The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


The gospel according to Beck

posted by jmcgee
“I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes.” 

Glenn Beck, sane and sensible as ever.

UPDATE: Mark Shea has added some thoughts on the Beck brouhaha:

If it were a Lefty urging Catholics to apostatize in the name of abortion rights, no serious Catholic would ever bother to watch him again. But because this raving lunatic is prattling on about tropes near and dear to the heart of the Thing That Used to be Conservatism (i.e. free market economics) he is given a pass to run around making absolutely defamatory claims against Catholic teaching and even to urge Catholics to leave Holy Church. The Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching = Mein Kampf = the Communist Manifesto. Sure.

Meantime, in a providential coincidence, Archbishop Timothy Dolan pinpoints six pillars of Catholic social teaching. Check ‘em out.



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kenneth

posted March 8, 2010 at 6:14 pm


Yes, Glenn, you’re right. Jesus was all about Social Darwinism.



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Sorry Glen

posted March 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm


Yeah, Glenn, I guess we should all reject historical Christianity and become a polytheist like you. For the record, I like Glenn Beck’s political views most of the time, but he is a converted Mormon. He believes Joseph Smith was a prophet. Enough said.



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Eric G

posted March 8, 2010 at 6:57 pm


In a way, Beck was right; ‘social justice’ and ‘economic justice’ are EXACTLY the things you should run TOWARDS in any church.



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DiRT

posted March 8, 2010 at 7:28 pm


Beck isn’t wrong. Terms like what he pointed out are only ways of manipulating people beyond the scope of Jesus’ teachings. It’s one thing so care for another human being. That’s what we are called to do. But you don’t hurt Peter to console Paul. That’s what so-called “social justice” demands.



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Your Name

posted March 8, 2010 at 7:50 pm


Beck is right on target and poster DiRT makes a salient point as well. “Social justice” can mean whatever anyone wants it to mean (such as measures and programs which go beyond or outright contradict the Gospel) and “economic justice” is just another crypto-Marxist Orwelian neologism aimed at giving economic socialism a theological cloak. To your average proponent of “economic justice”, “economic justice” means there is no justice until everyone has the same amount of money. When that happens, economies die and no one benefits. I know many lib Catholics can’t stand the fact blind hog of Protestantism found the acorn of free market wealth creation which dominates the globe today, but you can’t argue with 1 billion people lifted out of poverty since Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in 1981. Facts are stubborn things. Peace Out.



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Dcn Scott

posted March 8, 2010 at 7:56 pm


Beck’s style is hyperbolic ranting, not my favorite genre. On my weekday commutes home, I alternate listening to Back, All Things Considered and rock n’roll. I actually listened to this bit by Beck. Though many of us, myself included, are often loathe to admit it, he actually has a point if you can break through his clutter abnd pick up his thread after weird digressions. I am not defending this statement, it is over the top and certainly unreasonable, but reflecting on the question what is social justice and how do we work to achieve it, as with the recent dust-up over CCHD, is not a bad thing.



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Justin

posted March 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm


“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Matthew 19:24



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Blake Helgoth

posted March 8, 2010 at 8:38 pm


Well, he’s is right in the sense that most that use these terms are not speaking of the Gospel, they are using Christianity to push their own political agenda. There is a true Catholic understanding of these things and most who consider themselves conservative Catholics would find them challenging, but I would dare say, those who consider themselves liberal or progressive Catholics would as well. What Glenn is getting at is that many have co-opted the work of the Church to promote their own version of utopia.



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Confused

posted March 8, 2010 at 8:53 pm


Dear Deacon Kandra:
Do you mean that you agree with Glenn Beck on this point, that he is sane and sensible in his opinion on social justice? I don’t know you well enough to know if you are being sarcastic or not.
Joe



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted March 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm


Joe…
It’s sarcasm. :-)
Dcn. G.



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Joe

posted March 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm


Dcn Greg:
I’m glad. The Church’s teaching on social justice is very clear, and not something isolated to some liberal loonies infiltrating parishes. Beck’s statement should be insulting to all Catholics. My wife is on a social justice committee at our parish and she finds these sorts of comments on your post to be shocking. These folks are not very well grounded in their Catholic faith if they would follow Beck and his ignorant rantings rather than their priests, bishops, and pope. I don’t know what Christ they claim to follow, either. Certainly not the one of the Gospels.
Joe



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted March 8, 2010 at 9:53 pm


I strongly agree with the Church’s social teaching. But Beck is right in that so many that use phrases like “social justice” or “economic justice” today are just using these as a cover for types of radical leftist politics which have nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.



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Frank

posted March 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm


I consider myself an orthodox practicing Catholic who has visited many Catholic churches all over the US. I agree with Mr. Beck in the sense that I have never seen those terms used in our churches except to push a liberal socialist political agenda. I wish it weren’t so! Evidently Deacon Greg has had a different experience.



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Rachel

posted March 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm


Glenn Beck cannot be trusted on matters of faith and politics. He is a lapsed Catholic-turned-Mormon.
Especially egregious is his understanding of the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love–the theme of his Spring ‘tour,’ from what I’ve heard. Ugh. His explanation goes something to the effect of “Faith: God is important; Hope is in the truth; Love is telling people the truth”. Kind of, but that’s not really why these are important for politics or citizens…
He needs to read Pope Benedict’s encyclicals if he has any hope of understanding the theological virtues.



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Your Name

posted March 8, 2010 at 10:35 pm


To pick a statement like out like that and ask our opinion is a little unfair. Glenn tends to hyperbole. Of course we aren’t going to leave the Church when topics of social justice and economic justice come up. The problem is that these terms are often missused by people supposedly following the direction of the Bishops. Let’s be clear, nothing in the Church’s teaching demands that we bankrupt the nation or sacrefice our freedom and liberty because Sister Flutter or Father Mercy or Bishop Grumble says it is the only way to achieve social and economic justice. Nothing in the Church’s Social teaching says we must adhere to the practical judgements of anyone in the hierarchy. And when we talk about the means to achieve social and economic justice we are talking about practical judgements!!!



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Sam

posted March 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm


I can understand the feeling behind Glenn’s comment. I went to a Jesuit college which was very big on promoting “social justice”. The priests were especially vocal in promoting school activities that focused on social justice issues.
What I found very disappointing though, was which causes fit their definition of social justice. They promoted and hyped a school sponsored trip to protest the School of Americas in Georgia very extensively. In contrast, when January rolled around and it was time for the March for Life, the organization and promotion of the even was left entirely to the students.
Doesn’t abortion disproportionately effect minority and poor populations? How is it not a “social justice” issue?
This is the reason why conservatives like Glenn are wary of these terms. Social justice and economic justice are political catch phrases with (like it or not) certain ideological associations.
Glenn isn’t saying “don’t be fair with minorities and foreigners” or “keep people poor”, what he’s saying is don’t fall into a liberal-slanted political scheme that has disguised itself as religion.



