan’s new economic adviser?) stated.

    Sorry, where did he state this?

    By the way, to anyone considering making St. Thomas their economic adviser, I’d recommend they first ask themselves whether they’re really prepared to take his advice. As others have indicated above, St. Thomas is uncompromising on his view (well attested among the Fathers) that excess wealth — that is, wealth in excess of one’s needs given one’s state in life, not wealth in excess, say, of what one could possibly spend — is theft (which is contrary to commutative justice).

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Tom,
    Boy those words “given one’s state in life” sure do a lot of heavy lifting, don’t they.
    In the end, Thomas is right in positing a world of limited resources, but wrong in assuming that the resources cannot be sufficient to accommodate the needs of all absent redistribution of all excess. This is not axiomatic. Developed societies have sufficient wealth to allow for everyone to have more than they need, at least if need has a reasonable understanding. And one can make the case that with rare exception such needs are satisfied, at least as a general matter. That said, because all societies are not yet developed Thomas would presumably assert that the individuals of developed societies have an obligation to direct their excess wealth to individuals living in undeveloped societies until their needs are satisfied. Catholic Relief Services is a fine instrument for this purpose.
    Personally, I don’t hold myself to Thomas’s standard, and don’t think I’m required to. But as an aspirational matter, it certainly has its attractions.

  • T. Shaw says:

    It seems as if this commie (all private property is theft) stuff has been around since circa 400AD!

    ” . . . if St Ambrose is right, it is not a question of helping them, but of restoring what has been unjustly taken from them.”

    “To repeat his words, ‘You are not making a gift of what is yours to the poor man, but you are giving him back what is his. You have been appropriating things that are meant to be for the common use of everyone. The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.’” (De Nabute, c. 12, n. 53: PL 14. 747).

    I think former St. Ambrose is wrong. We do works of Charity for the love of God and Man. If charity is done out of compulsion; what good is it?

  • Ellen says:

    I left the following comment on Lisa’s article “Paul Ryan, Please Meet Thomas Aquinas” on her Catholic Bandita page. (Please look into the link you keep inserting into your articles. Ayn Rand & GOP vs. Jesus – YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TxCWbTqz9s&feature=youtu.be The organization, (American Values Net), posting this video and promoting the idea that Paul Ryan and others in the GOP worship Rand over GOD is pure George Soros propaganda. Please read this Weekly Standard article http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/george-soros-behind-latest-attacks-paul-ryan_574689.html for an explanation of the connection.) Her reply to me was- (Ellen, the things in the video are true. Isn’t it horrible when the Left attacks with the truth? The video is the truth, no matter who funded it.) However, I see that in her next post she found a different video clip to connect Ryan with Rand.

    Lisa you have also asked for evidence that Paul does not base his budget on Ayn Rand’s writings. Please watch Raymond Arroyo’s (EWTN) interview with Ryan from last year before he was being considered for VP. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_cHYaZ4ZJA The Ryan interview begins at the 10:00 mark and continues through 27:40 If you want to skip to info about his budget and the poor begin at 12:15.

    It seems to me Ryan and Santorum have a very similar views but very different way of expressing them. Santorum understands this and it is no surprise that he is out campaigning for the Romney/Ryan ticket today.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    T Shaw,
    I do agree that the apparent conflation of charity and justice can be puzzling. To the ordinary person, one’s duty to aid another in economic distress is grounded in charity, unless the latter’s distress is the result of a wrong committed by the former. The Church says otherwise, however. Basically, She teaches that since the Earth’s resources are placed by God to satisfy the needs of all, those in need have a higher claim on the resources necessary to satisfy such needs than those who may otherwise own (but not need) such resources, even if acquired through just means. Of course, this understanding does seem to largely obviate the very concept of charity in favor of an expansive understanding of justice, unless perhaps if one further understands charity to be simply a subcategory of justice. In any case, it must be remembered that this teaching applies to needs, not wants. In the modern US the concept of unsatisfied needs is somewhat more elusive than it would have been in the historic context that gave rise to Church teaching. While the rule still obtains, presumably, its application is not obvious outside the context of third world type poverty. In my opinion, an elastic understanding of need that is a function of disparity rather than necessity is grounded not in justice (or charity), but envy.

