Do Republicans Deserve Catholic Support?

cross-GOP

I can recall a time when I disliked being referred to as “a Republican.” Although I have consistently voted Republican throughout my adult life, I preferred to stress to friends and relatives that I was a Catholic and a philosopher, but that I had no special loyalty to any political party. Evidently this attitude is common among young people today. I also find it to be quite common among faithful Catholics I know, many of whom resent the Republican Party for one reason or another.

Once I began writing about politics, I had to overcome that particular aversion. Of course, the faith will always be enormously more important to me than any political allegiance. Still, as I slid more and more frequently into the persona of the pundit, I had to resign myself to a level of partisanship that would once have seemed distasteful to me. I understand perfectly, therefore, why friends and colleagues also sometimes prefer to hold politics at arm’s length.

There’s a reason, however, why pundits need to be partisan. It’s not because we’re undiscerning converts to the groupthink of The Party. It’s because our society is locked in a culture war, and to win wars, we need an army. To build an army, we need allies. A political party is simply a network of allies that work together to attain specified temporal ends. Understanding that, I can see now that spurning party association was in some respects just as form of daintiness. Remaining apolitical is a nicely painless way to avoid the taint of association.  At the end of the day, though, it adds up to a refusal to help in the struggle.

Not everyone is called to invest himself intimately in politics, and for some it would be dangerous to do so. Great discernment is needed to work in non-ideal circumstances, finding politically effective messages without sacrificing personal integrity. Those of us who involve ourselves in political struggles ought to pray fervently that God preserve us, lest we betray the faith. I would be humbly grateful if readers would also make it a point, when reading a helpful or enlightening column from any (living) Catholic writer, to say a quick prayer for us that we might have that discernment. Politics is a dirty business.

Nevertheless, I am no longer abashed to announce publicly that I think it right for Catholics, in this time and place, to support the Republican Party.

I appreciate, of course, that the GOP can be criticized on multiple grounds. In fact, I am a much more trenchant critic of the Republican Party now than I was two years ago. Nevertheless, as Catholics we do have some obligation to tend to the well-being of our neighbors and compatriots. In this particular time and place, it will be difficult for Catholics to do this without some form of cooperation with the Republicans. Although I would never wish to see the Church institutionally linked to the GOP in the way that it has historically been connected to the Democrats, I nevertheless think it is a good thing for the laity especially to support conservative politics with enthusiasm and good grace.

This of course does not imply an uncritical willingness to toe every party line. We should by all means work energetically to shape conservative politics for the better. Very little can be done, however, from the stance of a “nose-holding Republican” whose vote is offered only begrudgingly and with perpetual promises that this might be the last time. I understand that religious conservatives often feel used, recognizing that many Republicans would be only too thrilled to operate without them. Such is the nature of alliances; they often put us in company with people we don’t unconditionally love.

Realistically, however, we need to recognize that our power to influence the party is severely diminished when we are perpetually threatening to defect. Of course our loyalty to the GOP should never be absolute, but for the sake of political efficacy, we do need to assure our political allies that we will part ways with them only for grave and well-considered reasons. Without that mutual good will, we have no realistic chance of advancing any political goals.

Two questions naturally arise at this point. First, is it even permissible to offer this level of allegiance to the Republican Party? Second, is there anything to gain by doing so? I will answer the first question in the remainder of this column, and take up the second in my next essay.

Do Republicans Deserve Our Allegiance?
Political parties are large and diverse. Demanding that the party be purged of any person whose views we find morally objectionable is obviously unrealistic. However, it does seem reasonable to suggest that we should not vote for a party that is to all appearances intractably committed to a morally abhorrent view or practice, such that dissent is considered impermissible. There was a time when I was encouraged by the existence of people who seemed genuinely committed to remaining “pro-life Democrats.” That time has passed. The Democrats are utterly intransigent in their commitment to abortion on demand, and as long as this remains true, Catholics should not support them.

I would submit that there is no equivalent tension between the Republican Party and the Church. On every important moral question, it is at least permissible within the Republican Party for Catholics to be advocates for the truth. Of course it might be possible for a particular Republican politician to be unsupportable in virtue of his more particular views, but in a more general sense, Catholics should feel at liberty to support the GOP.

Clearly, I cannot here take up every political question on which Catholics might have grounds for concern. War, immigration and capital punishment are three enormously complex issues that sometimes put Catholics at odds with other American conservatives, but I cannot here discuss them all. All three involve delicate prudential calculations, which makes it very difficult (particularly for non-specialists) to endorse any particular view as obviously correct. War and immigration are two issues on which the GOP is deeply divided within itself, so it seems fair to suggest that Catholics are at liberty to engage these subjects within the arena of conservative politics.

It’s worth saying a bit more on the topic of poverty and Catholic social teaching. This is often a point of conflict for Catholics, who may feel that the Democratic Party, despite its disturbing disregard for life, is more attentive to the needs of the poor. Certain elements of Democratic rhetoric seem more harmonious with, for example, the concerns of Pope Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum.

It is healthy for Catholics to reflect seriously on these questions. All things considered, however, I think it is far from clear that the Democratic Party is more sympathetic even specifically to the needs of the poor.

Catholic social teaching offers fundamental principles in order to help us to appreciate the full dignity of every human being. This endeavor is as complex as it is consequential; no society can be expected to realize the goals of Catholic social teaching to the greatest possible extent. And, many political issues are of relevance to the broader endeavor to appreciate human dignity.

Of course, we should work to alleviate the suffering of the poor, and to improve unhealthy labor conditions. But we should also abhor the crippling effects that the welfare state has had on those who are now mired in dependency. The right is often accused of trivializing individual suffering in its enthusiasm to grow the economy. But the left’s persistent undermining on family, community and Church are an assault on the core institutions that are most capable of protecting human dignity.

Even if our entitlement programs were somehow sustainable over the long term, Catholics should be the first to insist that anonymous checks cannot replace meaningful human support structures of the sort that Democratic policies tend to erode. So while a Catholic might contend, for example, the Republicans were wrong to engineer cuts to the food stamp budget, it’s hard to see how this could possibly represent a more egregious violation of Catholic social teaching than what we see in the Obama Administration’s assault on the Church.

By all means, we should continue to explain and promote Catholic social teachings in the context of American politics. It would be quite wrong, however, to suppose that Catholics are obliged to withhold support from the Republican Party in light of its fiscal and social policies. Insofar as conservatives need help overcoming their tendency to advocate for an atomizing individualism, we should see that as a project for conservative Catholics.

My considered conclusion is that it is permissible for a Catholic to support the Republican Party. But is there any point in doing so? Has our society in general, and the GOP in particular, deteriorated to the point where further struggle is useless? These are the questions I will take up in my next essay.

Rachel Lu

By

Rachel Lu, a Catholic convert, teaches philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota where she lives with her husband and three boys. Dr. Lu earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at rclu.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    I believe Jacques Maritain is very helpful here.

    On the one hand, he insists “Integral political science . . . is superior in kind to philosophy; to be truly complete it must have a reference to the domain of theology, and it is precisely as a theologian that St. Thomas wrote De regimine principum . . . the knowledge of human actions and of the good conduct of the human State in particular can exist as an integral science, as a complete body of doctrine, only if related to the ultimate end of the human being. . . the rule of conduct governing individual and social life cannot therefore leave the supernatural order out of account.”

    On the other, he argues, “men possessing quite different, even opposite metaphysical or religious outlooks, can converge, not by virtue of any identity of doctrine, but by virtue of an analogical similitude in practical principles, toward the same practical conclusions, and can share in the same practical secular faith, provided that they similarly revere, perhaps for quite diverse reasons, truth and intelligence, human dignity, freedom, brotherly love, and the absolute value of moral good.”

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      The problem being that I can no longer see Americans reversing truth, intelligence, human dignity, brotherly love, or moral good. The utter worship for freedom as license, whether in absolute sexual rights or absolute property rights, has destroyed the rest.

  • John Byde

    Interesting and well argued piece as ever, Rachel. However, one sentence jumped out at me: ” I nevertheless think it is a good thing for the laity especially to support conservative politics with enthusiasm and good grace.” I totally agree – that’s why I won’t ever vote Republican. The Democratic Party is espousing pure evil at the moment, but the Republican Party is not far behind: it is going the way of the Conservative Party in the UK – moving to the left. The problems of the human race are way beyond the reach of the political pygmies who currently grace the corridors of power. Regards.

  • Tom Laney

    And so was the 3rd Reich rationalized. It’s not about Republicans/Democrats. It’s all about Fascism.

    • Art Deco

      Come again?

      • Guest

        No! Please do not come again!

  • Prof_Override

    ” War, immigration and capital punishment are three enormously complex issues that sometimes put Catholics at odds with other American conservatives, but I cannot here discuss them all. All three involve delicate prudential calculations”. What a pile of crap – War – killing people for political purposes; immigration – justifying denigrating whole swathes of people just trying to get by and oh yeah killing them for good measure; and capital punishment – pretending you’re God by killing people. There is nothing delicate or particularly complex about any of these fascist thug issues. Get a grip, accept what you are and quit trying to soft pedal it. It continually amazes me the mental gymnastics fascists go through to pretend they aren’t. There is nothing wrong with being a fascist.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      D- Don’t be discouraged by your grade. Please translate this into a reasoned, adult position, expressed in standard English, and resubmit.

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      The key word there is “prudential”. Prudence was once a virtue, but recently among American Catholics, has become an excuse of both the left and the right.

    • Famijoly

      While the good Dr. Timothy J. Williams plays professor in this comment thread, and states nothing of his own actual views, I want to take the time to applaud your passion, Guest. In my humble opinion, and no matter how much corrective red ink the resident instructor wants to apply to your work, you have hit the nail on the head regarding war and immigration, and have identified a major reason why there should be a moratorium on the death penalty until the laws are made more clear.

  • Don

    While I won’t say that the Republican Party always has my votes or support, I can say that the Democrats have completely lost me. As near as I can tell, the big tent of the Democratic Party requires: unquestioning support for abortion, a blind faith that the federal debt is a meaningless mathematical trick, and the conviction that global warming can be resolved by requiring someone else (certainly not us!), to rely entirely on solar and wind power. Oh and you’d better believe in unrestricted entry to the country by immigrants, full LGTB rights, and legalized drugs too. And if you even think that the way to help the poor and underprivileged is to implement programs that require anything of them other than to just take money, you are evil . . . even though believing in evil is wrong. Whew. The Democratic Party of even a few decades ago has been completely swept away and what replaces it is an angry, self-absorbed, anti-Catholic party that is as foreign to me as something from Mars.

    • BillinJax

      I can say this with certainty. Over the past seven decades of
      voting I have never met a non-democrat neighbor or coworker who appeared to vote
      his party affiliation as though is was a political “religious” duty. However, I
      have seen and known many democrats who, often in spite of their faith, owever, believed it would be sacrilege
      to vote against the democrat on his ticket. Most of them were either Northeastern
      Catholics or Southern Baptists.

  • Mocktheworld

    Unfortunately we have only two choices, republican or democrat. What my bishop in RI told me was we had it evaluate the platform and choose the least intrinsically evil platform. Abortion is just so drastically evil that it stuns me that Catholics
    find it hard to utter the thought of leaving the democrats! Instead of sobbing about the thought of becoming republican, fight for the issues you believe in! Forget about the democrats, they will never turn away from abortion. Make a difference.

    • Arriero

      - «Unfortunately we have only two choices, republican or democrat.»

