Paul Ryan’s Civil Society Speech

Thursday, October 25, AD 2012

 

 

Paul Ryan gave a major address yesterday in Cleveland.  Go here to watch it on C-Span.  In this speech he argues that the Government efforts to alleviate poverty have been a flat failure, destructive to the family and increasing government dependcy.  He points to welfare reform of the 1990s as a model of how Government can truly help to alleviate poverty by encouraging work and independence.

 

He notes that Government often abuses power as it expands its scope:

Nothing undermines the essential and honorable work these groups do quite like the abuse of government power.  Take what happened this past January, when the Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules requiring Catholic hospitals, charities and universities to violate their deepest principles. Never mind your own conscience, they were basically told – from now on you’re going to do things the government’s way.

This mandate isn’t just a threat to religious charities. It’s a threat to all those who turn to them in times of need. In the name of strengthening our safety net, this mandate and others will weaken it.

The good news? When Mitt Romney is president, this mandate will be gone, and these groups will be able to continue the good work they do.

It is a fascinating speech and indicates that Ryan has thought deeply about the role of Government in helping people escape poverty and  is willing to lead the fight to implement the reforms necessary to alter the path we are on to national bankruptcy and ever increasing poverty.  Here is the text of the speech:

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3 Responses to Paul Ryan’s Civil Society Speech

  • Wow, that is great. It’s amazing how well he mixed in general, overarching principles with policy wonkishness. It’s also noteworthy that he draws the connection between social and economic policy, albeit in a subtle way.

  • When Mitt Romney is president the mandate will be gone….

    So many issues at stake. The HHS mandate hits below the belt. Two thousand years of Christian charity, hospitals, schools, orphanages, safe houses for women, missions and outreaches. Suddenly we must bend to the whim of a pro-death administration.
    Please God the Father protect us from all evil, visible and invisible.

VP Debate: Not What I Expected

Friday, October 12, AD 2012

I’m sure many of you will disagree with me, seeing as how this is a mostly conservative blog, but I do not think Paul Ryan won tonight’s debate. In fact, I was disappointed in his overall performance, particularly his weak answers on abortion.

Yes I’m glad he raised the religious liberty issue, but he should have taken a moment to insist that opposition to abortion is rooted in the belief that all innocent human beings, born and unborn, deserve protection under the law. We all know that “life begins at conception.” The question is not when life begins, but when the right to life begins. Ryan’s hands may be tied to a certain extent by Romney’s position, which admits for various exceptions – conditions under which it is ok to butcher an innocent unborn child. Even so, he could have answered much better than he did.

That aside, I believe Biden dominated the debate. I know I am not the only one making this comparison, but it looked like a Thanksgiving dinner. To some it looked like mean old uncle Joe trying to beat up on nephew Paul, who held his own. To others, including myself, it looked like mean but knowledgeable Uncle Joe schooling a somewhat intimidated whippersnapper.

What I think, fortunately, doesn’t matter. Some post-debate polls, such as CNN’s, said Ryan won the debate, while others, such as CBS’s, had Biden winning. It appears that the debate was a tie game, with Biden having met his primary objective and Ryan having (mostly) stood his ground. Perhaps I am more disappointed than most because I expected much more from Ryan. I didn’t expect him to be a foreign policy whiz, but I expected more fight out of him on economic issues and certainly a whole lot more on social issues, particularly abortion.

Maybe he could take lessons from Ron Paul on how to respond next time (if there is a next time, in 2016 perhaps).

 

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55 Responses to VP Debate: Not What I Expected

  • He must have missed Rick Santorum’s speeches on the topic. After all, he did endorse Mitt Romney over Rick Santorum in Wisconsin, effectively ending Rick Santorum’s bid for the nomination.

  • Across the ocean the debate that I watched at 2-3;32 AM lost something in transmission than what I watched. Mr Ryan was credited with winning on style and both were even on points. However, Mr Biden’s 82 interruptions, his smirks and laughing all through showed his character which was not admirable. Mr Ryan never interrupted once, was 100 % in total control of his facts on domestic economic issues and was very astute on the Middle East and Libyan North African mess and danger of spillover. His hands are tied on abortion, but he scored on Mr Biden when he said science and medicine was the reason to oppose abortion and the story of their first-born “bean” daughter was classic Ronald Reagan-style making a point. Your post was quite disappointing, as i saw the interaction in the whole 92 minute debate. Excellent moderator, great fair job.

  • I felt like the debate was fairly even. Ryan had that priceless zinger in response to the 47%. He clearly outdid Biden during the conversation on social security.

    However Biden did a very good job when talking about Afghanistan. He put Ryan in a terrible position of trying to defend staying longer in that mess.

    Overall Biden came off as a cranky old man who reminds us all of the overly opinionated uncle no one enjoys being around. I think everyone is really underestimating how much that hurt his overall performance.

    As a side note, I felt real sorrow over hearing Biden say his Catholicism “guides” his life and he “accepts” the teachings of the Church on abortion, but then in the same breath go on to vigorously defend it. It’s not a surprise, but just a real sadness that he defends such evil.

    I really wish Ryan would of called him out on that more.

  • I do not know how you could declare Biden the winner when he interupted Ryan 82 times and the moderator interupted him another 32 times. In the real world of debate he would have be disqualified.

  • Vice President Biden helped his base, but if all you are doing is helping your base you are in trouble. Congressman Ryan sounded articulate and respectful, which is all he needed to do. To a lot of guys VP Biden sounded like the loud mouth at the bar or the football game who guys just detest. To a lot of women VP Biden sounded like a slippery used car salesman, which is not what helps in the polls. CNN polling had Ryan winning the debate and winning the likability portion of the debate by 10%, a very big number when all Congressman Ryan needed to do was sound competent.

  • Biden’s behavior will hopefully not set a new standard for debate performance. The American voter wants the chance to hear candidate’s policies explained outside the distortion of biased media, spin, and sensational commercials. Biden’s constant laughing, sniping and interruption created a disrespectful and distracting atmosphere, and was, frankly, obnoxious. The moderator is not to be commended either.

  • Ryan’s problem is that he ALSO doesn’t follow the Church’s teaching on abortion in his public life since the Romney/Ryan ticket accepts abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk (i.e. whenever a pro-abortion doctor wants to say she’s at risk, mentally or otherwise). It would be hard to push Biden on the issue because Ryan would slide right down with him on the slippery slope.

  • “Ryan’s problem is that he ALSO doesn’t follow the Church’s teaching on abortion in his public life”

    “A particular problem of conscience can arise in cases where a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on. Such cases are not infrequent. It is a fact that while in some parts of the world there continue to be campaigns to introduce laws favouring abortion, often supported by powerful international organizations, in other nations-particularly those which have already experienced the bitter fruits of such permissive legislation-there are growing signs of a rethinking in this matter. In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.”

    Pope John Paul II-Gospel of Life

  • Ryan won on style, substance was fairly even. Biden looked deranged at times. He needs to quit sniffing laughing gas.

    I thought Ryan did well on the Abortion question, claiming a pro-life position not only because of his Catholic faith, but also because of reason and science. Biden’s personally pro-life but… position was an offense to anyone with common sense.

  • I thought Biden was winning the debate for the first hour or so. He came across as rude, but Ryan looked weak in not being able to stand up to him. Eventually, though, I think Biden took it too far, to the point where it seemed like Ryan couldn’t get five words out before Biden would start yelling again. You couldn’t really follow what either of them were saying.

    So I think Biden effectively neutralized Ryan, but ended up coming off very badly in the process.

  • Biden won debate in terms of performance. He had a command not of the facts but of his presentation whereas Ryan appeared far too deferential and wonky which had the effect of making him appear weak. In the end this does nothing for the Obama camp which is now on the defensive after losing significant ground with precious little time before voters minds start to congeal that the only hope is change.

  • Though the left may have scored an immediate buzz here, give it a few days for it to sink in and I think Ryan will come out on top. It still needs to be digested.

  • I thought that both of them mugged for the cameras. As for interruptions, I only watched bits of the debate, but there were enough occasions of them talking over each other that I didn’t get a strong sense that either one was more to blame for it.

    I was kind of surprised to hear Biden take the “personally opposed” position. It feels like there’s been a change among Catholic Democrats recently toward a “completely support” stance – Nancy Pelosi and Caroline Kennedy come to mind.

  • Chad,
    I think there is another difference between Ryan’s public stance and Biden’s. Biden not only “supports” the Obama Administration’s extreme pro-abort views, it is plain that he “agrees” with those views as a matter of public policy. In contrast, it is reasonably clear that Ryan does not agree with the Romney exceptions, but rather agrees “to” them as a matter of ticket solidarity.

  • I only watched bits of the debate, but there were enough occasions of them talking over each other that I didn’t get a strong sense that either one was more to blame for it.

    You must have watched a very brief amount of the debate then, because Biden was far, far more guilty of interrupting Ryan. In fact, the final tally was 82 interruptions – for a 90 minute debate.

  • Lessons from Ron Paul would be really useful if Paul Ryan ever wants to raise a whole bunch of money and not win a single primary.

  • Anybody else catch that “million billion” line from Biden? As far as Biden slip ups go it was nothing but it sure sounded funny live.

  • I think the thing was pretty close myself. The reason Biden looked like he did well to many people on his side is that they had Obama’s defeat fresh in their mind. It’s like when Cleveland Browns fans see their high school team win and they say “wow, what a great football team.”

  • the argument that Ryan is equally as bad as Biden on abortion is like saying that “Roe v. Wade” shouldn’t be repealed if the GOP is unable to pass the Human Life Amendment, because states would still be able to keep abortion legal.

    not the best analogy i admit but you see what i’m getting at. it’s pointless to go all-or-nothing if it makes you end up with nothing, when you could make more incremental successes and then convince people toward the more absolute stance from there.

  • I think Biden did great!! He fought in favor of Religious Freedom, Paul didn’t do that, which I honestly didn’t expect neither to do. Ryan killed it with his comment on abortion clause, Rape, incest, and mother’s life in danger as exception to abortion. It is a shame he calls himself Catholic, it is a Shame he calls himself Pro-Life. I don’t care what others might think but this man is just the right man to be Vice President. Nov 2008=Voted Democrat. Nov 2012= voting Democrat!

  • “It is a shame he calls himself Catholic, it is a Shame he calls himself Pro-Life.”

    You attack Ryan for being willing to swallow some exceptions in order to ban all other abortions while giving full-throated support to Biden who supports abortion on demand. Does being a yellow dog Democrat necessitate giving up any semblance of logic?

  • Yeah, that Biden sure is a model for all Catholics. Oh, sorry, I meant to say he’s a model for all CATHOLICS!!

    http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=44370

  • Excuse Donald, first of all you need to respect others opinion. I didn’t come commenting on other people thoughts, I expressed my thought and opinion. And yes I SUPPORT Biden, if you have a problem i don’t care, just like you who support Ryan, I don’t care nor have a problem. We all are free to express our thoughts.

    Incase your ears popped while listening to the debate and incase you went blind while reading the transcript of the debate, Biden doesn’t support Abortion at all. He just doesn’t believe in imposing his faith on others, all we as Catholic have left is Pray and advise those we know that are liking or will do it, as long As I have done my part of educating the person of it being a Crime, Sin and awful, I know I have done something good. How other people carry themselves in life and their decisions is between them and God. I know I would never have an abortion. I been marry for a year already and I am only 22 yrs old, Political Scientist student…And I believe firmly in my Faith, I practice my Faith and I respect it, just like I respect other people decisions to do what they choose to. This is why I believe Religion and Government should be two institution that are completely not involved with each other. Separated!

  • I care about people, I care about my Health and those who can’t afford it. I hope and know for sure, that Obama will be re-elected! I don’t seem to understand how you people are against HHS…Don’t you care about those without Health Insurance…?

  • I do agree with one thing, neither two would ever do anything for the Catholic Church nor about Abortion. Just like my priority at voting have never been based on Religion but as a student, immigrant to this country, below middle class, and international affair, I know that even if Romney (sorry ass) and Ryan (win…lol) they don’t have any interest not priority in doing anything for overtuning Roe v Wade …

  • “I think Biden did great!! He fought in favor of Religious Freedom”

    Isa,

    Would you please mail me whatever it is you’re smoking? It sounds like great stuff.

  • “Excuse Donald, first of all you need to respect others opinion.”

    Opinions first need to be worthy of respect.

    “Biden doesn’t support Abortion at all.”

    Once again, does being a Yellow Dog Democrat mean that you forego all logic?

    “He just doesn’t believe in imposing his faith on others,”

    Oh, please. Biden has no problem imposing his beliefs on others in countless areas as his votes in the Senate indicate. Biden voted in favor of a constituional amendment banning abortion in 1982 before it became politically advantageous for him to embrace the pro-abort cause.”

    “How other people carry themselves in life and their decisions is between them and God.”

    And the million innocent children being aborted each year in this country are of absolutely no concern to you as you cast your votes for pro-aborts.

    “I am only 22 yrs old, Political Scientist student”
    The term is Political Science.

    “I practice my Faith and I respect it, just like I respect other people decisions to do what they choose to.”

    I doubt that. For example I assume you would oppose people having the right to murder anyone they choose, or enslaving anyone they wish to. The difference with abortion is that you have had the misfortune to be born into a time where the murder of the unborn is celebrated as a constitutional right and you have bought into this monstrous injustice hook, line and sinker. You are young and I pray that you will one day realize the horror of what you currently support.

  • “I don’t seem to understand how you people are against HHS”

    We are against it because it forces employers to provide “free” contraceptive coverage to employees, even if it is against the conscience of the employers to do so. You say that you are big on people being free to do what they wish to do. Isn’t your support for the HHS Mandate a contradiction of this principle?

  • “I am only 22 yrs [sic] old, Political Scientist [sic] student”

    Reason number 2642 why I didn’t become a professor.

  • I respect your opinions. And I expect you do the same with my opinions. I am Pro-Life, I am against Abortion and will always be. My question to both you so called Catholic…What if your child or your niece had cancer and you didn’t have insurance, what would you do? Actually It is my concern and it hurts to know that so many women choose to go through this, but I can’t condem them or judge them, all I can do is Pray for that innocent child and that mother and doctor who agree to go with it… God calls us to accept people as they are, not to judge them nor condem them.

    As long I live my life in faith and continue to educate those around me and informe them of the harm abortion does, the crime they be committing, I know that I, my self as a Catholic am faithful to my church Doctrine and most importantly to God’s way of living.

    No Bonchamps, I am not smoking anything, think you should learn to respect as well. Problem I have always seen from us, Catholics involved in Politics or opinioning about Politics is that most or all are offensive and don’t respect.

    I am worthy of respect! but you know what, you being a Grown man in “faith” still have alot to learn from Life and other, I recommend you to read the Bible more…

    You apparently don’t read or understand, as I have said already, I am against Abortion. And don’t support it I don’t need people that don’t respect me, to pray for me…on the contrary I will pray for you!!

    Like I said, neither Biden nor Ryan will do anything for the Church, it is up to us…Government and Religion shouldn’t be together, this has always been a problem for century…

  • Regarding HHS: Biden himself said:”With regard to the assault on the Catholic church, let me make it absolutely clear, no religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy Hospital, any hospital, none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact.” ….

  • I been marry for a year already and I am only 22 yrs old, Political Scientist student

    I take it your professors do not deduct points for errors in grammer, spelling, and punctuation.

    I care about people, I care about my Health and those who can’t afford it. I hope and know for sure, that Obama will be re-elected! I don’t seem to understand how you people are against HHS…Don’t you care about those without Health Insurance…?

    Health is something you have, not something you can ‘afford’. What you purchase is not ‘health’ but the services of a class of practitioners. I do in fact care about the uninsured; I just do not think that the Rube Goldberg scheme dreamed up by the various and sundry factions within the Democratic Congressional Caucus (abetted by the Administration brain trust and various lobbies) does anyone any good (bar those who will receive employment in the various bureaucracies necessary to implement this scheme).

  • No Bonchamps, I am not smoking anything, think you should learn to respect as well.

    You speak and write like this when sober?

  • Art Deco: does it bother you if I had grammatical errors? If so, take it somewhere else…Why do you care anyways, did it bit your attention on your ass?

  • I been respectful and only came to give my opinion since I came across this page thinking, Oh its Catholic, great! …. but apparently you y’ll have made me so disappointed, not my faith, but people who represent Catholic… Political analysical exchange of opinion shouldn’t be all about bashing at each other but an exchange of opinion with mutual respect.

  • If so, take it somewhere else…Why do you care anyways, did it bit your attention on your ass?

    Well, you might be more comprehensible if you could write proper English. The exercise might induce you to think more clearly.

    “Political science” is a subject taught only in tertiary institutions (though there have been in the past couses in “civics” at the secondary level. Academic subjects in community colleges are mostly filler students have to endure to earn their associate’s in vocational subjects; there are few studying specialized academic programs at that level. So, I take it you are a student at a baccalaureate granting institution. Among my contemporaries (now all in middle age), only about 35% made an attempt at that and many (like Sarah Palin and like Rod Dreher) preferred vocational to academic subjects. Somehow, I suspect if your academic competence is expected to be at least a half-standard deviation above the median among your contemporaries, you could put together a correct and coherent sentence. Worked for my contemporaries.

  • “I respect your opinions. And I expect you do the same with my opinions.”

    No, it really doesn’t work that way. Opinions are entitled to respect entirely based upon their content. Foolish and/or bad opinions are not entitled to any respect.

    “I am Pro-Life, I am against Abortion and will always be.”

    No you aren’t if you vote for pro-aborts. For example, let us say that we are living 175 years ago and you encounter someone who loudly proclaims he is against slavery and yet you know that he votes for pro-slavery candidates for public office. Wouldn’t you conclude that the alleged opposition to slavery by this man was completely hollow, and that he really is not against slavery?

    “What if your child or your niece had cancer and you didn’t have insurance, what would you do?”

    Pay for their care of course. Christ admonishes us to help those in need, not to place the duty upon Caesar instead of upon ourselves.

    “but I can’t condem them or judge them”

    I have been President of the Board for over a decade for a crisis pregnancy center where we help women thinking of abortion. We also have post abortion counseling for women who have gone through abortion. The pro-life movement isn’t about condemning or judging women, but rather it is all about stopping the slaying of unborn children.

    “God calls us to accept people as they are, not to judge them nor condem them.”
    Actually God calls us to free ourselves from our sins and to believe in Christ. Tolerance of sin is no favor extended to any sinner, including ourselves.

    “I know that I, my self as a Catholic am faithful to my church Doctrine and most importantly to God’s way of living.”

    Actually in regard to voting for pro-aborts you are not. Here is what the catechism says in regard to abortion and the law:

    The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

    “The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”80

    “The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”81

    Your voting for pro-aborts helps deny the unborn legal protection. What you are doing is not in accord with Catholic teaching.

  • So you think I don’t speak proper English…lol! You have cause me to laugh so much with your comment about my Institution. So you think Georgetown university is tertiary, well that’s you! But I love it here!!!

  • “So you think Georgetown university”

    That explains it all. Also Isa, Art’s reference to a “tertiary institution” wasn’t a slam but to distinguish colleges and universities from high schools which are secondary institutions.

  • I can’t believe all these comments. I’m convinced that some people just go through life being mean, disrespectful, and rude just to get ahead but i’ve never had that mentality…

    I will pray for you all! Good day.

  • For your own edification, Isaa, you should be aware that Georgetown is not a faithful Catholic institution. It has not taken the Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium and is not a credible source of anything that is authentically Catholic.

  • “I’m convinced that some people just go through life being mean, disrespectful, and rude”

    It could be worse Isa. You could have been slain in your mother’s womb as a result of abortion, a much harsher fate surely than merely receiving more truth than you bargained for when you decided to troll a pro-life Catholic site. Next time you feel sorry for yourself think of the unborn children whose lives are being exterminated courtesy of the politicians you vote for.

  • Isa,

    Is you a US citizen?

  • For Isa, if she’s still reading: When [Supreme court Justice] David Souter sided with the pro-abortion judges in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, Biden and Rudman met at the train station by chance. Rudman described it this way: “At first, I didn’t see Joe; then I spotted him waving at me from far down the platform,” Rudman later recorded in his memoirs, “Joe had agonized over his vote for David, and I knew how thrilled he must be. We started running through the crowd toward each other, and when we met, we embraced, laughing and crying.” An ecstatic Biden wept tears of joy, telling Rudman over and over: “You were right about him [Souter]! … You were right!” The two men were so jubilant, so giddy-practically dancing-that Rudman said onlookers thought they were crazy: “[B]ut we just kept laughing and yelling and hugging each other because sometimes, there are happy endings.”

    I submit VP Biden’s actions indicate he is not personally opposed to abortion.

  • Where did you get that factitious article, zimbo.com?

    T. Shaw if I said I voted 2008 for Obama, does that not make me a US Citizen? Btw why the question…? I assume you though Illegal Immigrant, and if so, what’s to you? Since everyone seems to be assuming and not respecting here in this Religious blog, then I too will treat you as you do to me.

    Donald, I don’t feel sorry for myself, I feel sorry for you all! I am too happy of a person and contempt with my life style and faith. It doesn’t matter who wins, in my heart Jesus is the king. And I know I been living my life as a good Catholic, not perfect, because only He is.

  • I am too happy of a person and contempt with my life style and faith.

    Ladies and gentlemen, the future scholars of America.

  • Ops. Sorry I was on my iphone texting and wasn’t paying much attention on where I was writing what words, if this page or my messages. People make mistakes. Get a grip!

    I was telling a friend, priest about this page and meant to send that word in the message…lol!

  • Yes, that was clearly the only mistake you made, other than the other 230 or so.

    If you want to be taken seriously, then yes, you need to be able to express yourself correctly. Everyone makes typos, and we’re not all English majors. However, you have shown almost no ability to write coherently. The fact that this is a blog does not excuse you from the responsibility of writing well. The fact that you claim to be a Political Science Major at a top 20 university is frankly tragic, if the level of your writing is any indication of how you communicate normally.

  • “Donald, I don’t feel sorry for myself, I feel sorry for you all!”

    One of many erroneous opinions that you have Isa.

  • So you think Georgetown university is tertiary, well that’s you! But I love it here!!!

    They must have eliminated the essay since I applied there.

  • “”With regard to the assault on the Catholic church, let me make it absolutely clear, no religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy Hospital, any hospital, none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact.”

    everything that man just said, is bullshit.

  • All right, I think the conversation has run its course. Take care, Isa.

  • Thanks Isa for your posts.
    At twenty two your world experience and bravado seem appropriate.

    Many of the comments made by others stem from four, five, six or more decades of higher learning, life lessons and experience.

    You said you think your a good Catholic.

    Do yourself a HUGE favor. This will bring you great wisdom. Go behind an abortion mill. Sift through a dumpster looking for the remains of your “brother or sister.” You are your brothers keeper! I mean you are a good Catholic, right!
    Take the remains and give the corpse, or corpses a proper burial.
    Upon completion, you may think differently about the greatest injustice of our Age. This is it Isa. The right to LIFE. You get this wrong and your days at Georgetown are what? A time when you we’re a good Catholic swimming in the sea of public opinion based upon man’s law. Reach higher Isa. Read and discern the teachings of our Catholic Faith. Find out why this is THE issue.
    Please. Our future demands it.

  • Isa,

    I didn’t assume anything.

    I asked a question.

    Please don’t pray for me. Pray for my friend who is dying of cancer.

    And, the Yanks just won. CC complete game 3-1.

    Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.

18 Responses to Laugh Clown, Laugh!

  • What’s even swifter is you beat me to posting this by minutes.

  • This is a truly devastating ad in regard to having Biden anywhere near being President.

  • Thought of ‘Prudential judgement’ being exemplified by Paul Ryan’s restraint, during the de-bait with VP Silly Joker and his immoderator.

  • I’ve seen this making the rounds tonight:

    “If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.”
    ~Proverbs 29:9
    (English Standard Version)

  • Not every Catholic supports Romney/Ryan. The Vice-President wasn’t a clown and if you’re examples of what Christ means to love our fellow man, then you might want to at least learn tolerance.

  • “The Vice-President wasn’t a clown”

    No, Barbara, he was more in laughing hyena mode last night. Loving our fellow man certainly does not include embracing abortion on demand as Biden does. If you think that is tolerance, you are welcome to it.

  • Tolerance to liberals is legitimizing the infanticide of the unborn as the right to choose and sanctifying the filth of homosexual sodomy as marriage, both in open defiance and disobedience to God Almighty. Tolerance to a liberal is equivocating the theft of the tax payers’ money as help for the poor. Tolerance for a liberal is what Judas Iscariot said when Jesus was anointed with costly oil, “This could have been sold and the money used to help the poor.” As Sacred Scripture says, he didn’t make that statement because he cared for the poor, but because he carried the money purse and would steal from its contents, and that’s exactly the kind of men both Biden and Obama are. The Vice President is as Catholic as Jezebel at the Church of Thyatira in Revelation 2:20-23.

  • Barbara,

    There you go again . . .

    What debate were you watching?

    To which Gospel do you refer?

    I’ve read them all a number of times each and I saw nothing that teaches it’s okay to vote for abortion, class hatred, infanticide, organized brigandage, etc. St. John writes that Judas was not outraged at the expensive perfume anointing Jesus because the money could have been spent on the poor. He didn’t care about the poor. Judas was a thief just like democrats who only care about political power not about the poor.

  • If Obama is the “empty chair”, Biden is the “whoopie cushion.”

  • Funny comments all.
    Biden looks like a snake.
    A Snake Oil salesmen might fit better.
    The Ad is perfect. (….are you?) What a great tag.
    Bye bye funny guy. Ryan is in.

  • Throughout the whole debate, all I could think was, “What’s so damn funny?” Uncle Joe was the only one laughing last night. No wonder the administration is in such a mess, there is nothing but clowns running this country right now.

  • The useless clown, Biden, did us all a wonderful favor: displaying his true, unedited genuine self. Completely lacking leadership, unconstructive, condescending, arrogant are a few descriptives to be applied, although, many more would be applicable. I don’t believe he has the slightest understanding of the term “statesman”, not that his unmentionable boss does. To state that the third string is on the field would be a gross understatement. Biden; a man who has accomplished very little, if anything worthwhile, throughout his entire political life. In fact, a parasite of sorts. My only wish, and for the “others” which shall remain unmentioned, is that this clown and they would discontinue referring to themselves as a Catholic. This is, in my thinking, a blasphemy, painful, self-inciminating, disgraceful and an utter lie. The thought that this insipid fool could assume the office of presidency is almost as frightening as what is currently occupying that once great office.

  • The Vice-President wasn’t a clown and if you’re examples of what Christ means to love our fellow man, then you might want to at least learn tolerance.

    Tolerance of what?

  • Biden was laughing during a conversation about the deaths of 4 Americans in Libya. Is that an example of loving fellow man?

    At least his Monster drink work off by the time the topic of abortion came up and he cut out the laughs and smirks. That’s really odd, because if there was any time a laugh was due, it was when Biden stated his position on faith and abortion. It’s sadly funny.

  • Can not believe how Joe Biden handled him self during this debate his laughing was rude and nu respectable. How can Democrats accept this behavior and how can Obama accept this behavior. Especially from a government that seems to give more speeches than facts. I think its time for a change in the US. Obama had his chance and he blew it.

Laughing Hyena v. Gentleman Ryan

Thursday, October 11, AD 2012

 

 

If, as I expect, the Obama-Biden ticket goes down in flames on election day, Biden in his debate performance has ended his political career with a bizarre coda.  How bizarre?  Let us go point by point, along with my other thoughts on the debate.

1.  Hyena Joe- Throughout the debate when Ryan was talking Biden was laughing and smirking.  I assume Biden forgot about the split screen coverage on television.  Judging from the talking heads post-debate, it made a very bad impression.

2.  Manic-Depressive-Joe began the debate very manic as if he had swallowed a crate of jolt cola.  By the end he was completely wound down, like a wind up toy at the end of its cycle, or someone had shot him with an animal tranquilizer.  Very odd.

3.  Canned Responses-Biden obviously had a checklist of points he had to mention:  47%, check, etc.  The problem with having a checklist is that it takes fairly quick wits to put the list seamlessly into a debate performance, and I thought Biden’s interjections were far from seamless.