  • Lisa Graas says:

    I cannot possibly read all these comments and have never held to the view that things are settled in comment threads. I invite anyone to write an article explaining why they think I am wrong. Thanks.

  • OzCatholic says:

    I have no time for Ayn rand and am always amazed at how cultish her followers are. In many of her writings there is implied anti catholicism and like most anti catholics it is born out of an ignorance of what true Roman Catholicism is. Politically I am (in the broadest senseof the term) a conservative but am definitely NOT a libertarian. The Randian or Rightist Libertarians are far more dnagerous than even the left Libertarians.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    Tom K wrote

    “St. Thomas is uncompromising on his view (well attested among the Fathers) that excess wealth — that is, wealth in excess of one’s needs given one’s state in life, not wealth in excess, say, of what one could possibly spend — is theft (which is contrary to commutative justice).”

    You are right about the teaching of the Fathers. I have already cited St Ambrose, who is perhaps, the most explicit – “You are not making a gift of what is yours to the poor man, but you are giving him back what is his. You have been appropriating things that are meant to be for the common use of everyone. The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.”

    St Gregory the Great, too, says, “”When we give the poor what is necessary to them, we are not so much bestowing on them what is our property as rendering to them what is their own; and it may be said to be an act of justice rather than a work of mercy.”

    T Shaw wrote

    “ We do works of Charity for the love of God and Man. If charity is done out of compulsion; what good is it?” That is true, but the Fathers are not talking about charity, but about justice.

    Mike Petrik wrote

    “Of course, this understanding does seem to largely obviate the very concept of charity in favor of an expansive understanding of justice.” Only if one first conflates charity with alms-giving.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    It is worth pointing out the root principle underlying Ayan Rand’s philosophy; it is one that has a long pedigree.

    It was a fundamental principle of the Enlightenment that the nature of the human person can be adequately described without mention of social relationships. A person’s relations with others, even if important, are not essential and describe nothing that is, strictly speaking, necessary to one’s being what one is. This principle underlies all their talk about the “state of nature” and the “social contract,” and from it is derived the notion that the only obligations are those voluntarily assumed.

    One can see it clearly expressed in Bentham, who describes the idea of “relation” as but a “fictitious entity,” though necessary for ‘convenience of discourse.’ And, more specifically, he remarks that “the community is a fictitious body,” and it is but “the sum of the interests of the several members who compose it.” Rand, like Nietzsche before her, merely carries this idea to its logical conclusion and it vitiates her ethics, politics and economics.

    The incoherence of this notion has been demonstrated by Wittgenstein, particularly in his “Philosophical Investigations,” in which he shows that the idea of a “private language” is meaningless, so the idea of the atomistic individual collapses, for reason is only mimic discourse – “In the beginning was the Word.”

    It is the very antithesis of Aristotle’s principle that man is a political animal; for him, as for St Thomas, the individual can only be adequately described in terms of his relationship to the polis or community of which he is a living element.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    MP-S: “Only if one first conflates charity with alms-giving.”

    Yes, I thought of that, and it is a fair point. It is still nonetheless an idiosyncratic understanding of “charity” that excludes its sine qua non example. In addition, I’m not sure that other forms of charity don’t also fall under justice due to the principle undergirding our Catholic understanding, but perhaps not. In any event, I don’t quarrel with our Catholic understanding, just note that it is idiosyncratic and somewhat counter-intuitive.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    Mike Petrik

    You raise a very good point and I think the solution lies in the old maxim that grace does not replace nature, but perfects it.

    Even in the case of the natural virtues, such as the four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance, one can see that fortitude or courage (Virtus the Romans called it) is involved in all of them, for justice often requires courage. Similarly, justice needs to be tempered by prudence and temperance, if we are to avoid rashness or recklessness. In other words, they interpenetrate each other and the “pure” case is an abstraction.

    Now, the supernatural virtue of charity is not a separate virtue to these, but informs them and provides them with a new motive, love of God and neighbour. Thus, justice itself becomes an act of loving obedience to God for those who strive to imitate His perfection and to fulfil His will, without destroying the nature of justice.

