Thu 24th Apr 2014 | Last updated: Thu 24th Apr 2014 at 16:22pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Comment & Blogs

Catholics for Romney surely now has lift-off, with the announcement as his vice-presidential candidate of a faithful and pugnaciously pro-life Catholic

Paul Ryan, Romney pointedly announced, is ‘a faithful Catholic’ who ‘believes in the worth and dignity of every human life’

By on Monday, 13 August 2012

Mitt Romney and his vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan (Photo: AP)

Mitt Romney and his vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan (Photo: AP)

A bipartisan group of six former US ambassadors to the Holy See, it was reported two weeks ago, has joined together to support Mitt Romney as presidential candidate and is now calling on other Catholics to do the same.

The former ambassadors said that despite their own political differences, they all believe that Mitt Romney “can be a great force for good in this nation”. All Catholics, they said, are “called to advance the moral teachings of Christianity in the life of our country… Where the stakes are highest – in the defence of life, liberty, and human dignity – we have a duty to act that is greater and more urgent than allegiance to any political party … our concerns lie with fundamental rights, beginning with religious liberty.”

What they were saying, in effect, was that Catholics should vote for Romney because he is not Obama: the Obama administration, they said “has brought our first freedom under direct assault by imposing government mandates that completely disregard religious conscience”, because of the requirement imposed by “Obamacare” forcing employers to offer health insurance that covers contraception, sterilisation and abortifacient drugs.

Not only that: “the current administration”, they said, “has now put its weight on the side of those who propose to redefine the meaning of marriage itself.” Romney, however “stood firm in defending this sacred institution” during his time as governor of Massachusetts.

Now there is another reason for Catholics to vote for Romney: it’s not simply that he says he will reverse the most objectionable features of Obamacare: he appears, in his choice of vice-presidential candidate — the outspoken pro-life Catholic Rep Paul Ryan of Wisconsin — to be making it clear that when he says he is pro-life, he actually means it. Not only that: he wants Catholic votes. He introduced Rep Ryan pointedly as “a faithful Catholic” who “believes in the worth and dignity of every human life”. Unlike Governor Romney, the liberal media seems to be de-emphasising Ryan’s Catholicism: according to one of these, the BBC, “correspondents say the selection of Mr Ryan appears to have reinvigorated the Republican campaign. But they caution that Mr Ryan is known for radical proposals to reform government social spending, including on health care programmes, that could prove deeply unpopular among some American voters”. Traditionally, Catholics tend to vote for Democratic candidates: so Obama and his supporters will want to keep away from Catholic issues. But mainstream Catholics (I say nothing of the Pelosi tendency) will surely not only remember these issues, but consider them as central.

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, and Cathy Ruse, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, are reported as saying: “Governor Romney could not have chosen a better person to run with than Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Ryan is not only 100 per cent pro-life, he is a full spectrum conservative and thoroughly unafraid in expressing conservative and pro-life views. We cannot wait to see him debate Vice-President Biden.”

Me, too: Biden, of course, is one of the dodgy Catholics who are 100 per cent behind Obamacare with all its blatant disrespect for religious independence. He supports Roe v Wade and unhesitatingly backs gay marriage (at one time, the White House even told him to downplay this). In sharp contrast, Ryan is, as the Ruses put it, “a Catholic who takes his faith seriously”: he is, they say, “perfectly situated” to defend religious freedom “in this season of easy anti-Catholicism”.

The choice of Representative Ryan is also, incidentally, a neat way of sidelining the issue of Romney’s Mormonism. Personally, I find Mormonism a creepy religion, and can’t imagine why anyone would believe it. But then, that’s what lots of people think about Catholicism. Cardinal Dolan had already dealt with the issue, when he said during a meeting of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League a couple of months ago that Catholics wouldn’t have a problem voting for a Mormon in the White House; and nobody seems to have questioned that since he said it. The simple fact is that Catholics need someone to vote for who rejects the attack on religious independence implicit in the Obamacare legislation. Romney does; end of problem.

Many evangelicals still have problems with Romney’s Mormonism. But even they, it seems, are beginning to see they have nowhere else to go. As Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, puts it: “One should never underestimate President Obama’s unique ability to rally people behind his opponent. Whatever lingering doubts some evangelicals may have about Romney, or discomfort about his Mormon faith, they pale compared with their fears of a second Obama administration”.

