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U.S. Political Season Begins: 'Morally Coherent' Catholics Can Change this Nation Comments

Catholics are not one more "interest group" which can be polled, pandered to and bought. Our social obligation is to promote the true common good, not just use the slogan to sound "catholic" as happened in the last political cycle. We need to promote the truth as taught by the Church no matter what it is labeled in the political parlance of the hour. Our political participation must be committed to human life and dignity, marriage and the ... Continue Reading

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  1. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Bulbajer: What you are in effect trying to say is, 'trust us, our brand of socialism is benign; we know what is best for the society and economy as a whole.' And at once you set upon an impossible task. The only result that is certain is that clever minds set out to beguile the unsuspecting under the pretext of "good intentions;" the only true benefit devolving to the 'socialist' organizers themselves in the emoluments attending the "privileged" offices into which they have been carried. The task is impossible because it requires the government "planner" to avail himself of so daunting an amount of "statistics" that the collection, analysis, and "planning" fails to keep up with the market. It produces a dreary existence; my ability to improve my condition dependent, not upon my own effort, but on the approval of some closeted and aloof functionary. I do not speculate; history speaks to this. Read "The Forgotten Man" by Amity Shlaes. What works is this; 'today, with the 50 cents in my pocket I decide to buy an apple instead of second-hand shoes, for which I will save to get on another day --- and that I will continue in this nowhere job of subsistence pay that is mine today, knowing that I will improve my condition tomorrow through my own diligence, integrity, and thrift.' No one but the individual person knows what is best for themselves. This is what "economics" really is, the science of individual choice. The foundation of Socialism and its "lesser forms" is the desire to make man "equal" in all aspects of his condition. Vain envy. Though "equal" before God in our human dignity and, through His Grace, hopefully achieving our transcendent end of Eternal Life, God did not grant "equal" faculties to all. He gives His gifts as He will. To those who are given much, much will be expected. And an account of what we have been given will be expected. Should "Socialism" prevail it will eventually proceed, even from its lesser and purportedly more benign state, to a totalitarian state. In his 1878 encyclical, "Socialism, Communism, Nihilism," Pope Leo XIII said: "Our glorious predecessor, Pius IX, of happy memory... denounced by name the plague of Socialism thence bursting forth. // For although the Socialists, turning to evil use the Gospel itself so as to deceive more readily the unwary, have been wont to twist it to their meaning... // You are further aware that the theories of socialism would quickly destroy this family life... // More wisely and profitably the Church recognizes the existence of inequality amongst men, who are by nature unlike in mental endowment and strength of body, and even in amount of fortune; and she enjoins that the right of property and of its disposal, derived from nature, should in the case of every individual remain intact and inviolate... Nor does she, on this account, loving mother as she is, omit solicitude for the poor and fail to provide for their needs; nay, taking them to her arms with maternal affection... she holds them in great account, brings them aid to the utmost of her power, takes thought to have erected in every land in their behoof homes and refuges where they can be received, nurtured, and tended; and takes these charitable foundations under her protecting care. Moreover, she lays the rich under strict command to give of their superfluity to the poor... Who then does not perceive that herein lies the best means of appeasing the undying conflict between rich and poor?... And when they shall have recognized that the Church of Christ is possessed of a power to stave off the pest of Socialism, too mighty to be found in human enactments or in the strong hand of the civil power or in military force, let them re-establish that Church in the condition and liberty needed in order to be able to exercise her most salutary influence for the good of society in general... Moreover, it behooves you to strive earnestly that the children of the Catholic Church venture not to lend their name, nor in any way to give countenance to this hateful sect..." --- It isn't just that Pope Leo XIII gives us a good deal to think upon, he is unequivocal in his calling Socialism a 'plague and pest.' Who, then, would discount his admonition to not "IN ANY WAY" sanction Socialism? And that, I'm sure, extends to its lesser forms.

  2. Bulbajer
    4 years ago

    Pete, remember, I said Obama is "at most" a social democrat. I would very surprised if Obama decided to take over GM. And the Wikipedia article on social democracy covers its whole history, and is written from a world view. Socialism nowadays is much more accepted in comparison to its first years. Earlier, since socialists tended to stick together, because of their small influence. The first two Worker's Internationals included both socialists and communists, working together. After the Russian Revolution, socialists and communists disassociated themselves from each other for the most part, but social democrats and democratic socialists remained close. They remain close to this day, evidenced by the Socialist International, which includes both democratic socialist and social democratic parties. But nevertheless, true social democrats have no intention of eliminating capitalism; rather, they intend to reform it. Democratic socialists intend to gradually replace capitalism. The distinction between democratic socialists and social democrats has only arisen in relatively recent years. And another thing: we Americans are actually more right-leaning in general than most of the rest of the world, especially Europe. Social democrats are considered center-left in Europe, wheras we would place them further left. And we Americans also tend to favor moderate policies more; our two major and only influential parties are center-left and center-right, wheras most countries have a left-wing party and/or a right-wing party. So social democrats in this country are much more moderate than social democrats in Europe.
    If you still don't believe me, try the Conservapedia article on social democracy. I don't trust that website, but maybe you will.

