I agree. I hope this thread is sustained for a while.
[quote=katherine2]The CCC speaks of a community of a higher a lower order. She does not speak about individualism but of communities at various levels.
Agreed. I think this is one area that many Republican conservatives get it wrong. The Republican conservatives, who hold up individual freedom and responsibilities, cannot claim that the subsidiarity principle is on their side. Individualism is used wrongly by extreme libertarian conservatives and extreme modern democratic liberals. Both say the individual is paramount. The conservative claim this is God given. The liberal will say that the individual creates their own moralities based on personal beliefs.
[quote=katherine2] The Church speaks of activities towards a common good. A task should be taken up by the lowest level of community that can resolve/affect it. She does not say that important social concerns (among which might be health care, wage negotiations, retirement security, relief for the poor, etc) should be left unsolved or inadequately responded to, or left to privatization or extreme individualism.
Agreed, nor does she say that it is the responsibility of government to do these things. I believe the religious liberals have thiswrong.
[quote=katherine2]One example of this which the church has often cited might be the Food Stamps program. This is financed at the national evel, but following subsidiarity is administered at the state level with the actual outreach at a local level. Further, following the principle of subsidarity, distribution is also decentralized. Rather than those in hunger coming to a centralized government faciltiy for food, they are enabled to shop in private food markets using the Food Stamps.
Please provide references to the church citing the Food Stamp program. I find this to be unlikely because the church begins to loose her expertise when dealing with the mechanics of policies and actions based on moral and/or theological principles. We regularly find that the church (I don’t mean individual clerics or comities) does not take strong positions on mechanics. Typically we mostly see warnings about any potential moral concerns of policies. But rarely (never?) endorsements of specific policies.
As a side, has the church ever officially endorsed democracy? I know the church didn’t SEEM to be very fond of it in the 18th century.
[quote=katherine2]The Bush Administration’s FBI I think was a program with some true merit.
What is FBI program?
[quote=katherine2]I feel the President did not follow through on subsidiarity. The initiative has enabled more community based organizations to apply for projects. But Bush has CUT the resources available for these projects. So, we have more organizations willing to serve human needs but less funds to award them. More cuts are expected this year.
I tend to think that programs that are administered by smaller communities but financed by the Fed is a violation of subsidiarity. It may be good for the common good for the Fed to provide some financial assistance if helpful to a well run program but should not be the primary source of funding. It not only violates subsidiarity (in my opinion) but tends to be unsustainable.
[quote=katherine2]But she rightly goes further. She states "subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good”.
Katherine2 is correct that the individual is not considered a “community” of either order. However, the individual responsible for aspects of a community (father of a family for example) requires the freedom to perform his function within that community without interference from the community of a higher order. IMHO this is closer to the Republican position. (As long as we are talking about morally licit activities. Polygamist families, for example, should not be supported)
The higher order (state) has the responsibility to assist in the case of need the lower order (family). IMHO, I do not see either US party being more in line with this than the other. Though the policies seem to differ, I do not see one party being more driven by this principle than the other and I think the policy differences can both be legitimately argued within catholic social teaching.