ObamaCare, the Catholic Church, and mandatory abortion payments

In the halcyon pre-Obama days, when Prop. 8 meant that gay marriage was a hot blogging issue, I argued that religion organizations, not the state, should be allowed to define what constitutes a “marriage,” with states confined to authorizing “civil unions.”  In that context, I commented upon the religious implications of the government mandating that a church engage in something that touches upon a core doctrinal belief:

The second problem right now with the emphasis on changing state definitions of marriage, rather than religious definitions, is the risk that there will be direct challenges between church and state. A lawyer I know assured me that this couldn’t happen because, for example, the Catholic church does not get sued because it opposes abortion.  That was facile reasoning.  While abortions may be a civil right, the Catholic church does not provide abortions.  What the Catholic church provides is communion, which is not a civil right, so the church can withhold it at will.  What happens, though, when the church provides something which is both a core doctrinal belief (marriage) and a state right (marriage)?  It’s a head-on collision, and I can guarantee you that the courts will get involved and that some activist judge will state that the Catholic Church is constitutionally required to marry gay couples.  (Emphasis added.)

I was prescient.  Mandating that the Catholic Church provide abortions is precisely what the Obama administration is doing.  Institutions such as the Catholic Church, which considers the right to life one of its core beliefs, must nevertheless fund abortions by providing insurance that makes abortion drugs available to all women on demand.  Funding an act is tantamount to committing that act yourself.

Whether you support a woman’s right to have an abortion or not, surely anyone who is intellectually honest must see that it is morally wrong to make a religious institution fund it.  To use an extreme analogy, this is the beginning of a continuum that ends with Jews being forced to dig their own mass burial pits before being lined upon along the edge of those pit and shot.

I assume that those who are celebrating this mandate will contend that, throughout the Bush years, they were forced to see their tax dollars go to fund a war they did not support, one that saw thousands of people die.  Likewise, those who oppose the death penalty must nevertheless pay taxes that fund the judicial and prison system.  That argument is a red herring.  The Constitution explicitly authorizes both war and capital punishment, which are legitimate government powers.  Those who don’t like that reality are welcome to try a Constitutional amendment to wipe out the government’s war powers and do away with capital punishment.  I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

There is nothing in the Constitution, however, that authorizes the Federal government (and, by extension through the 14th Amendment, any state government) to mandate that a religious institution be complicit in an act it believes constitutes murder.  More to the point, the Constitutional grant of religious freedom, by which the government agrees to stay out of managing a religious institutions affairs, either practical or doctrinal, should prohibit such conduct entirely.  This is one more example, as if we needed it, of the Obama administration’s fundamental lawlessness.

 

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  • Bob From District 9

    Mike Devx
    Bob, I am not blocking you from giving $20 of charity to help a needy child in Africa.  You go right ahead!
     
    Just went back, the child in Africa was Earl’s diversion. I responded to his point, and now you try to assign that to me? Get back to US poverty health care and hopelessness. That’s what this election is about, the problem we are dealing with now.

  • Bob From District 9

    “Charles Martel
    Earl, do not be obtuse. Jesus commanded us to bow to our moral superiors, especially when it comes to letting them tax us so that they can efficiently (with them taking just a teensy-weensy-teeny-tiny slice of the proceeds to pay their $250,000-per-year administrative salaries) save the poor children of Africa. ”
     
    I have dealt with dishonest right wingers before, I should have expected this. When you try to discuss issues of faith with a dishonest right winger he twists the discussion to accusations and tosses in straw men. Nothing in your comment here referred to anything I said in any comment.
     
    That is dishonest of you.
     
    Oh, and the things you said are factually dishonest also.

  • Mike Devx

    My apologies, Bob.  In your comment in which Africa and donations to help needy children were mentioned, I lost track of which person was saying what.  It can be puzzling in those lengthy comments to follow which person is saying what – especially when some paragraphs are “quoted” and some are not, and the quotes are used without discrimination; but I did not pay close enough attention.

