Michael Moore: Catholic of the year?

Should Michael Moore be named “Catholic of the Year”? Some people love his films and some hate them: but his … Continued

Should Michael Moore be named “Catholic of the Year”? Some people love his films and some hate them: but his newest film, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” provokes such passion on either side that — on that count alone — it becomes a tribute to his skill as filmmaker. Avoiding a film review here, let me offer reasons for considering “Capitalism” a special kind of Catholic achievement.

First, Moore places a favorable light on his lived Catholic experience and the trust he places in Catholic priests. At a time when Catholicism’s foes pounce on reports of pedophilia from the clergy or criticize single issue politics as reasons to denigrate the Church, Moore gives us good news. He lets his own pastor and priest friends come across as down-to-earth. They are unafraid of delivering a harsh judgment on the state of the economy or of showing solidarity with the working class. The bishops interviewed do not fit the stereotype of an ecclesiastical bureaucrat or a CEO anxious to protect his “brand.” I think this is the clergy commonly experienced day in and day out in most of Catholic America and is a welcome change from media-generated stereotypes.

Second, Moore puts a human face on the suffering caused by economic hardship. Numbers and statistics are at a minimum: instead, we see real people telling their personal stories about loss of a job, death from a lack of health insurance and the struggle to make ends meet. While partisan politics have crept into virtually every corner of public debate today, you know that the moral compass is working when Moore delivers body blows to Democrats and Republicans alike. At issue is what happens when Capitalism gets a free rein to place profits ahead of people.

I don’t know if Mr. Moore ever read Karl Mannheim‘s (1893-1947) treatment of ideology and utopia. That 20th-century sociologist stated that when people had solid hopes about changing society, they spoke in terms of utopia — meaning a better world. When hope of real change was impossible, they slipped back into defense of ideology. Put into the present debate about health care à la Moore, the difference between utopia and ideology goes like this.

Utopia: “I want to bring health-care reforms so that we don’t have 5 people dying each hour in the United States because they have no insurance.”

Ideology: “We have to prevent people from thinking that government can solve all problems.”

Ideology worries about the principle of things; utopia, — even when limited by practicalities — keeps the eye on real things. Moore’s film is filled with utopian hopes: ideology is spouted on the lips of those he ridicules.

Third, the picture’s upbeat message is based on several real successes, experienced by Moore. To his credit, he does not deny the prosperity brought to him and so many other working-class Americans by industrial capitalism that into the 1950s built auto plants, paid union wages and sustained the American Dream. But he documents how this industrial capitalism degenerated into financial capitalism – or laissez-faire capitalism – and became destructive of its own successes. It is this laissez-faire capitalism that is condemned in the papal encyclicals as fundamentally disordered (e.g. Laborem exercens #14) because of how it subverts God’s order that requires that the material goods of this earth benefit everyone. Lack of distributive justice makes a capitalistic economic structure sinful, and without using those words Moore’s images on screen drive home that message.

Finally, Moore’s alternative is not some pie-in-the-sky radicalism. He does not use the word “socialism” as his preferred solution. Instead he paints the conflict as one between capitalism or democracy. For Catholic Michael Moore, identifying capitalism as the only patriotic option for America is a form of idolatry. People are always more important than any “ism,” and “people power” is Democracy.

Admittedly, Moore’s style borders on buffoonery, but his message is nonetheless important. I admire the Catholic currents of social justice in this film. And just like the feast days of Halloween and All Saints Day follow each other in the calendar; maybe Michael Moore is “Clown of the Year” and “Catholic of the Year” at the same time.

  • cprferry

    Yo Mr. Moore, I’m really happy for you, I’m gonna let you finish, but the Pope, by reconciling millions of Christians to full communion with the Church, has to be Catholic of the year!

  • ccnl1

    The tainted RCC bishops/priests and the religious leaders of other faiths must speak out when there are such obvious violations of the following rules that have evolved over 60,000 years of human history:”Thou Shall not Kill””Thou Shall not Steal””Thou Shall not Bear False Witness””Thou Shall not Commit Adultery””Thou Shall not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Goods/Wife/Husband/Partner”The Violations: One million dead womb babies/year x 35Bill Clinton and other leadership adulterers19 million cases of STDs/yearThe Medicare/Medicaid (60 Minutes last Sunday), housing bubble, Enron, Tyco, Bernie Ebbers, and Bernie Madoff scandalsThe 50% divorce rateWhat Michael Moore should therefore preach is Rule of Law Capitalism!!!!!!!!

