What Does Augustine Really Say? (What does Pelosi not understand?)

Catholic dissenter and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi thinks she can use a 1500 year old sound bite from St. Augustine (+430) to confound the clear teaching of the Catholic Church on when human life begins.

We need a public retraction from the Speaker.

And she really needs to stop with the St. Augustine thing.

Find out what St. Augustine really says about abortion and when fetuses are ensouled or vivified.

Remember:

1) Augustine’s writings, while important, are not equivalent in authority to the formal teaching of the Catholic Church.

2) We know more today about embryology than people did in the 5th century.

3) Ignorant as they might have been about biology, 5th century Christians still believed abortion was evil. 

Read more by going here.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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28 Responses to What Does Augustine Really Say? (What does Pelosi not understand?)

  1. Gorby says:

    I’ve tried to call both the Speaker’s Office and that of the Archbishop and both times get sent to email…

    is it possible that she can be excommunicated, or the fact that the bishop has not spoken to her yet (despite her very public disobedience) gives him a “pass” to not do so?

    The politics of this is getting curiouser, and curiouser…

  2. John says:

    Father,

    While I think we can all agree that abortion is an important issue, I find the posts on this blog the past few days to have been lacking in balance. [Give me the address of your blog, and I'll take a look!] For example, where is the praise for Catholic Democrats like Bob Casey of Pennsylvania who are genuinely pro-life? Senator Casey even mentioned his disagreement with Senator Obama on the subject at the convention last night, and has a voting record that is more pro-life than Senator John McCain. [The point is that Sen. Casey did NOT mangle Catholic doctrine on Meet The Press and he is NOT a VP candidate. This is NOT about the Democrat Party.]

    Also, why are the issues on which Democrats are more Catholic than Republicans never brought up? [I am sure others are focusing on that. I am focused on a more fundamental issue and NOT in a political way. I am concerned with the persistent and malicious mangling of Catholic doctrine in the public square which causes scandal to the Catholic faithful and those who observe us.]Republican Catholics often dissent from the Church on fundamental Christian issues like poverty. [So what? That isn't relevant to this discussion.] Several encyclicals have affirmed that governments have an obligation to the poor. Yet, many Republicans privately use language I couldn\’t reprint here to describe their feelings about the poor in private settings. \”Let them starve,\” is not a Christian response to the problem of poverty. Cutting taxes for the rich is not a Christian response to the problem of poverty. Slashing public aid programs is not a Christian response to the problem of poverty. And it is a \”life\” issue when people are dying of starvation or exposure to the elements. [Okay... I hope you get it now, however.]

    Saying only people who can afford good health care should have access to it is not a Christian response to the problem of inadequate health care coverage. And certainly being able to get treatment for illness is almost the definition of a life issue! Democrats are also more in line with the Church on capital punishment.

    There are also other issues as well.

    This isn’t meant as an attack, I enjoy the blog. But there is a popular myth in American Catholicism that being Catholic and being Republican are one and the same thing. I implore you to use your position on this blog to help provide some balance to that viewpoint, which is manifestly false.

  3. TJM says:

    John, perhaps because practicing Catholics vote Republican since the Republican Party does not have as a plank of its Party
    support (verily enthusiastic support) for an intrinsic evil. John, I’ve never heard a Republican say, let the poor starve. The Democrats [HANG ON: This focus on WDTPRS is not political or party political. If the GOP picks a pro-abortion VP candidate who mangles Catholic doctrine in the public square, we will have to go after that as well.] are
    wedded to policies and tax measures which are counter-productive and actually create a lot of misery for the poor. A simple example, sales
    taxes. Sales taxes on things like gasoline are regressive in nature. I’m not sure that you’re aware of this but 15% of the price of a gallon of
    gas is imposed by the feds (the evil oil companies only make 4% per gallon). I’ve not seen any Democrats in Congress screaming to
    roll back this regressive tax to help the poor. Nor are they willing to take measures such as drilling off the US continental shelf which
    would not only drive gas prices down but would create jobs for the poor. Tom

    [The WDTPRS focus is not an exercise in party politics.]

  4. Steve K. says:

    John,

    I’m sorry, but I don’t know of any Catholic Republicans who act or talk like you describe vis a vis the poor. Put the strawman with the seamless garment back in the closet, please. None of what you said is an accurate description of Republican policies.

