Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Musings

 A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

So, the Democrats "booed" God on their convention floor last week. It was pointed out that they actually rejected God three times during their vote to put God back into their Party platform. Can anyone think of a biblical story where God was denied three times? Yeah... That's not a good thing to do.

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Speaking of religion and politics, I had a chance recently to express some thoughts on Catholic Social teaching and how these principles are applied by Republicans (conservatives) versus Democrats (liberals). I wrote the following:

I personally find the conservative (i.e. Republican) view of less direct government involvement in helping the poor is more in line with Catholic teaching. Certainly, the government has a role to play in establishing economic justice, but Republicans are not calling for the government to pull out entirely from assisting in this area. Rather, the primary responsibility of caring for those less fortunate ought to be with private sector individuals and institutions. The government's primary task is to ensures that our rights and freedoms are protected in the free market - whereas we as individuals, and the organizations we form in the private sector, are tasked with caring for those who are in need.

These two roles (for the state and for the private sector) are delineated in the Catechism: "Economic activity, especially the activity of a market economy, cannot be conducted in an institutional, juridical, or political vacuum. On the contrary, it presupposes sure guarantees of individual freedom and private property, as well as a stable currency and efficient public services. Hence the principal task of the state is to guarantee this security, so that those who work and produce can enjoy the fruits of their labors and thus feel encouraged to work efficiently and honestly. . . . Another task of the state is that of overseeing and directing the exercise of human rights in the economic sector. However, primary responsibility in this area belongs not to the state but to individuals and to the various groups and associations which make up society." (2431)

Now certainly, the case can be made for certain specific government programs to aide the poor (welfare and the like). And the Republican Party is not advocating a removal of these government programs. But Catholic teaching does not spell out the details of how these programs ought to be implemented, nor does it require Catholics to accept one policy over another. Thus the Republican position is entirely defensible under Catholic teaching. A lesser role for government is not an un-Catholic position to take.
While it is perfectly acceptable for a Catholic to embrace the Republican idea of less government involvement in aiding the poor, it is NOT under any circumstances for a Catholic to support the Democratic position in favor of abortion:
...the stated position of the Democratic Party on abortion and marriage/family issues is absolutely contrary to Catholic teaching. There is no room for compromise in this area.

To me it is far easier to justify being Catholic and Republican than Catholic and Democrat. Trying to compare the Republican position on welfare to the Democratic position on abortion is apples to oranges. Republicans can defend the former; Democrats cannot defend the latter.
So, when it comes to the November election, I cannot think a single reason to justify voting for the Democrat.

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It's an election year, and election day is growing closer all the time... It seems my thoughts and ponderings will be reflecting that reality.

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