Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Catholics vs Big Government
The Church ought to have a healthy fear of big government (especially when it comes to medical issues) because of its ability to force immoral actions on people (abortion, contraception, IVF, euthanasia, etc). The principal of subsidiarity seems to be lost on even the highest of Church officials (trying not to name names here). Even if Bart Stupak could have gotten anti abortion language in the bill, it would have eventually been taken out. Once government takes over health care, federal funding for abortion is inevitable (show me a country with government health care that does not have abortion?). We needed (and still need to) argue against the health care bill on the principle of subsidiarity---that government ought not to be able to take over responsibility for those who CAN care for themselves. And, we have to remember that part of this principle, in a certain sense, necessitates that there will be inequality in terms of outcomes in individual lives. There is nothing in true Christian teaching that requires that everyone's life be somehow equal---we are not required as a Christian nation to make sure everyone's house is the same, or salary, or even that everyone has the means to pay for the same doctor care. This would be to usurp their individual freedom, and take away their chance to work and earn by their own power, and their chance to give to other under their own power (what merit is there in forced charity!). The call to take care of the widows and orphans, the sick and poor, is a call on the individual to help as much as they can, but the individual's first responsibility is to himself and his family. That is what "self-interest" is (as opposed to selfishness)...making sure my life is in order and those under my care have what they need, then I am able to take care of those who don't have family to care for them (selfishness stops at "me" and never goes to "those for whom I am responsible"). Even in the spiritual realm this is true, if I do not care for the needs of my soul I will be unable to bring others to Christ. Ultimately, at the end of my life, I face God on the merits (or otherwise) of my OWN actions, my OWN response to grace, and part of that is caring for those God has given me to care for. The current leaders of our nation want us to look down on those who produce, who make money, as if mere profit is the problem (rather than ill-gotten profit), as if money is the problem (rather than "love of money"). But it is profits that makes it possible for our country to be the most generous in world in terms of charitable giving.