Monthly Archives: May 2011
In this morning’s Washington Post, Ed Gillespie, former counselor to President George W. Bush and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, pinpoints the confusion deliberately spread among Catholics by pundits like E.J. Dionne — that the only acceptable way to help the poor is to assume from the outset they do not want most of all the opportunity to take care of themselves. That takes education, strong families and real jobs, all of which Speaker Boehner has supported throughout his years in Congress. Yes, there should always be a ‘safety net’ for those in poverty but care should be taken that net is not viewed as the best help our nation can provide those in need.
In the Op-Ed, Gillespie writes:
“Liberal critics often discount both the role of charity in helping meet the needs of the poor (and public opinion and behavioral research consistently show that self-identified conservatives donate a higher percentage of their income to charity than do self-identified liberals), and the importance of local and state programs. Subsidiarity is an important tenet of the Catholic Church, which is the belief that, as John Paul II said, “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.” In the realm of political debate, conservatives apply this as federalism.”
Click here to read Ed Gillespie’s full Op-Ed published May 27, 2011 in The Washington Post
From the outset of his presidency, Barack Obama was thought to be much more sympathetic with the prospect of a Palestinian state than his predecessor, George W. Bush. Bush, as a matter of fact, was no less committed to the two-state solution than Obama, but his intentions were derailed by the tragic events of 9/11.
Where Bush hesitated at the prospect of alienating Israeli leadership by insisting too hard on an end to new Israeli settlements on the West Bank, the Obama administration has been more adamant. Yet, none of Obama’s previous diplomatic efforts signaled the awkward, entirely undiplomatic statement on Israel and Palestine made by the president on May 19. (more…)
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey released on Thursday, May 26, 2011 finds that 49% of Likely Voters consider themselves pro-choice on the issue of abortion, while 41% classify themselves as pro-life.
The executive summary continues:
When it comes to voting in the next Congressional election, 56% of voters consider abortion at least somewhat important in terms of how they will vote. That includes 29% who consider this issue Very Important. Among pro-life voters, 48% consider the issue Very Important. Only 17% of pro-choice voters share that intensity.
It is important to note this survey is about “Likely Voters” – meaning those who say they regularly vote in elections. Elections are about turning out your vote to achieve a 50% plus 1 majority. These self-identified pro-choice “Likely Voters” outnumber pro-life voters in this survey but intensity from pro-life Americans can prevail on Election Day. This intensity must be maintained if there is to be any hope to gain pro-life seats in the United States Senate, preserve the pro-life gains in the U.S. House of Representatives, and replace pro-abortion President Obama.
Since offering his recommendations to cut the federal budget, Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, has been accused by the Catholic Left of destroying Medicare and ending funding of programs to help those in poverty. That none of this is true was explained clearly by Quin Hillyer in “The Catholicity of Paul Ryan’s Budget” published at Catholic Advocate. (more…)
The accusation made by a group of Catholic academics in their open letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner is a grave one, and should be made only after careful reflection. They charge that the voting record of the Speaker, a serious Catholic, contradicts Catholic teaching. Moreover, they imply that Catholic University of America’s honoring Speaker Boehner was morally equivalent to Notre Dame’s honoring the radically pro-abortion President Obama. Both claims are so ludicrous they amount to calumny. (more…)
“Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good. Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance” (CCC 2288).
The issue of health care dominated the debate during the 2010 election. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), passed by Congress and signed by President Obama, attempts to provide universal care for American citizens long supported by the bishops.
Some people falsely assume that for health care to be universal it must be managed by the federal government. In fact, the bishops have never stipulated how universal health care – reasonable access for everyone to adequate health care – should be achieved. It could have been achieved by a combination of personal and corporate insurance coverage, supplemented by philanthropic and governmental programs. (more…)
A group of Catholic “academics” has delivered a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner’s office critical of the recent budget passed by the House of Representatives.
There are several problems with this letter.
The Kingdom of God is neither a program of social reform nor a political platform. When rendering to Caesar those things that are Caesar’s, we do a disservice to God if we reduce God to the level of a political agitator. Yet while highly specific, programmatic prescriptions for government are inherently suspect if based on claims of divine inspiration, it is certainly meet and right, in assessing policy choices, to apply broad principles derived from faith – in order to ensure they are indeed consonant with the most profound truths we will ever know. Catholics wrestling with American federal budgetary issues, therefore, would do well to inform themselves of some of the themes stressed by their most recently beatified servant, Pope John Paul II. Quite reasonably called by one scholar “the Pope of Subsidiarity,” PJPII distrusted overly centralized bureaucracies for excellent, faith-based reasons. (more…)
The well-being of our families, communities, and nation depends on the success of business and industry to create wealth. The greater the growth of industry, the more stable our society becomes: “Another name for peace is development. Just as there is a collective responsibility for avoiding war, so too there is a collective responsibility for promoting development” (Centesimus Annus, 52).
Business and industry create the wealth that provides financial support for their workers, both blue and white collar, and their families through earned wages, medical benefits, life insurance, disability, and pension plans. Without these wages and benefits, most workers would be unable to obtain the goods necessary to living life without relying on the government for direct assistance. (more…)