    No one is suggesting that Catholicism == Republicanism, or that the Republican party doesn’t also have problems (don’t they all in politics), but to suggest a parity between the two is ridiculous.

  5. Folks: I implore you to THINK and avoid the rabbit holes.

  6. John,

    As Archbishops Burke and Chaput and other prelates have made plain, the overriding moral issue of abortion trumps all the other policy issues you mention.

    Therefore, when a Catholic voter is confronted with a choice between two candidates, one anti-abortion and the other pro-abortion, it is immaterial which is Democrat and which is Republican.

  7. Jordanes says:

    Thanks to Father Zuhlsdorf and other commenters for responding so well to John’s concerns. Like Father said, it’s not a Republican vs. Democrat thing. You know, I can’t vote for Obama for so many reasons, but that doesn’t mean I’m a loyal and committed McCain supporter, and I don’t vote for pro-abortion Republicans. Anyway, with regard to the other “life issues” that John mentions, it’s always good to recall what Cardinal Ratzinger told the U.S. bishops back in 2004, in his memorandum, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles”:

    Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm

  8. John says:

    Father Z:

    Thank you for your explanation. One of the things I appreciate about your blog is that it generally is fairly apolitical and doesn’t make the common “Catholic blogger” mistake of conflating church and political party the way others sometimes do. Though initially recent posts made me wonder if that was changing, your comments helped me better understand why you chose to cover this particular series of events.

    I have considering starting a blog from time to time, and have made a few failed attempts, but I do not have one at present. Should I start a blog in the future that deals with religion, I will let you know. I’d be honored to have you read it.

    Henry:

    Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2004 instruction made it clear that Catholics may vote for a candidate who favors abortion if the Catholic opposes abortion and the candidate’s stand on it and there are reasons the voter consider proportional. Presumably such issues could also be of equal or great important cumulatively and not just on a 1 to 1 basis. After the instruction was issued, Archbishop Burke, to his great credit, amended his previous statements, which previously could be seen as expressing a different view (that Catholics could never vote for pro-choice politicians), to clarify this point that such is not always the case.

    Others:

    In deference to Father Z’s discouragement of such, I am going to decline to get into a political argument about the Republican Party’s treatment of poverty issues. However, I think it is a subject that could do with more consideration in general by American Catholics.

  9. Brian Walden says:

    “Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2004 instruction made it clear that Catholics may vote for a candidate who favors abortion if the Catholic opposes abortion and the candidate’s stand on it and there are reasons the voter consider proportional.”

    John, I think the reasons must be objectively proportional, not merely what a voter subjectively considers proportional. If I may paraphrase Archbishop Chaput a proportional reason is one that you could justify before the aborted baby and Jesus in heaven.

  10. TJM says:

    Father Z,

    I’m sorry but I was responding to John who did inject political parties into the mix and did not feel his assertions were fair and should
    go unanswered. Unfortunately, until the Democratic Party repudiates its pro-abortion platform, the political aspects of this issue will
    continue to be closely associated with that party. By the way, I was a Democrat who left the Party over its 1992 decision to not allow
    Governor Casey of Pennsylvania to speak at the Democratic Convention that year.

    Regards,

    Tom

  11. John says:

    Brian:

    Though my overwhelming preference is to vote for a pro-life Democrat, which I had the opportunity to do in a recent Senate election, I do often vote for pro-choice Democrats where pro-life Democrats are not in a given race, and would feel very comfortable explaining to Jesus or an aborted baby in heaven why.

    A five year old who can’t get chemo treatment, or a 19 year old girl laying in a gutter slowly starving to death, are not acceptable in a country as wealthy as our’s. More lives are at risk from things like a lack of health care or aid to the poor than from abortion being legal, when one considers the number of illegal abortions that would take place even if abortion were illegal. That is not a reason to have abortion remain legal — it should be illegal on principle, even if it did not actually save a single life, and even a few lives saved are better than none, but it is not the only life issue that our country faces.

