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.”