Tag Archives: Opinion

Paul A. Rahe calls the Catholic church to account on fiscal policy

Practicing Catholic Paul A. Rahe explains why he thinks that the Catholic Church made a mistake by supporting Obamacare.

Excerpt:

In the 1930s, the majority of the  bishops, priests, and nuns sold their souls to the devil, and they did so with the best of intentions. In their concern for the suffering of those out of work and destitute, they wholeheartedly embraced the New Deal. They gloried in the fact that Franklin Delano Roosevelt made Frances Perkins – a devout Anglo-Catholic laywoman who belonged to the Episcopalian Church but retreated on occasion to a Catholic convent – Secretary of Labor and the first member of her sex to be awarded a cabinet post. And they welcomed Social Security – which was her handiwork. They did not stop to ponder whether public provision in this regard would subvert the moral principle that children are responsible for the well-being of their parents. They did not stop to consider whether this measure would reduce the incentives for procreation and nourish the temptation to think of sexual intercourse as an indoor sport. They did not stop to think.

In the process, the leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States – the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity – and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism – the notion that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people’s money and redistribute it.

At every turn in American politics since that time, you will find the hierarchy assisting the Democratic Party and promoting the growth of the administrative entitlements state. At no point have its members evidenced any concern for sustaining limited government and protecting the rights of individuals. It did not cross the minds of these prelates that the liberty of conscience which they had grown to cherish is part of a larger package – that the paternalistic state, which recognizes no legitimate limits on its power and scope, that they had embraced would someday turn on the Church and seek to dictate whom it chose to teach its doctrines and how, more generally, it would conduct its affairs.

I would submit that the bishops, nuns, and priests now screaming bloody murder have gotten what they asked for. The weapon that Barack Obama has directed at the Church was fashioned to a considerable degree by Catholic churchmen. They welcomed Obamacare. They encouraged Senators and Congressmen who professed to be Catholics to vote for it.

Now, when I think of Catholics, I think of fiscal conservatives like Jay Richards, Robert Scirocco and Jennifer Roback Morse. There are Catholics who understand the relationship between fiscal policy and religious liberty. But many lay Catholics who listen to the bishops, nuns and priests don’t understand how fiscal policy relates to religious liberty. And I think that this is a good opportunity for lay Catholics to consider the fact that the church can sometimes be wrong – because they can be too liberal not because they are conservative! Imagine that. Sometimes, it’s not a good idea to just take the word of “experts” on some matters. It’s better to puzzle things out for ourselves by reading the Bible and studying things like economics, and then deciding how to reconcile the goals of the Bible with the way the world works. I think that it’s the case that we can help the poor by keeping government small, and by letting individuals and families have more freedom – not less.

Profile of Canadian pro-life debater Jojo Ruba

Here’s the article. (I linked to the printable version)

Excerpt:

Before Jose “Jojo” Ruba spoke at St. Patrick’s Church last night as part of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform’s Northern Ontario Truth Tour, he conceded he has a tough task ahead of him; making parallels between the civil rights movement and the abortion debate today would be tough for anyone.

That’s what Ruba, a graduate of Carleton University’s Journalism and Masters of Political Science programs, has set out to do on the Sudbury stop of his tour of Northern Ontario with his talk Injustice Interrupted: From the Civil Rights Movement to The Modern Abortion Debate.

Ruba, who’s approaching his 10th year as a public speaker, debater and educator on pro-life issues, said his talk examines the legacy of the civil rights movement and the lessons that can be taken from the social reform movement as it relates to the pro-life movement.

No stranger to controversy, Ruba said he knows it’s tough to draw comparisons, but added that he wants to give people some ideas as to why he thinks comparisons between the civil rights movement and the modern abortion debate are justified.

Ruba said his presentation focuses on an important question central to the argument : what are the unborn?

“If unborn are human beings like us, just as the civil rights activists fought for equality rights of human beings who were different, but still human beings, we say the same thing about the pre-born child.”

Ruba said that’s what he does as a “pro-lifer,” and a challenge he presents to other pro-lifers.

“If we truly believe there are 300 deaths every day of Canadians through legal abortion, how should we act? With gentleness and respect, of course, following the laws, but without compromise.”

Like those who fought for equal rights in the civil rights movement, Ruba is aware of those who would try to silence him.

Ruba recalled a time when he was giving a lecture at St. Mary’s University in Halifax when prochoice audience members shouted him down for 45 minutes.

“At McGill University in Montreal, they shouted me down for two hours,” Ruba said. “They started singing all 99 verses of 99 bottles of beer on the wall and also sang happy birthday for abortion.”

Ruba said that even in such a hostile environment, he was happy to stay afterward and answer questions.

“In fact, one of the protesters who started off chanting as part of the protest group, after hearing a bit of what I’d had to say, said he’d wished he’d heard more of the presentation. Even when it happened in Halifax, more people showed up at the next university on the tour because of the controversy.”

Ruba said it’s a person’s right to disagree with him, but argued the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform is “a good thing, a democratic right.”

Here’s another video featuring Jojo Ruba that I featured previously.

Objective truth in the abortion debate – a pro-life training video

This is a training video from CCBR, a Canadian pro-life group I really like.

That guy in the video is the one who is always getting into trouble at university debates and lectures.

Here is his biography:

Jojo has taught pro-life apologetics for both Christian and secular audiences. He has represented the pro-life side in abortion debates held at universities, trained pro-lifers at conferences and given pro-life talks at different religious venues. Jojo has also spoken to the Parliamentary Pro-life Caucus, a group made up of pro-life Members of Parliament, in 2006.

In 2006, Jojo debated Tracy Davidson, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Ottawa, and Jeannette Doucet of Canadians for Choice in Ottawa. Abortion advocates were so frustrated with the debate that they tried to ban the pro-life club which organized it.

In 2009, abortion advocates at St. Mary’s University in Halifax shouted Jojo down for 45 minutes in an attempt to stop his presentation. Because of the publicity the protests received, more people attended Jojo’s subsequent talks in the area.

Jojo also shares the Christian case for the pro-life view at a variety of different church denominations across the country. He has spoken as the main Sunday morning speaker as well as at various church venues during the week.

One Christian friend, after hearing Jojo’s pro-life presentation, said, “I can’t believe they do this [abortion] in Canada” and now supports his work.

After graduating, Jojo worked for the National Campus Life Network, the only national pro-life student organization, where he organized two national pro-life conferences.

Jojo earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa. He is a co-founder of, and works full-time with, the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Ugh! He went to that awful fascist Carleton University! No wonder they turned him into a pro-life debater!

You may also like this longer talk on pro-life apologetics by Scott Klusendorf delivered at an Alliance Defense Fund conference.