One final thought from across the pond: I envy American Catholics for being able to vote for someone who, if elected, will give them the possibility to opt out of funding a healthcare system which provides abortion and contraception. For all that I am, like most other English conservatives, a supporter of our own National Health Service — which many Americans think quite wrongly is a form of Communism, despite the fact that state-funded healthcare has never existed in any Communist country — I am painfully aware that my taxes (for our so-called National Insurance is nothing other than a form of general taxation) fund a system which provides, on demand, both contraception and abortion, even to underage girls, whose parents they do not inform.

That is an abomination, the possibility of which conservative Americans (unlike conservative Englishmen) still have a chance to vote against within their political system. In a democracy, we all have to take the rough with the smooth, of course. Most have a choice of two or at most three viable political parties within which a spectrum of sometimes opposing views exist (in England, at the next election, it will be down to two again; the Lib Dems will be wiped out, and good riddance).

There is a real dilemma for us. What is one to do, in this country, now? Both viable political parties believe in gay marriage, and abortion virtually on demand. What is one to do? Does one simply remove from the electoral equation issues on which there is cross-party agreement, and vote on the rest? I have always believed that one has an absolute moral obligation to exercise one’s vote: but for whom, here, now? That’s a non-rhetorical question; I am open to guidance.

Meanwhile, let us praise the land of the free, where such issues may still be voted on, and where a Catholic must now, surely, vote for Mitt Romney (who is, incidentally, a descendant of the great and splendid English portrait painter George Romney; that gets my vote, Mormon or not).

  • http://twitter.com/LaCatholicState la catholic state

    No…as the basic requirement for marriage is there according to Christ’s definition in Matthew 19.  There is one man and one woman.  That the marriage will be NATURALLY infertile cannot be helped and is part of God’s design. 

    So no law of God’s is being trangressed.

  • Bellarmine

     It’s all charity and good will on Fox News, isn’t it?

  • Bellarmine

     It’s all charity and good will on Fox News, isn’t it?

  • Bellarmine

     Rachel, Read the Sermon on the Mount, and then talk about self-interest!

  • Bellarmine

     Then you obviously haven’t prayed with the, read them, or understand them!

  • JabbaPapa

    hmmm OK that’s a debatable argument :-)

    But then, has he chosen the fact that the current Conservative Party seems to be pursuing a political agenda that he does not feel he can accept ?

    Also — if more mainstream voters joined UKIP, wouldn’t the far right racists end up being progressively marginalised and etc ?

    More deeply, what is the meaning of democracy in a system where various political lobbies and politicratic ideologies will set the agenda, rather than voters ?

    viz. the failure and breakdown of the Athenian democratic system in 5th/6th centuries BC

  • JabbaPapa

    Marriage is in fact the social recognition of a basic biological reality — that babies come from mummies and daddies ; NOT from whatever mutually shared emotional and sexual needs of whichever individuals.

  • JabbaPapa

    The issues with the LDS are small in number, but they do exist — and they are offensive to any sort of mainstream Christians.

    1) Mormonism is not a form of Christianity, by virtue of the fact that it flat out denies several of the most core teachings of the Christ Himself

    2) Whilst not actually being a cult, because it does not use any actually coercitive mind control techniques, it does nevertheless use some brainwashing techniques during the indoctrination period, tempered by the fact that their purpose is not ultimately coercitive in nature — contrast with Jehovah’s Witnesses, who definitely are a cult, whilst LDS is an actual religion, despite the fact that some similar indoctrination methods are deployed by both groups

    3) The FACT that Joseph Smith was just such an OBVIOUS con-man and fraud, and that the “holy texts” of the LDS are provided with the same blatant degree of inauthenticity and fabrication as those of Scientology

    4) Such grossly offensive practices as the “post mortem ‘baptisms’ ” that are practiced by some members of your religion — I mean cripes, one group even went so far as to have the Christ Himself “baptised” in this manner !!!!

