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Catholic thinkers examine Tea Party movement and Church teaching Comments

CNA spoke about the movement with Dr. Steven Schneck, Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America, and Fr. Robert Sirico, president of the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Acton Institute. Continue Reading

51 - 60 of 68 Comments

  1. Bulbajer
    4 years ago

    Vance, you say that people are angry with the Democratic leadership and administration. That is indeed true. But did you read my comment on the other article regarding evidence for certain complaints made by the Tea Party? And I didn't hear many people protesting Obama when he bailed out the auto industry. I heard a lot of people protesting the auto industry. Maybe that's what you meant? Because, really, whose fault is it? And it's in the auto industry's best interest that they get saved by the government when they fail like they did. I myself was not sure whether they deserved it, but I guess it was because of all the people who work for the companies.

  2. vance
    4 years ago

    Bulbajer, "We can't take an 'America First' attitude"?? You said in your comment that the illegal aliens are fleeing their insecure homes for the land of the free. How did the 'Land of-the-Free' get that way?

  3. vance
    4 years ago

    Grimes, again nice try BUUTT your sophmoric gribble falls a little flat. Grimes, did you realize that your guys, Obama, Reid, Pelosi, actually created the Tea Party movement. Yes, they did. Do you know how?? They're despots. They told the American people that they were going to bankrupt America with a 1.7 trillion dollar lie and ram a national socialist healthcare system down their throats whether they like or not. Unlike you, they read the Obamacare bill and took issue with the fact that a government panel will dictate what kind of medical services they will receive. Senior citizens were not over-joyed to see $500 billion dollars stripped from medicare and an additional 35 million people added to the rolls. Unlike you, they did the math. The seniors were also concerned about an "End-of Life" government panel making decisions about whether you should die or be saved. After watching Obama take over General Motors and Chrysler, take over our banking system ( CITIBANK), watching their home values fall through the floor, watching their 401 K's go out the window, lost their jobs, losing their businesses, loose their homes, they figured out fast that we are losing our country. SOOO what happened? The hard working men and women of America rose up from their couches and took to the streets in protest. Now I do realize that there are mental giants like you and sara who salivate over the thought of a government official telling you what to do and how to live your life ( that is, if the government man thinks that you should actually live ). This gives you a sense of security since you can't function independently.

  4. John Grimes
    4 years ago

    Nino: That tea must be indeed "brisk," perhaps even intoxicating, if we are to judge by the errantry of your prose. I suppose it's heartening in a way that so many soi-disant conservatives at this site write with a Joycean approach to composition. At least the author of Finnegan's Wake was original and literate, unlike most of the well-known plagiarizing scribblers who characterize right-wing politics in this country today.

  5. Nino Baldino
    4 years ago

    Yes as a member of the tea party movement..the very first high school in America to have a teen tea party club in California has accepted my teen creed and has it posted on its facebook..This teen creed calls for respect for ones parents,choosing companions with care,not to judge by race ,creed or religion but to fight intolerance with driving,and peer pressure...some 9 in some above I guess this is not good enough to qualify as a Christian movement or much less 'Catholic' nonsense..this is an old trick of the left to divide us so that ,since no one wants to be called names like Sarah does above..we remain silent and thus contribute to our own enslavement..well I for one am not fooled,and if I am the only one on this site who is fighting for his own,his wife,his children,his gran-children etc etc..then stand aside and dont blow psycho-babble smoke into my face I am a human endowed with a soul from God,,not the state as Hitler ,Stalin,Mao and so many in power today preach.I have a letter hitting abortion on demand on and is being read by millions....ahh this tea is brisk ...

  6. John Grimes
    4 years ago

    Thank you too, Sarah, for a post that is both thoughtful and fully Catholic. Since you remember to be Catholic first, last, and always, your words warm the soul with the heat of truth.

  7. Sara
    4 years ago

    I appreciate this critique of the Tea Party. Catholics need to remember that this is in many ways a Protestant movement, and thus espouses hard line capitalism, which is not in line with Catholic teaching. To say this country "rewards the poor" is obviously spoken by someone who is not poor. It seems like we have a lot of social programs, but anyone who has had to survive on them or had to seek help, anyone who is disabled or who has seen the almost slavery-like rights employers have over their employees could hardly say this country rewards the poor. I've heard many Tea Party people (and Constitution and Republican party) basically blame the poor and disabled for being poor and disabled, and because THEY can get by without health insurance or have a great job that gives it, you could too if you really wanted.