    Then, you combine things like poverty and health care, with issues like war and the death penalty. On top of that, throw in the effect that the diminishment of freedom has on human dignity (The last administration has abandoned habeous corpus, embraced torture, and routinely violated the 4th amendment). As if the existing attacks on freedom weren’t bad enough, ignoring the 4th amendment and other aspects of the constitution and of freedom lay down the precedent for ignoring or creatively reinterpreting things like freedom of speech or religion.

    All of that together, I believe, is proportionate to abortion as a political issue, considering that context of the society (meaning how likely the law is to be widely violated if it is changed), and the fact that even if Roe vs. Wade is overturned one day, most states will still allow for legal abortion (meaning even those in other states could travel). I do want to reiterate that I do believe Roe vs. Wade should be overturned, though, and I do believe abortion should be illegal. And, preferably, I would have more pro-life Democrats to vote for.

  12. Brian Day says:

    Fr. Z,

    Please forgive me for going OT and delete this if you feel it necessary. Given the discussion above, perhaps a post on subsidiarity would be helpful in clarifying the roles of government at the local, state, and national levels.

  13. Bernie says:

    It is fairly simple. The average catholic will NOT bother with all the explanations from bishop X, Y or Z (God bless our good shepherds though their efforts will pale in comparison to the impact of her words and the midia coverage). Most who do read are precisely the ones who already know right from wrong and Church teaching. The damage caused by this woman is impossible to measure. It is a disaster. The average catholic with good intentions and DFL leanings for historical reasons will take her word as almost Scriptural. She caused so much scandal and confusion that NOTHING will remedy this except a very strong act (not words). Be it excommunication or a public declaration from the Conference explicitly listing names of pro-abortion politicians who should not receive Communion.

    As for the “preferential option for the poor”… may Americans wake up before it is to late! Be not like us South Americans (I write from Brazil) who systematically put in office liberals who neither defend life nor the poor despite their well beautiful talk on social justice. Talk, that is all. Your intentions may be good but be not fooled by your garden variety liberal promising to save the poor while earning catholic hearts and votes!

  14. Fr. Thomas says:

    Fr. Z,
    When I Googled “St. Augustine Abortion” I came across this web posting that gives the history of the Church’s position on abortion from the perspective of “Catholics for a Free Choice.” What is interesting is that it seems to have been posted by Professor Kenneth Pennington, Professor of Ecclesiastical Law at Catholic University. Can anyone say what this is about?
    http://faculty.cua.edu/Pennington/Law111/CatholicHistory.htm

  15. Jordanes says:

    John said: Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2004 instruction made it clear that Catholics may vote for a candidate who favors abortion if the Catholic opposes abortion and the candidate’s stand on it and there are reasons the voter consider proportional.

    Sorry, Cardinal Ratzinger didn’t say that. He said, “When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”

    It can’t be permitted “for reasons that the voter considers proportional,” but “in the presence of proportionate reasons.” In other words, if both candidates support legal abortion, but one of them also supports racial genocide, or making Catholicism illegal, while the other does not, then one may vote for the candidate who does not support genocide or the suppression of the Catholic faith, even though he supports legal abortion. But if you are faced with one candidate who supports legal abortion but wants to abolish the death penalty and has some idea for a new program that allegedly will help the poor, and another candidate who opposes legal abortion, thinks the death penalty should be illegal, and doesn’t favor the other candidates proposed new program, you must vote for the candidate who opposes legal abortion. Or to put it another way, the only way to justify a vote for Obama is if his opponent’s positions are unambiguously Stalinist or Hitlerian. But the issues you mention do not individually or collectively have the moral weight of abortion (which is a moral evil, whereas poverty and lack of health insurance are natural evils, nor are war and the death penalty intrinsically evil: sometimes failure to wage war or to execute a death penalty is a social injustice).

  16. caleb1x says:

    I don’t know much about politics. I just wanted to post this quotation of Pope Stephen V (885-891), collected in Denzinger:

    Hi autem qui probantur vel confitentur talis reatus se noxios, tua eos castiget moderatio, quia si conceptum in utero qui per aborsum [abortum] deleverit, homicida est, quanto magis qui unius saltem diei puerulum peremerit, homicidam se esse excusare nequibit?

