Says Pope Benedict XVI on the right of all to have access to health care:

“The care of man, his transcendent dignity and his inalienable rights” are issues that should concern Christians, the pope said.

Because an individual’s health is a “precious asset” to society as well as to himself, governments and other agencies should seek to protect it by “dedicating the equipment, resources and energy so that the greatest number of people can have access.”

Pope Benedict XVI also wrote that access to adequate medical attention was one of the “inalienable rights” of man.

Oh, and there’s this from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state.

“Justice requires guaranteed universal access to health care,” he said, adding that the provision of minimal levels of medical attention to all is “commonly accepted as a fundamental human right.”

Perhaps Republican Rep. Paul Ryan (who’s fond of discussing how his version of Catholicism guides his political beliefs) should take heed of what the leaders of his church have to say when it comes to health care for all. After all, when the Pope says health care is “an inalienable right he means the right to universal health care comes from the Almighty. In other words God – speaking through the Pope – has said access to health care for every person is a right, not a privilege.

As someone who was raised as a Catholic, I understand the Church’s teachings on social justice, and I know that Paul Ryan is without a doubt on the wrong side of those teachings.

62 Responses to Why I think Paul Ryan is a terrible Catholic

  1. Michael BB says:

    Beef about ANY secular aspect of Mr. Ryan’s politics, but keep his or your own faith out of the picture. Do you know how big a can of worms this is?
    Government is about justice for the public as an ethical, not a moral dilemma. I do not care who is a good Baptist or a bad Mormon, or anything in between. I only care who can make our democracy safe for dissent, secure for those who play by the Rules, and still keep falling behind, and are willing to insist that with great priviledge comes greater responsibility to the society that gave you that status. All other considerations, such as who is or is not legislating according to their religious dictums and doctrines is not germaine, and might be considered a negative regardless of the impact or appeal of some religiously-based vote, or proposed legislation. Secular is as Secular does, and keep yer rosaries, prayer wheels, and chanting OUT of it. MBB

    • Michael, just so we’re clear I didn’t bring Ryan’s Catholicism into this; he did. He’s been very public in talking about how his faith has shaped his ideology, and I think it’s important to discuss how skewed his interpretation of his faith is, especially considering what he’s trying to do to our society from a social justice point of view.

    • Caramel says:

      I think there is a difference in a blogger discussing his religion and budget plans and a politician saying that he is following his religion, thus the budget. If Paul Ryan mentions that his budget is based on Catholicism, then we Catholics have a right to comment on that. I really think the politicians shouldn’t mention their religion so much. I don’t agree with every other Catholic anyway, much less a politician’s version of Catholicism. I think the Church, in fact all religions should remain separate from the government. If the church accepts government money, they have to abide by the government rules, it has always been this way.

      • John Casper says:

        Yep. Wingnuts like JW, lie about how committed they are to “original intent,” and that they are strict constructionists. Nothing could be further from the truth: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

  2. PJ says:

    With all due respect, BB, Ryan’s Catholicism is fair game and it is at issue. Zach’s response is germane (and brilliant, Z); Ryan has opened the door to it himself, and also budgets are moral documents – even budgets within an ostensibly secular system. Secularity should be the standard; it is not the status quo because Conservatives have not heeded the founding principles. Instead they do require their candidates to pass the religion requirement. Conservatives do legislate their own morality. Dismissing that fact is not helpful. Yes, it is a huge can of worms and it needs to be addressed in our public discourse if we are ever going to rout it. Perhaps you are unaware of the well-funded, well-designed, well-coordinated plan behind Conservative uniformity in policy from DC to all 50 states. Among the goals of that Tea Party plan is to eliminate secularity from our culture, our politics, and our government. If you are concerned about secularity, and you should be, perhaps there is a way you can add to the secularity discourse to ensure we safeguard it?

  3. John Casper says:

    BB, I’m waiting for you to tell Zach and PJ, “Nice job. I was wrong, you were right.”

  4. jimspice says:

    So if Ryan’s brand of Catholicism gains a foothold, what would it be called? And his concerns would more likely be emailed than hammered to a door. So antithetical to his pounding message.

  5. JWayne says:

    I just wonder, is the author of this piece Catholic? If so what is his stand on the murder of the unborn that is so strongly supported by the left in this country. No real Catholic would ever support abortion, so if you support that terrible crime does that not make you a terrible Catholic?

