welfare

Raising Lion Cubs for the Caliphate

There are a number of Muslim reform movements in the West and in the Muslim world which aim to make Islam a more peaceful religion by removing the more offensive parts. Some reformers, for example, want to rebuild Islam around the more peaceful verses of the Koran while discarding the violent verses. But what if [...]

Archbishop Nichols Sparks Debate Over Welfare Reform in the UK

As Archbishop Nichols prepared to take off for Rome to receive his red hat he came out politically last week with a vengeance (having over the years been admirably discreet about his political attitudes), with an attack on his fellow Catholic Iain Duncan Smith’s policy on welfare reform—a policy whose alleged effects he described as [...]

Dave Ramsey—Our Favorite Catechist: A Response to Richard Becker

 We have no wish at all to pass over in silence the difficulties, at times very great, which beset the lives of Christian married couples. For them, as indeed for every one of us, "the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life." —Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae Earlier this month, [...]

How Catholics Can Avoid Cooperating with Evil in Public Life

In a recent column, I suggested that the most important thing for Catholics to do politically is to present, argue for, and act on the Catholic understanding of human life. We are defined by our faith, which has to do with an understanding of God, man, and the world, and our goal as Catholics is [...]

Pope Francis on the True Meaning of Poverty

“How I long for a poor Church for the poor!” With these words spoken after being elected pope, Jorge Bergoglio underscored a theme that continues to be front-and-center of his papacy. Not surprisingly, many have concluded such statements demonstrate that Pope Francis wants Catholics to devote greater attention to poverty-alleviation. In one sense, this is [...]

Subsidy or Subsidiarity

Individualism and community are the opposite halves of the American character. For every myth of the self-made man, there is the image of the closely knit New England small town. For every lone cowboy on the frontier, there are the social, political, and cultural groups that Americans have formed since the beginning of the Republic. [...]

What If Elections Don’t Matter?

  What if Democrats and Republicans were two wings of the same bird of prey? What if elections were actually useful tools of social control? What if they just provided the populace with meaningless participation in a process that validates an establishment that never meaningfully changes? What if that establishment doesn't want and doesn't have [...]

Newt Keeps Pitching the America of His Imagination

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind about Newt Gingrich, as he leads in polls for the Republican presidential nomination nationally and in Iowa and South Carolina, and may be threatening Mitt Romney's lead in New Hampshire. One is that he is an autodidact. A second is that he has incredible perseverance. [...]

What Destroying Marriage Costs Us

Most Americans are unaware that about $700 Billion a year of federal taxpayers' money is handed out to non-taxpayers allegedly below a poverty line (in addition to $250 Billion a year given out by the states). After Barack Obama became President, he increased federal welfare spending by a third because, as he promised during his [...]

The Financial Mess in the U.S. and Europe

What's the common thread between Europe's financial mess, particularly among the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), and the financial mess in the U.S.? That question could be more easily answered if we asked instead: What's necessary to cure the financial mess in Europe and the U.S.? If European governments and the U.S. Congress [...]

The Enduring Importance of Centesimus Annus

Amidst the excitement of John Paul II’s beatification on May 1, the 20th anniversary of the late pope’s most important social encyclical, Centesimus Annus, got a bit lost. Blessed John Paul II was not a man given to rubbing it in. Still, it is worth noting that the encyclical, which celebrated the collapse of European [...]

Classical Versus Contemporary Liberalism

In previous elections, including the last presidential election, many of us will recall hearing allegations that this or that candidate "is a liberal," "has a 100 percent liberal record," "has always sided with the liberals in his party," and so forth. And, without any further elaboration or explanation, certain ideological positions came automatically to our [...]

Protect Animals, but Don’t Forget about People

  The Australian government has halted all exports of live animals to Indonesia. This means that Indonesian abattoirs will have to find other sources of beef and Australian Aborigines will have to find other jobs. The ban was a hasty response to images of appalling brutality in a few Indonesian abattoirs. Animal welfare activists and [...]

Reactionary Liberalism and Catholic Social Doctrine

The debate over Catholic social doctrine and U.S. social welfare policy took an unhelpful turn in May when a gaggle of academics fired a shot across the bow of House Speaker John Boehner, prior to his commencement address at the Catholic University of America. Their charge? That Boehner’s House voting record showed him to be [...]

Not Whether to Help the Poor, But How

The debate over the application of the core teachings of the Christian faith began when Jesus was presented with a Roman coin containing Caesar’s image. In that moment, the Lord drew both a limitation to the legitimate power of the state and a distinction between it and the supreme authority of Almighty God. What would [...]

As the Family Goes, So Goes the Economy

  According to a New York Times editorial this week, “As Housing Goes, So Goes the Economy”. It is a call to the United States government to intervene in the housing market which, nearly two years after the housing bubble burst, is still in trouble and will not, says the Times, fix itself. That may be [...]

Sweden’s Big Government ‘Utopia’ Unmasked

The Kingdom of Sweden has been revered by supporters of big government around the world for decades, cited by statist college professors and policy makers everywhere. It started with the myth that its "socialist" system could simultaneously provide freedom, prosperity, and generous welfare benefits to all. But now, the illusion is beginning to crumble. The [...]

What Would Jesus Cut?

Over at his blog on Forbes, Doug Bandow says that, when it comes to balancing the budget, the religious left's question of "What would Jesus cut?" -- and its implied answer: nothing -- does no good in actually helping the poor. First, he points out that forced giving isn't the same as charity: There’s nothing [...]

Catholic Social Teaching and These Changing Times

Today, Gaudium et spes must be read in the light of Centesimus annus and other writings of the late-Pope John Paul II. These remain, by far, the most concrete, sophisticated, and accurate descriptions of the contemporary world. They are rooted in a thoroughly contemporary grasp of the philosophy and theology of the human person, community, [...]

Tackling the third rail of teen pregnancy

Gerry Garibaldi, a teacher at an inner-city school in Connecticut, talks frankly in an article for the City Journal about why his kids are failing in school -- and why the problem won't be solved by more money: Thanks to the feds, urban schools like mine—already entitled to substantial federal largesse under Title I, which [...]

The best defense of traditional marriage to date

This is probably the best defense of traditional marriage that I've read. The writers are respectful of the views of same-sex marriage proponents, which is unusual in pieces like this. One section about the role of the state particularly caught my attention: ...Although it is still a radical position without much purchase in public opinion, [...]

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