  17. John says:

    Jordanes:

    That’s an extreme interpretation of Cardinal Ratzinger’s words that I don’t think is in line with his intent. Now, obviously, I can’t *know* his intent, however I can certainly make an educated guess based on the context of what was going on at the time in the Catholic world. There was a controversy over Archbishop Burke’s statements about voting for pro-choice candidates, Cardinal Ratzinger issues a very prompt correct, Archbishop Burke accepts the correction and modulates his tone about the people he was talking about before — pro-choice Democrats. It seems to me that Cardinal Ratzinger was issuing a generalized instruction with the intent of also sending a specific message to a certain American bishop, and the American bishop understood that instruction in a way similar to the way I do, even though said bishop is almost certainly a conservative Republican. Like I said, I give him a lot of credit for his reaction to Cardinal Ratzinger’s instruction, it showed a lot of humility.

  18. Anne says:

    SACRED CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

    DECLARATION ON PROCURED ABORTION

    [...]

    6. The tradition of the Church has always held that human life must be protected and favored from the beginning, just as at the various stages of its development. Opposing the morals of the Greco-Roman world, the Church of the first centuries insisted on the difference that exists on this point between those morals and Christian morals. In the Didache it is clearly said: “You shall not kill by abortion the fruit of the womb and you shall not murder the infant already born.”[6] Athenagoras emphasizes that Christians consider as murderers those women who take medicines to procure an abortion; he condemns the killers of children, including those still living in their mother’s womb, “where they are already the object of the care of divine Providence.” Tertullian did not always perhaps use the same language; he nevertheless clearly affirms the essential principle: “To prevent birth is anticipated murder; it makes little difference whether one destroys a life already born or does away with it in its nascent stage. The one who will be a man is already one.”[8]
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19741118_declaration-abortion_en.html

    Father Martin, One of his sources were the first 2-3 of lines of para 6. It’s an excellent document. All his rationalizations come from snippets. He’s a deceiver like Charlie Curran. The people who fall for these stunts are too trusting.

  19. Anne says:

    **I do often vote for pro-choice Democrats where pro-life Democrats are not in a given race, and would feel very comfortable explaining to Jesus or an aborted baby in heaven why. A five year old who can’t get chemo treatment, or a 19 year old girl laying in a gutter slowly starving to death, are not acceptable in a country as wealthy as our’s.**

    John, I work in the health-care field. We have Medicaid which pays for the indigent and even for illegals to get treatment. They fly into La Guardia from all over the world. Fall down at the airport and have an ambulance take them to the nearest hospital. When they arrive in the ER expensive testing is done and it’s discovered they’ve got Liver Failure, Aids, Kidney problems needing dialysis etc. Trust me they’re ALL treated on our dime. Hospitals are in big financial trouble because of all the freebies. Michelle Obama was a VP in a hospital in Detroit and she shipped the illegals and indigents out to a State Hospital as they were too costly. When I read it I knew exactly what she was doing as it’s not uncommon though difficult to do w/o contacts.

  20. Anne says:

    About 2,500 people circled the new Planned Parenthood clinic Monday night as part of a vigil organized by the Archdiocese of Denver:
    http://www.peoplespresscollective.org/2008/08/largest-dnc-protest-a-pro-life-rally/

    Media blackout!!!

  21. Fr. Angel says:

    John:

    At one time, the Catholic bishops of this country were staunchly alligned with the Democratic party. This alliance was not because the Democrats always played by the rules, or because they 100% supported all Catholic issues. Rather, most Catholics felt very comfortable that in the larger scheme of things, the Democratic party was helping the Church in those issues which were of most priority for the hierarchy.

    I’m sure Catholic Republicans in those days had similar feelings as you and protested the same protest–that it is not fair or correct to see being Catholic as equal to being Democratic.

    Now, in these days, the killing of children in abortuaries across the U.S. is the paramount issue for the Catholic Church. The Church still fights against poverty, racism, lack of care for the elderly and sick, etc. but abortion has come to the fore for the simple reason that if you are aborted and dead, every other issue of justice becomes irrelevant.

    Even if you pass laws which improve the social justice of a society, the victory is hallow when millions are excluded from that justice by the mere fact that they were killed before they could reap those benefits. In the Stalinist Soviet Union, what glory and victory was to be found in providing jobs and housing to so many when over 20 to 30 million were exterminated in the meantime?

    The Democrats actively promote and institutionalize abortion as a sacred cow and so imbed its practice in the culture. They militantly defend its morality as essential to the progress of women. But it does not stop there.