  • Charles Martel

    Bob, I too apologize for the diversion, which you did not create, to discussions of Africa. The original discussion was on American “social justice” as envisioned by leftists like you and progressivism’s Obama Administration avatars.
     
    It would be helpful to me to better understand your point of view if you would do two things:
     
    1.) Explain how your Catholic conscience reconciles itself with the manner in which Obamacare was passed—no GOP input, no timely publication of texts, bending Congressional rules to reconcile two very different versions of Obamacare, the dishonest promises made to Catholic legislators like Stupak to gain their assent, Pelosi’s extraordinary statement that she didn’t know what the act contained. Did any of that bother you? (Let me know if any of these observations are straw men!)
     
    2.) Explain how in the course of supporting government-mandated charity you are willing to get into bed with pro-abortionists like Pelosi, Biden, Sebelius, and Obama—immoral characters who openly advocate for a system where Catholics eventually will be forced to pay for killing children. Does your support for a living wage and other social justice baubles somehow negate your indirect support of evil?
     
    Just askin’.
     
     
     

  • Bob From District 9

     
    >“To be more realistic, the difference is not failing to send $20 to help feed a child in Africa, but in blocking the government from sending help to save that same child. You are the one who does not see the difference between not doing something, and preventing others from doing that same thing.”
     
    “According to my understanding of Christianity (one which I can defend from the Bible), we are judged on what we do for the poor.  So, it would be wrong of me to withhold my $20.00 from a needy child – next door, or even in Africa, if I knew about her.  Bob seems to be saying that the real fault is to vote against authorizing the government to take OTHER people’s money to help the needy child. ”

    You asked for nuance, then you twist the entire context of the exchange. You raised the issue of a child in Africa. I expressed the *MORAL* position that you quoted above. The discussion was about poverty and health care in the US, you brought in Africa and I replied only from the moral position.

    The very position of “taking other people’s money” by government is a diversion and smokescreen. Taking my money to kill people in Iraq, and Iran if it goes that way, is far worse than taking anyone’s money to feed hungry children. Unless you condemn those who call for attacks on Iran, or any other country that does not actually threaten any other country, you have no case to make.

    ” I’m not sure what religion counts that as a sin, but it has never been my understanding of Christianity.  Is this because I’m not Catholic?  Maybe someone can help me out with this.”

    It’s because you are not honestly discussing the issue of US politics and care for the vulnerable.
     

    That was an issue even Paul Ryan brought up in his acceptance speech. Of course it got a very weak reception from the convention goers.

    “Nevertheless, it’s a real distinction….although I need it explained how my voting to prevent taxes being raised “prevent(s) others from” helping the needy child.  That one is quite beyond me.”

    If school lunches and food stamps and chldren’s health insuranc program and medicaid go away and social security and medicare are cut, then children go hungry and do not get medical care and the elderly sink in their standard of living and get less medical care. All of the above lead to malnourished children and elderly, and lead to children and the elderly dying.

    Those are the facts you and the rest of the right wing refuse to address. That is except for the few who will address it, and say it’s ok with them.

     
    “For me, one of the points of real insight into the progressives’ religion came when the tax returns of certain candidates began to be released….and I realized how little the progressive ones gave to charity.  I’m not even talking about % of income.  It’s that Kerry and Biden and others who had incomes of 10 times (and more) my fifty grand or so were giving away fewer actual dollars than I did.”

    Morally what anyone in any movement does individually has exactly zero meaning as to the correctness of the cause. Oh, and at best Biden had 5 times your income. His mortgage interest payments were more than your income. DC is an expensive place to live. After all, he was only a senator, not in the big money like the lobbyists.

     ” All that talk about caring for the poor and downtrodden looked like so much hot air to me.  Because, like Bob, they got the approval of their “g-d” NOT for giving up their own cash, but for voting to take OTHER people’s money to give to those they saw as being in need.”
     

    What you saw was an excuse for not supporting help for the poor.

    “I’ll take Christianity, every time.”

    I tried to give you links to real Christian positions, all you have to do is look at them.

