A few thoughts on converts, faith, and politics

posted at 3:31 pm on June 3, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, the National Catholic Register and my friend Salena Zito wrote about Jo Ann Nardelli, a former Democratic Party official in Pennsylvania who switched to the GOP on the basis of her faith.  As with most conversions, a moment of epiphany occurred in Nardelli’s political life, and her experience shows the problems that Barack Obama and Democrats will have in holding onto their 2008 coalitions in areas like the Rust Belt:

She said it started a few weeks ago, ironically as she and her husband were getting ready for Mass and watching Meet the Press when Joe Biden, a Catholic, cited his support for gay marriage.

This shocked her. She said she’d always related to Biden. She said he reminded her of her father. But this announcement shocked her. And then, shortly after, President Obama announced that he’d “evolved” into supporting gay “marriage.”

And then as a Democratic committeewoman she received her agenda from the party espousing the same position. “To stand up and agree and sign off on this I couldn’t do it,” she said. “So I talked to our priest.”

While she didn’t say what they talked about, she said Monsignor Little warned her that she would be the focus of much criticism.

His words have proved prophetic. Nardelli said she’s heard from people saying she hates gays or that she’s a bigot. It got so bad that she started screening her calls. And she didn’t know who was calling to say something terrible or something nice to her. She said that even when Republicans call her, she’s afraid to pick up simply because she doesn’t know them.

“I’ve been a Democrat for over 40 years,” she laughed. “I don’t know any of the Republicans.”

She has paid a price for her decision in her community:

The longtime Democrat from Blair County quit the party and registered as a Republican, and then boldly walked in a Memorial Day parade in support of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“A couple of people who I thought were friends turned their backs on me, literally, as I was walking in the parade,” she said on Tuesday. “I have to admit it made me sad, but that is the way it is.”

Nardelli, 59, a former borough council member in Newry, outside Altoona, registered as a Democrat after high school and rose to the party’s executive board. She was vice president of the women’s caucus and first vice president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women when she quit last week. …

Nardelli said she quit the party not because she lost an election for county commissioner, as her critics contend, but because the party is moving away from her values.

The final straw was Obama’s support for gay marriage, she said. “That, and the tug-of-war between the Catholic Church and the administration over the (health care) mandate have pushed me over the edge.”

Nardelli will have new friends, of course, as most organizations welcome converts rather readily — and I suspect even her previous friends will rethink their hostility after the election.  Converts made a lot of news this past week, with Artur Davis’ open letter describing himself as a center-right thinker drawn more to the GOP than his former Democratic Party allowing for some bragging rights among Republicans and conservatives.  Converts reinforce our own belief systems, which is probably why apostates (in the political sense) make us angrier than the entrenched opposition, especially when the “apostates” (converts in the other direction) become very vocal about their views.  That’s why Nardelli is seeing turned backs in her hometown parades this week, and why both sides reserve special ire for converts/apostates in general.

For today, though, I’d like to focus on a couple of issues about faith and politics.  Some of our readers express surprise that faithful Catholics can ever be Democrats in the first place.  Conservatives — especially pro-life conservatives — focus on Democratic Party support for abortion and declare the party anathema, and I have a lot of sympathy for that position, quite obviously.  The heart of the Catholic mission is the dignity and sacredness of human life as a reflection of our creator God, a dignity and sacredness that begins at conception, a consistent teaching of the Catholic Church for two thousand years.  It’s the very basis of our teachings on social justice; without that acknowledgment of dignity granted by God, social justice becomes a hobby rather than a calling, and humanity is reduced to utilitarianism.  Why bother spending public and private money on the poor and infirm if they could have been discarded with no consequences at the earliest stages of their lives?

However, while Republicans and conservatives embrace the pro-life part of the equation, they tend to run away from the social-justice mission that must necessarily follow from that pro-life embrace.  In fact, the very term social justice inevitably creates hostility, in part because some confuse it with liberation theology, a philosophy that the Catholic Church has rejected, including our present Pope Benedict XVI, who decried much of it as a “Marxist myth” while still Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.  Social justice is nothing more or less than the mission to which Jesus Christ called his church — the care of the poor, the infirm, the imprisoned, and the hopeless.  It is a call to Christians of all denominations to ensure that we share our blessings with those less fortunate and find ways to lift them out of their misery, as brothers and sisters under God, conceived in the same dignity and sacredness as were we all.

There is a great deal of debate on how best to achieve these goals, and Catholics are given no set plan as doctrine on these matters.  Each of us has a personal call to participate in the mission, as does the Church itself.  That is why we (and our brothers and sisters in other Christian denominations and other faiths) open hospitals, charities, and schools in service to our mission and to the world.  Incidentally, that’s why the HHS mandate is so absurd in its arrogance and ignorance; these are not just businesses, but an expression of our core religious practice and mission.  The center of our religious practice is the Liturgy and Eucharist, but our mission is outside of the four walls of the church, not within it.

However, even while we do our best on a personal and institutional level within the church, our community, state, and nation have an impact on the scope and depth of the societal and human ills we hope to alleviate.   Some Catholics feel that significant involvement of representative government represents the best and most direct way to achieve our mission, and support the political party that more closely aligns itself with that philosophy and agenda — Democrats.  Others feel that the mission is best directed at a personal and institutional level and oppose significant government involvement as wasteful, impractical, and counterproductive, and those Catholics are more likely to be Republicans.

As such, these fellow Catholic liberals (many of whom do oppose abortion) do not deserve our scorn or a condescending attitude; they come to these positions honestly and faithfully.  We may disagree on the best approach to the mission at hand, but we are at least united on the mission itself.

In fact, try reading the position papers at the USCCB website to see how some liberal Catholics might rightly ask how Catholics can be conservatives, especially on immigration policyhealth care, the death penalty, economic justice and safety-net spending, and so on.  However, a thorough reading of these positions offers lessons to Catholics across the political spectrum.  The bishops do not make these doctrinal positions, but instead offer their considered (and very nuanced) approach to these issues that relate to the church’s social-justice mission, with plenty of acknowledgment of well-intentioned disagreement on how best to achieve success in these and many other areas.  That is why bishops and pastors wisely treat these subjects with a great deal of respect for diversity of opinion in the parishes themselves, and rarely if ever lecture on these positions from the pulpit or insinuate that disagreement separates parishioners from the church or Eucharist.

Catholic conservatives sometimes feel as though we are sometimes scorned for our approach, though, because Republicans and conservatives rarely offer a coherent philosophy on how best to deal with the very real social problems in our communities, other than insisting that more government won’t solve them.  I was glad to see Paul Ryan discussing subsidiarity in his defense of his budget proposal, as many conservative Catholics see the overwhelming entitlement growth as a threat to personal and institutional action — perhaps less so than the HHS mandate, but the mandate itself springs from that accumulation of power to entitlement-program bureaucracies that conservatives within and outside of the faith see as dangerous.  Few conservatives in American politics offer that kind of coherent approach, though, and to Catholics who rightly see the pain and suffering of the poor and infirm as a priority, that makes the Democratic Party look legitimately like a better option.