      Not really. There are other choices, but minoritarian. The problem of America is that american Catholics, a minority, have not been able to establish a real conservative party, like those from Italy or Germany, which could gather enough strenght to put a Catholic in the White House. Catholics have never been an independent entity in the US. They [we] have always had to pact with other «conservative» groups to avoid marginalization. This fact has lead to paradoxical situations – sometimes joking situation too – like seeing a Catholic running for vice president with a mormon, or seeing another Catholic seeking the Baptist vote, etc. This kind of things only happen in the US. Until american Catholics do not consider that the time has come to be independent at last from any other pseudo-conservative mantra, any political party would be everything but Catholic. My guess is that a real Catholic party (without the awful pseudo-calvinist rhetorics. I.e. a Catholic party following the spirit and advice of Pope Francis) could receive a big part of the latino vote, a growing – but mainly Catholic – minority which already has big electoral impact. Catholicism should have a bigger and more independent political life in America, that’s the only way to protect our common core.

      PD- The main problem of the Republican Party is that it’s infected by a deadly virus: pseudo-calvinist anti-Catholic nihilism, which usually represents in the form of anti-government-per-se rethorics. I dare to say that many current celebrities from the Republican Party would be hanged (do not take it literally… or maybe yes?) if we would really live in a real and majoritarian Catholic country.

      PDD- Following the thesis of another thread, it’s true that there is a islamist-left («izquierda musulmanizante») but also that there is a protestant-right («derecha protestatizante»), with their awful CEO-ideology on sociological matters.

      • TheAbaum

        It must kill you to know that without the U.S., you’d have been mowed down by Panzers.

        • Arriero

          Hitler respected Franco. And Franco was a staunch Catholic and a fierce anti-communist. Catholicism would have not died in Spain. Neither in Portugal. Catholicism is too big for having been removed by an ugly german. Some years before, even all leftist forces together were unable to end with Catholicism in Spain. No panzer would have been able to crush it, either. Hitler did not dare to bomb the Vatican. Even devil knows that he is not the strongest guy in class. 2000 years of Catholicism are too much even for the biggest demented.

          The US, besides, shaked hands with Stalin. No Catholic would have ever dared to do that. First death than betrayal.

          • TheAbaum

            “Hitler respected Franco.”

            And he respected Chamberlain and Stalin too. Of course there’s something rather stupid about assuring yourself of the Catholicity of a man Hitler respected.

      • redfish

        “The main problem of the Republican Party is that it’s infected by a deadly virus: pseudo-calvinist anti-Catholic nihilism, which usually represents in the form of anti-government-per-se rethorics.”

        Are you referring to Objectivism?.

        • Arriero

          Objectivism is anti-Aristotlelism from a natural point of view, and anti-Platonism from a metaphysic point of view. Objectivism says «that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness». Selfish, isn’t it? And, paradoxically, profoundly irrational, ergo subjectivist. You throw God out from the equation. This expression is the foremost expression of protestant classical liberalism (written in gold letters in the American Declaration of Independece); in clear opposition with the only true liberalism, which is the Catholic Counter-Reformation liberalism. This «personal consciousness» misunderstood concept is closely related with the «subjectivist theory of value», which is, unluckily, at the heart of our current protestant capitalist system (and in clear opposition, too, with the Aristotelian-Aquinas «objectivist theory of value». Aquinas said: «never sell anything for more than it’s worth»). Bubbles, like the mortgage bubble, is the actual representation of this harmful confussion of Value and Price. What objectivists probably don’t know (or maybe yes, but they don’t want to say it) is that radical individualism directly leads to radical statism. Objectivism is simply the bad copy, made by a very bad and resented pseudo-intellectual, from the thesis already exposed in the book «The Ego and its Own» (1844), which in turn very much feeded Nietzsche’s «Der Wille Zur Macht» thesis. Nobody in real and admirable intellectually conservative circles have ever dare to look at such theory (objectivism); only in America you still find people – many who are self-described as conservatives» – that feel morbid attraction for such no-theory.

          Answering your question directly, although Objectivism is indeed very much within the Republican Party (in its political/economic branch) it’s also true that Objectivism is also very much within the Democratic party (now in its sociological – eugenesic – branch), I go deeper and I refer to the root of all evil: relativism – especially in its non-nietzschean nihilist approach -, which was freed during the anti-government (anti-Church) period that was the Reformation (cfr. Pope Benedict).

          • redfish

            “This expression is the foremost expression of protestant classical liberalism.”

            Its not completely foreign to Catholic thinkers. Pierre Gassendi, when he revived Epicurianism, tried to reconcile that philosophy with Catholic Christianity. His argument was traditional Epicurianism left out an account of General Ideas; concepts like Beauty, Truth, and Good, that he felt were also necessary to believe in order to be happy. Faith in God was also necessary for man to be happy in the most meaningful sense of the word.

            I agree with your rejection of Objectivism, but you aren’t giving them enough credit. Objectivists try to square the circle. They say following morals and virtues is another form of selfishness, and this justifies things like charity. It doesn’t stop it the expression of their beliefs from being a moral morass, but they claim to account for these things. Where the philosophy ultimately shows its real problems is its view of things like sex: celibacy is seen as evil, because its seen as self-denying, and sex is self-affirming. Which is basically narcissistic. The same problem there ultimately comes around infects their view of charity: when you become the sole measurer of virtue, and who deserves charity and who doesn’t, your whole world-view becomes narcissistic, because you don’t recognize your faults.

            The left, I think its infected by more of a subjectivist materialism. They like collectivism and are anti-selfishness, but to them, the only things of measurable value are material. If you break principles of justice to help poor people, everything is okay, because principles without some utilitarian purpose are empty.

      • uncle max

        you have officially exceeded the number of big wordy words contained in your monthly allotment.

  • thomistica

    I recently decided to give up my membership in the GOP and become an Independent. This does not mean I’m not going to vote, nor does it mean I’m not going to vote for Republican candidates and, in fact, it would be an extremely rare (if ever) situation in which I’d vote for a DNP candidate.

    Partly it is cynicism about politicians generally (politics is a very low human occupation in this country) and partly that I just don’t want to be counted in the statistical audit of GOP membership. Being an independent affords the kind of critical distance from politics that I am comfortable with these days.

    The GOP is already caving on the traditional marriage issue, even if rank and file are supportive of it.

    The religious liberty issue was soft-pedaled in Romney’s campaign.

    Most Republican politicians don’t care one whit about the contraception issue or how intertwined it is with abortion. On the latter issue, what inroads has the party really made, other than as a rhetorical counterbalance to the DNP.

    The battles have to be won on the ground, on the front lines, to transform the culture. Politics is secondary. Significant, but secondary.

    I’d be careful about using the term “conservative” in an unqualified way. American conservatism is a tissue of philosophically inconsistencies. (Just look at the huge disagreements one finds in, e.g., National Review.) The term is analytically uninformative, plus there are elements in that “big tent” rubric downright antithetical to Catholic social doctrines. We dilute the efficacy and uniqueness of Catholic social doctrine when using that term.

    “Social conservative”–well, ok, even if not quite there.

    • TheAbaum

      “The religious liberty issue was soft-pedaled in Romney’s campaign.”

      And in the Bishop’s as well.

      • thomistica

        They are certainly not doing a very good job publicly criticizing whatever compliance there is by Catholic universities with the HHS mandate.

  • FrankW

    Good article which expresses many sentiments that I share.

    I do think that it is very important that we understand as Catholics, that we are not fulfilling our role as caretakers of the poor simply by supporting legislation that is designed to supposedly help the poor.

    This is where the Democrat party has made inroads into the Catholic Church, and quite frankly those inroads need to be bulldozed once and for all. The Catholic Church at one time in this nation took the lead in caring for the poor and did a much better job of this than our government ever has. The principle of subsidiarity was in full display.

    However, we have had far too many Church leaders over the last several decades who have been perfectly happy to cede that leadership role to the government, and collectively come out in support of government programs that, while on the surface may appear to seek to assist the poor, actually end up hurting the poor and middle class. The latest example of this is the so-called Affordable Care Act which has led to the cancellation of millions of policies held by the middle class, as well as an assault on Catholic institutions who are simply trying to practice their faith. We have also been watching this play out for decades in LBJ’s war on poverty, which while perhaps well intentioned, has had devastating consequences for our nation’s families and its work ethic as a whole.

    The Church must set aside this so-called partnership with government and re-take its leadership role in caring for the poor. No government will ever be able to replace the mission of the Church, especially a government which has removed God from the public square, and is now trying to force Catholic institutions to violate their beliefs and bend to its will.

    As a Catholic and a conservative, I almost always vote Republican. However, I see the GOP almost willingly distancing itself from causes and issues that I hold dear. Where is the vocal GOP opposition to allowing our government to redefine marriage? Where is the GOP’s effort to once and for all end public funding of Planned Parenthood? Many GOP Party leaders are embarrassed by Evangelical Protestants and devout Catholics, and I believe many would rather lose without our votes than win with them. Where does that leave any of us who try to live our faith?

  • publiusnj

    I agree with Ms. Lu when she writes: “The Democrats are utterly intransigent in their commitment to abortion on demand, and as long as this remains true, Catholics should not support them.” I was born and raised a Democrat and voted that way until the behavior of supposedly Catholic Democrat politicians in the 1980s on the issue of Abortion convinced me that the Democrat Party had lain down with evil.

    So, I would go even further than Ms. Lu. An “end to utter transigence” leaves too much room for maneuver; something politicians are good at. The Democrats need to acknowledge the evil they have done in fostering the killing of all those babies for the past 40 years and more before we should ever consider voting for them.

    Since we have a two party system in this country and that is not going to change, we really have no other choice that the Republicans. We should let the Republican Party know what will get us out to the polls and what will leave us sitting on our hands.

    • Famijoly

      I was with you until the last paragraph. We do have a choice. We all must stand before the tribunal of Christ, and the excuse “but we had a two-party system in America” will not hold.
      For example, in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, after much prayer and reflection and study of the issues, and after seeking counsel, I came to the realization that I could not stand before God in clear conscience with a vote for either “major” party’s ticket. So both times I wrote in a choice of someone not on the ballot. For me, to have voted in either of those elections for either “major” candidate would have meant a major breach of my conscience and my accountability before the Just Judge. The “lesser of two evils” is still evil.

      • publiusnj

        You have a very tender conscience.

        • Famijoly

          Thank you.

  • Watosh

    Many conservative Catholics have thrown in with the Republican Party because the Democrat Party is rotten and has very liberal social ideals, and the Republican Party has made noises about being against abortion for the past forty years or more, and has championed “rugged individualism” despite the fact the Republicans espouse very liberal economic ideals that have lead to the rich getting richer and richer, and there poor and middle class getting poorer. Well one might argue for the old bromide that it is the lesser of two evils, but what happens is that those who support the Republican Party, like what happens to those who support the Democrat Party, tend to absorb the false economic or the false social beliefs that these two parties have, rather than having either of these two parties being influenced by Catholic principles.

    • Watosh

      In other words we have catholics have become more like them, than they have become like us.

    • LarryCicero

      If as you claim,”there poor and middle class getting poorer”-then you must admit The War on Poverty has failed after 50 years. Good intentions don’t equal results. Of course today’s middle class and poor have many things they didn’t have 50 years ago, two car families, cell phones, cable tv, microwaves, etc and somehow they are poorer. To “absorb the false economic” beliefs would require one to stop repeating liberal mantras about the poor getting poorer.

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

        The war on poverty has been a failure for a very, very long time.

