Friday, May 4, 2018


House Chaplain rescinds resignation, wants to know his ‘faults’
Jesuit Father Patrick J. Conroy, pictured in a May 8 photo, has been the chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011. He said he always knew he wanted to work in Congress but never imagined he would do so as a priest. (Credit: CNS photo/Rhina Guidos.)

House Chaplain rescinds resignation, wants to know his ‘faults’

Representative Ryan, a practicing Catholic, fired the Catholic Priest Chaplain because non Catholics did not think he was fulfilling their needs. 

Under pressure the Speaker of the House has now reinstated the fired Catholic priest.

Deo gratias!


TJM said...

I wouldn't say Deo Gratias too fast. "Father" Conroy's biggest supporter was Gerald Connelly, a big time supporter of abortion on demand and gay marriage.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

TJM it is believed that Ryan fired Father because of a prayer that was completely orthodox when it comes to Catholic social teaching. This prayer rankled some Republicans and evidently the Catholic Speaker of the House, who believe that politics trump Catholic teaching.

I am sure if a Democrat Speaker of the House heard a Catholic priest praying for the respect for human life from conception until natural death on the house floor that would provoke the ire of many pro-choice politicians regardless of their religious affiliation.

I have no reason to believe that the good Father is pro choice and hasn't prayed for respect for human life, but let me be clear if you aren't about this, the Church's social teaching is very much a part of our moment of conception to natural death teachings on the sanctity of human life.


TJM said...

Father McDonald,

you said "This prayer rankled some Republicans and evidently the Catholic Speaker of the House, who believe that politics trump Catholic teaching." This statement is comedy gold because for the Dems politics always trumps Catholic Church teaching, on abortion, gay marriage, etc.

You may have no doubts about Father Conroy, but I do based on who was his most vociferous defender, Congressman Connelly of Virginia who enjoys a 100% rating by NARAL.

Look, the Democratic Party supports intrinsic evils like abortion and gay marriage, the Republican Party does not. There is no moral equivalence here.

Catholic Social teaching has been used and abused by the evil political left for its own tawdry purposes for decades and they will continue to do so unless they are loudly called out by the American heirarchy.

I was dissapointed that Ryan backed down.

Anonymous 2 said...


I’m sorry but you seem to be engaging in typical Trumpian distraction tactics again.

You are eager to point out (and are happy when others including Father McDonald point out) how Democrats let politics trump Catholic teaching. But clearly you don’t like it when people point out how Republicans may be doing so as well. Since when did two wrongs make a right?

And the issue is not moral equivalence, or the alleged misuse of Catholic teaching by various political forces on the left or the right. The issue is the error of championing (perhaps even exclusively) those parts of Catholic teaching we like (because they fit our politics?) and ignoring or minimizing other parts of Catholic teaching we don’t like (because they don’t fit our politics?). This is exactly the error Pope Francis was trying to challenge (albeit somewhat inartfully it seems) in section 101 of Gaudate et Exsultate.

Of course, the immediate issue concerns the real motives of Speaker Ryan and others for wanting to get rid of a Catholic priest as House chaplain.

TJM said...

Anonymous 2,

I know all I need to know about Conroy is that his staunchest supporters come from the Party of baby killers who apparently see nothing wrong with selling their body parts. If Pius XI were alive today he would likely condemn the modern Democratic Party just like he did the Nazis, Fascists, and Communists and Catholics who joined and supported their platform would be excommunicated latae sententiae. You are wasting your time with me because you obviously do not care about the distinctions between intrinsic and extrinsic evils. I saw where at the Washington Press Corps dinner, the mask was dropped so even folks like YOU should recognize the full extent of their evil with Wolf saying don't knock it if you haven't had an abortion. Wolf has the mindset of Illse Koch.

Anonymous 2 said...


