Interesting article by Paul A. Rahe, at Ricochet.com brings up a number of points as background to the recent HHS controversy. The two points that interest me are:
(1) The first point falls into the basic area of what it means to be a Christian. Is it better for a Catholic to make voluntary contributions to charity to support the poor or is it better to have the government take money from one group and give to another. Have we strayed from what "charity" is supposed to mean?
From the referenced article:
"[L]eaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States – the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity – and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism – the notion that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people’s money and redistribute it."
(2) The second point deals with confusing non-negotiable beliefs of our faith (being pro-life and against abortion) with other beliefs dealing with social justice.
"[T]he Roman Catholic Church in the United States has lost much of its moral authority. It has done so largely because it has subordinated its teaching of Catholic moral doctrine to its ambitions regarding an expansion of the administrative entitlements state. In 1973, when the Supreme Court made its decision in Roe v. Wade, had the bishops, priests, and nuns screamed bloody murder and declared war, as they have recently done, the decision would have been reversed. Instead, under the leadership of Joseph Bernadin, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Chicago, they asserted that the social teaching of the Church was a “seamless garment,” and they treated abortion as one concern among many. "