Right now, the excesses of the Obama administration on the HHS mandate, abortion, and perhaps even gay marriage make it less urgent for conservatives to address these shortcomings.  However, if Republicans and conservatives want to win more converts from Catholic ranks, they will have to find ways to address the social-justice priorities of these voters without spitting at the term or ignoring it altogether.  And perhaps there is some value in having committed Catholics, firm in their opposition to abortion, remain within the Democratic Party to pull that organization away from the culture of death and back to its historical position as a representative of traditional working-class values.  That would be an honorable mission indeed for Christians of all denominations, if perhaps a nearly impossible one, at least in the present time.  In the meantime, we Catholics across the political spectrum need to acknowledge and respect the viewpoints of our fellow parishioners as we try to fulfill our mission in the best way we see to succeed.

In the end, the mission is the focus, at least in terms of our faith. To the extent politics enters into it, it should remain subsidiary to the faith and the fellowship, not the other way around.

Update: How important is the Catholic vote?  Salena followed up yesterday:

In every modern presidential election, the Catholic voting bloc has been a harbinger of the popular vote, said Catherine Wilson, a Villanova University political scientist who specializes in religious voters.

“They are the ultimate swing vote. Where they go, so goes the election,” she said.

Though many Catholics decried Obama’s support of abortion and embryonic stem cell research in 2008, he won 54 percent among Catholic voters against Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Update II: Dustin Siggins demonstrates the virtues of respectful engagement in this must-read Green Room piece.

Update III: Cleaned up a couple of grammatical issues.

Update IV: Lisa Graas advises to put not your trust in princes and parties.


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I plan on watching For Greater Glory soon; as an agnostic I still find it hard to imagine a society in which nothing is sacred and there is no fear of a greater power. Good for this woman for sticking to her guns (quite a contrast to Arlen Specter who never had any guns in the first place, only a weather vein).

stout77 on June 3, 2012 at 3:43 PM

I was thinking this thing was broken. Twelve minutes between post and first comment. Had I felt like it……………

Bmore on June 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I’m Canadian, but I talk to people in the US as well. Obama isn’t just converting religious people away from him. I was a hardcore 100% liberal in 2008. I switched because of the way he treated everyone around him. IOW, like dirt. It seems that now that people really have to make a decision on who to vote and now that they know the real deal with Obama, they’re finding they don’t like him so much.

What happened to me and many other is this: “Whatever Obama stands for, I’m against. So if he’s a liberal, I’m not.” End of story.

MrX on June 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Great piece, Ed. Thank you. But it still makes me sad to think that a Catholic could support abortion on demand.

bloggless on June 3, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Excellent piece Ed. You hit the nail on the head in the discussion about government provided social justice and whatever we conservatives would choose to replace that. I don’t think we have good answers. If you rely solely on individuals, you lose economies of scale and risk overlooking people in dire need. Still, I don’t believe government is the answer. We need some fresh ideas.

Dee2008 on June 3, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Ed-the big difference in approach to social justice is the avenue. Government entities waste entirely too much money before the service actually reaches the intended recipients. Charitable dollars go farther than tax dollars. Organizations such as Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services and the Red Cross can do more with less money. People who donate have more control over where their money goes than they do over tax dollars. If the government was a charity it would be red flagged as wasting too much money on overhead. The government, especially at the federal level, should not be in the business of social justice aka vote buying.

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me – R.R.

I guess she finally figured out what Ronnie was talking about. I see more on the horizon.

upinak on June 3, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Good for her and God Bless her…

OmahaConservative on June 3, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Dee2008 on June 3, 2012 at 3:52 PM

I believe we do have some answers. As I said above Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services are large organizations that do their jobs well. When Katrina hit the Gulf, LSS was on the ground handing out food and clothing before any government agency got there. Obviously they don’t have the reach of the Fed. govt. but they do well. When the govt. is involved, it is a vote buying scheme. Vote for whoever hands out the most goodies. Charities don’t have that problem. They do it for the right reasons.

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 3:58 PM

o/t

Report: Axelrod and Holder Nearly Come To Blows: http://weaselzippers.us/2012/06/02/report-axeldouche-and-holder-nearly-came-to-blows-after-white-house-meeting/

The Thrilla From The Handbag Department?

Rumble In The Pantyhose Aisle?

Resist We Much on June 3, 2012 at 3:58 PM

It is a call to Christians of all denominations to ensure that we share our blessings with those less fortunate and find ways to lift them out of their misery, as brothers and sisters under God, conceived in the same dignity and sacredness as were we all.

Well said. Words to live by.

dogsoldier on June 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM

She has paid a price for her decision in her community..

..there always is.

God bless this woman. Not for her coming over to “our side” but for her bringing her beautiful loving spirit with her. I am not a Catholic, Ed. I wandered through COE, the Lutheran Church, Southern Baptist/Evangelist as the perils of life intermittently threatened. It was always a worship of convenience.) But I so admire those of faith like you and your dear wife and this wonderful lady, for being here and making us aware, always aware, that there is more to life that the petty and inane.

Thanks to you, Ed, the First mate, and people like this.

The War Planner on June 3, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Excellent piece Ed. You hit the nail on the head in the discussion about government provided social justice and whatever we conservatives would choose to replace that. I don’t think we have good answers. If you rely solely on individuals, you lose economies of scale and risk overlooking people in dire need. Still, I don’t believe government is the answer. We need some fresh ideas.

Dee2008 on June 3, 2012 at 3:52 PM

A big problem is defining those people who are “in dire need”. To me, that seems to have become a rather loose definition in these modern times. Before FDR and the New Deal, their was no such thing as a government-provided “safety net”. Churches and charities were the resource for the truly indigent and needy. Once government got involved and began expanding the scope of what the safety net was to be used for (and encouraging ever more to use it), too many able-bodied people came to rely on the saftey net rather than themselves. Self-reliability and self-responsibility have seemingly become anacrhonisms. We must rollback government’s involvement in social justice and return to a day where churches and private charities carry out this mission and narrow it to those who really do need it.

Bitter Clinger on June 3, 2012 at 4:03 PM

If you have people who are friends with you or you are friends with purely because of politics; frankly I find that a weak foundation for friendship.

Friendly aquaintances are one thing, true friends are another. If all this woman knew were Democrats, it doesn’t say much about her friendships. In fact, it’s highlighted by those who literally turned their backs to her.

There is more to life than politics.

Thankfully some politicians get it as this woman did.

Logus on June 3, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Great piece, Ed. Thank you. But it still makes me sad to think that a Catholic could support abortion on demand.

bloggless on June 3, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I suspect that such people exist in many denominations, even when the denomination specifically denounces and works against abortion. Many people seem to have no problem keeping a “membership” – however tenuous – to a denomination even though they clearly don’t agree with its tenants. It’s clear that it’s not about faith and conviction or sound doctrine but about culture, heritage and/or their own personal ideologies they’ve impressed onto their impressions and beliefs of what Christianity should be.

There are many who call themselves Christians but cannot be bothered to really learn about what the Bible teaches, what the core, foundational doctrines are that cross denominational boundaries, etc.

Many of these people aren’t Christians. They’re autolaters. They’ve made an idol out of Christianity and Christ because they make of it and Him that which He/it isn’t and instead fashion it/him to their own whims, creating strawmen in the process.

Such is the case with many who when asked if they believe in God will say, “Yeah, I’m a Christian.” Tangentially, such is the case with Mr. Obama, and directly related to this article, such is the case with Mr. Biden.