You seem to keep on dodging the issue. The issue is not whether I accept the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic evils (or between moral absolutes and prudential matters) (I do by the way). Nor is the issue what Pius XI would say about the modern Democratic Party (or the modern Republican Party for that matter) or how vile the Washington Press Corps dinner may have been (pretty vile from all accounts—I did not watch it). The issue – and it is Father McDonald’s issue and Pope Francis’s issue – is whether a faithful Catholic should accept all of the Church’s social teaching (which, of course, includes the distinction between types of evils), or instead may say that “the only thing that counts is one particular issue or cause that they themselves defend” and “ignore [other] injustice in the world” (Gaudete et Exsultate” section 101) because doing so aligns with their political allegiances and preferences.

As Father McDonald suggests, we have “no reason to believe that the good Father is pro-choice and hasn't prayed for respect for human life.” Whether or not more Democrats than Republicans support him is again beside the point. Much to the point are the real reasons and motives for opposing him and seeking to get rid of him. Do Ryan and other Republicans want to do so because he is pro-choice, or (in part at least) because he offered a prayer that was perfectly consistent with the Church’s social teaching but not with Ayn Rand’s?

Anonymous 2 said...


I have now read (but not watched) the Michelle Wolf speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and I have also read some commentary about the “outrage” over the speech (including outrage expressed by some of the so-called liberal media). And I have a somewhat different take on it all. Was Michelle Wolf vile? Yes. But in her vileness, wittingly or unwittingly, she has done what the Fool in the Western tradition traditionally has done—speak Truth to Power or, perhaps in this case, hold up a Mirror to Power so that it can see its own ugly reflection.

You may not like what I am about to say but Michelle Wolf’s speech is a creature of our times and is likely unthinkable without the bar for political discourse having been set so low by the current occupant of the White House. I have to believe we are better than this.

So, yes, we do need to take our country back—from our own self-alienation and our alienation from one another. And we need to raise the bar out of the gutter.

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. As I work through the news for the week, I have now just come across a similar thought expressed by Jonathan Capehart in the Washington Post: “Wolf’s eye-popping routine was simply a comedic reflection of Trump, whose presidential library will overflow with coarse, rude, ugly and personal attacks.”


Gene said...

Anon 2, Although Trump is certainly a product of our vulgar society, I am hoping that, malgre' lui, his goals and aspirations for the country might restore something of what has been lost. That would certainly be a wonderful irony of sorts.

Gene said...

PS Wolf is a pitiful, no-talent, trash bag. There is no excuse for that kind of behavior, whether you are liberal or conservative. It serves no purpose other than to bring us all down another notch, if that is even possible.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"So, yes, we do need to take our country back—from our own self-alienation and our alienation from one another. And we need to raise the bar out of the gutter."

Indeed. And we begin this by recalling that we are made for eternal life in heaven with God. And we begin this by recalling that it is in this life, on this side of the tombstone, that we begin living our eternal existence, and that the choices we make here - our words, our actions, our day-to-day interactions with others - set the stage for eternity.

TJM said...


True so why do you support the intrinsically evil Dem Party?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2

Are you kidding?
The bar has been inexorably descending lower going back decades. Michelle Wolf's "exhibition" is what would expect these days from the difference in what the public viewed on television in the 1950's to what is on cable TV today. It is something that one would expect of a society in which not only adults, but teenagers and even children have unfettered access and view pornography on their electronic devices.
It is something that one can expect from a country that went from Elvis to today, where many of the most popular musical entertainers put lyrics to their songs that at one time would have made even a sailor blush.
It is something that is not unexpected in a country where even as long as two decades ago, we not only had a President who was given to prevarication, but had sex with an intern in the White House, along with being a serial adulterer.
It is something one can expect from a country exposed to the output of a news media given to more and more sensationalism and little self -control. Can you imagine the news media of the 1960's reporting using the "colorful" language of LBJ or the providing details of the sexual dalliances of President Kennedy?

What is telling to me is your quote from a writer for the Washington Post. Anonymous 2, unless you are a young person, you know all this. Is your dislike of Republicans and conservatism that overwhelming?