  • tojby_2000

    He was Catholic of the Year (in by good book, at least) in 2007 for SiCKO and in 2004 for Fahrenheit 9/11. Now he wins it again in ’09.

  • samscram

    Priests and Nuns who teach and minister in parishes [with the exception of the peophiles who prey on children and protected by their collegues] may occasionally be more representative of sectatian decency, but history does not suupport that conclusion overall, especially when one considers the systemic coverup of such crimes ordered by the Popes including Benedict and the transfer of the most culpable of the Bishops, such as Bernard Law of Boston, to high Vatican Posts, perhaps to keep them out of the arms of U. S. justice.The supporters of Roman Polanski who claim that he ought not have to face justice for sodomy of a thirteen year old girl are a secular analogue to the Vatican’s implicit approval of such doings.

  • furtdw

    Michael Moore, a Catholic hero? No! Not for this Catholic.Mother Theresa? Yes.Michael Moore is a little man and a quintessential cheap shot artist. He has made a career of making others look bad!

  • Garak

    This is fundamentally at odds with the ascendant fundamentalist Protestant view that life is a struggle with winners and losers, and that losers should suffer in silence. The fundamentalist Protestants have institutionalized the most extreme form of laissez-faire capitalism. So how much longer will the Catholic Church make common cause with “kick ‘em when they’re down” Protestants?

  • Shiham

    Does Moore offer a solution that is sustainable? Im very happy that he has brought this up.

  • russpoter

    You must be kidding. His pal, the Michigan governor, attempted to lecture Republican Catholics at Xmas about “social justice.”The RCs told the governor that she was not God, and that it was up to them to follow their faith as THEY understood it.Oh. Only Democrats, the party of ABORTION and COMMIE-LOVERS have superior knowledge? Dang.Sir, you must be kidding. Visit Flint, next to Mr. Moore’s home of Fenton. He didn’t do a thing.

  • bdunn1

    Posted by furtdw: He has made a career of making others look bad!Not. They made themselves look bad and Moore has merely showed them to be what they are.

  • bobmoses

    Garak – “This is fundamentally at odds with the ascendant fundamentalist Protestant view that life is a struggle with winners and losers, and that losers should suffer in silence. “You are ignorant. Perhaps you should actually attend one of these churches instead of foisting your bigoted and ignorant stereotypes on a group of millions of people.

  • kubrickstan

    Republicans will always hate Michael Moore because…

  • dudefromthebronx

    I left Catholicism for Reform Judaism, the religion of my ancestors. While I have absolutely no inclination to reconcile to the Catholic faith, I commend Michael Moore for his cinematic work and his passion for helping to restore dignity to America by exposing corruption and hypocrisy in our leadership.Michael is everything a good Catholic should be. Love him or hate him, he’s just the shot in the arm we all need.

  • 79USMC83

    How does this HERO Catholic stand on ABORTION???????This HERO is the biggest FLIM FLAM artist of them all. Denouncing CAPITALISM and laughing all the way to the bank!!!BOYCOTT MOORE,PENN and all the other hypocrites that HATE America’s founding principles but still OWN MANSIONS here!!What a joke HERO my butt!!Marine LT. Jack Lummus Medal Of Honor winner. All-American tight end from Baylor University. Drafted by the New York Giants but never played a down in the NFL. He gave HIS life on IWO JIMA so MOORE and PENN can make their MILLIONS and HIDE behind behind their “FREEDOM OF SPEECH” it. Jacl LUMMUS saved for them!!HERO God!!! How about COWARD OF the YEAR!!

  • Utahreb

    I don’t care if Michael Moore is “whatever” of the year – I like the fact that he delivers body blows to BOTH parties on their failures to work for the good of the people.

  • ravitchn

    The Catholic doctrines of Social Justice is a difficult one to practice, and in practice it often leads to error. Utopianism leads often to totalitarianism. When Catholic thinkers decided that capitalism and socialism were both wrong they looked for a third way and many found fascism, which was a heavily Catholic phenomenon. Beware of Social Justice and Utopianism.

  • magnifco1000

    What Moore is about pertains to pointing out the problems that excess and greed inevitably create. And, that’s what Catholic teaching really strives for on a social justice level. Americans simply don’t realize, in the eyes of the world, how extreme America is. So, people become upset in America seeing “Sicko.” But it is true, every modern nation in the world, except America, has National Health Care. Moore points out the problems with Capitalism in America. Capitalism that leaves banks

  • mediaskeptic

    The distortions that mar Moore’s films make me embarrassed to discover he is a (nominal) Catholic.