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Your Name

posted March 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm


WOW! It is frightening how influential Beck is. Many of these comments are scary. It is hard to understand how far we’ve strayed from the gospel when Deacons of the Church think Beck has a point. Both phrases “social justice” and economic justice” come out of documents from the magisterium. To say they are linked to radical leftist politics is simply wrong and gives credence to Beck’s nonsense. Thank you Justin for pointing us back to the Gospel.



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Gary

posted March 8, 2010 at 10:55 pm


When you see or hear anything from Beck run and seek the truth for it is not found in him.



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Gimme a Break

posted March 8, 2010 at 11:33 pm


For anyone who’s listened to Beck, you know what he’s talking about. The liberal social policies of the left are always couched in terms of social justice. The term is just code for redistributionist schemes.



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Mhari Dubh

posted March 8, 2010 at 11:39 pm


“I have never seen those terms used in our churches except to push a liberal socialist political agenda”
Nice. I’ll be sure to let the kids and adults who give up a week or two of their summer on a mission trip know that they’re socialists. Oh! and I won’t forget to mention that to the families who make a second trip to deliver beds, clothes, and other furniture – - all in the name of social justice.
I resent the conservative types diminishing what people do in the name of social justice because the assume all kinds of malarky.
Peace.



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Catholic Med Student

posted March 8, 2010 at 11:45 pm


Beck bashers, in my experience, tend to only have experienced Beck through the filter of leftist media, which takes him out of context. Beck, as many have noted already, speaks in hyperbole to grab your attention. But if you are a regular listener, you know what he means by this statement. If you are not a listener, but are keeping up on the controversies surrounding the “social justice” arm of the USCCB, you also would know what he means.
“Social justice” as it is meant to be understood by Catholics is not what Beck is talking about. He is talking about how that term has been hijacked by “christian” progressives who use the cover of the faith to promote their political agenda. They have been doing this for years and years. Churches which promote this kind of “social justice” tend to be the ones open to gay marriage, abortion, liberation theology, and other heresies and anti-Catholic thought, in the name of this warped “social justice.”
But we as Catholics are also taking this statement too personally. Of course, in Catholic understanding we must remain in the Church and work to keep it adhered to the True teaching, but in the Protestant mindset, church-shopping is encouraged. In Protestantism, Beck’s comments make perfect sense.
Now quit bashing Beck if all you know of him is what Maddow and Matthews spew about him and watch a few episodes for yourself!



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Joe

posted March 9, 2010 at 12:33 am


I can barely recognize Catholic sensibilities in many of these posts. I’m becoming convinced that many right-wing Catholics are political conservatives first, and Catholic Christians second. They are true Cafeteria Catholics if there ever were any. You praise God while holding the poor (and “liberals” who care about them) in contempt. Don’t be surprised on Judgement Day when you are told “I never knew you.”
If you claim to be a loyal Catholic, read all the way through the following text of the Pope’s encyclical on economic justice, which I borrowed with comments from Thomas Reese, SJ:
While Benedict acknowledges the role of the market, he emphasizes that “the social doctrine of the Church has unceasingly highlighted the importance of distributive justice and social justice for the market economy.” He unflinchingly supports the “redistribution of wealth” when he talks about the role of government. “Grave imbalances are produced,” he writes, “when economic action, conceived merely as an engine for wealth creation, is detached from political action, conceived as a means for pursuing justice through redistribution.”
Benedict believes that if people understood God’s love for every single human person and his divine plan for us, then believers would recognize their duty “to unite their efforts with those of all men and women of good will, with the followers of other religions and with non-believers, so that this world of ours may effectively correspond to the divine plan: living as a family under the Creator’s watchful eye.”
If you think that’s all a load of tripe, go ahead and ignore the Pope’s teachings on social and economic justice, and follow St. Beck through the wide gate to destruction…



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Your Name

posted March 9, 2010 at 12:53 am


Rachel,
To call Beck a lapsed Catholic is not very truthful. He was raised (well, sort of) by a drunk that beat his wife. They happened to be Catholic. I do not think he ever learned the truths of the faith. As to why he does not delve deeper into Mormon thought, I can’t say. He seems to be an honest guy that is searching for the truth. It seems you could use a refresher on social justice, especially in regards to charity towards your brother.



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jimsquires

posted March 9, 2010 at 1:13 am


Beck is the Goebbel to Romney’s Hitler. The real axis of evil that threatens America. Their goal- a morman President.



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 1:42 am


**go ahead and ignore the Pope’s teachings on social and economic justice**
We are all too happy to follow the Pope’s teachings on social and economic justice.
What people are opposed to — and properly so — is the hijacking of those teachings for political purposes. And Thomas Reese, SJ, is one that has not been shy about twisting those teachings himself.
Rather than quote someone who was removed from his editor position because of his improper politicization, let me quote Pope Benedict himself, from an address he gave last Saturday –
“The Good Samaritan teaches, however, that one must go beyond the emergency and predispose, as it were, for the return to normality. Indeed, he binds up the wounds of the fallen man, and then entrusts him to the innkeeper in order that, once the emergency had passed, he could re-establish himself.
“As this Gospel page teaches us, love for our neighbor cannot be delegated: the State and politics, despite the necessary attention to welfare, cannot be a substitute. As I wrote in the encyclical Deus caritas est: ‘Love will always prove necessary, even in the most just society. There is no ordering of the State so just that it can eliminate the need for a service of love. Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such. There will always be suffering which cries out for consolation and help. There will always be loneliness. There will always be situations of material need where help in the form of concrete love of neighbour is indispensable’ (No. 28.
“This demands, and will always demand, personal and voluntary commitment. Precisely because of this, volunteers are not ‘stopgaps’ in the social network, but persons who truly contribute to delineate the human and Christian face of society.”

Let me repeat: “love for our neighbor cannot be delegated: the State and politics, despite the necessary attention to welfare, cannot be a substitute.” Rather, what is demanded is “personal and voluntary commitment.”
True social justice is about PERSONAL acts of charity and mercy, it is about the obligation of the INDIVIDUAL to FREELY and VOLUNTARILY exhibit love of neighbor.
However, the hijacking of “social justice” by those on the left — statists, progressives, liberation theologists, and the like — has twisted it to mean GOVERNMENT action that COERCES and TAKES from some persons to give to other persons. That is not social justice, that is a tyrannical power grab, it is the antithesis of social justice.
And the unjust and uncharitable smearing of Beck and others by those purporting to support social justice demonstrate exactly that.



