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
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/paul-ryan-gop-budget-based-upon-catholic-social-teaching-73069/#exdHm6DCsAmVBviT.99
Budget cut proposals from House Republicans have been particularly effective at bringing forth uncivil attitudes in political debates recently. Here are three examples.
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?”
>David Brooks’ recent editorial addresses some of the issues raised by the “Call for Intergenerational Justice,” the topic of my previous 2 posts. He notes that Americans today are more self-confident than previous generations and place much emphasis upon their own self-importance. “In short, there’s abundant evidence to suggest that we have shifted a bit from a culture that emphasized self-effacement — I’m no better than anybody else, but nobody is better than me — to a culture that emphasizes self-expansion.” Continue reading
In the debate over the joint statement by Center for Public Justice and Evangelicals for Social Action called “A Call for Intergenerational Justice: A Christian Proposal for the Debt Crisis“, Jordan Ballor, of the Acton Institute, doesn’t like that the agreement says nothing about what the proper role of government should be. He writes,
These religious groups’ focus on government’s role in ameliorating poverty, however, leaves largely unaddressed the real core of the problem, and the necessary steps to address it.
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.