Bishop Morlino’s words should put to rest, once and for all, the specious charge that Paul Ryan’s budget constitutes “dissent” from the Church’s social doctrine or is somehow “fundamentally incompatible” with Catholic social teaching. It is neither. On the contrary, Ryan is a “brother in the faith,” who is “aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles.” Of that, Bishop Morlino has “no doubt.” Neither should we.
The Wall Street Journal was also recently opining on whether Ryan can be both a good Christian and a good capitalist, took to task the liberation theology socialists of the Church, and chastised the bishops who originally acted like Esau (who sold his inheritance for a bowl of pottage) by originally going along to get along with Obamacare:
The bishops dance with the devil when they invite government to use its coercive power on their behalf, and there's no clearer example than the Affordable Care Act. They happily joined their moral authority to the government's legal authority by supporting mandatory health insurance. They should not have been surprised when the government used its reinforced power to require Catholic institutions to pay for insurance plans that cover abortions and birth control.I was originally torqued off at said bishops initial collaboration with the "devil", as the WSJ says, and felt empathy for the angry D.C. cathedral Jesus who has flames shooting out of his ears:
To paraphrase J.R.R. Tolkien (a devoted Catholic), the government does not share power. Paul Ryan knows this. The bishops would be wise to listen to him.
|Angry D.C. Jesus with fire shooting out of his ears|
The journal article also pointed out, in Beck-like fashion, that the US understanding of separation of Church and state is based on Jesus' exhortation to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God, that which is God's i.e. that there's a difference between voluntary, private, charitable donation, and public, state taxation:
But that word—voluntarily—is key, and it's where Mr. Ryan's religious detractors go awry: Charity can only be charity when it is voluntary. Coerced acts, no matter how beneficial or well-intentioned, cannot be moral. If we force people to give to the poor, we have stripped away the moral component, reducing charity to mere income redistribution. And if one really is as good as the other, the Soviets demonstrated long ago that it can be done far more efficiently without the trappings of church and religion.
All people have the moral obligation to care for those who are less fortunate. But replacing morality with legality is the first step in replacing church, religion and conscience with government, politics and majority vote. Coercing people to feed the poor simply substitutes moral poverty for material poverty.
While Jesus may have lobbied for progressive tithing to the temple, he never lobbied for progressive taxation to the pagan state.The progressives who seek to conflate one's secular and sacred obligations seem to be preaching the gospel according to Judas versus Jesus:
Judas Iscariot is one of the most infamous characters in the Bible. He is best known for being the disciple that betrayed Jesus, but there was more to him than just that. He also took care of the disciples' money bag. While reading John 12 today, I discovered that Judas has a lot in common with some of America's politicians today: he wants to tell others to give their money to the poor, yet didn't think that the same standards applied to him.
Father Robert Sirico, a born again Catholic, who refound his faith in both Jesus and the free markets after becoming an agnostic socialist in college, wrote a book defending capitalism, Defending the Free Market:
Fr. Sirico was interviewed by the Catholic cable channel, EWTN, covering the God side of the equation:
And Sirico was interviewed by Cavuto on Fox, covering the Caesar side:
Further, as the parable of the talents points out, God does not want us to be socialists:
Religion must begin to recognize entrepreneurship for what it is—a vocation. The ability to succeed in business, stock trading, or investment banking is a talent. Like other gifts, it should not be squandered, but used to its fullest for the glory of God. Critics link capitalism with greed, yet the fundamental nature of the entrepreneurial vocation is to focus on the needs of customers. To succeed, the entrepreneur must serve others.
So, no, Parade Magazine, tithing does not equal socialism:
Tithing sounds like a form of it takes a village.You’re helping the community.
MR: I think you’ll find that conservatives are more generous philanthropically than people who are not conservatives. People who are in favor of small government are very much in favor of personal action to help other people in need.