Now that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has been introduced as Mitt Romney’s running mate, my previous articles on Ryan and Catholic social teaching have, unsurprisingly, been getting more hits. I wrote a series of articles after Ryan said that the principles by his federal budget framework are based upon Catholic social teaching.
Combined, I thought the articles represented a helpful view of the different views on how faith informs politics and public policy. So, for anyone looking for a good read on the issue, here are the links to all of those articles:
Paul Ryan: GOP Budget Based Upon Catholic Social Teaching
Liberal Christians Disagree With Paul Ryan: GOP Budget Not Biblical
Congresswoman DeLauro: Ryan Budget Contrary to Catholic Teaching
Interview: Catholic Priest on Ryan Budget and Church Doctrine
Evangelical Christians Agree, Disagree on Budget Priorities
Also, here is an article about Ryan’s compromise Medicare reform bill with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.):
Rep. Ryan, Sen. Wyden Propose Bipartisan Medicare Fix
I was in a Facebook discussion recently with a friend who wondered why Republicans are so quick to be labeled racist (by some in the media and Democratic leaders, especially) when they are simply trying to provide alternative solutions to difficulties faces by some minority communities.
One of the things I pointed out in my article for The Christian Post, “Is the Media Too Quick to Imply Republicans are Racist,” is that it partly has to do with the Republican’s “Southern strategy” in the 1960s in which they actively sought to include racists in their coalition.
My friend said she understood the poor judgment used by Republicans who embraced the Southern strategy, but asked if it is the “political equivalent of indefinite detention.” After all, Republican leaders today played no role in the Southern strategy.
It is a fair point. And, my friend’s frustration is felt by many, including myself. I have personally felt the sting of being called racist. It hurts, deeply.
I could use this time to go on complaining about how horrible Democrats and the media are for doing this, but I think the time would be better spent talking about what Republicans should do about it. Because, the honest truth is that Republican leaders often do a poor job speaking about issues of race and ethnicity, and explaining why they think their policies would benefit minority communities.
So, with that in mind, here are two pieces of advice to Republicans and one policy proposal. Continue reading
A comedy writer, John Hendren, retweeted a bunch of tweets from teenagers complaining about not getting an IPhone, IPad, etc. for Christmas. The song is hilarious, but it also saddens me because it reminds me of one of the things I hate most about Christmas. Namely, when we put so much emphasis on getting gifts for Christmas, our children become petty snobs when they don’t get what they want. The song is also indicative of the much maligned and discussed “entitlement generation,” in which our youth feel entitled to what they want regardless of whether they deserve it or not.
Here’s the song. If you happen to be one of those who are easily offended by cursing, I suggest you don’t click on it.
Thanks to the Center for Public Justice for posting my article on “Principled Pragmatism” in their Capital Commentary. I argue that it is important for Christians to practice principled pragmatism in public life:
In our political life, Christians should strive to become principled pragmatists. A willingness to compromise does not mean you have given up on your principles. Rather, it means you are pragmatic. You recognize that in a democracy, you will not have policies exactly as you would like, but you strive to make reasonable concessions based upon your principles.
Be sure to read the whole thing.
In 2012, Republicans have an opportunity to nominate a presidential candidate that can clarify a message for voters that is both conservative in principle and innovative in practice. Someone who can re-imagine a new social contract between Americans and their government. A contract that would demolish the liberal model of top-down bureaucratic decision making and replace it with a decentralized approach that empowers local governments, private groups, and individuals to provide solutions that best address their unique circumstances. This new approach would recognize a role for government in providing a modest, affordable, and effective social safety net that seeks to promote, rather than discourage, personal responsibility and community activism.
Budget cut proposals from House Republicans have been particularly effective at bringing forth uncivil attitudes in political debates recently. Here are three examples.