  3. mgm.
    4 years ago

    I,am sure the bishops recieve the best medical care available when they need it and I,am also sure they never see a bill.Guys like me who work the fish fries make that so .I, am a 4th degree Knight of Columbus ,last year I had the all too American experience of declaring bankruptcy because of medical cost,both hips replaced. I was sick for years .I realize now after reading the letters above I got what I deserved ,I had sinned by voting Democratic,please ask your readers to pay for my soul.

  4. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Bulbajer: "They respect private property." No, they don't. Not when they seek to "redistribute wealth." What I have "produced" through my work is my property. To "take" the wealth my work has produced and give it to someone else who lives off the government dole does not respect my property, it is "theft." Here I would again invite you and others who may be unsure that this is indeed "theft" to read Frederic Bastiat's "The Law."

  5. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Bulbajer: Deception. "Social democrat" is a way of saying 'I am a socialist, I just don't want you to know that I am.' I looked at what Wikipedia had on this, and that's pretty much the conclusion that is reached. It is socialism brought about, not violently, but gradually or "evolved." Kinda like 'boiling a frog alive;' the result still being 'frog legs.' The "mixed economy" espoused isn't really. Wikipedia says that what social democrats are after is to give a 'head nod' to capitalism but work for "the nationalization of large businesses [GM under Obama], the implementation of social programs (public education, universal health care, and the like) [ObumaCare] and the partial redistribution of wealth through the permanent establishment of a welfare state based on progressive taxation." That, my friend, is unequivocally "socialism."

  6. Jack Gordon
    4 years ago

    Mark: Of course, the question then becomes, What exactly is "pro-abortion?" Was Little Bush's father pro-abortion because he appointed pro-abort judges? And, how about anti-aborts who are pro-homosexualists or who champion euthanasia? What about those pols who favor some abortions but also favor restricting others? I think you are wrong and it isn't as simple as it might at first appear.

  7. Mark
    4 years ago

    Wow. Lots of words in the comments section. Not much content, though. This isn't rocket science, folks. It's very simple. If a candidate is pro-abortion, a Catholic cannot in good conscience vote for that candidate. Political party and related labels are irrelevant.

  8. Bulbajer
    4 years ago

    Pete, I can't argue much against your first comment. However, in regards to the second: I would indeed be making a contradiction, if social democracy was a type of socialism. Basically, social democracy favors a mixed economy. I myself don't trust the government enough to be a true social democrat, but at least they're not socialists. They respect private property.

  9. John Grimes
    4 years ago

    Were it not so sad, all the talk about the evils of socialism on this site would be funny. I just returned home from VA, a beautiful state full of friendly and attractive people. But VA is also a state sinking under military bases; if the Pentagon went out of business tomorrow at noon, Robert Lee's home state would collapse ten seconds later. Now, THAT, my friends, is real socialism, military socialism of the kind old Kaiser Bill could only dream. The American right-wing, never a haven for sanity or logic, simply cannot see this. Its denizens, Catholic and otherwise, continue to denounce "socialism" while they support vociferously the warfare/welfare state, and they never even suspect the searing contradiction in their thinking.

    Personally, I can't stand the murdering hypocrisy of the Democrat Party of today. But that doesn't mean I am fool enough to fall for the nauseous pro-military pseudo-patriotic cant emanating from the only other party available in this democracy. I say a pox on both their infernal houses. Come November, I will "cast" a truly patriotic "vote" of abstention as my way of telling both Republicrats and Democans to go pound sand. In a state where only harlots, thieves, and lunatics are deemed fit for office, there is a certain comfort in silence.

  10. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Bulbajer: You say, "that In practice, most of the types (of socialism) tend to be weaker than expected, or just plain cave in to the stronger types, like Maoism or Stalinism." And previously you said, "but I can argue that he (OBAMA) isn't a socialist, and certainly not a Marxist. He is at most a social democrat; he supports stronger government, yes, and he has voiced interest in a fairer economy. That's about it." It would appear that you don't make your argument that, rather, in the end Obama IS a Marxist of the Mao or Stalin ilk. If you still think not, then make your argument.

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