    • John Casper says:

      JW, are you a Roman Catholic?

    • JWayne, I’m a Catholic, and while I’m personally opposed to the practice of abortion, I believe in the right to privacy and the right of a woman to make that decision for herself. While we’re at it, I also support marriage equality for all, which also puts me in in divergence with what my church’s teachings.

      Then again, the Catholic church isn’t infallible and free from imperfection – after all, they protected pedophile priests for decades, allowing those priests to victimize untold numbers of children.

      • Rich says:

        Zach, I know you well enough to know that you didn’t need to respond to the threadjack attempt, and now that you got that out of the way, we can put the focus back on the subject of the post. And that is not our own personal belief systems, but the hypocrisy of a person who claims to stand on a belief system but advocates for things contradictory to that belief system.

      • JWayne says:

        So then Zach you accept the label as you are a terrible Catholic. You can’t throw stones in one direction and then expect to walk away unscathed when your believes go against the same church. How is what Paul Ryan said any worse then what you believe. Since you used some quotes from the Church to make your point let me add here, “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.”

        If you had been paying attention to what Catholicism teaches you would know you cannot support any type of abortion. This is the problem with today’s Catholic Church, too many cafeteria Catholics.

        • Your comment reminds me of Matthew 7:1.

          You’re in no position to judge whether or not I’m a good Catholic or a terrible Catholic, but since you seem to think that anyone who doesn’t blindly follow all the teachings of the Catholic church is a “terrible Catholic,” then you must be in agreement that Paul Ryan is a “terrible Catholic.”

          • JWayne says:

            But Zach again you mention Matthew 7:1-2 “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.”

            You seem offended that I ask if you think you are a terrible Catholic and yet you have no problem making that statement against Paul Ryan, please explain to me what you did is different from what I did, are you not judging?

        • John Casper says:

          JW, when do you think life begins?

          • JWayne says:

            Life begins at conception.

            • John Casper says:

              JW, so sorry. You’re one of those “cafeteria Catholics.”

              Pius XI’s Encyclical, Casti Connubii (1930) was real clear. Life begins long before conception. Each man is responsible for his own seed.

              http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_31121930_casti-connubii_en.html

              Those abortions start when you and Rosy Palm hook up. Sex with your wife after she can no longer give birth, that’s abortion according to Pius XI. The “act” was not open to pregnancy. Practicing the “rhythm method,” that’s massive abortions too.

              Do you need to go to confession?

              I’ll check back tonite.

            • Migosh says:

              JW, as you believe life begins at conception, do you believe that using oral contraceptives also is a sin?

            • John Casper says:

              JW, if you think a fully developed human life starts at conception, why aren’t you picketing your local county court house demanding that the coroner issue a death certificate for 100% of miscarriages?

              Why are you not attempting to find the remains of each and every miscarriage and give them a decent burial? That’s what you’d be doing if you really though every fertilized egg was a fully developed human.

              These are reasons why no one take the anti-choice crowd very seriously. When God decides to terminate a pregnancy, no problem. When a Mom, with four other kids, starts asking if she can afford the fifth, suddenly all you wingnuts decide it’s murder.

        • John Casper says:

          JW, still waiting for your response to my question. Based on what you’ve written so far, not sure you want to throw around terms like “cafeteria Catholic.”

          I’m outta here. I’ll check the thread tonite.

          • JWayne says:

            To answer a question such as when does life begin, science gives us a quite adequate answer; according to one prominent embryology text, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, by Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persuad (7th Edition; Publ. Saunders, p. 16), ‘‘Human development begins at fertilization when a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to produce a single cell, a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual’’; if he were alive today, St. Augustine would agree, because St. Augustine believed that there was no ‘‘disjunction’’ in what was known by faith and reason (cf. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1981 ed., vol. 5, p. 808, ‘‘St. Augustine’’ on ‘‘Faith and Reason’’); life begins at conception; no doubt St. Augustine would have marveled at a uterine ultrasound and what it reveals about a human in the womb;

            • PJ says:

              JWayne,

              The bottom line is this: when life begins is immaterial. You may believe abortion is wrong according to any tenets you wish. You do not have the right to impose your morality upon public policy. Once you support politicians who limit access to health care services and/or abortion you are denying the rights of others. Whether or not any woman in this country chooses to have an abortion is not an infringement on your right to believe what you will about abortion. Public tax dollars allocated for abortion is not an infringement of your religious freedom.