Anonymous 2 said...


What is telling to me is that all you can see when you read what I write is a “dislike of Republicans and conservatism” and the apparent inability of a writer for the Washington Post to pen an acceptable thought (as if only a writer for the Washington Times could?)! This blind hyper-partisanship is symptomatic of our degraded political conversation.

But you are right about the bar inexorably and progressively descending lower over the decades. As Gene quite correctly observes, “Trump is certainly a product of our vulgar society.” The process is dialectical and synergistic. The degraded and coarsened culture produces Trump, who then takes it to a new lower level as the virus mutates to infect the political conversation of Presidential candidates and now the Presidency itself, which in turn produces Michelle Wolf. I was appalled when I read the transcript of Wolf’s performance. But then I had already been appalled by Trump’s performances.

If you are able to see past your hyper-partisanship, you will see that I am calling for us to rise above our current predicament, above party and above ideology, to a higher plane where we can rediscover who we really are. What we most assuredly are not at our deepest level are the false and superficial identities we assume by calling ourselves Democrat or Republican and others the “enemy” because they belong to the other party, or because they voted for the other presidential candidate, or because they think differently about a particular issue.

It is time to turn back from our path down the dangerous road we are on and, as John Meacham writes, to rediscover “the better angels of our nature”; or else we risk losing not only the soul of our Republic but, as Father Kavanaugh so compellingly intimates, our eternal souls as well. As Meacham explains, however, we can be optimistic because we have been in this dark place before:

Now we just need to pay heed and begin the hard work of overcoming our self-alienation and mutual alienation from one another and of raising the bar out of the gutter. Let’s join together and take our country back! And the task is ours not just (or even mainly) that of our elected political leaders. This does not mean that we will not disagree. Of course we will. What matters is how we disagree. Just ask John McCain and Joe Biden.

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. Let me clarify—I am not necessarily endorsing John Meacham’s particular understanding of America. I will not know whether or not I should do that until I read his book. What I am endorsing are his concepts of the American “soul” and of our “better angels” as well as his longer term optimism.

Anonymous 2 said...

PP.S. Instead of “dialectical and synergistic,” perhaps a more accurate way to express the point would be to say that the process has the nature of a feedback loop.

Charles G said...

Sorry, but there is a huuuge prudential dimension to how best to serve the common good with fiscal and tax policy, and left wing forced redistribution by government is not the only possible answer. There is absolutely no obligation to believe and follow as a matter of faith the left wing Marxist utterances of popes, bishops and priests that happen to align 100% with the dictates of our far left Democrat Party and “Crumbs” Pelosi. And given that said popes, bishops and priests clearly want to toss Catholic doctrine on marriage, sexuality and the sacraments into the rubbish bin, they have some gall saying one must accept their left wing prudential utterances. I was baptised into the Catholic Church, NOT the Democrat Party!

Anonymous said...

"There is absolutely no obligation to believe and follow as a matter of faith the left wing Marxist utterances of popes, bishops and priests..."

These principles of Catholic Social teaching pre-date Marx by centuries. The seven themes are 1) Life and Dignity of the Human Person, 2) Call to Family, Community, and Participation, 3) Rights and Responsibilities, 4) Option for the Poor and Vulnerable, 5) The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers, 6) Solidarity, and 7) Care for God's Creation.

These principles are rooted in Sacred Scripture, not Marxist thinking. Only by turning a blind eye to divine revelation can one conclude that these "utterances" are Marxist.

The redistribution of wealth is one example. Is it Marxist in origin? No. The Vatican City Business Law Handbook: Strategic Information and Laws speaks to this particular issue. "The right to private property which is of itself valid and necessary must be circumscribed within the limits of the fundamental social function of property."

"31. The social function directly and naturally inherent in goods and their destination means that the social teaching of the Church can state: "When a person is in extreme necessity he has the right to supply himself with what he needs out of the riches of others."(26) The right of every person to the use of the goods needed in order to live sets a limit on the right of private property.