4.  Joe Making Things up Again-As he has throughout his career,  Biden simply made things up when he was in a tough spot in the debate.  In response to the Libya question which clearly had him flustered, Joe claimed that the intelligence community initially thought that the Benghazi attack was preceded by a protest over the Mohammed  video.  That is completely at variance with the facts.

5.  Wildman v. The Professor-Obviously the Democrats were reacting to passive Obama from the first debate.  Biden was always interrupting, some 82 times or thereabouts. The”moderator” was completely useless.  Ryan was too much the professor in manner and should have reacted more to the out of control Biden.

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Ryan’s Speech at the GOP Convention

Thursday, August 30, AD 2012

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.

Paul Ryan

 

 

 

I have been a connoisseur of oratory, especially political oratory, since I became old enough to understand that a speech was being given.  Last night’s speech by Paul Ryan was truly remarkable.   How was it remarkable?  Let me count the ways.

1.  It is difficult to deliver an attack speech with pleasant good humor, and Ryan did just that, and the good nature in which the indictment of the Obama administration was delivered made it all the more effective.

2.  The speech was delivered in a low-key style with Ryan hardly raising his voice.  The temptation, when you get in front of a vast live audience, like a convention, full of partisans, is to go “hot” and deliver a full-throated roaring speech.  Ryan did not make that mistake.  He understood who his real audience was:  uncommitted voters watching on television or the internet, and he presented his arguments coolly and non-confrontationally.

3.  He allowed his personal affability to shine through.  Many politicians find this difficult to do.  Rick Santorum, who I supported in the primaries, is a very likable and witty man off the stump.  He often found this hard to convey in his speeches.  Ryan does this effortlessly.

4.  Ryan dealt deftly with the issue of Romney being a Mormon:

Mitt and I also go to different churches. But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example. And I’ve been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.

Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.

Note the reference to “Lord of Life”.  This is not a man who is a sunshine pro-lifer.

5.  Ryan got nicely to what this election is truly about on a philosophical level:   sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.

6.   Ryan hammered away at the poor economy and asked a question that Obama simply can’t answer:  Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?

 

 

Here is the text of the speech:

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32 Responses to Ryan’s Speech at the GOP Convention

  • I am anxious to see how Romney follows Ryan and Christie. What, in your opinion, does he need to say and how does he need to deliver it?

  • Romney needs to come across ultra competent and optimistic. I think most of the nation understands that Obama cannot fix the economy, but they are skeptical that Romney can do better. He needs to convince them that he can.

    Romney will have the usual advantage of most Republican candidates in that much of the mainstream press has given a fairly distorted view of him. Just showing up without horns and a tail will give him a boost, as it does most Republican presidential candidates.

    Romney should echo what Ryan said: does anyone, outside of rabid Democrat partisans, really believe that if Obama remains in office that his economic policies will do any better in the next four years than they have in the last four? Time for something new.

    I don’t view Romney’s task as very difficult. He has never been much of an orator, but he has improved over the campaign. This speech doesn’t require the touch of genius that Ryan’s speech had. A solid, workmanlike effort, obviously heartfelt, should be sufficient.

  • It was amazing and it made me cry (in a good way). It had everything in it that I needed to hear. It made me proud to be an American and a Catholic. For here is a man who speaks to my heart and shares in the same values that are important to me as an American and as a Catholic. At no time in recent history is an election so important. May God bless Paul Ryan and bring to completion what He has began.

  • I agree with your assessment of Ryan’s speech last night. I was impressed with most of it, and I did appreciate the “Lord of life” paragraph, but I was hoping for something a little more explicit about the life issues. It seems that all the big speeches so far have really downplayed the life issues. I noted particularly Rice’s line about school choice for underprivileged neighborhoods being THE social justice issue of our generation. (I’m completely in favor of school choice, and I think vouchers are the way to do it, but c’mon, this issue, important as it is, is not on the same level of significance as abortion, ESCR, and same-sex “marriage.”)

  • The atheist has removed God’s name “I AM” from the vocabulary of American citizens but the atheist has not and cannot remove God’s Name from “WE, the people…”
    Paul Ryan did emphasize “our founding principles”
    Now, I am weeping tears of joy.

  • I liked the comment “This is not a man who is a sundhine pro-lifer”. I agree with the comment. I wish it also applied to the man at the top of the ticket, but it doesn’t. Romney was not pro-life prior to 2008. I would be happy if only half the things the NARAL crowd were accusing him of were true. I will be voting for a third party this election.

  • “I will be voting for a third party this election.”

    I have called Romney the weathervane for his switches on issues. However, I have no doubt that if he is elected he will oppose abortion in his actions. To do otherwise would be political suicide. Additionally, he will likely have a Congress that will be controlled by the Republicans. This will ensure any deviation from the pro-life cause would be met with legislative death in Congress. Plus electing Romney puts Paul Ryan on the path to the White House and I think every pro-lifer should find that a cheerful prospect.

  • Good speech by Paul Ryan. Pity the third party purist voters – just like the Abolitionists of yester-century, they won’t work for the common good no matter what.

  • Don – I don’t know if that last sentence is true. Being nominated increased his profile already, but would it be raised more by a win than a loss? My bet is yes, but I wouldn’t bet too much. Anyway, at his age, he could be VP for two terms, head of the RNC for four years, go back and get his law degree, then put in six years in the Senate and he’d still be younger than Biden is today. Of course by then we’ll be governed by telepathic dolphins and a giant computer. I hate making political predictions.

  • 5. Ryan got nicely to what this election is truly about on a philosophical level: sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.

    Something you would think every American would embrace. It’s right there in the Declaration! Would you believe there are some who are actually offended by such a notion?
    http://www.therightscoop.com/toure-paul-ryans-comment-that-our-rights-come-from-god-and-nature-is-offensive/

    Liberalism is truly a mental disorder.

  • We are certain that Obama will nominate abortion-fanatic justices.

    If Obama is re-elected it could be by third party votes, which will have proven equivalent to voting for abortion and Obama.

    I am not convinced that Romney is lying. Let’s give him a chance. He won’t get a second term if he, uncertain, stabs us in the back.

    Again, why are we making the perfect the enemy of the good? There is nobody that is perfect in the World. God alone is good and perfect. Jesus says as much in the Gospels. [Matt. 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:19-30.]

    Eight years for Romney; eight years for Ryan!

  • “Of course by then we’ll be governed by telepathic dolphins and a giant computer.”

    They could hardly do a worse job than Obama! 🙂

  • “Pity the third party purist voters – just like the Abolitionists of yester-century, they won’t work for the common good no matter what.”

    Absolutely untrue.

    Unless you’d like to explain to me how my decision this year not to support Mitt Romney is translated into a an overall refusal on my part to “work for the common good no matter what.” Be prepared to discuss the entirety of my 25+ year political history, including the time I served in elective office.

    I’m anxious to hear all about my falure to work for the common good “no matter what”.

  • I suppose there’s that one adjective in your assessment – “purist” – that might exclude me from your calculus. I don’t believe myself to be a “purist” voter, although I consider myself “pure” enough that I’m not about to vote for Mitt Romney.

    I will give that reading to your statement and assume that it therefore doesn’t apply to my decision to vote 3rd party this year.

  • Jay, I know nothing about you and so won’t judge. But the fact that you got so offended says much about the truth of my statement. And I won’t argue the point other than to say that if Obama wins, it will be because of purists like you. But maybe that has to happen in order to teach this country a lesson.

  • BTW, interesting focus on alcohol in the right side margin of Pro Ecclessia.

  • Don,

    “I have called Romney the weathervane for his switches on issues. However, I have no doubt that if he is elected he will oppose abortion in his actions. To do otherwise would be political suicide.”

    I concur with this analysis. Romney has no choice but to govern as a pro-life president. He would stand no chance of reelection if he failed to do so.

    I wish more people would realize that personal feelings and even personal positions must always take a backseat to broader political considerations.

  • How does allowing Obama to wield four more years advance the “common good”?

    If Obama wins because of third party votes splitting away from Romney, Obama will have four years to destroy everything. Do you think he is inept? No. This economic malaise is part of the conscious wrecking of the private economy.

    Because desperate, hungry people are easier to control.

    Is that this what mean by “common good”? Equality of destitution.

  • “Jay, I know nothing about you and so won’t judge”

    That is enough back and forth with Jay Paul. Jay is an old friend of mine and of this blog, and he is a firm pro-lifer. He and I differ regarding voting for Romney, but I know he is motivated by the highest principle and I respect his decision.

  • I wish that this convention had been more pro-life too. But Romney is a moderate on the issue, so the convention probably reflects him accurately. Moderates don’t like to talk about abortion. Now, the interesting thing is that the Democratic convention is going to talk about abortion a lot, from the looks of the speakers. That’s probably going to scare off moderates, who don’t like any strong views about the subject. A chant of “my body, my choice” led by a NARAL representative would only make Obama look extreme, and it would turn off some of the very people who wouldn’t vote for an “extreme” pro-lifer. The Republican convention makes the “war on women” a harder sell.

    Yeah, I know, in a better world pro-lifers wouldn’t have to worry about such tactics.

  • Completely agree with your summation Don.
    The last few afternoons around 2 pm. our time, I have been going around to a mate’s place (also a staunch catholic) and watching the RNC – he has Sky TV, I don’t :-).
    Ryan was very impressive – he continued with his style that I have come to recognise in the few speaches I have seen him make. Just can’t wait till he debates with Joe “the clown” Biden – Ryan will wipe the floor with him.
    I have been very impressed with all the speaches i have watched – the strong oratory of Chris Christie, and the beauty and eloquence of Anne Romney. Also watched Condaleeza Rice yesterday – what a woman. In fact all the women have been most impressive, including the Hispanic govenor? from New Mexico, and just watched Mia Love’s video clip. What a way to defeat Obama’s claim that the Repubs hate women.
    So I’m off to Chas Kirkham’s place in an hour or so – I believe Clint Eastwood is speaking (have always like Clint) and then for Mitt Romney to give his speach. I haven’t heard enough of him to make a comment on his oratorical skills, but he certainly has that resonating type of voice which tends to demand attention. Hope he does well.
    Also hope he romps into the White House, with Ryan to keep him on the right path. 🙂

  • I guess I most be a third party purist. I voted for Mccain in ’08 and had an overwhelming urge to take a long, hot shower when I got home from the poll.
    Seriously, though, I get the whole lesser of two evils, perfect the enemy of the good, thing. Living in Wisconsin, an evenly split swing state, makes my decision that much more important.
    I think that abortion is the great evil of our time. I could handle a “moderate” on the issue (how you hold a moderate view on the killing of children is beyond my ken) like Mccain who at least has been consistant over time. I could handle a candidate who has had a true change of heart. Reagan was such a man. He changed his tune on economic issues and would gladly tell all who would listen why he changed them. What I can’t tolerate is a candidate and a party that plays lip service to the pro-life community because they know that we won’t vote for the alternative.
    Romney has given no explanation for his changing abortion views other than “I made a mistake”. I have changed my views on abortion, and I could talk to you till your ears fell off about that and the other changes that Christ has wrought in my life.
    I will vote Republican for the state and local officials this election, but not for Romney.
    The re-election of Obama is a very bad thing, but it is not the worst thing. The changes that this country needs will not come from its politicians. It must come from God, through the people.
    May God raise a Wilburforce to lead our nation to true repentance, not the politically expedient kind.

  • “May God raise a Wilburforce to lead our nation to true repentance, not the politically expedient kind.”

    Actually Wilberforce was a grandmaster at parliamentary chess and was ever ready to engage in political alliances with fairly unsavory members of parliament in order to reach his reform goals. He understood both the innocence of doves and the wiliness of serpents.

  • JA and Tony H,

    The crowd in control is destroying everything.

    I plan to act accordingly: drink heavily and fire up a stinky, cheap cigar.

    Your nation is about to feel the wrath of the gods of the copy book. Forget repentance. It ain’t happening if you don’t vote Romney/Ryan.

    I’m emigrating to Chile. Pinochet saved Chile in 1973. Nothing can save America if Obama gets re-elected.

  • Concerning Wilberforce (sorry about the spelling earlier):
    It would be one thing if Romney’s problem was cutting deals with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to further the pro-life cause. In some atlernate universe where Romney reaches a compromise with Democrats to allow abortions only in the case of rape and incest, I would sing his praises. I would keep fighting for complete abolition, but it would be a great victory won.
    But this isn’t my problem with Romney. I can’t square his stance when he signed a pro-abort pledge to Planned Parenthood, or gave them a personal check, to the timing of his switch to pro-life. This doesn’t even take into consideration all his other stances on social and economic issues on which he has done an about-face.
    I didn’t read anything in the Wilberforce bios about a sudden switch in his stance on slavery when it was politically advantagious. He did start off with the abolition of the slave trade before he won the final victory of abolition of slavery in the British Empire.

  • “I can’t square his stance when he signed a pro-abort pledge to Planned Parenthood, or gave them a personal check, to the timing of his switch to pro-life. This doesn’t even take into consideration all his other stances on social and economic issues on which he has done an about-face.”

    As I have noted, I have called Romney a weathervane for his switching of positions. That bothers me. However, it does not bother me a fraction as much as a second Obama term would. As I have also noted, I have no doubt that Romney would govern as a pro-life president, for his own political advantage if for no better reason. I was also not comparing Romney to Wilberforce. My argument is that the pro-life cause should emulate the ideals, the persistence and the political shrewdness of Wilberforce in his fight against slavery.

  • T. Shaw-
    Despite what the man himself may think, God is bigger than Obama.
    I fully expect the copybook heading gods to have their way with us eventually. If past administrations are a guide, voting in Republicans only slows the rush to doom, it doesn’t stop it.
    Don-
    I totally agree with the last sentence you wrote. I disagree as to how to go about that. Think of the hard left turn the democratic party took after Nader kept Gore from winning in 2000. I think the GOP needs a Nader moment. If pro-lifers keep giving auto-allegience to the Republicans, they will keep the boiler-plate pro-life platform statements while not doing anything of substance to actually force change.
    This may be a cynical viewpoint, but I believe it’s true: The GOP, like the Democratic Party, are election machines. They each have the goal of getting as many of their guys elected as possible. The platforms are the means to an end, not the end themselves. Each panders to constituencies. The worst thing in this system is to be a constituency that your political party thinks is totally in the bag for them. The best thing is to be a constituency that could go either way. Think hispanics and how both parties actively woo them and how this has made immigration enforcement a non-issue.
    If the Republicans win the WH in November, no thanks to me, they will be stuck in “economy, stupid” mode and my prediction is that little head way will be made in the pro-life fight. The repeal of Obamacare is not a sure thing barring a supermajority sweep in the Senate, which I think is very unlikely. After the Roberts fiasco I’ve just about written off the Supreme Court. That laid the ax to the last great argument for voting in Republican presidents, no matter what.

  • What Tony H has said above speaks for me as well. I couldn’t have expressed my views any more eloquently.

    And Tony H has it exactly right re: Roberts. His flip in the ObamaCare decision has single-handedly destroyed the Supreme Court argument in favor of voting for Republican presidents.

  • Well, one thing is certain: the abortion status quo isn’t going to improve if the election is handed to Obama. And it is pretty pessimistic in my view to write off what may be accomplished with a GOP-controlled White House, Congress and possibly Supreme Court. Of course the party machine and the politicians themselves will not – and will never, ever, on any important issue – move quickly enough. But with the GOP in power, the government is far more sensitive to and receptive to grassroots pro-life efforts. It is far more susceptible to intense pressure tactics. The Democrats don’t have to placate pro-life voters; the Republicans do. How far the Republicans go depends entirely upon how far and how hard we are willing to push them.

    Abortion is not a political issue, in the end. It is a cultural issue. Change comes from the war of ideas and feelings on the ground, fought out between groups of activists. The most government will do is respond to the tectonic shifts we create. So I would suggest that some people revise their understanding of what governments and political parties are and do.

  • “Think of the hard left turn the democratic party took after Nader kept Gore from winning in 2000. I think the GOP needs a Nader moment.”

    Complete and total rubbish. Pro-lifers effectively control the GOP now. That is why we have a tidal wave of pro-life legislation since the Republicans took control of so many state legislatures in 2010. Pro-lifers are not some ever disgruntled faction within the GOP. We ‘ve converted the Republican party into the vehicle for the pro-life causes. Fortunately the vast majority of pro-lifers do not agree with you, and your example will have little impact. If your idea were followed it would send the pro-life cause into the political wilderness for a generation and effectively destroy the voice of the unborn in either of the two major parties, while giving the cause freak show status on the third-party-waste-of-time-circuit.

  • “Abandon all hope, . . . ” Dante

  • And Tony H has it exactly right re: Roberts. His flip in the ObamaCare decision has single-handedly destroyed the Supreme Court argument in favor of voting for Republican presidents.
    Roberts claimed that it wasn’t the Supreme Court’s job to judge legislation from Congress, so he abdicated his job. Obama told the Department of Justice to enforce his-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President. Roberts turned Obama on us and refused to judge the Affordable Healthcare Act and did as he was told by Obama. Vote Republican and Hope for FREEDOM and Change tyranny.

Solidarity and the Welfare State

Thursday, August 23, AD 2012

An interesting look at Paul Ryan by Father Barron based upon the twin poles of Catholic social teaching:  subsidiarity and solidarity.  It is easy to see how the welfare state, consolidating ever more power in the central government, is destructive of subsidiarity.  What is often overlooked however, is how destructive the welfare state tends to be also of solidarity.

1.  A welfare state by its nature needs government employees, and lots of them.  We are seeing in our time how the interests of these employees and the populations they purportedly serve often clash.  Think, for example, teachers unions and school choice.

2.  A welfare state, once it reaches a large enough size, becomes a crushing burden on the economy.  Paradoxically, the welfare state which is meant to alleviate poverty, ends by increasing it.

3.  As governmental power and scope grows through a welfare state, elections tend to become much more important to ever larger segments of the population, as society increasingly divides between those who receive benefits and those who pay the taxes to provide the benefits.

4.  By increasing dependence upon government, the welfare state lessens the initiative among a great many people to not only improve their own lot through their efforts, but also the lot of their families.

5.  Welfare states tend to become substitute husbands for low-income women and substitute fathers for the children born to single low-income women.  The impact upon illegitimacy rates is as obvious as it is destructive of the family, the basic building block of solidarity in any society.

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15 Responses to Solidarity and the Welfare State

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  • It is remarkable how rapidly the main social functions of the family have been transferred to the state. Until 1745, here in Scotland, north of Stirling, justice, production and consumption, education, health were almost entirely the responsibility of the family, especially the extended family, the sept or clan. In the Lowlands, the burghs were, effectively, petty republics, governed by the incorporations or guilds and, in the countryside, the laird and his barony court and the minister and elders in the kirk-session, were the effective government. A very good example of subsidiarity and solidarity working together.

  • Nicely done. I would just add a few thoughts.

    The danger for us as critics, I believe, is to so dislike the welfare state that we disconnect from the principle of solidarity altogether. While I am extremely reluctant to count government mandated redistributionism as any kind of charity and question its virtues in many ways, I do think in solidarity we must recognize our “sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone”. So your question as to what replaces the welfare state must be fully answered, I think, before it can be replaced.

    JD
    http://www.traditium.com

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  • Here’s a charitable man.

    From Politifact.com/Tampa Bay Times which just fact-checked it.

    “In July 1996, the 14-year-old daughter of Robert Gay, a partner at Bain Capital, had disappeared,” the story reads. “She had attended a rave party in New York City and gotten high on ecstasy. Three days later, her distraught father had no idea where she was. Romney took immediate action. He closed down the entire firm and asked all 30 partners and employees to fly to New York to help find Gay’s daughter. Romney set up a command center at the LaGuardia Marriott and hired a private detective firm to assist with the search. He established a toll-free number for tips, coordinating the effort with the NYPD, and went through his Rolodex and called everyone Bain did business with in New York and asked them to help find his friend’s missing daughter. Romney’s accountants at Price Waterhouse Cooper put up posters on street poles, while cashiers at a pharmacy owned by Bain put fliers in the bag of every shopper. Romney and the other Bain employees scoured every part of New York and talked with everyone they could – prostitutes, drug addicts – anyone.

    “That day, their hunt made the evening news, which featured photos of the girl and the Bain employees searching for her. As a result, a teenage boy phoned in, asked if there was a reward, and then hung up abruptly. The NYPD traced the call to a home in New Jersey, where they found the girl in the basement, shivering and experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a massive ecstasy dose. Doctors later said the girl might not have survived another day. Romney’s former partner credits Mitt Romney with saving his daughter’s life, saying, ‘It was the most amazing thing, and I’ll never forget this to the day I die.’”

    That is my Romney reverse detraction for today.

  • You are giving Romney too much credit, T. Shaw. It was of little consequence for Romney to make this easy gesture. First, he is rich so it doesn’t count. Second, the closure of his firm was hardly a sacrifice since the government that built it no doubt continued to run it. Finally, the real hero was government in the form of the NYPD, which plainly would have found the girl eventually.

  • 1. A welfare state by its nature needs government employees, and lots of them. We are seeing in our time how the interests of these employees and the populations they purportedly serve often clash. Think, for example, teachers unions and school choice.

    The public housing authority, the child protective apparat, the ‘family services apparat’, state asylums and sanitoriums, and the public schools require a great deal of manpower. Insurance, voucher, and cash transfer programs, not so much.

    2. A welfare state, once it reaches a large enough size, becomes a crushing burden on the economy. Paradoxically, the welfare state which is meant to alleviate poverty, ends by increasing it.

    More precisely, increases economic sclerosis. France has a particularly serious case.

    3. As governmental power and scope grows through a welfare state, elections tend to become much more important to ever larger segments of the population, as society increasingly divides between those who receive benefits and those who pay the taxes to provide the benefits.

    Yes, but what often divides these two classes is a position in the life-cycle. I suspect you would find occupational factors, cultural factors, and social-psychological factors more important in influencing voting behavior.

    4. By increasing dependence upon government, the welfare state lessens the initiative among a great many people to not only improve their own lot through their efforts, but also the lot of their families.

    True, but a great deal of the problem is not common provision per se but poorly structured incentives incorporated into the existing programs.

    5. Welfare states tend to become substitute husbands for low-income women and substitute fathers for the children born to single low-income women. The impact upon illegitimacy rates is as obvious as it is destructive of the family, the basic building block of solidarity in any society.

    True of AFDC and like problems. The thing is, AFDC turned out to have a permissive influence on this sort of behavior. It was not much of a motor of it and the reduction in the size of welfare rolls has not been accompanied by improvements in family maintenance.

    6. Welfare benefits tend to foster a sense of entitlement and an unwillingness to tolerate any diminution of such benefits for the common good, even when a country is careening toward bankruptcy.

    There is a good deal of truth to that with regard to benefits for the elderly. The trouble is, the elderly are the least able to adjust to changes in economic circumstances. You do not really see much in the way of mobilization of the non-elderly poor. The resistance you’re seeing comes from the delivery apparat and from the brokering politicians.

    7. Welfare states tend to involve ever-increasing domination of society by those who write the rules that govern the welfare state and administer it. Rather than societies governed by debate and compromise, government diktat becomes the order of the day.

    Aaron Wildavsky would have disagreed with you. He said the hallmark of contemporary political society was bureaucracy without authority.

    It increasingly seems Congress is incapable of accomplishing anything at all.

    8. Welfare states, because of their scope and power, inevitably threaten basic human freedoms. The HHS mandate, devised by President Obama for a cheap political advantage this election year, is a prime example.

    More precisely, they are one vector among many that acts to diminish independence of mind and self-confident discretion on the part of both the man in the street and local politicians.

    9. Welfare states dull the desire of people to engage in charitable activities, and take ever greater sums from the populations they exist upon, depleting the funds available for charity.

    This is true to a point, but often welfare bureaucracies and private charity are addressing somewhat different sets of problems. One is not a substitute for the other.

    10. Solidarity is possible only in societies which view their people as adults, capable of working together for the common good. Welfare states tend to view populations as clients who must be led into paths that the controllers of the welfare states deem desirable.

    True.

    One of the great questions of this century will be what comes after the welfare states, which are manifestly dying. The beginning of an answer would be to consider what contributes in a society to true solidarity and what does not.

  • MP: Thanks.

    St. Melanie (my wife) thinks I had a bad day. On the contrary, it was a good day. I didn’t get shot when, within a minute of when I was and a hundred yards of me, 10 were less lucky. You don’t hear the one that hits you.

    Even better, I learned that it’s a blessing to vote for the 100% pro-abortion incumbent prez and VP candidates because Romney’s so-called Catholic running mate is objectively evil: he’s only 98% pro-life.

  • Sending up a prayer for your deliverance T.Shaw and for those who were not so fortunate.

  • Thank you, Mac.

    Recalls that we do not know the hour or day.

    The Blessed Virgin Mary and my sainted mother in Heaven, obviously, have prayed and interceded for me these many years.

    Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it know that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly to you O virgin of Virgins, my Mother. To You I come. Before You I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate despise not my petitions but in Your Mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

  • It is reasonable to oppose Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps, etc. because they are used by those who embrace socialistic government control of the economy.

    Social Security (retirement) has been a systematic looting of alleged “retirement benefits” by the federal government. There is no respect for private property and the level at which the secular leaning government that is involved is too high, and prone to corruption. Retention by the individual of ownership of the funds, if we are to require a set aside of funds would be allowing the individual retain his money for himself and his family for their benefit and for their use in the society, including supporting and helping the poor.

    Other programs, such as unemployment, food stamps, disability, etc. as currently used are designed not to help the recipients, but to enslave in a cynic manner for retention of power. In addition, as we see in the current administration, whether it be the “freedom to worship,” denial of Catholic agencies to provide adoption services (to this children not murdered by abortion), denial of Catholic agencies to assist victims of the international slave trade because they won’t provide or promote intrinsic evils and the HHS mandates, the exercise of the state of solidarity by the provision of unemployment, food stamps, disability, etc. is designed, implicitly, to marginalize the role of Faith in the society. The Church, and other believers, need to say that the so-called “welfare” state has failed and that even if the faith-communities provisions of unemployment, food stamps, disability, etc. is lacking, it is much better in the long run for both the physical and spiritual needs of those members of the Body of Christ that are in need. Unfortunately this is an all or nothing proposition because the once the politicians get a nose under the tent, they are an 800 lb. bully. In the area of solidarity services, you cannot be a little pregnant with State. (Additionally, it is likely that the absence of the Leviathan, would allow for greater marketplace rewards that could be used to either employ others or help the truly needy.)

    The absence of government in the provision of these services, in this digital age, would be a blessing because it would require those members of the Church, who support the coercive solidarity of the state to stand and be counted and support the Church (and its schools, hospitals, nursing homes etc.) and not the State. Supporting the Church (and its schools, hospitals, nursing homes etc.) is not a matter of charitable deductions; it is a central obligation of the Faithful to support the mission of the Church (and its schools, hospitals, nursing homes etc.) and not for the benefit of a tax return.

    Given the history of failures of the socialist-based policies of the so-called Progressives through the New Deal, the Great Society to the present, I think the most cogent moral position is that for a country the size and complexity of ours that the coercive solidarity of the state has been a failure and should be rejected and abandoned.

    A closing note, by way of a simple and simplistic example of the failure of the coercive solidarity of the state; the “Head Start” program has since its inception cost the taxpayers of the USA approximately $160 billion dollars (or 1% of the current national debt) and it has never demonstrated any measurable long-term beneficial effect on the society or to those to which is was directed, yet the socialist left refuses to accept this and demands more money to “make it work.” The principal here is power and its retention, and not the provision of any benefit to which is was directed and that is why this, and so much else of the coercive solidarity is in conflict with the Church’s teaching of subsidiarity.

    N.B. The portion of the national debt relating Head Start is for one failed program, imagine if all of the failed programs were eliminated and what the national debt would be? What amount of private capital and income could in the society and from which faithful Catholics could, in the true and faithful spirit of solidarity and subsidiarity could be directed, effectively by Church (and its schools, hospitals, nursing homes etc.) to those needy and less fortunate in our society.

    Pray for me as I pray for you.

  • There is another reason to oppose many (most? all?) government “social welfare” programs (and many other things as well, like art endowments, etc) If Oskari Juurikkala is correct in his analysis of Social Security and fertility rates, then Social Security is one of the last things the Church and other pro-lifers want to have around. (Making Kids Worthless, found at http://mises.org/daily/2451)

    I have also read that public education is also correlated with fewer children (and homeschooling correlated with having more), but I don’t have much information on that. That information came to me from “There’s No Place Like Work” by Brian Robertson.

