Catholicism corrupted

All night on March 8, the US House of Representatives organized itself into committees to look at this shocking betrayal of American citizens and their right to decent health care. The richest (and most religious or is that irreligious) country in the world is still a dinosaur of a nation in this regard. The staggering war-making machine which dwarfs the seven next countries in bloated kill power has just been bumped another 10% by Trump…and all the while health care for all citizens is being jettisoned.


On One of the committees the House Energy and Commerce Committee sits Congressman Joseph Kennedy III, son of Congressman Joe, grandson of Senator Robert F., and grand-nephew of President John F. and Senator Edward M. It seems that young Kennedy has not forgotten his basic catechism lessons

Kennedy verbally took on Wisconsin Republican house leader  Paul Ryan

“I was struck last night by a comment that I heard made by Speaker Ryan, where he called this repeal bill ‘an act of mercy.’ With all due respect to our speaker, he and I must have read different Scripture…The one I read calls on us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, and to comfort the sick. It reminds us that we are judged not by how we treat the powerful, but by how we care for the least among us. There is no mercy in a system that makes health care a luxury. There is no mercy in a country that turns their back on those most in need of protection: the elderly, the poor, the sick, and the suffering. There is no mercy in a cold shoulder to the mentally ill. This is not an act of mercy. It is an act of malice.”

I wrote this 4 years ago but it apparently bears repeating:

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats : The Second Coming

Nothing bespeaks the devolution of contemporary Catholicism and the abandonment of the Vatican ll vision as the announcement of Paul Ryan as Vice-Presidential Republican candidate.

One hardly knows where to start when analyzing the shocking use of “my Catholic faith” in describing Ryan’s bizarre gospel worldview.


Of course Ryan begins with his conservative cred—-his pro life stance—-meaning anti-abortion (a fight which will never be won given the polarization in the US), so it’s safe to be “pro life”—and vote for war budgets at every chance.
In April, Ryan was taken to the woodshed when 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 a well-respected Jesuit magazine.

But he sure loves Ayn Rand, the high priestess of capitalism. Here are a few choice bons 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.”



  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    Paul Ryan! What a joke!
    The whole American democratic system is crumbling rapidly. Americans are among the most ignorant people in the world- raised on prime time sports, junk tv and a rotting educational system. And now they have their worst president ever elected.

    Today we have the all important phone call between the Palestinian president and Donald Trump the notorious liar. Wonder how he’ll shape that conversation after showing flagrant favouritism to Israel.

    We are definitely heading into unchartered stormy waters with Donald Trump in charge.

  2. 2
    Joe Schmidt Says:

    Ted, never lose that fire in your belly Your communicated thoughts make reading a joy and an ongoing compelling and contemporary adventure into the realities of today viewed through the lens and application of the gospels narratives. Thank you, once again Keep the flame alive Joe Schmidt (and you know what? Why are we not getting this food for our hunger from our Sunday homilists?)

  3. 4
    mushafta Says:

    Well, we’re on the topic of American health care. Obamacare versus Trumpcare- and the other night Trumped signed his new health care plan.

    I love Neil McDonald and the CBC. Fake news not!

    Here’s Neil’s take on this today-

    Trumpcare actually directs insurance companies to tack on the big surcharge, not that they need convincing.

    This way, the government shifts the job of penalizing from the IRS to the insurance companies, thereby replacing slavery with liberty. If it’s government screwing you, like Obama did, that’s socialism. If it’s a corporation screwing you, and profiting in the process, well, that’s the American way. Freedom.

    Which is why it’s so strange that some of the loudest opposition to Trumpcare is coming from his own party; congressional Republicans who call themselves the Freedom Caucus, joined by right-wing activist groups like Heritage Action and the Club for Growth.

  4. 5
    mushafta Says:

    Tony Burman in today’s Star sums things up on Trump and his kerosene approach to the problems of the Middle East:

    On three of his key Middle East issues — Iran, “Islamic terror” and Israel — Trump is already running into trouble.
    On Iran, Trump was bellicose and outspoken during the campaign. He promised to scrap the recent international nuclear agreement with Iran, which it now appears he will not do. Its other signatories — America’s European allies, Russia and China — have indicated they intend to stick with the deal.
    Prodded by Israel, Trump also vowed to isolate and ostracize Iran, but there are signs from the Gulf states that the reverse is happening. In spite of their rivalry, there appears to be a genuine rapprochement beginning to take shape between Tehran and its neighbours.
    On the issue of what Trump calls “radical Islamic terrorism,” he persists in using an expression that provides a boost to the very terrorist groups Trump condemns. It is as if he wants to be their agent. They will continue to be a threat.
    As for Israel, the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu seems to be embarking on a national suicide mission with Trump as the official cheerleader. During Netanyahu’s visit to Washington last month, Trump scrapped the international consensus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the most casual way: “I am looking at two-state and one-state (solutions) and I like the one that both parties like.”
    The U.S. president failed to mention what Obama warned of on several occasions: that a “one-state” solution for Israel would mean the end either of a Jewish state or a democratic one.
    That omission pretty well sums up Trump’s entire approach to the Middle East.
    Who would have thought that, in 2017, the most dangerous threat to Middle East peace would come from Washington?
    Tony Burman is former head of Al Jazeera English and CBC News. Reach him @TonyBurman or at .

  5. 6
    mushafta Says:

    Ohh how I love Chris Hedges! Never heard of him until I was corrupted by Ted!
    What a powerful writer on the American establishment!

    This week’s Truthdig..

    The liberal class, by when it means, to use the words of Cornel West, nothing more than having a president who is a “black mascot for Wall Street,” betrays the disenfranchised and endows the ruling elites with a false progressivism, a false humanism and a false inclusiveness.
    Hillary and Bill Clinton, Joe Biden and the current Democratic Party leadership designed and built the massive system of imprisonment, essentially ended welfare, expanded our wars and pushed through NAFTA. They destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of poor and working-class families and are responsible for the mounds of corpses in the Middle East. Yet these liberal elites speak as if they are champions of racial and economic justice. They appear in choreographed pseudo-events to demonstrate a faux compassion. Now they have been exposed as fakes.

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