welfare state

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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