    That is how I understand the words, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

  • Tom K. says:

    In the end, Thomas is right in positing a world of limited resources, but wrong in assuming that the resources cannot be sufficient to accommodate the needs of all absent redistribution of all excess.

    Well, of course, for an act to be theft, there has to be someone from whom the thief is taking property. A second cloak may constitute objective excess, but possessing two cloaks is not unjust if everyone has a cloak.

    So I don’t know that St. Thomas did assume net resources can’t be in excess of net need. In my ignorance, I’ll suggest that his distinction between possession and use — in particular, the bit where “man ought to possess external things, not as his own, but as common, so that, to wit, he is ready to communicate them to others in their need” — covers the possibility that there are no others who need use of the goods you possess in excess of your own need. (In which case, objective excess would not be unjust, though it might be a temptation to or sign of other vices.)

  • Tom K. says:

    On distinguishing charity, almsgiving, and justice, see St. Thomas on “Whether almsgiving (a.k.a. the Corporeal and Spiritual Works of Mercy) is an act of charity?” http://newadvent.org/summa/3032.htm#article1

    It’s “both”/”and,” as Lisa points out in referencing CCC 2462.
    http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2462.htm

    And, I’d say, not only is the idea, “Giving money to help the poor is an act of both charity and justice,” somewhat counter-intuitive — or at least counter to the way people tend to think of it — so is the idea, “To feed the hungry and to visit the sick are both acts almsgiving.”

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Tom K.,
    That seems right to me. If everyone has a cloak, it is probably no sin in and of itself to own multiple cloaks. But at some point the pursuit of yet more cloaks could signify a disordered attachment to material things.

    Michael P-S,
    Your explanation seems spot on.

    In the end, my problem with doctrinaire libertarians is their tendency to view charity as opposed to justice, rather than as informing it. My problem with doctrinaire liberals is their tendency to view the claims of justice as being a function of disparity rather than need.

    I see no evidence that Ryan is a doctrinaire libertarian.

  • Chris says:

    I’m still waiting to hear how someone who rejects Paul Ryan because he’s “pro-Rand” and allegedly runs afoul of Catholic doctrine, turns around and supports Rick Santorum, who’s pro-torture, which certainly runs grossly afoul of Catholic doctrine, then calls out Ryan supporters for not putting the faith first.

  • cthemfly25 says:

    While I appreciate counter points of view, I must say that this screed by Graas falls below standards of what I have come to expect here. It is at best regarded as blog malpractice. And I do not accept any invitation by Grass to unscramble this egg as it would be too much of an undertaking to debunk given that I must work to pay my employees. Having read and understood the important message in Atlas Shrugged about the human condition and the immorality inherent in statism/socialism (philosphy predicated on the sin of envy), then by that association I am an “objectivist”. As a reminder to all—Charity is salvific, not begotten by government compulstion.

    Signed
    John Galt

  • bill bannon says:

    Charity is a pittance compared to the needs that the US government deals with.
    Ryan would, if given the chance, cut $800 billion from Medicaid in the next ten years…two thirds of elderly in nursing homes are covered by Medicaid.
    Private charity has zero chance of making up for that. US Catholics ( 60 million in number) gave $60 million to Haiti (averaging a dollar each) while the Vatican gave $200,000 each to Haiti, Iraq, and Japan….which would pay for four nurses in each country for one year.
    Cardinal Dolan hopes to raise $178 million to fix St. Patrick’s Cathedral….three times the amount of all the above charity. And yet his figure is dwarfed by proposed cuts…cuts in the US
    budget.
    In a Montana Senate race, the Republican machine is touting how their candidate voted against the Ryan budget….and Romney is noting that it’s Romney’s budget that counts.

  • jvc says:

    Congrats, Lisa. You left the door open and now the trolls have come by with their lies.

    Bill, you know as well as anyone that Obama himself cut $700 BILLION to pay for his boondoggle known as Obamacare.

    You and your liberal friends have crowded out private charity the last 100 years. Congratulations. We now live in a world without authentic Catholic hospitals, shelters, schools etc. Are you happy that your government friends now run the entire social infrastructure of America? How well do you think you’re doing, by the way?