  • Yesterday a young woman who had had a minor accident came into the office some two months after the accident, claiming that she needed disability as she had lost her job and still had pain from the accident. Her exam was normal. A refusal to give her disability provoked a hostile sarcastic remark. Last week a male and female “significant other” couple wanted disability for her severe muscle pain. Her exam was normal. Refusal to give disability was followed by the couple’s disapointed exit with the female partner abandoning her slouched painful gait in favor of a brisk walk. A man paid by the state to administer insulin to his somewhat developmentally delayed wife failed to do so and still recieved payments. His excuse? “we were moving to a new apartment”. I could go on and on. What will become of our nation when the receptees of largesse from the state outnumber taxpayers? Sol Olinski knows.

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Has Ryan “Softened” His Pro-Life Views?

Thursday, August 23, AD 2012

Brace yourself for the latest meme to hit the politosphere: the word is now that Paul Ryan has “softened” his views on abortion. Ryan has long opposed abortion in all cases save in a few cases where he believes it may be necessary to save the life of the mother. This means that he has opposed abortion in the case of rape. But in this post-Akin political environment, so the narrative goes, Ryan, in the interests of being a team player, is renouncing his opposition to rape exceptions.

What set this off? First there was the statement made by various Romney campaign spokespeople in the aftermath of Akin’s blunder:

“Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape”

Then there were Ryan’s responses to some reporters who were pressing him on the abortion/rape issue, and focusing particularly on some legislation he previously supported which made distinctions between different types of rape. Ryan said to the reporters:

“I’m proud of my record. Mitt Romney is going to be president and the president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. I’m comfortable with it because it’s a good step in the right direction.”

One the basis of one or both of these statements, major news outlets and some in the Catholic blogosphere are claiming that Ryan has “softened” his views on abortion. Or, to put it in Mark Shea’s words, Ryan has “partly renounce[d]” his position. In response to a comment I made on Mark’s blog, he elaborated further:

 I just don’t see how anybody can regard movement from “It is always gravely evil to deliberately kill innocent human life” to “I am opposed to the murder of innocent, unborn children except in cases my boss tells me not to be opposed,” or, “unless I feel it jeopardizes my chances of becoming VP” and maintain that Ryan is not compromising.

It is quite obvious to me that Paul Ryan has not said or done a thing to warrant the attribution of such cynical and selfish motives to him – though I do believe he, like most pro-life politicians and even people such as myself, is willing to compromise on a few points to make significant gains, a point I will elaborate on below. In any case, Mr. Shea goes too far. Because I often find his commentary to be fair-minded (even when I disagree), I am surprised at this rather unjustifiable attack on Ryan’s character but also willing to grant the benefit of the doubt. So I will offer my take on these comments and Mark can reply if he feels it’s worth his time.

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81 Responses to Has Ryan “Softened” His Pro-Life Views?

  • I’m sorry, Mary De Voe, but enough is enough. I deleted your comment because it is radically off-topic. You have a blog. I suggest you post that information there, and post here comments that are relevant to the issue at hand. Nothing personal.

  • “because it’s a good step in the right direction”

    It would be a giant leap in the right direction. Like Lincon in his fight against slavery, Ryan is willing to support legislative measures that hem it in and restrict it while never losing sight of the goal.

    “But I will say that the general premise that “both parties are evil” is leading some people not only to sniff out nothing but evil, but to also see evil where it doesn’t exist.”

    Precisely.

  • “Politics is the art of the possible” and “politics involves compromise.” The compromise that Paul Ryan suggests does not violate his strong pro-life stand in principle. The choice the GOP has is to do what is the most- morally accepted public viewpoint right now, OR lose out to Obama’s absolute support for abortion to the point of infanticide, aka partial birth- recall his own actions as Illinois State Senator when he voted against funds for babies who survived abortion. The US Electorate needs further education on the absolute right to life of all babies, and hear the stories of all survivors of rape and incest. The Government is not Jesus’ Body, the Church. Extreme idealists do not make the best politicians The ideal for all issues is still to be achieved- Isaiah’s Lion is still chewing on the Lamb and the cash for plow-shares is being dumped on unwinnable wars.

  • Thank you, Bonchamps. It would be fruitful if certain Ryan critics actually examined the entirety of his comments rather than selected portions. It’s quite clear what Ryan meant, and that his personal opinion had not changed.

  • Ryan may well not have played the “step in the right direction” angle before, but then he hasn’t been a vice presidential candidate before. His comments this week can be read to be in line with Evangelium Vitae’s “an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done.” (They can also accommodate a power-over-principle reading, but that butts up against his right to a good name.)

    Personally, I think this week’s lesson is not that Ryan is a power-over-principle politician, but that we need to evaluate candidates in an “art of the possible” light, not in a “speech to a friendly audience” light. If we’re not supposed to think less of a politician because he can’t fully effect his policies, we should nevertheless account for what he can’t effect in judging him as a candidate.

  • “I often find his commentary to be fair-minded (even when I disagree), I am surprised at this rather unjustifiable attack on Ryan’s character but also willing to grant the benefit of the doubt.”

    You’re being charitable to Mark here, which is a benefit of the doubt that he rarely gives to the targets of his diatribes. The truth is that this sort of thing has become Mark’s stock in trade over the years. I’m completely disgusted by Mark’s calumny of Ryan, and I’m not even supporting the Romney/Ryan ticket (as anyone who has even slightly paid attention to anything I’ve written in the last 5 years knows that I will NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES vote for Mitt Romney).

    Mark, as is his schtick, will of course deny that he calumniated anyone, and will instead claim that he was merely pointing out “blah, blah, blah.” Which, of course, is total BS. Here is what Mark said: that Paul Ryan “partly renounced his pro-life convictions” and “Ryan now opposes the murder of innocent human beings [only] where it is convenient to Romney”. Mark is stating these things as fact – that Ryan has renounced his belief that there should be no rape exception to outlawing abortion. Apart from a press release from Romney HQ that merely reaffirms that their formerly pro-abort presidential candidate is, indeed, still at least somewhat pro-abort, Mark has absolutely NOTHING – ZERO -ZILCH – NADA – to back up his assertion that Paul Ryan has “partly renounced his pro-life convictions”.

    Which makes Mark’s statement a lie. He has painted Ryan is a false light for no other purpose than to brandish his own “see-I-told-you-so-pox-on-both-your-houses” bona fides. And I say that as a card-carrying member of the “pox-on-both-your-houses” club. Now, Mark will point to the press release mentioned above, and will highlight “Ryan” where the release mentions the “Romney/Ryan” ticket” and will say “SEE!!!! Ryan now supports murdering babies where it’s convenient to Romney.” Problem is that absolutely no words ever actually uttered by Paul Ryan, and no actions ever taken by Paul Ryan, could EVER lead any rational-thinking sentient human being to form the conclusion that Ryan has “partly renounced his pro-life convictions” or thinks it’s okay to murder children conceived in rape if it means electing Romney.

    So, I ask again: what solid proof – from Paul Ryan – does Mark have to back up his words? None. And what “proof” he does allude to doesn’t pass the basic smell test that our Church has provided us:

    2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

    Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.

    2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one’s neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.

    Has Mark done this where Ryan is concerned? Has he, with sufficient proof, given the benefit of the most favorable interpretation in concluding that Paul Ryan (who has otherwise shown throughout his political career that he takes his pro-life beliefs seriously) has “partly renounced his pro-life convictions” and “now opposes the murder of innocent human beings [only] where it is convenient to Romney”?

    I submit not.

  • I’m missing something. Is Ryan the typical Three Exceptions Republican that we’ve endured for decades, or is he two?

  • Scott, my best answer would be to “Google it” and read his position for yourself. I don’t say “Google it” dismissively, but rather as a way of saying don’t listen to what someone else claims Ryan’s position to be, but do yourself the favor of searching out his views for yourself.

    That said, my understanding is that Ryan is a “One-Exception” Republican, in that he believes in a very narrow exception where the life of the mother is threatened by carrying a pregnancy to term. Again, though, don’t take my word for it, as I’m sure you can find something more definitive if you look for it.

    But that press release from Romney HQ is NOT the place where you or anyone else will find Ryan’s position. The funny thing is that my take-away from reading that statement was “Yep, that’s the Romney I know so well and for whom I will NEVER vote.” I certainly didn’t take the views of the top of the ticket as reflective of the views of the bottom of the ticket. Mark’s take-away, on the other hand, appears to be “Aha! Another opportunity to tarnish the pro-life credentials of yet another prominent RepubliCath pro-lifer and to put another nail in the coffin of the RepubliCath pro-life myth!” But Mark could accomplish the aim of questioning undying pro-life fealty to the Republican Party by pointing to Romney himself. There’s no need to try to drag Ryan down by claiming he is someone who is “pro-life” only when it’s convenient.

  • Bonchamps: I am good with that. “If Romney-Ryan really is unacceptable on life issues, then it is unacceptable, period.” bears repeating

  • Jay, I respect and understand your view of Romney, even if I disagree with it. We are in complete agreement on Ryan and Shea.

  • I’m confused here. I was under the impression that Mr. Shea supported Ron Paul. Now that may be a misremembering on my part. But if it is not then it is worth pointing out that Ron Paul’s position on abortion is a tenth amendment one in that Roe should ve overturned and the issue should be returned to the states to decide as they will. Which would definitively *not* be a no exceptions abortion position.

    Again, I may be misremembering, but I could almost swear I remember a column of his not too far back laying out why a Catholic could support Ron Paul in good conscience. If that is incorrect then the point is obviously moot.

  • Fantastic thread, I’ve got to say. The Evangelium Vitae quotation couldn’t be more on-point. And the Catechism passage, well, that’s applicable pretty much everywhere.

  • I think the reason for the anger directed against Ryan has to do with the continued distrust of Romney. According to the narrative, Romney couldn’t be trusted on conservative principles, so his VP had to be perfect. He chose Ryan, who is perceived as having unassailable credentials. So Ryan was supposed to keep Romney honest. The abortion exception statements shattered the narrative. Now, it’s seen as Romney contaminating Ryan, or Ryan not being strong enough to stand up to Romney.

    Of course, all of these narratives are fiction. They’re our interpretations, and we demand that all the characters wear white hats or black hats. We ascribe mystical powers to a VP nominee, or ridiculously claim that Romney can’t be trusted on abortion, or just as ridiculously claim that Romney can be trusted on abortion. It’s more complicated than that.

  • I’m comfortable with it because it’s a good step in the right direction.

    I really don’t see how that can be interpreted as giving up his principles. Legalization of abortion did not come as a single step – it started with severing the link between intercourse and procreation through acceptance of contraception (first morally at Lambeth, and then legally through Griswold). Roe v. Wade was the culmination of many steps. Ryan is just doing it in the opposite direction, and the most realistic way it will happen – step by step. This is similar to claiming that a coach doesn’t really want to ever score a touchdown because he called for a 5 yard slant for a first down at his own 20 yard line rather than throwing a deep route hail Mary (sorry, it’s football season).

  • It could still be a “no exceptions” position.

    Ron Paul’s position is a technical legal one – he is not saying that abortion should be legal, he is saying that as a Constitutional law matter, it is a decision for the states. If he were a STATE congressman he would feel 100% comfortable voting for a STATE law banning abortion. Whether he is right on the Con law matter is a different issue, but one that RCs can legitimately disagree about (it is, incidentally, the same position Scalia holds and has held for many years). So his issue is not whether abortion should be banned, but through what legal mechanism.

  • “I’m completely disgusted by Mark’s calumny of Ryan…”

    I agree. I believe Mark is deeply engaged in calumny – an intrinsic evil.

  • Yes, but that obviously leaves the door open to states choosing to go the full-on abortion-into-the-ninth-month way, too. I understand the premise of the tenth amendment solution (and I supported Thompson last time around whose view was similar, so this isn’t necessarily a criticism of Ron Paul) and am not necessarily condemning it. Claiming that Paul himself may be 100% against abortions with no exceptions personally and might vote for an outright ban if he were a state legislator is fine. But I’m not going to pretend that states like, say California or New York aren’t going to have an abortion free-for-all if we send it back to the states. He may vote against it, but he is fine with other states voting for it. And as a matter of pure Constitutional law, an amendment to protect the lives of the unborn is perfectly in line with Constitutional procedures outlined in the document as well.

    My point is that it seems to me to be a bit disingenuous to freak out over Paul Ryan’s percieved shift in position if you support someone who is OK with letting states decide its a-ok for folks to abort all they want.

  • The irony here is that Mark’s preferred candidate, Ron Paul, also favors a rape exception to laws against abortion.

  • Wow. So Mr. Well-Informed Practicing Catholic isn’t aware that St. David of Wales was the product of a rape?

    Denouncing Akin’s views is not the same as saying that the life of a child conceived through violent rape is less valuable than that of a child conceived through loving intimacy. He can reject Akin without rejecting the immorality of abortion.

    I hope Ryan thinks this over–it is very disappointing.

  • Good post, Bonchamps. One would think that the words of the self-appointed piety / purity police of the Catholic Blogger Magisterium that seems to have arisen in this day and age of the internet should carry more weight than those of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him (many of whom have actually come out with kind words to say about Ryan’s Catholic witness).

    Paul Ryan is a good Catholic witness. What kind of witness is Mark Shea’s calumny (a term someone else used above, not me)?

  • Icefalcon,

    I think what’s disappointing is your complete inability to understand that Ryan hasn’t rejected the immorality of abortion.

    Everyone Else,

    I think Ron Paul’s view on abortion is perfectly acceptable. We aren’t morally obliged to be federal supremacists. Few elected officials have spoken as eloquently about the natural right to life – and even written a book about it – as Dr. Paul has. He does so as one of the leading representatives of libertarianism as well, a movement that has historically not been too friendly to the right to life of the unborn. I’d say he’s probably done more for the pro-life cause through his argumentation than some “no exceptions, only a federal solution is possible” politicians have done with their votes.

  • Actually, what you are accusing Mark of is properly rash judgment rather than calumny.

  • I think icefalcon’s comment touches on the downside of the “step in the right direction” approach taken by a VP candidate. There is a conflict between making one’s personal opposition known and the inherent deference to the presidential candidate’s position. A “personally opposed, but not in charge” argument is a dis-integrated witness to the truth. It may be justified under the circumstances, but it is not without its bad effects.

  • I’ll just say “ditto” to Donald’s 4:22AM (really?!?!?!) comment.

  • ” A “personally opposed, but not in charge” argument is a dis-integrated witness to the truth.”

    But Ryan explained WHY, and his explanation still gave witness to the truth. When you say someone’s views are a “step in the right direction”, you do a service to both that person as well as those who have already taken those steps. It was just about the best thing he could have said in the circumstances he was in and I can’t imagine why anyone would have a problem with it.

  • What’s disappointing is that people continue to ascribe to Ryan – out of either maliciousness or ignorance – views that belong to his running mate.

    Surprise, surprise, a presidential nominee who once ran to Ted Kennedy’s left on abortion is … SHOCKER!!! … soft on abortion. The vice-presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, by all indications, is not similarly soft on abortion (absent more proof than what has been offered thus far), but believes that Romney’s views are a move closer to the ideal than are Obama’s (and the current law of the land under Roe and Casey).

    WOW! Time to “think this over”. I wouldn’t vote for Romney under any circumstances, but nevertheless believe he’s closer to me on the issue than what the current law allows. In that sense, yes, even a ban on abortion with exceptions is better than what we currently have.

  • “But Ryan explained WHY, and his explanation still gave witness to the truth.”

    The fact that an explanation was required establishes that his witness to the truth as a VP candidate is not as clear as his witness to the truth as a member of the House.

    Here’s a simple test: Can Ryan the VP candidate unconditionally endorse Ryan the House Member’s Sanctity of Human Life Act?

  • Actually, what you are accusing Mark of is properly rash judgment rather than calumny.”

    The object is no less harmed by the accusation if the speaker is being “rash” vs. being intentional. At some point, “rashness” becomes reckless disregard for the truth.

    But, for the sake of charity, I’ll consider amending my assessment of Mark’s statements from being calumny to instead being rashness that exhibits a reckless disregard for the truth. Honestly, however, I don’t think that particular spin puts him in much better stead.

  • “…I’ll consider amending my assessment of Mark’s statements from being calumny to instead being rashness that exhibits a reckless disregard for the truth. Honestly, however, I don’t think that particular spin puts him in much better stead.”

    Perhaps Mark Shea would do well to focus on the girth of problems in his own life instead of the lack of girth of problems in Paul Ryan’s life.

    Can’t that be said of all of us?

  • Tom K.,

    “Can Ryan the VP candidate unconditionally endorse Ryan the House Member’s Sanctity of Human Life Act?”

    I don’t see why not. I don’t see anything in his statements indicating that he could not or would not. I don’t honestly believe for a moment that Romney has demanded from Ryan total agreement on the “hard cases” or prohibited him from speaking on or endorsing legislation that would outlaw all abortions. Such suggestions – and Mark did suggest as much – are really outrageous.

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  • ” Such suggestions – and Mark did suggest as much – are really outrageous.”

    For my part, I don’t find it at all outrageous to suggest that a vice presidential candidate, to say nothing of a vice president, will not publicly work for the passage of legislation which the presidential candidate, to say nothing of the president, opposes. (Such, at least, were the circumstances I was trying to invoke by mentioning the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which on my reading entails legal prohibition of abortion in all cases.)

  • Tom K.,

    The suggestion was that Ryan was either a cynical power-seeker or a feckless coward. You’re rephrasing what was said in very neutral terms. We aren’t talking about what “a VP candidate” does in theory – we’re talking about what some people, like Mark Shea, are saying about one man, Paul Ryan.

  • “But, for the sake of charity, I’ll consider amending my assessment of Mark’s statements from being calumny to instead being rashness that exhibits a reckless disregard for the truth.”

    And part of my re-assessing whether it’s “calumny” vs. “rashness that exhibits a reckless disregard for the truth” hinges on whether Mark persists in his claims, without further proof to back them up, that Ryan has “partly renounced his pro-life convictions” or that “Ryan now opposes the murder of innocent human beings [only] where it is convenient to Romney”.

    So far, at least in response to commenters at his post, Mark appears to be doubling down on his claims. In my book, that doesn’t lead one to easily dismiss it as “rashness”.

  • So far, at least in response to commenters at his post, Mark appears to be doubling down on his claims.

    Well, of course.
    If you don’t have a tolerance for that, and for a “pox on both houses” approach, don’t read him. Or do, and realize you’re going to be annoyed. *shrug*

  • “It’s a good start” is a statement that would clearly indicate, in a polite way, that more needed to be done; “step in the right direction” is just a rephrasing.

  • Foxfier,

    As I stated above, I am a card-carrying member of the “pox-on-both-your-houses” club. I’m voting for the Constitution Party’s candidate, Virgil Good, who has a 100% pro-life without exceptions stance. Even if Goode weren’t on the ballot, I’d still NEVER vote for Mitt Romney.

    But being a member of the “pox-on-both-your-houses” club doesn’t excuse either “calumny” or “rashness exhibiting a total disregard for the truth”. And the only reason I read and commented on Mark’s post on the subject was because someone brought it to my attention. Otherwise, I don’t read him (or any other blog these days apart from this one and Creative Minority Report).

  • In fact, I don’t read or write on my own blog much anymore (although I did post yesterday -for the first time in 2 months – to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the death of Irish soldier, statesman, and hero, Michael Collins).

  • Jay-
    I would class you as a “they’re both wrong” sort, rather than “they’re equally wrong” sort. One is respectable, the other is cheap grace.

    I <3 CMR, too. ^.^

  • @Bonchamps,

    My comments weren’t meant to be a criticism or condemnation of Ron Paul’s views on how to handle the abortion issue legally (as I said before, I supported Fred Thompson last time around and his views on the subject were similar). Like I said at the end of my last post, I just find it disingenuous that Mr. Shea, who I believe supports Ron Paul- whose own position would legally allow states to permit all abortions if they so choose- is upset about Ryan’s perceived shift in position.

    I’ve always really enjoyed reading Mr. Shea’s work on the faith, but it seems to me that when he gets into applying those principles in the political arena he goes off the rails into hysterical territory.

  • In all fairness, the question as to whether the decision regarding abortion’s legality does or should rest with the states is quite different than the question of whether abortion should ever be legal and if so under what circumstances. The notion that the answers are yes and no respectively is quite logically coherent. That said, the inferential liberties that Shea takes with Ryan’s statements and positions are not logically coherent, but just emotional rants.

    My own considered view is that absent a constitutional amendment, the abortion decision does rest with states. Indeed, one can make a case that some of the same animations that justified the post-Civil War civil rights amendments also apply to the unborn and the protections they need, in which case a constitutional amendment may well be the most sensible answer — even if politically implausible.

  • I would class you as a “they’re both wrong” sort, rather than “they’re equally wrong” sort. One is respectable, the other is cheap grace.

    Yeah, that would be my take as well. One group recognizes that there are legitimate differences between parties and ideologies, the other wallows in a sort of self-righteous loathing of everything.

  • “4:22AM (really?!?!?!)”

    Yep! I normally turn in at 10 PM and rise at 4:00 AM. I find the early morning hours to be very productive.

  • *cry* I use to love early mornings, got up at 5 all through high school, one of the few folks that was well rested even though I NEED at least 8 hours of sleep. Then I had children that agree with their father– 10PM is just STARTING on “bed time.”

  • Oh I never felt more helpless in my life Foxfier than at a 3:00 AM feeding with my twin baby boys with both of them howling! Until my wife and I broke up the week between us with me taking Friday, Saturday and Sunday and her taking the remainder of the week, she was staying at home at the time, we were complete zombies for the first few weeks after our twins were born!

  • Far too many words have been spilled on this topic.

    A president who is partially pro-life is a step on the right direction from where we are today. That we are even discussing this says more about the likes of Mark Shea than it does about Paul Ryan.

  • The Catholics I know agrees with Romney’s position on abortion when it comes to rape. I consider Romney to be a moderate conservative & Ryan more conservative but not an extremist. Anyway, I like these 2 men as they are both very decent.

  • In November, you get to display your Catholic “bona fides.”

    Cast your vote for the 88% pro-life team or for the 0% pro-life regime.

  • Bona fide Catholics understand that “88% pro-life” is a political euphemism for an objectively evil position.

  • Hey, Tom,

    Is that why bona fide catholics feel they can liciltly advance the 100% abortion agenda?

    I just walked by a couple pf persons that abruptly went to see St. Peter.

    They now know that you will not be getting into Heaven if you shoot people on 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, or if you vote democrat.

  • Hey, T.,

    Inventing religious doctrines does not solidify your Catholic bona fides.

  • Tom- You have a number of excellent blog posts over the years on the principle of double effect. Why are you are belaboring this non-issue?

  • K: I’m the worst sinner you ever met. I have no Catholic bona fides.

    I did not invent Church teaching. If you die in a state of mortal sin . . . Voting democrat is voing for abortion which is a mortal sin.

    I was referring to two dead and nine woounded outside my place of employment the Empire State Building in NYC. I was on the street 100 yards away when it happened. I’m only a little shaken. Sadly, I’ve seen more sudden death.

  • That is an excellent question, Paul D. Tom, you know full well that voting for the Romney ticket is not remotely objectively evil, so why are you implying otherwise?

    Of course voting for the Obama ticket is not objectively evil either, even if the prudential calculus necessary to justify it is pretty doggone tricky.

  • I’m not familiar with the principel of double effect. I know the principle of double-tap.

    One of my co-workers was entering a taxi and saw the NYPD kill the shooter. “Driver, JFK Airport, and step on it!”

  • Shaw,

    Voting Democrat is NOT necessarily a mortal sin. It’s really reckless to say such things.

  • And Tom, so in 1860 you would have encouraged Catholics to not vote for Lincoln since his position on slavery was constrained by pragmatic politics and imperfect? So America gets Stephen Douglas and a couple extra decades of men, women and children in chains, all in exchange for your phony principle?

  • MP: Apparently, K believes that stealing (government without justice is mass brigandage) other people’s money to give it to the democrat voting base (coincidentally including UAW, NEA, PLO, Wall Street bankers, green boondoggles like Solndra, etc.) is plenary indulgence. It wipes away about 5,000,000 mortal sins advanced by the democrat agenda. Because Matt. 25: The Final Judgment: “I was hungry and you voted for Obama . . .”

  • I don’t consider it a non-issue to use political euphemisms to represent what is evil as what is good.

  • “step in the right direction”

    Ok. so ‘splain to me how this is different from Benedict XVI’s statement that use of a condom by an HIV positive person is a “step in the right direction” brouhaha? In that case, it did not mean the Pope was backing off on the intrinsic immorality of artificial contraception, but rather that it showed the person was at least starting to recognize that consideration of others was more important than his own personal gratification, and hopefully someday that same person would arrive at the fullness of truth on sexual morality. IIRC, Mark defended the statement pretty much along those lines (and I would agree with him).

    How is Ryan’s statement different wrt hoping the country finally arrives at the fullness of truth on abortion?

  • Mitt Romney’s position on abortion is objectively evil. If pointing out that fact constitutes encouraging Catholics not to vote for him, blame the party that nominated him, not me.

    And if people think pointing out that fact is implying that voting for Romney is objectively evil, blame the parish that catechized them.

  • T. Shaw: “Cast your vote for the 88% pro-life team or for the 0% pro-life regime.”

    Tom K: “Bona fide Catholics understand that “88% pro-life” is a political euphemism for an objectively evil position ……. I don’t consider it a non-issue to use political euphemisms to represent what is evil as what is good.”

    Tom, do you seriously consider your response a fair or honest characterization of Mr. Shaw’s comment? In other words, was Mr. Shaw saying that 88% was perfect or simply better? You do realize that the bishops have repeatedly stated that supporting measures that are less than 100% pro-life can be morally acceptable if they are the best practical option for advancing the pro-life cause, do you not?

  • If I also recall, the letter sent out by B XVI last election dealing with what legislators could and couldn’t do wrt objectively evil legislation seems relevant here. The letter said something to the effect that a legislator whose pro-life position is well known, could vote for a law that while not removing an evil entirely, limits or restricts the evil from the current norm. It would seem said legislator could morally vote for a law restricting abortion to rape or life of mom, given the current status, so long as it is clear it is intended as a step, not the end game.

    How is Ryan’s position different from that? And how is voting for Romney, given his exceptions and the current state of law on abortion, substantively different from a legislator voting for such a law in the situation above? Or am I not recalling the letter correctly?

  • I like Tom better when he’s not being ornery. I also refuse to believe that he doesn’t know he’s being ornery.

  • I like Tom better when he’s not being ornery. I also refuse to believe that he doesn’t know he’s being ornery.

    Ditto.

    But we have grown accustomed to talking about things like “88% pro-life” as though they were good things.

    “88% pro-life” is not a good thing. It is a gravely evil thing.

    “88% pro-life” is, as I said, a political euphemism. It means “not pro-life.”

    Here’s my proposal: If politically conservative Catholics spent more time talking about why “88% pro-life” is a gravely evil thing, and less time talking about why people can vote for candidates who are not pro-life, there would be more pro-life candidates to vote for.

  • I’ll drink to that proposal and offer one of my own:

    If the bishops would spend less time talking about being Catholic and more time ex-communicating there would be more pro-life candidates and less scandal.

  • “88% pro-life” is a gravely evil thing, and less time talking about why people can vote for candidates who are not pro-life, there would be more pro-life candidates to vote for.”

    Doubtful. The abolitionists proved completely politically ineffective. It took the election of an anti-slavery Abraham Lincoln, who was regarded with disdain and opposition by quite a few abolitionists, to set in motion the events that led to the end of slavery. I find that historical memory instructive in regard to candidates and abortion. Currently pro-life legislation is being passed around the country in legislatures that are now dominated by Republicans, most of whom are pro-life, but a majority of whom also support rape, incest and life of the mother exceptions. Should we turn our back on this good work because the elected officals are not one hundred percent against abortion?

    If the goal is to restrict abortion and ultimately end it, not wanting to vote for anyone other than someone who is 100 percent against abortion, my position, is completely counter productive. If a candidate is for rape, incest and life of the mother exceptions, and will work to ban all other abortions, then he is clearly preferable to someone who is one hundred percent pro-abortion. After we reach the goal of banning all abortions, except in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother, then we can work to close those exceptions.

