Paul Ryan and Catholic Social Teaching

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

And finally, here is an analysis I wrote arguing that Republicans and Democrats may be closer to a budget deal than you might think:
Behind The Hype, Democrats, GOP May Be Closer to a Budget Deal Than You Think

Is God a Dog? Tony Hall and the Prayer and Fasting Campaign on Budget Cuts

     As a former Democratic congressperson and an ambassador in the George W. Bush administration, Tony Hall never had a reputation for being uncivil. At a press conference for the National Press Club on Monday, however, Hall stretched the boundaries of both decency and biblical hermeneutics. With Jim Wallis, David Beckmann, and Ritu Sharma, Hall announced a campaign of prayer and fasting to protest the House Republican’s proposed budget cuts for anti-poverty programs (both foreign and domestic). During that event, Hall said,
It’s time to call in God. It’s time to unleash God. You know the discipline of fasting and prayer, when you put it together is so powerful, and it’s like I said earlier, when you put them both together, it seems like God leans a little bit closer to you, and you’re saying to Him, “I’m not gonna let go until you listen to me.” Now we’ve done just about everything and they’re not listening. It’s time to sic God on ’em. And that’s the reason for the fast.
     Upon hearing that, images of Liam Neeson, playing the part of Zeus in Clash of the Titans, declaring “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!” come to mind. The other image conjured—of God as an obedient German Shepard ready to strike down our political foes—is more disturbing. I recall a common criticism of those who declared that we “kicked God out of the public schools,” after the Supreme Court decided that state mandated prayer in public schools was unconstitutional was, “who has a boot big enough to kick God?” Similarly, I must ask, “who has a collar big enough to leash God?” Alternatively, I could ask, “is your God so small that you’re able to leash him?”

A Call for Intergenerational Justice

I’ve recently signed onto a statement put together by the Center for Public Justice and Evangelicals for Social Action titled A Call for Intergenerational Justice: A Christian Proposal for the American Debt Crisis. The statement points to the immorality of passing our large national debt onto our children and children’s children. It states, 

Today’s federal debts threaten not only the present generation, but also our children and generations yet unborn. Intergenerational justice demands that one generation must not benefit or suffer unfairly at the cost of another.

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