        The middle class and poor acquired those things through 40 years of trade debt. It’s been that long since foreign trade has been profitable for the United States.

        The backhaul in the waning days of the Roman Empire was cartloads of dung. Today, China is shipping us free steel in the form of cargo containers that aren’t even worth sending back empty.

    • Dave

      Basically, the Dems are driving us off the cliff at 90 MPH with the accelerator floored, while the GOP proposes to take the foot off the accelerator, but the trajectory is still going to take us over the cliff. Voting for the GOP is a good first step, but we’re way too close to the cliff for that to matter now.

      • Watosh

        Well that may be the case, however, that is not much comfort. Oh I know some would make the argument that voting Republican would give us more time to exercise our influence and see that we don’t go over the cliff. This argument has a certain plausibility, but as I tried to point out, the Republican party has been more successful in getting conservative Catholics to adopt the Republican message than the conservative Catholics have been in getting the Republican Party to adopt more policies in line with Catholic economic principles. Note that our political system has split the Catholic vote, almost dividing Catholics into two opposing camps. Catholics who run as Democrats support the Democrat policies even when they conflict with Catholic teaching, and Catholics who run as Republicans support the Republican policies even when they conflict with Catholic social teaching.

        Yes one could look at the Democrat Party as taking us over the cliff faster than the Republican, however I look at the Democrat Party as an undisguised evil, while the Republican Party represents a stealth evil.

    • Art Deco

      and has championed “rugged individualism” despite the fact the
      Republicans espouse very liberal economic ideals

      They have not.

      that have lead to

      It has not

      the
      rich getting richer and richer, and there poor and middle class getting
      poorer.

      Which has not happened either.

  • thebigdog

    While the GOP is often frustrating and disappointing, the Democrats have become nothing less than Satan’s minions and until much further notice, there is no 3rd party option in sight.

    Sacrificing good on the altar of perfection is the folly of the self-righteous.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      Very well stated.

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      But only the righteous, can claim to be anything close to good instead of evil.

      • Micha Elyi

        And then there’s the self-righteous.

        Try again.

    • Dave

      I used to go in for this way of thinking. I do agree with the “Sacrificing good…” statement. However, exactly what “good” are we getting out of the Republican Party? The only good I can see is “slightly less concentrated evil.” Have they done anything about abortion? No, except for a tiny bit of chiseling around the edges. How about the national debt? I guess, if spending us to ruin only half as fast as the opposition counts.

      But I think these slight differences are more because it is part of the political show, as Michael E. says in these comments. The parties would like you to think that they just can’t get anything done because of those EEEEEEEVIL guys on the other side, but I’m not buying it any more.

      • RufusChoate

        Why not document the “evil” of the Republican Party then compare? Such Manichean world views are just juvenile posturing with a pretense to a purity that you don’t possess.

        • Dave

          Why don’t you document the so-called good? The only good I’ve been able to discern in 25 years of voting for the GOP is the good of keeping the Dems out of office. When the GOP gets into office, they don’t do anything substantial about the status quo. There was a time they had control of all three branches of government and did precisely NOTHING about abortion. As soon as electoral support for traditional marriage drops, they drop that issue like a hot potato. When they appoint judges, their record is quite mixed. What exactly does the GOP stand for? I’m not sure anyone can answer that question, and until there is an answer, they will continue to lose. As to their platform, I like a very large part of it. As to the execution of the platform, I can’t find much evidence of it.

          • RufusChoate

            You did not list Evil, so try again. Evil, it should be easy. Think about the Bush era restriction on funding abortion in the third world and his Life Time Pro-Life award… Justices on the Supreme Court etc…

            • Dave

              OK, I’ll give you the “funding abortion in the third world”. That is one good. Bush getting an award from somebody? That’s inconsequential. Justices on the Supreme Court, no…that’s actually an argument against them. Yes, there have been some good ones (Scalia, Alito, Thomas), but about 1/2 of them appointed by the GOP have stabbed us in the back on important issues.

            • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

              Pre-emptive unjust warfare committing abortions in the third world by cruise missile.

              • Famijoly

                Running the Constitution through the shredder for the sake of a death-dealing agenda that enabled bloody takeovers of sovereign countries at the expense of millions of American, Afghan, and Iraqi lives and billions of American dollars. In the words of the self-proclaimed “born again” 43rd President, “the Constitution is just a g__d_____ piece of paper” as his Administration eviscerated the founding document he swore on the Bible twice to preserve, protect, and defend, “so help me, God.”
                That’s enough of a list right there. Of course, and sadly, there is more. Much, much more.
                And the 44th President has been the 43rd President on steroids.

                • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                  Agreed. I’m not saying the Democrats are better. I’m saying the parties, for all intents and purposes, are one and the same- the elite against the world.

                  The only thing that changed in the war when Obama took over was replacing the cruise missiles with drones that blow up entire weddings.

              • Micha Elyi

                “Committing abortions… by cruise missile”? That’s not even a nice try, Seeber. You’ve fallen into Kook Mode for sure. Hope you can get back to Reality someday.

                • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                  How many unborn Iraqis were collateral damage? Or Afghanis? Or are you claiming that the child of a wife of an al Qaida is also al Qaida, even before they were born?

          • Tom

            The Republican party never had a wide enough control of congress to pass legislation to reduce abortions. Bush did an awful lot for the prolife cause, if you take the time to look up his record, go here for more: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/bush-had-best-pro-life-record-any-president-say-pro-life-groups

            • Art Deco

              Agreed. People who make complaints about what Republican officialdom has done and has not do not take account of institutional defects which render it difficult for anyone to accomplish much of anything.

        • John Byde

          “You vote for the lesser evil but get evil anyway”

      • thebigdog

        As Christians, we can sometimes accept negativity as a premise — but we can never allow it to be a conclusion because it is nothing more than the sin of despair… almost always motivated by the sin of pride.

  • http://eisbrener.info/blog Michael Eisbrener

    Sympathy? When I began looking at results and outcomes instead of the magic act called politics, I saw there is almost zero difference between the so called two parties. They are actually one, a government elite party, a left hand and a right hand producing the magical acts to keep the knuckleheads amused, inline and blind. Voting in a ‘democracy’ is a waste of time. There are no real choices. Vote for anyone of either stripe and you get the same results. Talk and sympathy are cheap. The emperor has no clothes, the republic ended a hundred years ago and any resemblance to the current system is a mirage, a figment of your over worked imagination. What should one do? Start a new revolution at the ballot box and voting for either a Democrat or a Republican keeps the current mess in place. NO? Show me otherwise.

    • Dave

      Wish I was allowed to upvote this 1000 times. You nailed it.

    • TheAbaum

      A lot of politics is like football. The teams go to war on one day, but the next day the owners go to the bank and lunch together.

      You might enjoy Angelo Codevilla’s book “The Ruling Class”.

    • John Byde

      Correct. As Chesterton said, they are Hudge and Gudge. With the Dems its Big Government and sexual perversion; with the Reps its Big Business and foreign wars.

    • Famijoly

      Very well put, Michael. I like to say elections are a coin flip. Sometimes the coin comes up Donkey, sometimes Elephant. But it is the SAME coin minted by and for the SAME bank.

      • Art Deco

        That’s true with regard to a few issues, where rent-seeking elements have suborned the gatekeepers of both parties. Mostly what you have is disagreeable initiatives by the Democratic Party that the Republican Party lacks the cohesion to subsequently overturn. Eliminating dysfunctional parliamentary rules and bringing the appelllate judiciary to heel would help. Some progress has been made in Wisconsin and in New York city, but it’s always tentative (and that in New York required the co-operation of the more practical element in the local Democratic Party.

  • Vinnie

    I’m in my early 60’s and have consistently voted since I was 18. Always have voted Republican, Right To Life or Conservative. Would’ve voted for a Democrat if they were pro-life. I feel we have been duped by the Republican Party and need a new alternative – The Constitution Party.
    I have been giving support to Republicans all these years and only feel used. The Republicans are now no different than the Democrats – and who cares if “…it is at least permissible within the Republican Party for Catholics to be advocates for the truth.” The Republican Party responds as Pilate – “what is truth?” Republican politicians and candidates have made a joke of their platform. We may experience short term pain but, hopefully, long-term gain as we transition away from the Republican Party, and if not? The country’s toast anyway. The best thing we can do? Do our best to remain in sanctifying grace, pray, have faith, hope and love, do good works and be reconciled to God.

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      I’ve voted either Reform or Constitution for the past 25 years.

      I’ll vote Republican when there isn’t another choice.

      But I see the seeds of the problem being in Article I Sections 8 and 10 being reinterpreted to make subsidiarity illegal. And thus, what we really need, is a new constitution.

      • RufusChoate

        You voted for the Left by default. Time to grow up and work for a serious coalition that can defeat the Left.

        • Vinnie

          That’s how the Republicans have convinced me to vote for them for 40 years. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me hundreds of times, shame on me big time. Republicans have brought us to this point the same as the Democrats. Don’t be fooled anymore. Let them have this country as there’s no much left anyway.

        • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

          To me, the Left includes the Republicans as well as the Democrats, because both sides are libertines. The only question is are they willing to cut the kids’s spine with scissors or starve him to death, but in neither case do they take the quite reasonable method of *sharing resources with the next generation*. Infanticide, whether done two seconds after conception or 100 years after conception, is still murder.

  • http://freedomfromdemocracy.blogspot.com/ InTheCampofSaintMichael

    Great article, balanced and thoughtful. I myself switched to the Republican party quite easily years ago when it become clear that they were the party for abortion, homosexuality and virtually everything anti-Catholic.

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    Ally yourself with evil, and you just end up stained.

    The major parties lost my vote when the Democrats failed to enact a pro-life health care bill and the Republicans failed to overturn Roe V. Wade.

    From my point of view,99% of Americans last election voted for the lesser of two evils. Which means 99% of Americans voted directly for evil, since the lesser of two evils is still evil.

    This federal partisan political system is too tied to Protestant Sola theology to save. The best we can do is act locally as long as they let us- and that will still end in the gas chambers eventually.

  • TheAbaum

    We have the choice between a party that is likely to do the wrong thing or nothing and one that is certain to do the wrong thing.

  • patricia m.

    Catholics who vote for Democrats are not Catholics.

    • Caleb L. Smith

      You really thought that one out didn’t you.

      • uncle max

        Name me ONE pro-life democrat, as in anti-abortion.

        • Cassie Wonderalke

          We have one lonely soul here in Illinois who is a pro-life Democrat. He is Congressman Dan Lipinski.

          • Septimus

            Did he vote for Obamacare like Bart Stupak?

            • GJames

              No
              .

        • CGDoc

          According to the organization, Democrats for Life of America. These are the Senators that are pro-life:
          Senator Bob Casey, PA
          Senator Joe Manchin, WV
          Senator Joe Donnelly, IN

          And these are the Representatives that are pro-life:
          Congressman Mike McIntyre, NC-07
          Congressman Nick Rahall, WV-03
          Congressman Dan Lipinski, IL-03
          Congressman Collin Peterson, MN-07

          • Micha Elyi

            Sen. Bob Casey is more in the ‘doubtful’ than the ‘pro-life’ column. Along with the other two Democrat senators listed, he helps keep the anti-life Democrat party in control of the Senate.

            As for the four lonely supposedly pro-life Democrats in the House, they would vote to return the House to pro-death Nancy Pelosi’s rule in a flash should the opportunity arise.

            Best to urge your seven to become Republicans and until they do, keep voting Republican.

