“If Rep. Ryan thinks a budget that takes food and healthcare away from millions of vulnerable people upholds Catholic values, then he also probably believes Jesus was a Tea Partier who lectured the poor to stop being so lazy and work harder,” said John Gehring, Catholic Outreach Coordinator at Faith in Public Life. “This budget turns centuries of Catholic social teaching on its head. These Catholic leaders and many Catholics in the pews are tired of faith being misused to bless an immoral agenda.”
The leaders wrote: “Simply put, this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good. A budget that turns its back on the hungry, the elderly and the sick while giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest few can’t be justified in Christian terms.”
This post is part of my ongoing search into just who Paul Ryan is. I want to understand why a very good clergy friend of mine endorses him so highly.
When I listen to his speeches his fervor reminds me of the Mr. Obama in 2008. He seems passionate about what he believes. But that seems to be the rub; just what does he believe. This post will be primarily about his proposed budget for 2012. It seems to say more about the man than his words relay. He has stated several time that his budget reflects Catholic principles but the quotes here say something much to the contrary.
In a letter to the House of Representatives last month, Catholic bishops wrote that “a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons; it requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly.” Bishops also called for repealing “cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” and asked Congress to consider the “human and moral dimensions” of budget choices. Rep. Ryan has ignored this vision. Instead, he proposes to dismantle Medicare as we know it, slash food assistance for struggling families and turn Medicaid into inadequate state block grants at a time when most states are struggling to pay their bills. The dramatic growth in military spending is untouched. Addressing our national debt is essential, but balancing budgets on the backs of the poor and working families is flawed public policy and morally bankrupt.
Mr. Ryan claims he is very spiritual but then goes against almost all of Catholic beliefs about taking care of the poor. I know that many, including myself, believe that taking care of “the least of these” is the church’s job but when it fails its duty the other people’s representatives, meaning our government, must take over that task. To simply allow those of us who have fallen on dire times to perish is not an option.
ON Monday I will wrap up this study of the GOP vice presidential candidate….