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Bill, are you talking about the first Ryan plan or the second?
    And you do realize that Obama’s proposal deprives Medicare of over $700MM to pay for ObamaCare.

  • bill bannon says:

    jvc
    Stop eating mushrooms from the foothills of Oaxaca.
    Mike
    It’s his current plan as reported on Bloomberg this week which as I understand it has some democratic support since he tinkered with his first plan with a dem. I’m not comparing dems and him. I’m noting that private charity has zero effect on problems this size. I believe states cannot make up the difference by the nature of states’ problems with pensions and states’ limits on taxing before citizens flee to non income tax states e.g. (7). I believe Nursing homes will consolidate to fewer and elderly will die at home more painfully. I believe it will lead young people to have fewer children and morally so if on top of a home and college, they have to save $500K extra to eventually pay for each spouse maybe to spend 5 years each in a nursing home if in fact health in their families as a rule is iffy yet people are living longer which is not good for the iffy. Ryan avoids all such worries because he married a millionaire when he himself had $350,000…. then his wife inherited more millions. Five years after that marriage, he gives a talk about takers and makers….but most of his money is through marriage. Lisa is on to something.

  • G-Veg says:

    Jvc, you are way off base.

    I have my reasons for liking Ryan and I am going to pull a straight GOP ticket for second time in my life this fall. I don’t agree with the post for a lot of reasons expressed better above than I could have expressed them myself. However, the post and comments have been fascinating and enlightening. I don’t see trollish behavior; quite the opposite, actually. I see genuine inquiry, debate, and consideration.

    The suggestion that the post should not have been published because it encouraged “trolls” sounds more like an attempt to silence those who disagree with you than a legitimate objection.

    I welcome the debate and, if Ryan is your guy, you should too. Betterto thrash out objections in August and, perhaps, settle misgivings among potential Ryan supporters, than to dig a hole in the sand and hope that those concerns don’t run you down in November.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Bill,
    The reason that we are facing the nursing home crisis you describe is because families no longer take responsibility for each other. It is exactly the kind of robust entitlements you support that is most responsible for that. When you make something the federal government’s responsibility, you are offloading it. That is hardly admirable, especially when we cannot afford it. I am old enough to remember a time when nursing homes were neither common nor viewed as an entitlement.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    jvc,
    G-Veg is right. I don’t know who you are but Bill Bannon and Lisa Graas have been regular commentators on this blog for quite a while. They are hardly trolls, I don’t seem to recall you that much though.

  • Bonchamps says:

    On the “poverty” issue…

    Lisa already revealed her hand when she said that poverty is what the government says it is.

    I’m not going to trouble myself over the government-defined poor. What a materialist bureaucrat thinks poverty is, and what I as a Christian think poverty is, are two radically different things. If you think someone in America with a roof over their head and advanced communication technology at their disposal is “poor” in the Biblical sense, we can’t have a discussion.

  • G-Veg says:

    As to Bonchamps point, I had an interesting experience on Amtrak that is relevant.

    I took the train to Newark, NJ, Nyew York, Boston, back to Philadelphia, to DC, and then back to Philly a while back. Coming into each station was a billboard from an advocacy group that said “X out of X children in America go to bed hungry each night.” The problem was that the “X” was different in each location. This is to say that the Boards lied in order to garner support.

    Something similar happened at a class I attended last month regarding domestic abuse. The materials and presenters stated that 3 out of 5 women will suffer domestic abuse in their lifetime. After the presentation, a colleague asked one of the resenters about the statistic, offering the opinion that, in her experience, the number could not be that high. The presenter told her that she agreed, thatthe number was much less but was nonetheless significant. They run and report the stats higher ao that the public, constantly bombarded with news and a bit insensitive to realistic numbers, will take notice.

    In other words, they lie to get attention. That is a big part of advocacy these days, whether public or private. It is a tragic truth.

  • Phillip says:

    Poverty is interesting. Just saw a kid on Medicaid. Mom not married and lives with her boyfriend (who is not the father.) Mom answered several calls during the visit on her i-Phone. The seven year old child also has an i-Phone. Several TV’s in the home. Two cars. They are the American poor.

