Some of the Church’s social teachings are becoming more difficult for me to accept. Most of these tend to be afterthoughts compared to the “big” issues like abortion, marriage, euthanasia, etc. I can accept those. But here are the ones that rub me the wrong way:
- Gun control. I have no problem with background checks before buying a gun. But the current push to ban “assault weapons” (which is just a buzzword for a gun that’s painted black or looks scary), if it succeeds, will be a victory for nobody but Big Brother and his minions.
Think I’m just regurgitating NRA talking points here? Take a look at Australia: most guns there are banned, and they also have strict censorship laws. Same with Germany, whose government worked with social media outlets to ban “offensive” speech.
In fact, if civilian gun ownership has the powers that be shaking in their boots, that’s a good thing. The government should fear the people, not the other way around. Lastly, the same people who say “only cops and the military should have ‘assault weapons’” are the same people who say cops and military are evil racists.
- Taxation. Our Lord and St. Paul told us to pay taxes, but I am miffed by this. Taxation, in my opinion, is just state-facilitated larceny. Nobody, from Donald Trump to the immigrant family in Section 8, should have to pay a penny. At this point, I only pay taxes so I don’t get beaten up and go to jail.
Someone might respond that I have civic duties to the government. If that’s the case, any band of looters can declarge themselves a government and demand “taxes” from random people.
- The Syrian refugee crisis. Pope Francis wants us to open our doors and borders indiscriminately. But the rise in rapes and terrorist attacks in Europe following the importing of so many immigrants is not a coincidence.
I understand welcoming the stranger is a work of mercy. But the works of mercy should not be a suicide pact. There are countries right next to Syria, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, which are culturally similar to Syria and have the space and resources to house them. Instead, they come to the West and demand enclaves governed by Sharia Law.
I fail to see them as Christ the stranger, but as the Scimitar of the Prophet Muhammad.
- The use of torture, corporal punishment, and the death penalty. I know what the Catechism says. But the alternative has spawned a whole host of social ills. America’s massive prison-industrial complex has us second only to China in imprisonments. These prisons are not penitentiaries where broken sinners are rehabilitated and redeemed. They are breeding grounds for racism, violence, bitterness, and vendettas.
I think a lot of these could be solved by the disincentive of pain. Nothing that could actually kill someone; for example, have someone beaten with a rubber tube, or spend a day in the stocks. I think public humiliation wold instill some humility in convicts.
Lastly, I think the Church’s opposition to the death penalty is hypocritical; as recently as two or three hundred years ago, the headsmen in the Papal States were seldom wanting for work. Now that the Church has reduced political power, they are against it.
Can somebody please try to change my mind on these things?