  • Bob From District 9

    Charles Martel

    Bob, I too apologize for the diversion, which you did not cr”eate, to discussions of Africa. The original discussion was on American “social justice” as envisioned by leftists like you and progressivism’s Obama Administration avatars.”

    Understandable that things get confused with multiple contributors and notions being spread out.

    Actually, I am pretty conservative in a great many ways, old fashioned conservative as in as it was before the neo-cons took over. Mostly I am a realist who recognizes that, unless we solve some of the problems the workin class face this country won’t exist for the next generation. And the debt is the smaller part of the problem. The first problem to solve is to raise the poor by bringing more jobs back to this country. That, however, will require changes that will frighten the hell out of the right and left wingers. None of the solutions being offered now will work. None from either side, not for that.

     
    “It would be helpful to me to better understand your point of view if you would do two things:”

     
    “1.) Explain how your Catholic conscience reconciles itself with the manner in which Obamacare was passed—no GOP input, no timely publication of texts, bending Congressional rules to reconcile two very different versions of Obamacare, ”

    It was a republican plan before Obama ever touched it. It is so close to Romneycare it’s practically a clone.

    There was a great deal of republican input. It was debated for a year, and anti-abortion provisions were included and the public option were taken out specifically to meet republican demands. So there was a lot of GOP input.

    As to timely publication, I had downloaded it well before it was passed, add to which it was fought out over a year, with constant reporting.

    “the dishonest promises made to Catholic legislators like Stupak to gain their assent,”

    Which dishonest promise? I was recently rereading that part of the bill, and it simply does not change the law from what it was before the bill was passed. IOW the Hyde amendment was and is in force.

    “Pelosi’s extraordinary statement that she didn’t know what the act contained.”

    What Pelosi said was the public needed to see it outside the fog of politics. I don’t recall any other such statement.

     “Did any of that bother you? (Let me know if any of these observations are straw men!)”

    You just believed the frauds, gotta be more selective.
     
     
    “”2.) Explain how in the course of supporting government-mandated charity you are willing to get into bed with pro-abortionists like Pelosi, Biden, Sebelius, and Obama—immoral characters who openly advocate for a system where Catholics eventually will be forced to pay for killing children. ”

    Since the bill specifically states that it does not repeal the hyde amendment that part is not a part of the discussion. The options are either supporting those I disagree with on some things, to achieve a great good, or algning with those who have very little to recommend them, and block that great good, simply because I disagree with the good guys on one issue.

    “Does your support for a living wage and other social justice baubles somehow negate your indirect support of evil?”

    There is no need for negation since there is no indirect support for an evil which is already prohibited under existing law.

  • Charles Martel

    “Since the bill specifically states that it does not repeal the Hyde amendment that part is not a part of the discussion. The options are either supporting those I disagree with on some things, to achieve a great good, or aligning with those who have very little to recommend them, and block that great good, simply because I disagree with the good guys on one issue.”
     
    Thanks, Bob. I knew that sooner or later you’d let the mask slip. I see that when it comes to rationalizing the actions of the “good guys”—pro-death Catholics like Pelosi and Sebelius—they conveniently become “those you disagree with on some things” if they line up with your social justice issues on others. This from a man who tells us that abortion is an unmitigated evil. 
     
    Except, apparently, in cases when it is “one issue” that stands in the way of “great good.” 
     
    (By the way, since Obamacare scrupulously protects the Church’s right not to be compelled to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization, do you have any opinion on the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate seeking to make it do exactly that? Or is this another instance of something we’ll have to accept for the greater good?)

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    Sorry to all for mentioning Africa.  I retract Africa.
     
    I do not understand how it is morally correct to authorize people with guns (try not paying your taxes, and in time, the guns will come out) to extract money from the paychecks of millions of people who might or might not willingly give it, in order to pass it out (minus the “expenses”) to needy people, anywhere.
     