This doctrine was expounded by St Thomas Aquinas,(27) and it helps in evaluating some complex situations of major socio-ethical importance, such as the expulsion of peasant farmers from land they have been farming, without guaranteeing their right to receive a portion necessary to sustain life; or, again, cases of occupation of uncultivated land on the part of peasant farmers who are not its owners and who live in conditions of dire poverty."

Thomas Aquinas was not a Marxist.

Anonymous said...

Why do we even need an official chaplain of either the US House or Senate? Why not just have the "chaplain of the day", as we do up here at the Georgia Capitol when the Legislature is in session? Certainly one could find any number of clergy in the Washington area who would volunteer to give the daily invocation and hang around that day for any guidance.

Anonymous said...

The firing has nothing to do with abortion, Pelosi or Marxism or any of the other nonsense our friends are putting out to obscure the fact that a Catholic priest was fired for speaking up on behalf of the poor. White evangelicals have abandoned every Christian principle to go over the cliff for Trump & many Catholic right-wing lemmings are following.

Paul Ryan, a totally spineless fellow, caved to the GOP evangelicals on this this one. (The Irish had a phrase for folks like him who forsook the faith to curry favor with the Brits: "He took the soup.")

When we talk about what drives Catholics out of church, the argument here tends to be over what language the liturgy is presented in or which direction the priest is facing.
More importantly, Catholics seldom are told that their Church stands up for the poor & the working people, for immigrants, against racism & hate & violence. Our is not a right-wing church or a left-wing church, it is Catholic.

TJM said...

Ya, the Dems do a "great" job for the poor, enacting higher minimum wage laws that end up eliminating their jobs or cutting their hours (See the City of Seattle for just one example of this "help") or flooding the country with ILLEGAL ALIENS. Antifa is a hotbed of racism and violence (I suspect they don't vote Republican). But they do get Welfare to keep them on the Dem Poverty Plantation

Anonymous 2 said...


It is my understanding that despite the very clear overall net economic advantage that undocumented immigration produces, on balance it does negatively impact the employment market for the lowest paid American workers. So, you are correct if this is what you are trying to suggest. But as indicated, this negative impact has to be seen in a broader context of overall economic gain.

Moreover, if one focuses on the Administration, one can hardly blame the Democrats alone for the rise in the level of undocumented immigration over the past three decades. The statistics and charts from the Pew Foundation make it abundantly clear that the numbers rose just as steeply when Republicans held the White House:

As you can see, the estimated number of undocumented immigrants rose from 3.5 to 8.6 million between 1990 and 2000, and it then rose further to 12.2 million by 2007. The number declined to 11.3 million in 2009 and to 11 million in 2015 but then ticked up again to 11.3 million in 2016.

No, both parties are responsible for dishonestly operating an immigration policy off the books as well as one on the books. That’s what money in politics gets you.

Anonymous 2 said...

Words matter. Prudential refers to exercising prudence. Here is the Miriam Webster definition of “prudence”:

1: the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason
2: sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs
3: skill and good judgment in the use of resources
4: caution or circumspection as to danger or risk

The emphasis is on reason, wisdom, and good judgment. Just because a matter is “prudential” does not mean there are no standards to guide how a decision about it should be made. So often it seems that, on this Blog at least, people understand the word “prudential” to mean effectively that there are no guiding standards other than “whatever the Republican Party wants to do.” No, emphatically no! The same goes for “whatever the Democratic Party wants to do.”

Some policies are wiser than others and Catholic Social Teaching provides important standards of judgment informed by biblical and moral principles. As Anonymous at 8:11 a.m. points out, all this precedes Marx by centuries. Indeed, the concept of phronesis or practical wisdom (aka prudence) traces all the way back at least to Aristotle,

Anonymous said...