    ———-

    Having said that, it would be quite wrongful not to recognise that the LDS is genuinely a religion, as well as being wrongful not to respect the religious beliefs of its adherents ; just don’t act all surprised when, several of your co-religionaries having basically barfed all over several core tenets and teachings of Christianity, some Christians can view it as being a particularly blasphemous one.

  • MCarroll

     Yankee,

    Never was a truer word said.

  • Guest

    Good pick but Dems will try to DEMONIZE him.

  • Alan

    I am always unhappy about voting for someone because of his/her religious allegiance.  We should base our vote on the candidate’s policies overall, giving most weight to those issues of most concern to us (which may, or may not, be “pro-life” issues); not only that, but we should also consider the likelihood of that candidate actually being able to enact those policies.  The US President actually has less power (relatively speaking) than the UK Prime Minister, because of the different systems.  So if Romney or Obama promise something, even if they mean it, they may still be unable to get it through Congress.
    As regards Ryan (who in all likelihood will never become president), while I agree with his pro-life stand I disagree with his economic policies, which I would have to take into account were I an American.
    Finally, I would strongly object to any official Catholic Church campaign supporting Romney/Ryan; if anything it would shift me more towards Obama.  Fortunately, or otherwise, I do not have a vote.

  • GFFM

    This response is the usual hysterical response of the crying and whining left. When the left has no argument, Paul, they name call and accuse candidates of killing. All is personalized and all is political. Look in the mirror to see delusional and idiotic. When lefties see their positions as losing ground they scream and thrown tantrums and demean people who disagree with them. ridiculous.

  • Jeannine

    I have & I know John Ryan’s philosophy which clearly you do not.

  • paulsays

    Is your definition of whining being confronted with facts that don’t sit comfortably with your world view? 

    Guns are deadly weapons, and do much more damage than other weapons. I wonder how many people would be dead at the Colorado movie premier if the assailant had only had a knife?  - maybe 1 or 2 people maximum. If gun laws are meant to protect the public, then why didn’t a member of the audience shoot the madman?

    There needs to be a debate on US gun-laws, because so many people die in the US die because of them. Be it madmen like this, or children finding their father’s gun.

    Just take a look at your statistics, it is shameful that so many people should die, when regulation could be put in place – even minor restrictions could save hundreds of lifes.

    (firearm related deaths per 100,000)
    United Kingdom: 0.46
    United States: 10.27

    Over 20 times the gun deaths of a country with gun control, I’m not advocating the UK’s gun laws, I’m simply advocating that military assualt rifles with 100 shot magazines cannot be justified from either a sport, or a self-defense point of view. Please tell me why they can be? 

  • paulsays

    I’m sorry to disappoint you Jabba Papa but your opinion does not dictate the meaning of marriage in the law! (and neither does my opinion either) As I said before civil marriage is defined by judges and an elected parliament – as informed by the will of the people. 

    Currently it is between a man and a woman only, later it may change.

  • paulsays

    Not to be a pedant but an ‘argument’ by definition is debatable!

    You do make an intersting counter argument however. The same of course could be said about more extreme parties like the BNP – but I would hope the you wouldn’t advocate he join them.

    The way I see it people view UKIP as simply the ‘BNP Lite’ which is perhaps unfair, but from what I can see the primary reason that people vote for UKIP is over immigration, and Nytor doesn’t really even agree with UKIPs immigration policy – which is UKIPS’s main focus.

    He would be best to vote conservative and hope that backbenchers manage to claw back some control.

  • Alexander VI

    Mormonism is a complete joke.

  • Meema

    “I’m a Catholic” (says Rachel).    Who would have guessed?

  • Meema

    It usually surfaces in most of his articles.

  • Rachel

    Are you suggesting only Catholics believe in religious freedom and aren’t bigoted against other religions like Mormonism, MEEma?

  • Rachel

    To Bellarmine-
    It’s all pedophila and coverups in the liberal wing of the Catholic Church, isn’t it.

  • rjt1

    I wouldn’t regard marriage as a human construct. 

  • rjt1

    But what if ‘the people’ change their mind?

  • paulsays

    Well in a legal sense it is. Civil marriage that is.

    The sacrement of marriage under the catholic Church of course is not a human construct.