Logus on June 3, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Excellent piece Ed. You hit the nail on the head in the discussion about government provided social justice and whatever we conservatives would choose to replace that. I don’t think we have good answers. If you rely solely on individuals, you lose economies of scale and risk overlooking people in dire need. Still, I don’t believe government is the answer. We need some fresh ideas.

Dee2008 on June 3, 2012 at 3:52 PM

I’m not sure there are economies of scale just because it’s being done at a federal level. And it is individuals, after all, who need the help.

Take the guy who had his face ripped off in Miami. Within a couple of days some individual(s) had a fund set up to pay for his treatment. At the federal level, the answer would be legislation, yeas and nays, red tape, and then probably some asinine program set up specifically for all Americans who have had their faces eaten by cannibals. On the local level, s%#t gets done.

stout77 on June 3, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Excellent piece Ed. You hit the nail on the head in the discussion about government provided social justice and whatever we conservatives would choose to replace that. I don’t think we have good answers. If you rely solely on individuals, you lose economies of scale and risk overlooking people in dire need. Still, I don’t believe government is the answer. We need some fresh ideas.

Dee2008 on June 3, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Not sure what you mean by that. Government waste if rampant and it never achieves economy of scale. It always pays more than top dollar.

The Catholic Charities on the other hand reap economy of scale easily.

Government only does one thing well. Writing checks.

Government has no place in social justice (Catholic meaning). Government needs to get out of the way. When it does anything it should do the thing it does best write a check to the Catholic Institution doing the work.

So far as Conservatives Ed is just wrong. Conservatives consistently donate far more to churches than Liberals who give almost nothing like Bidens .06%. They also fight to make contributions tax deductible.

But they also fail to consider the entire picture. They fall into the trap of ignoring what Government is already giving people. Thus they fight to eliminate or lower minimum wage. They do not think of the fact that a wage is only a portion of what people actually live on. For many poor Americans they can only survive by getting that big Tax Welfare (rebate) payment. In addition Food Stamps Medicaid etc.

I saw a study that a single mother of one had basically the same disposable income whether she made 15K a year or 60K or anywhere in between. Child Care tax rebates and everything.

If Republicans actually believed in self reliance they would vote for higher minimum wages so people could actually be self reliant. For now those making minimum wage or close only survive by “stealing” from others that pay taxes and getting food stamps and subsidized housing and many other benefits.

This more than anything drives Christians to the Democrats. Republicans that really only care about how much their investments make and lowering the pay of their employees.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Ed-the big difference in approach to social justice is the avenue. Government entities waste entirely too much money before the service actually reaches the intended recipients. Charitable dollars go farther than tax dollars. Organizations such as Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services and the Red Cross can do more with less money. People who donate have more control over where their money goes than they do over tax dollars. If the government was a charity it would be red flagged as wasting too much money on overhead. The government, especially at the federal level, should not be in the business of social justice aka vote buying.

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Exactly!! Government doesn’t distribute welfare because it cares about people, it does it to buy votes. We need a law that states anyone on welfare or any type of public assistance does NOT VOTE until they are off of welfare. Far more than anything else, all this vote buying has caused the enormous debt of our nation. It’s got to stop.

We’ve got to dump the socialism and get back to capitalism or our property and liberties are all lost.

Axion on June 3, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Excellent piece Ed. You hit the nail on the head in the discussion about government provided social justice and whatever we conservatives would choose to replace that. I don’t think we have good answers. If you rely solely on individuals, you lose economies of scale and risk overlooking people in dire need. Still, I don’t believe government is the answer. We need some fresh ideas.

Dee2008 on June 3, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Not sure what you mean by that. Government waste if rampant and it never achieves economy of scale. It always pays more than top dollar.

The Catholic Charities on the other hand reap economy of scale easily.

Government only does one thing well. Writing checks.

Government has no place in social justice (Catholic meaning). Government needs to get out of the way. When it does anything it should do the thing it does best write a check to the Catholic Institution doing the work.

So far as Conservatives Ed is just wrong. Conservatives consistently donate far more to churches than Liberals who give almost nothing like Bidens .06%. They also fight to make contributions tax deductible.

But they also fail to consider the entire picture. They fall into the trap of ignoring what Government is already giving people. Thus they fight to eliminate or lower minimum wage. They do not think of the fact that a wage is only a portion of what people actually live on. For many poor Americans they can only survive by getting that big Tax Welfare (rebate) payment. In addition Food Stamps Medicaid etc.

I saw a study that a single mother of one had basically the same disposable income whether she made 15K a year or 60K or anywhere in between. Child Care tax rebates and everything.

If Republicans actually believed in self reliance they would vote for higher minimum wages so people could actually be self reliant. For now those making minimum wage or close only survive by “stealing” from others that pay taxes and getting food stamps and subsidized housing and many other benefits.

This more than anything drives Christians to the Democrats. Republicans that really only care about how much their investments make and lowering the pay of their employees.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Actually it’s economic ignorance that drives Christians to become democrats, as you so aptly displayed for us. Go back and look at the minimum wage as it relates to black unemployment. No, you won’t, because all that matters to you is the intent, not the outcome. Pleasde take an econ class or stay home this November.

stout77 on June 3, 2012 at 4:29 PM

One of the reasons why I left the Catholic Church is BECAUSE I believed the Catechism.

I used to participate in parish life but after 3.5 years working for a St. Vincent de Paul group loosely attached to my parish, I ended up leaving because I realized how much we were dehumanizing the poor and looking at things in a materialistic fashion. We were doing the devils work for him by simply redistributing wealth to make ourselves feel good but without proselytyzing the Faith.

And then later after I was arrested for peacefully and prayerfully protesting Obama receiving an honorary degree and being allowed to give the speech to 2009′s graduating class at Univ. of Notre Dame, spent a weekend in jail, made two court appearances, and charges were finally dropped, I decided the Church just isn’t for me: a common-sense, passionate, believer that Christ is the Son of God, who understands better than your average American what Christ truly demands from you.

The materialism, feminization, ignorance of and hostility to subsidiarity, and cowardice of today’s Catholic Church in America which includes the bishops, priests, lay people and parishioners has been one of several major forces in the USA that has led us to this terrible and possibly irreversible path we are on.

If the bishops/priests had TRULY cared for the flocks, does anybody believe that our country could have allowed a million abortions a year given how large the number of Catholics is in this country?

KirknBurker on June 3, 2012 at 4:32 PM

teveangell on June 3, 2012 at 4:19 PM

You do understand that if an employer has X number of dollars for payroll and minimum wage goes up, they still only have X dollars for payroll so someone gets laid off right?
Raising the minimum wage doesn’t pull people out of poverty, getting education and skills to get a better job does.