No wonder there’s an exodus from religion

By E.J. Dionne Jr.
Washington Post

Do you wonder why the proportion of Americans declaring themselves unaffiliated with organized religion has skyrocketed in recent decades?
This trend is especially pronounced among adults under 30, roughly 40 percent of whom claim no connection to a religious congregation or tradition and have joined the ranks of those the pollsters call the “nones.”
To understand how so many now prefer nothing to something when it comes to religion, ponder the news over the past few days.
The same newspapers and broadcasts that were reporting on how President Trump finally admitted that he had indirectly paid a porn star to keep quiet about an alleged affair also offered accounts of what we’ll call Jesuitgate, the controversy over who should be the chaplain of the House of Representatives.
On Thursday, Speaker Paul D. Ryan backed down from his effective dismissal of the Rev. Patrick Conroy, a Jesuit priest, as chaplain. Ryan had said he asked the cleric to quit because he had provided inadequate “pastoral services,” but denied that Conroy was ousted because of a mild prayer for justice he delivered during the debate over the GOP tax cut.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) reversed course on May 3, and agreed to keep the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy on as House chaplain. (Reuters)
That phrase “pastoral services” must inspire a chuckle from your typical millennial agnostic. It makes the work of holy men and women sound like the this-worldly tasks of the accountant, the mechanic or the dentist. (As the grateful son of a dentist, I speak with respect for these extremely useful professions.)
Conroy had initially agreed to Ryan’s request to step aside but withdrew his resignation in a quietly stinging letter. The priest noted that he had never been informed of the shortcomings of his “pastoral services.” If he had, he would “have attempted to correct such ‘faults.’ ”
Conroy also quoted Ryan’s chief of staff, Jonathan Burks, as telling him “something like ‘maybe it’s time we had a chaplain that wasn’t a Catholic.’ ” Ryan’s office vehemently denied this (the Catholic vote is substantial), but the speaker announced he didn’t want to have a “protracted fight” and that Conroy could stay.

Anonymous said...

(PART 2)
Many of us could have told the speaker that it’s a mistake to mess with a Jesuit. But think about it: The House Republican leadership was more inclined to push out a chaplain than to impose accountability on a president who is a proven liar and trashes the rule of law for his own selfish purposes day after day.

This degree of partisan irresponsibility only aggravates the already powerful skepticism among the young about what it means to be religious. In their landmark 2010 book, “American Grace,” the scholars Robert Putnam and David Campbell found that the rise of the nones was driven by the increasing association of organized religion with conservative politics and a lean toward the right in the culture wars.
Revealingly, Putnam and Campbell found that millennials with tolerant and open views on homosexuality were more than twice as likely to be religious nones as their statistically similar peers with conservative or traditionalist views on homosexuality. Many young people came to regard religion, in Putnam and Campbell’s words, as “judgmental, homophobic, hypocritical and too political.”
If you want a particularly exquisite hypocritical moment, consider that on Thursday, the very day when Trump had to admit his lies on the Stormy Daniels payoff, the president held a White House commemoration of the National Day of Prayer. “Prayer is the key that opens [to] us the treasures of God’s mercies and blessings,” he proclaimed, quoting Billy Graham. He tweeted this out as part of a pious 42-second video set to a sentimental soundtrack of peaceful strings. I guess Trump can use some peace and a lot of mercy right now.
What’s maddening about all of this is that religion has a strong case to make for itself — to the young and to everyone else — given its historical role as a prod to personal and social change and the ways in which movements for justice have been inspired through the centuries by the words of Exodus, Micah, Isaiah, Amos and Jesus.
Conroy was getting at this in the most uncontroversial way possible when he spoke in his now-contested prayer of how “our great nation” has created “opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle.” If a chaplain could be rebuked for voicing that simple and undeniable truth, what’s the point of the “religious liberty” that Trump and his GOP allies celebrate?
And when will those who advertise themselves as religion’s friends realize they can do far more damage to faith than all the atheists and agnostics put together?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2