            Try again.

            • TheAbaum

              Bob Casey is more in the ‘doubtful’

              No, he’s a fraud. His record on abortion is best described as tepid. He’s “out” on gay marriage.

          • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

            Manchin is a fraud. He ALWAYS votes with the Obamination.

          • Jeannine

            I’m a Pennsylvanian. Bob Casey is pro-life in name only. He says he is pro-life, but he votes the other way.

      • David Zacchetti

        The Democratic party is the party of abortion on demand. What’s there for a faithful Catholic to think about?

        • Art Deco

          Not a whole lot, but people who are bound and determined throw up smokescreens. So, Republican opposition to the latest idea promoted by the Democratic Party to reallocate more resources through state agencies (and discretionary procedures – waivers, waivers, waivers, to our friends) is spoken of as if Republican pols were all votaries of Ayn Rand and Herbert Spencer. Republican support for warfare in one locale against one regime for a discrete period of years is ‘endless war’. &c. Some of these people construct cartoons in their addled head and cannot think any other way, some of these people are pig ignorant, and some are just frauds.

      • FAM22

        Have you fully thought it out?

  • RufusChoate

    I am confused. The Church and all Faithful Catholics have been attacked and murdered en masse by the same enemy for the last 170 years and some are still uncertain about who it is? You have a party completely committed to every evil envisioned by the Left against the faith in the modern era and you have their self described mortal enemy.
    This self doubt is absurd and I find anyone who suffers from it puerile and silly.

    • Dave

      Not sure I understand your comment. The Left/secularists/Dems are certainly our enemy. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Right/GOP are our friends.

      • RufusChoate

        Do you want to win the war with the Left or do you wish to be true to childish principles of self ascribe purity?

        • Dave

          Which childish principles might those be? If I found any evidence that the GOP was actually INTERESTED in fighting the war with the Left, I’d be on board. I’m pretty sure they are definitely interested in keeping tax rates low for the rich. I’m not sure I’ve identified any other core principle that they’ll actually go to the mat for.

          • RufusChoate

            Ignorant and ill informed people are tedious. Read more and familiarize yourself with the issues a little deeper. It isn’t my job to educate the ignorant.

          • BillinJax

            Dave, are we to assume you no longer vote in national elections? If you do can we assume you use the write in box. And if you do what are your criteria when selecting potential candidates.

            • Dave

              I half-heartedly voted for Romney, just because Obama was (and is) so ridiculously, almost comically incompetent. I do feel that Romney was at least a better candidate than McCain, and we were a little farther from the proverbial cliff at that time. Seriously, though, don’t get me started. If the GOP can’t do better than McCain and Romney, they deserve to lose. In 2016, I would not vote for anyone unless they make it clear that they would do everything in their power against abortion, and have a record to back it up. They should also affirm traditional values in general, and promise to balance the federal budget by the end of their 1st term (and again, have a record to show that this is not just an empty claim.)

              I think it may be too late, though. Generations of secular brainwashing (aka public education) and expectations of government taking care of us have left us with a largely amoral, selfish electorate that’s too stupid to know what’s good for them. My evidence for this claim is the election of Obama for a 2nd term.

              • TheAbaum

                “Generations of secular brainwashing (aka public education) and
                expectations of government taking care of us have left us with a largely
                amoral, selfish electorate that’s too stupid to know what’s good for
                them.”

                Newsflash: The leaders of the statist left are disproportionately the product of Catholic (ok, some of them are Jesuit, by who am I to judge) schools.

                What you describe actually sounds like certain homes I was told of in the early 1960’s, where the kids left for parochial school in the morning by passing by a picture(s) of JFK and or FDR.

        • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

          I want to *CONVERT* the Left. But I can’t do that with a party that is as much the Left as the other party is the Left.

  • texasknight

    We are in a spiritual battle. The enemy has control of our government. Pray that God will deliver us from this evil.

    Top 10 Intrinsic Evils perpetrated by the US Government:

    10. Wealth Redistribution & unabated expansion of the National Debt: Theft sold as “social justice.” In reality, it has enslaved generations and crippled our economy causing a massive growth in poverty.

    9. Legalized & Funded Embryonic Stem Cell Research: an insidious form of cannibalism.

    8. Legalized & Promoted Pornography: breeds lust & destroys the ability to properly bond in marriage.

    7. Attacks on Freedom of Conscience (e.g., HHS mandate): erodes our ability to live & practice our Faith.

    6. Attempts to Redefine Marriage: denies the primacy of God’s Word. Promotes acceptance of disordered sexual behavior, thus encouraging more of the same.

    5. Non-Abstinence only Sex Education: Promotes & encourages sexual acts outside of Holy matrimony.

    4. No Fault Divorce Laws: destroys the foundation of civilization & breeds selfishness with no regard for children.

    3. Legalized & Funded Hormonal Contraception (despite it being a category 1 carcinogen): separates couples from the Grace of God and leads to the acceptance of all the other top 10 evils.

    2. Legalized & Funded Abortion: 58+ million innocent lives ripped from their mother’s womb. And know that Jesus has watched each and every one.

    1. Removal of God from public life: a clear disregard of the 1st commandment.

    “Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending Life.” Pope John Paul II, 1993

    “More souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason.” Our Lady of Fatima, 1917

    • TheAbaum

      Sort of sounds like the Democrats’ party platform.

      Too bad the opposition is ambivalent, pusillanimous, effete, timid, and ineffectual.

      • Famijoly

        And complicit.

      • Micha Elyi

        Yeah, and that’s just the Church! ‘Tis a bit silly to expect more from a mere secular political party.

    • AntiNihil

      The Republicans are merely slightly less evil Jacobin-Fascist thugs, no difference utterly. Housecleaning with an iron broom, cleansing the entire American political cultural and social syndicate, is the only answer. Regenerate and transfigure what was upward and ascendant in the Constitution – or let the “Constitutionalism” of anarchist-tyrants steal your souls.

  • cestusdei

    The question is “do the Republicans support us?”

    • TheAbaum

      All political parties are responsive to whoever contributes.

      • Dave

        True, and who has always contributed the most?

        • TheAbaum

          Instead playing coy, write what’s on your mind. Who contributes the most? People who stand to benefit (or avoid punishment) by doing so. Do you think it’s an accident that heavy hitters often donate to opposing candidates in equal or near equal amounts?

          • Dave

            The rich – and rich corporations – contribute the most, on both sides, as you said. So, that’s who the government listens to.

            In socialism, the government owns the companies. In capitalism, the companies own the government.

            • TheAbaum

              You are very confused. In free enterprise (I reject the vacant Marxist pejorative), businesses live and die with results. If they loan poorly, build crappy cars or some other product-they go bye-bye.

              In 1956, A company called the Baldwin Lima Hamilton company-once the mighty Baldwin Locomotive Works-the dominant maker of locomotives in the entire world, quietly left the locomotive business, to the upstart GM. They remained dedicated to steam through the 1930’s while GM perfected it’s insurgency of the locomotive market. No bailout, no too-big-too-fail, no subsidies, no loan guarantees, nothing. Game over you lose-that’s free enterprise.

              When GM squandered it’s world dominance in automobile production, they got bailed out, with among other things a lawless President upending the order of claims to protect his union buddies. That’s not free enterprise, it’s corporatism, made possible by a government that has been systematically grown in size ans scope by statists and often applauded by faux-Catholic clapping seals.

              We haven’t had free enterprise in decades. Have you seen the size of the CFR?

              • Dave

                I am not sure we really disagree. If you are trying to say that capitalism is not INTRINSICALLY a system where the companies own the government, I agree with that. On the other hand, capitalism with a lack of morality tends to devolve into that situation, and furthermore tends to devolve into a situation where the bigger the business, the more it can use the levers of government to protect and enrich itself.

                • Arriero

                  - «[…] On the other hand, capitalism with a lack of morality tends to devolve into that situation»

                  I.e. Capitalism with a lack of REGULATION. Insofar as we behave badly – because we’re free -, we need regulation to behave correctly and rules to know what is right and what’s wrong. We’re no perfect, aren’t we?

                  http://economics.illinoisstate.edu/gawater/eco441/documents/Minskypaper.pdf

                  • TheAbaum

                    Hey, I know you are kind of divorced from reality, but we don’t suffer from a lack of regulation.

                    The hardbound Code of Federal Regulations is now over 11,000 pages long. That doesn’t include the actual statutes other levels of regulatory action, court decisions, state and local regulations. And based on what I read about the EU, there’s no shortage of hypergraphia-afflicted bureaucrats in Europe, either.

                    Stop writing nonsense.

                    • Arriero

                      Maybe that’s why the US, after all, is the most powerful country in Earth. Have you ever thought about it? Maybe your regulation explains why you have a civil code which allows fair trade and contractual legitimacy.

                      The issue is not regulation. The issue is bad or good regulation. Mortgage lending, for instance, was regulated, but very bad regulated. In fact, Freddie and Fannie were half public. I want good regulation, because it’s obvious that without regulation you only have nihilist anarchy, which is one of the most anti-Catholic things.

                      Europe is a foremost expression of bad regulation. But even with bad regulation europeans still feed themselves, and even France – this ugly socialist monster – is a very, very succesful country. Not to talk abou the Germany, which has one of the most chubby welfare state in Europe; established, by the way, under the very Catholic presidency of Adenauer.

                      You will always have Somalia, a country with no regulation at all. So less regulation than there is no one in charge.

                    • TheAbaum

                      Of course regulation is the issue, you made it the issue, and after having one strawman demolished, you offer an another.

                      Germany’s welfare state predates Adenour. Germany was the cradle of statism, where noxious Americans like Henry Carter Adams went to learn the temple arts of statism -in the 1800’s. Hitler was made possible by it (although you apparently find his chumminess with Franco somewhat exculpative of his mass carnage). Under that veneer of Teutonic efficiency was a stultified populace readied for somebody who should have been institutionalized, not dabbling in politics.

                      As for the post-war state, they erected this new monstrosity only with the U.S.’s patronage-or else they’d have been exposed to the Soviets.

                      Europe is a foremost an expression of bad regulation? No, it’s more than that. It’s bad everything. Moral squalor, pretentious self-importance, poor personal hygiene and bad manners.

                    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                      The main architects of the EU were all Catholics from marginal German-speaking areas: West German Chancellor Adenauer (Rhineland), French Prime Minister Robert Schumann (born in Luxembourg of parents from Lorraine) and Italian Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi (Trentino Alto Adige). De Gasperi actually sat in the Vienna parliament pre-1914

                    • Arriero

                      Maybe that explains why, after all, the EU is so dysfunctional. Not for the Catholic thing, but for the german one. Hermann Van Rompuy (european capital Spock) is also a Catholic – ha says so, at least -, and he was so coward that did not dare to push hard for mentioning God (or even Christianity) in the European Constitution.

                      None of them came from the most admirable Catholic tradition: the Latin Church, the only one with zero influence from protestantism.

                      With german Catholics – and I know some of them very well – sometimes happen a bit like with (some) american Catholics: too much implicit influence from protestantism. But they’re good people, with no sense of humor and mentally gridded, but hard-working people (unlike those lazy and wasteful Catholic southerners…).

                    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                      “Hermann Van Rompuy (european capital Spock) is also a Catholic – ha says so, at least”

                      Van Rompuy was chairman of the Christian People’s Party – Christelijke Volkspartij from 1998 to 1993, having been chairman of its youth wing from 1973 to1977.