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Excerpt:

Until now, nonprofit religious institutions have always had the right to exempt themselves from having to offer coverage if it contradicts their basic religious beliefs or violates their conscience. This right was guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution. This is no longer the case. Sebelius’ January 20 decision gives us one year to comply or suffer the consequences.
*

As your bishop, I want to make it clear that I consider this mandate unconstitutional, unjust and evil.
*

This mandate is unconstitutional because it does not allow us the full and unfettered practice of our faith. The religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution is not simply the freedom to worship God on Sunday morning, but also the freedom to worship Him by living moral lives. No Catholic can claim to live a moral life and at the same time support contraception, direct sterilization and abortion. The first amendment guarantees us the freedom not to participate in health care plans that would require us to insure and pay for actions that are gravely sinful.
*

Because this mandate is unconstitutional, we will refuse to comply with it.
*

This mandate is evil, because not only does it require that all Catholics cooperate in sin by providing for and paying for coverage for gravely immoral actions which have as their final end the destruction of human life, but also by requiring that Catholics who do not cooperate in this should be punished. Were we to comply with this law, we would offend God and imperil our souls. We will not comply.
*

This mandate is unjust because it imposes a secular definition of religious freedom that makes it a crime to practice our faith in the public square. It is the Church – not the government – which has the right to determine how and when we practice our faith. In this matter, President Obama’s administration has overstepped its authority. This is what Pope Leo XIII cautioned against when he wrote over a hundred years ago: “if the will of rulers is opposed to the will and the laws of God, then those rulers exceed the bounds of their own power and pervert justice. Nor can their authority be valid, since authority without justice is null.”
*

From the founding of our nation, we Catholic have always obeyed the laws. But this law, we cannot obey.
*

–Most Rev. Edward J. Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa

RBMN on June 3, 2012 at 4:39 PM

If Republicans actually believed in self reliance they would vote for higher minimum wages so people could actually be self reliant. For now those making minimum wage or close only survive by “stealing” from others that pay taxes and getting food stamps and subsidized housing and many other benefits.

Please, minimum wage laws actually hurt more people than they help. If you want a better paying job you should acquire better skills or at least skills that are in demand. Minimum wage jobs are most typically held by high school, or college aged kids or they used to before BO. The solution isn’t to have the government mandating who should make what.

Kjeil on June 3, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Dear ED, this post is excellent. I plan to forward it to my entire email list. Kudos.
One small, very tiny point of grammar:
“However, even while we do our best on a personal and institutional level within the church, our community, state, and nation impact the scope and depth of the societal and human ills we hope to alleviate.”
Please fix this sentence. It isn’t a sentence.
Otherwise, perfect in it reasoning. Clear, concise and uncompromising.
Kudos. Hats off. Keep fighting. Give your lovely wife my love.

Pecos on June 3, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Last week, you said you probably wouldn’t be posting anymore. Now you’re posting asinine ideas like conservatives should be in favor of raising the minimum wage.

Bitter Clinger on June 3, 2012 at 4:52 PM

…If Republicans actually believed in self reliance they would vote for higher minimum wages so people could actually be self reliant. For now those making minimum wage or close only survive by “stealing” from others that pay taxes and getting food stamps and subsidized housing and many other benefits.

This more than anything drives Christians to the Democrats. Republicans that really only care about how much their investments make and lowering the pay of their employees.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 4:19 PM

How does cutting off the bottom rungs of every ladder help the guy at the bottom? You maybe become worth paying $12 per hour by watching others, and learning while you earn a third of that. People don’t generally pay the student to go to school. Why do people expect employers to do it?

RBMN on June 3, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Pecos on June 3, 2012 at 4:47 PM

“Impact” was the verb, but it’s clumsy. I edited it slightly for clarity, and thanks for the kind words.

Ed Morrissey on June 3, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Beautifully written, Ed. Thank you so very much.

Mason on June 3, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Doesn’t the Pope want us to sponsor a poor family?

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/pope-defends-priest-celibacy-world-families-meet-114326622.html

Families from rich countries could sponsor families from poor ones, Pope Benedict XVI suggested Saturday at a gathering of around 350,000 people at a park just north of Milan.

Speaking without notes before an enthusiastic crowd at the Bresso park, the pope proposed a new twist to the system under which cities in different countries “twin” with each other.

His suggestion that families from rich countries could act as sponsors for families from poorer ones drew enthusiastic applause from his audience.

One could have “a family in France, in Germany in Italy, talking responibility for helping” another family in need, said the pope.

Do taxes, and charitable giving to the churches not take care of this?

Would this be yet ANOTHER NEW INITIATIVE?

Would give money to the poor lift them out of poverty?


Have we ever tried that before in the U.S.?

PappyD61 on June 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

…nice piece to read…and a nice lady to admire.

KOOLAID2 on June 3, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Well-said, Ed, although I still don’t buy the entire “social justice” term. Justice is the assignment of reward or punishment on the basis of merit. There is no social justice, or economic justice. There is only justice.

“Social justice” strikes me as liberal-speak for noble / charitable acts that the left thinks are morally compulsory, rather than merely admirable and a testament to one’s character. Although one could argue that government programs which care for the poor such as Medicaid or TANF are wise to enact, and makes us a compassionate society, the demand that these be given as handouts under the guise of “justice” crosses the line. That’s when a social program changes from being wise and compassionate to simply being a screw-job.

In short, I’ve never seen any justice component to “social justice.”

Stoic Patriot on June 3, 2012 at 5:12 PM

As such, these fellow Catholic liberals (many of whom do oppose abortion) do not deserve our scorn or a condescending attitude; they come to these positions honestly and faithfully.  We may disagree on the best approach to the mission at hand, but we are at least united on the mission itself.

Ed, thanks for this post. As a Protestant I have to admit to being very confused though. Where’s VP Biden’s, or any other Democrat pol, reasoning for their positions on abortion, etc.? You seem to extend them quite a bit of good faith and trust but I’m not sure I see evidence for that.

From what I can tell, their politics comes first–in fact it actually is their faith.

Steven McGregor on June 3, 2012 at 5:22 PM

teveangell on June 3, 2012 at 4:19 PM

You do understand that if an employer has X number of dollars for payroll and minimum wage goes up, they still only have X dollars for payroll so someone gets laid off right?
Raising the minimum wage doesn’t pull people out of poverty, getting education and skills to get a better job does.

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 4:34 PM

No, he doesn’t understand. He knows that it makes him feel good to sacrifice someone else’s money at the altar of fairness.

stout77 on June 3, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Our church has an education fund for low income countries, in which young people borrow money for education, then repay the fund when they get jobs. Seed money came from donations. I bet this works more efficiently than any government program.

spudmom on June 3, 2012 at 5:54 PM

In fact, the very term social justice inevitably creates hostility, in part because some confuse it with liberation theology, a philosophy that the Catholic Church has rejected, including our present Pope Benedict XVI, who decried much of it as a “Marxist myth” while still Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Social justice is nothing more or less than the mission to which Jesus Christ called his church — the care of the poor, the infirm, the imprisoned, and the hopeless.

Nailed it!

Thanks so much for this post, Ed. One of the best pieces of writing I’ve read lately.

Mr. Prodigy on June 3, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Can anyone provide a Constitution-based reason to be against gay marriage?

jwally on June 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Some Catholics feel that significant involvement of representative government represents the best and most direct way to achieve our mission, and support the political party that more closely aligns itself with that philosophy and agenda — Democrats. Others feel that the mission is best directed at a personal and institutional level and oppose significant government involvement as wasteful, impractical, and counterproductive, and those Catholics are more likely to be Republicans.

Ed, I would very much like you or anyone else to point out the Scripture where Christ tells us that His definition of charity and how it should be performed involved sending out the legions to extract alms at spearpoint so that various politicians can hand them out in as public a fashion as possible.

I, OTOH, can cite numerous verses where He commands each of us to provide charity as an individual expression of faith to be performed as privately and secretly as possible. Incidentally, my wife is Jewish and tells me that Judaism recommends the same thing.