    The Democratic party is at the forefront of the gay and lesbian liberation movement, working to appoint judges and educational officials who promote gay marriage, gay adoption, and hate crimes laws that are really meant to stifle Christian participation in the public debates surrounding the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered agenda.

    The Democrats staunchly support the forced distribution of contraception to people of all ages, even if that means coercing Church insurance programs to provide contraception to their employees. The Democrats are behind every effort to force doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to provide contraceptive, abortifacient, and surgical abortion services wherever government dollars are involved. They support the end of conscience clauses so that in many states it is easy to fire Catholic employees who do not participate in these programs. These Democratic initiatives mean that in a generation they will successfully wipe out Catholic healthcare or force it into secularization so that the Church does not stand in the way of “family planning.”

    The Democratic party at the federal level and state level has fought even the slightest assistance to Catholic and private education. They will not grant even the poorest families a tuition tax credit or the option of seeking a parochial education with public funds, causing various poor and minority children to be at the mercy of the drug-infested and violent public schools which are the only option in many blighted areas. These initiatives are in spite of the fact that Democrats like Bill Clinton and his daughter reaped the benefits of Catholic and private education.

    If you examine every atheistic, anti-religion, and secular humanistic society in this country, you will see it allied with the Democratic party. The ACLU is firmly Democratic. The Democrats did nothing to make the fight against religious persecution part of American foreign policy in dealing with China, North Korea, and Arab countries where Christians suffer repression. The Democratic party in fact used American tax payer money to export a pro-abortion and pro-sterilization policy to poor countries and at the UN Conference in Cairo attempted to list “reproductive rights” as part of the UN Charter of human rights.

    Abortion is actually the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a traditional Catholic aversion to the Democratic party. Those of us who grew up in Democratic households wondered where our party went. We got tired of hearing ourselves inside the party referred to as religious nut jobs and architects of theocracy just because we wanted to be unashamedly religious Americans or say Merry Christmas on Dec. 25th. We got tired of seeing the many ways that the party wants to sideline the Catholic Church and stifle its preaching in the public square.

    I do not equate being Catholic with being Republican. But I know that inside the Republican party, I will not hear boisterous shouts of “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries” and other secularist, free-thinking mantras which are common parlance in the Democratic party. On many levels, I do feel that although the Republicans are not 100% on the side of Catholic issues, they are on our side on those issues which are of the highest priority: defending the unborn, outlawing gay marriage and adoption, cutting off money and support to the contraceptive industry and its cohorts, and legally allowing Catholic professionals to opt out of providing any service which violates faith and morals.

  22. Wendy says:

    People dying because they are not poor enough for Medicaid but would have to make the choice between starving and health insurance, along with all of the other issues related to death by poverty (including capital punishment – good lawyers can avoid it easier) is a proportionate enough reason for me. I believe it is my conscience that decides what is proportionate. If Pope Benedict intended that we never vote for a candidate whom we profoundly disagree in regard to abortion he would have said just that. That being said it is important that if we do choose to vote for this person, we make it clear that abortion is unacceptable and brutal. That’s my opinion and since it’s my vote and my conscience it’s all that counts. The same courtesy of course is extended to you.

  23. Maureen says:

    People in England and Canada, with universal “free” health care, die while they’re waiting six months or a year or two years to be treated. Or they simply don’t bother to go see a doctor at all, because it’s too much bother.

    I still remember how an English friend’s father got a mysterious malady. All the Americans on his email list were appalled that he couldn’t get looked at, much less get all the tests he needed because the state hospitals just didn’t buy the equipment. We pleaded with him to bring his father along with him to a convention in the US that was having him as a guest, and the convention (in Boston, and thus full of members who were doctors) were eager to pay the father’s way and get him examined gratis or cheap, whatever they’d feel able to accept. He wouldn’t take them up on it, because in the UK they think it’s not fair to “jump the queue” by going to additional private health care. (As if going to the doctor in the US was taking bread out of mouths of children in Bangladesh.)

    So his father died, and they still didn’t know what was wrong with him. And the National Health couldn’t even get him autopsied for more than a year, so the family couldn’t bury him all that time. But it was all very fair and very national and stuff.