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Joe

posted March 9, 2010 at 1:43 am


Your Name,
If Beck was born a Catholic, he was a Catholic until converting to Mormonism. Rachel’s supposed lack of charity towards a hysterical hate-monger does not really fall under “social justice.” Do you know what those words mean?
Joe



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You Said IT

posted March 9, 2010 at 1:54 am


Bender, thank you.



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Joe

posted March 9, 2010 at 1:56 am


Bender (what are you bending?),
You completely miss the Pope’s point, and are selectively quoting him to further your views, which you expound as if they flow freely from his text. One truth does not cancel out the other. YES, using the government as a tool for redistributive justice is not a SUBSTITUTE for the personal exercise of social justice, such as charity, support of workers’ rights, promoting fair trade, etc. That does not mean that the government should not be also used for promoting redistributive justice, which the Pope has clearly supported.
And sorry, but governments have always taken money and given it to other people. That’s what April 15 is all about. America actually has a much smaller tax burden than other Western nations, but we’re very greedy. I guess it’s OK if you have to give it to build weapons, or give it to corporations or wealthy farmers, but don’t dare use any of it to address the scandalous iniquities present in our society. Personal charity is not always enough, and the Pope seems to recognize that. I just wish more Catholics would listen to him.
Joe



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 2:18 am


Joe – you are a case in point. You are using the Church’s social doctrine to promote your own ideology.
The Good Samaritan went and took care of the injured guy in the ditch himself. He did not go chase down the other two and take their money, he did not go running off to the Romans to impose a tax on them. He took care of it himself.
Properly understood, “social justice” is caritas in veritate, charity in truth, that is, love in truth. Man is, by his very nature, a social being, who is made by his Creator to love and be loved in truth. That means, as social beings, giving of yourself to others. But it also means, love being something that is, by its very nature, a free act, that such giving of self to and for others is done freely and voluntarily. And it means treating others in truth, especially the truth of the inherent dignity of the human person as a subject and free and equal being, and not as an object to be exploited and used as a thing. This is thoroughly compatible with free market classical liberalism (properly understood).
The problem is that this proper understanding of “social justice” has been hijacked and distorted and perverted by leftists and others to advance their own ideological/political ends. Rather than caritas in veritate, an exercise of love in truth, it has become an exercise of division and rancor, of pitting one group against another, us against them, of harboring grievances, getting even, going after others, and making sure that they get what’s coming to them.
Rather than Christianity in action, it is Marxism in action (or Maoism or Cheism or Sandinoism, etc.) (original-recipe or neo-). Rather than theology, it is liberation theology, Jesus as revolutionary. It is arrogantly claiming to be trying to create “heaven on earth,” but in every instance resulting in only creating hell.
Rather than freely giving of oneself for the benefit of others, it is forcibly taking from others and dividing the spoils.
That is the antithesis of true social justice. (Which anyone would know if they – and I mean you, Joe, since you wanted to make this personal – had actually read Pope Benedict’s encyclicals and other writings.)



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Joe

posted March 9, 2010 at 9:10 am


My only ideology is that of concern for my fellow man. My beliefs are consistent with Church teaching. I’m opposed to Marxism, socialism, liberation theology, etc. I’d say the same about other Catholics I know who are concerned about social justice. I guess I’m in good company, because this pope is far more radical in your eyes than I am.



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Your Name

posted March 9, 2010 at 9:20 am


Jesus said the poor wold always be with us. That means that we should not try to create some elaborate government program to eliminate poverty. We should serve the poor because they are in need. If you have ever worked with the poor directly you know that there are some that can be helped out of poverty and some that will always be poor. Some have mental diseases, others are adicted to things, some just do not understand money and probably never will. Others have just fallen on bad times and need a little help. Some of them steal, beat people up, shoot up the food bank, etc. We are called to love them all.
I knew a man in Indianapolis, Lucious Newsom, who left everything to feed the poor. He was a Baptist minister had $10 in his wallet a car when he started. He manged to feed hundreds every week. Then he built a shelter for battered women. Everytime you went to help he took a collection for the poor so they could pay some of their bills. He always told you that what you were doing was serving Jesus Himself when you served the poor. We always prayed and he always had a statue of Jesus and St. Jude sitting out. Along the way, Lucious became Catholic because it was mostly Catholics that came to help him all the time and he saw their love. He never tried to get government aid or bring in social workers. He didn’t try to end their poverty with a big program, he loved them as they were and did what he could to help. When he died his funeral had to be held at the Cathedral because so many people came. That is social justice.
As Catholic we should follow the principle of subsidarity – that the more local something can be done, the better. That is becasue it is harder to have human interactions when one is not engaged with people. Big government programs become inhuman because most of the people working on them do not ever meet those that the program is supposed to be helping.
lordspantry.org
This is the sort of thing Glenn believes we should be doing.



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Phillipus

posted March 9, 2010 at 9:21 am


First off, Bender is right.
Second of all, Deacon, you took Glenn’s comments out of line. It was not just a few lines of what you quoted up there. Why don’t you get the 5 minute rant that led up to that comment…or what followed afterward.
Glenn was not advocating that social justice is evil, he just said the left has twisted the words to mean something evil and that liberal churches have now taken the baton and run with it. Go to any liberal Episcopalian Church website ans see for yourself. We get wrapped around phrases of the present times. Before social justice was called that, it lived as Charity in the Church. Why don’t we just call it that and let others define their crooked ways with ambiguous words.



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Joe

posted March 9, 2010 at 9:29 am


From the encyclical:
“In the global era, the economy is influenced by competitive models tied to cultures that differ greatly among themselves. The different forms of economic enterprise to which they give rise find their main point of encounter in commutative justice. Economic life undoubtedly requires contracts, in order to regulate relations of exchange between goods of equivalent value. But it also needs just laws and forms of redistribution governed by politics, and what is more, it needs works redolent of the spirit of gift. The economy in the global era seems to privilege the former logic, that of contractual exchange, but directly or indirectly it also demonstrates its need for the other two: political logic, and the logic of the unconditional gift.”
“What is also needed, though, is a worldwide redistribution of energy resources, so that countries lacking those resources can have access to them. The fate of those countries cannot be left in the hands of whoever is first to claim the spoils, or whoever is able to prevail over the rest. ”
“Economic activity cannot solve all social problems through the simple application of commercial logic. This needs to be directed towards the pursuit of the common good, for which the political community in particular must also take responsibility. Therefore, it must be borne in mind that grave imbalances are produced when economic action, conceived merely as an engine for wealth creation, is detached from political action, conceived as a means for pursuing justice through redistribution.”