              • JWayne says:

                It is not immaterial when life begins, however Pj while you see it as a womens right to kill the unborn child, I see it as a right for that child to be born. Public tax dollars should not be used as a selective way to decide if a child lives or dies, that is not a choice. That child was not conceived by the woman alone and it is not her sole decision. But this has drifted off topic the discussion is not abortion here but whether Zach can call out Paul Ryan as a terrible Catholic and yet Zachs viewpoints are off limits.

                • Caramel says:

                  Everyone is a sinner, according to the Catholic Church. We could go on all day pointing out that if you are for this or that you are a sinner. Capitol punishment, abortion, birth control, gluttony, missing Mass, gossip, not helping refugees or the poor, being selfish, not praying, etc.,etc.

                  The point is, should a leader claim that a plan, in this case his budget is based on his religion, when it is actually going against what his religion requires (to help the poor).

                  On abortion, I feel you shouldn’t have one if you are against abortion and you should educate your own kids not to have one. Also, since we are in a culture of promiscuity, in a lot of ways, you should make sure that you will help your child if his girlfriend becomes pregnant, to raise that child, or to help your daughter. Pray to educate people. Don’t try to stop funding for procedures like D&C’s that women may need after miscarriages. And, miscarriages are traumatic enough for a family that wants children, psychologically, emotionally and physically, for the mom. so please think about the moms before taking away health care. Without moms we won’t make it as a society.

                • John Casper says:

                  JW, you wrote: “That child was not conceived by the woman alone and it is not her sole decision.” That sounds like if the man and the woman agree to terminate the fetus, then it’s ok with you.

                  JW = cafeteria Catholic.

                  JW, if life begins at conception, it invalidates all the Popes’ arguments against birth control. Where do you stand on contraception?

                  JW, is Paul Ryan against capital punishment? If not, Paul’s a cafeteria Catholic.

                • PJ says:

                  JW,
                  While I do understand full well your perspective on rights, your perspective is still is derived from your faith. JW, I respect your right to believe that abortion is murder. Whether I share in that belief is immaterial. At issue here is religious freedom. You are denying others their right to disagree with you when you legalize your religious perspective as public policy. You are denying the rights of others. You are creating a state that favors one religious perspective from which individuals cannot deviate.

                  There are those who do not share your religious faith and we are nation designed with religious freedom built into its very structure. Your religious freedom is not infringed by any woman exercising her right to abortion. But your insistence upon dictating your beliefs upon public policy does restrict a woman’s right (and the right of her husband or partner, and her family) to believe what they choose, and subsequently how to determine the course of their own lives according to their own beliefs. The unborn child you claim to care about is not your business any more than your generative organs are my business. I have no more right to support policy which pertains to your generative organs than you do with what any woman does with her own body. I have no more right to tell you whether or not you should have children than you do with anyone else. You have no part in deciding whether two people copulate and you have no right in deciding how those two people should proceed with any pregnancy that may result.

                  If, at the very least, the Conservative position such as yours could come to grips with “it takes a village to raise a child” I might even yield to your view. If, in actuality you supported policy that tangibly assisted parents by giving them a stipend in order to ensure that every child born in this country has all its needs met, especially in the earliest most critical years I might be swayed to your position. If the Conservative position was, in actuality, to invest in our children by prioritizing public education I might be swayed to your position. I might. But, while you bemoan abortion as the “selective way to decide if a child lives or dies” on one hand, Conservative economic policy and rejection of the “welfare state” selectively decides “if a child lives or dies” or if a “woman lives or dies.” It is an untenable, hypocritical position, and it is fundamentally unpatriotic. The patriot respects the religious beliefs of others even when those beliefs contradict that of the patriot.

                  But really, even if Religious Extremists such as yourself were to fully adopt a social structure that does fully and realistically support the life of every child, the underlying issue would still be religious freedom. You are a Religious Extremist not because of your belief that abortion is murder, but because you insist upon dictating that belief onto others legislatively.

                  One of the biggest questions that the designers of our government asked themselves in the 18th Century and which was answered in the Constitution is this:

                  Am I American first or am I Catholic first? Am I American first or am I Presbyterian first? Am I American first or am I Puritan first? Am I American first or am I Deist first?

                  JW, you do not have to change your views about whether or not abortion is murder. But you do have to ask yourself the question: Am I American first or am I Catholic first? If you are American first then you are compelled to respect the religious freedom of others. If you do not first respect the religious freedom of others then you are distorting and defiling everything it means to be American.