    If the goal is merely to vent in com boxes and concede the political struggle to the pro-aborts by effectively leaving the political arena, then a pure pro-life strategy is appealling.

  • “88% pro-life” is a gravely evil thing, and less time talking about why people can vote for candidates who are not pro-life, there would be more pro-life candidates to vote for.”

    I’m not so sure that Tom is wrong on this, I can see how this type of conversation might produce more candidates who would appeal to our rather small echo chamber. This would not advance the ball, of course, any more than voting for Radical Republican abolotionists rather than Lincoln would have advanced the ball on slavery, but I suppose it might make a voter *feel* pure, holy, righteous and all that.

  • To not vote for someone who can further the culture of Life is akin to say: Let’s not ever vote for a Christian! Let’s only vote for Catholics because we know it’s the one true church founded by Our Lord himself!

  • “I’m comfortable with it because it’s a good step in the right direction.”

    I’m willing to hold my breath, give the benefit of the doubt, and take the wait-and-see approach. After all, he has to get into office first, and with all the hatred (mis)directed towards Catholics in our world today, and the number of Catholics who vote for Obama and the pro-choice stance, getting into office would be much more difficult if he came right out arguing against Romney full frontal on this issue. This issue has been and will continue to be an on-going one; one that will not be immediately and tactically resolved even if he were to go into office with a 100% pro-life position. I feel IT IS a good step in the right direction – it’s a MOVEMENT in a direction that is closer to being 100% pro-life than not. If he were to get into office, then we can only pray (and as always make our voices heard) that he takes that step further until there is NO death to the unborn innocents – EVER. We should stand in unity to continue to work on this issue realizing that it’s a long-term war — not a short-term battle. Right now, I’m choosing not to be so quick to judge or join in on the ugliness of politics…and pray.

  • ” If a candidate is for rape, incest and life of the mother exceptions, and will work to ban all other abortions, then he is clearly preferable to someone who is one hundred percent pro-abortion. After we reach the goal of banning all abortions, except in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother, then we can work to close those exceptions.

    If the goal is merely to vent in com boxes and concede the political struggle to the pro-aborts by effectively leaving the political arena, then a pure pro-life strategy is appealing.” Exactly how a Catholic must vote. Sometimes the choices are difficult and you have to ask; who is MORE pro life or MORE pro abortion. It’s the reality we deal with and we have to do the best we can. Clearly we must defeat Obama and if that means voting when we really don’t feel we have any choice-then we’d better vote. Otherwise it’s just a vote for Obama anyway. You may as well fill out the ballot with BHO’s name on it.

    The REAL problem is candidates are afraid to stand up and be totally pro life-from conception to natural death and don’t realize you cannot start making exceptions.
    They think if they go that far they will not get elected. The truth is they may not and no candidate who is PRO LIFE and can’t win does us any good. What we need to do is finally stand up to those that are pro abortion,steal the narrative away from them and elect someone who is truly pro life in spite of them. We can have the discussion later on why there are no exceptions to deliberately murdering an innocent.

  • One of the most irritating aspects of the left is that they judge programs, not by outcomes, but by how good and morally superior it makes them feel. By any objective standards, LBJ’s War on Poverty is a failure, which has degraded the lives of millions trapped in the inner cities and dependent on government checks. But hey, those policies make white libs feel “compassionate” so let’s continue them.

    It’s disheartening to see people on our side engage in the same sort of thing. The bottom line is this: babies are left to die on tables every day, they get their brains sucked out, abortions are available right up to the delivery date – and our president and his party are completely OK with that. If he is elected in November, he will name SP Justices who are also OK with that. The entire pro-life cause will be set back for decades. However, the pro lifers who sit this one out will be able to congratuate themselves on their moral purity – nevermind the actual results or political reality.

  • “It’s disheartening to see people on our side engage in the same sort of thing.”

    Bulverism like this — and Mike’s “it might make a voter *feel* pure, holy, righteous and all that” — demonstrates only the poverty of thought on the part of the bulverist.

    It’s all the more shameful in that Catholics show themselves unable to conceive of a reason to point out evil other than to feel morally superior.

  • Tom K,
    A sane person understands that going from 100% abortions legal to 5% is a good thing even if 5% abortions legal is a bad thing. So a sane man battles to see this good thing happen and resents being opposed by the man who opposes the good thing happening because a bad thing remains. The latter man is either a fool or evil.

  • What is the ‘bul’ part with ‘verism’ ? Is it a superior way to cut at the verism of Catholic reason? My B student dictionary mentions ‘bull’ session.
    If bull prefixes truth or realism, then it must mean that an “l” is dropped.
    So, that last sentence sounds like you are maybe looking for cites from Scripture or the Catechism in the pointing out of evil.

  • I believe it’s because of people like Mark Shea that we wound up with the most pro-abortion president in history and I truly feel he will be judged accordingly, just as anyone who supports abortion rights candidates over pro-life candidates. Ryan had to be carefull how he answered that question because it was a trap type question to tie him to Aikin which would give the dem’s and media enough ammo to likley re-elect Obama. Romney pledged to Jay Sekuluv who stated on EWTN radio that he will appoint judges to the court that respect life from conception to natural death and now with a real Catholic on the ticket you can bet he will……

  • “What is the ‘bul’ part with ‘verism’ ?”

    It was devised by CS Lewis:

    “You must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became so silly. In the course of the last fifteen years I have found this vice so common that I have had to invent a name for it. I call it “Bulverism”. Some day I am going to write the biography of its imaginary inventor, Ezekiel Bulver, whose destiny was determined at the age of five when he heard his mother say to his father — who had been maintaining that two sides of a triangle were together greater than a third — “Oh you say that because you are a man.” “At that moment”, E. Bulver assures us, “there flashed across my opening mind the great truth that refutation is no necessary part of argument. Assume that your opponent is wrong, and explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall.” That is how Bulver became one of the makers of the Twentieth Century.”

  • I agree with all Robert that writes, especially on how some self-anointed have employed the perfect to ruin the good. It’s comes really close to “detraction.”

    The Obama-worshiping shills that populate the so-called media’s have two jobs. Ambush GOP candidates and lob “softballs” at liberals.

    Typical question to Obama, “Do you like fried onions on your cheeseburger?”.

    Typical question to Romney, “When did you stop beating your wife?”.

    Here’s one I would ask Obama, “Do you prefer fried or roasted canine?”

  • Thank you for the explanation, Don – I should have looked it up in the web search area.
    Never would have guessed the word was another gift from CS Lewis. It really does define the way governments have gone from keeping outward order to ruling to roost of its people.
    Maybe E. Bulver’s mother was one of the makers of 1960’s ‘feminism’, when fifty years later, some in government want to be sure that public schools provide birth control for age 12 more than teaching them how to think. And on to results in ‘fashion’, greed, and bad manners.
    Oh, relieved that T. Shaw didn’t get bulverised at the ATM wall on Friday AM.

16 Responses to The Conquest of Poverty

  • The late great Henry Hazlitt. Now that’s a name that rarely is mentioned and when he is, his works never disappoint.

  • Obama, bless his heart, doesn’t foster equal opportunity, he forces equal outcomes. That has failed adding to poverty.

  • “The key idea here, though, is that charitable giving is not a duty of justice or a duty enforced by human law. The state has no obligation to confiscate and redistribute wealth in order to “help the poor” (assuming that this is what the aim really is).

    Nor do Catholics have an obligation to advocate for policies that would do as much, let alone castigate and anathematize other Catholics who object to the prudence and morality of such policies.”

    ‘Tolerance’ is a two way street and, when in balance, allows the higher virtue of charity to flourish.

    .”(13) But, when what necessity demands has been supplied, and one’s standing fairly taken thought for, it becomes a duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over. “Of that which remaineth, give alms.”(14) It is a duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity – a duty not enforced by human law. – Rerum Novarum, 22

    “This not only appears to go against what the most radical anti-Ryanites insist upon, but it really describes the way most of us already think and live anyway.”

    Charity has been a traditional function of both religious and civic groups traditionally, fostering unity and civility.

    Very few of the agitated middle-class leftists, Democrats, liberals, et. al. are living in rags because they have given the majority of their wealth to “the poor.” Something tells me that Chris Matthews, E.J. Dionne, and others on that side of the political divide are enjoying all of the perks and pleasures that an upper-middle class American lifestyle makes possible.”

    – not fostering unity and civility either.

  • You don’t conquer poverty by giving man his clothing, food, and shelter. You defeat poverty by teaching (fix failed public education) him the skills to earn them; and by removing the obstacles (class hate, demagoguery, green boondoggles, enviro-nazi hindrances to low cost energy, costly regulations, high taxes, etc.) to economic development and job growth.

    Conquer poverty
    Vote Romney/Ryan

  • Populorum Progressio is part of Catholic Social teaching, too.

    “Now if the earth truly was created to provide man with the necessities of life and the tools for his own progress, it follows that every man has the right to glean what he needs from the earth. The recent Council reiterated this truth: “God intended the earth and everything in it for the use of all human beings and peoples. Thus, under the leadership of justice and in the company of charity, created goods should flow fairly to all.” (20)

    All other rights, whatever they may be, including the rights of property and free trade, are to be subordinated to this principle. They should in no way hinder it; in fact, they should actively facilitate its implementation. Redirecting these rights back to their original purpose must be regarded as an important and urgent social duty.”

    Paul VI also cites St Ambrose “”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, 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.”

    On the balance between the rôle of the state and private initiative, Paul VI teaches, “It is for the public authorities to establish and lay down the desired goals, the plans to be followed, and the methods to be used in fulfilling them; and it is also their task to stimulate the efforts of those involved in this common activity. But they must also see to it that private initiative and intermediary organizations are involved in this work.”

  • Created goods do indeed flow fairly to all when markets are free. Glad we agree on that one.

    But I really have to disagree with the good saints, whose statements are not authoritative, on the question of property ownership. Rerum Novarum, which is authoritative, establishes the natural, individual right to acquire private property through one’s labor – and makes a pretty clear distinction between what is one’s own, and what one must give to others. You can dance around it all you like, but it will still be there when you are done. Theologians and saints can craft lofty phrases, but popes are in the business of governing.

    As for the last statement, it is simply a fact that planned economies don’t work. These comments were made in the 60s, when planned economies still seemed viable, when the Soviet experiment was still in full swing and social democracy was established in Europe. Subsequent events have demonstrated that “the public authorities” are absolutely incompetent when it comes to economic planning.

    Since it cannot be the Church’s intention to harm the common good by prescribing disastrous economic policies, I think we can safely ignore this prescription.

  • Rerum Novarum does, indeed, establish the right to private property; Populorum Progressio says that “All other rights, whatever they may be, including the rights of property and free trade, are to be subordinated to this principle. ”

    There is no contradiction here, simply a development of doctrine.

  • There is a contradiction between respecting private property rights and calling for a planned economy. In an economy in which private property rights are respected, private property owners make economic decisions, not government agencies.

  • “private property owners make economic decisions, not government agencies.”

    Of course, but within the constraints established by public policy; that is why Populorum Progressio insists that public authorities see to it that “private initiative and intermediary organizations are involved in this work. In this way they will avoid total collectivization and the dangers of a planned economy which might threaten human liberty and obstruct the exercise of man’s basic human rights. ”

    Again, there is no conflict here.

  • The Popes’ assumed that man would be virtuous.

    It is not so.

    Socialists, progressives, liberals, democrats don’t care about the poor. If they did they wouldn’t have spent 80 years pushing the same old failed garbage. They care about political power.

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  • My son has autism spectrum disorder. He can speak, and he can work, but his condition requires a job coach to help him stay on task and moderate his behavior, which unaided will become self-injurious.

    Is he the “extreme need exception”? How will this be temporary? What WILL be temporary will be my life and my ability to provide for him financially and protect him from financial or personal abuse. He does not have the social capability to protect himself.

    One does not have to be a “socialist” to understand that a just society protects those that are weakest and cannot fend for themselves. I don’t expect my son’s “exception” to assume the “rule,” but it is a vast oversimplification of life that “extreme need is a temporary and relative phenomenon.

    Don’t get me wrong, America has gone too far on the path of socialism. But it is vastly unrealistic to assume that a safety net can be temporary, or that enough money can be produced by private charity or local governments, in all cases where basic human compassion (forget Christian morality, which presumably the author believes in) would require more.

  • Michael,

    I was obviously talking about the absence of a permanently impoverished caste in modern industrial societies. People with illnesses are a different story.

    I don’t think it is unrealistic at all to expect private charity, personal income, family support, and local community to help people with extreme needs. This is how the human race survived for thousands of years. The existence of the nation-state doesn’t automatically entitle you to everything that a nation-state can theoretically provide – especially when its fiscal disorders are so severe that it can barely afford to deliver what it has already promised.

  • Conquer poverty.

    Vote Romney/Ryan.

17 Responses to Happily Clinging

  • After fretting about Akin all day, this put a smile on my face. The “Catholic deerhunter” should go over very well in Michigan.

    And hey, the Obama adminstration is going to send BIDEN to the GOP convention. While he is there, perhaps he’ll ask Jindal if he runs a 7-11, tell Ryan that he, Biden “has a much higher IQ,” and inform Alan West that West will be “put back in chains” by Romney.
    Who knows what will come out of Joe’s mouth next? And what in the world is the WH thinking of? I am sure Reince Pribuses’ otherwise gloomy day was lightened by that bit of information – he stated that the Dem convention might just have a surprise visitor of its’ own. Pass the popcorn!

  • That’s it? This makes him the new Bob Hope? How the mighty have fallen.

  • Ivan, you miss the point. He is not trying to be the new Bob Hope. (If you want comedy, watch the Biden videos.)

    Ryan might very well be the new Ronald Reagan.

  • Oh, the new Ronald Reagan – with one big difference.

    Liberals delighted in portraying Reagan as dumb, although Reagan was not.

    Good luck in trying to portray Ryan as dumb.

  • Donna V, that Ryan is considered an intellectual heavyweight is more a commentary on the state of US politics than his ability. The US has not had a president with intellectual heft since Richard Nixon. A votary of Ayn Rand cannot be taken seriously as a conservative intellectual if only because the case for liberty and its connection to small government have been made with far greater insight into human nature and society by men such as Burke, de Tocqueville and Hayek; the Rand fans are basically right-wing pseudo intellectuals, the prime example being Alan Greenspan.

  • Please Ivan. Nixon an intellectual heavy weight! Yeah, the man who turned a third rate political burglary into an overwhelming political crisis that drove him from office, handed the Democrats majorities in Congress in the 1974 elections that they used to facilitate the Communist conquest of Southeast Asia, and gave the nation the curse of Carter in 1976. Nixon was many things: liberal Republican, mendacious, a poor politician, creepy, a big government advocate, but an intellectual heavyweight, never!, as the turgid tomes he churned out in retirement amply demonstrated.

    As for Ryan being a votary of Rand, that simply is not true. What Ryan understands is that the US must get its financial house in order. That is not Randian, but simple common sense. Fortunately Ryan, in addition to common sense, also brings to the table an understanding of the US budget sharper than any of his contemporaries. Nixon, who believed in, and implemented, nonsense like wage and price controls, is not worthy to be mentioned in the same breath as Ryan.

  • As for Bob Hope, I am certain he is looking down from Heaven and giving a thumbs up to Ryan:

  • Good post. Love that Bob hope You Tube video!

  • Seems to me you guys ought to get off your high horse re/Rand. She wrote some pretty good fiction and made a lot of sense in support of an economic system she believed in. And lets face it it can’t be much worse than the one we live with here. Economics is/was known at the “dismal science” and in pure form is amoral (as is all science), so it is a perfect fit for an atheist. There is nothing that says that after the science is done you can’t add a “variable constant” called the fudge factor, or even better call it compassion or Christian Charity. Market forces work. The amazing thing is that they work as well as they do here when we interfere every step of the way.
    There is always something to learn, no matter how despicable your source. If you don’t think so go reread “Screwtape Letters” by C. S. Lewis. I think it paints a pretty good picture of the devil. Yes, I know it is fiction, but so are “Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” – of course it’ts been 30 years since I read any of them so . . .

  • Only if puerile rubbish is pretty good. I laughed my way through Atlas Shrugged when I was eight. Even then I was able to recognize a rotten writer when I encountered one. When Gary Cooper was playing Howard Roark in the movie version of The Fountainhead he had to give one of the speeches that always littered Ayn Rand’s tracts. He said he had to memorize it, and that it was pretty difficult since parts of it seemed silly, parts crazy and parts didn’t make any sense at all. That is a pretty good summary of Ayn Rand as a writer.

  • Ivan: Ryan is a smart man. He is one of the precious few (this does not include 18,669 academic econ PhD’s; Federal Reserve System analysts, and all but two on Wall Street) that saw the massing housing bubble and tried to cut it off.

    I guess I still have a shot at being a “good” Catholic. I never read any of Rand’s stuff.

  • Mr. McCleary, I very much agree with your comments. When I was in highschool I read Rand’s fiction. I do remember thinking, “Oh that could never happen in America!” However as fictional is it was and is, some of her intellectual blithering seems to have come to and are coming to pass.

  • Oh, her criticisms of the Welfare State had some validity, but everything about the novels were simply over the top, humorless and unintentionally funny. Ayn Rand was such a humorless writer of potboilers. I honestly think that her novels sold as well as they did, because she mixed in a fair amount of sex with her turgid polemics, back at time when that was far rarer than in our smut drenched time.

  • When I went through my libertarian phase on my journey from left to right, I tried to plow through Rand and found her simply unreadable. I know there are female Rand fans out there, but I’ve never met them. The most enthusiastic Randians I met were inevitably single men in their 20’s and early 30’s, usually very bright and ambitious. The gospel of individualism and the “virtue” of selfishness appeals to certain driven young guys who are burning to make their mark on the world. (And then they marry and start families and find that two o’clock feedings and colicky babies put quite a damper on selfishness.)

    I would add that those young Randians I knew were mainly engineers, math and science guys with little interest in reading fiction in general – which is why they mistook Rand for a great writer. They hadn’t read enough really great fiction to realize how cardboard Rand’s characters are and what a bad stylist she was.

    When I heard that Ryan read Rand, I smiled, because he certainly fits the profile. I didn’t think for a moment that it meant that he was really heartless and selfish, anymore than the Rand fans I knew were heartless and selfish. On the contrary, they were nice, wonkish guys who liked to talk a tough game because they were young and callow.

    Hey, it’s enough for me that Ryan knows his math. Expecting great taste in fiction would be asking too much 😉

  • Donna V.,
    Interesting. In that young 20’s age bracket, I think it was the individualism more than any other idea that came out of the “Fountainhead” – the time when life is sort of the open road. I had been reading lists of classics, and decided to look at something more ‘modern’ during some weekend or other and, at that age, as a girl, for the romance aspect so touted around the alternative-to-classics conversations by professors. Unreal. Just reading a novel doesn’t deter furthering experience and development. A life has its ages and seasons.

    Have to wonder what novels so defined the radical left that are freaking out over this. Have to wonder how their budget looks – but they don’t have one, do they?

    Mainly, I want to say that I’m sure that Paul Ryan has read other books, and that I agree with you on his budgeting brilliance based on reality and math skill.

  • Paul Ryan was in Carnegie, just a few miles outside of Pittsburgh (the hometown of Honus Wagner and Mike Ditka, for those who are interested). it is also the charming little town where I catch the bus, but I doubt if anyone care much about that.

    Ryan knocked it out of the park. He charmed the audience with his wit and had a great grasp of the issues. Of course, the local Democrat Party dragged out their rent-a-mob with their pre-printed protest posters, along with a supremely stupid remark for Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive and typical Pittsburgh Democrat hack.

  • Hi Donald, by intellectual I had meant someone capable enough to drive arguments to the logical conclusions and possibly write their own books. Karl Marx is certainly an intellectual but a malign one, I do not necessarily hold them in high esteem. According to Wiki the wage and price controls were imposed under the extraordinary circumstance that the US was going off the Gold Standard. It would seem a prudent decision to head off a price wage spiral as the value of the US dollar comes to a new equilibrium against a basket of necessities and currencies, and lasted for all of 90 days. Pres Nixon had too many enemies for one lifetime. The Republican Yachting Club never considered this ambitious son of a poor man one of its own, and the Democrats had their knives at the ready since the HUAC hearings. Then too the Vietnam War was raging, and all too many intellectuals and politicians had a vested interest in seeing Nixon fail in South East Asia. Pres Nixon did have a plan for Vietnam, which was simplicity itself. Arm and train the South and in the meantime punish the Commies with devastating air raids for ceasefire violations. For a while the US succeeded, but the green-eyed Congress cut him off at his knees by embargoing supplies to the South, by spreading defeatism, and by tying his hands when it came to bombing the North.

Ryan and the Catholic Left

Tuesday, August 21, AD 2012

 

 

 

The reaction of the Catholic Left in this country to Paul Ryan has been completely predictable.  This is a movement, with honorable exceptions, that long ago fell into lockstep behind the “abortion now, abortion forever” policy of the Democrat party.  When a pro-life Catholic like Paul Ryan arises they must strive, by any means necessary, to drag him down to their level as dissenters against basic Catholic teaching.  Bill McGurn in the Wall Street Journal has a brilliant column looking at this phenomenon:

Say this for the liberal impulse in American Catholicism: In its day, it leavened the faith. Against the church’s tendencies to clericalism, it promoted the contributions of the laity. Against suspicions in Rome, it championed the American experiment. In particular, the liberal impulse advanced the idea of religious liberty for all that would ultimately triumph in the 1960s at the Second Vatican Council.

No longer, alas. Today the liberal impulse in American Catholic life has substituted political for religious orthodoxy. In retrospect, the turning point is easy to spot: liberal Catholicism’s acquiescence in the Democratic Party’s drift toward supporting abortion at a time when church leaders had the influence to stop it.

So here we are in 2012, when all but one of the active senators and representatives who are members of the official Catholics for Obama campaign team enjoy a 100% approval rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.

This fundamental dissent from a basic church teaching is now a fact of modern Democratic Catholic life. The result for our politics is an extraordinary campaign, in the 10 days since Paul Ryan became the Republican candidate for vice president, by those on the Catholic left to strike a moral equivalence between Mr. Ryan’s reform budget and Democratic Catholic support for the party’s absolutist position on abortion.

Thus the column in the National Catholic Reporter characterizing Mr. Ryan as a “champion of dissent” regarding the church’s social teaching. Or the headline at the website Jezebel, “Badass Nun Says Paul Ryan is a Bad Catholic.” When this sort of thing seeps into the mainstream, it takes the form of the recent article in the Washington Post that found moral parallels between the two vice-presidential candidates: Mr. Ryan is a dissenter from “social justice,” while Vice President Joe Biden, also Catholic, dissents on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion.

***********************************************************************************

Mr. Ryan’s own bishop, the Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino, addressed the subject with his most recent column in the diocesan paper for Madison, Wis. The church, he wrote, regards abortion as an “intrinsic evil” (meaning always and everywhere wrong, regardless of circumstances). In sharp contrast, he said, on issues such as how best to create jobs or help the poor, “there can be difference according to how best to follow the principles which the church offers.”

“I’m not endorsing Paul Ryan,” the bishop told me later by phone. “People are free to disagree with him, and disagree vehemently. But it’s wrong to suggest that his views somehow make him a bad Catholic.”

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71 Responses to Ryan and the Catholic Left

  • Why would anyone waste eyesight on abortion catholics’ calumnies?

    If it weren’t for calumny, detraction, and distortion, they would have nothing.

  • The thing that I find most discouraging is the priests who are in the democrat party. I was shocked to find such a thing when we recently moved to Maryland. I wrote to one of them who proudly stated his party affiliation in his homily. I pretty much tried to say that it’s confusing to children when us moms try to explain that democrats stand against the church for things like abortion, gay marriage, etc., then to hear a priest say he’s a democrat. His reply was that he’s proud to be pro-life AND pro-social justice, then he went on to bash republicans (I never told him my party affiliation, so I could be an independent for all he knows) and then say that I re-affirmed his convictions to stand with the democrat party. This was almost a year ago. I was so upset that I threw out his letter, but I really wish I kept it. Pray for the souls of our priests who put politics ahead of Christ, and don’t understand about the company you keep. People can say that Jesus hung out with sinners, but He was human AND Divine, so He couldn’t be swayed toward evil.

  • I just couldn’t bear to watch more than a minute and a half of the liberal idiocy in the 1st video. BTW, subsidium means re-enforcement or relief from the rear; it does not mean help from government above.

    And these people are students of higher education? Thank God I learned on the job in a nuclear submarine at test depth!

  • The thing that I find most discouraging is the priests who are in the democrat party.

    Even people drawn from the most sophisticated component of the public often prove almost incapable of regarding the opposition as is. They see caricatures and only caricatures. Thus the Republican Party – an ominibus of people with interests and preferences which place them at odds with the dominant mode within the Democratic Party, the education sector, the legal profession, and the media – is transmogrified in their mind as the electoral vehicle of late 19th century robber barons.

    And, of course, you get people in all denominations who went into the ministry for the wrong reasons – the social workers and aspirant den mothers.

  • “Why would anyone waste eyesight on abortion catholics’ calumnies?”

    Unfortunately, there are the calumnies of the pure Catholics to deal with.

  • I’m not the Catholic Left. I’m just poor and Catholic.

  • The GOP nominee supports intrinsic evil. Not only that, he is a member of a blasphemous religion, a religion that he is showcasing at the convention.
    http://catholicbandita.com/newsmax-romneys-mormonism-will-be-center-stage-at-rnc-convention/

    You’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid. The fact is that America did not survive the first four years of Obama. That is the reality of the situation. Piling on with blasphemy while attacking the bishops because they defend the preferential option, while claiming you are “more Catholic” than the Catholic Left? God, help you.

  • There is more to Catholic than mouthing the word. Catholic is living one’s life through and with and in Jesus Christ. Abortion, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Same sex marriage: “It was not so from the beginning”. Prayer ban: “The Father and I are ONE.” Catholics who would bother to destroy the only honest, pro-life candidate America has, Paul Ryan, are “useful idiots”, in the words of Lenin, and how aptly they are described supporting the communist agenda in the White House.

    The Declaration of Independence tells us to rely on Divine Providence. Doing the right thing, respecting “the laws of nature and nature’s God”, peaceably assembling before God with the accent on peaceably, (not “occupy Chick-Fil-A” with a demonstration of violating God’s will for human marriage,) honoring almighty God, cherishing life created equal by “their Creator”, and trusting in God the way our money tells us: “IN GOD WE TRUST”, will bring us back to where harmony begins, where the hymn of the universe is heard in the mountains and danced in the water and proclaimed in the air. Let man be free. FREEDOM

  • Lisa Graas says:
    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 A.D. at 9:58am
    The GOP nominee supports intrinsic evil. Not only that, he is a member of a blasphemous religion, a religion that he is showcasing at the convention.
    http://catholicbandita.com/newsmax-romneys-mormonism-will-be-center-stage-at-rnc-convention/

    You’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid. The fact is that America did not survive the first four years of Obama. That is the reality of the situation. Piling on with blasphemy while attacking the bishops because they defend the preferential option, while claiming you are “more Catholic” than the Catholic Left? God, help you.

    Yes, Lisa, God does help us. America has not survived the prayer ban, ostracizing “their Creator” and His unalienable rights from the public square, from every human mind, body, and immortal soul. The name of the game is save the human soul from extinction in the political arena. The human body will follow. Are you in?

  • @AD: A++: ” . . . – social workers and aspirant den mothers.”

    Elsewhere I saw someone call them (Abortion catholics/cathi-Liberals) the “democrat party pretending to pray.”

    My “point” (not the one on my head!) is that these brutes are democrats first and Catholics somewhere farther down in their “priority lists.”

    It’s in the Gospels (which they subvert to support their political prejudices). One cannot serve two masters.

  • “You’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid. The fact is that America did not survive the first four years of Obama. That is the reality of the situation. Piling on with blasphemy while attacking the bishops because they defend the preferential option, while claiming you are “more Catholic” than the Catholic Left? God, help you.”

    Your ardent support of Santorum in the primaries Lisa and your current position are logically inconsistent. You have become unhinged and I would very much appreciate it if you would no longer comment on my threads on this blog.

