Forward to your
Oh. My. God. This writer is living my ****ing life. ****!!!! The best thing you’ll read today:
If they’re talking about economics, they’ll cite a Gospel verse here, quote St. Francis there, throw in some abuse of “usury,” maybe even summon some half-remembered Chesterton — then wrap it in a pretty pink bow with a long quotation from a bishops’ pastoral letter and act as if they’ve made a genuine argument. (…)
Catholics who grandstand about “distributive justice” and offer Rube Goldberg schemes for re-engineering our country’s economy, without knowing or caring how wealth is produced in the first place.
Our country’s relatively recent, hard-won, and fragile prosperity they treat as if it had descended in pennies from heaven, and the only question now is how to divide up the windfall fairly. (…) Left-leaning bishops who wish to make this point note that Creation was given to man in common; they leave out the fact that our labor is our own, and that taxes enforced by the threat of imprisonment can mount up to a kind of slavery.
(Medieval serfs paid only 10 percent of their wealth to their feudal lords; you and I pay up to 50 percent when federal, state, local, Social Security, and sales taxes are added up — which means that half our time is spent working with a bayonet at our backs.)
What’s missing from these people’s happy, totalitarian picture is something fundamental to the West, a fruit of Christian culture that it took Vatican II (yes, you read me correctly) for the Church to fully recognize: the fact of human dignity.
So in all our discussions of health-care reform and other economic issues, let’s keep in mind that part of loving our neighbor entails not enslaving him at gunpoint to suit our vision of the Good — be it religious orthodoxy, economic equality, or anything else. On a prudential level, we must take with grim seriousness the threat that any health-care plan, even if it for the moment excludes abortion and sterilization, will expand — irrevocably — the power over our lives of a grimly secular State. That’s power we won’t get back, and it won’t (given our Constitution) be used in the service or with the guidance of the Church. “He who is not with me is against me” (Mt 12:30).
I feel better knowing I’m not suffering alone!