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Phillipus

posted March 9, 2010 at 9:31 am


Your name,
When you say:
“Jesus said the poor wold always be with us. That means that we should not try to create some elaborate government program to eliminate poverty. We should serve the poor because they are in need..etc.”
You are paraphrasing Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum. People say that the CHurch never wrote about health care or “social justice” but right there in Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical is the answer to the questions we have.
The poor will always be us. For the rich or even just the more fortunate, they serve as a means for us to do what is right by practicing Charity as Jesus taught.
It is precisely because of this that we can see how we ought to act just as the Good Samaritan did. He did not run to anybody else but rather, saw himself as an immediate tool to returning the man to health. He did not involve the state or the Sanhedrin. He called himself to Christian Charity.



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Phillipus

posted March 9, 2010 at 9:39 am


“What is also needed, though, is a worldwide redistribution of energy resources, so that countries lacking those resources can have access to them. The fate of those countries cannot be left in the hands of whoever is first to claim the spoils, or whoever is able to prevail over the rest. ”
If a state is going broke because it does not have a lot of resources to take care of her people, then of course other states that can help ought to come forward so that these people do not suffer unnecessarily.
For instance:
If America has the means to help create a malaria free Africa,by providing them with the intel or the products then, why is the EPA wasting time with bureaucratic stalling methods (ie. DDT is dangerous) to make that happen?



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halfwitt

posted March 9, 2010 at 9:46 am


I see the point of avoiding big government programs to a certain extent, but while expounding that virtue on one hand the other empowers the other hand through big military, big spending and big debt for future generations. I believe that Christ would encourage us to provide social justice in the form of nationalized health care for ALL, even illegal immigrants or visitors…we can do it, it will be cheaper overall and to do so will remove the culture of sinful greed associated with corporate insurance fraud. This nationalized health care system would not provide insurance, it would provide care for anyone that come to the doors, regardless of nationality, creed, color, race, age or gender and be totally removed from employment status or personal financial worth. The program would probably be best paid for by consumption taxes on nearly all items sold, greater on luxuries and durable goods, far less on necessities like whole foods, toiletries and clean energy. The problem with social justice is that people of all kinds believe mistakenly that government cannot effect positive change in society, when it has been proven that it can time and time again. Same with the Catholic church. But also it has been proven that corruption can enter into this effort and can cause widespread evil and damages. The risk of doing nothing is eternal damnation, the risk of wholehearted efforts to create just and effective programs that are widely beneficial is primarily that corruption. As with all human endeavors, the corruption is inevitable, but the benefit is still available. And nothing about this system would exclude a private sector solution for those of affluence to avoid the pitfalls of this justice. As with our current system, if you can afford it, you can move to the head of the line, to the greatest care available, even to the extent of corrupt access to human body parts and similar crimes. The corruption of affluence will always be with us as is stated about the poor, they will always be with us. But as a society, we must as faithful followers of Christ, put forth our best effort to provide care for the sick, as well as other doctrinal commissions of Matthew 25. By doing so we will remove the marginalized from the ranks of the poor, decreasing the number of those who suffer needlessly, and allowing many to live extended lives, not dying prematurely for lack of care due to economic injustice and the bigotry of greed.



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multicultural R US

posted March 9, 2010 at 9:49 am


I’m surprised that beck has time to worry about word parsing and etymology, what with his day job of cheerleading for elimination of cancerous progressives. building all those camps and ovens takes a lot of work.
fortunately, freedom of religion still means that we can belong to any church we like, even those that don’t meet beck’s magic underwear litmus test.



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Thoma

posted March 9, 2010 at 10:56 am


When the blind follow the blind, both fall into the Pit. Who could be more blind than an apostate who adopted a polytheistic cult and returns to attack Catholic teaching, encouraging others to “leave their Church” when they see “social and economic justice?”
Yes, these phrases may be misused by radical leftists. So what? Does that mean that whenever something is misused, we must abandon it as hopelessly lost? That’s just stupid. Instead, we need to correct the errors we’re seeing, reclaim these concepts that are intrinsic to the Magisterium and the Church’s role in the modern world, and not be fooled by the semi-literate ramblings of Beck and his magic underwear.



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Re: Philippus

posted March 9, 2010 at 11:22 am


Don’t forget that the very occasion of Rerum Novarum was to respond to the perversion of social justice promulgated by communists and exemplified by the revolutions all over Europe in 1848. While you can’t take Beck totally seriously (of course he’s not engaging in dialectic but epideictic), you can understand his purpose to be to react to what he views as policies motivated by principles whose logical development is in fact communism. That said, such an immoderate way of attacking such an immoderate understanding of social justice is just as dangerous. But you still have to acknowledge which is the present evil and which is the potential evil and refrain from depicting the two as equally dangerous.



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Catholic Med Student

posted March 9, 2010 at 11:24 am


If this health care bill bankrupts our country, EVERYBODY loses. EVERYBODY becomes poor. And how will the poor be helped then?
We need to return to fiscal responsibility in Washington before we bring the whole world’s economy into complete economic collapse, or allow China to buy us out and spread her atheism through the world.
And just to help make the discussion more clear, I propose that from now on,
“Social Justice” = True church teaching on charity
and
“social justice” = progressivism disguising as christian.
Beck is blasting “social justice” not “Social Justice”



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Blake Helgoth

posted March 9, 2010 at 11:47 am


The post about the poor always being with us was from me, I do not know why my name was omitted.
Now, about Beck telling people to leave their Church. first, if you read the Holy Father eccelsiology you would know that not Catholic churches are not, theologically speaking, churches. The Church very specifically refers to the Catholic church and can even extend to the Orthodox Church as well. Glenn does not understand this, as most Catholic Americans don’t either. So, when he says leave your Church, he is not saying, if by faith you believe in one true Church – if you are Catholic – then leave your Church. He is saying, leave that particular brick and mortar building and group of people. To put it in Catholic terms, he meant leave your parish. Now, one might argue that one should stay and fight the good fight, but I can see situations where leaving might be the best option, especially if the collection is being used to further a political agenda that has little to do with Christianity.



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 11:48 am


So when a guy, instead of burying his money in the ground, invests all his funds in a business and hires a bunch of people, providing them jobs by which they can earn money and feed their families, he is NOT doing social justice. Rather, he is one of the evil rich fat-cats whom we should demonize.
But when the government comes along, and takes a third or half of his money in coercive taxation, so that the employer doesn’t have the money to pay all his employees and ends up having to lay off people, and then the legislators and bureaucrats give that money to whomever they arbitrarily dictate, and even if some of it trickles down to the poor, the bureaucrats take their piece of the pie first, that IS social justice.