    If you’re telling me that we all voted for the people who decided to do this, then would it be moral (not legal) for the board that represents my church community to vote on a plan to tax ourselves, and if 51% voted “yes”, to send our representatives to the homes of the 49% and take the money by force?  What is the moral (not legal) difference?
     
    By the way, Bob — the issue doesn’t change based on where the child is located….how does Martel voting not to raise taxes for more of “x” prevent you and Biden, Kerry and the Kennedys, plus the entire progressive crowd, from providing money from their own funds to support whatever program they think is worthy?
     
    If every liberal, progressive, and Democrat (but I repeat myself) in this country gave, on average, what conservatives do, the need for welfare would be far less than it is.  And if we all chipped in 20% of our gross pay (and I lived 25 years in the Napa Valley of California – not known as a low-cost center), I don’t think government would have ANY particular need to fund welfare work….unless it would be to keep the leeches running those programs employed.  I have a high school buddy who worked for the county 40 years and is RETIRED on twice as much as I ever made working full-time.  It’s my taxes providing him with that pension and full and free healthcare, while I’m on S.S., Medicare, and the money I invested on 80% of my salary. 
     
    Perhaps you can understand why I’m tired of people who act as if their vote to tax others to do good is the same as actually doing the good that they might.  It will be an interesting time in the Judgment to hear the excuses they offer…….

  • Mike Devx

    Earl in #108 says (or asks):
    > I do not understand how it is morally correct to authorize people with guns (try not paying your taxes, and in time, the guns will come out) to extract money from the paychecks of millions of people who might or might not willingly give it, in order to pass it out (minus the “expenses”) to needy people, anywhere. > If you’re telling me that we all voted for the people who decided to do this, then would it be moral (not legal) for the board that represents my church community to vote on a plan to tax ourselves, and if 51% voted “yes”, to send our representatives to the homes of the 49% and take the money by force?  What is themoral (not legal) difference?

    I’ll put on my lefty hat and answer.  Theirs is a utilitarian answer.  I call it utilitarian because primarily, they see no difference between FORCE and CHARITY.  As you said, if 51% of the people vote for a candidate who promises to seize tax dollars for a particular redistributive purpose, as long as they see that purpose as “doing good”, it is acceptable.

    To them, there is no difference between people voluntarily giving $1000 dollars to charities, and the government taking $1000 and using it for the same purpose.

    It is also a question of utilitarianism out of FAIRNESS.  Not everyone will give $1000.  Some will give more, some less, and some will give $0.  The goal is social justice, and everyone should contribute “their fair share” to the cause of social justice.  It’s only fair!  (Goes the argument)

    It’s also a question of utilitarianist FAIRNESS on the other end: who receives the money?  When people are voluntarily contributing to charity, they pick and choose which charity/ies to give their money to.  This can result in unequal redistribution.  Some get more than others.  Well, when the goal is social justice, and not just the reduction of suffering, we cannot have THAT.  All the money must go into a common pool, controlled by the government, and then the government will ensure that it is redistributed fairly.  Equality of outcome.

    It is also utilitarian concerning EFFICIENCY.  Putting all the money under the control of the national government means there is one provider, not many.  Just ONE.  We don’t need or want all those hundreds of charities distributing money or services “willy nilly”.  We don’t want or need fifty states doing that either.  How inefficient!  Just put it all under the authority of the national government, and let them do their efficient thing.  One size fits all.

    Now for my conservative hat:  It is, AT BEST, an open question of whether the far-removed national government can ever actually do a job like this more efficiently.  A national bureaucracy – in conservative thought – becomes uncaring and monolithic and extraordinarily wasteful over time.  It is too far removed from “the boots on the ground” to care.  The impersonal machine bureaucratic grinds everyone to dust.  The money gravitates towards those who want to use it to exercise power.  Corruption at the national level grows and becomes endemic, due to those vast sums of money being available, just sitting there waiting to be used for whatever purpose can be claimed to advance the goal.  Follow the money, always, if you want to follow the twists and turns of national corruption and grasping for ever more power.