                      In opposing Turkish membership of the EU in 2009, he said, “Turkey is not Europe and will never be Europe. But it is a matter of fact that the universal values which are in force in Europe, and which are also the fundamental values of Christianity, will lose vigour with the entry of a large Islamic country such as Turkey.”

                    • John Byde

                      And they had absolutely no idea of the monster they had created.

                • TheAbaum

                  “I am not sure we really disagree.”

                  And I’m not sure where I can clarify things for you. A lack of morality is the human state. No government, no economic system, will ever remove the effects of original sin.

                  “On the other hand, capitalism with a lack of morality tends to devolve into that situation, and furthermore tends to devolve into a situation where the bigger the business, the more it can use the levers of government to protect and enrich itself.”

                  You have this reversed. The “business” that has grown larger in scope, scale and intrusiveness is government.

                  • Dave

                    It’s not an either/or. Both the government and large corporations are bloated and out of control. You are correct that we are stuck with the effects of original sin, so part of the solution for that is to keep government small and local, and ideally business would be the same.

                    • TheAbaum

                      You kill the snake at the head, not the tail.

                    • Art Deco

                      Step one, rid us of the federal income tax.

                      Bad idea.

                    • Arriero

                      Why not a negative income tax, instead?

                      No doubt, fiscality needs a profound overhaul. Wealth should be better distributed.

                    • Art Deco

                      That would certainly improve on long-term doles and on subventions to mundane expenditures like groceries, rental housing, and utility bills. More bang for the buck given the better adaptation of cash to household utility functions, fewer perverse incentives which arrive from means testing, and fewer people employed in bureaucracies of helping-and-caring.

                    • TheAbaum

                      People who say “wealth” requires “distribution” are naive, statists, and materialists and utterly ignorant of the nature of wealth.

                    • Arriero

                      - «[…] legitimate and lawful functions of government and the appeal of that misuse to the ignorant.»

                      I don’t see where you actually put the line that divides legitimate and lawful functions of government from those that are not. I think that you don’t really see many lawful and legitimate functions of government, do you?

                      The three main functions of taxes are: 1) Distribution of wealth (to avoid destabilizing inequality, i.e. to avoid class warfare). 2) Revenues >= Expenditures. 3) The delivery of (essentially important) public services.

                      We can discuss about what should be included – or not – in each of the three points, but we cannot discuss any of the points (we can’t unless you’re discussing with Bakunin). For instance, I consider healthcare to be so important for the lives of the people that it should be delivered by the state to those who are not able to pay for it; unless, of course, you can find a better alternative from a private point of view (like the healthcare birth-card that Prof. Ben Carson has discussed about). What we cannot discuss is that THERE ARE public services that only the state can and must deliver.

                      Wealth, of course, HAS TO BE distributed. Better sais, Wealth HAS TO BE well distributed, and certainly this is not always the case. The justice of men is imperfect, only God is completely unruffled. Why do you think the income tax is almost always and everywhere a progressive tax? I certainly agree with you that could be other alternatives regarding the federal income tax; maybe a higher VAT, although it could depress consumption and spur saving, what is not a good idea for consumer-driven economies. Yet maybe a higher saving rate under a well-functioning financial system – without shadow banking – could spur investment which in that case would be a good thing.

                      From three of the main alternatives that are now above the table regarding welfare: 1) Basic income, 2) Negative income tax, 3) Minimum wage/social benefits (the current system), I very much prefer a negative income tax (like the «socialist» Milton Friedman did). Of course with crazy deficits and debt levels (both in Europe and the US) and a debt deflation going on, how can someone support just now the anti-tax-per-se rethorics? It’s funny for me hearing the «conservatives» who want to boost growth without monetary stimulus (it’s unfair), without fiscal stimulus (it’s a waste of money; and I very much agree here, though not so much under current circumstances) or without better distribution of wealth through better taxes (it’s a robbery by the state, they say; but they don’t know that the state is merely a pumper of rent and that the money from taxes pay, for instance, some of their usurer casinos). Apart from wishful thinking and anarchic impulses, any plausible alternative following the path of social justice underlined by the Catholic Church?

                    • TheAbaum

                      “I don’t see where you actually put the line that divides legitimate and lawful functions of government from those that are not.”

                      There’s a lot that you don’t see. Perhaps you’ll have the scales knocked off your eyes someday.

                    • TheAbaum

                      What is “fiscality”? Your command of English is horrible.

                    • Arriero

                      I don’t think so:

                      http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fiscality

                      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fiscality

                      I used a technical word. And a word which comes from french and in turn from latin, perfectly correct in english and exactly with the meaning I was referring to.

                    • TheAbaum

                      No, you used a word that is arcane at best and carries no meaning in contemporary English. As far as being a “technical” term, it appears no where in the contemporary lexicon of finance, which is why it shows as follows here:

                      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fiscality?s=t

                      Get your head out of your dusty old tomes already.

                    • TheAbaum

                      Prove it. I’m slogging through 1040’s right now, and I have plenty of time to consider the federal income tax systems dysfunction, intrusion, burdensomeness and caprice, as I have for years. You’ll have to do better than an unsupported ipso facto to ever have a hope to convince me otherwise.

                      On the contrary, the best idea. If the states were the highest taxing authority, then the federal government’s ambitions would be limited by fact that it would face other governments in its efforts to expropriate funds. It would be almost impossible to create dependency for political purposes.

                      States would have an incentive (albeit a weak one) to order their tax systems to be as fair and efficient as possible or risk loss of population and representation.

                      None of the promises made when the Sixteenth Amendment was being promoted have been met, especially the “revenue adequacy” argument, which fails to account for politicians insatiable appetite to spend money and is attested to by the official 17 trillion dollar federal debt that somehow escapes the indignant howls of “usury” we read here all the time. We now had a century to evaluate this idea, and no reasonable person with benefit of hindsight would defend it.

                      We have, in a critical evaluation of the federal income tax, a perfect case study defense of subsidiarity.

                    • Arriero

                      - «[…] spend money and is attested to by the official 17 trillion dollar federal debt that somehow escapes the indignant howls of “usury” we read here all the time.»

                      The US faces no problem with his debt, whatever the size it has, because the US has a currency that is called the dollar (who based itself in the «Spanish doblón», by the way) and everybody in the world loves this currency and the US has something called the FED which is able to print the amount of money it wants that out there there will always be someone killing to obtain more and more dollars in exchange for whatever (bad toys and bad clothes from China, for instance).

                      Oh, but if the world ever loses credibility in the dollar… what a problem then (Saddam Hussein wanted to sell oil in euros, not in petrodollars, and he ended up… hanged). With dollars in your pocket the life is easier.

                    • TheAbaum

                      “The US faces no problem with his debt, whatever the size it has,”

                      Only a raging idiot would make such a statement.

            • Arriero

              - «[…] In socialism, the government owns the companies. In capitalism, the companies own the government.»

              That’s a pretty good summary.

              And in a real Catholic regime, the Church should own government. Simple.

              I remember Eugene Fama recently saying that the US government should have nationalized the banking sector after the financial crisis. Fama, this awful socialist…

              Wait, I forgot for a second that markets never get it wrong. I don’t know why we need God if under a real free market economy there is one almighty god: markets (!).

              How much harm done to the Church some theories… Free market is an oxymoron, it has never existed. People are free to behave badly, that’s why we need regulations, to guide us for the correct path (this is pure Scholastic theory).

              Lloyd Blankfein, from Goldman, apart from supporting homosexual marriage donated a very big chunk of money for the Obama campaign. And some dare to call Obama a «socialist»… what a joke.

              • TheAbaum

                Obama is a statist with socialist impulses.

                • Arriero

                  Yeah, with half of corporate America supporting him.

                  • TheAbaum

                    Grow the government some more we’ll get 3/4.

                    We know how this works, we saw your boy Shickelgruber at work 80 years ago.

                  • Watosh

                    Mr. Arriero, I salute you for your logic , your knowledge of history, your knowledge of Catholic principles, and your intelligence because the level of discourse reflected in a good many of these comments is depressing. A lot of Catholics have been warped by Republican’s gospel of a mythical market that doesn’t exist in reality. They support my claim that Catholic Republicans place
                    Republican liberal economic claptrap ahead of Catholic economic principals. I’ve also noticed they tend to be verbal bullies who shout down anyone expressing a view contrary to their view. Many scientists hope discover intelligence in outer space. I have just discovered intelligence in the United States behind your comments. It boosts my morale to know that someone out there is thinking, because most Americans appear to be deluded by the drug of American Exceptionalism.

                    • Art Deco

                      and your intelligence because the level of discourse reflected in a good many of these comments is depressing.

                      Sayeth the whitewasher of Saddam Hussein.

                    • Arriero

                      I say what I say mainly because I’ve not been feeded since the very first beginning by what I call «pseudo-calvinist theories», either on money (golden-calf lovers who actually hate money), politics (anti-government-per-se rethorics, which are a product of the anti-Authority discourse of the first protestants) or sociology (you’re free to do whatever you want to pursue your own happiness; a product of selfish relativism); those who come from a very different Catholic tradition, the only one where protestantism – in all its branches, manners and consequences – was never allowed to penetrate and the same tradition that started the Counter-Reformation, know that the Church, in the last 200 years, have suffered a ruthless attack, from the left, but also from the right, the anti-Catholic right, with its endless attacks rooted in the first protestant liberalism; against the only true and first liberalism, that was Catholic. This Pope, too, also comes from this very admirable Catholic tradition and that’s why some of his words – especially on economic issues, because he has not touched a single comma from the magisterium – hurt many pseudo-calvinists wrapped in the veil of «staunch conservatism» (like this little man who dared to call marxist the Pope).

                      Yet, I’m not discovering the moon. Nothing that I say is new, rather the opposite. I simply felt the necessity to fight the harmful anarchic waves that are inflicting little by little a lot of pain to the most prominent Institution in world’s history: the Catholic Church. I don’t like to play with fire. Many despised the remarks of Pope Francis in «Evangelii Gaudium» just because – they said – he is not an economist, or and expert. Of course, these voices didn’t fool me: there was, at least, a hundred times more economic wisdom and common sense in the Pope’s remarks than in whatever op-ed from the WSJ or any other pseudo-calvinist media.

                      Always remember that old roman sentence: ROME DOES NOT PAY TRAITORS. And the Church always knows who are really with her, or who are against her.

                      PD- Supposed economic experts – on what we consider the right – who, for instance, failed saying that QE would be hyperinflationary, were among those who most fiercely attacked the Pope’s words. They have always hated someone remebering them that they’re wrong, that’s why they hate so much government and regulation, beginning with the most important government and regulation: that which somes from the Church.

  • John Uebersax

    Both parties are controlled by Wall Street, defense contractors, and, in foreign policy, AIPAC. There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties. They have nearly ruined the country. We have to get beyond the mindset that our only two options are a Democratic or a Republican government. Find a tertium quid.

    Here is a little fable I wrote to explain how the two parties use hot-button issues to divide and control everybody:

    The Lions and the Tigers (A Political Parties Fable)
    http://satyagraha.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/the-lions-and-the-tigers-a-political-parties-fable/

    • Joseph

      We need a third party. 10% in the House of Representatives could do a lot of good.

  • Matthew Ogden

    As a monarchist, I’d sooner be caught dead than support any political party that calls itself either “democrat” or “republican.” As a Catholic, I’d sooner be caught dead than support a political party that endorses capitalism or separation of church and state, two of the modern world’s most pernicious and pervasive evils.

    Fortunately, there’s many people in the younger generation (mostly under 30) who are like me; and even a good number of older people too.