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 11:55 am


Don’t forget that the very occasion of Rerum Novarum was to respond to the perversion of social justice promulgated by communists and exemplified by the revolutions all over Europe in 1848
The doctrine also arose in the atmosphere of the conditions that formented those revolutions, namely, a feudalistic system whereby wealth was concentrated in the hands of a few nobility, who kept their gold sitting in rooms in their castles.
But such a feudalistic/nobility system is not what existed in the United States, which instead grew to prosperity for everyone — especially the poor — based on the free market system, where the wealth was not stored, but was used as capital, invested in the economy, thereby giving jobs to many and spreading that wealth around. That is the socially just, caritas in veritate, form of redistribution of wealth.



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Rerum Novarum

posted March 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm


Rerum Novarum means, “Concerning the Revolutions”. Res novae is not “new things” but the standard Latin idiom for a revolution.



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Mary

posted March 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm


Joe, you and The Deacon may be voices crying in the wilderness, I’m sorry to say. You are 100% right and the sickening, self-serving comments of those who agree with demagogues like Beck are truly shocking. If they were to meet Jesus, they would probably call him a leftist liberal Jewish troublemaker who was pushing a political agenda and scream for him to shut up so they could preserve the Roman/Pharisee fat cats who were in power then.
Oh, wait, that IS what they did, isn’t it?
“GOVERNMENT action that COERCES and TAKES from some persons to give to other persons. That is not social justice, that is a tyrannical power grab, it is the antithesis of social justice.”
So, let’s end Social Security, Medicare, trillions of dollars paid to Blackwater mercenaries who are now working for Triple Canopy in Iraq, faith-based initiatives that helped no one but the execs, police and fire departments, schools, hospitals…



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Jay Burgherr

posted March 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm


Mary, I am Catholic and I work for a Catholic Hospital Orgainization.
I do not want a government to force me to Tithe to them to support “the unfortunate”. Governments are not forced to make good moral decisions on how they spend your money. Churches and charities in commnunion with the Holy See are.
Charity comes from the heart and not from legislative fiat.
If your heart is open to charity, YOU are responsible to give to your Church and local Catholic organizations who serve your community. That is how it worked for centuries for Catholic hospitals and charitible groups. No one was ever left un-aided. They still are not. They also never used to look to the government for payment. No one is ever turned away from our hosptials because of their ability to pay.!!!
Churches and families did not look to the government for food, for shelter, or education. They looked to themselves. They supported their family & parish members by making sure that they made good financial decisions on either caring for themselves or by being with a family member when in old age.
Why are you so willing to cast your own obligations onto the government which doesn’t give a whit to your church’s moral values? Socialistic governments have never, ever been a friend to the Catholic Church or to any organized religion! Just ask Pope Pius XII, Pius XIII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, or Bennedict XVI.



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Blake Helgoth

posted March 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm


Yes, lets!
When redistribution is spoke of in a true Catholic context, what is meant is that the laws should be written as such that wealth and the means to gain are available to everyone. We should not act in such a way that prohibits other countries or certain aspects of the population from gaining them. It does not mean that Robin Hood was a virtuous man! Nor does it mean that huge globalized corporations are the answer either. Jesus actually never did much to change any political system other than the Jewish one.



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Sam

posted March 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm


Joe said:
“And sorry, but governments have always taken money and given it to other people. That’s what April 15 is all about.”
This is exactly the problem. Taxes *shouldn’t* be used this way, and at the founding of the U.S. at least, they weren’t meant to be. Taxes were meant to be used for the common good, and quite frankly redistribution of wealth and charity aren’t parts of that. It isn’t the common good if some people are given the short end of the stick, which in this case are the people you’re taking from.
If I give charitably it isn’t for the common good, because in order for the giving to be truly charitable, I can’t be doing it with an eye toward personal benefit. Additionally, it isn’t charity if it’s mandated by law (i.e. taxes) because the motivation isn’t love, it’s fear.
What makes charity – charity is that you do it with eyes wide open. Blindly filling out my tax forms and incidentally helping the poor and sick isn’t charity. It’s not done out of love. Furthermore, the recipients of government largess are not uplifted by this “giving”. If someone forced you to give me money, I wouldn’t feel any better for having received it from you. It’s not like you wanted to give it to me!
The problem with “social justice” as a term is that it’s used to justify government programs that behave in very uncharitable ways to achieve this brand of justice. When a church uses this word, it doesn’t always mean what you’d like it to.
Remember that article about the priest or church that was doing a program of handing out fresh needles to junkies? I’m pretty sure that got called “social justice” too.



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al sowins

posted March 9, 2010 at 3:32 pm


Social Justice is loving one’s neighbor as onesself.It is necessarily a function of the individual; not that of government. Government, an idea and also an institution, is not a person capable of love, and so is not capable of “social justice”.
If all men would live by God’s Word, the New Testament, and neither add to nor take from it, mankind would be saved,(Jesus saves those who obey Him, Heb.5.9), and social justice, stemming from obedience to the command to love one another, would become a reality.
But, most men are lovers of evil, Jn.3.19-20 with Mt.7.13-14; or rebels, Rom.10.3 types, who want to establish their own plans of salvation in place of God’s plan. From such love of sin and rebellion we obtain social injustice.
All layers of government are presently headed toward bankruptcy. Because, at all levels, government is doing far more than it should do.It is not the proper business of government to provide education, health care, welfare, foreign aid, etc. The Tenth Amendment makes that point clear. Lets repeal, repeal, and repeal, until we return to that pristine state of affairs in which the Rothschilds did not control the Fed and, hence, our economy. It is obscene that we authorize them to print currency; then borrow it from them at interest.



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Joe

posted March 9, 2010 at 3:33 pm


Sam, Bender, et al.:
You miss the point. Your own philosophies about what is right and wrong are at odds with Catholic teaching. It’s fine if you want to hold that position, but don’t confuse it with an authentic Catholic position. You seem to ignore the seemingly radical posts by the Pope – do you think he is wrong or are you just embarrassed by what he has to say? Are your opinions (and those of Beck) more authoritative than the Pope or the Magisterium of the Church?
You misunderstand Catholic teaching on subsidiarity. YOU can and should do things as an individual to promote social justice, and so should your fraternity, church, activist group, etc. You should especially do them if they are best accomplished at those levels, and government should stay out of those activities if the Church, individuals, etc. can do them better. BUT, that doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook. Catholic teaching holds that some things are not possible for individuals or even the Church to do in promoting social and economic justice, and recognizes that there is a place for government. In fact, it is moral obligation for Catholics to work through their governments to promote social justice. Need proof? It’s not hard to find.