  • Prudenter

    They are all of the same system..The New World Order…….Catholic’s are just ignorant and fail to believe.   They even think Benny is the pope…

  • Bellarmine

    Really? I thought those two things were more prevalent in the conservative countries, like Ireland, Poland, USA, and Australia, and among priests and religious of the Old Order?

  • Bellarmine

     I know its results, as I have spent my entire ministry in areas of great deprivation, where Christ is present in the poor and voiceless. And i am sorry, but the saints would not agree with Mr Ryan’s cold, clinical, market approach, which is designed to make the rich richer, obscenely so.

  • Rachel

    Doesn’t matter what country they are from…they all share the same ideology.  They are all LEFTWING Catholics…who have hurt children and covered up and hurt the Catholic church.

  • Stephen

    William Oddie: “…a Catholic must now, surely, vote for Mitt Romney…”  Cardinal Dolan:  “Catholics wouldn’t have a problem voting for a Mormon in the White House”

    Oddie and Dolan, you sure don’t speak for this faithful Catholic.  It’s obvious that Romney, if elected president, would not bear witness to or defend God’s Commandments and the Gospel of Jesus Christ anymore than President Obama does.

    1.) Romney:  “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose, and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard.”

    2.) Romney has voiced explicit support for the sodomite agenda. He has advocated for domestic same-sex partnership benefits and “equal rights” which is same-sex marriage in everything but name. He also supports adoption for gay couples.

    3.) Mormons:  a.) Do not believe in original sin or hell; b.)  Believe that God and Jesus were separate physical people” who dwelled on the earth. God was Jesus’ father, and both men died. c.) Have a history of identifying the Catholic Church as the “great and abominable church”

  • GFFM

     My bloviator comment is being borne out: Biden today said that Ryan and Romney want African Americans back in chains. Biden the Bloviator and Obama the thug.

  • GFFM

     There has been one bishop especially, Bishop Blair from Stockton, who has woefully misrepresented Ryan’s budget. Dolan, in my view, could be much better on the financial crisis. His total effort so far is passable. The avuncular jollity has to go. We need gravity and intelligence.

  • JabbaPapa

    The social recognition of a basic biological reality is not something that any laws can possibly dismantle.

  • JabbaPapa

    No — the sort of cronyism that motivated the cover-ups in most places (the US scandal had different motivations) is possible in every political environment.

    Oh, and the US is of course center stage for the current modernist revisionism, viz. the LCWR “nuns” scandal…

  • LocutusOP

     I’m not a fan of Mitt Romney, or Paul Ryan. William oddie’s position makes sense only when considering the alternative – which is something we cannot to ignore. I don’t defend his stance because it implies we can only ever choose between 2 degrees of evil, insted of choosing good.

    As for Cardinal Dolan…His statement was that Catholics generally should not regard voting for a Mormon as a problem – not exactly Mitt Romney in particular  (he might have addressed Mitt Romney on another occasion, but I haven’t run across it).

    I’ll, however, defend Cardinal Dolan’s view that a person can be of good will without being a Christian – that is indeed Church doctrine. If the person in mind respects religious liberty and will not advocate things which are contrary to the moral law, then surely it doesn’t matter what he believes about the Catholic Church or Jesus Christ, because at least the space the Church needs to articulate its message will not be impeded.

    Mind you, I am far from an uncritical endorser of Cardinal Dolan’s acitons, but on this particular case I can’t fault him. His statement is true regardless of the context in which it is said.

  • LocutusOP

    Your presumption that “cuts to poor women = abortion” rests fundamentally on the principle that it is the government’s job to pay people not to kill others.

    Most (I wwould argue all) people who kill their unborn don’t do it because they can’t afford them…If that was the case, we would have precisely zero such killings in the U.K. and Scandinavia, given the generous ‘welfare’ provisions in these countries.

    However, just to be clear…Even if that was the reason, it would still be wrong, because the number of people who get pregnant out of non-consesual sexual relations is miniscule at best, and even for them, two wrongs don’t make a right – there are options which do not involve taking human life.

  • LocutusOP

    Unless his position is that the uninsured should never be helped by anyone then we can’t brand his position as un-Catholic.

     To the extent he says that federal government should less and allow people to be generous with their funds then his position is certainly Catholic (I’m not claiming he says this).