    The American experiment is dying, and I hope I’m alive to see it drop the other foot into the grave.

    • Arriero

      - «As a monarchist, I’d sooner be caught dead than support any political party that calls itself either “democrat” or “republican.” As a Catholic, I’d sooner be caught dead than support a political party that endorses capitalism or separation of church and state, two of the modern world’s most pernicious and pervasive evils.»

      I love this comment, for the sincerity and for the coherence with Church’s historical principles. Put it on stone, really. Much more of that is needed to fight against the anarchic rethorics.

      I endorse liberalism (as understood in Europe), but only real Catholic liberalism, in the spirit of Father Juan de Mariana and the real liberals from the Counter-Reformation. The current democracy is a product of the anti-Catholic late French Revolution. The current capitalism is a product of selfish anti-human pseudo-calvinism. The current left is a product of relativist protestant marxism.

      A new Counter-Reformation is needed. Let’s remove the masks of those who are nothing but traitors to the Faith. The history of the Church already teaches us what’s the path to follow.

      • TheAbaum

        “Let’s remove the masks of those who are nothing but traitors to the Faith.”

        I’d be happy to remove your mask.

        • Arriero

          The Church was state until the very anti-Catholic Robespierran Revolution.

          • TheAbaum

            Oh well. So much for “Catholic” France.

      • John Albertson

        Romantically attached as I am to authentic monarchy, it is a lost cause and, where remnants remain, it is corrupt. Nostalgia is not Catholic tradition. King Philippe gave his Royal Assent to the Belgian child euthanasia law, thus effectively ending the monarchy there.

        • Arriero

          Is there anything intrinsically Catholic in the Belgian royalty?

          A Catholic king would have imprisoned, at least, all those who make the murder lawful.

          No nostalgia. Just reality, a reality where the Church has, again, a prominent place.

          • TheAbaum

            Communists like to tell us their systems only fails because of the inadequacies of the actual practitioners too.

            Embrace reality.

            • Arriero

              Reality tells us that Casino Capitalism – in its crony branch – does not work. Reality tells us that CEO-ideology – on sociology, politics and economics – is the personification of Max Stirner’s thesis. Reality tells us that democracy is imperfect and has allowed monsters to get the power. Reality tells us that the Church is being marginalized without mercy by the same fully-belly who despise the state – and by extent government, beginning with Church’s Institutional power – at every minute they open their mouths.

              Fruitful conversation, but enough for today. This friday night calls for a wonderful jazz manouche (in the spirit of Django Reinhardt) concert in a very impressive city from a very statist country. Yes, there was white people playing jazz before americans discovered it. Have a nice day, and I hope the NSA doesn’t put us in its blacklist.

        • TheAbaum

          “Nostalgia is not Catholic tradition.”

          They aren’t peddling nostalgia. Nostalgia is an attachment to something that existed in reality, not in somebody’s imagination, they are peddling FANTASY.

          Monarchy ended with Henry Tudor, not this petty rubber stamp Philippe.

          • Art Deco

            Come again? You had monarchies with executive discretion in Europe through the end of the 1st World War.

            • Septimus

              I believe the point was that one cannot trust a Catholic monarch to remain so, as the “monarchists” implicitly posit.

              • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                Depends on the country.

                « Paris vaut bien une messe » – Paris is well worth a mass, declared the Huguenot champion, Henri de Navarre, announcing his reconciliation to the Catholic Church on 25 July 1593. He knew that a powerful military aristocracy, led by the House of Guise, backed financially by a rich and numerous hierarchy, would never accept a Protestant king. The following year, on 28 February, he was anointed with the oil of Clovis at Rheims as Henri IV, roi très-chrétien – most Christian king. Thus, every king of France, from Clovis in 495 to Charles X in 1830 has been a faithful son of the Church.

                • TheAbaum

                  “Thus, every king of France, from Clovis in 495 to Charles X in 1830 has been a faithful son of the Church.”

                  And then what?

                  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                    Louis-Philippe and Napoléon III were both Catholic, of course.

                    The trouble really began with the Third Republic. The open hostility of most Catholics to the Republic neatly matched the anti-clericalism of the bouffeurs de curé. Leo XIII exhorted Catholic to “rally to the Republic,” explaining that a distinction must be drawn between the form of government, which ought to be accepted, and its laws which ought to be improved, only to be accused by the Catholic press of “kissing the feet of their executioners.” In 1940, alas, too many Catholics rallied, not to the Republic, but to Vichy.

                    • TheAbaum

                      You just illustrated the idea that monarchies are frail institutions-not some ideal government.

                      How many times to people need to hear “My Kingdom is not of this world”?

                    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                      “monarchies are frail institutions” – Compared to what?

                      The French monarchy lasted from the baptism of Clovis in 496 until at least the death of Louis XVI in 1791 – 1830, if we include the Restoration.That is 1,295 years. No human government approaches it in duration, except, perhaps, the empire of Japan.

                      Walter Bagehot explains why: “The nature of a constitution, the action of an assembly, the play of parties, the unseen formation of a guiding opinion, are complex facts, difficult to know and easy to mistake. But the action of a single will, the fiat of a single mind, are easy ideas: anybody can make them out, and no one can ever forget them. When you put before the mass of mankind the question, ‘Will you be governed by a king, or will you be governed by a constitution?’ the inquiry comes out thus—’Will you be governed in a way you understand, or will you be governed in a way you do not understand?’ The issue was put to the French people; they were asked, ‘Will you be governed by Louis Napoleon, or will you be governed by an assembly?’ The French people said, ‘We will be governed by the one man we can imagine, and not by the many people we cannot imagine.'”

      • Watosh

        You nailed it regarding capitalism and separation of church and state being two of the modern world’s most pernicious and pervasive evils. But how few Catholics recognize this, having been indoctrinated 24/7 that Capitalism and separation of church and state are what make america uniquely great.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        Pascal gave the real case for monarchy: “The most unreasonable things in the world become most reasonable, because of the unruliness of men. What is less reasonable than to choose the eldest son of a queen to rule a State? We do not choose as captain of a ship the passenger who is of the best family.

        This law would be absurd and unjust; but, because men are so themselves and always will be so, it becomes reasonable and just. For whom will men choose, as the most virtuous and able? We at once come to blows, as each claims to be the most virtuous and able. Let us then attach this quality to something indisputable. This is the king’s eldest son. That is clear, and there is no dispute. Reason can do no better, for civil war is the greatest of evils.”

        He generalise the lesson, ” Which of us two shall have precedence? Who will give place to the other? The least clever. But I am as clever as he. We should have to fight over this. He has four lackeys, and I have only one. This can be seen; we have only to count. It falls to me to yield, and I am a fool if I contest the matter. By this means we are at peace, which is the greatest of boons.”

        • Arriero

          Good paragraph. It sounds very rhythmic even in english, in french it must sound even more melodic, with this wonderfully mystic seriousness that Pascal printed in his writting.

          Erasmus of Rotterdam in his “Praise of folly” also has a very good piece about monarchy. It’s clear that the relation between monarchy and Catholicism is a constant throughout the Church’s history.

          In fact, Spain – the oldest Catholic nation-state in Europe (1469) – was built by the union of two Catholic monarchs. And the very anti-Catholic Robespierran Revolution won the pulse after killing the last french Catholic monarch.

          • Michael Paterson-Seymour

            Arriero wrote, “in french it must sound even more melodic, with this wonderfully mystic seriousness that Pascal printed in his writting.”

            « Les choses du monde les plus déraisonnables deviennent les plus raisonnables à cause du dérèglement des hommes. Qu’y a-t-il de moins raisonnable que de choisir, pour gouverner un État, le premier fils d’une reine ? L’on ne choisit pas pour gouverner un bateau, celui des voyageurs qui est de meilleure maison. Cette loi serait ridicule et injuste ; mais parce qu’ils le sont et le seront toujours, elle devient raisonnable et juste, car qui choisira-t-on ? Le plus vertueux et le plus habile ? Nous voilà incontinent aux mains, chacun prétend être ce plus vertueux et ce plus habile. Attachons donc cette qualité à quelque chose d’incontestable. C’est le fils aîné du roi ; cela est net, il n’y a point de dispute. La raison ne peut mieux faire, car la guerre civile est le plus grand des maux. »

            and

            « Qui passera de nous deux ? qui cédera la place à l’autre ? Le moins habile ? mais je suis aussi habile que lui, il faudra se battre sur cela. Il a quatre laquais, et je n’en ai qu’un ; cela est visible ; il n’y a qu’à compter ; c’est à moi à céder, et je suis un sot si je le conteste. Nous voilà en paix par ce moyen, ce qui est le plus grand des biens. »

            • Arriero

              Indeed.

              «[…] cela est net, il n’y a point de dispute.»

        • TheAbaum

          So, the monarchists are now telling me I should be devoting myself to the erection of a monarch based upon the words of a Jansenist?

          Fascinating.

  • Allan Daniel

    Whether Republican candidates deserve Catholic support is not really the question, I think. Some Republican candidates deserve our support, some don’t; but what is morally certain is that the Democrat Party does not deserve our support. It takes massive amounts of qualifications and weasel thinking to even suggest that it is not seriously sinful to vote for the party of demons.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      Amen!

    • YDDemocrat

      Bull! The Republicans only care about children until they are born; then they are on their own until they are old enough to put on combat boots and pick up a rifle to be sent to war. Open your eyes to which party is truly rife with demons.

      • Allan Daniel

        You have, of course, evidence for your odd remark? I suspect you watch too much TV.

        • Art Deco

          You mean maladroit renderings of 30 year old quips from Barney Frank are insufficient as a guide to civic life? Say it ain’t so!

      • Guest

        How absurd.

      • Abbie

        The Democrats are so busy butchering the children of our country and the children of the world with the Hilary Clinton obsession with abortion that you have not kept abreast of the abortion alternative programs now available that do care about children before and after they are born and that help the mother to choose life for her child and for herself and help the mother find an apartment, help with education and job finding to provide a stable home for her child. The place I speak of is Good Counsel Homes in New York, just to name one such pro-life institution. As far as young people choosing to go to war for this country, I cannot thank them enough for their service and heroism. They can hold their heads high while other Americans to nothing to earn the privilege of being American.

  • Deacon Ed

    When I was much, much younger I was a “wide-eyed” young liberal Democrat. But I came from an extremely conservative community. Just out of high school I chaired the local “Young Texans for Johnson” in 1964. My dad was self-employed, but my mom worked for an extremely conservative oil company. Did she catch hell! I never expected to make such an about-face, but with the Demos trying to force their liberal pro-abortion on everyone, I jumped ship many years ago.

  • Mack

    Thank you, Dr. Liu, for your precise and objective essay. Ever since I could vote (and I am 66) I have identified as a Republican, which in rural Texas was always, oh, unfashionable (“Yet, I seen me a Republican once; they had it in a cage at the fair.”). But, to paraphrase President Reagan, I am not leaving the Republican Party; the Republican Party is leaving, well, not me, but civilization.

  • hombre111

    Both parties are flawed. But the Republicans, with their endless warfare on the weak and their perpetual support of the strong can’t get my vote. They are pro-choice, but that does not mean they are pro-abortion. Republicans are pro-gun, but that does not mean they are pro-murder by gun.

    • thebigdog

      You are a left wing cartoon character… the “poor in America” own flat screen TVs to go along with their iPhones, cable / internet packages: http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/01/news/economy/poor-income/

      The Church really needs to start speaking out on the immorality of spending money on electronic luxuries while accepting food stamps.