            • John Casper says:

              JW, when was Keith Moore a pope? I must have missed his election by the college of cardinals? You’re going to take his opinion over Pius XI?

              ‘‘Human development begins at fertilization when a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to produce a single cell, a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual’’; if he were alive today, St. Augustine would agree, because St. Augustine believed that there was no ‘‘disjunction’’ in what was known by faith and reason (cf. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1981 ed., vol. 5, p. 808, ‘‘St. Augustine’’ on ‘‘Faith and Reason’’); life begins at conception; no doubt St. Augustine would have marveled at a uterine ultrasound and what it reveals about a human in the womb;

              What Keith and TVD don’t explain is how a fertilized egg’s “rights” suddenly OUTWEIGH the human’s in whom they reside. According to you, the act of getting pregnant means the woman’s rights take a BACK SEAT to a clump of cells. According to you, in cases of rape, the guy’s rights to impregnate her, completely eliminate any “choice,” she might have.

              JW = cafeteria Catholic

          • Caramel says:

            I think that most of us are cafeteria Catholics. For example, wealthy people hate the thing about the camel fitting through an eye of a needle having an easier time than a rich man getting into heaven.

            And then, what is rich? Are we rich if we have a house and a car and health care? Compared to some people, that is super wealthy.

            Another example: Most Wisconsinites are probably somewhat affiliated with a religion of some kind. Most are Christian. Christ said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” He emphasized forgiveness. Forgiveness, as I remember, is a big deal. However, how many of us will forgive certain politicians or the other side? I am finding it much harder to forgive than I should.

            The whole state, as Christian as we like to think we are, on both sides, we are not exactly turning the other cheek, we are not forgiving one another and we are not loving our neighbors.

            I include myself in these criticisms, I am trying to find common ground with the people I know who are on “the other side”. Usually there are issues like prairie restoration, cooking, gardening, and other hobbies where you can have a conversation and forget what they think politically.

            Sorry if I sound preachy on your blog today. I think the topic is interesting.

            • John Casper says:

              Well said. Paul Ryan (Wingnut-WI) really doesn’t like Matthew 25

              31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

              40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

              44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

              • John Casper says:

                Paul also doesn’t like Luke 12:48, “…..For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

                • Caramel says:

                  I think he does like that part. He just thinks it means “more budget cuts”, “more free market” and “more personal responsibility”. What I disagree with him on, is that there should also be more regulations, because if you don’t have regulations on financial transactions, you are basically saying it is legal to steal and trick people through fees and hidden costs. He feels this way about taxes, that’s ok, but let’s regulate derivatives and that kind of thing too.

    • Migosh says:

      JW: Surely you read the piece to which you refer, so you know that the author/blogger was raised Catholic, as he told you so.

      Therefore, you must be asking whether those who authored the quotes in the piece are Catholic?

      Yes, the Pope and the Cardinal are Catholic.

      Next?

  6. PJ says:

    Need I point out that 50-odd years ago when JFK was elected to the office of the presidency, the (primarily Protestant) concern about his Roman Catholic faith was the fear of Roman Catholic governance? Anybody remember this? The fear that American politics and policy would be hijacked by the Pope and the Catholic hierarchy? Ring any bells? Anybody hear that argument lately with respect to Protestant Evangelism or the recent upset with the bishops in the health care debate?

    Must I go to the 16th Century to make my point? Please tell me, someone remembers 1960 at the very least.

    • John Casper says:

      Yep, goes back to the Civil War. Piux IX was officially neutral. That’s why you see Irish Roman Catholics dying for the Union and the Confederacy. Defending slavery was no impediment to Pius IX’s understanding of the faith. Lot of wealthy Roman Catholics in New Orleans, the rest of Central and South America owned plantations. Their wealth was built on slave labor and they were big contributors to the Vatican.

    • I wasn’t alive in 1960, but I most definitely read about the biases against Kennedy as a Catholic, and the concern that he’d take orders from the Vatican.

    • Caramel says:

      My parents told me about this. It was a big deal back then. That is why Kennedy made that speech that Santorum misunderstood.

  7. Paul says:

    Yet we have Cardinal Dolan inviting Paul Ryan and Scott Walker to his mass at Holy Hill. It is my firm belief that Dolan and the bishops are hard right conservatives who have ignored their own faith because of the inherent racist and anti- woman feelings that somehow exist in their seemingly focused souls.

