The Obama/UnicornCare contraception mandate offers a new lens through which we can view the GOP primary race. From 2007’s Open Letter to Catholics on Behalf of Ron Paul:
Although I would have supported Ron Paul back before I converted to Catholicism, I think Catholics will like what they see when they examine his record. Over at Defend Life, Ron Paul comes out decisively on top in a study of the candidates’ positions on the issues according to the guidelines recently established by the United States bishops. (If anything, I think this study understates Paul’s compatibility with Catholic teaching.)
On education and home schooling, Ron Paul is the clear winner. Fred Thompson, John McCain, and Duncan Hunter all voted for the execrable No Child Left Behind Act, and Governors Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney have both come out in favor of it. Ron Paul — as did the Republican Party itself not so long ago — opposes any federal role in education, which is the responsibility of parents and local communities.
In other words, Ron Paul believes in a little something called subsidiarity, which happens to be a central principle of Catholic social thought. Subsidiarity holds that all social functions should be carried out by the most local unit possible, as opposed to the dehumanizing alternative whereby distant bureaucratic structures are routinely and unthinkingly entrusted with more and more responsibilities for human well-being.
When I ran for City Council, I described my platform as half-Republican and half-Green. The Green Party prefers local control and community participation in political decision-making. That was my green half. I was advocating subsidiarity.
For all their flag-waving and populism, none of the other Republican candidates—including those who have dropped out—appear to be willing to trust the people. Santorum, the practicing Catholic with an outstanding record of defending life, still desires the Federal Government to dictate much of how life is lived. Subsidiarity applied to politics says we cannot legislate morality.
Santorum is the most eager to use military force as a means of policy. Here, too, he is at odds with his Church:
…it is important to remember that that pope was a strong opponent of the U.S. government’s attack on Iraq, sending his personal representative, Cardinal Pio Laghi, to Washington shortly before the commencement of hostilities in order to insist to the president that such a war would be unjust.
Before his election as Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was asked if a U.S. government attack on Iraq would be just. “Certainly not,” came the reply. He predicted that “the damage would be greater than the values one wishes to save.”
After the war ended, Ratzinger said: “It was right to resist the war and its threats of destruction.… It should never be the responsibility of just one nation to make decisions for the world.”
That’s just wrong, and it isn’t “liberal” to say so.
Likewise, Ratzinger/Benedict is not a “liberal” for opposing the war. He is a moral conservative, but a man whose conservatism is more mature than the sloganeering jingoism of so much of what passes for conservatism in today’s America.
If Catholics have been awakened by Obama’s affront to their Church, they have some reflecting to do. When we speak of God and Country, God comes first. But which candidate offers the best prospect for a country that respects their faith?
H/T: Brian Dunbar