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Joe

posted March 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm


FROM THE UCCB PASTORAL LETTER ON ECONOMIC JUSTICE, 1986:
121. The traditional distinction between society and the state in Catholic social teaching provides the basic framework for such organized public efforts. The church opposes all statist and totalitarian approaches to socioeconomic questions. Social life is richer than governmental power can encompass. All groups that compose society have responsibilities to respond to the demands of justice. We have just outlined some of the duties of labor unions and business and financial enterprises. These must be supplemented by initiatives by local community groups, professional associations, educational institutions, churches, and synagogues. All the groups that give life to this society have important roles to play in the pursuit of economic justice.
122. For this reason, it is all the more significant that the teachings of the Church insist that government has a moral function: protecting human rights and securing basic justice for all members of the commonwealth.(72) Society as a whole and in all its diversity is responsible for building up the common good. But it is government’s role to guarantee the minimum conditions that make this rich social activity possible, namely, human rights and justice.(73) This obligation also falls on individual citizens as they choose their representatives and participate in shaping public opinion.
123. More specifically, it is the responsibility of all citizens, acting through their government, to assist and empower the poor, the disadvantaged, the handicapped, and the unemployed. Government should assume a positive role in generating employment and establishing fair labor practices, in guaranteeing the provision and maintenance of the economy’s infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, harbors, public means of communication, and transport. It should regulate trade and commerce in the interest of fairness.(74) Government may levy the taxes necessary to meet these responsibilities, and citizens have a moral obligation to pay those taxes. The way society responds to the needs of the poor through its public policies is the litmus test of its justice or injustice. The political debate about these policies is the indispensable forum for dealing with the conflicts and trade-offs that will always be present in the pursuit of a more just economy.
124. The primary norm for determining the scope and limits of governmental intervention is the “principle of subsidiarity” cited above. This principle states that, in order to protect basic justice, government should undertake only those initiatives which exceed the capacity of individuals or private groups acting independently. Government should not replace or destroy smaller communities and individual initiative. Rather it should help them to contribute more effectively to social well-being and supplement their activity when the demands of justice exceed their capacities. This does not mean, however, that the government that governs least governs best. Rather it defines good government intervention as that which truly “helps” other social groups contribute to the common good by directing, urging, restraining, and regulating economic activity as “the occasion requires and necessity demands.”(75) This calls for cooperation and consensus building among the diverse agents in our economic life, including government. The precise form of government involvement in this process cannot be determined in the abstract. It will depend on an assessment of specific needs and the most effective ways to address them.



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Bill G.

posted March 9, 2010 at 3:49 pm


Beck is right. While there is a true and correct meaning of “social justice” and “economic justice”, in our church, these phrases have been co-opted by those of some of our alleged co-religionists with a radically non-Catholic agenda. It has come to be a code for Marxism.
I realize that there are well intentioned people out there in different parishes who understand what the teachings actually are, but please admit that the phrases have been deliberately misinterpreted.
It’s like when you see a parish crowing about how they are a “welcoming” parish. In my travels around the country , I have learned that this means they are openly tolerant of homosexual behavior.
There can be NO social justice in this country until abortion is outlawed. All of your social justice is meaningless with the folks who run this asylum, elephant or donkey. Catholics need to shun both parties.



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm


Joe, you would do well to be more concerned with yourself.
You would do well to do social justice yourself, giving of yourself, and not merely shoving your hands into your neighbor’s pockets. Be more concerned with dipping into your own pocket.
The obligation to do social justice is yours. You do not get to abdicate your obligation in favor of Caesar doing it.



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 3:58 pm


As I said earlier, those promoting a counterfeit “social justice” are more concerned with demonizing others, with causing divisions and setting one group against the other, than they are about actually helping people. We have seen that here in this discussion.



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Catholic Med Student

posted March 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm


The word of the USCCB is not the official word of the Church. Ratzinger wrote a great piece on the proper place of Bishop Conferences before becoming Pope. They do not possess any extra authority than your local Bishop in discerning these matters. We are free to disagree with pronouncements by the USCCB without damaging our communion with the Church in any way. Point in case: the damage caused by “Faithful Citizenship”



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 4:18 pm


The number one, most indispensible component of authentic social justice is this — Jesus Christ.
In most governments, and in most welfare bureaucracies, which rob the human spirit and deprive people of the basic dignity that is owed to the human person, Christ is prohibited.



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm


Those who read Caritas in Veritate to call for more government as the vehicle to implement social justice grossly misread the Encyclical. What Pope Benedict actually calls for is a renewed emphasis on the obligations of the individual — what is needed is for people on the personal-level to be reminded of their personal obligation for social justice, and not merely to shove that obligation onto institutions and governments.
Here is what Pope Benedict says –
11. In the course of history, it was often maintained that the creation of institutions was sufficient to guarantee the fulfilment of humanity’s right to development. Unfortunately, too much confidence was placed in those institutions, as if they were able to deliver the desired objective automatically. In reality, institutions by themselves are not enough, because integral human development is primarily a vocation, and therefore it involves a free assumption of responsibility in solidarity on the part of everyone. Moreover, such development requires a transcendent vision of the person, it needs God: without him, development is either denied, or entrusted exclusively to man, who falls into the trap of thinking he can bring about his own salvation, and ends up promoting a dehumanized form of development. . . .
14. In his Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens of 1971, Paul VI reflected on the meaning of politics, and the danger constituted by utopian and ideological visions that place its ethical and human dimensions in jeopardy. These are matters closely connected with development. Unfortunately the negative ideologies continue to flourish. , , ,
Repeat — What is needed is the initiative of the individual, as a vocation, which must be freely undertaken, without utopian and ideological visions (i.e. neo-Marxism).



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm


16. In Populorum Progressio, Paul VI taught that progress, in its origin and essence, is first and foremost a vocation: “in the design of God, every man is called upon to develop and fulfil himself, for every life is a vocation.” . . .
17. A vocation is a call that requires a free and responsible answer. Integral human development presupposes the responsible freedom of the individual and of peoples: no structure can guarantee this development over and above human responsibility. . . . Paul VI had a keen sense of the importance of economic structures and institutions, but he had an equally clear sense of their nature as instruments of human freedom. Only when it is free can development be integrally human; only in a climate of responsible freedom can it grow in a satisfactory manner. . . .
Authentic social justice requires the FREEDOM of the person providing it.



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm


34. Charity in truth places man before the astonishing experience of gift. Gratuitousness is present in our lives in many different forms, which often go unrecognized because of a purely consumerist and utilitarian view of life. . . . we must make it clear, on the one hand, that the logic of gift does not exclude justice, nor does it merely sit alongside it as a second element added from without; on the other hand, economic, social and political development, if it is to be authentically human, needs to make room for the principle of gratuitousness as an expression of fraternity.
Authentic social justice is a matter of gratuitousness, not coercion, a matter of one freely giving of himself to one in need, not government taking from that person or withholding taxes from him and spending that money for him.



