Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Social Doctrine And Me

I've been political my entire life. The truth is, I love politics because I love people. It's a noble profession, especially here in America. Yes, I said "especially" and I meant it. America is still a great place, and no one could say otherwise. We have a lot to do, but our history and heritage gives us all we need to do it, whether intellectual or spiritual.

The great gift of America to the world is the recognition of the dignity of the human person, uniquely in regard to people and their government. That the citizen is a participant and co-ruler is the logical conclusion of the belief that legitimate authority is not limitless; every authority and everyone bound by it owes a first duty to the One who sanctions it in the first place.

I mean no disrespect to avowed atheists; though this is a Christian space, this is not an attempt to explicate religious doctrine. Rather, I ask every person to recognize that even the most expansive view of personal license must grant that a virtuous neighbor is better than a vicious one. It is precisely when true force must be applied: when reason and ethics fail.

The good person is predictable; the bad person creates chaos, because there is no limit to his ideas for self-enrichment at any cost. Let me be plain: A large chunk of our politics misses the truth of the social benefit of virtue, and the social cost of vice.

We are witnessing a bizarre play where our two basic outlooks both believe the same lie, at the extremes: That what a person does has no impact on anyone else; the "liberal" believes that wealth alone is the sum of human existence. Some have too much, and others, too little. It's the government's job to fix it. Somehow, sex isn't anybody's business, unless you don't have enough money to have the kind you want. Then, the government can steal the money to pay for it. Subsidized free love is for the good of all? Since when?

Since when did the biological reality of when human life begins become a religious belief? The only religious belief I have heard articulated is the right to an abortion. An entire political party seems to have no dogma but that one. I'd put the federal minimum wage at $13 an hour in exchange for a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution. I dare the Democrats to take the deal.

The "conservative" at the extreme believes the lie, also. Money is the sum of human existence. No one should dare tell us that maybe our system encourages firms to merge, buying favors from the government. We do have faultless poor in America, and it is the government's responsibility, to the extent that some deficit of justice has occurred. We have federalism in fact so that the government does not interfere with self-determination, economic or otherwise, in its zeal to express solidarity with the less fortunate. We do worse than this: The government expresses solidarity with the most fortunate, and any protests of this outrage are shouted down with cries of "Socialism!" The mere presence of an increasing number of highly wealthy people is not constituitive of economic justice.

The failure of the liberal welfare state owes not to its existence, but in the push to destroy the mores and values that would make it function properly. Let me be direct: Only married people should receive any social assistance for the care of children they create. The state is not in the marriage business because a dark cloud of theocracy is descending; the state cares about marriage because--when we strip away all the politically-correct nonsense--only opposite sex pairs create new people. That's why you can't re-define it, and that's why any attacks against marriage, defined as a permanent sexual union between a man and a woman, should be highly discouraged, and by government, when necessary. This is what unites a social conservative and an economic one: economic freedom cannot flourish in an amoral society. No liberties at all survive in the absence of virtue.

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