  • There at least two bishops with the courage to defend Ryan against the bogus charge from the Catholic left (which include several bishops) his own Bishop Morlino and Archbishop Sam Aquila of Denver:

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/paul-ryans-bishop-defends-him-amid-attacks-on-his-application-of-church-tea/

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=2268

  • Taxes belong to the taxpayer even as the taxes are administered by the administration. The taxes rightfully belong to the people first. Put it on the ballot. The USCCB is begging from the wrong people. So are the protestors in the video. It is the people in the pews who fund charity and the government. Remove the funding from the government and all evildoers will leave. Evildoers are too cheap to work for the common good probono. Michael Newdow, the atheist, the American Civil Liberites Union removing God from the heart and soul of America are all funded by the taxpayers who are left in the dustbin by them. All legal fees for civil rights cases are paid for by the citizens’ taxes, citizens who have literally been skrewed over with ssm and abortion, the HHS mandate, Obama’s 923 Executive Orders usurping unauthorized power and property that is not Obama’s and you name it. FREEDOM

  • I deleted your last comment Lisa. You no longer may comment on my threads.

  • We have to be really careful about denouncing the Catholic left. We should be investing our effort into instructing them. Jesus’s last prayer at the Last Supper was for unity. If fellow Catholics can’t demonstrate unity in spite of their political differences, what chance does the country as a whole have?

    One thing we can do to comfort the Catholic left is to distance ourselves from the conspiracy nuts and the libertines. Like it or not, along with the fiscal conservative Tea Partiers, the socially decadent and those who oppose charity on principle have found their way into the more mainstream conversation. There are forces on the right who oppose religion and put property rights over human rights. Not everyone on the right – that’s the lie that the press will repeat. But there is an element on the right that is that way. It’s tactically intelligent as well as ideologically consistent for the right to follow Buckley on this and challenge the anti-religious right.

    As a side note, Lisa mentioned Mitt’s Mormonism. This is the first time in our history that neither ticket put forward a mainstream Protestant. That’s interesting.

  • A few days ago, commenters raised the example of Chile’s economic growth, development and prosperity.

    Herein I neither fabricate nor consult, ex cathedra, the infallible GU Faculty.

    From March 2, 2010: WSJ: “How Milton Friedman Saved Chile” Bret Stephens –

    In 1973, the year the proto-Chavista government of Salvador Allende was overthrown by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Chile was an economic shambles. Inflation topped out at an annual rate of 1000%, foreign-currency reserves were totally depleted, and per capita GDP was roughly that of Peru and well below Argentina’s.

    Chile had intellectual capital, thanks to an exchange program between its Catholic University and the economics department of the University of Chicago, then Friedman’s academic home. Even before the 1973 coup, several of Chile’s “Chicago Boys” had drafted a set of policy proposals which amounted to an off-the-shelf recipe for economic liberalization: sharp reductions to government spending and the money supply; privatization of state-owned companies; the elimination of obstacles to free enterprise and foreign investment, and so on.

    As for Chile, Pinochet appointed a succession of Chicago Boys to senior economic posts. By 1990, the year he ceded power, per capita GDP had risen by 40% (in 2005 dollars) even as Peru and Argentina stagnated. Pinochet’s democratic successors—all of them nominally left-of-center—only deepened the liberalization drive. Result: Chileans have become South America’s richest people. They have the continent’s lowest level of corruption, the lowest infant-mortality rate, and the lowest number of people living below the poverty line.

    And, please God, in 25 years, let someone write a newspaper or magazine article entitled, “How Paul Ryan Saved the United States of America.”

  • I believe that the U.S. Constitution forbids a “religion test” for candidates. A candidate’s religion, or how the candidate responds to the gift of Faith from God, (some atheists say that they have not been given a gift of Faith, but that impugn’s God’s veracity and is false witness in a court of law) be it Mormonism, Catholicism and/or Protestantism may not be used in a political way to improve or disenfranchise the candidate. The candidates’ sovereign personhood endowed at conception by “their Creator” is the defining charachteristic. Obama does not believe that he is a sovereign person from conception, but that his citizenship gives him sovereign personhood. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  • In addition to Morlino and Aquila, Cardinal Dolan also defended Ryan in an interview with Kathryn Lopez, saying, in essence, that although he disagreed with Ryan on specific budget items, Ryan was free to disagree with him on those issues and remain a Catholic in good standing.

    As for “drinking the Romney Kool-Aid”, I sure as heck haven’t (and I’m not altogether sure what “drinking the Kool-Aid” has to do with a thread about the calumnious assault by the Catholic left – and by some prominent folks on the “pox-on-both-your-houses” Catholic right, of whom I count myself a member – on Ryan’s Catholic bona fides). No Kool-Aid stain on my mouth, as I won’t be supporting the Romney/RYAN ticket.

    But I can nevertheless acknowledge that Paul Ryan is the most serious Catholic outside of Al Smith to ever grace a major-party ticket. And Ryan is every bit the solid Catholic candidate that Rick Santorum is, with the added benefit of never having sold out the pro-life cause to support Arlen Specter.

  • T. Shaw: “And, please God, in 25 years, let someone write a newspaper or magazine article entitled, “How Paul Ryan Saved the United States of America.”
    Several rosaries in Latin.

  • To the fellow who posted a comment as “edmund burk” (sic), yes, I did delete your comment. In my threads no candidate may be attacked for his religious views, as that is too close to simple bigotry for my taste, and because attacks on Romney are not germane to the subject of my post.

  • Thank you, Donald. But I will admit that I am even more unhinged than Lisa Graas, just on the opposite side of the spectrum. Hopefully, that self-knoweldge will help me to keep my freaking fingers off the darn keyboard in my more unhinged moments.

    BTW, I have several friends whom I met at work under a previous employer who are devout Mormons (or LDS members as they like to call themselves). They are hardworking, honest, dedicated, loyal, full of integrity, self-sacrificing individuals – everything we as Catholic Christians ought to be and often are not. Two LDS missionaries – both young women who I think called themselves sisters – visited me at my apartment a few months ago. We spent two or three hours discussing the Bible, the Book of Mormon and related subjects. It was a most excellent and informative discussion, one that I greatly enjoyed. I invited them to stay for supper, but they had to leave. I made them pray the Our Father with me before they left. I have always liked debating my LDS friends in a civil, respectful manner. And if I am again visited by LDS missionaries, I shall shall them the same respect and civil dialogue that they have always and everywhere given me.

    I cannot say the same for the liberal Democrat Catholic left. There is nothing civil, charitable or respectful about them. Any discussion always devolves into a shouting argument. How can it be that with LDS folk whose theology I find completely wrong (and frankly, in some parts, downright weird) I get along so nicely, and with liberal Catholics whose theology shouldn’t be that far off from what I was taught in RCIA, there is nothing but acrimony and argument?

    I am voting for Romney / Ryan in part because Romney IS an LDS member and from my experience I know that LDS members live good, clean, honest, hardworking lives (of course, that doesn’t explain Harry Reid, also an LDS member, but we all got our problem children), whereas I am voting against Obama / Biden in part because Biden is an apostate / heretical faux-Catholic Christian who ought to be excommunicated publicly post haste!

    BTW, when I asked my LDS friends why the Quorum of Twelves didn’t excommunicate Harry Reid, they said for the same reason that the Pope didn’t excommunicate Nancy Pelosi. I had to laugh with them at that one. But I digress.

  • Is it axiomatic that whatever follows: “You’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid” is going to be more kool-aid-y than what precedes it?

  • I flinch every time I hear that expression. People remember what it refers to, right?

  • Not entirely sure but the expression has taken on a life of its own. I’m guessing Manson related or something along those lines?

  • How any thinking Catholic can side with the Republican Party is beyond me. These are the same people that kept Catholics out of jobs, out of restaurants, out of work for years and years. Do you suddenly think you got more palpable to these people because they saw the error of their ways? Come on people, think.

  • Mary Ann,

    For your sake stay away from Louisville/Bardstown Kentucky where most if not all Catholic Priests are liberal and democrat. We are in far greater numbers than you.

  • Thank you Mr. Lambert, this thread needed the comic relief that your appeal to tribal loyalty to the Democrat Party supplies. The idea that some Republicans discriminating against Catholics in the distant past justifies allegiance to a party today that has virtually declared war on the Faith is too risible for words.

  • “These are the same people that kept Catholics out of jobs, out of restaurants, out of work for years and years.”

    Lies!

    “For your sake stay away from Louisville/Bardstown Kentucky where most if not all Catholic Priests are liberal and democrat. We are in far greater numbers than you.”

    Godless liberal Democrat threats. I don’t know about Mary Ann, but I’ll go to an Eastern Orthodox or Orthodox Anglican parish before I visit one of your communities of apostasy, heresy and rebellion.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    The distant path is my lifetime. If you want to call that the distant past, fine. There is a reason that doors and church’s all over the country have closed. It can’t be blamed on 30 years of Liberal Teachings in the Church. Can it?

  • “For your sake stay away from Louisville/Bardstown Kentucky where most if not all Catholic Priests are liberal and democrat. We are in far greater numbers than you.”

    Considering what a red state Kentucky is I would say they have been remarkably ineffective.

  • Mr. Primavera,

    I will pray for you in my rosary tonight.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Louisville and its environs is anything but red. The Protestants, of course, are red…..but the Catholic areas truely aren’t.

  • “The distant path is my lifetime. If you want to call that the distant past, fine.”

    Delusional is a bad way to go through life Mr. Lambert. I am 55 years old and I have never encountered the slightest prejudice for my Catholicism from my fellow Republicans. Liberal Democrats on the other hand that I have encountered often have expressed great contempt for the Church.

    “There is a reason that doors and church’s all over the country have closed.”

    Non-sequiturs are a poor substitute for argument.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    You may call names all you want. It is your blog. I am simply giving you the truth. I suppose you’ve lived the gifted Catholic life then, having never felt the burn of hatred against the Church. Never encountered KKK members ready to beat you because you are wearing a cross. Is it just because we wanted to stay to ourselves that we developed our own grade and high school sports leagues?

    As far as Churches and the Church

    Has the Conservative part of the Church held sway for the last 30 years? yes

    Have there been massive Church closings in every area in the last 10 years? yes

    Are there significantly less Catholics today than 30 years ago? no.

    So you tell me Mr. McClarey, Why have all the Church’s closed.

  • “Never encountered KKK members ready to beat you because you are wearing a cross.”

    The KKK was a Democrat terrorist organization Mr. Lambert that was long protected by the Democrat party in the South. Did you really not know that?

    “So you tell me Mr. McClarey, Why have all the Church’s closed.”

    What that has to do with your pro-Democrat talking points Mr. Lambert is beyond me, but the main causes of the closing of Catholic churches have been urban Catholics moving to the suburbs and a shortage of priests. The shortage of priests has been largely caused by poor catechisis and the embrace of heterodoxy by too many clergy and laity.

  • What in heck do the democrats’ KKK allies have to do with all this?

    Not only do Liberal, CST catholics aid and advance abortion, they provide material assistance in massive governmental corruption and economic devastation, e.g., FNMA and FHLMC.

    “Government without justice is mass brigandage.” St. Augustine

  • Not unlike many Catholic leftists, Mr. Lambert appears to have problems with the truth. Unless Mr. Lambert is in his 90s, he certainly has no recollection during his lifetime of any “KKK members [i.e. racist members of the Democrat Party] ready to beat [him] because [he was] wearing a cross”.

    And, like Don, I am at a loss as to what Mr. Lambert’s Total Recallesque memories of his past persecution by the Klan has to do with the Republican Party.

  • JA: Truth: Crosses are okay with Protestants. It’s the Crucifix that sets us apart.

    Please lighten up on Lambie. Liberal are stupid.

  • It is time mr lambert, to square our shoulders, grow up and be responsible for our own actions, and not hide our own predilections and interests and grudges behind what a bishop or a priest or a whole neighborhood says..
    We have to listen to our bishops, but we also have to know our faith ourselves.
    We can recognize truth. If we are Catholic we have to be a good Catholic even if nobody in our neighborhood is, even if our priest or our bishop is not.
    Frequent prayers for light and exam of conscience help me quite a bit. Maybe you already do that. Mr. Lambert. i mean no disrespect to you or your priests who support the democratic party which is officially against Church teaching .. but shake the cobwebs out of your thinking. These issues supported by the Democratic candidates (abortion and homosexual marriage) are not difficult to understand.

  • It is time mr lambert, to square our shoulders, grow up and be responsible for our own actions, and not hide our own predilections and interests and grudges behind what a bishop or a priest or a whole neighborhood says..
    We have to listen to our bishops, but we also have to know our faith ourselves.
    We can recognize truth. If we are Catholic we have to be a good Catholic even if nobody in our neighborhood is, even if our priest or our bishop is not.
    Frequent prayers for light and exam of conscience help me quite a bit. Maybe you already do that. Mr. Lambert. i mean no disrespect to you or your priests who support the democratic party which is officially against Church teaching .. but shake the cobwebs out of your thinking. These issues supported by the Democratic candidates (abortion and homosexual marriage) are not difficult to understand.

  • You may call names all you want. It is your blog. I am simply giving you the truth. I suppose you’ve lived the gifted Catholic life then, having never felt the burn of hatred against the Church. Never encountered KKK members ready to beat you because you are wearing a cross. Is it just because we wanted to stay to ourselves that we developed our own grade and high school sports leagues?

    Just to add precision.

    http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-2730

    Don’t meet many centenarians, Mr. Lambert.

  • “These are the same people that kept Catholics out of jobs, out of restaurants, out of work for years and years. Do you suddenly think you got more palpable to these people because they saw the error of their ways?”

    If you are going to judge political parties by what they did many years ago, then Democrats are the same people who held slaves, enforced Jim Crow and not so long ago had a former KKK member in Congress, a man who used the term “white n****r” and was excused by the other members of his party. In the present, these are the people who condone leaving living babies in closets to die. And you’re upset because some WASP’s once hung signs on the window saying “No Irish Need Apply?” or didn’t let your great-grandparents eat at a restaurant? At least they were permitted to BE BORN!

    The great laugh here is the secular left hates Catholicism, hates all Christianity with a passion. Read any article about Catholicism in, not only HuffPo and Daily Kos, but one in the NYTimes or Washington Post and read the comments – the outpouring of venom and contempt that comes from the left. (Oh, sure there are still some Jack Chick types on the right – they are a small minority compared to the Bill Maher left.) Do you know how they see you, Mr. Lambert? As a useful idiot, a tool. They’ll tolerate your religion if you agree with them and are willing to overlook that little tiny matter of abortion, but disagree with them on anything, and they’ll turn on you and rend you like a wet paper towel. I know what they are like, since I was once a secular liberal myself. Believe me, you will never be “palatable” to them. They’ll use you to further their war on religious rights, while laughing at you behind your back and making fun of all the “pedophile” priests who foolishly back them.

    Paul Primavera: I have only known a few Mormons in my life, but my experience with them is the same as yours. While I disagree with their religion, I found them hard-working, kind, respectable people, people who were raising their children to be good citizens, people I am not ashamed to call my fellow Americans. Ironically, while Mr. Lambert carefully nurses grudges from bigotry aimed at Catholics decades ago, he himself has no compunction about airing his own prejudices. Is it OK to despise Mormons because it’s a “fashionable” prejudice? Funny, being anti-Catholic was fashionable among the Boston Brahmins a century ago (and still is – in case you don’t know, most of those Harvard and Yale educated snobs now vote Democrat.) You decry old bigotries, but don’t recognize your own. Pot. Kettle. Black, Mr. Lambert.

  • Right sounding words for Chris Lambert and his mentioned cohorts.
    Anzlyne, there has also been the gift from Jesus of the Pope(s) whose words spoken/written regularly through the years and years to benefit and clarify either the misguidance of poor catechetics or inattention to Gospel readings day after day through the years and years to help with growth in holiness and strength to do properly what we can for the Catholic Church.

  • Donna, V.,

    Thank you for the confirmation.

  • I will third the kind words for Mormons. Of the 30-40 Mormons well known to me, all were good people who were solidly committed to living upright lives.

    Mr. Lambert’s tone gives me a feeling he is playing with you. He threw that KKKrappe all over the wall just to see who would stop to admire it. It seems to be just a game to him.

  • “Not unlike many Catholic leftists, Mr. Lambert appears to have problems with the truth.”

    It may be a problem with the truth. Alternatively it may be simple ignorance. I remember one Dem co-worker stating that Lincoln was a Democrat. He couldn’t believe that a Republican would seek to free slaves (they are after all about getting those chains back on as Biden informs us.) Once I pointed it out on the internet he struggled with the reality that struck his ignorance.

    Again, I suspect Mr. Lambert is a victim of the public schools rather than malicious.

  • Finally I don’t feel alone. Why to you think I find it so hard to go to confession? Because of the feelings I have toward the liberals. I’ve been donating and helping the pro life since it started. Church members and even my family, including a nun are canceling my vote. I go to confession and state that my most serious sin is what I feel toward liberals. The priest says call or write to my brother. I do but don’t really feel any better. I have the feeling the priest isn’t really sincere in what he is saying. I have the feeling he is a liberal as well. Perhaps this is the reason so many are leaving the church. I love my faith and would never give it up even I get so discouraged. I now have hope. Ryan has given me that. Finally, the priests and bishops will have to defend our faith. They must lead by example! It is wrong for them to give the Eucharist to Catholics that are not in good standing. It is wrong for them to give communion to Nancy Pelosi, Biden and the many other “catholics” that are mocking our catholic faith. We must all pray that this election will save all people of faith or we will become a country of empty churches as we see in Europe and many other countries.

  • “I now have hope. Ryan has given me that.”

    Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return into his earth: in that day all their thoughts shall perish.

    Blessed is he who hath the God of Jacob for his helper, whose hope is in the Lord his God.

    If your hope comes from Paul Ryan, you are being unfaithful to Jesus Christ. I’m quite serious, and this is far more important than who wins the presidency in November.

  • Tom,
    I think you are overreacting. There is hope and there is hope. Scripture is addressing supernatural hope. Just because one craves hope in the worldy sense does not mean that he is deproved of hope in the Scriptural sense. That said, I agree that we should all remember that all men have feet of clay, and one should avoid admiring anyone disproportionately.

  • I stand by what I wrote. Anne says Ryan has given her hope in the Church. This is wrong, and dangerous.

  • “I now have hope. Ryan has given me that. ”

    I daresay Anne that encountering good people who are Catholics has converted more people to the Faith than all the sermons that were ever preached. Don’t be depressed by the clergy and laity who have substituted liberalism for the Faith and who have wreaked such terrible harm over the past four and a half or so decades. Admittedly they are depressing to contemplate, but they are merely barnacles on the Church given to us by Christ. Never lose hope and never lose the Faith.

  • good morning PM yes. thank you

  • I agree with Anne’s 9:47 am entry:

    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2012/08/what-is-wrong-with-roman-jurisdiction.html

    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2012/08/personal-note.html

    The Roman Church in America, with its embrace of liberalism, progressivism, and Marxist social justice, has left Catholic behind long ago.

  • Why do liberal Catholics hate atheist Ayn Rand? Not because she was an atheist. Indeed, they freely embrace the wealth redistributionist philosophy of atheist Karl Marx. Rather, they hate her because, for all her wrong-headed ideas, she was right in insisting that you own the fruits of your labor and no one (including the government) has the right to take those fruits away and give what is rightfully yours to those who didn’t earn them.

    Why do liberal Catholics hate Mormon Mitt Romney? Not because he is Mormon. Indeed, they freely embrace the liberalism of Mormon Harry Reid with narry a second thought. And not because Mitt Romney once supported abortion in Taxachusettes. Indeed, they freely embrace abortionist Catholic Nancy Pelosi with nary a second thought. Rather, they hate Mitt Romney because he worked honestly and hard to get where he is at, because he has five children and was loyal to his wife for all of their marriage, and because he is everything that a righteous businessman should be, and they can’t stand that.

    Liberal, progressive, Democrat = hate. Period.

  • For the record: My mother and her sisters were chased home from their Catholic school in Waterloo Iowa in the 1930’s by KKK screaming at them “Catlickers Catlickers”! They woke up one night, imagine this now, 5 little girls all alone while their mother was at work to raise them alone, with a cross buring in their front yard. They suffered severe mental anguish. no cell phones, I don’t think they even had a telephone in their house. They were chase and harassed constantly. No one came to their defense. In our neighborhood here the clan was huge and there were no african americans, only Catholics. My father-in-law who was a Democratic assemblymen for this district left the Democrat party(or as he put it they left him) because he was ostrized for being “pro-life”. I personally have stopped doing any service work with my parish as I too am made to feel that I cannot have conservative views. I don’t think politics should be spewed when working on quilts, or in the middle of RCIA or other social service meetings. I have been point blank told my views are not “kindly looked upon”. That I should join a conservative church. I go to Mass and Communion that’s where it’s at. I go alone to the food shelves and different charities and do my service as well as my prolife actvities. After my mother died, I went to a weekly Lenten “prayer” group as I felt I needed some solace and community prayer at that time. It turned into a support Hilary Clinton rally every week. I just quit.

  • Jeanne, I have one phrase for you:

    Illegitimi non carborundum!!!

  • Thank You Jeanne Rohl. I think some people had not been aware of how active the KKK was in the midwest in the 10s 20s and 30s. My father witnessed a cross-burning in SW Iowa, a maternal uncle in NW Iowa was KKK for a while. There was not a Catholic church yet in my little town at the time my parents were married in 1940. As I was growing up I had a lot of ‘splaining to do- I learned about defending the faith when I was 10.

    But now the prejudice against my “thorough” Catholicism is not from the Assembly of God or the Methodists– it is from liberal Catholics.
    I can’t be discouraged though when I think how well, how magnanimously really, our parents handled it all. With love and even humor.
    What a mixed up 100 years he 20th century was… at one same time one uncle was KKK, another on the paternal side was bolshevik in the 40’s.. Always thinking, my family, and seriously needing the guidance of the Church.

  • Yes, the Klan’s popularity and influence peaked in the early 20th century. I have many fundamentalist and evangelical friends down here in GA, and while all have mistaken understandings of our Church and Her teachings, I’ve not observed any animus. My liberal friends, au contraire. In the end it is about sex, abortion and feminism. My liberal friends who are hostile to the Church basically believe that the virtues of chastity, respect for life, and family integrity are simply tools to keep women in their place. The irony is palpable and would be hilarious if it were not tragic.

  • “For the record: My mother and her sisters were chased home from their Catholic school in Waterloo Iowa in the 1930?s by KKK screaming at them “Catlickers Catlickers”! They woke up one night, imagine this now, 5 little girls all alone while their mother was at work to raise them alone, with a cross buring in their front yard. They suffered severe mental anguish. no cell phones, I don’t think they even had a telephone in their house. They were chase and harassed constantly. No one came to their defense. In our neighborhood here the clan was huge and there were no african americans, only Catholics.”

    No one is denying that the Klan was active against Catholics as well as blacks and immigrants in the American heartland in the early part of the 20th century. In fact, probably most of us have people in previous generations of our family who had personal recollections of the Klan. But the Klan’s heyday was in the 1920s, and by the early 1930s, the Klan was in serious decline. There may still have been pockets of Klan activity against Catholics, but it was seriously curtailed by the 1930s. Again, neither I nor anyone else here would deny that the sort of things that happened to your mother happened. What we are denying are 2 things:

    (1) That unless Mr. Lambert is himself 90 years old, he has no personal recollection during his lifetime of being persecuted by the Klan; and

    (2) That persecution by the Klan has anything whatsoever to do with the Republican Party.

  • Darn double negatives. That should say:

    “… (1) That unless Mr. Lambert is himself 90 years old, he has ANY personal recollection during his lifetime of being persecuted by the Klan; and …”

  • St Augustine, invoking Revelation 2, says “The first love here alluded to is that which was proved in their tolerating for Christ’s name’s sake the false apostles. To this He commands them to return, and to do their first works. Now we are reproached with the crimes of bad men, not done by us, but by others; and some of them, moreover, not known to us. Nevertheless, even if they were actually committed, and that under our own eyes, and we bore with them for the sake of unity, letting the tares alone on account of the wheat, whosoever with open heart receives the Holy Scriptures would pronounce us not only free from blame, but worthy of no small praise.”

    [The quotation is from Saint Augustine’s 43 Epistle</, chapter 8, verse 22; which can be found at newadvent.org if I screwed up the hyperlink.]

    Am I the only one who cringes when I hear good followers of Christ talk about "liberal" parishes and finding a "conservative" one?

  • The Klan had such power at the Democrat convention in 1924 that they were able to defeat a proposed plank condemning the Klan, and then staged a major celebration called the Klanbake:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1924_Democratic_National_Convention

  • Anne – No one “cancels” a vote any more than someone’s bad deed cancels a good deed. The good act has merit. It is your responsibility; indeed, the only thing you have responsibility for is your own action. Pray for those who act wrongly, but don’t ever believe that you’re burdened by their actions.

    As for the priest, he can be as liberal as the day is long, but it doesn’t negate his sacramental power. Don’t let that worry you either.

    It’d be great if we had strong leaders and a faithful body of believers, but that’s pretty much never happened in the history of the Church. It’s always a struggle. Many of the saints had to put up with worse bishops than you and I will ever see. There’s never any reason to get discouraged, though.

  • Hmmm,

    Like it or not, we live in a modern or “post-modern” world. No area of life is unaffected by the intoxicating idea of “progress.” So naturally the Church will be divided between those who are proud of her history and want to preserve it and those who are ashamed of it and want to build a new legacy based upon new values, such as radical egalitarianism.

    I’m not saying we have to like these differences. But they do exist and pretending they don’t doesn’t help matters. When you read the Papal encyclicals of the last 200 years or so, you see the popes themselves making distinctions between faithful Catholics and those who pose as faithful Catholics but who advance a poisonous agenda at odds with the Catholic faith.

    I don’t know if I would use the phrases “liberal” and “conservative”, but these are the words most accessible to the average person.

  • My own friend doesn’t use the term “liberal” for herself, but calls herself a progressive Catholic. I want to remember to tell her Chesterton’s line about not having an issue with progress, but it’s the direction of the progress that is concerning! Her term for me is conservative, which is ok with me, but I do think just “Catholic” carries all the meaning.

  • @Anzlyne,

    Interesting way to make a point. With 2000+ years of history behind us, it is perfectly understandable to see true Catholic faith quite conservative…. which it IS.

    @Pinky,
    An engaging perspective, but I would use different words. We have strong leaders and a
    faithful body of believers, but they comprise the “faithful remnant” rather than the full complement of the Church. It will be a long struggle, but one fine day it will suddenly get easy (we dunno the date). Until then, saints are obliged to put up with, and help, bishops afflicted with weakened faith. Never forget, with grace ANYONE can become a saint, and all are called to do so.

    Turning to your conclusion, you’re my guy: “There’s never any reason to get discouraged, though.”

  • “Like it or not, we live in a modern or “post-modern” world. No area of life is unaffected by the intoxicating idea of “progress.” So naturally the Church will be divided between those who are proud of her history and want to preserve it and those who are ashamed of it and want to build a new legacy based upon new values, such as radical egalitarianism.”

    Truly some of our shepherds have abused their flocks for the sake of the “progress” based upon human wisdom. This “progres”s consisting solely of material ends and ignoring the vast spiritual poverty that they themselves have sown. They have abandoned many of their flock and unjustly condemned others for the sake of this human “progress.”

    This calls to mind yesterday’s Mass reading:

    “The word of the Lord came to me:
    Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel,
    in these words prophesy to them to the shepherds:
    Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel
    who have been pasturing themselves!
    Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep?
    You have fed off their milk, worn their wool,
    and slaughtered the fatlings,
    but the sheep you have not pastured.
    You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick
    nor bind up the injured.
    You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost,
    but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally.
    So they were scattered for the lack of a shepherd,
    and became food for all the wild beasts.
    My sheep were scattered
    and wandered over all the mountains and high hills;
    my sheep were scattered over the whole earth,
    with no one to look after them or to search for them.

    Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
    As I live, says the Lord GOD,
    because my sheep have been given over to pillage,
    and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast,
    for lack of a shepherd;
    because my shepherds did not look after my sheep,
    but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep;
    because of this, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
    Thus says the Lord GOD:
    I swear I am coming against these shepherds.
    I will claim my sheep from them
    and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep
    so that they may no longer pasture themselves.
    I will save my sheep,
    that they may no longer be food for their mouths.”

  • Amen, Phillip: “This ‘progress’ consisting solely of material ends and ignoring the vast spiritual poverty that they themselves have sown.”