SDN on June 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Most Rev. Edward J. Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa

RBMN on June 3, 2012 at 4:39 PM

The Church has fallen on its face in this. It is outrageous they would have caved and accepted – and STILL only seek – an exemption for “church-based institutions” alone. What of the lay business owner who is to be forced to violate his conscience? Or the atheist with morals?

If the rule is immoral, and it is, the ONLY moral position is to oppose the rule, PERIOD, in its entirety. The Church merely wants itself safe from this outrage, and to Hades with everyone else. That is WRONG.

Adjoran on June 3, 2012 at 6:33 PM

This thread proves why many become Democrats.

Not a single actual response.

Every complainer just ignores the total cost. They make believe that these government benefits come from thin air not their taxes.

Employer A pays $70/hour minimum. Most all of his employees pay taxes.

Employer B pays $7.75/hour and hires mostly adults. Many of his workers get all kinds of Government Benefits. They average $10/hour worked by his employee.

Why should Employer A not feel he is subsidizing at the point of a gun the employees of Employer B. Were it not for all the Employer B’s taxes could be much lower.

My problem is most Republicans do nothing about lowering all these government handouts just complain about it. While at the same time try to pay their own employees the least bit possible never thinking twice about who is giving these employees the extra money they need to simply survive.

If you come out and say I support eliminating all Government Benefits and a low minimum wage. Fine.

But to ask for a low minimum wage and ignore the extra taxes we pay because of that is uncaring and illogical.

Sure lower the minimum wage and a few more would have jobs. But those jobs would make taxes even higher.

You have to replace government benefits with something. Higher wages is the best answer. That will naturally eliminate many of these benefits. But no Republicans use no logic on this subject.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Raising the minimum wage doesn’t pull people out of poverty, getting education and skills to get a better job does.

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 4:34 PM

No, he doesn’t understand. He knows that it makes him feel good to sacrifice someone else’s money at the altar of fairness.

stout77 on June 3, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Are you blind to logic.

Better skills allow for a higher wage just like a higher wage would without the education.

It is the higher wage that gets you out of poverty. The education man and may not work actually 50% of recent graduates have no job in their field so this failed for half.

If an employer can not make payroll then he goes out of business. But fact is employers that pay a low wage steal taxes from those that pay a decent wage. A low wage insures that employees get benefits paid for by the taxes of those that make more. But it also damages the self esteem of those that make these poor wages. It makes more and more Democrat voters.

I do not think that the minimum wage should jump to $30/hour or something like that but if it went up consistently at some point we could start eliminating the Government Handouts. This would be a boom for the companies already paying good wages. It would make the playing field more even. For now the low wage payers are subsidized by those paying or making more through investments.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Republicans give more to charity than Democrats do. Is that because Democrat Catholics think it is better to force giving through taxes rather than give themselves? What exactly is their mission, to direct rather than participate in charitable giving? How can you reconcile these things and say one is not better than the other, that both are a means to the same end? Government benefits encourage out of wedlock birth, crime, addiction, laziness and all sorts of things I can’t even think of right now. It is this attitude that has put the Church where it is right now, in my opinion. Asking, or voting for, government involvement is just asking for trouble. I think they will skate this time because I don’t think Obama will be re-elected, but have they learned anything from this?

Night Owl on June 3, 2012 at 7:10 PM

When Bush said “Read my lips” he lost me. I had switched to the Dems and voted Clinton.

By the end of Clinton’s first term he too lost me, but I didn’t switch to republican.

I’m an independent, and I’ll stay that way till the day I croak. I’m still conservative, but see, the republicans either don’t get the message their own party members send them regularly, or they flat don’t give a crap about what their party members say. All they want is dollars and support, same as the dems.

Religion has nothing to do with my party non affiliation, it’s a complete and total hatred for progressives, but I have a special loathing for liberal progressive socialists since they are markedly worse than hypocrite republican progressives.

As far as elections go, you wont see me EVER pulling the lever for a democrat again.

Wolfmoon on June 3, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Night Owl on June 3, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Dems want government to be considered ‘god’. Therefore do not donate to charity or your church when you know full well you should be worshiping the almighty teet in washington DC.

Wolfmoon on June 3, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Wages should be based on what the employer can resonably pay in the current market. Raising the minimum wage won’t eliminate the need for benefits. There will always be those who can’t/won’t support themselves. The question Ed raises here is social justice and the Catholic church and it’s roll vs. the government.

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 6:53 PM

There are books and classes on economics available. You should look into them.

Adjoran on June 3, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Wages should be based on what the employer can resonably pay in the current market. Raising the minimum wage won’t eliminate the need for benefits. There will always be those who can’t/won’t support themselves. The question Ed raises here is social justice and the Catholic church and it’s roll vs. the government.

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Excuse me. My daughter loses 50 cents for every extra dollar she earns in Food Stamps.

You obviously do not think about what you say.

If her employer gave her a $2.00/ hour wage increase she would lose all Food Stamps and her free Health Care as well.

She is hardly an isolated case. If you raised the minimum wage to $11 / hour. Millions would lose Food Stamps and Medicaid. Now who is paying for these benefits. Those that make more or earn it investing.

Sure some would not lose benefits but many would. Most likely a large majority.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 7:39 PM

There are books and classes on economics available. You should look into them.

Adjoran on June 3, 2012 at 7:34 PM

You are the one unable/unwilling to come up with an argument.

You can not. Because the fact is low wages allow millions to qualify for huge benefits they would not qualify for with a higher wage.

You just argue Business should not have to care about the total cost their employees are to the Government. They should be able to pay whatever they want and if their employees have no place to live or starve well other business and taxpayers will step in and keep that from happening.

Well guess what. Someone has to look at the total picture. You are not saying we should let these people starve or go homeless. No you are just saying I do not want to pay their actual cost. I want others to step in and make up for my low wages.

How do you justify that?

No answer. Just attack the messenger.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 7:49 PM

A very good piece, Ed. I just regret it took me so long to get to it.

The Church has fallen on its face in this. It is outrageous they would have caved and accepted – and STILL only seek – an exemption for “church-based institutions” alone. What of the lay business owner who is to be forced to violate his conscience? Or the atheist with morals?

If the rule is immoral, and it is, the ONLY moral position is to oppose the rule, PERIOD, in its entirety. The Church merely wants itself safe from this outrage, and to Hades with everyone else. That is WRONG.

Adjoran on June 3, 2012 at 6:33 PM

I disagree. The Catholic bishops are responsible for the operation of Catholic institutions, including the policies that govern them. That’s their basis for filing a lawsuit.

They have no standing to file a lawsuit on behalf of everyone in America with a moral objection to the contraception mandate.

Moreover, if they pretended to speak for that segment of the population on a political matter, they would skirt the prohibitions on political activity by clergy, as clergy. The latter is a less clear-cut issue, but anyone in religious leadership would have to consider it.

States require medical procedures (e.g., vaccination) that religious groups object to, and it has become increasingly established that the government has the authority to override the individual’s conscience on certain matters. I do not say that I think that’s right — only that it’s reality. As a practical matter, I’m not sure who could craft a lawsuit opposing the contraception mandate on the basis of individual conscience, or how that would work in court.