    I will admit that when a free people voluntarily donate to charity, you can expect inequality of outcome, and unequal redistribution.  Those who see that as a *significant* flaw will always support the government program (and the government force) over the use of private charity.

    I believe in the 10th Amendment whole-heartedly.  What is not enumerated in the Constitution as a power or right reserved to the national government is supposed to remain with the States (or with the People).  Regardless of whether it is more efficient for One Government to redistribute to the entire country, or for fifty Governments to perform the redistribution piecemeal, I stay with the Constitution on this one.  The leftist argument chooses to completely ignore the Tenth Amendment, as do their Supreme Court Justices. It is as if the amendment does not even exist; it has never been repealed; it is just a very irritating obsolete and archaic thing, to them, that is simply best ignored.  In this modern age, how INEFFICIENT leaving such things to the States would be!  We can’t have THAT!

    Luckily, however, it is written, and it is there.  And as time and decades pass, the argument shifts and peoples’ opinions shift.  Thus we see the push for Medicaid being returned to the states as block grants, an idea gaining traction, to the absolute horror of leftists everywhere.

    So it’s all about utilitarianism, “fairness”, and efficiency.  But never forget it’s also about POWER and control.
     

     

  • Bob From District 9

    Charles Martel

    “Since the bill specifically states that it does not repeal the Hyde amendment that part is not a part of the discussion. The options are either supporting those I disagree with on some things, to achieve a great good, or aligning with those who have very little to recommend them, and block that great good, simply because I disagree with the good guys on one issue.”
     

    “Thanks, Bob. I knew that sooner or later you’d let the mask slip. I see that when it comes to rationalizing the actions of the “good guys”—pro-death Catholics like Pelosi and Sebelius—they conveniently become “those you disagree with on some things” if they line up with your social justice issues on others. This from a man who tells us that abortion is an unmitigated evil.”

    Do you realize what you just posted doesn’t mean a whole lot? I do believe you let the mask slip to show the fanatic. The ranks of pro-death Catholics includes Santorum, Ryan, etc. Those who oppose health care for all are pro-death.

    Doing what is right, even if supported by those who support what is wrong, is still right. Try to argue against that under Catholic teaching.

    Your republican party has controlled the federal courts for most of the last half century or more, and has done nothing to end abortion. So the republicans have no claim to any loyalty on that.

     
    “Except, apparently, in cases when it is “one issue” that stands in the way of “great good.” ”

    Cardinal Maida, in speaking to a Detroit politician Sharon McPhail, said, if you can’t end a great evil, your duty is to mitigate it as much as possible. Universal health care, food for the poor, WIC etc are efforts that will help mitigate it, IMO. That is the Catholic duty there.

     
    “(By the way, since Obamacare scrupulously protects the Church’s right not to be compelled to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization, do you have any opinion on the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate seeking to make it do exactly that? Or is this another instance of something we’ll have to accept for the greater good?)”

    There is no such mandate. The Church is exempted. Business owned by the Church are not, nor does the church have a claim to such an exemption for non-church business. Oh, and contraception is not the same as abortion, and abortificants are not contraception. That is where the difference is.

  • Bob From District 9

    Earl

     
    “Sorry to all for mentioning Africa.  I retract Africa.”
     

    “I do not understand how it is morally correct to authorize people with guns (try not paying your taxes, and in time, the guns will come out) to extract money from the paychecks of millions of people who might or might not willingly give it, in order to pass it out (minus the “expenses”) to needy people, anywhere.”

    When storms hit and the Feds do not declare a disaster the right criticize Obama for not sending aid. Yet that aid comes from the same taxes that go to needy people anywhere.

    I do not understand how it is morally correct to authorize people with guns to extract money from the paychecks of millions of people who might or might not willingly give it, in order to fight a war and cause the deaths of 100,000 people in a country that did not threaten us, to control their oil.

    The “people with guns” is a diversion, unless you are saying all taxes should be voluntary.