      • TheAbaum

        It’s funny our resident PHO’s-who like to complain about usury-never have a word to say about the flotation of 17 TRILLION dollars of debt-that is merely “refunded” but never repaid.

      • Guest

        ..

        • hombre111

          That’s a recent from a purchase by that surfer California guy, turned by the Repubs into the poster-boy of welfare. It is so, so easy to hate the poor because a leech abused the system for a few bucks. That is the conservative instinct, who don’t really need an excuse to hate the poor, because they just do. But there is no conservative anger against Wall Street for bringing the economy down to the tune of trillions of dollars, and for costing the average guy about a third of his wealth. Or for giving tax breaks to billionaires.

          • Augustus

            You are mistaken, hombre. Conservatives are the only ones condemning crony capitalism that is endemic in the Obama administration. After all, it is liberal Wall Street that gave Obama his greatest campaign contributions, exposing the lie that Wall Street is conservative. New York is a blue city for a reason. Wealthy liberals live there and they are the ones who benefit from government preferences, while the little guy gets screwed. And don’t confuse establishment Republicans with conservatives. Conservatism, by definition, opposes government subsidies to corporate interests because it violates the principle of a free economy. See the numbers on Wall Street donations here: http://dailycaller.com/2011/10/10/obama-attacks-banks-while-raking-in-wall-street-dough/

            See also: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-campaign-attracts-wall-street-money-despite-tensions/2011/07/22/gIQApIugTI_story.html

          • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

            Repeat until it sinks in to your head: There are no poor in America.

            • hombre111

              ALA Animal Farm and 1984: up is down and down is up. It isn’t big government that creates this double talk, but the Republican servants of the billionaires who control America.

              • TheAbaum

                It’s your party that uses double talk. Government spending is “investing”. Killing is “a woman’s right to choose” and dispensing contraceptives is “reproductive rights”.

                I note “billionaires” include Hollywood elite, who are overwhelmingly Democrats. Wall Street includes lots of Democrats (Paulson, Rubin, Orszag, et al)

                Can’t you get the help you so desperately need?

          • TheAbaum

            Interesting. The bottom line says found near “Hazleton High School”

            It appears that is in Pennsylvania, not California-not many Surfers in a city noted for its elevation, mining coal and bad winter weather.

            But thanks for playing.

    • M

      I suspect Pope Francis would vote Democrat. To me, it’s a matter of individual conscience. Under Obama, abortion rates are at their lowest point since 1973, so I don’t see abortion as a Republican sacred cow. I see the Church’s stance on social justice as much more in line with the Democratic position. YMMV.

      • TheAbaum

        Exactly what has Obama done to lower abortion rates?

        Guarantee it has more to do the growing pro-life sentiment than anything a man.

        http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2013/04/26/president-obama-speaks-planned-parenthood-gala

      • thebigdog
      • hombre111

        I agree. But it is sky high in places of great poverty, a Republican gift that keeps on giving.

        • Augustus

          Cities with the greatest poverty rates are run by Democrats. They don’t create private sector jobs; they create instead indebtedness and dependency while enriching the public sector unions.

        • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

          “Poverty” – meaning government subsidized indolence, illegitimacy, ignorance, and crime – is created by the Democratic party, pure and simple. And it is no accident, either. It is deliberate. It’s called perpetuating a voting block. There was a growing black middle class, until the “Great Society” destroyed the black family. But that was only the beginning. The “poor” in America are obese and have satellite TV. Have you ever met a “poor” person, padre?

          • hombre111

            Sadly, I was there when the black family began to go down in ruins, and it happened before Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society. A book by MIchael Harrington, called “Hungry in America,” revealed the extent of desperate poverty–above all among Blacks– in the United States. Our country was shocked at the thought of children who were actually starving. Politicians, alarmed at the reality of such desperation in the wealthiest country on earth, invented welfare. But the Republicans would not support it if the father was in the home. He had no job because he had no skills, and so he was going to stay unemployed unless he got training. The Repubs were against that, as well. They carried the day. Welfare became an American reality, and fathers stayed away from home to make sure their kids could eat. It became the task of social workers to make sure the father was not in the home making more children. At that time, I was taking a sociology class taught by J. Fichter, a famous Jesuit. He told us that the black family would be destroyed in a generation, and blamed it on Southern Democrat racism and Republican habitual hatred of the poor. He was right on all counts. A made-by-conservatives tragedy is now blamed on the Democrats.

            • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

              A Jesuit sociologist… nothing need be added to that!

              • hombre111

                As Doctor Fichter also said, it is a waste of time trying to separate a man from his certitudes.

                • Art Deco

                  I cannot speak for Mr. Baum and others, but I think many of us are of the same mind on that question. When you utter vain, silly, and stupid things, we want it down for the record that they are and how they are.

                  • TheAbaum

                    You have spoken well.

          • hombre111

            I ignore this caricature, which crawls out of some dark place in your psyche and says more about you than about poor people. I do answer one sentence, below.

      • BillinJax

        Surely the free distribution of contraceptives in high schools and Sandra Flukes dire needs campaign for collage girls free birth control “medications” has nothing to do with fewer abortions either. Would be mothers are killing their young at home now. Is this a great country the Dems have created for us or what? Yea, the Pope must be elated.

      • Mercydivine

        Are you serious? Pro-abortion, pro-infanticide Obama is responsible for the abortion rates at it’s lowest point since ’73! I thought I heard everything…Pure nonsense!
        The credit goes to those fighting the pro-abortion Democrats and their culture of death party and their cohorts in the pro-death media. It is pro-lifers, mostly Republicans, who have made a dent in this slaughter of the innocents, by praying outside the death camps, opening crisis pregnancy centers (4,000), counseling and changing the laws that the mostly democrat anti-life judges and politicians put in place….

      • Mercydivine

        I’m afraid the Pope has already spoken out against abortion and would never vote to advance the culture of death. Didn’t he reference the Devil once as having had a hand in this evil as well as gay marriage?

      • publiusnj

        I am sure, as God is My Judge, that the Pope never has and never will vote for the Democrat Party. Certainly not unless he resigns and moves to the USA. And even if he did, I doubt he would vote for the Baby-killer Party,

    • Arriero

      - «[…] with their endless warfare on the weak and their perpetual support of the strong can’t get my vote.»

      That’s the pseudo-calvinist CEO-ideology applied to wide sociological matters (if you’ve ever worked in finance or in a big corporation, you must know what a cancer this anti-life CEO-ideology is. They have turned post-modern corporations in semi-slave labour camps; they just seem want to turn society in the same).

      Recently, in a so-called «conservative» tv-program appeared a sheer nihilist – wrapped under the veil of «staunch conservative» being from who knows what strange protestant sect – and just said: «poor people should learn not to be poor». To me, it sounded quite like: «people with cancer should learn how not to have cancer». My comparison may seem odious, but poverty is a sociological and economic cancer in our «developed» societies. In fact, divorces, broken families, abortions, violence, robberies, etc. are very related with poverty. That’s why the Church HAS ALWAYS fight poverty, and HAS ALWAYS been and helping the poor.

      That’s why many of them hate this Pope, but they don’t have (yet) the courage to say it overtly. They have always hated the Church, because they have always hated someone saying them that they’re wrong.

    • Art Deco

      But the Republicans, with their endless warfare

      There is endless warfare

      Republicans, who are pro-gun, are pro-murder by gun;

      They are not, and restrictions on gun ownership are on a good day just about the weakest vector influencing the frequency of homicide.

      • hombre111

        Yeah. 30,000+ time a year, somebody dies by the gun. My poverty stricken state, for instance, is one of the leaders in suicides. More people die by suicide than do in traffic accidents. Proportionally, the homicide rate by any means in countries with gun control, like Canada, Japan, Englan the Netherlands, etc.., is a fraction of what it is in the U.S.. We are a murderous country and a gun is always at hand, along with rage and alcohol.

        • Art Deco

          No, someone dies because someone intends to kill them.

          It does not seem to occur to you that the homicide rate is correlated with a multiplicity of factors and that gun ownership is a weak vector. Ownership of firearms is quite widespread in Switzerland, and crime rates are quite low. Recreational hunting and firearms ownership are quit common in small-towns and rural areas in Upstate New York, where the homicide rate is 1.14 per 100,000, or scarcely more than a fifth the national average.

          You want to do something about crime, you enforce the law and deter, punish, and incapacitate hoodlum. Petty harassment of ordinary gun owners is not a means to that end. It is a way of sticking the bill for social pathology with disapproved elements of society (“bitter clingers”). Which is to be expected among vociferous elements who have not an ounce of integrity .

          • BillinJax

            Yea, right. And those damned hospitals, people die in them every day from malpractice of doctors. Get rid of both of them.
            When those who have given you their pledge to care for all your needs and protect you from all harm minus your freedoms and the right to bare arms then dictate your every move and thought or action you’ll realize you have become a serf in modern day feudalism.

            • TheAbaum

              you’ll realize you have become a serf in modern day feudalism.

              He’s there already.

        • TheAbaum

          How many homicides are prevented by guns?

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      So the Republicans are “pro-murder” because war will result in the deaths of at least some innocents, but the Democrats are not pro-murder though abortion always result in the death of innocents? Another brilliant contribution. You are nothing if not completely consistent. Consistently loopy.

  • uncle max

    I am a retired union construction worker. I joined the union in 1968 and I was a proud member of the democratic party.

    The democratic party of today has no resemblance to the party i was proud to belong to in 1968.

  • BillinJax

    Some may question the republican establishment but no catholic worth his holy water can support the democrats lock step secular progressive agenda

  • AugustineThomas

    Both parties are evil. Both underwrite baby murder.

    Americans are worse than Nazis and Good Germans. God won’t worry about hurting our feelings the way that we do. He’ll be more concerned with the murdered babies than our feelings and the fact that we were “charitable” to mothers who had their children murdered and the murderers who did it.

    This is exactly equivalent to people saying “don’t put Nazi war criminals on trial, what about their feelings?!?!”

  • Wall Flower

    It’s all very simple for me. Why would a Catholic vote for a Democrat? The Democratic Party is the party of abortion. Even though a particular Democratic politician may be pro-life on the issue, they will not vote against their party. It is how they vote that matters. Democrats will always tow the party line, or their party will not provide them with the money they need to get elected for another term.

  • Susan

    If the democrats were pro life, pro family I’d be one/If the republicans were pro union I’d be one. Union work gave my large Catholic family of six health care, dental, vision, a retirement plan, food on the table to say the least. The fiscal conservative views on unions (specifically Labor) are extremely biased and some of their claims are simply untrue. However, life and family issues trump all others and this is why I mostly vote Republican. My democratic-minded extended family do not understand my thinking that every choice we make will be held accountable under the judgement of God. Nor do they understand that we must be a voice for those who have no voice, or an understanding of God’s intentions for the human family as the church teaches. This is why I am and vote as a moral conservative independent.

  • somebigguy

    This is the bottom line: The Democrat Party is not just pro-abortion; it is not even simply atheistic or anti-life. The Democrat Party is, ultimately, anti-human.

    The party is pro-contraception/sterilization, pro-abortion/euthanasia, pro-homosexual, pro-lethal human experimentation/harvesting and anti-marriage/family.

    Obamacare provides a real eye-opener here. Obamacare isn’t about helping people; it’s about eliminating them– not only through mandated provision of contraceptives and abortifacients, but through calculated rationing of medical care and active euthanasia.