The Catholic Church has done what is in its purview here.

J.E. Dyer on June 3, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 7:39 PM

First- your daughter doesn’t “earn” food stamps. They’re given to her.
Second-her “free” health care isn’t “free.”
Third-if someone gets a raise they should lose their foodstamps.

If you raised the minimum wage to $11 / hour. Millions would lose Food Stamps and Medicaid. Now who is paying for these benefits. Those that make more or earn it investing.

It’s not clear what you are trying to say here. Are you saying $11.00/hr. is a good idea or a bad idea? Where exactly do you think businesses, especially small businesses are going to get that kind of money?

Now if charities provided food to those who couldn’t afford it, they could have their own rules as to who qualifies for donations.

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 7:57 PM

In fact, the very term social justice inevitably creates hostility, in part because some confuse it with liberation theology, a philosophy that the Catholic Church has rejected, including our present Pope Benedict XVI, who decried much of it as a “Marxist myth” while still Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Social justice is nothing more or less than the mission to which Jesus Christ called his church — the care of the poor, the infirm, the imprisoned, and the hopeless.

Great post, Ed. And great job clarifying the point about social justice, which I know even some Catholics misinterpret, particularly those of the liberal persuasion.

PatriotGal2257 on June 3, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 7:49 PM

You just argue Business should not have to care about the total cost their employees are to the Government. They should be able to pay whatever they want and if their employees have no place to live or starve well other business and taxpayers will step in and keep that from happening.

I’m pretty sure that’s not what he was saying. Why exactly do you think it is the responsibility of an employer to take over government entitlements? When I had a job that wasn’t enough to pay all my bills, I cut back on expenses and got a second job. I’m sure there is a food bank or church food pantry your daughter can use. Or, you could help her out…

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 8:12 PM

J.E. Dyer on June 3, 2012 at 7:55 PM

All good points
.

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 8:14 PM

KirknBurker on June 3, 2012 at 4:32 PM

No liberal priests, infuriating parishoners, or even bongos at Mass will make me leave this.

The line is being drawn. Jesus prayed that we all be one, united as He and The Father are one and He promised to be with us and He is, Truly Present in the Holy Eucharist. The Church Militant could use a good soldier willing to face persecution in defense of the Truth (even from those who are supposed to be Catholic). Please reconsider.

The Catholic Church has done what is in its purview here.

J.E. Dyer on June 3, 2012 at 7:55 PM

I must disagree. The purview of The Catholic Church is the salvation of individual souls above all else (far above all else). It is the duty of each bishop to teach and defend each of the faithful against evil, not just protect official institutions of the Church. I agree with Adjoran. Does my bishop leave me, a single sheep, at the mercy of the wolf, (man made government) if I’m a Catholic business owner? That’s not what Jesus taught about a good shepherd.

pannw on June 3, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Well, goody, goody that she recoginized the Democrat party was not for her after 40 years of being a dem. And it was the gay marriage thing that turned the screw for her? So we have a liberal in everything but gay marriage declaring that she is a Republican now. Can you trust anyone who saw Biden as “like” their father? Sorry, but how many of these conversions are we going to see when the real desire is just to remain in the center of the seat of power?

Charm on June 3, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Great article Ed.

workingclass artist on June 3, 2012 at 8:41 PM

pannw on June 3, 2012 at 8:30 PM

But how can the Church sue on behalf of business owners? The issue here is how the law works. A Catholic bishop has no standing to sue on behalf of your business unless he’s your business partner.

No church can protect you against the government in the government’s courts. The main issue here is that government has gotten so big — takes so much on itself — that its mandates will violate the consciences of millions.

That is a political issue. The bishops can certainly speak their minds to their flocks on such issues (although it’s increasingly questionable whether they’ll be allowed to do it from the pulpit), but there is no mechanism by which they can sue the government over policy as it affects third parties. You have to have standing to sue in court, and being someone’s religious leader doesn’t constitute “standing” to sue on that person’e behalf.

J.E. Dyer on June 3, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Great well thought out topic Ed. This needs to be discussed.
There is a price to pay when one stands for deeply held beliefs and principles. God Bless this lady for making that stand. Not easy, but necessary.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 8:50 PM

When the govt. is involved, it is a vote buying scheme. Vote for whoever hands out the most goodies. Charities don’t have that problem. They do it for the right reasons.

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 3:58 PM

A very important point. They do it for the right reasons. There has to be a better way. Getting the government out of Charity would be a start.

Mixing politics and religion is similar to oil and water, neither mix well:-)

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Logus on June 3, 2012 at 4:14 PM

A lot of what you said is true. Many churches that I’ve attended are more like social clubs. Food, rock music and the bands and very little Biblical Truth. Not much food for the Soul if you know what I mean.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Great article Ed.

workingclass artist on June 3, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Nice to see you again:-)

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Ed, please read this:

The heart of the Catholic mission is the dignity and sacredness of human life as a reflection of our creator God, a dignity and sacredness that begins at conception, a consistent teaching of the Catholic Church for two thousand years.

The heart of the Catholic mission is the saving of souls so that they may go to heaven rather than hell.

Vatican Watcher on June 3, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Were we to comply with this law, we would offend God and imperil our souls. We will not comply.

–Most Rev. Edward J. Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa

RBMN on June 3, 2012 at 4:39 PM

This Bishop is in good company. The Apostles faced this also. “Then Peter and the other Apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29

I applaud this Bishop and all of the others for standing up to this mandate.

Thanks for posting this.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 9:31 PM

A lot of what you said is true. Many churches that I’ve attended are more like social clubs. Food, rock music and the bands and very little Biblical Truth. Not much food for the Soul if you know what I mean.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Health and Wealth/Wellness “Gospel” and the Emergent Movement. Joel Osteen and many of the televangelists (not all – just because a preacher’s on tv doesn’t make them a “televangelist”)

Logus on June 3, 2012 at 9:49 PM

When I had a job that wasn’t enough to pay all my bills, I cut back on expenses and got a second job. I’m sure there is a food bank or church food pantry your daughter can use. Or, you could help her out…

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Good for you but you did not have a child. Many are forced to work for near minimum wage that have children. Furthermore if you had not heard jobs are nearly impossible to get these days. Finding a second one is impossible for most as employers require open availability.

But you seem to agree. Fine to starve employees not my problem if others are taxed more to make up for my low wages.

This is why Democrats attract many people. Republicans could care less about a large percentage of Americans. They want people kept destitute and reliant on Government just like the Democrats. They just use low wages instead of benefits. A whip not a carrot. Why are you surprised some prefer the carrot to the whip?

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 9:56 PM

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Health and Wealth/Wellness “Gospel” and the Emergent Movement. Joel Osteen and many of the televangelists (not all – just because a preacher’s on tv doesn’t make them a “televangelist”)

Logus on June 3, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Yes, I’ve heard that also. We need a Revival in this land with some good preaching. Many churches and Pastors have forgotten John 3:16 and especially Mark 16:15, 16. Those latter two scriptures are the Churches Mission above all.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 9:59 PM

(not all – just because a preacher’s on tv doesn’t make them a “televangelist”)

Logus on June 3, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Not so sure about that.