    Revelation 3:14-22 is also quite pertinent – given his invitation to Obama to attend the upcoming Alfred E. Smith dinner, Cardinal Dolan and the rest of the USCCB should give heed.

    14* “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. 15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. 17* For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19* Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”

  • the bottom line is this. If you’re not a pro life candidate then you probably don’t really care about others anyway.You’d be willing to use the’ charity’ of government to get votes and attack truly charitable organizations. You will be pro gay marriage and euthanasia-not to mention cloning and embryonic stem cell research. You will then attack Republicans for not caring about the poor-only the wealthy(that infamous upper 1%). Of course you will forget that envy is a vice just as much as greed is and that in order to help the poor they must be born first. So the first question i ask about ANY candidate(either party)is very simple. Are they truly pro life. Everything else generally falls into place.

Paul Ryan, the USCCB and the Poor

Sunday, August 19, AD 2012

A fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal by economist Antony Davies and Catholic theologian Kristina Antolin:

Someone is twisting the Catholic Church’s teachings on caring for the poor, but it isn’t Paul Ryan. His controversial budgetary ideas demonstrate that he has a better grasp of Catholic social thought than do many of the American Catholic bishops.

The culmination of centuries of theological and philosophical thought, the church’s teachings cannot simply be satisfied by a government edict to “feed the poor.” Commanding “Let there be light!” works fine for God, but for mortal beings, edicts don’t carry the same punch.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has long supported government interference in the economy as a means to help the poor. But we suspect the bishops haven’t fully thought this through: If God really did favor a top-down approach to poverty reduction, why wouldn’t He establish a government with the power to wipe away poverty on demand instead of leaving things to chance and the possibility that someone like Mr. Ryan would come along and mess up His plans?

Perhaps we dehumanize the poor when we treat them as nothing more than problems to be solved, and we dehumanize the rich when we treat them as wallets to be picked.

Wealth and poverty are catalysts for bringing the rich and the poor together in community, and community is the hallmark of the church’s mission on Earth. Government is not community. Government is one of community’s tools, a coercive one we use when it is necessary to force people to behave in ways they would not otherwise behave voluntarily.

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36 Responses to Paul Ryan, the USCCB and the Poor

  • Sometimes the safety net can become a hammock. Sometimes it can also become a snare. I recently did some research into GDP growth in Chile. It seems they are doing almost everything right, although they do need to do something to reduce income disparity. Personally, I think the best thing we could do to help the poor is to pursue GDP growth with low public debt and low inflation. Public debt represents a huge transfer of wealth from taxpayers to bondholders. I recall a push by the USCCB for debt forgiveness in Third World nations.

    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/debt-relief/jubilee-debt-forgiveness.cfm

    It is a bit inconsistent to lament public debt in poor nations and encourage the same in wealthier nations. In both cases it represents the same drain on the economy and hurts the poor when it approaches the levels the U.S. currently owes. This is money that does not invest in factories, does not build roads, and does not pay doctors. It crowds out the private investment that is necessary to grow GDP. It goes from the hands of taxpayers to the hands of bondholders, and in that way tends to increase income disparity rather than correct it. Well-paying jobs created by private investment of savings is what reduces income disparity. Lack of private investment caused by crowing out from government debt ensures future unemployment. If the USCCB were serious about helping the poor, they would encourage the elimination of debt in the United States, just as they encouraged it for Third World countries.

  • Bottom line, Jesus never directed his disciples and followers to get government to do what he directed them to do, themselves. I’ve never had anybody be able to show me where in the bible Jesus said, “Go get government to feed, clothe and go take care of the poor.”

    Catholics who deceive themselves believing they are “doing the Lord’s work” supporting the Democrat Party, and believe that they, themselves, are “better people” than others for it, are sadly mistaken. NO ONE is going to heaven because they are a Democrat, or for that matter any other party affiliation. There are some parties that may keep you from going to heaven – the KKK, the Nazi Party, the Communist Party, according to Catholic teachings concerning the 5th Commandment. And I would add to that the Democrat Party because of their support and promotion of the denial of the right to life to innocent human beings by legal abortion. Certainly, if the Church teaches “it’s a sin to deny one their human rights” as do those who join the KKK, the Nazi Party, and the Communist Party, then how can Catholics who give their name to, and vote for the Democrat Party candidates, be exempt? The murder of babies is nullified because the Democrat Party has co-opted a Christian teaching? And doing so for the sake of developing a permanent voting block? By making poverty a permanent way of life through government hand outs of other peoples’ confiscated possessions (earnings), the Democrat Party has also feed the beast of covetousness in the “poor” and “lower income,” which this President is so skilled in doing.

  • It seems that assistance for the poor is, and has been for three generations, in place for those who access such. It’s curious to see how the bar of benefits has been raised as well. A lot of the food, shelter, clothing, medical, education, furnishings, cars, contraception and technological necessities provided are beyond what some wage earners can materially acquire.

    Much is made of providing civic ethnic cultural programs and celebrations, ethnic church programs funded by charities which are not supported by these beneficiaries, and on to such as language accommodations. There is a contrast in removing the ‘American flag’, exclusive suppression of Christian prayer and Holy Day symbols (Manger scenes at Christmas), Christmas Carols, and many traditional customs of America which celebrate the basis of the country to which many immigrate. July 4th, Independence Day, is marketed as picnics and fireworks. November 11th, Veterans’ Day, is a long weekend of shopping early for Christmas gifts. May 31st, Memorial Day, is marketed and reported as the summer picnic or getaway kickoff. In my city, halloween decorations exceed Christmas decorations. March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, is a party for wearing green because he brought the faith to Ireland? Easter – bunnies and candy?

    Accommodations have ironically created legal tangles for tradition to be included. This is not the religious fanaticism of Catholics and Christians demanding that they be removed from the public square. Catholics and Christians are now asking to be included once again in the public square.

    Tolerance exists. The point though is now so exreme that those demanding tolerance are becoming dangerously intolerant of different forms of lifestyles, like we saw with Chick A Fil, just because a man said he supports traditional family structure.
    Unlike the news of Coptic Christians in danger of being crucified now in enlightened 2012, the danger of the mindlessness aspect is not as life threatening here yet. Insanity of selfishness is growing where love of God, life and others is being forgotten and ignored.

    Someone just rang the doorbell to speak for E. Warren for Senate and was dismayed by hearing that I was registered Independent and decided to vote as pro-life as possible. He said that I didn’t care about women’s choice or the welfare enrolled and would have gone on. All I could say was that it was my choice to be ‘pro-life’ because I couldn’t stand for murder of babies in the now various ways being defined . I was told that I was a one issue voter and the Pope would love me. I said I hoped so, then said the money numbers to pay for the promises didn’t work for me either. He shook his head like I was shameful and left.

    Some elderly at church are ‘surely lifelong’ Democrats and why change now – heard that conversation in passing and thought – they would be hurt to know the fiscal irresponsibility and betrayal by their affiliation .

    Clear, responsible approach to the debt and keeping promises in place to those who need to know that there is even a debt problem is a gift we need to embrace and support. The things that the more liberal population want are already theirs, so in 2012 they have to wage word war to divide and conquer.

    It’s time for a wake-up calls – and thanks for the light in the darkness during this election process.

  • Alphatron Shinyskullus:

    Truth. Catholic U. of Chile economics scholars closely associated themselves with the U of Chicago econ dept. and Milton Friedman.

    After General Pinoche saved Chile from the bolshevists, he commissioned the “Chicago boys” to cut government central planning, privatize the Chilean model of social security, end catastrophic central planning, reduce collectivist taxes and spending, institute free market reforms, etc.

    In the next decades, Chile moved from being tied with Argentina as an economic basket-case to enjoying among the highest median family income in Latin America.

    Argentina is still an economic basket case as will be the USA if Obama gets four more years to finish off (what the USCCB and Obama-worshiping imbeciles view as) the evil, unjust private sector.

    A close friend of mine knows about the catholic bishops. He told me the super-secret (eyes-only) USCCB, Post VatII translation of Matt 25 read: “I was hungry and you voted democrat . . . ”

    I wish that I was certain that I was just kidding . . .

  • T. Shaw: I knew about the University of Chicago connection, but not that it was also the Catholic University of Chile.

    Chile employs a countercyclical monetary and fiscal policy, has no appreciable public debt, and encourages investment through privatization of the national pension fund. Rather than being a temptation for politicians, pension funds go to support investment, which reaches about 25% of GDP. This has fueled enormous GDP growth and lifted people out of poverty. We need to be doing what they are doing.

    Regarding the translation of the NAB, it seems the feminists had a higher priority.

  • Medicaid covers most nursing home residents (60% or 67% from two internet sources I read). Therefore Catholic old age homes like St. Ann’s in Jersey City, N.J. run by nuns for decades exist and function based mostly on funds from Medicaid money.
    Medicaid Fed and state expenditures in 2010 were 401.1 billion dollars. The Vatican is thought to have 1 billion dollars in investments. If the Vatican donated their entire savings to Medicaid, it would not make a dent….it would be 1/401 of the need. Catholics gave $60 million to help Haiti. The Vatican gave $200,000 each to Haiti, Japan, and Iraq. The scale of the problem in the US is way beyond the Catholic charity level.
    Medicaid pays for 37% of childbirths, pre natal care, and sixty days of post partum care for those females making less than $15K and who have no other insurance like a secretary in a small business on Main St. like an Interior design shop….or think of a girl working the counter in
    a bakery. Therefore Medicaid pays for 37% of Catholic Hospital births plus the pre natal and post partum money that goes to doctors. This Medicaid money is not going into the pocket of the delivering bakery counter girl but rather into the system, including Catholic, that is delivering the baby. A ten week abortion costs much less…around $400. Ryan cuts therefore logically could increase abortions but that is not Ryan’s fault unless he sees an alternative.
    If unleashing entrepeneurial energy leads to great jobs, how is a bakery counter girl affected.
    Is she suddenly capable of software engineering at the new nearby factory….or will someone move to that spot from India?
    I think neither party knows what to do about an underclass that is bigger than we think when 42% of Americans die with an estate that is under $10,000. They both know that the deficit must be reduced but no one knows the consequences like increased abortions and shoddy coverage of the elderly sick non millionaires…..as Medicaid cuts back.

  • Medicaid is already in shambles Bill with physicians fleeing it due to low reimbursement rates. Here are some ideas for reform from the Heritage Foundation:

    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/05/25/more-bold-proposals-to-solve-the-medicaid-crisis/

    The bottom line is that our current welfare state is coming to an end. Change is coming whether people want it to or not.

  • Forget about Medicaid. If they don’t turn around this train wreck, there will be mass rapine, starvation, and violence.

    Get real and stop letting the lying pols run us into Hell on Earth.

    Last week, my first reaction was, “I can suspend my crisis investment program.” Not.

    No we cannot.

  • T Shaw,
    Don’t forget our impending welfare statist relationship to Afghanistan who could actually help us if their opium profits were actually seized by anyone:

    http://ivn.us/2012/06/20/cost-aid-afghanistan-increase-after-us-withdrawal/

  • Bill, the problems that you point out make it even more imperative that we engage in a policy of fiscal and monetary restraint, encouraging the investment needed to expand our GDP. Medical costs are increasing much faster than GDP, and so we can expect Medicare liabilities to expand faster than GDP. Government spending is being fueled by debt, and high levels of government debt have always been a hindrance to economic growth. If we want social programs to continue, they have to be done with fiscal restraint. A good source for viewing the incredible growth in social programs can be found at

    http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=9&step=1

    It’s an interactive table, so click on government current receipts and expenditures, then table 3.12, government social benefits. Many of the programs listed are growing much faster than the economy is, which means that they are on an unsustainable path unless something is done to either curb benefits or expand growth in GDP. But you can’t expand both public benefits and GDP at the same time given our current level of public debt because the public sector has crowded out the investment necessary for GDP growth. We have to engage in restraint of public benefits and increase our level of investment to have any hope of obtaining the kind of economy the USCCB wants us to have. Only when we have resumed a path of strong economic growth can we begin to expand the amount of public benefits that senior citizens will require. Of course, those same senior citizens failed to save, failed to have children who could support them, and now demand that these same diminished future generations provide for them NOW, and pay when they are in the workforce, without any hope of having the same level of benefits for themselves if we continue on our present course.

  • Please explain why those “through no fault of their own, cannot work due to mental or physical impairment” should “always receive assistance from the State for a basic standard of living.” Why should people in this category be cared for by the state rather than by charitable organizations?

  • If a charity could do it I would be all in favor of it. However no charity I can think of has the resources for life time support. Fortunately the people in this category are not numerous compared to the 50% of American households currently receiving some form of government assistance. One very good argument for trimming dependence upon government is that it frees up huge resources to help those who are truly unable, through no fault of their own, to help themselves.

  • When Medicare was instituted, nursing homes were built by the private sector. Government cooperated by passing regulations that said that grandma had to have her own apartment with bath, and kitchen if she was to stay at home. Three generations in a household were forbidden by law. Grandma couldn’t watch the little children, answer the phone, peel potatoes, read to the children, be there for them when they came home from school. Grandma was needed to fill the enterprising nursing homes which Medicare will pay for. Head Start was initiated, then Day Care. Mom and dad had to have two incomes to pay the taxes that funded grandma’s nursing home, Head Start and Day Care. The help, tradition and wisdom that grandma could bring to the family was outlawed. The family was outlawed by the social engineers and the greedy. Pay your taxes and shut up. We will tell you how your tax dollars will be spent. Government manufactured “the poor” and invented “compassionate care” to control the money. These programs made as many of “the poor” as it helped. Some good came from it, but not enough good to justify the destruction of our families and culture, and none to justify taxation to fund what a citizen rejects and abhors.

  • Alphatron,
    Yes except to the lumping of all medicaid seniors together at the end. A person could be a celibate laymen or a couple who were sterile etc etc and they all could have saved several hundred thousand dollars plus a house yet if in their sixties they had e.g. a totally disabling stroke that let them live but not walk, after ICU in a hospital, they would enter a skilled nursing facility where medicare would pay for the first 100 days, then if they were the last spouse, their savings and house would go to the skilled nursing home at around the rate of $50 to $70K a year after which medicaid would cover them per year until they died. Sixty to sixty seven percent of those in nursing homes are covered by medicaid. Other elder people have children who themselves run into huge bills e.g. autism therapy bills which are uncovered by insurance. Long term health insurance…new and not thought of in the past… runs over $2K a year which is light for those who are well covered in other areas like a northeast teacher who has health coverage and pension but it is heavy for those uncovered for neither health nor pension like a hardware store owner who is paying $12K for family health care insurance on his own per year.
    I don’t know the answer.
    As to medicaid and single mothers, as long as the US Government’s concept of free speech allows tv shows to propagate fornication as humorous to the young…Two and a Half Men…How I Met Your Mother…then the US judicial system is making the bed the US has to lie in. Some Catholics working class and tv years ago did the same humorous propagating of drunkeness….Catholic Dean Martin in particular back in the early decade of tv.

  • David:

    I work for an insurance company, and I sometimes have to evaluate disability cases. The cost is enormous, and well beyond the scope of charity which ebbs and flows with economic conditions. There are some costs which should be borne by all members of society, Lifetime support is typically a few million dollars. Support for the disabled includes more than room and board. You need medical care, and sometimes attendant care. Even with funds invested to grow over that lifetime, given the mess the Fed has made of our money supply, returns are very, very low.

    That said, there are sheltered workshops which help some of the disabled be productive, and these are typically charitable ventures. But not all of the disabled are able to participate, and it can be difficult to find work for those who can do some work because they are not as competitive as those without disabilities.

    The government should do things that the people on their own cannot accomplish, and the reliable funding for the care of the disabled is one of those things. It’s too big of a problem to tackle on merely a charitable level, although charity has an important role to play.

  • Bill, I was speaking about the baby boom generation as a whole, which killed fifty million potential taxpayers and contracepted countless other millions out of existence. Obviously, not all of that generation engaged in that behavior, but the vast majority did.

    Single motherhood is currently being tacitly encouraged in public schools. You don’t need the media at all. Planned Parenthood is trying to get into the classroom all over the country, and the federal government is actively subsidizing those efforts.

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  • Jesus told the rich man to give everything to the poor and follow Him;

    He did not hold the rich man down and have the Apostles rifle through his pockets.

  • If unleashing entrepeneurial energy leads to great jobs, how is a bakery counter girl affected[?]
    –e.e. cummings wannabee

    At the most basic level, more people have the income to shop at bakeries which leads to more demand by employers for bakery counter girls. Bakery counter girl wages then tend to rise. Plus, increasing productivity in the economy increases the buying power of each dollar in wages that she earns.

    Notice that the bakery counter girl benefits from a vigorously growing, increasingly productive economy even if she herself doesn’t obtain one of those “great jobs” herself or start a bakery of her own.

    (Did “wannabee” really need that explained?)

  • Micha,
    I’m not understanding the wannabee insult. Are you Christian? If so, read 2 Tim.2:23 onward.

  • John 12:1-8

    1* Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 4* But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii * and given to the poor?” 6* This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. 7* Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

  • Two personal anecdotes about Medicaid: I have two brothers-in-law (BIL).

    (1) My eldest BIL knocked his girlfriend up. They were planning on marrying anyway, but when she went down to the Medicaid office on the recommendation of a friend, the Medicaid officials instructed her that if she would claim she didn’t know who the baby’s father was and remained unmarried, Medicaid would pickup the entire tab for the pregnancy and birth. Guess what she did? Yep, claimed she was ignorant of paternity andputoff the wedding. And when they were once again planning their wedding and she popped up pregnant with their second child, guess what she did again? Yep, same thing. Medicaid paid for the births of their first two children at no cost to them. They finally did get married after all that.

    (2) My youngest BIL and his wife just had their first child. She has some birth defects and will likely have special needs. Both of the parents are perfectly capable of working and had jobs. I say “had” because the social services administrator for the hospital advised them that if they were to both be fired and unable to find work, Medicaid would pay for everything- respirator, feeding tube equipment, in-home 24-hour nurse,etc and so on- and that, should they be unemployed (wink, wink), they should apply for all the social assistance they can get so they can just stay home with the baby. So what do you think they’ve done? They’ve both intentionally missed contacting their employers by their return dates and have both been terminated. They have begun filling out the unemployment paperwork, applications for food stamps, Medicaid, etc and so on. And they won’t pay a dime towards my neice’s care.

    Now, I don’t begrudge them *some* assistance. The baby is disabled through no fault of anyone and realistically there’s no way they can pay the full amount it will costs to care for her, much less the hospital bill thus far. But they’re not going to be paying out a dime now and that’s just wrong. In both of these cases our “social services” folks encouraged my relatives to game the system so they wouldn’t have to take any monetary responsibility for their children. Again, that is wrong. And if this is representative of the experience people have with social services around the country, then this is clearly wrong.

    This stuff *has* to be cleaned up and reformed. There’s no universe in which any of these people should be encouraged to do the things they’ve been encouraged to do by our own government.

  • I am only mildly bothered by the fact that they are not contributing to the care of their children. What gets me is that the soopergenius politicians who enacted these programs designed them in such a way as to nearly require the target clients to abandon adult work life or at least restrict their efforts in such a way as to maintain their eligibility. Has Henry Waxman or the National Association of Social Workers ever objected to this (much less sponsored a restructuring plan)? Or is making people dependent the whole point?

  • Of course making people dependent is the whole point. It locks in Democrat voters.

    While many, perhaps most ordinary, Dem voters are well-meaning people who follow their hearts rather than their heads on this matter, the same cannot be said for the pols. I have come to believe they know exactly what they are doing – making people dependent on them so they can increase their power, while posing as “compassionate.” It is downright evil.

  • @ Bill Bannon “how is a bakery counter girl affected.
    Is she suddenly capable of software engineering at the new nearby factory”
    There are many degreed and skilled workers working minimally paid jobs right now.

  • One of my favorite free enterprise clips is this old one from Milty! Rings so true even today. http://www.billcook.net/greed.html

  • “I am only mildly bothered by the fact that they are not contributing to the care of their children. What gets me is that the soopergenius politicians who enacted these programs designed them in such a way as to nearly require the target clients to abandon adult work life or at least restrict their efforts in such a way as to maintain their eligibility.”

    @Art, this is where I am, too. I understand they’re going to need help and that my neice’s medical problems aren’t anyone’s fault. I’m fine with some of my tax dollars going to help out (in addition tote efforts my family makes personally to help, of course). But that these folks have been openly encouraged to get fired and be dependent on these programs is outrageous. And the other BIL whose (now) wife was encouraged to claim illegitimacy of her children is another outrage. These people aren’t broke. They make as much as my husband and I do. Because we have high deductible insurance (and have to scrimp to afford that) we footed the majority of the bill for the birth of both our children. These people could afford to do things they way we did (ie, the right way, IMO) but were openly encouraged to mooch off the taxpayer and lie in the process. That’s wrong.

  • The thing of it is, perverse incentives arising from means-tested programs have been a matter of public discussion among liberals for 30 years (Ken Auletta’s The Underclass was published in 1982). Cretins like Waxman put a good deal of effort into relaxing eligiblity standards for Medicaid but not in programmatic redesign to excise or vitiate the perverse incentives. The Republicans did not manage diddly/squat during the four years they controlled both Congress and the Presidency. To be fair, it is easy to imagine that if they attempted anything the Democratic Senate caucus would have filibustered, but one does get the impression that creatures such as John Boehner are propelled only by negative public attention or by pressure from business lobbies (who do not care about this stuff). It all makes you wanna holler.

  • Yeah. It does. I think the reason there’s such a resistance to reform to try and weed this kind of abuse out is likely because it’s easy to propagandize. Who wants to be the one out there talking about the people who are abusing the system when the political opposition is going to trot out some hard case as an example and imply that you’re accusing this upright person/family in need of being liars scamming the system? No one, I’m sure. Which is, of course, a large part of the problem to begin with.

  • I’m confident that much of the covetousness of many for their countrymen’s goods in order to prop up Medicaid and Medicare is due to the covetors’ lack of belief in the afterlife Jesus promised. The covetors grasp at each few additional minutes in a hospital bed because they think this world is the sum of all the life they’ll ever have.

  • Mandy, they are not abusing the system. What they are doing is the system. No scam here.

    I agree with you about the propaganda exercises and the press will find these people if the Democratic congressional staff does not.

  • Like the educational system, the healthcare system needs dedicated men and women. Religious nuns. Money will not do it. Only perfect charity will.

  • Paul W. Primavera: “Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
    Jesus was never anointed again.

  • T. Shaw: “I was hungry and you voted democrat . . . ” and they aborted me.

  • Bishops have never been reluctant to see civil law supersede any merely spiritual admonitions as to the almsgiving

    When Charlemagne as King of the Franks, in a general assembly of his Estates, spiritual and temporal, in 778-779 ordained, “Concerning tithes, it is ordained that every man give his tithe, and that they be dispensed according to the bishop’s commandment,” the clergy greeted his words with cries of “Long Life and Victory to our most Christian King.”

    When, in 801, he issued a capitular making this universal, Pope Leo III bade all obey “the august Charles, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor.”

    Charlemagne established a a quadri-partite division: One, the bishop retained for himself and those who were dependent upon his hospitality ; a second portion was distributed by him among his clergy ; a third was administered for the benefit of the poor and strangers, and the fourth went towards maintaining the fabric of the churches.

    In 829, the payment of tithes was made enforceable by the summary remedy of distraint both by the Emperor Louis the Simple and by Lothair for Lombardy. Their payment was no longer a religious duty alone; it was a legal obligation, enforceable by the laws of the civil head of Christendom.

  • Here’s an interesting article by Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver:

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=2268

That Radical Ryan

Friday, August 17, AD 2012

Carl Olson has an extensive post tackling the “radical” nature of evil right-winger Paul Ryan. He starts by quoting one of Ryan’s more extreme statements.

[We] will confidently proceed to unshackle American enterprise and to free American labor, industrial leadership, and capital, to create an abundance that will outstrip any other system.

Free competitive enterprise is the most creative and productive form of economic order that the world has seen. The recent slow pace of American growth is due not to the failure of our free economy but to the failure of our national leadership. …

Economic growth is the means whereby we improve the American standard of living and produce added tax resources for national security and essential public services. …

The American free enterprise system is one of the great achievements of the human mind and spirit. It has developed by a combination of the energetic efforts of working men and women, bold private initiative, the profit motive and wise public policy, until it is now the productive marvel of mankind. …

We will seek further tax reduction—and in the process we need to remove inequities in our present tax laws. In particular we should carefully review all our excise taxes and eliminate those that are obsolete. Consideration should be given to the development of fiscal policies which would provide revenue sources to hard-pressed state and local governments to assist them with their responsibilities.

Every penny of Federal spending must be accounted for in terms of the strictest economy, efficiency and integrity. We pledge to continue a frugal government, getting a dollar’s value for a dollar spent, and a government worthy of the citizen’s confidence.

Our goal is a balanced budget in a balanced economy.

Wow, that is extreme. What is Carl’s response?

Oh, wait. My apologies; the quotes above were all taken from the 1960 and 1964 Democratic Party Platforms. How did that happen? Whoops. Well, consider it a quick journey down memory lane.

• I actually started writing this post three days ago, not long after the news broke that the most right-wing, narrow-minded conservative in the history of the world had been chosen by Mitt Romney as vice-president candidate for the “Hate the Women!” party (yes, I’m struggling to control the sarcasm). A man so radical that in the early 1960s he would have been reasonably positioned and perceived as a moderate to conservative Democrat. A man so far to the Extreme Right that he is re-elected on a regular basis—by substantial margins—in a district that voted for Obama in 2008. Chew on that for a few seconds and then ask yourself, “Do the Dallas Cowboys have a shot at the Super Bowl this year? How much has changed in the U.S. in the past fifty years?”

Anyway, please read the rest.

 

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23 Responses to That Radical Ryan

  • Quote “the quotes above were all taken from the 1960 and 1964 Democratic Party Platforms. How did that happen?”

    As was noted in the Party Realignment post several weeks ago, political parties change over time. The Democrats between about 1939 and 1965 were strongly anti Marxist and had a basic pride in the American way whatever their policy failings. Of course they had had to kick out the far Left back at the end of the 1930s from both the Party and the Labor movement. By the late 60s though the Left started their reconquest of the Democrats, which was capped by the elections of 2006 and 2008. The differences between the first six years of FDR and the six years between 2006 and 2012 are not the mindset of the Left or the economic/political results – but the size of the Federal government and the attitudes of the citizenry. Given the current gerrymandered political environment however I think the Dems will stay far Left even if they are trounced this November.

  • Well Ryan’s bishop doesn’t think he’s evil if those on the left who distort Catholic social teaching for their own ends do:

    http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/2012/08/16/yes-virginia-paul-ryan-is-catholic/

  • Here’s a direct link to the bishop’s letter. Some holy water on the filth of those who corrupt the faith:

    http://www.madisoncatholicherald.org/bishopscolumns/3366-bishop-column.html

  • Ryan’s good friend Cardinal Dolan doesn’t think Ryan is a heartless Randian either:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/314272/dolan-ryan-great-public-servant-kathryn-jean-lopez

  • I missed the brohaha caused by Lisa G.’s post, but I must say, as someone who is familiar with Ryan’s district and has heard Ryan speak on a couple of occasions, I find the idea that he is some heartless Objectivist who wants the poor to starve and granny pushed off the cliff utterly ridiculous.

    Ryan’s district encompasses the southeastern corner of Wisconsin and includes part of the southmost Milwaukee suburbs down to the Illinois border. There are solid red spots on the Wisconsin electoral map – Waukesha (“Walker-sha”) County and Ozaukee are probably the reddest. Those counties are not in Ryan’s district. His district is rural and urban, Democrat and Republican, blue and white collar. Predominately Catholic and Lutheran. Lots of union folks, farmers and office workers who commute to Chicago everyday. It’s not an area where extremists at either ends of the spectrum florish.

    Ryan was elected 7 times. In 2010, he won 68% of the vote. 68%. He didn’t do it by being extreme and preaching the gospel of Ayn Rand to factory workers and farmers and white collar paper pushers, but by presenting his ideas in a reasonable and eloquent way. The portrait of Ryan I see being pushed by both the Dems and by people like Lisa Graas and Mark Shea is so off the mark it isn’t funny.