    This is part and parcel of the left’s aggressive atheism and radical environmentalism, as well as the larger anti-humanism of an ideology that repudiates the Judeo-Christian understanding of God, creation and salvation. It is, in a single word, Satanic.

    In most national elections, the Republican Party is the only realistic alternative.

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    Supporting Republicans in general at the federal level is akin to a neurosis: repeatedly trying the same thing in spite of frustrated results.

    • Art Deco

      And you’re diagnosis and alternative is…?

      • GJames

        Stop voting at the federal level. Local is more important anyway.

      • TheAbaum

        Give to individual candidates, rather than the NRCC or NRSC.

  • Heidi Holmes

    Where in the political past did the aversion to voting Democrat or Republican become an issue for the Catholic Church. I am a 67 year old catholic woman who has supported the Conservative view all of my voting life. I do not agree with the Liberal point of view that it is up to the working citizens of this nation to support the non-working, unemployed citizens and non-citizens of our nation. I do agree in providing assistance in getting the unemployed back to work and supporting their families, but to continue to keep them in the welfare role for their entire lives and than continue this with the children of these people would be so damaging that they will never see the pride of accomplishment, of being strong citizens of this nation.

  • Jay

    Catholics are politically homeless.

  • Jay

    The Republicans are quick to war, and don’t care for the poor. The Dems support abortion. As a new Catholic neither will have my vote.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      Oh, please! I agree that the Republicans are too quick to see the military as a solution, but poverty? There are, strictly speaking, no real poor in America. There are millions who live off government largesse, but the Democrats created this system to buy votes, and they don’t want it changed.

  • Wowey

    What is this obsession with group identification? The “democrats”, the republicans” the whites, the blacks, How little we see others as individuals. “Catholics” vrs “Protestants” OR Protestants vrs Catholics is the antithesis of what Jesus taught. Are we so Gang orientated, that we cannot see any thing beyond. our own prejudices? Smug allegiance to a party, a group or a collection of “those” and “thems” is a bigotry of its own. There are decent people who have chosen an ideology that is harmful or misguided. .Treat them as individuals not as mere cogs in the wheels of a “group”. Learn the truth about the various political entities and vote for individuals, weighing carefully how they perform….not just how they conform to the mob mentality so pervasive in our culture today. OR as some posters decry…..”shoot them all”…is that the answer, or a colossal excuse for being too lazy to discern the truth?

  • Al

    I am a Catholic AND a Republican. Proud of it.

  • bonaventure

    They deserve it more than the democrats.

    However, if the RINO establishment forces/manipulates the election of a RINO, then I would much rather than the enemy (democrats) win, because it is better that America be destroyed sooner by democrats than later by republicans. At least then, conservative republicans could rise from the ashes to rebuild America, while the democrats will go extinct.

  • GJames

    This is all fine and good for the discussion of an idealist, but when it comes down to it, often the GOP appears to merely pay lip service to Catholics in order to gain political power and continue using it to centralize government for the benefit of bloated corporations bent on destroying subsidiarity and a military industrial complex bent on destroying countries in the Middle East and arming the enemies of Christendom.

    I am not saying that a good number of Republicans are genuine on the most crucial issues like abortion, but we’re wrong to think we’re merely weighing a pro-abortion party against a pro-life party. We’re weighing a pro-abortion party against a party with seemingly more important things to do than put up any real effort against the culture of death.

    We’re being played.

    • Fran123

      So, you vote dem?

      • GJames

        How can you possibly come up with that conclusion from my post? Wouldn’t you first assume that I don’t vote?

        Regardless, I don’t vote at all anymore on the national level. There’s no difference in the outcome. On the state/local level, I vote by candidate – I would say it usually ends up being Republicans.

  • Jane

    I am a Catholic and most of my Catholic friends are Republicans. I don’t see how you can be a Catholic and vote as a Democrat. Matter of fact, there is book I read titled: You Can’t be Democrat and Catholic. I don’t remember the authors name.

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  • MadAsMel

    I am Catholic and would never vote Democrat! I don’t always agree with Republicans but are forced to vote that party in my State, I find myself becoming more Conservative as each day passes! I agree you cannot be Catholic or Christian and vote with the Democrats. If you do you have no moral conscience!

  • FAM22

    One could very easily make the point that the manner in which modern welfare programs are managed and implemented makes them objectively immoral in practice. We are spending enormous amounts of borrowed money that we have no hope of repaying anytime soon on programs that do nothing to allieviate poverty and that have no accountability or checks in place to prevent abuse. Why is is morally preferable to run up huge debts in the name of the modern welfare state that future generations will be burdened with rather than questioning the efficacy of the existing state of affairs and trying to find a better way?

  • GrahamUSA

    The GOP gave us Chief Justice John Roberts and I believe Justice Anthony Kennedy. Never mind Justice Sotomayor another “good Catholic.” What’s the point? It is becoming increasingly clear that our participation in the civic space is not only unwanted but unproductive. There are simply too many priests and religious as well who have given little succor or example to those of us alienated from the political process. Obviously the ACA legislation has been a balm to the consciences of too many Catholics among the laity, Holy Orders, and religious. Prayer, the Sacraments, and the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity should be our focus now. It is obvious that even the Republicans can’t or won’t insure our First Amendment freedoms so basic to the health of the English-speaking and historically missing just about everywhere else. Why we cannot see our future in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, China, the Sudan, the Russian Empire and other places is a great mystery. When true religious liberty exits the polis, hellish violence and mass dislocation rushes in.

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  • Joseph

    When the Republicans will push for a re-investigation of 9/11 (WTC and Pentagon), and when they will stop their war-mongering against Syria and Iran, I will vote for them. Until then, I will vote 3rd party.

    • Art Deco

      When the Republicans will push for a re-investigation of 9/11 (WTC and Pentagon)

      Yeah, let’s just have one blue-ribbon commission after another until one of them elects to please the conspirazoids and issue a report contending that Larry Silverstein hired a demolition firm employing a remarkably reticent crew to destroy the 7.7 million sq. feet of commercial office space he’d just paid $3.2 billion to lease.

      • Joseph

        Your attempts at disinformation are less and less effective in this age of the internet and easy availability of the TRUTH. So, no, I won’t vote on anyone who continues the cover-up regarding 9/11, and that includes the Republican establishment. Much less will I vote on a Republican party that’s guilty not only of misleading the nation into unjust/illegal/unnecessary wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, but now shamelessly continues its war-mongering, pushing for more wars against Syria and Iran.

        Obviously, I don’t mean that I will vote on “let’s bomb Libya” Democrats, either.

        • Art Deco

          [chuckles]

  • ProtestantFriend

    The reality of our political system is that you never vote for an individual; you always vote for a party. Whichever party has the majority has all the chairmanships and the majority on every committee. The chairman sets all the rules. Nothing the other side wants will ever be brought up in committee, much less see the light of day on the House or Senate floor.

    The democrat is pro-life? good for him. But if you elect him and his party is the majority, the pro-death side wins and his “pro-life” principals will never have a hearing.

    What about third parties? Yes, there are some men of principle running on 3rd party tickets that will siphon 1% to 9% of the votes away from Republicans (the democrats never split their vote). But lets say a wildly popular third party candidate manages to get elected. Great so its now 1 to 434. What chance do his ideas have of being spoken anywhere near Capitol Hill? Less than the chance of Obama converting to Catholicism.

    You may not like it. It may go against your principles, but the fact is that there are only two parties and for whomever you vote, his party is the party for which you are voting.

    Besides, no real, principled pro-lifer would be a democrat unless he was a liar, insane, or wildly ignorant.

  • Josh

    As long as the GOP remains wedded to the war machine, no thank you.

    There are a few decent Republicans out there, I admit.

    • Art Deco

      If you’re interested in supporting pacifist parties, you ought to emigrate. Only countries dependent on larger (and passably benevolent) neighbors have the luxury for such silliness.

      • TheAbaum

        I Notice how they are never bothered by the Obama war machine-like DHS’ purchase of 2700 APC’s and the billions of rounds of ammo-which can only be used for DOMESTIC purposes?

        They still haven’t gotten the message from Crimea.I think Vladimir might slap the stupid out of these folks, then again…

        • Joseph

          I love that picture. And I truly “love” how the Obama administration bought all those hollow-point bullets for domestic use. Have you heard about Wolfgang Halbig? (just google his name)

          • TheAbaum

            But you didn’t mention any discomfiture with the DHS, instead you drew an equivalence between “baby killers” and “war-mongers”.

        • Josh

          I am bothered by Obama’s foreign policy. But then maybe I am not part of the “they” of which you speak.

          I would think that at Crisis someone could criticize Republicans without automatically be labelled a leftist Democrat. So much for a serious renewal of conservative thought.

          • Nick

            The Tea Party continuously criticizes RepublicRats, and are considered insane. Yet I will stand with their ideals.

      • Josh

        I do not believe I said anything about pacifist parties. I think one could plausibly not be a pacifist and yet be opposed to, say, invading Iraq, among other machinations of American military aggression.

    • Joseph
    • Mercydivine

      And as long as the Democrat party remains wedded to abortion, baby killing and same-sex disordered unions, no thank you….

      • Joseph

        I will agree with this, too. That’s why I will not vote on either the baby killers, or the war-mongers.

        • Mercydivine

          Exactly what the Devil would say…I will pic the lesser of two evils. No one lives after an abortion, many lives have been saved liberated from tyrants…

      • Josh

        I agree. I take it for granted that the Dems are wicked. I spent much of my life supporting Republican causes. It was a waste of time.

    • TheAbaum

      “war machine” =vaccuous euphemism.

      • Josh

        I’m sorry. I meant to say our noble efforts to spread liberty and prosperity throughout the world, and to defeat all those who hate us because of our freedom.

        • TheAbaum

          In other words, you can’t define your own term. So noted.

        • Nick

          You would prefer for us to let slaughter happen instead? We don’t need boots on the ground to stop animals like ISIS – just a willingness to recognize evil when we see it.

  • Diego Fernando Ramos Flor

    As you pointed out Rachel, it’s quite difficult to see any Party as an ally for catholics, maybe that’s because we are called to be prosecuted. Even worse, yesterday I watched “Romero”, and I saw clearly how left-wing and right-wing try to make catholics take a stand for them: Oscar Romero, the same as John Paul II, the same as Francis, the same as Card. Van Thuan, the same as Card. Mindszenty……are not left, nor right, but catholic. Just as a curiosity, there’s is a party at Australia that declares explictly to be catholic: http://www.dlp.org.au/

  • Tomacz Tesla

    Can you imagine the Church Fathers supporting Marcion’s candidacy to be Emperor?
    Mmm… Inquiring minds want to know!

  • Paul

    Wow. There’s spin and spin. But that is something else. Break a man’s legs, then snatch his crutches from him, saying that you’re doing it save him from being crippled by his dependency on them.

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  • JoEllen McMahon

    I have a real problem with democrats calling themselves Catholic with all of us funding Partial Birth Abortion and murder if the child survives. There is no other issue. s anRN it disgusts me. I would have to confront any of them with the sight,smell, and reality of that as being thrust on all of us by tax funded Planned Parenhood.

  • Anders13

    After reading the article and a considerable sample of the comments it seems that the Church cannot get its mine wrapped around the fact that the U.S. was not founded as a 15th century monarchy and continues to conduct its business and politics as though it were. The left would love to transform us into a their version of a 15th century monarchy which then by their modern methods could be quickly reduce it to something pre-Christian, and much of the Catholic laity would blindly help.

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