This Presidency didn't produce Michelle Wolf. One could just as reasonably argue the the Presidency of Bill Clinton did, if you want to go there. This kind of off-color performance - what at one time would be for most "off-limits" and "beyond the pale"- did not suddenly arrive with Pres. Trump. Red Foxx was doing not for prime time comedy decades ago.
Such things as raunchy comedy and pornographic material has been around for a long time, The difference that has developed over time is that it has become more mainstream and more acceptable. Our coarsened culture is symptomatic of this. No newspaper at the time would have printed some of the language LBJ used, or would have done an "in-depth" interview with some of the women that Pres. Kennedy had been involved with. At one time, journalism had standards.

Washington Times? I haven't read it in I don't know when. I have read articles in the Washington Post not that long ago(on line).

Charles G said...

Dear Anonymous,

None of the general principles of Catholic Social Teaching dictate a precise level of forced wealth redistribution by government that we must accept with Catholic faith. We are not required to believe with the Left that ever more expanding and intrusive government is the solution to all social problems. Probably the number one social justice activity a government can engage in is to encourage prosperous businesses and a flourishing economy so people will have good jobs to support their families.

TJM said...

Anonymous 2,

You are DEAD WRONG about illegal aliens being a net benefit to society.

At the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens. That amounts to a tax burden of approximately $8,075 per illegal alien family member and a total of $115,894,597,664. The total cost of illegal immigration to U.S. taxpayers is both staggering and crippling. In 2013, FAIR estimated the total cost to be approximately $113 billion. So, in under four years, the cost has risen nearly $3 billion. This is a disturbing and unsustainable trend.

TJM said...

E J Dionne, is an Obama bootlicker and big time abortion supporter. So naturally for fake catholics who post here, he's a natural ally.

Anonymous 2 said...

We will have to agree to disagree about whether Michelle Wolf’s sorry performance would have been thinkable at a White House Correspondents’ Dinner without the prior tilling of the soil by President Trump. I would simply make a couple of observations that may have a bearing on the question.

First, Jeb Bush famously—and it turns out incorrectly—said to Candidate Trump: “You can’t insult your way to the Presidency.”

Second, more than one cause can be operative in producing a particular result. Thus the claim that “Michelle’s Wolf’s performance would have been unthinkable but for the coarsened culture” is not inconsistent with the claim that “Michelle Wolf’s sorry performance would have been unthinkable but for President Trump’s own prior sorry performances.” Similarly, the claim that “Hillary Clinton would have won the election but for James Comey’s announcement reopening the FBI investigation into her emails a few days before the election” is not inconsistent with the claim that “Hillary Clinton would have won the election but for her own arrogance and sorry performance as a candidate.”

Anonymous 2 said...


I need to qualify my implied assertion that undocumented immigration clearly produces a net overall economic benefit. This has certainly been my understanding. For example, here is a 2013 New York Times analysis making the point:

However, upon further reflection I am now somewhat skittish about making claims regarding the economic impact of immigration, both documented and undocumented, because economics seems to be such an imprecise social science, because biases not evident to the non-expert can so easily can creep into economic analysis, and because economics is definitely not my strong suit (which makes me totally dependent upon the expertise of economists practicing this imprecise and frequently biased social science). Indeed, I am almost at the point of suggesting that we should not look for any clear answers from the economists regarding immigration. This said, I do think their identification of all the many factors that need to be measured and evaluated is helpful in suggesting the complexity of the situation and the importance of avoiding simplistic analyses and prescriptions when advocating or opposing this or that immigration policy.

Gene said...

Anon 2, Then, there is the LAW. But, why should anyone (especially a lawyer) let that get in the way of supporting what is tantamount to an invasion of the country. We do live in interesting times...

Anonymous 2 said...