    We need to get rid of the notion that it is Catholic to petition the government to take money from some people (on the government’s terms) to help others…So that we don’t have to take the trouble of doing it ourselves. Though there may be good reason for it at times, it should not be our default position.

  • LocutusOP

     I would hate to be in the situation.

    Maybe if the bishops, priests and lay religious did their job there would be space for a viable candidate who does not force use to choose one moral evil over another.

    However, I write this more because he seems to be another pro-war conservative, and not because of his financial policy advocating cutbacks – which is long overdue.

  • LocutusOP

    How nice it would be to be able to ignore the circus that is the American elections.

    We can’t for one reason though: The U.S. president determines the foreign policy.

    I don’t care much for whatever evils they advocate within their borders, but since this current administration has made it a priority to promote sexual immorality and the killing of the unborn abroad, I am obliged to hope that it loses and that we never see the likes of it again. Of course, the U.K. promote these things too, but it’s hard to see how they would if the U.S. was against it.

    With that out of the way, maybe we could get back to simply opposing American war policies – which both parties advocate.

  • Jonathan West

    This article is further evidence (if ever it was needed) that the Catholic church is becoming a single-issue pressure group on the subject of abortion. Why else would there be such effusive praise for Paul Ryan, somebody who if he were to gain power would put into effect the social theories of Ayn Rand?

  • paulsays

    ‘Unless his position is that the uninsured should never be helped by anyone’

    Paul Ryan’s position is that tens of millions of people should not be helped by the government, as they are now. Paul Ryan wants mediaid to be cut by $800 Billion, medicaid is the lackluster service that struggles to give those in dire need the most basic of help. Its estimated that these cuts will put an additional 44 million people in dire need – with no care at all.

    ‘federal government should (do) less and allow people to be generous with their funds then his position is certainly Catholic ‘

    The government allows the people to be just as generous as they want to. With 40 million currently uninsured there is a huge surplus of those in need – and many more than that numbered are insured but struggle to pay co-pays and deductables to long term illness. It is unfortunate that so far charities have been inept at solving such a great problem.

    Having more governement help does not hinder private giving, the UK that operates healthcare under the (very popular) NHS, still gets many donations torwards equipment – and the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children in London receives tens of millions of donations each year.

    The position of charities interested in helping those in need of healthcare is that government needs to step in and help. People who work in healthcare charities want peoples’ lifes to improve – they do not care whether the money comes from their donors or the governement, currently private donations are just not working.

  • paulsays

    Laws are created through the will of the people, laws reflect social recognition of what people define marriage to be.

  • W Oddie

    Where is your evidence for this obsessive accusation (others have made it)  that Paul Ryan has been influenced by this “Ayn Rand”? Others have made this accusation. According to Wikipedia( this “Rand” is unknown here) “Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected all forms of faith and religion. She supported rational and ethical egoism, and rejected ethical altruism.” How could any Catholic conceivably have been influenced by this ludicrous crank? What are you talking about?  Kindly explain yourself.

  • W Oddie

    Ayn Rand be damned. See above.

  • LocutusOP

    I am simply addressing whether wanting to cut back on a plan which is unaffordable is un-Catholic…

    Of course “charities interested in helping those in need of healthcare” want governments to step in and help – their survival depend on it so anything else would be strange.

    Fact is that nothing in Ryan’s budget prevents people from donating everything they get in reduced taxes and a preferential option for the poor does not mean that the government is obligated to step in and use money it doesn’t have…

    Furthremore, to claim that Ryan’s plan does nothing about healthcare is demonstrably false because (if what I’ve read is true) his plan will allow individuals to choose providers, which is what he believes will lower the costs. It is, in fact, which includes a plan to restructure medicare – not abandon it -, as one of many other measures….The aim of the whole plan, of course, is to decrease government spending as a proportion of GDP – a laudable aim on any day.

    But if I may re-iterate….It is not un-Catholic to stop spending money that one does not have, not even for a good cause, nor is it Catholic doctrine that we must spend everything we have on medical care, or even that the state should be a major provider or player in the provision of medical care.

    That’s not to say that everything in his plan is in accordance with Catholic teaching, or even that he is a man of good will, but it is insincere to claim that his plan is un-Catholic because it includes cuts.

