Stop Abusing Catholic Social Teaching!
October 16, 2012 Leave a comment
Recently over 150 Roman Catholic theologians signed the document “On All of Our Shoulders: A Catholic Call to Protect the Endangered Common Good.” The document challenges the misuse and abuse of Catholic Social Teaching in contemporary American political discourse, especially by Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan. The heart of the document is its challenge of the hyper-individualism of Ayn Rand and her influence on Tea Party politics, including Congressman Ryan. Specifically, the document attempts to correct five key aspects of CST that are “most in danger of being forgotten or distorted”: 1) The Catholic view of the human person is social not individual, 2) Government has an essential role to play in protecting and promoting the common good, 3) The doctrine of subsidiarity both limits government and demands that it act when local communities cannot solve problems on their own, 4) The “preferential option for the poor” demands both individual and collective action, including the acts of the state, 5) Economic forces must be reckoned among any serious account of the threats to society and human dignity.
Obviously, this has stirred up some conversation among the Catholic blogosphere. For example:
The Catholic Left’s Unfair Attack on Paul Ryan by Robert P. George (full of interesting comments!)
I assume many readers aren’t regular readers of internet Catholic moral theology, so I thought I’d let you all know this exists as it is a fascinating example of Christian ethics, politics, and the public sphere at work. Enjoy!