As you can see, I anticipated your objection. But your post just proves my point that we should not place too much reliance upon economists of any stripe or the statistics they produce. FAIR certainly has its own biases. And even assuming the figures you cite are accurate (which I am in no position to judge—are you?), I note that you list only economic costs and no economic benefits, of which there are many. As the NYT article points out, however, one of the problems in recognizing the benefits (measuring them accurately is again another problem) is that they tend to be more widely distributed and less visible (and perhaps less easily measurable?) than the costs concentrated on a relative few.

Anonymous 2 said...


As you rightly say, then there is the law. As I intimated in my post at 2:42 p.m. yesterday, for many years I have been dismayed by the dishonesty of our political leaders regarding immigration. To my simple mind, the correct way to craft an immigration policy is to have an honest debate about it, to enact law implementing a reasonable and wise policy, and then to enforce that law.

But what have our esteemed leaders (in both parties) done instead? In effect they have run two immigration policies—a de jure one on the books and a de facto one off the books (characterized by lax enforcement, just look at the numbers!), effectively inviting undocumented immigrants to come here. Should we then blame the individual immigrant who accepts this invitation? Or should we rather blame our dishonest politicians?

But then we compound the problem by just enough enforcement (for political show?) to make coming here more hazardous (but not enough, of course, to actually be effective in deterring immigration—big business donors and assorted ideologues on the left and the right would not approve of that) so that, once here, those who enter unlawfully are more likely to remain than in the past when flows were more cyclical. Not to mention our own role in producing not just the “pull” factors in the United States, but also the “push” factors in the countries the immigrants are leaving. And then, to top it all off, we demonize the immigrant to gain political power, even suggesting that almost all of them are rapists, criminals, terrorists, etc. (“but some I assume are good people”). It has been a shameful performance all round! And I have not even begun to talk about scripture and morality, at least not explicitly.

I am actually a great believer in the rule of law. But the rule of law is like Catholicism—we don’t get to pick the bits we like and reject the bits we don’t. Someone should tell President Trump and some of his supporters about that. So, for example, we can’t cheer when the courts enjoin Obama’s DAPA and then complain when the courts enjoin Trump’s travel ban. Instead, the correct response in each case is to wait on the decision of the Supreme Court and then to accept that decision (although it is perfectly legitimate to critique the Court and to argue that it should reach a different result in the future, subject to the constraints of stare decisis, such as they are).

Anonymous said...

Two Ways to See Everything (or) Costs vs Benefits...

Trade "deficits" are being touted by some as the most dangerous thing since nitro and glycerin.

On the other side of the trade equation, however, is the value derived from the items we purchase. Bloomberg estimates our 2014 trade deficit with China was $200 billion. So, we bought $200 billion more in stuff from the Chinese than they bought from us.

We also derive a certain significant value from those products. Vehicles, Iron and Steel, and Plastics are the top three items imported from China. The use of those vehicles (like the Ford Focus) to conduct business, the incorporation of imported iron and steel into products (GE appliances) manufactured here, and the use of plastics in virtually every part of our lives has a value that may be overlooked.

Yes, there is a "trade deficit," but is there a value deficit. Does the one matter so much more than the other?

Anonymous said...

"None of the general principles of Catholic Social Teaching dictate a precise level of forced wealth redistribution by government that we must accept with Catholic faith."

Of course they don't and no one suggested they did.

"Encourage prosperous businesses" often veils ideas like "lower/eliminate the minimum wage," "repeal needed environmental protection guidelines," "lower corporate/business taxes," "restrict 'intrusive' OSHA standards that really do protect workers," etc.

All of these make for more prosperous business, but are the really beneficial to the Common Good?

CharlesG said...

Dear Anonymous,
There are policy arguments to be made for and against, and where to draw the line on, all those issues. The fact is leftists, including those running the Church these days, undervalue the importance of economic growth and overvalue coercive government redristribution. But it is clear that you, like so many leftists, don’t want to engage in rational debate, but simply want to engage in slanderous demonising rhetoric, because of course Republicans simply want to push Granny in a wheelchair over a cliff (Dem ad against Speaker Ryan for VP), wake up each morning thinking who they are going to screw today (Howard Dean), want to put blacks back in chains (VP Biden), and on and on...