    Nothing in Catholic doctrine calls for an ever expanding state – not even when the state can afford it.

  • Jonathan West

    Read a copy of Atlas Shrugged and learn all about her philosophy of “rugged individualism” also known as “the virtue of selfishness”. And take note of the fact that in a novel of such epic sweep, there is something strangely missing – children. There is no place in the novel for anybody who is not in a position to make their own way in life for any reason, temporary or permanent.

    For Rand, the Good Samaritan is not only misguided, but actually did something wicked.Ryan’s attachment to the philosophy is well-documented, as is his proposal for swingeing cuts in the welfare programs of the US in order to pay for further tax cuts. The recent Republican budget proposal, drafted by Ryan and endorsed by Romney, would cut spending on the poor by about $5 trillion over 10 years from Medicaid, welfare, food stamps etc, and award a $4 trillion tax cut to the rich over the same period. Ryan claimed that the bill was crafted using his Catholic faith.Dana Millbank in the Washington Post described the reaction of the US Catholic bishops.

    A week after Ryan’s boast, the bishops sent letters to Congress saying that the Ryan budget, passed by the House, “fails to meet” the moral criteria of the Church, namely its view that any budget should help “the least of these” as the Christian Bible requires: the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the jobless. “A just spending bill cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor and vulnerable persons,” the bishops wrote.

    But you clearly are so euphoric about Ryan’s abortion stance that none of this matters to you.

  • paulsays

     
    Charities do not rely on the government in order to survive. In fact their role is diminished if the government helps more people.

    But the fact is the altruistic people who run charities are pragmatic, and not dogmatic – they just want to help people that desperately need help and treatment – that’s why so many healthcare charities supported ‘Obamacare’ passing through the Supreme Court: such as The American Cancer Society, The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association.

    One of the most ironic things in Ryan’s budget is that massive cuts to health services to the most very despirate, are matched by tax cuts that will help the very richest! If Ryan is so interested in sorting out the budget deficit – then why make tax cuts?! Sort out the budget by reducing the tax take – sure that makes sense.

    On your next point, my alledged incorrect use of the word ‘nothing’, well of course all politicians have a ‘plan’ on healthcare – or else thet would be unelectable. What would have been a better way of expressing it would be to say that Ryan will do ‘nothing’ to improve healthcare – rather destroy much of it.

    The fact is Ryan will slash every and any spending he can get his hands on, and in healthcare that cannot be done – as the population ages, and healthcare technology becomes ever more advanced more money has to be spent, not to mention a pointless and ideological reform of the structure of medicaid and medicare – two of the most efficient state institutions.

    Your next point: ‘The aim of the whole plan, of course, is to decrease government spending as a proportion of GDP – a laudable aim on any day’

    Well, firstly the Bible, nor the Church touch on whether state spending is ‘laudable’ or not, so in the context of this being a Catholic discussion I will not touch on that. The main thrust of your point here is that Ryan is trying to decrease spending – as I covered above, he chooses a very poor method by reducing the tax take to those who can afford it the most. A great deal of State legislatures have cut taxes year after year, and if you do even some minor research you can see just what a failure it creates in terms of huge and mounting deficits.

    Your next point – that the Church does not call for the State to be the provider of medical care. Yes that is certainly true. The Church however teaches us that we must look after each other, and that we must try and create a society of charity and goodwill – where people are not left ill or in pain without help. There are two ways of helping people – we can give to charity to solve the problem, or we can reform healthcare to make it cheaper to buy, and cover the very poorest who cannot afford any insurance (Obama’s plan).

    Charity has left the US with 40 million not covered. If it was not for the government the figure would be in excess of 90 million people.