  • pgr88

    Please tell me how creating poverty (as all socialists do), undermining personal freedom, promoting worse health-care and promoting abortion make someone a better Catholic??

  • DwightCollins

    moore like kennedy like others who support abortion are not catholics…

  • Carstonio

    “Ideology: ‘We have to prevent people from thinking that government can solve all problems’…Ideology worries about the principle of things”If there is a principle involved there, it would seem to be authoritarianism, the idea that people have to be controlled for their own good. Although I agree with some of the positions that Moore makes in his films, I’m not a Moore supporter because of his journalistic dishonesty. He twists and distorts facts, omitting those that indicate shades of gray on issues. He humiliates and ridicules his interview subjects by asking rhetorical questions that are designed only to prove his point, with the effect that they appear either ignorant or heartless.”The 50% divorce rate”What does that have to do with adultery? It seems to assume that the only reason people get divorced is because one partner has been unfaithful, or that they want to be.

  • beth8

    Michael Moore’s films remind us that we are our brother’s keeper, and therefore they are truly Catholic in their outlook. Jesus Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount and throughout his life as outlined in the Gospels, showed us what a real Christian life is all about, in constantly caring about and helping others.

  • realtimer

    Mr. Moore is just another ‘malfunctioning’ R.C., who can’t get his facts straight, especially on Abortion, etc.,.

  • Jumpy66

    moore like kennedy like others who support abortion are not catholics…Mr. Collins, perhaps it has been a while since you cracked open your Bible? You might start with the Book of James or, better yet, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Who are you to judge? Self-described Catholics like yourself (if you even are one) are an embarrassment to all of Christianity itself. Until you become a Christian through your own actions and words, you are nothing more than a paper Christian.

  • tony55398

    Capitolism is the antithesis of Christianity, the law of the wild, the strong survive, survival of the fitest and the lowly serve the highest. People confuse socialism with communism where the state takes the place of God, now it’s capitolism, where corporations dictate what’s best for their employes even to there life outside their work. Communism in reverse, always what’s best for the employe and the bottom line. Corporations the new god of society. Always you have a choice, work or not, but than do you really?

  • mddcny

    I’m a lapsed Catholic due to the fact that I find very few “down to earth” bishops and priests…especially bishops.

  • Ferrelocha

    Michael Moore tells Americans what they don’t want to hear: that their health system is worse than that of Europe or Canada because of greed and that financials are a joke for the common working man, and that has nothing to do with Catholicism.

  • catherine3

    Good points. I think that Michael Moore is the Dickens of our age. It is high time that someone pushes against the current system of winner-take-all capitalism and “I’ve got mine, too bad for you” greed.

  • eyeswideopen2

    moore like kennedy like others who support abortion are not catholics…Oh. Only Democrats, the party of ABORTION and COMMIE-LOVERS have superior knowledge? Dang.Posted by: russpoterCatholics are supposed to lead by example. If these kind of sentiments were my first encounters with Catholic thought, I would never for a moment consider becoming a Catholic. Where in the Gospels do we find Jesus expressing this kind of naked moral contempt (shading towards hatred?) Hey Kumbaya you guys -

  • eaglehawkaroundsince1937

    Seperate Church and State. Mike speaks his mind just as Jesus did. If Mother Theresa was an Episcopal nun many of the posters here would be against her and her work.

  • DwightCollins

    “moore like kennedy like others who support abortion are not catholics…so you think GOD is happy with man destroying what GOD created…

  • t1123

    People are angry at Moore for pointing out that Capitalism as we know it is not Christianity? You going to argue with that? Where in any Christian doctrine is it written to take it all even at the expense (including the lives) of otherss? Greed is not a Christian virtue. It is, however, a capitalist virture. I thought it was very interesting how he brought in members of the clergy for their opinions. However, let’s be fair & honest. If the Catholic Church is really interested in economic fairness, charity, etc., it should really consider selling some of its real estate (i.e, the Vatican) and other assets. Oh – to those who think all Catholics who believe in a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion should be excommunicated — do you use non-natural birth control? Big Catholic no no. Be careful when you throw stones.