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm


36. Society does not have to protect itself from the market, as if the development of the latter were ipso facto to entail the death of authentically human relations. Admittedly, the market can be a negative force, not because it is so by nature, but because a certain ideology can make it so. . . .
The market in itself is not the evil to be guarded against. The evil to be guarded against is the ideology of materialism, which can take the form of both greedy people in the market or in the form of socialism, neo-Marxism, and similar leftist ideologies that would have the state displace the free market.



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Carol

posted March 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm


There are two Catholic parishes in our town and each has a website…on the first one you’ll find all kinds of talk about “social justice” and “community”. On the second, you get hit with a pro-life message right off the bat. We chose to attend the latter. I agree with Beck in this circumstance.



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm


And lastly –
38. My predecessor John Paul II drew attention to this question in Centesimus Annus, when he spoke of the need for a system with three subjects: the market, the State and civil society[92]. He saw civil society as the most natural setting for an economy of gratuitousness and fraternity, but did not mean to deny it a place in the other two settings. . . . Solidarity is first and foremost a sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone[93], and it cannot therefore be merely delegated to the State. While in the past it was possible to argue that justice had to come first and gratuitousness could follow afterwards, as a complement, today it is clear that without gratuitousness, there can be no justice in the first place. . . .
Again, authentic social justice DEMANDS that it be freely engaged in. Without gratuitousness, without it being a free and voluntary gift of self, there is no justice.
The state does have a role to play, as does the market, but the place for social justice as gift is civil society, which does not mean government (that would be the state), rather, it is a group of individuals who make up society.
Authentic social justice is a matter of the person doing what is right himself. This is what Pope Benedict was getting at — the individual person. Whether it be the individual in isolation, or the individual as a member of a group, or the individual as a member of society, or the individual as employer or employee, or the individual in government — the focus is on the individual, on the human person himself, and not on some undifferentiated mass known as the institution or the state.



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Bender

posted March 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm


the first one you’ll find all kinds of talk about “social justice” and “community”
I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that the first one also promotes the “seamless garment” and “consistent ethic of life,” which is so busy pushing all these other intitiatives, like organizing no-blood-for-oil protests and spending tax money on community centers for immigrant day laborers, that they have little time to spend on things like saving the lives of babies from slaughter by abortion.



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James A.

posted March 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm


Deacon, I am a little disappointed in you. I did not think you were so partisan.
Is Mr. Beck going overboard ? Yes, as he often does. But don’t be disingenuous enough to suggest that there is no truth in what he says. Your link takes us to the august publication “America”, which would have us believe that everything can be justified if we call it “social justice.” This goofy mentality is what has given the peace and justice ideology such a bad reputation. I’m with the others here who have commented : If anyone claims to be worried about Justice who does not put abortion at the top of the list of INjustices, I don’t care to hear anything else they have to say.



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Steve Bielski

posted March 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm


Instead of an ad hominum attack on Beck (being “sane and sensible as ever”), why not give us your opinion as to why what he said is so unreasonable that it deserves space on your blog? I’m not sure your opinion is as universally held as you might believe. Next time, make a case for your opinion instead of simply ridiculing an opposing view.



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Leo

posted March 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm


As we all know many American Catholics leave the American Catholic Church; all the time, such that the second largest religion in the US is “fallen away” Catholics. I think Mr. Beck is just observing the obvious that left wing politics and religion do not mix well. Perhaps if the American Catholic Church would quit pushing left wing political agenda’s and start teaching the True Catholic Faith this exodus would abate.



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Joe

posted March 9, 2010 at 10:51 pm


The Church makes it clear that Catholics have a responsibility to promote social justice through the political process and legitimate governments. The Church rejects statism, socialism, communism, etc. as well as the notion that the state has no role in promoting social justice. Some folks here may not like it, but it’s the truth. The bishops say it is so. The Pope (and former Popes) says it is so. Conservative American individualism ideology doesn’t mesh with this, I know, but faith calls us to something greater.
So if y’all have a big problem with the Church’s teaching on this, I advise you to follow Mr. Beck’s advice and take it up with your bishop. But don’t keep distorting the good work of social justice. My wife works on the social justice committee at our parish and I can tell you that these distorted attacks on the work of people like her (and both parish priests, mind you) is a gross distortion of the truth. But maybe Glenn has a point. Maybe all of you who can’t stand that the Church has a sophisticated, logical, moral, and true body of teachings on social and economic justice should consider leaving the Church for a less caring one.



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Mac

posted March 9, 2010 at 11:38 pm


In a sense Glenn Beck is correct: The Catholic Church has lost its zeal for saving souls.
It has gone blind and can only see the external needs of persons. How many social justice champions know the corporal and spiritual works of mercy? Moreover, how many priests know and act on them? Not many because mystical and moral theology has not been taught in Catholic seminaries for a long time. Thus you can’t give what you do not have … zeal for souls (which is the hallmark of the saints).
YES … folks have the need for food and water … but after giving them that they are not given the truth of the Gospel or told what sin is and how to combat the devil … heck, I know some social justice champions who think Satan is not real. Again, who’s fault is that? … our bishops who teach junk or are outright heretics!
Where Glenn is wrong is tell us to leave the Church instead of remaining and speaking the truth of what the Catholic Church holds and teaches to be true … social justice champions say the creed but do not listen to the words nor understand them very well.
In Spirit & Truth,
Mac



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BHG

posted March 10, 2010 at 5:15 am


All the LCWR orders are seriously into social justice. They stuff they’re pushing amounts to a rehash of liberation theology and Gaia worship/gnosticism. Social justice people don’t get excited when it comes to justice for the unborn. Beck has a point. Anyone remember Sr. Donna Quinn?



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Bender

posted March 10, 2010 at 10:38 am


Adding the comments of the grossly intellectually dishonest and often factually dishonest Mark Shea, who rarely misses an opportunity at cheap shots, demonization, and hyperbole, hardly adds support to the discussion.



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Bender

posted March 10, 2010 at 10:45 am


Catholics have a responsibility to promote social justice through the political process and legitimate governments
Nobody here is denying that Joe — and you know it. So stop your demonization of the people here.
The issue is, as you yourself say, LEGITIMATE government — fair and just government, not socialist, not quasi-socialist, not statist, not overwhelming government-first government, as you repeatedly seem to insist is what we are called to embrace.
Government has a role, no one denies that. But that role is to support and protect the ability to do social justice, not to undermine it and usurp that function from society.
The obligation to do social justice is YOURS Joe. You cannot fulfill that obligation merely by handing it over to Nancy Pelosi.