    “If you’re telling me that we all voted for the people who decided to do this, then would it be moral (not legal) for the board that represents my church community to vote on a plan to tax ourselves, and if 51% voted “yes”, to send our representatives to the homes of the 49% and take the money by force?  What is the moral (not legal) difference?”

    The difference is, no church has the right to use force for any purpose. Giving a church power in this world corrupts the church.

     
    “By the way, Bob — the issue doesn’t change based on where the child is located….how does Martel voting not to raise taxes for more of “x” prevent you and Biden, Kerry and the Kennedys, plus the entire progressive crowd, from providing money from their own funds to support whatever program they think is worthy?”
     

    Are there any Kennedy’s in congress? The very fact that you ask that question reveals you really don’t understand the theory of the commons, and the inevitable tradgedy of the commons if rule of law is not the basis.

    “If every liberal, progressive, and Democrat (but I repeat myself) in this country gave, on average, what conservatives do, the need for welfare would be far less than it is.”

    Less is not zero. Show that is true, show the LPDs are not on average poorer than the cons.

    ”  And if we all chipped in 20% of our gross pay (and I lived 25 years in the Napa Valley of California – not known as a low-cost center), I don’t think government would have ANY particular need to fund welfare work….”

    If all of us earned enough to chip in 20% that would make sense. We don’t, it doesn’t.

    “unless it would be to keep the leeches running those programs employed.”

    So, to you those who keep the poor alive and fed and housed and cared for are leeches.

    “I have a high school buddy who worked for the county 40 years and is RETIRED on twice as much as I ever made working full-time.  It’s my taxes providing him with that pension and full and free healthcare, while I’m on S.S., Medicare, and the money I invested on 80% of my salary.”

    Since I have no idea where you live, what he did, and how much he earned, your complaint is meaningless. I don’t know how pensions there are paid for. In Ohio public sector workers pay into a pension fund, and the state contributes, just like a 401K. That money is invested in the market, and pensions are paid out of that. The state does not pay pensions. They also get medicare. Where does your friend get his full and free health care? I have never heard of that under any retirement system.

    Federal employees are also under social security, including elected officials, like congressmen and senators.

     
    “Perhaps you can understand why I’m tired of people who act as if their vote to tax others to do good is the same as actually doing the good that they might.  It will be an interesting time in the Judgment to hear the excuses they offer…….”

    Your local system is no basis to judge all such systems. Nor does it have anything to do at all with National Health Care, social security or medicare. But don’ts worry, if Romney gets elected he will start us down to road to doing away with all that, and we will find ourselves back where we were before the 1960s, where “The Other America” is even larger than it is today. Larger and worse.

  • Bob From District 9

    Mike Devx

    Nothing you say below means anything unless you declare you are also against medicare and social security. Just a side note.

    “Earl in #108 says (or asks):
    > I do not understand how it is morally correct to authorize people with guns (try not paying your taxes, and in time, the guns will come …”

    “I’ll put on my lefty hat and answer. ”

    If you pretend to answer for those you disagree with expect to be accused of putting words in their mouths.

    ” Theirs is a utilitarian answer.”

    Well, you got one sentence right.

    ”  I call it utilitarian because primarily, they see no difference between FORCE and CHARITY. ”

    And one sentence wrong. Though it’s the right wing fixation on force that bothers me.

    ” As you said, if 51% of the people vote for a candidate who promises to seize tax dollars for a particular redistributive purpose, as long as they see that purpose as “doing good”, it is acceptable.”

    Vague and little meaning, and your opinion.

    “To them, there is no difference between people voluntarily giving $1000 dollars to charities, and the government taking $1000 and using it for the same purpose.”

    One big difference, if the government does it it’s far more likely to get done. When it comes to feeding the hungry or treating the sick, it has to work everytime. some of the time is not good enough.

    “It is also a question of utilitarianism out of FAIRNESS.  Not everyone will give $1000.  Some will give more, some less, and some will give $0.  The goal is social justice, and everyone should contribute “their fair share” to the cause of social justice.  It’s only fair!  (Goes the argument)”

    Not bad, not all that great. Those who have more should give more. However, you ignore the issue of having the system work at all. Private charity did some good, but a huge number of the hungry and sick were not taken care of. There is much less hunger in the US today because of government programs. There is still too much because the right blocks more effecive programs. That and right wing politicians believe too few poor people will lead to inflation.