    If that’s what you think Jesus wants for us, then I guess you can vote for it.

  24. Shan Gill says:

    One thing that is hugely confused, even by some of the bishops, is that of the so-called ‘social justice’ items. Socialism is anathema to Catholicism; one cannot be both a Catholic and a socialist. Socialism is the work of the beast while Catholicism is the work of God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    Charity at gunpoint – which is what governmental social programs are – is not compatible with Catholicism.

  25. TJM says:

    The problem is that many people live in fantasyland, which in the US is promoted by a largely left-wing media, which fosters the
    concept of a free lunch for everyone and surpresses contrary views because it does not fit the “agenda.” Unlike Maureen, they NEVER tell you
    about the down-side to the statist proposals which leftists in this country are promoting and are being abandoned in many parts of Europe because they have been tried and failed.. Leftists remind me of indulgent parents who give a child everything, demand nothing in return, and then are shocked when the child is spoiled or anti-social. We’ve come a long way from John Kennedy’s “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for
    your country.” Tom

  26. Wendy says:

    And above is exactly why whenever I temporarily lose my mind and think I should vote for a republican, I change it back quickly. :) Though I’ve had some good debates in the past about all of this with friends that felt this way; I’m sorry I don’t think helping people that need it is a free lunch, and will likely never feel that way. I respect your opinion it’s just not mine.

  27. John says:

    Random thoughts on the poverty and health issues.

    1. I don’t think Jesus will be impressed with how much of OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY I spent on the poor. Put another way, the obligation to help the poor is a personal obligation. It cannot and should not be delegated to other taxpayers.

    I challenge anyone to find in the New Testemant any sanction for using the political system to force someone else through taxes to support the poor. I believe that when politicians spend taxpayer money on poverty, they are getting very close to the moral equivalent of robbing the convenince store and putting the money in the Sunday collection.

    2. We in the US have spent trillions of dollars on poverty and social programs. What have we to show for them? If the programs were working, wouldn’t there have been a reduction in people living in poverty.

    Head Start is one example. A studey found that Head Start does not provide any lasting benefits to poor children. Head Start has been around for forty years. What have been the benefits of Head Start. It would seem that if Head Start worked we would be able to measure the results it has achieved. I believe we still have Head Start because it has created a nationalized baby sitting service for welfare mothers and cushy government jobs for the providers.

    3. The welfare system has rewarded and reinforced bad behavior by the poor. We rewarded poor unwed mothers with AFDC, WIC, food stamps, Medicaid, rent supplements, Head Start, etc. And what has resulted? A lot more poor unwed mothers.

    If you reinforce bad behavior with rewards, you will get more bad behavior.

    4. The Catholic church ruled central Italy for more than one thousand years. How come the Church didn’t come up with stuff like socialized medicine then? Now, that the Church is out of the business of actually governing a people and a territory it becomes very free with pushing for socialism and spending government (actually taxpayer) money.

    5. Much poverty results from bad behavior; Unwed pregnancies, dropping out of high school, street drugs, alcohol, crime. Perhaps if the anti-poverty efforts were focused on eliminating these bad behaviors, we would have less poverty.

    6. It isn’t that hard to get and keep a job. However, a lot of people don’t want to work. Actually, I don’t know if anyone really wants to work. I don’t blame them. I hated work too. But I did it.

    St. Paul said that if one did not work, he should not expect to eat. Apparently the early Church had problems with their own welfare system.

    7. The more I hear from liberal politicians, the more I believe they are using the poverty to accumulate power (and apparently, wealth.) Obama, the Clintons, Biden, Gore, John Edwards (remember him?) all cry copius crocodile tears for the poor. But they have pretty comfortable lifestyles. If they are so concerned about the poor, why don’t they spend their OWN money on fighting poverty and leave taxpayers alone.

    8. The more I hear from liberals in general, the more I hear hatred for the rich rather than love for the poor. I don’t think hatred, envy and jealousy will get you into heaven.

    9. The richest 1% of the population already contributes 39% of the taxes. Isn’t that enough? Frankly, I think that this is a real justice issue, even though I am not in that one percent.

    10. I don’t think Jesus Christ ever said that you can get to heaven by taking and spending OTHER PEOPLES’s money, even for what may appear to be good causes.