  • Bellarmine

    There is something drastically wrong in this publication when Christians are exhorted to vilify and displace a man who loves and protects the poor and needy, and makes sure that they get proper medical attention and security when they are ill and old, and cheers for a man whose philosophy is, in effect, the survival of the fittest, and the exclusion of the losers.
    In the Bible, which is our guide for godly living, “Poor” is mentioned 188 times, as the predilect of God. Widows and their care is mentioned 64 times, and oppression of widows, orphans and the poor is roundly condemned throughout the Old and the New Testament, as is oppression of workers, and unjust withholding of wages. Jesus was beloved of the poor, and on the whole rejected by the establishment, and those who had a lot to lose, especially whe he declared that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, then for a rich man to enter heaven. He included the excluded, especially women, and gave some of them the role of apostle to the apostles.
    In contrast, birth control is not mentioned, except in the case of Onan, and his offense was not to give children to his brother. Jesus never once mentioned sex, but we go on endlessly about it.

  • David Lindsay

    • “I just want to speak to you a little bit about Ayn Rand and what she meant to me in my life and [in] the fight we’re engaged here in Congress. I grew up on Ayn Rand, that’s what I tell people.”

    • “I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are.”

    • “It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged. People tell me I need to start with The Fountainhead then go to Atlas Shrugged. There’s a big debate about that. We go to Fountainhead, but then we move on, and we require Mises and Hayek as well.”

    “But the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if
    I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”

    • “And when you look at the twentieth-century experiment with collectivism — that Ayn Rand, more than anybody else, did such a good job of articulating the pitfalls of statism and collectivism — you can’t find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism than Ayn Rand.”

    • “It’s so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand’s vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are.”

    • “Because there is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through Ayn Rand’s writings and works.”

    • He told Insight on the News on May 24, 1999, that the books he most often rereads are “The Bible, Friedrich von Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.”

    • He told the Weekly Standard on March 17, 2003, “I give out Atlas Shrugged as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it. Well… I try to make my interns read it.”

    • At a February 28, 2009 speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Ryan said Obama was trying “to use this [financial] crisis to move America toward the sort of Europeanized economy… Sounds like something right out of an Ayn Rand novel.”

    You know, the sort of “Europeanized economy” that combines socialised medicine with either far more restrictive abortion laws than in the United States, or else outright bans, the only notable exception being here in by far the most Americanised country in Europe.

    If you have the other fruits of Catholic Social Teaching, then of course you can have abortion laws like that, since the situations typically giving rise to abortion are in any case far less likely to present themselves. Britain was like that for a generation between the end of the War and the enactment of the 1967 Abortion Act, and it is more than notable that the legalisation of abortion up to birth was enacted by Margaret Thatcher.

    Much of the Continent still is like that. But America never has been. And America certainly would not be under Paul Ryan. Catholic enthusiasm for him is in fact monomania, which is the opposite of catholicity. It is, as Jonathan West rightly points out, “further evidence that the Catholic Church is becoming a single-issue pressure group on the subject of abortion.” The concept of single issues being in itself utterly uncatholic and un-Catholic. Just ask the Pope.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1797982123 Stephen Montoya

    Bellarmine, you’re asserting that Pres. Obama “loves and protects the poor and needy”?  Please do your homework first before mindlessly parroting campaign rhetoric and Democrat talking points.  Your comments regarding Jesus and the Bible are puerile.  Please at least peruse a Catholic Holy Bible, an approved exposition of the Bible, and the Catholic Catechism before naively sounding off on these matters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1797982123 Stephen Montoya

    Jonathan West/David Lindsay: “The Catholic church is becoming a single-issue pressure group on the subject of abortion”  “Ryan will abandon the poor.”  Some of the odd comments in response to this article sure do reflect the fact that the Catholic Church in the UK has collapsed–that this nation is spiritually bankrupt.  Where is all this “pressure” from the Catholic Church that you stress in your comments?  Cardinal Dolan admitted that they stopped talking about abortion and contraception decades ago.  I’ve attended mass daily the last several years in a variety of nations–never, not even in one homily was abortion ever mentioned.  Why all the concern about Ryan kicking the poor to the curb?  You sound like many of our Catholic Bishops in the States:  You love, trust and rely on the government more than God.  Moreover, you take the responsibility for the corporal works of mercy from the Church and Catholics and foist it on the government.  You also failed to put Ryan’s comments about Ayn Rand and “individualism” in the proper context.  You seem to forget that we face the particular judgement alone.  Also, “God will reward each one according to his works” Rom 2:6—the government won’t be at our side holding our hand during our particular judgement and God will be focused on our works not the works of the government.