Catholicism and the GOP: An Awkward Tango
A novel aspect of the Republican campaign for the party's presidential nomination has been the importance placed by some candidates, their admirers and some voters on the Catholic religion and certain claims to formal academic certification or endorsement.
The "bunkum" artist is a familiar figure from the folklore of the American 19th century who makes up "facts" as required in the sale of the all-healing snake oil liniment he sells (the vaudevillian and film star
Another familiar American figure is the earnest swot who knows less than he thinks he does, but does know more than a lot of voters, and indeed in the following case, and in a sensitive matter, more -- apparently -- than most of his Republican campaign-trail cohorts, as well as some serious national commentators. He has dazzled them with economics and moral theology as well.
The case is that of Rep.
The plan would end corporate income tax, estate tax, lower the overall corporate tax rate and eliminate income tax on capital gains, dividends and interest. It would partly privatize
Ryan, a Catholic, represented his budget proposals as reflecting Catholic social thought. In recent years there has been a neo-conservative effort to substitute an endorsement of American-style capitalism for the long-established Catholic social doctrine set forth in two famous encyclicals, Rerum Novarum (in 1891, committing the Church to the social struggle of working people) and Quadragesimo Anno (1931, widening that commitment, and rebuking Catholics who support the economic despotism of the few, which it characterized as "a natural outcome of limitless free competition." Quadragesimo Anno asserted the moral as well as economic principle of a "just wage" for workers.
The popes' principles clearly are not the capitalism of
Congressman Ryan has held himself aloof from the criticism of him by the U.S. Bishops and by members of the
Ryan's position, like that of the well-publicized recent convert to Catholicism,
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Catholicism and the GOP: An Awkward Tango | Politics
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