I have read that those that preach the real gospel are black listed. They can not get televised no matter how popular they are or how much they pay except in the local market.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Yes, I’ve heard that also. We need a Revival in this land with some good preaching. Many churches and Pastors have forgotten John 3:16 and especially Mark 16:15, 16. Those latter two scriptures are the Churches Mission above all.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 9:59 PM

You are right. Hell and damnation are not allowed anymore. No do not teach that. Just accept the Lord and you are saved. Then you can go and do anything you want. (Just watch the Preachers. /s)

Sorry people that is not how it works. If you accept the Lord you will do your best to keep his commandments. If you do not repent of the ones you break you are damned he will not know you. Now we all sin. We are not required to be perfect only Christ was. But we must do our best and repent as often as necessary. We must serve our fellow men or we will not be saved.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 10:07 PM

A lot of what you said is true. Many churches that I’ve attended are more like social clubs. Food, rock music and the bands and very little Biblical Truth. Not much food for the Soul if you know what I mean.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Just checked out a book called “Rescued” that my church library got in today. POWERFUL message along those lines.

MelonCollie on June 3, 2012 at 10:55 PM

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Just checked out a book called “Rescued” that my church library got in today. POWERFUL message along those lines.

MelonCollie on June 3, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Sounds interesting. I checked on a Christian site and there are several books with that title but different authors. What is the author of the one you have?

I have a Nook color and like the ebooks too. Of course I still like the hardback of which I have many:-) I have a 1599 Geneva Bible.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 11:06 PM

I have read that those that preach the real gospel are black listed. They can not get televised no matter how popular they are or how much they pay except in the local market.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 10:00 PM

I have heard this also and it may be true; just for the simple fact as you say they aren’t on TV, except local.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 11:08 PM

I can’t even state how utterly contemptible it is to give simple-minded gay-hatred as the reason for becoming a Republican. There are many positive aspects of the GOP agenda like limited government, balanced budgets, and personal responsibility. Jo Ann Nardelli is a revolting excuse for a human being.

thuja on June 3, 2012 at 11:11 PM

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 9:59 PM

You are right. Hell and damnation are not allowed anymore. No do not teach that. Just accept the Lord and you are saved. Then you can go and do anything you want. (Just watch the Preachers. /s)

Sorry people that is not how it works. If you accept the Lord you will do your best to keep his commandments. If you do not repent of the ones you break you are damned he will not know you. Now we all sin. We are not required to be perfect only Christ was. But we must do our best and repent as often as necessary. We must serve our fellow men or we will not be saved.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I think this “easy” salvation is misleading. I was taught many years ago that if I didn’t know the Truth of the Scriptures FIRST, then how would I know if what the Preachers or Teachers were saying was true or false?

We do fail the Lord everyday and must confess as you say. But thank the Lord for His Word and 1st John Chapter 1, verse 9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us for all unrighteousness.” I search the Scriptures a lot and find answers there. The Lord knows what we need to know and helps us find them:-)

Sounds like you are on the right path, so good for you:-)

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 11:16 PM

thuja on June 3, 2012 at 11:11 PM

I don’t think she indicated any hatred at all. My understanding from what was posted is that the mandate from HHS and other issues was against her Catholic Faith. That doesn’t mean she hates anyone; just that her belief won’t allow her to accept these things.

Maybe you misunderstood what she based her decision on.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Interesting that you are assuming that I did not have a child. No one is forced to have children before they can afford to. And if the only job one can get is minimum wage than they shouldn’t be having children, yet. I will agree with you that it isn’t easy to get a job right now.

I never said I think it’s fine to starve employees-a rather ridiculous statement. I just don’t think it’s the employers responsiblity to pay an employee what they want to live on. An employer offers a job and states a salary. Don’t like the salary, don’t take the job. It’s not an employer’s responsibility to make sure an employee has all they need. And how exactly are others taxed more to make up for someone else’s low wages?

As I said, if your daughter is in such dire straights, why don’t YOU help her out???

hopeful on June 3, 2012 at 11:28 PM

I don’t think she indicated any hatred at all. My understanding from what was posted is that the mandate from HHS and other issues was against her Catholic Faith. That doesn’t mean she hates anyone; just that her belief won’t allow her to accept these things.

Maybe you misunderstood what she based her decision on.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 11:24 PM

I am tired and don’t want to reply to the substance of what you say. Obviously, I disagree. But I deeply admire how you argue against what I said with bitterness or hatred. You are rational in what you say above. You make me regret my last sentence in my own post. Thank you for the tone of how you disagree with me.
The tone issue is subtle with me as I do want Romney to keep to his current path about Obama and not follow McCain’s misguided niceness towards Obama. bluefox, I don’t want you to concede to me anything because of misguided niceness like McCain did.

thuja on June 3, 2012 at 11:38 PM

“with bitterness or hatred” should read “without bitterness or hatred”

I should avoid posting after 10:00pm. Sorry.

thuja on June 3, 2012 at 11:39 PM

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 11:16 PM

That should be “from” all unrighteousness. Sorry.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 11:43 PM

“with bitterness or hatred” should read “without bitterness or hatred”

I should avoid posting after 10:00pm. Sorry.

thuja on June 3, 2012 at 11:39 PM

Glad I read this before answering your first reply:-)

I know I can’t hold my thoughts together very well when I’m tired either, LOL Now I’ll read again your first reply. If you don’t get to it, don’t be concerned. This subject is difficult but no reason not to be civil. I try to ignore hateful comments anyway.

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 11:48 PM

I can’t even state how utterly contemptible it is to give simple-minded gay-hatred as the reason for becoming a Republican. There are many positive aspects of the GOP agenda like limited government, balanced budgets, and personal responsibility. Jo Ann Nardelli is a revolting excuse for a human being.
thuja on June 3, 2012 at 11:11 PM

There’s a subtle truth in what you say but too bad you have to distort it with your insistence that the only motivation for disagreeing with gay marriage is due to senseless bigotry.

Cleombrotus on June 3, 2012 at 11:51 PM

bluefox on June 3, 2012 at 11:24 PM
I am tired and don’t want to reply to the substance of what you say. Obviously, I disagree. But I deeply admire how you argue against what I said with bitterness or hatred. You are rational in what you say above. You make me regret my last sentence in my own post. Thank you for the tone of how you disagree with me.
The tone issue is subtle with me as I do want Romney to keep to his current path about Obama and not follow McCain’s misguided niceness towards Obama. bluefox, I don’t want you to concede to me anything because of misguided niceness like McCain did.

thuja on June 3, 2012 at 11:38 PM

I try to keep a level head about me, especially about subjects that are very personal to each side of the issue. Looking at both sides is helpful, I believe. Thanks for being able to understand what I was saying even tho you may disagree.

Oh, I want Romney to continue to be agressive in this campaign and not passive as McCain was. We must win this battle.

No, I won’t concede to you as McCain. I re-read some of the lady’s reasoning and it is strange that she had stayed in the Dem party that long. But perhaps because this issue came against her Catholic Faith is what was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. For other people it might be some other issue? I have to chuckle when I sometimes have trouble explaining to someone what I think about an issue and why and here I am trying to explain this lady’s, LOL

Have a good night.

bluefox on June 4, 2012 at 12:02 AM

Ed, I must say that when the topic turns to your Catholic beliefs, your writing is nothing less than beautiful. I’m an atheist, but do love to read passionate, thought-provoking religious advocacy. It restores my “faith” in my fellow man in these times of unrelenting political fury. Thanks.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on June 4, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Ed, serious question: What’s the difference between social justice and Christian charity?

theCork on June 4, 2012 at 12:29 AM

Self-reliability and self-responsibility have seemingly become anacrhonisms. We must rollback government’s involvement in social justice and return to a day where churches and private charities carry out this mission and narrow it to those who really do need it.