    The elderly in the US is the only group whose life expectancy equals that of the rest of the world, whose health care equals that of the rest of the world, thanks to medicare.

    “It’s also a question of utilitarianist FAIRNESS on the other end: who receives the money?  When people are voluntarily contributing to charity, they pick and choose which charity/ies to give their money to.  This can result in unequal redistribution.  Some get more than others.  Well, when the goal is social justice, and not just the reduction of suffering, we cannot have THAT.  All the money must go into a common pool, controlled by the government, and then the government will ensure that it is redistributed fairly.  Equality of outcome.”

    And now you are giving purely your opinion, and laying it off on others. The goal is reduction of suffering. You don’t redistribute to areas of low poverty as much as areas of high poverty just to be fair. Nor do you tax high poverty areas as much as high wealth areas just to be fair. That’s your thinking, please don’t pretend it’s anyone else’s.

    It is also utilitarian concerning EFFICIENCY.  Putting all the money under the control of the national government means there is one provider, not many.  Just ONE.  We don’t need or want all those hundreds of charities distributing money or services “willy nilly”.  We

    Then why are they still tax deductable? Why are they getting govt money to do their work?

    “don’t want or need fifty states doing that either.  How inefficient! ”

    Then why are almost all welfare programs actually run by the states?

    “Just put it all under the authority of the national government, and let them do their efficient thing.  One size fits all.”

    In the real world, it pretty much does.

    “Now for my conservative hat:  It is, AT BEST, an open question of whether the far-removed national government can ever actually do a job like this more efficiently.  A national bureaucracy – in conservative thought – becomes uncaring and monolithic and extraordinarily wasteful over time.”

    That’s conservative thought, but I believe that is just an excuse to do nothing. When you get into the system you are dealing locally, and the local bureaucracy can be as good or bad as any.

    “It is too far removed from “the boots on the ground” to care.  The impersonal machine bureaucratic grinds everyone to dust.  The money gravitates towards those who want to use it to exercise power.  ”

    Why do conservatives believe the American people are so incompetent and corrupt?

    “Corruption at the national level grows and becomes endemic,”

    Corruption at the local level is as bad as the national level if not worse.

    “due to those vast sums of money being available, just sitting there waiting to be used for whatever purpose can be claimed to advance the goal.  Follow the money, always, if you want to follow the twists and turns of national corruption and grasping for ever more power.”

    Yes, all those corrupt Americans. Nothing can stop that, can it? The ultimate proof of what you say is the military budget and Iraq. Now Iran joins the mix.

    “I will admit that when a free people voluntarily donate to charity, you can expect inequality of outcome, and unequal redistribution.  Those who see that as a *significant* flaw will always support the government program (and the government force) over the use of private charity.”

    IOW, some people starve but that’s OK. Oh, and private charities can be as corrupt as any govt agency. Next time someone calls you to raise money for some charity ask him if he works for the charity or a professional fund raiser. When he tells you it’s a professional fund raiser, which it will be most of the time, ask how much of the donation goes to the charity. Typically it will be about 15%.

    “I believe in the 10th Amendment whole-heartedly.  What is not enumerated in the Constitution as a power or right reserved to the national government is supposed to remain with the States (or with the People).  Regardless of whether it is more efficient for One Government to redistribute to the entire country, or for fifty Governments to perform the redistribution piecemeal, I stay with the Constitution on this one.  The leftist argument chooses to completely ignore the Tenth Amendment, as do their Supreme Court Justices. It is as if the amendment does not even exist; it has never been repealed; it is just a very irritating obsolete and archaic thing, to them, that is simply best ignored.  In this modern age, how INEFFICIENT leaving such things to the States would be!  We can’t have THAT!”

    The supreme court has been republican for most of the last 50 years. It is blatantly partisan now.