  8. Caramel says:

    I don’t think we are supposed to judge others, according to Jesus. But, we are supposed to point out corrections, according to St. Paul. We Catholics are supposed to take care of the least of our brothers, meaning the poor. We are supposed to imagine that Jesus himself is the poor person. How would we treat Jesus? Our society is hopelessly segregated by class, so we don’t really see the poor. We only see the poor if we make an effort to do charity or work at a job where the poor show up. Even Holy Hill is segregated from the poor. (Not on purpose, I know… I love Holy Hill). We all have a responsibility to help others and to make sure our government works for the prosperity of all. Allowing a few to dictate our laws to benefit their own bank accounts, while others work for very little and can’t afford health care is wrong on many levels. Vote your conscience this fall.

  9. Michael BB says:

    …see what I mean. What a messy can of worms,indeed. When people get to quoting Scripture instead of using their own words, the discourse cannot be secular. Secular politics can be achieved by not using religion in ANY way to either promote or disparage some legislative, judicial or executive act. Good Catholic, bad Catholic, ex-Catholic, I don’t care. Do not expect adherents of any organized faith to have a unified viewpoint, doctrinally approved or not.
    For the record, I am a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage pro-legal pot, open voter registration, pro-safety-net, tax-reform-oriented ex-Catholic Unitarian Democrat.
    Do not expect members of one secular party or the other to have this, either. Expect open dialogue, and when religion gets into the Act, openness gets sidetracked in favor of literal Holier-Than Thou routines. I warned ye…MBB

    • PJ says:

      MBB,

      Again, I respectfully disagree with your position that worms should remain canned. Let the worms run free. Secularity cannot entail excluding religious perspective at this point in time because secularists have been remiss in countervailing the religious extremism that has been increasing tenfold in this country. Secular discussion must incorporate it in order to clarify it and temper it.

      Religious perspective must not take precedence in public policy making, this much is true. Yet, unmasking Ryan’s religious hypocrisy is important. He is an immoral man. Those who care deeply about religious perspective need to understand that he is fraudulent – he is a con man who is preying upon the spiritual sensitivities of others. He is using religion to further a political agenda. He would like Catholics in particular to trust him by trying to convince them that the underlying premise of his budget is derived from Catholic belief. It is not. The underlying premise of his budget is not religious, it is political. That doesn’t mean his budget doesn’t have a moral character. It does. We as a nation might not agree on the particulars of religion, but we as a nation must come to a secular moral consensus about our priorities. Discussions like the one here are constructive in that they do bring forth ideas. Extremism, in particular, must be exposed for what it is. Though extremism may be presented as rational or moral by those who perpetuate it, extremism is neither rational nor moral.

      One way to reconsider secularity, BB, is in how we as a society accept religious institutions into our society. I, for one, think religious institutions should be fully incorporated into society by eliminating all tax exemptions from them – be they hospitals, schools, churches or other places of worship. Institutionalizing a preference for religious entities disproportionately favors their status over other belief systems that are not recognized by the state through tax exemptions. Exempting a religious institution from their social responsibilities has nothing at all to do with an individual’s right to choose what he/she believes. Likewise, faith-based institutions should not be exempt from the laws of the state even if the substance of those laws contradict faith. An institution is not an individual, and therefore, is not subject to the rights granted by our governing document – the Constitution. The Constitution was designed to protect and secure the rights of individuals, not institutions. If we want a secular society we can’t exclude the religious perspective, nor can we favor it.

      • Michael BB says:

        Getting current religious institutions to render unto Caesar in the form of taxes could be a tall order, but not an unwelcome one.
        The best reason not to tax any church is to keep them legitimately away from politics. If they were taxed, they’d have the same rights to spend on speech as corporations now have.
        All appeals to religious sentiments and doctrine are fraudulent, to the secularist. I used to engage in these sorts of skirmishes, but now I ought to leave them to the people with some sectarian skin in the game. It’s not a winnable or even conclud-able scenario, which is why the Right uses it, and why progressives ought to sidestep it whenever possible. I do not dispute anyone’s right to engage on these terms, I only offer this caution as to its ultimate lack of utility when it comes to furthering the progressive cause, or hindering the Right. The can of worms is open for business, but I am going to take my input elsewhere. Best of luck, and may the best lost cause win, if you can figure out what winning looks like. Ms. Baldwin and Mr. Obama are counting on all of us, so we ought to be as unified as we can, eh, what? Until the next Blog,
        MBB

        • PJ says:

          MBB,

          Point well-taken about a non-winnable discourse. But, given where we are in our political discourse, I think the only way to make your point is by definitive demonstration. So religiously-directed discourse does have utility for the purposes of making transparent its futility. What we must do is take that discourse to its conclusive point – secularity.