Gene said...

Anon 2, Well, you are certainly correct about the hypocrisy of politicians. To paraphrase H. L. Mencken, nobody ever went broke under estimating the dishonesty of government. And, you are many cases the Republicans are no better then the Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Charles G, Surely you aren't claiming that there has been no "slanderous demonizing rhetoric" from the Right, are you?

How many times did Trump falsely claim that Obama wasn't a natural born US citizen?

Did you hear him say that "thousands of Muslims in New Jersey" celebrated when the World Trade Towers collapsed?

20% of the US supply of uranium was given to the Russians by Hillary Clinton, according to Trump.

Do you not recall that Sen. Charles Grassley asserted that people are stuck in poverty because they spend "every darn penny they have...on booze or women or movies"?

Have you no recollection of Trump's racist assertion that a native born US citizen judge could not decide his case fairly because of his "Mexican connections"?

Can you remember Ben Carson's assertion, "A lot of people who go into prison straight - and when they come out, they're gay."

There's plenty of slanderous demonizing rhetoric on both sides of the aisle.

The Church does not oppose taxation. The CCC states that citizens have a moral obligation to pay taxes (2240).

No. 355 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: “Tax revenues and public spending take on crucial economic importance for every civil and political community. The goal to be sought is public financing that is itself capable of becoming an instrument of development and solidarity."

While the Church does not have a concrete (specific) solution to every problem (Gaudium et Spes, 43), the principles, the moral principles, that underpin the Church's teaching are clear.

Anonymous said...

"Right wing media starts a rumor, then Judicial Watch starts an investigation to find out the facts. We are told in the news that they have filed FOIA warrants for documents but we are never told the outcomes of these investigations or given any data attached as proof. All these investigations seems to do is offer an air of legitimacy to what is actually fake gossip designed to undermine the Democratic Party by rhetorically gunning down all their best known people."

Anonymous said...

"Obviously, there’s a lot of politics in it. It's interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats," (Representative Caludia Tenney, R-NY)said. "But the media doesn't talk about that."

Charles G said...

Dear Anonymous (I know you are legion, but I refer to my interlocutor),

I was referring to your use of the scare word “veil” to suggest some sort of sinister, hidden motive. As for minimum wage laws, arguments about them don’t need to be “veiled”, but it is simply a fact of economics that raising the minimum wage is a job killer, especially for youth and those starting off in the work force.

As for your examples of Republican demonisation, some I would agree are over the line and some I would quibble with, but even conceding that there is such rhetoric on both sides, I believe it much more prevalent on the Left, because your Alinskyite rules teach you not to engage in rational argument, but attack and humiliate the person. And your Marxist heritage teaches you that political ends justify any dishonest, immoral, violent and criminal means, so leftists tend to show no moral decency when they attack those they see as political enemies.

Anonymous said...

Charles G.

You assert, "...but it is simply a fact of economics that raising the minimum wage is a job killer,..."

No, this is not a fact of economics.

Article: "Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect On Employment" John Schmidt, Center for Economic Policy and Research, February 2013.


"...your Alinskyite rules teach you not to engage in rational argument,...

I have now twice disproved your thesis by engaging in rational argument, yet you keep asserting that those on the Left cannot be rational. How do you explain this?

"And your Marxist heritage teaches you that political ends justify any dishonest, immoral, violent and criminal means, so leftists tend to show no moral decency when they attack those they see as political enemies."

I have not attacked you a single time, so your second thesis is disproven. You fall into the category of those who, for whatever reason or reasons, see disagreement as an attack.

It is not.

I would be happy to continue this rational discussion.

Charles G said...

Not attacking, just laying out the facts of how the intolerant, totalitarian-minded left operates in our society.