Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why I’m NOT a Catholic

Every once in awhile the Catholic Church reminds me why I no longer subscribe to the views of the Church.

On Sunday, September 16th, Pope Benedict XVI said that unbridled Capitalism is widening the gap between the world’s rich and poor and threatening the planet’s future.

“The emergencies of famine and the environment demonstrate with growing clarity that the logic of profit, if predominant, increases the disproportion between rich and poor and leads to a ruinous exploitation of the planet.”

The Pontiff went on, “Capitalism should not be considered the only valid model of economic organization.” He then asserted that Catholic Doctrine has always given priority to the fair distribution of resources, claiming it’s not too late to rein in the excesses of Capitalism, “When the logic of sharing and solidarity prevail, it is possible to correct our route and point it towards a fair and sustainable development,” said the Pope.

OK, the Pope can certainly be forgiven, as those in the Church have never run a business. The Church’s personal economy is built on a form of commune-like collectivism, which has proven to be unworkable on a larger scale.

As a matter of fact, Capitalism has not only been the ONLY workable economic model to date, but the only one that can exist within a framework of individual Liberty (self-ownership/personal responsibility) or “human freedom.”

Every collectivist economy to date has required tyranny, brutality and mass murder to enforce, as the propertied class will never relinquish its property peacefully.

In fact, Capitalism brings far more prosperity to far more people than ANY other economic model and we ALREADY HAVE a system of regulated Capitalism in America and Western Europe that regulates business and industry and uses tax revenues to pay for a slew of social services. The Pope's remarks would have us believe that problem we face today is not enough regulation and redistribution, when in fact, our current problem is that we're STILL over-regulated and over-taxed and that Capitalism's prosperity isn't being allowed to reach some people because of all those burdens!
Both Germany and France, only slightly more regulated and redistributionist economic systems than our own, have moved TOWARD the American model, with the elections of Angela Merckel and Nikolas Sarkozy respectively. The over-regulated, over-taxed economy doesn't work well for the vast majority of the people.
So, it’s odd that the head of the Catholic Church would choose, this point in time, to lambaste the greatest economic system in the world.


PoorGrrl said...

The Pope really blew it on this one. While I understand and share his compassion for the poor, blaming poverty on capitalism is naive at best, dangerously ignorant at worse. But don't use this as a reason to be "anti-Catholic", JMK. Many Protestants and Jews are also critics of capitalism and admirers of socialism. What needs to happen is for Christians and Jews to educate themselves on how capitalism is consistent with Biblical morality. A great place to start is the book "A Biblical Economics Manifesto" by James P. Gills, M.D. and Ronald H. Nash, Ph.D.. I learned alot from this little volume; I'm sure others will, too.

JMK said...

No, I'm not anti-Catholic, I'm just not very religious.

I believe in a Creator and all, but not all the trappings of religion.

While I respect, but disagree with the Church's "All life is sacred" view (I support Capital punishment for heinous crimes, etc), every once in awhile the Vatican makes an announcement like this, that really hughlight how religion can really muck things up, when it's so inclined.

Mick Brady said...

Whew!! Thank God the Pope is only infallible when he speaks on matters of morals and religion and not, apparently, on politics. For confirmation of that, one need only consult any Jew who survived the Holocaust.

JMK said...

Yes, thank God for that Mick!

I understand a call for a regulated Capitalism (we HAVE that) and a call against exploitation, but saying that "We should not consider Capitalism the only viable economic model," in the face of all the evidence in favor of exactly that, is both puzzling and troubling!

PoorGrrl said...

"No, I'm not anti-Catholic. I'm just not very religious." That's interesting, JMK, considering how liberals love to demonize all conservatives as being part of the--gasp!--Religious Right.

I'm not very religious, either. But I'm also NOT an atheist or anti-religious/anti-Christian in any way. I am, in fact, a strong sympathizer of Christianity.

As for religion mucking things up, socialism was the invention of an atheist, and the most murderous governments in human history were socialist ones that tried to eradicate religion. And, Mick Brady, the Holocaust had nothing to do with religion. That horror was perpetrated by virulently racist and ANTI-CHRISTIAN Nazi pagans and atheists, who also murdered Christians who hid Jews and even killed Christians AS JEWS because they had a Jewish parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent.

It seems to me that the thing that REALLY mucks things up when it gets official and unchallenged power is atheism. It has killed more people, in a shorter period of time, than anything else, including Islam.

Anyway, guys, I suggest you read the book I mentioned in my first comment. It'll explain how and why religious people like the Pope have been seduced by socialism and what can be done to correct that. It really is a great little book.

JMK said...

"I'm not very religious, either. But I'm also NOT an atheist or anti-religious/anti-Christian in any way. I am, in fact, a strong sympathizer of Christianity." (Poorgrrl)

That's the KEY poorgrrl!

Many who call themselves "atheists" are (1) unaware that they practice a "FAITH" (the confirmed BELIEF that there is no God) as surely as any religious fanatic does and (2) they all tend to revile organized religion more than they disagree with theology.
"socialism was the invention of an atheist, and the most murderous governments in human history were socialist ones that tried to eradicate religion." (Poorgrrl)

Absolutely true Poorgrrl, but one of the things that's made America great is that we do keep specific religious doctrine from being made into law.

I think that Mick Brady was implying the Catholic Church's givig a lot of Nazis new documents and safe passage to places like America (our space program was built, largely on German scientists) and South America, but you're right about the paganism that was the foundation of Nazism.

JMK said...

P.S. I think government should be "agnostic," not choosing one religion over another and yet not opposing religion, nor seeking to impede the free exercise thereof in any way.

Mick Brady said...

poorgrrl, I was referring to the historical evidence that Pope Pius XII was complicit in the genocide simply by looking the other way, rather than speaking out against it.

Further research, though, has shown me that some of that evidence - notably John Cornwell's book, Hitler's Pope - has since been refuted, so I take back that remark.

PoorGrrl said...

Great discussion, guys! I'm glad to read that you take back your Holocaust remark, Mick Brady. You know, A LOT of people were complicit in the Holocaust by looking the other way, as well as actively participating with the Nazis in killing Jews. Those people did what they did IN SPITE of their faith, NOT because of it.

Some brave souls did choose to save Jews because they understood that Christianity demanded that. One Polish woman I saw on 60 Minutes several years ago was asked why she hid Jews from the Nazis. She responded, "It was the Catholic thing to do." Also, no Bulgarian Jews were killed by the Nazis, largely due to the intervention of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. But you won't learn this in today's public schools because it makes Christians look good.

And you're right too, JMK. The government shouldn't choose one faith over another nor impede the free exercise thereof. But be careful! Invoking the "separation of church and state" has largely become the habit of liberals who believe in freedom FROM religion not freedom OF religion. I know you don't want to be confused with one of them!

JMK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JMK said...

Yes, I think much of Cornwell's work has been refuted over the past few years.

And poorgrrl, I'll agree that the idea of separation of Church and State should NOT be used to run spirituality out of the public square.

The blatant hypocrisy of those die-hard Leftist "Separation of Church & State" folks is that NONE of them uttered a peep over the recent installing of foot baths for Muslims at many U.S. airports.

In fact, most of them are nakedly and blatantly anti-Christian. They have no problem with pagan and Wicca symbols in the public square either.

I've said this for a long time, since back when Jose Serrano intropduced "Piss Christ" for an NEA grant, "If only Christians reacted more like Muslims sometimes, the Left wouldn't dare to challenge them."

And that's undoubtedly true. Just look at how the Left defers and bows to the demands and sensibilities of Muslims!

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