  • One last thing: I find Lisa G., Mark Shea and the other anti-Ryanites are the flip side of libertarians. I once called myself a libertarian (now I call myself a Burkean Catholic conservative) and every so often I pop over to Reason to see what the libertarians are going on about. And it’s always the same: they want small government, but also want drugs, abortion and prOn and gee those awful social conservatives are ruining the GOP for them! So they’ll sit out the next election or write in Ron Paul or whatever obscure libertarian guy they wish could be president.

    Whereas Lisa, Mark, et al want the Big Nanny government taking care of everyone, but deplore abortion, drugs and prOn – so they’ll sit out the next election or write in Ron Paul (??) or Daffy Duck (’cause I’m not aware of ANY candidate who is both a fan of Nanny State and a social conservative).

    Both sides want their perfect candidates. Both sides will never get them. What the libertarians fail to grasp is that the lowering of morals and the “anything goes” instant gratification mentality has led to the entitlement state. What Lisa and Mark fail to grasp is that when government takes the place of private charity and encourages dependency, it also has the power to usurp the Church’s role and declare itself the ONLY authority on matters of morals. Don’t like abortion? Tough. Don’t like gay marriage – why you hater!

    Both sides can continue to live in their little bubble world, while convincing themselves they are the only ones who have it right.

  • Excellent comments about Lisa Grass and Mark Shea – liberals at heart, the both of them.

    Peace, prosperity, social justice and the common good come AFTER repentance and conversion, AFTER righteousness and holiness, NEVER before. And government can never ever provide ANY of those things, and fools who pretend otherwise deify Caesar to godhead.

    This nation DESERVES a whoppin’ for its abominations (or should I say, “Obamanations”?): homosexual filth, infanticide of the unborn, rampant adultery and fornication, pornography, idolatry, theft of the tax payers’ money, etc. And Shea and Grass think that government redistribution of wealth can possibly help? All it does is impoverish those who are responsible enough to actually work for a living while rewarding the indolent with what they clearly did not work for.

    “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat.” 2nd Thessalonians 3:10.

    Death to the false gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price! No more handouts! Viva Cristo Rey!

  • Donna,

    Excellent point. You’re actually hitting on something that I have been meaning to blog about for some time. The insufferable “a pox on both their houses” attitude is really an excuse to disengage from politics, with the excuse that no party or candidate meets your perfect expectations.

  • probably the worst offenders, although of a different ideological mindset, are the folks at “The American Anti-Israe–” excuse me, “The American Conservative” online magazine. One columnist over there who I will not name seems constitutionally incapable of viewing any Republican, even ones with more unorthodox positions (unless it’s their hero Ron Paul of course,) as being anything other than a soulless neocon. I find Rod Dreher interesting but he’s a bit insufferable himself at times, and is essentially a social conservative who would’ve found nothing wrong with the Democratic Party of the past before they went all culture-lefty — I’m not aware of any conservative thought regarding economics I’ve read from him, and every regulation, tax, and Obama claim about Romney’s tax rate (nevermind it’s been taxed as corporate income) is given the benefit of the doubt.

    tangents. apologies for piling on random ppl

  • I know you said Burkean meaning E. Burke– but I thought 🙂 R. Burke. whom we saw in Wisconsin on the big hill south of LaCrosse where he has estab. a shrine to Our Lady.
    I think Wisconsin is a pretty religious state

  • “One last thing: I find Lisa G., Mark Shea and the other anti-Ryanites are the flip side of libertarians.”

    Hard to know. But judgments of morals is with the bishop of a given diocese (and not the USCCB). Here is the judgment of Ryan’s bishop about Ryan’s Catholicism:

    “But, as I’ve said, Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan is aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles mentioned above. Of that I have no doubt. (I mention this matter in obedience to Church Law regarding one’s right to a good reputation.)

    I obviously didn’t choose the date for the announcement of Paul Ryan’s Vice Presidential Candidacy and as I express my pride in him and in what he has accomplished, I thought it best to move to discussion of the above matters sooner rather than later. No doubt it will be necessary to comment again on these principles in the days ahead for the sake of further clarification, and be assured that I will be eager to do so.

    Above all, let us beg the Lord that divisions in our electorate will not be deepened so as to have a negative impact on pre-existing divisions within the Church during this electoral season. Let there be the peace and reconciliation that flow from charity on the part of all. Thank you for reading this. God Bless each one of you! Praised be Jesus Christ!”

    Note in this the bishop judges Ryan’s approach to be consistent with Catholic teaching. Also note the truth that one may not damage a person’s good name – a teaching of the Church. Hopefully bloggers will not seek their own private judgment over that of the legitimate authority of the bishop of a diocese or of the Church Universal. Let’s hope they can set aside their own particular choices and join with the Church in respecting those with whom they disagree. Otherwise it is they who sin.

  • “The insufferable ‘a pox on both their houses’ attitude is really an excuse to disengage from politics, with the excuse that no party or candidate meets your perfect expectations.”

    Santorum seems to meet Lisa’s perfect expectations.

    And as Mark always points out, his expectations are, not perfection, but not advocating grave evil.

    Do you think that “doesn’t advocate grave evil” implies “perfect”? Or maybe that, while Mark *says* he’d be happy with the former, he’s really holding out for the latter?

  • Oh, and I’ll add that, while the pox-on-both-houses attitude certainly can be an excuse for disengaging from politics, I wouldn’t call either Mark or Lisa disengaged.

  • I have to say two things with regard to these comments.

    1) Mark Shea isn’t a liberal. He occasionally believes that people who wear that label have something worthwhile to say. So do I.

    2) Mark Shea doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with Lisa Grass. Mark is capable of intellectually processing and responding to arguments that differ from his own. Lisa isn’t.

    I say this as someone who has clashed with both of them.

  • Oh, and I’ll add that, while the pox-on-both-houses attitude certainly can be an excuse for disengaging from politics, I wouldn’t call either Mark or Lisa disengaged.

    Fair point, Tom. I should have chosen my words more carefully. If I ever getting around on writing the post, it should hopefully explain my position.

  • The problem as I see it is that some people will take shots at good (as in conservatives good, liberals bad) persons throwing out for all to see some relatively minor, unimportant, and otherwise unknown “evils” (as in they ain’t CST enough or Obama ate dogs), and distort it, and exaggerate it, and repeat it over and over so as to detract from the good persons’ reputations.

    In today’s WSJ, a Duquesne U. econ prof and a DU theo prof wrote today that Vice President Ryan’s views on limited government likely are not mortal sins.

    Because in reality more government has resulted in fewer jobs and more misery.

  • Mark Shea might not be a liberal, but ever since the Iraq War/waterboarding he seems to regard anyone who isn’t insanely paranoid about every single anti-terror measure to be, well, evil. his tone is similar to what Andrew Sullivan’s became on the issue and that’s why i can’t read the guy.

  • though i wasn’t alive during that era the whole thing kinda makes me think of people who were radicalized by the Vietnam War and became fundamentally incapable of seeing the U.S. as able to do any good internationally after that.

  • JParker: Same same here.

    My AS anecdote: the filthy lunatic accused Pope John Paul II of “traditional Catholic anti-semitism” for His Holiness’ opposition to the 2003 Iraq conquest.

    There are sins that can never be forgiven.

  • Mark Shea doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with Lisa Grass. Mark is capable of intellectually processing and responding to arguments that differ from his own. Lisa isn’t

    You’ve transposed the two.

  • AD is right.

Internet Hitler No Fan of Paul Ryan, But Rick Santorum Is

Tuesday, August 14, AD 2012

The usual caveats as to language applies to the above Internet Hitler video.  (What else can one expect from internet Hitler?)  Taking a momentary pit stop in my vacation traveling.  I note with bemusement the debate that has erupted on the blog in regard to Paul Ryan and the attempted questioning of his Catholicism.  I find that utterly bizarre.  In the primaries I supported Rick Santorum.  Santorum has enthusiastically endorsed Romney’s pick of Ryan. 

Here is a video below from earlier this year in which Santorum praised Ryan’s budget, with the caveat that it did not go far enough in cuts:

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21 Responses to Internet Hitler No Fan of Paul Ryan, But Rick Santorum Is

  • Pit stop eloquence:

    ” Taking a momentary pit stop in my vacation traveling. I note with bemusement the debate that has erupted on the blog in regard to Paul Ryan and the attempted questioning of his Catholicism. I find that utterly bizarre. In the primaries I supported Rick Santorum. Santorum has enthusiastically endorsed Romney’s pick of Ryan.

    I find it difficult however to see how anyone could view Santorum as a reasoned proponent of conservatism and a champion of Catholic positions on the social issues, and also view Ryan as anathema. That simply does not make any sense at all.”

    Thank you, Donald McClarey, for helpful, prioritizing, and clear (Clar?) words with talking pictures at this point – and so soon after Sat. 8/11 at 9:00 and so sadly balloons popping during vacation.

    Enjoy. Stay out of the Klingon place. I liked your Vacation 2012 cartoon.

  • He also said the bishops were wrong. He also was supporting a bill that was on the table at the time for passage, while his own plan as a presidential candidate was much different. He didn’t want to just cut taxes on the wealthy because they are wealthy. He had a zero rate for manufacturers so there would be incentive for job creation. Unfortunately, the Randians in the party believe that to be “unfair” (to whom? the wealthy?) and opposed it.

  • PM, the social issues are now off the table with the blessing of Paul Ryan.

  • To Lisa Graas et al concerned with the Social Issues:

    Social issues have never and will never be on the table for those that favor the current administration. The ObamaCare cop-out by Catholic Democrat Congressman was the final proof of that.

    For those opposed to the current administration who keep social issues as a top priority, we need to remind ourselves that if we don’t rescue the republic from this administration, which is openly hostile to the U.S. Constitution, then there won’t be any country left to convince about social issues. Like Merry said to Pippin in The Lord of the Rings – if we don’t win this fight, “there isn’t going to be a Shire.”

  • “He also said the bishops were wrong.”

    They are. That earns him points in my book.

  • I second the motion by Bonchamps!

  • Anyone who votes for Obama is a “useful idiot”.

  • Anyone who votes for either party is a useful idiot.

  • @CHRIS IN MARYLAND- the progressives in the democratic party have proven that social
    positions ARE important to them, everything from open gays in the military, gay marriage,
    unlimited abortion on demand and stricter gun control. that’s what makes this choice so difficult. Mitt Romney is NO social conservative and for that matter, neither is Paul Ryan.
    But this should be clear to anyone who follows politics. There is a split in the Rebuplican
    party, between CINO (conservative in name only) aided and abetted by liberterains. and social conservatives. It doesn’t take a Dick Morris to see which faction controls the Republican party. It is time for a more conservative socially and more financially responsible third party.

  • Sorry Edmund – Paul Ryan has a 100% rating on Pro-Life issues AND the liberal Bishops came out against his budget.

    Jeb Bush = RINO/CINO…YES. Ryan…please… Come to think of it…maybe you work for Jeb Bush?

    On the other hand, its always in season to encourage liberals to vote again for Ralph Nader.

  • Paul Ryan abstained on the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.

  • I think Lisa is really David Axelrod…sorry David…I’ve had enough of Chicago.

  • Calling me names, questioning my intentions, etc., really helps to shore up your reputation for being a charitable person. No, wait…

  • “There is a split in the Rebuplican party, between CINO (conservative in name only) aided and abetted by liberterains. and social conservatives. It doesn’t take a Dick Morris to see which faction controls the Republican party. It is time for a more conservative socially and more financially responsible third party.”

    Oddly, we Liberterains are haltingly trying to create a third party ourselves, present crisis notwithstanding, that looks forward to a time when the Federal government returns to its proper, Consitutionally-defined role of limited and enumerated oversight of specific areas of the nation’s business, leaving the rest to states, municipalities and we the people ourselves.

    Such a party has a slim chance of ever becoming an effective body, though, in that its raison d’etre is its own obsolescence, a cause that’s unworkably oxymoronic in a political sense.

    Just remember that there is a world of difference between Liberty and license. While neither desire to be externally governed, that is where the similarity ends and the paths diverge in diametrically opposite directions. Liberty informs the individual person with self-government whereas license negates government of any sort. Liberty and The Church are essentially consubstantial because they both require and reinforce correct personal action without coersion. Where The Church leads, Liberty follows; where Liberty thrives, The Church is a City on a Hill. The fascist Left uses license as its primary weapon to create the vaccum of chaos which then necessitates corecively imposed order; it must nullify The Church in order to achieve its goals. Liberty is sine qua non to our nation’s continued existence. License is the poison that will destroy us. Know the difference.

  • Lisa continues with her false witness against Paul Ryan. And I continue to say shame on Lisa for distorting the record and character of a faithful, practicing Catholic. Go off with your friend George Soros into the political wilderness and leave us alone.

  • I see on Lisa’s website that Lisa is a big supporter, or something, of Sarah Palin. Palin holds the EXACT SAME viewpoints on fiscal policy as Paul Ryan. In fact, she was one of the FIRST politicians in the ENTIRE COUNTRY to endorse Paul Ryan’s Roadmap to fix Social Security and Medicare.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703766704576009322838245628.html

  • I guess Sarah Palin hates the poor and wants to gut all welfare programs, too. What a Randian!

  • Bonchamps says:
    Tuesday, August 14, 2012 A.D. at 3:29pm (Edit)
    “He also said the bishops were wrong.”

    They are. That earns him points in my book.

    Agreed.

    The USCCB– which is usually what folks mean by “the Bishops,” even though it’s not exactly right– being wrong in their totally non binding ideas isn’t exactly news.

    Same way I like GK Chesterton, but I’m not sure I’d dive right into the financial philosophies of someone who the only thing I know of his economic powers is rumors he was so bad he had to wire for money to take the train. Doesn’t make him a bad Catholic, just not someone you want to follow blindly for budget stuff.

  • Foxfier: Exactly!! How much training in economics or budget issues have the Bishops had? For that matter, does anybody posting here have one tenth of the knowledge Ryan has about the federal deficient and the economic disaster that is right ahead of us?

    Lisa, you don’t seem to grasp that if the entitlement programs are not reformed, there will be nothing for anybody when the government runs out of money. And stop this business about the “poor.” Yes, there are genuinely needy and we should help them. There are also people scamming the system for every cent they can get. (A well-known scam around here involves people using food stamps to get bags of frozen lobster tails and shrimp and other expensive items and then selling the lobster tails at half market price.) Is that “social justice?” Does Catholic charity demand that I be OK with that? Are only rich people capable of the sin of greed?

39 Responses to Assertion without Evidence

  • Wow. Well, where do I begin? How about removing the word “warpath” to describe what I’m doing? http://catholicbandita.com/romneys-ryan-pick-drives-the-wedge-between-catholics-deeper/

    Can we start there? Remove “warpath”? Thanks.

  • Ryan’s pick divided Catholics because Catholics like you choose to distort Ryan’s record and turn him into something he is not. Therefore your post is something of a tautology.

  • I don’t know what Lisa Graas said, but are there any major thinkers, pundits or experts who have expressed silly reservations like the ones you describe?

    Charlie

  • Will you not remove the word “warpath” in reference to what I am doing?

  • Well, it depends on how you define “major.” Truthfully, this is probably not a major concern outside of the Catholic blogosphere, and even then only a certain subset of it. In fact, that’s part of why I find the claim that he’s being disingenuous about his feelings with regard to Rand to be a little perplexing. Of all the things a politician is going to lie about, why this? Somehow I don’t think Paul Ryan is so concerned with how a subset of a subset of a subset of the population feels about Ayn Rand that he would feel the need to change his tune.

  • I guess you are not going to remove the word “warpath” you use to describe what I am doing so I am going to give this post the attention it deserves. None.

  • I’m sure it won’t ultimately matter, but edit made.

  • Some people like to be naysayers. There is not a single politician in the country who is as smart and as good on economic and social issues and no slouch on national security.
    I don’t know anyone who represents a cause or a base who is criticizing this pick.

    Check out this piece from Viguerie’s newsletter:

    Social Conservative Leaders Laud Paul Ryan’s Pro-Life Record
    By CHQ Staff | 8/13/12

    Paul Ryan’s 100% right-to-life voting record and his strong and principled opposition to the abortion drug and contraception mandates in President Obama’s health care law are encouraging signs for social conservatives that with Ryan on the ticket a Romney/Ryan administration will be strongly pro-life and pro-family.

    Pro-lifersMarjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, told LifeNews that, “By selecting Congressman Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, Governor Romney demonstrates his commitment to protecting American women and unborn children. A longtime pro-life advocate and a strong fiscal conservative, Congressman Ryan has insisted that there can be no ‘truce’ when it comes to advancing the rights of the unborn and achieving fiscal responsibility. He has a pristine pro-life voting record and will be an asset to Governor Romney’s campaign.”

    The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins released a statement praising Ryan saying, “As a member of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, he has been a defender of religious expression in the public square. Paul Ryan has spoken out strongly against President Obama’s abortion drug and contraception mandates as an affront to religious liberty. He has articulately described how the President’s government takeover of health care has pushed aside our First Amendment right of religious freedom.”

    Gary Bauer, chairman of Campaign for Working Families praised the choice of Ryan saying, “I congratulate Paul Ryan and look forward to the policy debates. This is a selection that sends a strong, clear, unambiguous message of a conservative vision for America, from ending the explosive growth of government, reducing the explosive growth of the debt and instead committing to the explosive growth of the American economy. This shows the kind of talented and experienced team Governor Mitt Romney will put together that will work for American exceptionalism.

    Americans United for Life Action President Charmaine Yoest called Ryan’s selection “a bold choice of an unambiguous defender of the need for a pro-life vision for America.”

    Ryan has a 100% pro-life voting record on all roll call votes scored by National Right to Life throughout his entire career in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since being sworn-in in 1999 he supported the pro-life position on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, and most recently the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, among others.

    As a principled supporter of pro-life legislation Congressman Paul has co-sponsored numerous pro-life bills, including the D.C. Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, and the Protect Life Act.

    Senator Rick Santorum, the strongly pro-life candidate Romney drove from the primaries, summed-up the impact of Paul Ryan’s addition to the Republican ticket saying, “In addition to Congressman Ryan’s stellar fiscal conservative positions, he is indeed a full-spectrum conservative. He is solidly pro-life, pro-family, and will be an advocate for our military and our national-security priorities.”

  • Thank you sooooo very much Dr.Charles Kenny! The choice of Paul Ryan for VP brings a much needed ray of Hope!!!! There are many people who recognize the great peril this nation is facing, and they have responded with prayer and fasting. Blog posts are all well and good, but when I read the silliness of the above, I feel fear. Now is the time for all people of good will who love this country to UNITE. Let go of the ego already…what is the objective?…four more years of Obama. Look around. Pay attention to the voices which advocate for more and more government. Who are we serving? Please read Pope Benedict XVI Encyclical “Charity in Truth,” as well as Pope John Paul’s teaching on authentic solidarity and justice.

  • Perhaps, we should recall the words of a great 20th century Thomist, “Integral political science . . . is superior in kind to philosophy; to be truly complete it must have a reference to the domain of theology, and it is precisely as a theologian that St. Thomas wrote De regimine principum . . . the knowledge of human actions and of the good conduct of the human State in particular can exist as an integral science, as a complete body of doctrine, only if related to the ultimate end of the human being. . . the rule of conduct governing individual and social life cannot therefore leave the supernatural order out of account” (The Things that are not Caesar’s, p. 128, Jacques Maritain).

    As another Catholic philosopher of the same period, Maurice Blondel, explains, “Material things become the support of economic phenomena; economic facts, even those that appear to relate to entirely physical needs, are already pregnant with moral and social relationships. One cannot legitimately and with impunity enclose oneself in any one order; there is action from the top down and from the bottom up” (Catholicisme Social et Monophorisme).

    Contrary to the prevalent economic liberalism and sociological positivism, they recognized that a self-contained socio-economic order is an abstraction that falsifies the actual supernatural destiny of the concrete person.

    It is from this perspective that Ayan Rand’s philosophy must be judged; one cannot argue that her political and economic views can, somehow, be detached from her religious and philosophical deficiencies.

  • Paul Zummo (per his article): Does it really matter if Paul Ryan doesn’t ape Catholic theology students word for word if the end product is something is properly within Church teaching on economic matters?

    I agree with Zummo that Paul Ryan need not quote Aquinas or any Catholic theologian to make a substantively or even authentically Catholic economic argument. Ryan’s economic arguments, as found both in his budget and in his personal economic philosophy, are still in development. It’s important for all voters from both sides of the aisle to realize that the Ryan the Republican veep nominee and Ryan the possible veep-elect now face (and might eventually face) different realities based on a wide variety of variables. It’s quite possible that Ryan might grow towards a less atomistic view of individual economic relationships towards a preferential option for the poor, or the opposite. Improbability still admits possibility, however remote.

    I disagree partially, however, with Zummo’s assessment of Lisa Graas’s observation on class warfare. Zummo states that “[t]his doesn’t really sound like Ryan is blaming the poor at all.” [my addition in brackets] Indeed, Graas per Zummo’s quotations does not provide direct evidence that Ryan’s deficit reduction plan causes class warfare. Still, Graas’s statement points indirectly towards an undeniable aspect of Aquinas on distributism: class distinctions do matter. Question 61, art. 2, objection 3 and its corresponding reply rely on class distinctions to fine-tune distribution versus commutation. If, as Aquinas asserts in the reply to objection 3, distribution relies on class as a description and not an individual attribute, then drastically cutting Medicaid funding is “class warfare” so far as one aggregate group (those who depend on Medicaid, often poor persons) suffer deprivation for the benefit of the “wealthy” (the “ordinary rich” as well as those whose income is mostly dividends). Per Aquinas, this is different than a “poor person” who wrongs as “wealthy person”, as in this case the circumstances of individuals and not classes influence the morality of an action.

    One difficulty in applying Aquinan social moral theology to modern day circumstance is the reality of our postindustrial society. Nevertheless, the reality that persons act as moral groups as well as moral individuals also implies that the structure of state itself can influence moral behavior. The pitting of one class against another is itself still quite morally problematic per Aquinas.

  • Let’s make this more simple. My question is for everyone who has thus far commented, but anyone else may answer, yes or no. Do you believe that assistance is “due” to the poor simply because they are poor and with no conditions attached to the assistance? I am not referring to whether it is through government or not. Just a simple question. Do you believe that assistance is “due” to the poor simply because they are poor?

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  • Poverty is relative. Who gets to decide how poor is poor enough? Materialists who don’t believe life is worth living if it isn’t physically comfortable? Christians, who know that there is more to life than material comfort?

    These questions are far more complex than you seem to appreciate. Like a lot of leftist ideologues, you puff yourself up on abstract ideology, failing to clearly define terms and account for cost limitations. No, all that matters is that your claim “sounds” moral, so moral that it doesn’t have to account for any real-world circumstances at all.

    This is precisely why Christian morality mostly focuses on the responsibilities of the individual. The individual can sacrifice himself for an ideal. He knows the costs and can decide that they are worth paying for his ideals. But individuals like you, who presume to dictate what other people ought to sacrifice for the sake of your ideals, can’t possibly know what the consequences of your policies will be, and whether they will do more harm than good.

    If someone meets a reasonable criteria for poverty, they are due to assistance from the community. If the argument is that this necessarily comes in the form of federal welfare bureaucracies, and that any opposition to these is opposition to Catholic teaching, I call you a charlatan and a fraud – or a fool who is completely out of his or her depth.

    I’m not saying you were ever that specific, Lisa. So lets see your hand. What concrete, specific forms of “assistance” do you believe are due to the poor? How do you define poverty? Who counts as poor? Who is responsible for providing this assistance? What level of government?

  • I don’t know much about this Lisa Graas, but since reading this, I have looked a bit further at the net, and found that she seems to freely bash Republicans. Is she a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage, pro-socialist Democrat voting Catholic? I seriously ask this question.

  • No, James, she is a pro-life Catholic. She is independent minded, and as such often disagrees with the Republican party, particularly on economic matters. Often I agree with her criticisms of the GOP, though in this case I think her particular argument is without merit.

  • Do you believe that assistance is “due” to the poor simply because they are poor and with no conditions attached to the assistance?

    Yes.

    Ryan may talk about individuality versus collectivism in a way that makes you nervous that he doesn’t believe in the Catholic vision, but his budget plan specifically protects – and funds – programs for the poor.

    Part of the problem is in our political rhetoric. The current battle line is between a more collectivist vision versus a more individualistic vision. So the politician has to deal with the crisis at hand. He doens’t necessarily get to pick his battles. If the primary feud was between some social programs and no social programs, I imagine that he’d be defending social programs and articulating the policy issues according to the dominant themes.

    When Reagan said that government is the problem, he wasn’t embracing an anti-Thomist vision. Based on the decisions he made, he would have been comfortable with a smaller safety net. You could take his comment about government and argue that he was calling for anarchy, though. He was addressing the political issue of the time in a way that was understandable.

    And that’s the key thing. A politician has a responsibility to make his proposed policies understandable to the people. Part of that involves sound bites and signals. I suspect that Ryan would be as happy as Santorum was to articulate his entire viewpoint, but as we saw with Santorum, that doesn’t make good copy. And as much as I like it when politicians elevate the conversation, they do have to make copy, because most people consume their politics in small portions.

    As an aside, I think that Ryan would be more successful politically if he’d balance the Stark Differences rhetoric with more Common Ground rhetoric. It’d comfort the people who, like you, are nervous about him. It would also risk alienating the tea party types who are opposed to any kind of moderation. It’s a tough path to find.

  • I’m not just one of the usual suspects; I’m Keyser Söze, baby.

    My sense of Congressman Ryan is that he genuinely believes his path to property is in line with Catholic social teaching. I’m dubious given his misunderstanding of terms such as subsidiarity and solidarity and also given the simplistic ways in which he frames the moral/political conflicts, but I don’t question his sincerity of fault his fellow Catholics for supporting him. As for Rand’s influence, Paul’s been repeatedly open about this, despite rejecting her atheism and epistemology, and while he’s no Objectivist or Randian, his rhetoric and framing of the issues make evident that, like her, he’s something of an individualist and to some extent sees the world accordingly.

  • Kyle Cupp:
    “…and while he’s no Objectivist or Randian, his rhetoric and framing of the issues make evident that, like her, he’s something of an individualist and to some extent sees the world accordingly.”

    What is the intent of this diagnosis of yours? Is it supposed to be an indicator of future behavior? Is it supposed to identify and include/disqualify him in one group or another? Is it praise by you? Disparagement?

    It seems to me you think he doesn’t quite cut the mustard. Just asking.

  • Ryan’s individualism (which is not nearly so radical and Rand’s) doesn’t disqualify him from being VP or from being supported by Catholics, but it does seem to shape his understanding of Catholic social teaching: his definitions of subsidiarity and solidarity, while partially correct, miss the fullness of the terms as taught by the Catholic faith precisely because they’re too much informed by an individualism vs. collectivism binary. The Church envisions the human person both in terms of his being an individual and as part of a collective: it rejects both collectivism and individualism.

  • Bonchamps, poverty is how the government defines poverty. Is Ryan advocating to change the poverty line?

  • James, I think you have me mixed up with someone else. I do not “bash” anyone, least of all Republicans.

  • I am a former crisis pregnancy counselor for the Archdiocese of Louisville. I have personally witnessed how giving charity to the poor transforms the poor. One will not know charity if one never receives it. While Republicans would argue that charity causes dependency, I would argue that true charity causes one to know what true charity is, and one cannot know true charity without knowing sacrifice for others, and one cannot know resentment and dependency if one knows sacrifice, and that joy that is in that sacrifice. That’s where Jesus is, not in making demands of the poor as if they are doing something wrong by being poor.

  • Most of the young women I ministered to had been kicked out of their home by their parents or otherwise had no support from their families. Every one wanted an abortion because of despair of not knowing how to support the child. Every one had to have every need taken care of (rent, food, etc.). Every one chose life for her child. Every one got a job to support her child. All of them would be appalled by some of the comments on this Catholic blog.

  • Kyle, how’s that barbershop quartet?

    Matt Archbold has a post up that provides pretty good insight from someone who, like many others, was inspired to conversion by Ayn Rand but who ultimately rejected most of the foundational aspects of her philosophy.

    I read Rand at a later age than many young conservatives when they first encountered her writing, and was already familiar with the works of Hayak, Sowell, and so many others. Therefore I had little use for even the positive aspects of her work because I saw them better articulated by more well-rounded writers. But I don’t think there’s necessarily anything pernicious with having been inspired to some degree by her works, nor do I think it necessarily taints one’s overall philosophy having bitten the apple, so to speak.