    This is why it is just, and quite in accord with Catholic Social Teaching, to ask if current programs truly help, or hurt, the poor.

  • bill bannon says:

    Mike,
    I think you are thinking of purely residential nursing homes which Medicaid would not pay for normally. I’m talking of medical nursing homes which are the next step after a hospital’s ICU for a sick 89 year old who needs either a breathing tent or constant dialysis etc. which you cannot give them at home. They are covered by medicare for a certain number of weeks after which they must pay down their life savings and home ( if they are the last spouse) and only after that several years does medicaid begin to pay if they continue to live which they might in the breathing problem case but not the dialysis case. In countries say in Africa, where there is no medical nursing homes after the dialysis treatment of an 89 year old in the hospital and room must be made for other later patients just as sick, I’m sure the elderly person is given back to their family and dies slowly from the lack of dialysis. If a version of that happens here while we are pouring 70 billion a year ? into the abyss of Afghanistan where three more marines were murdered the other day by an Afghan they were training….then we need to learn something from Finland who has a budget surplus and is tenth best nation in caring for its elderly….France and Austria have triple A credit ratings and are also in the top ten for elder care.

  • T. Shaw says:

    Do you think you will live forever?

    Here’s what happens to 89 year-olds in socialized medicine regimes. They die waiting treatment or they are put to “sleep” like dogs.

    Did you not see the death panels section in that 2,300 page bill?

    If not death panels there will be rationing and long waits for surgery and/or therapies like radiation and chemotherapy.

    You will not live forever if you vote for Obama.

  • bill bannon says:

    T Shaw,
    Few long waits in Finland…here’s their satisfaction percent which is over twice the average in the EU:

    ” According to a survey published by the European Commission in 2000, Finland has one of the highest ratings of patient satisfaction with their hospital care system in the EU: 88% of Finnish respondents were satisfied compared with the EU average of 41.3%.[71] Finnish health care expenditures are below the European average.”

    Finland spends less and patients are over twice as satisfied…and patients can get a groat sausage while they’re waiting and reading Under the North Star.

  • Chesterton once said that much effort had been expended in history to invent a very tiny camel and a very large needle in order to explain away what Jesus said about wealth and poverty. The effort goes on, I see–and has been expanded to the effort to rationalize Catholic Social Doctrine with GOP policies. Any fair reading of the social encyclicals since Leo XIII reveals, in my view, that much of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) lies simultaneously to the left of the Democrats and the right of the Republicans. I do not know of a single public figure of national stature who consistently reflects CST. As Catholics, let’s not exploit CST (or re-invent it) for our own political agenda.

  • T. Shaw says:

    BB:

    Pacem.

    Look at the opposite end of the spectrum.

    US has 320,000,000 people. Probably 100,000,000 of them spend their days and nights trying to hit as many as possible of the seven deadly sins.

    Finland has 5,300,000 virtuous, hard-working people.

    As ye sew so shall ye reap.

    Bottom end of the spectrum:

    Does the UK already operate Obamacare-like death panels?

    UK Professor Patrick Pullicino, quoted in Daily Mail synopsis: Top doctor’s chilling claim: The NHS kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year.

    • Professor says doctors use ‘death pathway’ to euthanize the elderly
    • Treatment on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours
    • Around 29 per cent of patients that die in hospital are on controversial ‘care pathway’
    • Pensioner admitted to hospital given treatment by doctor on weekend shift – RIP.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2161869/Top-doctors-chilling-claim-The-NHS-kills-130-000-elderly-patients-year.html#ixzz1yLo1yfRc

    Peace, Justice and Kumbaya, my friend!

  • Foxfier says:

    Foxfier, I claim he is Randian in that he was continually praising her, saying she is responsible for him getting involved in politics, praising her “morality of capitalism” as she defines it, etc, and that his “conversion” to Aquinas was not a conversion at all but was a claim issued as a result of political blowback.

    You mistook pointing out that Rand occasionally has good points as being blinded by admiration of her. It’s pretty clear your bar for “praising” or “defending” whatever you label as Randian is pretty blessed low.

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