    “Luckily, however, it is written, and it is there.  And as time and decades pass, the argument shifts and peoples’ opinions shift.  Thus we see the push for Medicaid being returned to the states as block grants, an idea gaining traction, to the absolute horror of leftists everywhere.”

    How has block grants worked for TANF? Got a report on that? Since 40% of medicaid goes to caring for the handicapped, and a huge percentage for the elderly, you are giving the states the ability to siphon off money from their care to pay for other state functions. The absolute horror is being felt by the handicapped and those caring for them.

    http://azstarnet.com/news/opinion/ryan-s-medicaid-ideas-scary-to-low-income-disabled/article_05892893-d391-5ab4-9fcb-8421cfe41e43.html

    http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/deal-welcomes-idea-of-medicaid-block-grants/nQsNr/

    Both democratic and republican governors have come to realize the block grants will just shift more costs to the states, with little advantage to counterbalance it.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/medicaid/213973-some-republican-governors-wary-of-house-gops-medicaid-reforms

    “So it’s all about utilitarianism, “fairness”, and efficiency.  But never forget it’s also about POWER and control.”

    Utilitarianism means it’s gotta work. Your way never did. The current way does work, just not enough. Universal health care works in every other industrial country, why not here? Are Americans so corrupt, or so incompetent, they can’t do what every other industrialized country does?

    The “power and control” meme just emphasizes the belief on the right that Americans are stupid and corrupt.

     

  • Charles Martel

    Bob, one of the reasons why your arguments have so little traction here is that you conflate snappy rejoinders with substantive refutation. When somebody makes a statement you disagree with, you don’t parse the statement for logic or content, you simply deliver a glib or snarky reply that tells us what you think but not why.
     
    Here’s an example:
     
    Mike Devx: “So it’s all about utilitarianism, “fairness”, and efficiency.  But never forget it’s also about POWER and control.”


    You: Utilitarianism means it’s gotta work. Your way never did. The current way does work, just not enough. Universal health care works in every other industrial country, why not here? Are Americans so corrupt, or so incompetent, they can’t do what every other industrialized country does?



    The “power and control” meme just emphasizes the belief on the right that Americans are stupid and corrupt.
     
    So many assertions, so little proof: “Your way never did.” Any examples of that, or is simply pronouncing it all you need to do to make it so? Care to define “universal health care” and “every other industrial country?” All healthcare systems are the same? Is China an industrial country? Care to address the problems the UK’s rapidly deteriorating NHS is having with scheduling routine surgeries? Want to comment on the huge U.S. medical industry that has grown just across the border from Canada to serve all the Canadians who can’t afford to wait for medical procedures?
     
    Also, you commit a huge fallacy–and you do this constantly—when you offer us a false choice: Either Americans, in your rhetorical fancy, can only be corrupt and inefficient if they reject your collectivist solution or, by implication, honest, effective pragmatists if they accept your nostrums. There is a possibility that neither of your false choices applies here (but I do understand the leftist longing for a Manichean world).
     
    Your sneer at “the power and control meme” utterly fails. Not only do you believe that the right, your bogeyman, is a monolith to which you can attribute any lack of virtue, you do not show us how the right believes Americans are stupid and corrupt. Assert, assert, assert—that may work on low-rent sites like HuffPo or wherever it is you hang out on the left, but it’s not impressing anybody here, especially orthodox Christians.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    Just got confirmation of my earlier statement that progressives have their own religion – and it’s not Christianity:
     
    http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2012/09/02/obamanation-of-the-day/

    September 2, 2012 – 5:54 am – by Roger Kimball

     
    This exchange, from an interview with Cathleen Falsani of the Chicago Sun-Times, took even my jaded breath away:

     

    Falsani: Do you believe in sin?
    Obama: Yes.
    Falsani: What is sin?
    Obama: Being out of alignment with my values.
     

  • SADIE
  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    What could I have been doing in April that I missed that?
     
    Wasting my time, obviously!
     
    :-)