  • More singing of the praises of Ayn Rand? How about this? Ayn Rand is featured in this very popular book from Ignatius Press: Architects of the Culture of Death I strongly recommend the book.

  • Lisa, I don’t think that last comment was fair. No one’s singing the praises of Ayn Rand. On the points where her writing conflicts with Catholic teaching, Ryan (and Zummo and I and probably everyone else here) rejects Rand. On the points where her writing can be reconciled with Catholic teaching, Ryan recognizes its merits. And there isn’t much of it that can be reconciled – just some of her economics, which is largely cut-and-pasted from her Enlightenment betters.

  • “[P]overty is how the government defines poverty.”

    Such an assertion is difficult to take seriously.

  • Pinky is right. Lisa, you are taking very unfair liberties with some comments, which does expose you to the accusation of dishonesty.

  • No, it is very serious.
    It is called an operational definition in science.
    In this case it is a bureaucracy that defines it in measurable terms that apply to everyone.
    The standard of living of upper middle class Americans at the turn of the century is lower than that of people whom the government calls poor today. And the standard of living of middle class Americans at the end of WWII is lower than the poverty line as defined by the government.

    Charlie

  • Agree, Charlie. And my point is that such a bureaucratically created operational definition is of no practical utility when it comes to a serious and sincere discussion the meaning and application of Catholic social teaching.

  • More singing of the praises of Ayn Rand?

    Remember, you (rightfully) don’t like the tone jvc takes with you in another thread. Saying that Paul’s comment praises Ayn Rand also coarsens the tone.

  • Yep, bureaucratic definitions of poverty may obscure more than reveal:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/07/poverty-american-style.php

    Which is not to say that all of the poor in America have all of the things noted in the article. But it is accurate to say that you can have all of the amenities listed and still be considered “poor” by the federal government.

  • Wow. Well, where do I begin? How about removing the word “warpath” to describe what I’m doing? http://catholicbandita.com/romneys-ryan-pick-drives-the-wedge-between-catholics-deeper/
    –Lisa Graas 9:08pm

    Ha ha. Someone who styles herself “Catholic bandita” cries over the word “warpath” being applied to her course of action. A bandita is a female thief armed with a gun; the bandolier she wears – from which the word “bandita” is derived – carries her bullets.

    Let’s make this more simple. My question is for everyone who has thus far commented, but anyone else may answer, yes or no. Do you believe that assistance is “due” to the poor simply because they are poor and with no conditions attached to the assistance?
    –Lisa Graas 5:15am

    An interesting question. Let’s see, if Lisa herself answers “yes” then she’s stuck paying for abortions on demand – no conditions meaning exactly that. So, if she wishes to be a faithful Catholic, Lisa must herself answer her own question “no” just as, presumably, Ayn Rand would.

    I have personally witnessed how giving charity to the poor transforms the poor.
    –Lisa Graas 12:29pm

    Don’t confuse ‘charity’ with ‘government handouts’. I have personally witnessed how giving government handouts to the poor destroys the poor both physically and spirtually.

    If you hear anyone arguing that “charity causes dependency”, you’re hearing someone who is making the same error of confusing ‘charity’ with ‘government handouts’ – even if they are Republicans.

    And furthermore, don’t overlook that sometimes the greatest charity is tough love. Jesus, you may recall from one of the recent daily Mass readings of the Gospel, did not repeat the miracle of the multiplication of loaves just because the crowds were expecting that. From this and other examples, we can conclude that charity includes the responsibility of sometimes saying “no”.

  • Since charity is not to be confused with government handouts, why is the government’s assessment of who are “the poor” relevant?

  • Thomas Aquinas talked about “distributive justice”. The difference between Distributism and distributive justice is a recognized need of the other person, the neighbor and loving the neighbor for the love of God. The “JUSTICE” part comes in when man acknowledges that God is the Creator of all creation and especially man. “Distributive justice” acknowedges God as the Creator , endower and distributor of all. Distributive Justice is the working of Divine Providence. Distributism is the working of usurpation of private property and the refusal of the acknowledgement of man as a sovereign person created by the Supreme Sovereign Being.

    When the atheist denies the existence of God, the Supreme Sovereign Being, does the atheist really exist and does the atheist really have sovereign personhood when he, the atheist rejects his sovereignty from God? A good question for Ayn
    Rand

  • In addition: Distributive Justice is the practice of the virtue of CHARITY. Distributism is the practice of tyranny, communism, Marxism, totalitarianism, and utilitarianism. The practice of the virtue of Charity is voluntary. The extortion of taxes for distributism without assent and consent by the owners of the property of taxes is stealing against the Seventh Commandment.

  • “[P]overty is how the government defines poverty.” “… because poverty is what I say what it is.” And who are you who is saying it is what it is? Taxes belong to the taxpayers even while being administered by the administration. It is assumed that the consent and informed consent, of the citizen is granted across the board by the election, but the item must be put on the ballot for the will of the people to make itself known to those who serve in the public sector.

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Paul Ryan For Veep

Saturday, August 11, AD 2012

If the average American can’t handle complexity in his or her own life, and only government experts can … then government must direct the average American about how to live his or her life. Freedom becomes a diminishing good.?But there’s a major flaw in this “progressive’” argument, and it’s this. It assumes there must be someone or some few who do have all the knowledge and information. We just have to find, train, and hire them to run the government’s agencies.

Friedrich Hayek called this collectivism’s “fatal conceit.” The idea that a few bureaucrats know what’s best for all of society, or possess more information about human wants and needs than millions of free individuals interacting in a free market is both false and arrogant. It has guided collectivists for two centuries down the road to serfdom — and the road is littered with their wrecked utopias. The plan always fails!

Paul Ryan

 

All the signs point to Mitt Romney selecting today Paul Ryan for the Gop Vice-Presidential Nominee.  Ryan is the Congressman for the first congressional district of Wisconsin.  I am quite familiar with him as his congressional district encompasses Kenosha where my mother-in-law lives.  My family and I will be traveling up to visit her for a few days today as we do every summer.

Ryan, 42, is a Catholic, married and the father of three kids.  He has been in Congress since 1999.  He is most notable for his proposed budget, the Ryan plan, which passed the House on April 15, 2011.  The bill died in the Senate.

A second version of the Ryan budget was passed this year by the House.  The budget came under attack from liberal Catholics and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a majority of the bishops appearing to confuse social justice with a welfare state driving us to national bankruptcy.   Ryan responded to his critics with a lecture at Georgetown which is featured in the video at the beginning of the post.

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55 Responses to Paul Ryan For Veep

  • ….a majority of the bishops appearing to confuse social justice with a welfare state driving us to national bankruptcy.

    Statements like this are why I enjoy this blog so much. It puts into words what most clear headed, reasonable Catholics are thinking. I feel like I am “not alone”. Thank you Donald.

  • Everything about this election will be a stark contrast and represent a choice.

    Paul Ryan is a serious man who truly represents the best of what we the people have to offer. He attempts to abide by principles of solidarity and subsidiarity.

    His counterpart in Biden is the exact opposite: a frivolous, partisan, bureaucrat who panders to our worst inclinations and fears.

    Game on!

  • I have no problem with Ryan as a VP choice. I would prefer Petraeus, assuming he’s pro-life.

  • I am Very happy with the idea of Paul Ryan VPOTUS– (Looks Latin doesn’t it)

    And he says “Give me Thomas Aquinas” Yay!

    Now a sprint to the election– would the patron saint of Sprints be Paul?

  • Reasonable, responsible, realistic, and respectful.
    Yay.

  • Since no-one else has mentioned… he’s cute, too. Yes, that’s silly, but it’s really hard to read menace into someone that looks kind of sweet and innocent with a young enthusiasm.

  • I’m heartily looking forward to seeing Ryan trounce Biden in the VP debate.

  • Yes, agreed, Foxfier. It will be so good to see and hear both men, who can smile as opposed to sneer, for a change of pace. Getting tired of fast scrolling. May God bless them for wanting to do what they can do. We so need their presence and work.

  • Foxfire, my wife pointed put the same thing and then brought up “Hey Girl, It’s Paul Ryan” as proof.

    Scandalous, I say! Scandalous!

    Giving someone a pass because they are attractive! Aweful! Unprecedented! I mean, it is totally different than Sarah P. because, well, because, uh….

  • “…come from nature and God, not from government”!!!! Wooohoooooooo I’m young and I’m pumped!

  • I remember going to Kenosha WI during my time at A School at Great Mistakes ( I mean Lakes) Naval Training Center. I was only 19 and the drinking age in WI was still 19 bak in 1985. But I digress

    I have somewhat mixed feelings about Ryan as Mitt’s running mate. It’s not because I don’t like Ryan. I do. I think he’s one of the best things the GOP has going for it. It’s just I think he is so needed in the House as the budget committe chair. And that he would make an excellent Speaker someday as opposed to that spineless jellyfish Boehner.

    But I think a debate between him and Hairplugs Biden will be such a missmatch I’ll almost feel sorry for old Joe.

  • I may need to retool the apocalyptic investment strategy . . . not until after election.

  • See Instapundit:

    IOWAHAWK: “Paul Ryan represents Obama’s most horrifying nightmare: math.”

    Related: Paul Ryan needs to use @iowahawkblog’s line: “You know what will end Medicaid as we know it? Medicaid as we know it.”

    Representative Ryan represents Obama’s worst nightmare: the Truth.

  • Here’s to hoping Ryan is the wind needed to keep the weathervane pointed in the *right* direction. He is a very good pick.

  • I respect Ryan. The Vice Presidential slot is not a good fit for him and removing him from Congress carries with it a regrettable opportunity cost.

    Romney needed to select someone as prepared to assume the presidency as an understudy is prepared to step into a role. That would mean someone who has been in executive positions before. It also means someone who has been extensively vetted so there are no surprises during the campaign. It means in addition someone whose ambitions are circumscribed (as is common, for example, among the aged). Ryan does not fill the bill.

    There are a dozen or more former cabinet secretaries and federal bureau chiefs of consequence who are a.) Republicans b.) born after 1939 and c.) have held a consequential elective office as well. Some of them (e.g. Christine Todd Whitman) are unsuitable because wrong on non-negotiables. Still, were they all unsuitable or uninterested?

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  • What does Romney’s pick of Ryan mean? ….

    It means that Mitt Romney thinks he can fool Catholics (and others) into believing that he is pro-life. Unfortunately Mitt is, and always has been exactly what he needed to be at any given point in his life that would further his career. His current protestations at being pro-life are only for the purpose of gaining the Republican nomination.

    I have to believe the best, and therefore I will believe that congressman Ryan believes that he can positively impact the direction of a potential Romney administration; unfortunately for Ryan, Romney will lose and it is likely that a potentially monumental political career will be cut short.

  • unfortunately for Ryan, Romney will lose

    And you know this how?

  • Darn it! No more bubble bursting you guys– lets hope and work for the best.
    Sometimes people see what they expect to see, according to their own proclivities or their own sad experience. I think he is an honorable person who has tried on different ideas is sifting them down to what is good. We are All on a journey here. I, for one, am more hopeful today with Paul Ryan on the ticket. I am glad it was not C. Rice and I don’t think Romney is trying to fool Catholics. I think he is trying to be president.

  • Art says :The Vice Presidential slot is not a good fit for him and removing him from Congress carries with it a regrettable opportunity cost.

    While I tend to agree that Ryan is not a great fit for VP, I am unclear what the opportunity cost is. If Obama is reelected Ryan in Congress will have zero influence or significance regardless of being on the ticket or not. Even if the Dems were somehow to lose in 2016 or 2020, the Ryan plan would be so OBE as to be laughable. Even more to the point, the public would have become like Greeks Italians and Spaniards rioting for more government handouts. On the other hand, if Romney wins, then Ryan will be the one doing the budget formulation with Congress and a handpicked successor would warm his Budget seat. What am I missing??

  • No committee chair is indispensable. The Speaker’s office holds most of the power. If anything, Ryan has shown us how little one good man can do in Congress over the last two years.

    I’ve seen people saying that a Romney loss would ruin Ryan’s career, or a Romney win would do the same. I don’t believe either. He’s young and not cheating on his cancer-suffering wife, so he can bounce back from a loss. And any high-level exposure is good for a politician. There are a lot of ups and downs in his future. Reagan won his second term when he was 70. Paul Ryan won’t be that age until 2040.

    As for whether or not Romney is going to win, that’s still up in the air. Not because I or someone else isn’t good at predicting, but because there are literally a thousand campaign events before the election, and the public hasn’t made up its mind.

  • Pinky nailed it.

  • No source given at the link, but one wonders how long before some of our co-religionists begin their attacks:

    http://christiandiarist.com/2012/08/11/paul-ryan-faces-left-wing-religious-attack/

  • Yes, Phillip, one wonders what brave new voice of the Catholic left will go on the attack.

  • The catholic left and the lying, liberal (in the tank for Obama) so-called media will begin with “Romney will end Medicare as we know it.”

    Their worst enemy: the Truth is that Medicare is self-destructing.

    Keith Hennessy gives a powerful expose of this liberal lie (Again I repeat myself):

    “The irresponsible part isn’t the proposed spending cut, it’s the promise to keep spending growth going without specifying how you’ll pay for it. If President Obama were proposing tax increases to match his future spending growth, then this would be a fair attack. But he is not. More generally, the Obama fiscal path and campaign message rely on the false presumption that everything will be OK if we raise tax increases only on the rich and make small, mostly painless spending cuts. This is incorrect. Whether you support spending cuts, tax increases, or a combination, you need to make big, structural fiscal policy changes to get on a long-term sustainable fiscal path. Our federal government spending path is seriously out of whack and minor adjustments won’t fix it.”

    Of course, that is “Greek” to the stupid liberal liar (I repeated myself twice!) and the execrable, catholic left.

  • It’s not just the Catholic left, but the holier than thou Catholic right that is attacking the Ryan pick. Lisa Graas is critical of the Ryan pick, because, umm, Ayn Rand and stuff.

    Evidently Ryan’s once having praised Ayn Ran signifies that Paul Ryan wants to eat babies or something.

    The silly season never ends.

    BTW, the Ryan pick does little to move me personally. As I’ve said before, the Vice Presidency is really a nothing position, and the fact of the matter is Mitt Romney is still at the top of the ticket. That being said, Ryan is arguably the most solid all-around conservative on any GOP ticket since Reagan, and I say that as someone who is still a fan of Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin. It’s also possible that Ryan will be slightly more involved in a Romney administration’s policy setting than a typical VP.

  • Paul Ryan.

    What I like: his view of Catholic social teaching, his firm pro-life convictions, his public confrontation with Obama.

    What I don’t like: his support for the bailouts, neo-con foreign policy (yes blah blah blah there is no such thing as “neo-conservatism” I know save it for another time), support for the Patriot Act.

    What I don’t care in the least about: his one time approval of Ayn Rand, which any honest person, having read what he has had to say for himself, would not hold against him.

    Romney made a wise decision. While I was hoping that he would choose Rand Paul, with whom I agree on almost every issue, Paul Ryan is certainly an acceptable and appreciable choice from my point of view. While I am not quite as enthused as I would have been had he chosen Rand, I am still pleased, and not at all disgusted has I would have been had he chosen someone like Rubio.

  • Rozin makes a very telling point, when he writes, “Even more to the point, the public would have become like Greeks Italians and Spaniards rioting for more government handouts.”

    As Talleyrand said, “Governing has never been anything other than postponing by a thousand subterfuges the moment when the mob will hang you from the lamp-post, and every act of government is nothing but a way of not losing control of the people.”

  • “Lisa Graas is critical of the Ryan pick, because, umm, Ayn Rand and stuff.”

    She sometimes posts here so it would be good if she made her argument here. From what I can tell the two biggests arguments are with Ryan’s support for Capitalism. She quotes the CCC which condemns unbridled Capitalism. I hope she is aware of the Church’s support for Capitalism which is regulated and ordered towards the good.

    She also seems to take Ryan’s support for Rand’s individualist philosophy as damning. I do not know much at all about what in particular he supports in this philosophy. If it is that there are no responsibilites apart from the self, then he is wrong. If it is that there are individual persons with rights, wants and desires which are legitimate and are to be fulfilled, then I don’t think he is acting contrary to the Faith.

  • Finally, for now at least, she needs to explain how Ryan “undermines the Bishops on economic issues” and “DEFINES what Catholicsim is” in this interview:

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/elisabethmeinecke/2012/05/25/exclusive_paul_ryan_responds_to_catholic_budget_controversy

    Ryan actually seems to have a greater understanding of Catholic Social Teaching than most Catholics – including Lisa.

  • One thing I’ve noticed in the more mainstream and conservative non-religious press. They’re treating this as a confirmation that Romney is going 100% economic issues in the campaign. I don’t know. It seems to me that Ryan potentially opens up the social front that Romney has been avoiding. Now, Ryan is a Kempite, so every social thing he says is phrased as an economic issue, but if he gets past that a little he can be hitting the administration on a lot of issues other than the budget.

  • Social good and common justice teaching: ethanol mandate forced by Obama is harming poor by soaring food price. And, it was renewed for farmer votes not to save Mother Erda.

    The catholic left and right have one thing in common. That is minimal familiarity with the facts in the real world.

    Romney/Ryan will not end the welfare state as we know it. The welfare state as we know it will self-destruct and take the USA down, too.

  • Paul Ryan has been praised for saying, “If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas.”

    I’m all for moderate realists in government, but is the problem with Ayn Rand really her epistemology?

  • As Talleyrand said, “Governing has never been anything other than postponing by a thousand subterfuges the moment when the mob will hang you from the lamp-post, and every act of government is nothing but a way of not losing control of the people.”

    Stop it.

  • Tom, as I understand it, Rand held that no speculation about anything but the universe can be made from inside the universe. We’re limited by our senses. Any claim of religion was thus an arbitrary assertion. So it really was her epistemology that disallowed religious faith.

  • As an escapee of the third world I must warn that one shouldn’t forget how incredibly important it is to not let Mr Obama get a second term. Do not loose sight of that! Sheesh

  • Thanks, Pinky. There’s a certain amount in what you describe that a Thomist could at least work with, in a seldom deny/always distinguish way — though I expect he’d need to be working with a better thinker (e.g., one less prone to arbitrary assertion) than Rand to get anywhere.

  • Pinky: “Tom, as I understand it, Rand held that no speculation about anything but the universe can be made from inside the universe. We’re limited by our senses. Any claim of religion was thus an arbitrary assertion. So it really was her epistemology that disallowed religious faith.”

    Faith is a gift from God to which man’s response is called religion. This is why our First Amendment guarantees RELiGIOUS FREEDOM, because government cannot concoct Faith or Faith in God. Only God does, and with the ostracizing of the Person of God there is only DOOM of every stripe.

  • “Their Creator” created man in original innocence, filled with Justice and all unalienable rights as deserving of the INNOCENT: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. This original innocence is the form of the human body. The newly begotten human being composed of body and soul begins to grow. He has taken on the original sin of mankind, called concupiscence. However, as the sovereign person he is, he has not committed any crime deserving of the death penalty by his inclusion in the human kind.

    Mitt Romney introduced Paul Ryan as “president’ of the United States. When was the last time Obama introduced Biden, a constituent of the president, as “president”? Paul Ryan is truly a constituent of Mitt Romney. Would that Barack Obama considered his constituents: no different than himself. As President, all citizens are constituents of the president, and ought to be considered as such, and may be referred to as “president”. Romney’s mistake exposed Romney’s appreciation for and respect for Ryan as a future constituent, as opposed to Ryan being a chess piece in a political ploy.

    Biden was chosen because the VP’s chair needed to be kept warm. Biden’s only useful purpose is to make Obama look smart, but Barack has not learned to keep his laws off my gonads. My sexual intimacy is not ordained to be governed by or dictated to by the HHS mandate, not by Sebelius, not by Obama…andbiden.

    The HHS mandate claims to proscribe the marital intimacy according to abortificients, and contraception, none of which have been proven safe and/or effective. Would anyone walk across the street with a 12% chance of not getting to the other side? Would anyone walk across the street to catch HIV/aids, herpes, papiloma virus, even the cancer virus? The Affordable Healthcare Act has become the law of the land and if one chooses to live one’s life in purity and privacy, the hhs mandate intrudes into the intimacies of the procreative act by inflicting the cost of the practice of lust on Obama’s constituents. Obama will next decree that consecrated men and women, priests and nuns perform the intimate procreative act since the human conscience is no longer acknowledged in a court of law. Hitler did.

    Obama has assumed the direction of all sexual intimacies. That which he approves, he funds, that which he rejects, Obama opposes. Gonad for gonad, Barack owns us all. Barack has never read the bible where God says”…for you are men sacred to me”, where God calls all men to sanctity.
    Barack keep your laws off my gonads.
    PAUL RYAN IS A GOOD MAN

  • I am happy at the Paul Ryan pick.

    Defeat Obama. Defeat that godless, iniquitous man of sin and depravity no matter what!

  • “she needs to explain how Ryan “undermines the Bishops on economic issues” ”

    I’d like to know too, so I can encourage him to keep doing it.

    The bishops are not economists. They undermined themselves when they signed off on Alinsky’s program of radical agitation and community organizing to achieve “economic justice” back in the mid-20th century, and will not redeem themselves on economic issues until they extricate the views of that atheistic menace from their social statements.

    Catholics must not be guilted into believing that ideological pronouncements always trump cost-benefit analysis. When people try to push through economic programs that ignore or downplay real costs in the name of idealism, they end up doing far more harm to the common good they claim to be serving. If the proper end of economics truly is the common good, then how economies work must be studied objectively and this knowledge must be fully respected when drafting and implementing any plan. The natural rights of individuals to private property, explicitly recognized and defended in Church teaching, must also be respected.

    This is manifestly not what is taking place among left-wing Catholic social justice agitators, all the way up to the bishop’s conference.

  • More than fifty new federal agencies are required to implement and regulate Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act. Saving a few tax dollars on contraception will be offset by the millions of tax dollars required to fund the regulatory process of the Healthcare Act, a cost that is normally absorbed by the insurance corporations. It appears that the Healthcare Act is only another means of granting corporate welfare, and having the tax payers pick up the cost, funding insurance corporations on the backs of ordinary citizens.

    The fact of the matter is that Obama does not really care whether you use contraceptives or not, as long as Obama can usurp our fiduciary prerogatives, as though the people do not own our own money, but Obama does.

  • Pingback: Paul Ryan For Veep | contentconservative
  • I am soooo looking forward to the Vice Presidential debates. I’ll wager Slow Joe is not.

    I am happy about the pick but not complacent. The mudslinging in this campaign (with the media joyously aiding and abetting Obama) will sicken every decent person in the country . If Ryan ever failed to return a library book or swiped a piece of penny candy from a mom-and-pop store when he was 10, we’ll hear about it. Oh, and of course, he wants to kill grandma. Since they can’t possibly slander him as being stupid, they’ll go for evil.

    Donald, I hope you and yours enjoy your visit to Badgerland!

  • Pinky & Tom K

    Kant said the same thing. Now, Kant came from a Lutheran Pietist background, with all Luther’s contempt for human reason and his stark contrast between faith and reason. For him, God and the immortality of the sole were postulates of practical (moral) reason – Otherwise morality made no sense.

    Kant influenced pretty well every philosopher who came after him and his ideas have even filtered down to the philosophically illiterate, in the all-too-familiar and lamentable distinction between “truths of fact” (the province of science) and “truths of value” (knowable only from experience and so purely subjective).

    Rand, I imagine, picked them up out of the rubbish-bin of the then current Logical Positivism – refuted on its own terms by Quine’s “Two Dogmas of Empiricism.”

    All which might be relevant, if Mr Ryan were being considered for a Chair of Philosophy, rather than the Vice-Presidency of the United States

  • Bonchamps 12 Aug; 6:12PM:

    A+

    The bishops’ flawed economics is forgivable. I doubt if Econ 101 was a required course in the seminary.

    What is unforgivable is the failure to condemn liberals’ vicious agendae of class hate and of every intrinsic evil known to man.

  • Amen T Shaw (well pretty much Amen–unforgivable is along time– how about harder to forgive?)

    also Michael P Seymour Tom and Pinky– just to add to the philosophy, theology, epistemology– think of the intellectual contributions of Luigi Giussani. “The Religious Sense” etc — his work is something I would love to suggest to Paul Ryan

    if you haven’t read him here’s an intro bio: http://www.clonline.org/storiatext/eng/biography.htm

  • As a VP pick, Ryan was a shrewd move. It is still a long way to election day, but making a safe, smart pick, is a good sign. The $0.30/gallon jump in gas prices over the last few weeks also hurts the O’s chances. I have also heard a few 2008 O supporters saying they will go Romney this round. While it is anyone’s race, I am a little more optimistic of Romney’s chances.

  • CONSPIRACY THEORY OR CONSPIRACY
    The Affordable Healthcare Act is laying the burden of implementation and regulation on the tax payers, 52 new federal regulatory agencies, freeing the insurance corporations from the cost of carrying on business as usual.

    When Hilary Clinton wrote the healthcare bill for Bill Clinton, she owned ten healthcare provider corporations. Clinton also provided for two years in federal prison for any doctor who dared heal a patient not in his quadrant. Needless to say the doctors were against her plan. Since nobody knows what is in Obamacare, there may be two years in federal prison for everybody, and especially for those who speak out against Obamacare.

    Some speculate that the premium for Medicare or Affordable Healthcare, now, $99 for seniors on Social Security will go to $240 per month by 2014. The sky is the limit, since Obama can now take all the money he wants. And people will be reduced to demanding some of our tax dollars back from the government in Washington. D. C.

    The Affordable Healthcare Act is a vehicle for Obama to take all of our social security as premiums, and the law says participants cannot opt out. For seniors, it used to be food or heat, now it will be food or Obama.

    Many senior citizens help their grandchildren and great grandchildren with their social security. So, once again Obama is taking from our future generations.

  • I was very happy to hear Paul Ryan was on the ticket. No one can explain his budget better than he can. I’ve seen him on with Raymond Arroyo and he makes it very clear. He has also said he was impressed with Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged when he was young. If he read her when I did in late high school that makes sense. He also said he later could not agree with her philosophy and preferred Thomas Aquinas. Someone has to bring the truth of this economy to the people who think it can’t “really” go broke because Obama keeps giving free stuff away. Who was it who said …and beggars would ride like kings? And much as I love the USCCB, they have to get over the idea that government dole is a good thing.

  • T Shaw,
    I will work on being as forgiving as you. While I don’t fault the bishops for getting much of their economic reasoning wrong (for the reason you suggest), I do fault them for weighing in so confidently on something they know so little about. I’m a world class “I don’t know” guy. I am not afraid to share opinions, but only on matters that I have studied sufficiently to warrant sufficient confidence. The Bishops’ economics pastoral was embarrassing and smacked of unwarranted hubris.

  • So why isn’t Paul Ryan at the top of the ticket again?

  • MP: I have observed that ignorance is closely associated with arrogance/hubris. The arrogant don’t know that they don’t know. In Greek tragedies, hubris was the formulaic, fatal flaw that brought down the great man.

    When I was in school, I was taught (once I was thinking instead of drinking) that tragedies had unhappy endings while comedies had happy endings.

    If Obama is re-elected America will be a tragedy.

    PV: Probably because Ryan has no executive experience. He didn’t catch on in the primaries.

    Ryan drove the Oscar Meyer wienermobile then was elected to Congress.

    Barry Soetoro led the choom gang; went to Columbia and Yale, but can’t show we the people any transcripts; enlisted in the class war with ACORN; and lied his way into the Senate from fiscally and morally bankrupt Illinois.

    We now are experiencing how horrid can be a president that never had a real job.

    Can you explain why Obama is running from Soetoro? Why he felt the need to lie under oath? Why is he ashamed of it?

  • “Probably because Ryan has no executive experience. He didn’t catch on in the primaries.”
    John F. Kennedy was a senator who had no executive experience.
    I believe that the USCCB are bishops begging for our tax dollars back from the government, casting themselves as disenfranchised second class citizens, to whom the government responds with contempt. Right now, neither they, nor anyone has any choice as the government has dictated that money be extorted for public entitlements.
    Why do the bishops believe that the poor will be worse off with Paul Ryan? If the people will be free of buying reckless, useless and damaging entitlements there will be more for the poor.