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Your Name

posted March 10, 2010 at 1:41 pm


Those against social justice have forgotten Christ’s words: ‘What you do to the least of these you do to me.’
How sad, especially for Christians.



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Joe

posted March 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm


“The obligation to do social justice is YOURS Joe. You cannot fulfill that obligation merely by handing it over to Nancy Pelosi.”
Your disagreement isn’t with me but with the Catholic hierarchy and the Magisterium of the Church. Your statement above is a gross distortion of what I’ve been saying, what social justice committee at our parish doesm and what the Church teaches. You owe it to yourself to explicitly say that you disagree with Catholic teaching on this issue, because that is in fact the case.
I suggest you visit the US bishops’ website at: http://usccb.org/
They list numerous social justice and economic justice issues that cannot be dealt with on an individual or church level, but by petitioning governments to act. These include arms control, debt forgiveness, death penalty, abortion, climate change, etc. (YES, the Pope calls governments to combat global warming, save rainforests, etc!). All of these things are meant to promote the common good, which is both a Christian and an American value. After all, if influencing government is not part of the solution, why have both recent popes repeatedly pressed world leaders to address these issues? Why are Catholics called to end legal abortion through their actions as citizens?



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Conoscenzo

posted March 12, 2010 at 9:52 am


He was not talking about Catholic teaching…he was talking about Liberation Theology and all of you should look up what the Catholic Church has to say about Liberation Theology. So please stop with the thin minded, reactionary comments and put some thought into what is being said. On this issue he is correct…and he actually said NOT to leave the Catholic Church..he said you should alert the Bishop and change PARISHES if you have too. PLEASE look into what he is saying and take it seriously. LOOK AT THE ANGLICAN Church and what has happened to them. PLEASE do not be fooled and forget about the “politics” of this issue.



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Terry

posted March 12, 2010 at 9:53 am


Your Name wrote
March 10, 2010 1:41 PM
“Those against social justice have forgotten Christ’s words: ‘What you do to the least of these you do to me.”
This command was to the individual not a government so make sure you obey the command and don’t try to force others to do it.



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Benevolus

posted March 13, 2010 at 3:25 pm


I listened to GB the day he made those remarks, and I never took him to mean that people should leave churches which, AS CHURCHES, take seriously the call to minister to the poor and oppressed. What we have to realize is that there are millions of people in certain denominations who are there only because that is their family background going back generations. Unfortunately, over those generations, many of those “demonizations” (I meant denominations but made a fortuitous misspelling!) have swallowed the Kool-Aid of the so-called Social Gospel, as Marvin Olasky wrote in The Tragedy of American Compassion. These sects have become little more than Socialist groups in religious garb, and they advocate government redistribution of wealth and income. Moreover, since the outward Sunday ritual remains familiar, many congregants have no idea what the leadership of their denomination is really advocating. All GB was advocating was that people familiarize themselves with the churches they grew up in and see if the agenda is consistent with Originalist Constitutional values, and to leave if they don’t.
I believe that churches that believe in a social gospel teach heresy and that people in them should “run” to churches that preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and engage poverty from that perspective rather than sloughing the duty off on the government (read: taxpayers, especially the “rich” who already pay the vast majority of the taxes). I also think most people in social gospel churches for hereditary reasons would agree, if they knew what was going on.



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Tony

posted March 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm


Joe, the USCCB does not speak infallibly on issues of faith and morals. It carries a bit more weight because it’s the consolidated voice of the American Bishops. But for a clear view of Catholic teaching, it is best to consult your Bishop who is in communion with the Living Magesterium of the Catholic Church.
Government has the obligation to promote social justice. That means *promote* it, not implement it. This means setting the framework so that social justice can happen. It means giving people tax breaks for charitable giving, not removing them like this president has. It means enforcing rules of fairness, working conditions, equality, and fair immigration.
I challenge you to point to one papal or magesterial document what advocates taking the money from one man and giving it to another. Last I saw that activity was prohibited by the commandment of God, “Thou Shalt Not Steal”.



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Old Igor

posted March 16, 2010 at 5:13 pm


Just by watching Mr. Beck, people are lending credence to his view points. If don’t like the guy, turn him off. I’ve only watched once and that was enough for me. As far as combining the left or the right with any religion is extremely dangerous. Just remember folks, more people have been tortured, maimed, and killed in the name of God, than for any other reason on earth. After all, if God is on my side, I can’t be wrong.



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Your Name

posted March 23, 2010 at 1:28 pm


Gimme a Break
March 8, 2010 11:33 PM
For anyone who’s listened to Beck, you know what he’s talking about. The liberal social policies of the left are always couched in terms of social justice. The term is just code for redistributionist schemes.
Ya mean sorta like, “Sell all that you possess and give it to the poor.”?
Just askin’.



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Hypocrite

posted March 28, 2010 at 7:49 pm


Benevolus intoned: “All GB was advocating was that people familiarize themselves with the churches they grew up in and see if the agenda is consistent with Originalist Constitutional values, and to leave if they don’t.” Well, there’s the real American religion: the US Constitution. Are you seriously saying that people should judge their churches by the Constitution? What about judging both church and Constitution by the standard of Jesus of Nazareth?
It would be helpful if people actually defined social justice when they attack it. It’s clearly a magnet phrase for people’s heated emotions. How can we be sure we are even talking about the same thing? That’s Beck’s basic mistake: he grossly generalizes and conflates “socialism” and “social justice”, thereby hurting instead of helping the public’s understanding.
I can hear predictable howls of outrage were I to point out that the Catholic Church has traditionally taught that property is individual in ownership but social in use. Some won’t even bother to look into what that means, but will thoughtlessly, reflexively denounce it as a Socialist teaching. Some people are just plain “conservative” first, Catholic second, and judge the Church by what the RNP tells them to think.



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Sharra

posted March 31, 2010 at 1:38 pm


Glenn Beck, contrary to Mark Shea’s dismissive comment, is hardly a “raving lunatic.” I have found him to be a thoughtful, spiritual, and patriotic individual who does his homework. When Beck talks about leaving one’s church, he doesn’t mean the Church, i.e., your Roman Catholic faith, he’s referring to your particular place of worship, your parish, and he’s absolutely right. A religious sister was recently invited to our parish to speak on “social justice.” In the process, she lauded the “great Senator Kennedy” and President Obama for “walking the walk and not just talking the talk” about helping the poor. Never mind the countless aborted millions whose demise these men have hastened. If this keeps up, I will find another parish. Beck is spot on. “Social justice” is a buzz word in the Church today, and I personally run for cover whenever I hear it.



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posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives!

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below.

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »




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