Earlier this week, Republican Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Ron Johnson, both of Wisconsin, penned an op-ed stating—once again—their belief that charity and individual responsibility are the key to fighting poverty.
What is it with this guy and his Catholic cred?
Oh yeah, big C “pro-life Catholic but not when it comes to post-fetal life in the poor or his constant voting for bloated war budgets.
“This is how you fight poverty: person to person,” they write.
Ryan loves The Joseph project an admirable Milwaukee outreach which provides vans
Claire Markham described this:
To illustrate their point, they tell the story of The Joseph Project, a job assistance program run by the Greater Praise Church of God in Christ in Milwaukee. Ryan and Johnson praise The Joseph Project for providing vans that drive Milwaukeeans to Sheboygan County, where they can earn $15 an hour working a factory job. In Milwaukee, by contrast, these workers would likely earn just $8 or $9 an hour. The drive is an hour commute each way, but Ryan and Johnson assert: “That van represents the difference between poverty and opportunity.”
Yes, but no support for $15.00 per hour minimum wage.
and no understanding of the quality time lost taking thee workers out of town.
In Sunday school classrooms across the country, young Catholics are taught the simplest versions of the Catholic Church’s complicated theology: God’s love is represented by loving parents, Bible stories are boiled down to picture books, and stewardship of creation is taught by tending to one’s own little plant. And one Sunday school classic, “The Two Feet of Love in Action,” makes it clear that larger systemic solutions are integral to fighting poverty.
“There are two different, but complimentary, ways we can walk the path of love,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explains. “We call these ‘The Two Feet of Love in Action.’” One foot is charity: direct service to help meet the immediate needs of individuals. The other foot is social justice: structural change to end the root causes of poverty.
The van is charity; the minimum wage hike is social justice.
In April 2012 Ryan was taken to the woodshed when as a VP canmdidate he dared use Catholic Social Teaching, in particularly subsidiarity, as the basis of his budget proposal. 50 Catholic theologians and leaders blasted his proposals out of the water.
“Simply put, this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good. A budget that turns its back on the hungry, the elderly and the sick while giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest few can’t be justified in Christian terms,” argue the signatories.
Give Ryan credit, he is not short of chutzpah he then marched over to Georgetown, the Jesuit university to defend the indefensible. Here he was met by a petition of 90 faculty members and administrators basically telling him he was totally out to lunch. They asked Ryan to justify cuts to social programs which benefit the poor and no cuts to the shocking bloated military budget
Former America editor Jesuit Fr.Tom Reese, one of the organizers of the letter bluntly stated . “This is nonsense. As scholars, we want to join the Catholic bishops in pointing out that his budget has a devastating impact on programs for the poor.”
You can bet Ryan never heard of America Magazine
But he sure loves Ayn Rand, the high priestess of capitalism.
Here are a few choice bon mots of Ryan on his literary heroine:
• “I just want to speak to you a little bit about Ayn Rand and what she meant to me in my life and [in] the fight we’re engaged here in Congress. I grew up on Ayn Rand, that’s what I tell people.”
• “I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are.”
• “It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged. People tell me I need to start with The Fountainhead then go to Atlas Shrugged [laughter]. There’s a big debate about that. We go to Fountainhead, but then we move on, and we require Mises and Hayek as well.”
• “But the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”•
“It’s so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand’s vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are.”
• “Because there is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through Ayn Rand’s writings and works.”
Lots of Ayn Rand little of Jesus and Catholic Social Teaching