    Not all government intervention or charity is socialism. "As part of subsidiarity, however, it is also true that if local government or the private resources of civil society are unable to address the needs of the common good, then the national government is morally bound to respond,"is absolutely correct and is part of the teaching of Catholic social encyclicals even prior to VII. If employers refuse to treat their employees justly (child labor, unjust firing, immoral activity, etc.), the government is morally bound to step in. The great Christian rulers have always exercised charity as part of their office.

  8. Eddie A
    4 years ago

    I'm always amazed at how the Pope's words can be twisted to meet an agenda whether the topic is condom use or healthcare. The Pope speaking of the , "moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens" is somenow taken to mean the Pope endorses government mandated and/or nationalized healthcare. Really?!?!

  9. Larry
    4 years ago

    It's curious that the author examines the Tea Party which is at this time a sentiment among many people energized by some similar concerns rather than something that's formally a group or way of thinking. I wonder how many other approaches or thinking sentiments he has compared with the "Subsidiarity" of the social justice concept in the Catholic Church. I think Social Justice has been defined and taken over by the sentiments of the 60s and 70s influenced by the left liberals. It's not that this country does not take care of poor or disadvantaged and even others around the world. How good a job can be argued but both in government and among individuals, the impulse is there.

    A while back, I saw a movie called "A Beautiful Mind" and in it John Nash, a mathematician, grapples with the economic theory of John Adams, a prevailing financial theory at the time. He changed the basis of the theory - using game theory - and Nash said Adams was incomplete. It is "each person interacting with others while looking out for his or her own interests and needs" and added "while looking out for the interests and needs of the others". That expanded our understanding of how best to deal with others and ourselves. At the end of life, it is what we did and how 'we' ourselves did things in the world and our motivations that counts (you can serve the world and loose your soul). It is us individually that God looks at.

    The next thing I remember is a John Stossel program that looked at how things are generally run in the private sector in the USA - Is American #1? - It is learning to develop things and services for others that get them to buy them for their wants and needs that gets the system to work well - keeping others in mind while we pursue our own interests. He featured a cattle rancher who worked to raise and sell his cattle for his and his family needs and interests (make money) that formed the beginning of the chain that gave the New Yorker the steak he wanted for dinner. All along many people are involved doing many things to make this possible each in his or her self interest - slaughter house, box makers, truck drivers, uniform makers, makers of knives and air conditioning for trucks, tire makers, etc.

    The end result must include a concern for the 'other' especially the poor, disadvantaged, downtrodden, the least of these but the beginning is about what gets the human spirit to soar so we can spread the wealth we create. Capitalism has helped more people around the world out of poverty more than any other system yet devised and we in the USA have helped more people from other countries than any other country in history. Yes, to whom much is given much is expected - I know. But we do it because of who we've become as Americans and the type of people who have come here. Lots of other countries have wealth or have had it and did not do as good a job as we have, even those greatly influenced by the Catholic Church in the past. This is not self-congratulations, its the truth.

    Giving to the poor and taking care of their needs is an important point as part of Catholicism but that is not the driving force to get the wealth so we can take care of those in need. Mother Teresa cared for many of life's downtrodden, all with the help and wealth of those who had the finances to help her.

    The Catholic Church helps us understand whom to take care of and think about in our lives to expand our natural self focus, but it is not good in designing or creating a financial or economic system to live in so we have the ability to help those in need. We are part of the Mystical Body of Christ. What we do to the least of these we do to Christ. We all sin, make mistakes no matter what we are doing and we must use our Catholic system to make up for what we do wrong that tears at the Mystical Body of Christ and grow our connections with and concern for the Body. The systems we use in society to get the economics to work well for us and others is a different matter. Not everything a wife or husband do in a marriage is helpful for the marriage or family, but they can do many things to get back on track or patch things to solidify the connections among family memebers. The goal is not to be perfect, never making mistakes, but to know when we make mistakes, learn from them and make up for mistakes (and sins) or fix what went wrong because of our mistakes. We are human and are learning all our lives and correcting for what we and others have done that went against the interests and good of others. Join the club!

  10. John Grimes
    4 years ago

    Thank you for publishing this healthy corrective to much that the Tea people stand for. I especially thank Dr. Schneck for reminding the readers at this site, many of them more right-wing than Catholic at times that, "[o]n the issue of national health care, which many Tea Party participants have opposed,...[one must note] Pope Benedict's recent insistence that health care is an inalienable right and governments are obliged to ensure universal health care for all citizens regardless of their ability to pay." Just as they once ignored the condemnation by two popes of Bush's unjust aggression against Iraq, many Catholic Teapotters are wont to ignore certain aspects of Catholic social teaching.

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