  • alex35332

    As a non-religious person, I was actually quite fascinated to see Moores interviews with religious leaders on the basic notion of capitalism, that it violates the “deadly sin” of greed if not all of them. Also Moore I believe never once said anything about Abortion, so I find it amazing to assume anything about his stance on the issue.

  • tfspa

    First, I have to admit to not being a Catholic. But the opportunity to see the expected responses to this question was too juicy to resist. And I have to say so many of these comments do not disappoint. One of the best was about how socialists create poverty. No doubt the person was thinking China (where the problem is more politically rooted than economic, isn’t it?). But my first thought was Sweden which has so many “socialist” programs like healthcare, welfare and so on. Probably what Moore was driving at. Issues there to be sure, but their poverty rate is a quarter of what exists in the US. This is not an isolated case. So, socialist tendencies apparently don’t equal poverty. On the contrary!Of course there is then that nasty abortion issue. I’m not even clear where he stands on that, but I’ll assume for the moment it isn’t the standard RCC line. The impression I get from comments is that even the most selfless, moral and compassionate Catholic would be damned to the fires for thinking a woman should be able to choose. Why? Because that’s the rules according to the RCC. And those guys in Rome (it is just guys, right?) get to make the rules. Kinda weird. You’d think Moore would be cut some slack because he seems so sincere about helping people. Maybe if he just lost a few pounds…But then match that up against another comment chiding a governor when some RCs wanted to follow their faith the way they “understood it.” They better understand it the same way as Rome or they are out of luck. Well, at least about abortion because apparently it’s not that big a deal if your economics causes excessive suffering. I keep thinking about that whole camel getting through the needle thing and getting crazy with money lenders and how everything was shared in their little group. There was a whole lot about economics in JC’s story, isn’t there? Not a whole lot about that other stuff. Michael’s style doesn’t do it for me but the big guy’s premise is pretty easy to get behind.

  • lahhtims

    “They’ll know we are Christians by our Love, by our Love” is the refrain in a hymn heard many Sundays at Mass. If that’s true then there’s a Pandora’s Box here of comments by non-Christians…some of whom claim to be Catholics.Saint Michael Moore? Has a nice ring to it, no?

  • alex35332

    One thing I think I can say for cretin is that Mr. Moore has probably never had an abortion himself.Badup Pshhhh

  • mascmen7

    I have one of Moore’s movies and it was excellent. He is not a Catholic as he supports abortion so eliminate all that Catholic of the Year garbage. There will be no health insurance bill because Pelosi another fallen Catholic insists that abortion be allowed so Bart Stupak and 40 other Dems say they will vote against the sick bill.

  • Fate1

    “moore like kennedy like others who support abortion are not catholics…And what about those Catholics who supported the war in Iraq, or the death penalty, or use contraception? Are we to weed them out and excommunicate them as well? Once you let your political ideology become your religion you lose your ability to properly govern and lose your ability to save your soul at the same time. To paint Moore as someone who is wrong based solely on his imagined position on abortion is immature. If you have an issue with what he says in the movie then lets hear it. Greed is a requirement on Wall Street. We can argue whether that is good or not good for the economy but the question her is whether it follows Catholic teachings. If a Ctholic on Wall Street made all deals with careful consideration of the deal’s effects on ordinary people, like having their homes eventually foreclosed, then it might be possible to work in such an environment and live Catholic principles. Moore’s point is that is not what we are seeing and thus the American capitalist system is immoral. Even if you disagree its worth understanding the argument and not taking a side issue, like abortion, to avoid arguing the issue.

  • douglaslbarber

    Catholic social teaching as articulated by the Popes from Leo XIII’s *Rerum Novarum* (1891) to Benedict XVI’s *Caritas in Veritate* (2009) has consistently been well to the left of the USA’s Republican party. It is also well to the right of Michael Moore, though Moore stands, in his positions if not in his tone, within a respectable American Catholic sub-tradition that includes Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.

  • Fate1

    CCNL1 wrote: “Why Catholics et al support the War on Islamic Terror: Some body counts due to said Isalamic, koran-driven terror-…”When Christ was alive the body counts caused by Romans were even higher, yet which war did Christ support? When did Christ say to take up arms? When did Christ support violence against violence? You numbers are staggering but in no way a Catholic justification for willfully killing others.

