The collectors of the temple tax approached Peter asking, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” Peter replied, “Yes.” Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth tax, from their subjects or from foreigners?” Peter replied, “From foreigners,” Jesus replied, “The subjects are exempt.” Matthew 17:24
Jesus told them, “The kings of the nations lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors. Among you, it shall not be so. Allow the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. Who is greater: the one seated at table or the one who serves? It is not the one seated at table! I am among you as the one who serves.”Luke 22:24
If there is anything, which separates liberals from conservatives it is the conservative quoting, “He who governs least governs best.” Henry Thoreau said this. The question is, “He who governs least governs best to do what?” The socialist thinks government control of everything is governing the least. The capitalist, the communist, and the anarchist believe it is no government.
Without a goal in, “He who governs least governs best,” government regulation falls upon those who are foreign to us. For the rich, it is the poor. For the poor it is the rich. A liberal Congress pushes taxes and regulations upon the rich. The conservatives do the same to the poor. We are leaves blowing in the wind. Jesus, in Luke 22:24, calls us to act better.
The topic of this discussion is “Faithful Discipleship as presented in the tradition of Catholic social teaching.” How do we prepare for the next election in four years? Our role is not to bring solutions, only a framework for understanding the question.
If there is anything, which separates liberals from conservatives it is Thomas Jefferson’s, “He who governs least governs best.” Thomas Jefferson never said this; Henry Thoreau did. The socialist thinks government control of everything is governing the least. The capitalist, the communist, and the anarchist believe it is no government at all. The phrase, “He who governs least governs best,” needs a predicate, the least to do what?”
Without answering the “To do what,” government falls upon the foreigner, those who are foreign to us. For the rich, the poor need more government. For the poor, it is the rich. When the liberals control Congress, they push more government upon the rich and when the conservatives are in power, we see the reverse. We are not one nation, but two, one black, one white, one enslaved by wealth, one by poverty. We have liberty for the rich and the best justice money can buy.
We are leaves blowing in the wind. Humanae Vitae came in 1968. Roe V. Wade came in 1973. We come to the 40th anniversary of the latter event. Catholics were 22% of the U.S. adult population in 1948. We reached our high point in the late 1970s, when the U.S. population was nearly 30% Catholic. In the last several years, the Catholic percentage has been around 23%.”
After 40 years of engaging in talking points, the five non-negotiable points are still with us. All we have done is dropped 10% of the population from being Catholic. It is said that insanity is repeating the same things, and expecting different results. As liberal Catholics, we want results. We must decide, do we want to end abortion, and solve the other four non-negotiable points, or do we want to engage in an idle boxing match with the other side for another forty years.
Jesus, in Luke 22:24, calls us to act better than being leaves blowing in the wind, choosing between the left and the right. There is no reason for Matthew 17 applying to our nation. There is no reason for the rich viewing the poor as foreigners, or the poor for viewing the rich as foreign.
The mural at our Cathedral provides our predicate; at the upper right of the mural stands Pope Pious X who wrote about Catholic Action. Pope Benedict said this about Pope Pious X:
The faith as such is always the same. The Catechism of Saint Pius X always preserves its value. Ways of transmitting the contents of the faith can change instead..” I remember reading staunch anti-Catholics argue that Vatican II changed nothing. Our current Pope agrees. Referring to Torah St. James wrote in James 1:17:
All noble giving and every complete gift are from above, coming down from the Father of lights. Through him, there is no alteration or shadow caused by change…
The packaging changes; the truth remains the same. In IL FERMO PROPOSITO Pope Pious X writes: We take to heart the interests of the people, especially those of the working and agricultural classes by endeavoring to dry their tears, to alleviate their sufferings, and to improve their economic condition by wise measures. We strive, to make public laws conformable to justice. (7) All these works… constitute what is known by “Catholic Action.” (8)
All Catholics must prepare themselves prudently and seriously for political life in case they may be called. It is of the utmost importance that the same activity be extended to a suitable preparation and organization for political life. (19)
All those works which directly come to the aid of the spiritual and pastoral ministry of the Church and which labor religiously for the good of souls must be subordinated to the authority of the Church and also to the authority of the Bishops placed by the Holy Spirit to rule the Church of God in the dioceses assigned to them. (22)
We all have the obligation to be educated on political matters, and we must subordinate our efforts under our Bishops. Our Bishops have the obligation to help us educate ourselves and to prepare us for Catholic Action. This includes preparing political leaders who will support all of Catholic Social Doctrine.
This is part 1. Please click here for part 2