Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Paul Ryan Budget & Discussion of Catholic Social Justice ( Subsidiarity & Federalism )

Contrary to the view in the social media there are Catholic Conservative GOP leaning folks that take Catholic Social Justice issues as to economics and the poor seriously.

Congressman Paul Ryan briefly talked about the role of his Catholicism in shaping his budget. If you agree with those views or not the response from the "left" on the whole was not very helpful. It'sa  typical example of why Catholic Social Justice debates will have very likely little influence on American policy. If the Catholics can't have a civil discussion and debate about it then why would anyone listen to us.

Paul Ryan made a comment about   subsidiarity — a notion, rooted in Catholic social teaching. He equated that with  Federalism.

First Things noted this and I thought had a good post on this noting a Catholic Law Prof's comment over at Mirrors of Justice as a jumping off point. The question entertained is Paul Ryan   right. See CST in the USA

At the original MOJ post I think there is a good discussion in the comments.

One comment I think shows the problem that I mention above.

....To Rob's points, while I think the criticisms of his overly-simplistic appeals to CST are accurate, it seems to me part of the problem here is that Catholic Democrats and their allies have long equated left-leaning Democratic policy proposals with CST, leaving little-to-no room for any substantive policy discussions over, say, whether Medicare should be reformed with a premium support plan (a proposal first made by the Breaux Commission to a Democratic president). I think the recent back-and-forth bewteen Rick Garnett and David Gibson illustrated this. The Commonwealers tend to analyze Ryan's proposals with all the nuance of the DNC, and simply conclude "Unacceptable under CST." It seems to me, if we really believe that CST defies easy categorization, a required first step is to acknowledge that the answer set to the problems is varied, and to take at face value and in good faith the statements from Ryan and others and try to analyze the issue rather than starting from a conclusions (Ryan's plan is "social darwinism") and then working back to the justification (which is what I think a lot of Catholic liberals do with Ryan without realizing just how much bipartisan consensus is actually in his plan, among other things)  .

Of course many Catholic conservatives are guilty of the same thing. That is the the overly simplistic appeals to CST that  defies easy categorization . But at least here we see a discussion .

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