A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...
With Congressman Paul Ryan as the V.P. pick for the Republican ticket there will surely be much said between now and November about his Catholic faith. And of course the same tired old complaints from liberal Catholics will be trotted out - that Ryan is not sympathetic to the poor, he gives tax cuts to the wealthy, he doesn't adhere to Catholic Social Teaching, blah, blah, blah.
The fact is that Catholic Social Teaching does not give particulars on how we should formulate policy or write laws, construct budgets or tax codes, or exactly how we ought to give relief to the poor. Such decisions are left to lay Catholics who may use their own prudential judgment in deciding such matters. Certainly care for the poor and those in need are essential to Social Justice. But how we go about legislating on these matters is up to each Catholic to decide. Paul Ryan has written and spoken many times to this question and has demonstrated that he takes Catholic Social Justice seriously.
What really irritates me are those liberal politicians (and their supporters) who drone on and on about their version of BIG-government Social Justice yet they support the killing of innocent babies in the womb and the destruction of traditional marriage and family. These "Catholics" will no doubt be casting stones at Paul Ryan for the next few months, while they carry on with their twisted and evil policies that bring disgrace to the name "Catholic."
Abortion and marriage are NON-negotiable moral issues. Whereas, tax codes, budget writing, and welfare benefits are debatable points on which Catholics are free to disagree. Hopefully we are seeing the beginning of a change in Catholic Social Justice in America.
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On a related note: I can't wait to see the Vice Presidential debate!
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So, our kids had their first religion class of the new school year at our parish on Sunday. The organizers of the CCD class made everyone (parents included) play ridiculous games as an "ice-breaker" instead of using the time to get down to real learning. This is EXACTLY what has been wrong with Catholic faith formation over the past forty years or so - making sure everyone gets along and has "fun" (whatever version of "fun" that might be) instead of teaching doctrine and building a solid foundation of faith. Don't get me wrong, our church's faith formation classes are OK...they do a relatively decent job teaching the faith...but it could be vastly improved with more substance and less frivolous time-wasting.
For the record: I refused to participate. I left with our three-year-old to play on the playground. Our older daughter also sat out of one of the games. She knows cheesy gimmicks when she sees them.