There is a group of so-called nuns from different so-called religious orders who are touring the United States on a bus to spread their lies, deceit, manipulation and distortions on what they are calling tax justice. I endured their two-hour presentation last night (Oct. 19) at St. Thomas Aquinas parish in East Lansing, Michigan.
I have already made it clear that I am against what they are teaching, so let me say a little more about myself so as to give full disclosure. I am neither Democrat or Republican. I think both sides have many, many problems. I further believe that the Republicans are more compatible to the Catholic faith than the Democrats. I base this on their platform that is pro-life, pro-family, pro-small government and several other points. I am Catholic, and I vote Catholic.
That means I vote for the best candidates available on the ballot according to the Catholic faith. Sometimes this means the lesser of two evils with the goal of doing the most good by avoiding the most evil.
If you were looking for help in understanding Catholic social teaching on taxation in their presentation, then you were left very disappointed. It was simply Democratic and socialist in its regurgitated content. There was not even any Catholic doctrine or Scripture presented. There was no trying to understand the nature of the problem from a Catholic perspective. It was intellectually and morally dishonest what they did, and I am certain that they are condemning souls to Hell with their putrid agenda.
Now, unlike them, let me bring up a few (just a few) Catholic points that they should have and need to take into consideration.
The first point comes from their example of an older middle-class widow who has several children and grandchildren. She is finding it financially difficult to survive and wants help from the (U.S., federal) government. Let us turn to our inerrant and Almighty-inspired true teachings of Sacred Scripture to see if she even qualifies as a widow of whom Scripture says we are to take care of.
First Timothy (5:3–5) says, "Honour widows, that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children, or grandchildren, let her learn first to govern her own house, and to make a return of duty to her parents: for this is acceptable before God. But she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, let her trust in God, and continue in supplications and prayers night and day."
Scripture defines a widow (one that we should help) as one who has no family to help her. If she has family, then it is the duty of the family according to the Fourth Commandment (honor thy father and mother) to take care of her. Only if she is truly a widow with no family and destitute do people have the duty to assist her. We notice that if a widow with family is being deprived of assistance, that it is not the fault of society but of her own family. Her family is the one who failed her, not society.
In this first example, these nuns were saying how terrible it is that the government is not taking care of this widow, but I say according to Catholic teaching, how terrible it is that her family has let her down and neglected her in her need.
This leads to another point. One of the nuns said how terrible it is and unpatriotic it is to think only of self. She is correct if one is thinking only of self. But what if one is fulfilling Scripture again and taking care of self so as to not be a burden on society? Is this not a duty to society? And by taking care of self is one not contributing to society? Let us look at First Timothy again (5:8), "But if any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
Timothy makes it clear that one has a duty to take care of himself and those in his care. We are not to be an undue burden on society. To do so deprives others of their rightful resources to care for themselves. How is this a loving act? I don't want to work so I will simply vote myself a share of the public coffers and you can pay the bill with the money you were going to use to feed your family. But that is what these nuns were talking about, redistribution of wealth, which is socialism, which has been clearly defined by the Catholic Church as an intrinsic evil. These nuns were supporting and promoting that which is an evil.
Patriotism is a virtue. That means it is a good and should be practiced. I think a man who takes care of himself and his family, contributing to society, is very patriotic. At least that is what the Catholic Church tells me to believe.
I mean, we can look at another Scripture here. Second Thessalonians 3:10 says:
For also when we were with you, this we declared to you: that, if any man will not work, neither let him eat. For we have heard there are some among you who walk disorderly, working not at all, but curiously meddling. Now we charge them that are such, and beseech them by the Lord Jesus Christ, that, working with silence, they would eat their own bread. But you brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed: Yet do not esteem him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
God, Scripture, faith and the Catholic Church do not ask us to waste our hard-earned wealth on people who are able and should help themselves. In fact, we have a God-given right to our wealth. It is called the Seventh Commandment: Thou shalt not steal. And it is stealing to vote in a way that takes money from one man and gives it to another who has not earned it and that he would not have given it to in charity. It does not matter if the man is rich (even a one-percenter). The Seventh Commandment says that we may not steal.
You may not make the argument that it is a tax and that you have to pay up. We have a duty to give unto Caesar, agreed. Government is not an evil, even if the men who occupy the offices in government are evil. Government has the moral duty to fulfill certain services for the good of society, agreed. And the government needs money to fulfill these services, agreed. For this reason the government has the right to tax the citizen, agreed.
But, the government only has the right to tax for legitimate services that are provided for the common good of society. It is not a common good if one man suffers at the hand of another. What is right and just is that a man pay tax for services that benefit him. We all benefit from roads, military, border walls, food and drug administration and other such things the government does. When a man receives money or services (like an abortion), only that one person benefits while the person from whom the money was taken loses.
Another nun quoted from this current pope from socialist South America that there are other things just as important as abortion and that we do not have to worry only about this one issue. Things like the poor, the downtrodden, the trans-whatever, climate change, plastic in the ocean and other things, communion to those living in sin and protecting and covering up for pederasty (OK, I may have added one or two examples).
The fact is that life and family are the first and most fundamental things to worry about. If these are not first respected then all the other bad things follow. As goes the family, so goes society. And family life is a mess. And respect for life? Can you say abortion? If we do not care enough to take care of our own children, do you think for a second anyone is going to give a d@&% about your poor little dolphins? Get real! And you want people to care about the climate? They are too busy trying to protect their wallets from gross over taxing and abuse by the government and liberals who want big government to take care of them rather than taking care of themselves.
My last point has to do with their complaint that the new tax bill eliminates several programs. They then listed several that they think will be eliminated and did this disgustingly manipulative and deceptive demonstration of the impact on the various groups. You guessed it, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Never did they give a nice word to the big businesses that have given so many jobs and raises to people in this, the best jobs environment ever — set that tangent to the side.
As they named all these programs supposedly being eliminated, they never asked: Should the program be eliminated, is the program any good any longer, is it still needed, does it meet any real need today, is it overused and abused, is it within the scope of the federal government (10th Amendment of the Constitution) to have the program or any other such question? No! It is a program that gives money away to people and so it must stay! I wonder if they have the same attitude for the programs that give money to the rich? Never mind, I withdraw the self-evident query.
Now, do not take this wrong. There are real poor, real widows and real disabled (mentally and physically) who need real help. The question is where and who should be giving the help. Subsidiarity is also taught by the Catholic Church. This means that a need like we are talking about should be dealt with and met at the lowest and smallest level possible. If the individual or family can take care of their problem by helping each other, then problem solved.
If the local church, food bank, social services like St. Vincent de Paul or Salvation Army can take care of the problem, then problem solved. If the township or city can meet the needs, then problem solved. If the state has to get involved, then so be it. For the federal government to get involved is to be the last resort and only if a lower level cannot take care of it.
In order for subsidiarity to work, it is the responsibility of the higher levels to hold the lower levels accountable, like a parent to hold their feet to the fire and make them deal with their local situations. A family will not take care of itself as long as the federal government grants them all kinds of entitlements, to which they are not actually entitled to except by law. They are not morally entitled to another man's hard and legally earned wealth. That is another side note.
There were several other insights I had about the meeting, but this should suffice to show that these so-called nuns were anything but Catholic and that they abused their religious credentials to spread their Democratic and socialist agenda to the detriment of the Bride of Christ and the salvation of souls.