          But to your point about taxation – taxation and representation are interrelated, of course, but they are not unidirectionally exclusively related. Taxation is a function in government that achieves a great many ends. Representation is not tied to all of them. I reiterate taxation of individuals does necessitate representation, but let’s be clear on this major Tea Party flaw: that issue was resolved when we separated from England in 1776. We do have taxation with representation now. If one doesn’t like one’s representation in government, one does have the right to vote. But that very system is compromised – subsumed. If our government is working properly, that system should be working. It is not. I reiterate religious institutions, institutions of any kind, nor corporations nor business structures of any kind are represented by the Constitution. Only individuals. Taxing a religious institution has nothing to do with a representative voice in government. Taxing corporations large or small has nothing to do with a representative voice in government. What we have now is a system designed for individuals to petition their government in order to address grievances subverted to a system of campaign contributions and lobbying industries that petition the government for grievances. A great many religious lobbies corrupt Capitol Hill every day – so contrary to what you may believe – religious institutions and religious special interests are, without being subject to taxation, exercising free speech, influencing our government policy, with no Constitutional authority to do so.

          So, if you are concerned about secularity, as I am, then let’s work together at overturning Citizens United; let’s work toward removing all forms of campaign contributions from our political system; Let’s join together in removing all forms of institutionalized lobbying from our political system. Tax the entities that wish to participate in our society – like businesses, corporations, and religious institutions. Participation requires Taxation. No taxation, No participation – that is the standard for which we should strive.

          Tammy Baldwin will probably support Progressive legislation. President Obama is not a Progressive, his agenda is not a Progressive framework, and he will never enact Progressive policy. Support Obama for his principles, but do not try to make him out to be something he is not. He is not Progressive.

          • Michael BB says:

            I speak of myself as a progressive, and perhaps you as well. Mr. Obama is as close as we’ll ever get to one. Tell religious institutions that they cannot indulge in political speech after they are made to pay corporate and property taxes. They will disagree, and they’ll be right.
            Everyone and every thing that is taxed gets a voice, you know that. Any elaborate discourse to the contrary is pure baloney, Kurt Vonnegut’s fav phrase for, well, baloney.
            I am outta here for awhile, my computer is picking up a virus that does not allow my Windows Media Player to run video, so I’ll be back to blog again, after the fix.
            MBB

            • PJ says:

              You are absolutely 100% wrong about “everyone and everything that is taxed gets a voice.” Representation is reserved for individuals. Taxation does not function first and foremost to give voice. Tariffs on foreign goods are taxes. Foreign merchants, in theory, don’t have a representative voice in our government. Taxation, from the perspective of the founders, was most appropriate for regulation. Taxation without Representation was a matter of the colonies not having a seat in parliament. Very different things, not so simplistically rendered. It wasn’t at all the case that colonial legislatures despised taxation – they levied taxes on their own with their own colonial authority. Taxes are not speech. Money is not speech.

  10. Patrick says:

    You can not be a Catholic and also support the books of Ayn Rand as Paul Ryan does. He requires here hate for all of his staff to read and has spoken about her publicly (youtube it). she was an atheist who hated religion – especially the catholic church. Everything she taught was about personal wealth and “f” the little guy. What a role model.

  11. Duane12 says:

    Paul Ryan’s views are a contradiction of the beatitudes in Matthew and Luke as well as Rerum Novarum and other Catholic teachings on the issue of serfdom and humanity revived in the current century for the role of the middle class by “citizens united” and joined by Walker with the Koch support and Ryan’s health insurance sponsors.

    Paul Ryan is no ordinary Catholic. I see him as GOP front man opposing the humanity of Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Mandela as well as traditional Catholic theology.
    .
    Paul Ryan is the devil in the GOP health care details.

  12. Smeety says:

    This is at least the third post stereotyping Ryan’s beliefs. Not once have you seriously addressed the Bible’s zero tolerance of debt and stealing.

    But hey, ignore the parts that don’t fit your pocketbook.

    • Smeety, are you a football fan?