  • osheehan1

    Michael Moore Catholic of the year? Is this article a joke? I’m not fan obviously; I do have to say what I have seen of “Capitalism” I was impressed with. Catholic of the year, hardly. I’m sure whoever should win Catholic of the year doesn’t just pick and choose what he/she wants to believe. Maybe Mr. Moore can take some of the millions of dollars he has and help the people in Flint. He makes a career out of making people look bad that doesn’t sound very catholic to me. I don’t agree with everything these “capitalist” do but they have provided more jobs to deserving people than Michael Moore. Maybe they should win Catholic of the year? Is the author of this article even a Catholic? Why is the in the post?

  • rbraun2000

    Mr. Moore has my vote for human rights, period. I am glad I am not Catholic and I strugle with God every day knowing how hypicritical churches are. The example is Catholics beileve abortions are wrong and protest maddly, but utter not one word with sending our men and women into a war based on lies. Churches are good at ducking and running when it comes to there sins and they tend to circle the wagons when critized. So why do churches go after a womens right to make a choice in her life but like the idea of giving a life for lies? Where’s the bumper stickers, the bill boards, the protest? Where’s the humanity? Let God be the judge and religions “practice” religion and not be judge and jury. Micheal Moore is for humanity and more than any church has been in this century.

  • kare1

    As a proud Off the boat Irish Catholic, I dare have someone SHOW me a NORMAL devout CATHOLIC that truly exists in American Society?/ANYONE ANYWHERESpend one day on American Soil and you lose those teachings immediately. As far as abortions– if you are against them don’t have them — not my right as a catholic or a person to force my rights onto you.After all We are at war again because Muslims insist Christians are bad and Christians just can’t TURN THE OTHER CHEEK – we must obliterate more of them than us.Real Jesus like.

  • ccnl1

    The USA is “Willfully killing others” ???? Give us a break!!!!And who knows what the simple preacher man aka Jesus really believed. He was illiterate and his “biography” was written by five authors who never knew him.And his belligerence in the Temple was one of his few acts most contemporary NT conclude actually happened. And considering he was a professed Jew, he would have supported the blatant killing of non-Jews so vividly described in the OT. Or was this all self-defense??? Did Jesus ever say any of these OT blood baths were wrong?? To wit:Biblical AtrocitiesExodus 32: 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf.Joshua: Joshua 8: 12,000 men and women, all the people of Ai, killed. Joshua 10: Joshua completely destroys Gibeon (“larger than Ai”), Makeddah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron, Debir. “He left no survivors.” Joshua 11: Hazor destroyed. [Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (1987), estimates the population of Hazor at ?> 50,000] Judges 1: 10,000 Canaanites k. at Battle of Bezek. Jerusalem and Zephath destroyed. Judges 8: 120,000 Midianite soldiers k. by Gideon Judges 20: Benjamin attacked by other tribes. 25,000 killed. 1 Samuel 4: 4,000 Isrealites killed at 1st Battle of Ebenezer/Aphek. 30,000 Isr. k. at 2nd battle. David: 2 Samuel 8: 22,000 Arameans of Damascus and 18,000 Edomites killed in 2 battles.2 Samuel 18: 20,000 Israelites under Absalom killed at Ephraim.1 Kings 20: 100,000 Arameans killed by Israelites at Battle of Aphek. Another 27,000 killed by collapsing wall. 2 Chron 13: Judah beat Israel and inflicted 500,000 casualties. 2 Chron 25: Amaziah, king of Judah, k. 10,000 from Seir in battle and executed 10,000 POWs. Discharged Judean soldiers pillaged and killed 3,000. 2 Chron 28: Pekah, king of Israel, slew 120,000 Judeans TOTAL: That comes to about 1,283,000 mass killings specifically enumerated in the Bible”

  • Wallenstein

    “The bishops interviewed do not fit the stereotype of an ecclesiastical bureaucrat or a CEO anxious to protect his “brand.” I think this is the clergy commonly experienced day in and day out in most of Catholic America and is a welcome change from media-generated stereotypes.”No, in most of Catholic America, we know our priests to be friendly, down to earth, and accessible. I’m not sure where the writer of this article goes to church. He’s welcome to come to mine.

  • chatard

    This forum is not about ‘Faith’, it is not about Catholicism, it is not about morality or anything else. It is about liberalism and the spouters invited to guest column here are all about that. It makes no difference to the supposed ‘Catholic” Arroyo, just as it makes no difference to Patrick Kennedy, what Michael Moore’s faith or beli8efs are , it is about propping up a liberal and liberalism. Quinn and Meacham are on a mission.

  • CathyB3

    I’ll bet the consideration of Michael Moore for Catholic of the Year makes Bill Donohue sick with envy.Donohue is a joke!