Bitter Clinger on June 3, 2012 at 4:03 PM

As church members, we (and I’m definitely NOT excluding myself) also have to practice self-reliability and self-responsibility with respect to performing our charitable duties for our brothers. I believe this has a great part to do with the mess we’re in. For this reason I also agree with

Ed, I would very much like you or anyone else to point out the Scripture where Christ tells us that His definition of charity and how it should be performed involved sending out the legions to extract alms at spearpoint so that various politicians can hand them out in as public a fashion as possible.

I, OTOH, can cite numerous verses where He commands each of us to provide charity as an individual expression of faith to be performed as privately and secretly as possible. Incidentally, my wife is Jewish and tells me that Judaism recommends the same thing.

SDN on June 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

As one who’s own acts of charity have been primarily monetary donations, I ask myself, “Suppose you die, and Christ led you into a room full of people and asked you to identify those who were the objects of your charity.” What would I be able to say to Him? How many of us need to ask ourselves that question?

marlin77 on June 4, 2012 at 12:46 AM

Not so sure about that.

I have read that those that preach the real gospel are black listed. They can not get televised no matter how popular they are or how much they pay except in the local market.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 10:00 PM

I can’t speak from too much experience – specifically over the last five plus years – because we don’t watch tv – but it seems that most of the “televangelist” types are on the cable/satellite stations. I don’t know who – if any – get national coverage on the big three, fox or the other second tier companies such as WB.

Most of those who I see as televangelists typically fall into the Emergent, Health/Wealth/Wellness doctrine and Charismatics. They’re either loud and sweating, or spewing sugar.

Conversely, I used to watch plenty of preachers on tv, some who still are, who’re quite Biblically sound. Chuck Swindoll, John MacArthur, David Jeremiah come to mind, as does Charles Stanley. Two sound preachers I used to like to listen to/watch who’ve since passed on are D James Kennedy and Adrian Rogers.

Sound Biblical preachers with a national tv prescence are there. You just have to pay attention to the station’s line-up and what that preacher’s teaching.

Logus on June 4, 2012 at 12:51 AM

I also believe that whether I vote for government social programs will do extremely little to justify my devotion to Christ’s word compared to works of charity performed as an individual or as part of a small group for other individuals or families. We are not called to eliminate poverty, or to lessen poverty for the greatest number of people. We are called to make personal sacrifices to aid our brothers, and no matter how much we give, if we don’t do that, we are not following Christ’s word. I believe we are also called to know the poor. The person who lessens the burden of the poor without having contact with then is missing a great deal. This is my main reason for disagreeing with the government solution. I suppose a response to this would be “Yes, you may justify your belief that way, but is it the best way to maximize help for the poor?” Only if you accept the limits of individual free will, and the burden on you to do your best by personal sacrifice and persuasion, not by coercion.

marlin77 on June 4, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Logus on June 4, 2012 at 12:51 AM

I listen to some of those you listed on this program. You can find the stations here: http://www.ttb.org/ and their schedule.

One of my favorite Teachers is Dr. J. Vernon McGee. He is on that station also and has his own website: http://www.ttb.org/

You may want to give them a listen when you can’t find them on TV.

bluefox on June 4, 2012 at 1:29 AM

“Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him” (Moro. 7:47; cf. Ether 12:34; 2 Ne. 26:30).

The Book of Mormon has many truths about charity. If you are only reading the Bible, you are missing out on some of the true teachings of Christ.

ZippyZ on June 4, 2012 at 2:15 AM

ZippyZ on June 4, 2012 at 2:15 AM

Them’s fightin words ’round these parts, ZippyZ.

;D

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on June 4, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Social justice is nothing more or less than the mission to which Jesus Christ called his church — the care of the poor, the infirm, the imprisoned, and the hopeless.

This is bilge. The real mission Christ left the Church is found in Matthew 28:19,

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

There was never a command to commit social justice.

Hot gas, indeed.

Quartermaster on June 4, 2012 at 6:52 AM

I have seen churches destroy themselves over social justice issues. The leadership of these churches typically gets so wrapped up in it that they begin to direct most if not all of the church’s resources into social justice programs, even if those programs are not biblical based. The result? When the leadership of the church can’t or won’t foster the relationship between Christ and his followers as well as each other, people tend to ‘shake the dust off their feet’. It’s endemic among campus ministries, an environment that already fosters atheistic liberalism and relativistic attitudes.

A campus ministry I was a part of fell apart for similar reasons, they replaced the homegroup/smallgroup model with outreach groups without a real biblical focus. People became so lost in those things they left for other ministries. A ‘homegroup in exile’ was formed to provide fellowship and bible studies to concerned members, it was meant to be informal and outside the organization but when the ministry’s leadership found out many were incensed. Others, however, sympathised with them and when the smoke cleared there was an official division within the ministry. During that brief time 50% of the membership left, including some staff. Finally the umbrella organization that the ministry belonged to got involved and sent the original leadership packing. It was a real shame and caused a lot of bitter attitudes that the ministry has never really recovered from (though it still exists, much smaller now, and under new leadership).

As soon as churches begin focusing on the counsel of the wicked (being a part of the world, instead of the world) it’s time to speak up or leave, it’s not worth your soul.

Blacksoda on June 4, 2012 at 8:49 AM

I always have a hard time in the parking lot at Church watching my fellow Catholics with the Obama bumper stickers.
I never understood the concept of “partial Catholic”
You are or your not.
The 10 Commandments aren’t a menu. You don’t get to pick and choose.

Art on June 4, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Can anyone provide a Constitution-based reason to be against gay marriage?

jwally on June 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

It is not a defined right in the Constitution. Thus, it should not be addressed by the Federal Government in any way, shape or form.

dominigan on June 4, 2012 at 10:36 AM

If Republicans actually believed in self reliance they would vote for higher minimum wages so people could actually be self reliant.

That is a stupid statement. “Self reliance” means that you take the initiative to increase your value to your employer so that he (or someone else) will be willing to pay you more, not because of a government mandate, but because you are actually worth it.

For now those making minimum wage or close only survive by “stealing” from others that pay taxes and getting food stamps and subsidized housing and many other benefits.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Is it also “stealing” when an employer is forced to pay someone more than they are worth?

You are just a MOBY!

Gunlock Bill on June 4, 2012 at 10:59 AM

It is not a defined right in the Constitution. Thus, it should not be addressed by the Federal Government in any way, shape or form.

dominigan on June 4, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Well yes, I agree, but it is. So I was more asking the question to regular citizens and what they used as the basis for their argument against it, if they are against it.
As a conservative, I base my arguments on the Constitution, and I have yet to come up with Constitution-based reason to be against the right of citizens to enter into a mutually-agreed-upon contract, which is what “marriage” is to the secular world.
“Marriage” to a Christian is something far different, and apples-to-pickup trucks comparison, so to me I can’t understand why Christians are fighting to protect the sanctity of secular “marriage”.

jwally on June 4, 2012 at 12:21 PM