welfare state

OBAMA Signs Executive Orders

Hobby Lobby and Employment Discrimination

Editor's note: The following statement was issued by the USCCB and published on its blog July 17, 2014. In the image above, President Obama signs executive orders July 21, 2014 meant to protect homosexual employees from federal workplace discrimination. (Photo Credit: AP) The Washington Post reported July 8 that the American Civil Liberties Union and [...]

The Real Lessons of Prohibition

In October, 1919, a heavily “progressive” Congress passed the Volstead Act enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment, prohibiting, for almost all purposes, the production, sale, and distribution of alcoholic beverages. There are two things everybody has learned from Prohibition. First, it is wrong to try to legislate morality. Second, you cannot do it, for Prohibition failed. But [...]

Papal Teaching Warns Against Excessive Government

We are familiar enough with left-of-center Catholics, like Catholics United and the professors who publicly opposed House Speaker John Boehner’s honorary degree from The Catholic University of America in 2011, beating the drum for governmental—especially federal government—“solutions” to problems. We also witness it, however, from some Catholics known for being committed to the orthodox teaching [...]

“Subdue the Earth” and “Till It and Keep It”: Responding to God’s Cultural Commands

In the middle of our cultural crisis, issues such as politics, economics, and education may come immediately to mind. Though these issues are vital to our culture, the crisis stems in part from something even more fundamental. We’ve lost touch with the most basic aspects of culture. An important answer to our crisis can be [...]

The Virtuous Rich

If anyone out there should happen to have a small fortune to dispose of, I would urge them to consider entrusting it to the Lu family. As philosophers, my husband and I can debate almost anything, but on this we have always agreed: we would make excellent rich people. As of yet, the theory is [...]

The Cost Of Being Catholic

Nowadays, “charity” conjures up various images, some of which are quite distant from everyday life. Consider the “nonprofit sector”—or government welfare programs. Others images are more immediate—soup kitchens, or Salvation Army kettles. But charity—caritas—is actually a supernatural virtue. As Saint Paul puts it, “now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [...]

The Dorothy Day Few of Us Know

She lamented the encroachment of the state and the perils of the welfare system. She once compared abortion to genocide and the U.S. government to Nazi Germany. She cheered on income tax resisters, dismissed the benefits of the minimum wage, and worried about the decline of freedom in an increasingly bureaucratic society. But this was [...]

On State Culpability for Social Problems

In Philadelphia, about half of all students in ninth grade will graduate from high school. The dropout rate is especially high among black and Hispanic boys. President Obama’s answer to this problem is typical of the left: compulsion. Make dropping out illegal. In other words, force boys who are learning nothing to remain where they [...]

The Modern State Causes the Problems it Pretends to Fix

Pope Leo XIII affirms that a well governed State will promote the material and moral prosperity of its citizens, will honor private property and free association, and will protect the poor from abuse or depredation by the rich. How to do these things?  Leo lays down four principles. The first is what I’ll call the [...]

Why the Liberal Welfare State Denies Catholic Freedom

A couple of months ago I wrote that the Church generally supports and cooperates with political authorities. She interprets their efforts charitably, supports whatever can be justified, and, when some particular measure is undeniably bad, tries to show what would be better. All that’s obvious good sense when Christian or natural law principles are generally [...]

Unborn Life Always Trumps the Welfare State

Would you ever want to be buried alive? It’s a question Tom Stoppard raises in his absurdist drama, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. In the play, the titular Rosencrantz considers this riddle when he contemplates the experience of being a corpse in a coffin. Even taking into account the fact that you’re dead, it isn’t [...]

The Welfare Snare: Christian Conflict with the Liberal State Is by Design

Upon issuance, the Obama Administration’s requirements concerning health insurance were immediately recognized as a threat to religious liberty. Less obvious is the fact that such infringements, and many that will be far worse, are endemic to the modern welfare state and were bound to emerge sooner or later. To begin with, there is the king’s [...]

Toward a New Political Paradigm: A Call for Catholics to Reform the Republican Party

The late European scholar Dr. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn said that politics in Western countries typically features a “Santa Claus party” and a “belt-tightening party.” We are in the midst of an American political campaign where we are witnessing just that. The Democrats think that government can solve most problems by promising to provide more programs [...]

The Nation of Alcatraz

President Clinton, wagging his finger in accusation, has said that the Republican philosophy of government is, “You’re on your own.”  The sheer absurdity of the statement staggers the mind.  I doubt there is a single person in the nation who knows, even approximately, the number of government programs at all levels instituted to assist the [...]

The Church and the End of the Welfare State

Throughout the post-Vatican II years, the U.S. bishops' conference has typically defended the welfare state and not infrequently urged its expansion. Everyone familiar with the situation knows that this has had far more to do with the political predilections of certain conference staff members than with the settled judgment of the American episcopate--or with a [...]

Speaking Loudly About Human Liberty

A Loudly-Delivered Homily Recently this video, of a homily given by Father Sammie Maletta of St. John the Evangelist parish in St. John, Indiana, has been making the rounds of the Catholic blogosphere. Give it a listen, if you will. My reaction to this video was: “Thank God for this fine priest.” Examining the reactions of [...]

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