      What about stoning? Are you a fan of stoning as a form of punishment?

    • John Casper says:

      Smeety, great handle btw.

      Can you “seriously address,” Matthew 25:

      31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
      33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

      35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

      40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

      41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

      45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
      46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

  13. Smeety says:

    We went over stoning already.

    Not even remotely good strawman Zack.

  14. Smeety says:

    I love that passage and believe it with all my heart. Yesterday my nine year old and I spent most of the day serving sandwiches for a local club that, among other things, donates plenty of money for health care for the poor. I have a duty while here on Earth to teach my children the importance of that particular passage, among others…

    I guarantee Paul Ryan donated a larger portion of his income to charity than did Zach. Guarantee.

    Ryan believes (as I do) that charity is not part of the role of government. No where above does the Catholic aristocrats say health care is the role of government. Zach has fundamentally attempted to twist their words to imply otherwise. At the very least, Zach has a fundamental ignorance of the Bible.

    • Because an individual’s health is a “precious asset” to society as well as to himself, governments and other agencies should seek to protect it by “dedicating the equipment, resources and energy so that the greatest number of people can have access.”

      That’s taken directly from the Pope’s letter, as was this:

      “Justice in health care should be a priority of governments and international institutions,”

      I suppose we could argue about what the Pope’s meaning of “justice” is, but I think the first passage pretty much clears the second up quite nicely.

      As for your personal attacks/barbs directed at me, you’re entitled to your opinions, however misguided/misinformed they may be.

    • John Casper says:

      Smeety, what local club?

      You can “guarantee Paul Ryan donated a larger portion of his income to charity than did Zach. Guarantee.”

      Great. How much has Paul donated each year, since he’s been in Congress?

      “Ryan believes (as I do) that charity is not part of the role of government.”

      Of course you do. Charity to the 1%. When was the last time anyone in the 1% went to jail for tax evasion? Do you think it’s because they’re honest?

      If Ryan “believes in charity,” why are so many people on food stamps?

      • John, you and I both know Smeety can’t tell you how much Paul Ryan has donated to charity since he’s been in Congress, because Smeety pulled that statement out of his/her rear end in order to attack me.

        I tend not to put much stock in statements made by individuals who hide behind the anonymity of the internet, because they tend to say stupid things they otherwise wouldn’t say because they’re confident they won’t get “found out.” Smeety definitely falls into that category.

    • John Casper says:

      Smeety, why does our spending on health care keeping going north, while the stock prices of the health insurance oligopoly keeps going north too. Unlike you, Charlie Sykes, and Ryan, I’m a capitalist and a REAL conservative. If the markets are working, if there’s competition, quality and value is preserved. Costs are held in check.

      So, what’s not working?

    • PJ says:

      Smeety – So, contextually then, Matthew 25 didn’t apply to earthly kings and princes or heads of state? Is that right? So, biblical principles don’t apply to political leaders. So… then… a sovereign authority, an individual responsible for the people under his reign was exempt from the biblical principles to which his/her people were subject? There’s a fundamental difference then between an individual of political authority who within his authoritative role sees the hungry, yet does not give the hungry meat? So earthly kings need not bother themselves with the role of the Divine King? So, when the Divine King says, “verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me,” the Divine King meant for the earthly king to disregard his role as administrator of his kingdom? So, a king had no responsibility toward those over whom he reigned? Is that right? So therefore this passage does not extend to the manner in which a king administers his kingdom? So earthly kings weren’t somehow servants of God or sons of God? So the role of the earthly king wasn’t like, you know, an anointed role or anything. The role of the earthly king was then quite separate from his divine affirmation, from the divine authority that legitimized his rule? There’s a word for that latter bit- ah yes, Divine Right of Kings.

      Interesting, Smeety, very interesting. So, the lessons you teach your 9 year old are that governments have no responsibility for the people they govern? Political leaders are not bound by biblical principles? And, of course, you must have mentioned to your 9 year old that the Divine Right of Kings was the governing principle the designers of our government flatly rejected and in its place inserted into our system of governance the principles of secularity and empiricism.

      So, the concept of the separation of church and state means what? That an un-anointed political leader may simply pick and choose which biblical principles apply to governance and which apply to those who are governed? Then Paul Ryan claiming religious authority for the content of his budget is wrong on both counts – from the biblical perspective and from the standards of the founding father’s design.

      Gee, Smeety – you’re brilliant.

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