  • pittlc

    Halloween a feast day….You are kidding are you not.All Hallows Eve. The day before All Saints Day.Same as Christmas Eve.

  • moninga1

    I took graduate work in Theology at a Jesuit university and one of my favorite parts of it was reading moral theology with regard to the dignity of the human person. Moore respects that. I’m not Catholic, not even Christian, but Moore seems to understand the rights of people to food, health care, safe places to work and a dignified old age. I wish others respected it as much as he does.

  • tsapp77

    What a joke! Michael Moore is a disgrace and should leave the country.

  • russpoter

    AS RIDICULOUS AS TUBBY MOORE”So, people become upset in America seeing “Sicko.” But it is true, every modern nation in the world, except America, has National Health Care.”So — leave. Get out. Move to France. I’m sure lot will donate to your exit ticket.Only 100,000+ ILLEGALS will want your citizenship.So much for ridiculous comparisons.

  • rowerinva

    If you seriously believe that the average American or even the average lower-income American is better off today than he or she was in 1980, or pick any other decade (1950, as mentioned in this article?), I have a bridge to sell you. Americans of all income levels are living longer, have more material possessions, and even travel more than their predecessors.The wages of the lowest economic segment have indeed stagnated since the mid-1980s. There is one major explanation for this: illegal immigration. What happened in the mid-1980s? The illegal immigration amnesty of 1986, for one thing, which began the current immigrant wave.There are about 15 million working people in the bottom 10% of Americans by income. (There are more people, but many, such as children and the very old, aren’t working). These people mostly do unskilled labor. There are about 16 million illegal immigrant workers, most of whom also do unskilled labor. It does not take any great skill at math to see that if you roughly double the number of unskilled workers in this fashion, the wages of unskilled workers will decrease or stagnate. It’s actually remarkable, and a real American success story, that we have been able to absorb so many working illegals without a worse decline in bottom tier wages.I’m not debating illegal immigration here — I’m only pointing out that an honest assessment of the economy must explain that it’s not “capitalism” that has hurt the lowest economic class, but other factors that Mr. Moore won’t touch with a ten foot pole. That’s dishonest. Mr. Moore would do a service by exploring the plight of the American poor honestly and completely, but he has not done that. He’s an entertainer, which is his right, but he is not an honest reporter.

  • rowerinva

    Sorry, left out a “not.”If you seriously believe that the average American or even the average lower-income American is NOT better off today than he or she was in 1980, or pick any other decade (1950, as mentioned in this article?), I have a bridge to sell you.

  • douglaslbarber

    KARE1 wrote, “As far as abortions– if you are against them don’t have them — not my right as a catholic or a person to force my rights onto you.”Can we please put this argument to bed and move on to more serious ones? This argument is no more compelling that the one that runs “As rar as slavery– if you are against it down own slaves — not my right as a catholic or a person to force my rights onto you.”

  • roger321

    Terrific column. Very thoughtful, and thought-provoking. I see that too many of the commenters have fallen into the “idealogy” camp, falling back on ideology rather than focusing on the real issues. Bravo, Mr. Stevens-Arroyo. This is a welcome change for the Post.

  • ravitchn

    Where comes this notion that people, by virtue of being human, have a right to health care, food, housing or what have you?

  • amelia45

    There is much food for thought here. A big “Thank You” to Mr. Stevens-Arroyo for the very fine meal. The idea of ideology vs utopia as opposite modes of thought is new to me. And, I wondered why I had so much trouble understanding those who live out of a world view of ideology, while the world around them suffers. Perhaps it is because I seek the impossible Utopia. Or, at least, that is what my friends say. Ah, well. My suspicion is that the commenters really just want a platform to spout their preconceived notions and don’t really want to learn anything new. Truth is, I do that often enough. But this one makes me stop for a moment and think about why.

  • JustAJoe

    Micheal Moore reminds me of the Catholic Workers I have met. They avoid dogma and roll up their sleeves and do what is right with what is in front of them every day. Micheal Moore has done something that you would think impossible in America – shown that Democracy is not a political system designed to support Capitalism so we can march to a Capitalist Utopia. We have been sold a bill of goods by the money changers that tells us the Temple exists to provide a place for them to do business.

  • frannsnow55

    Moore should be excommunicated from the Catholic Church based on his principles. PERIOD

  • adrian-ste

    This country was built by the protestant work ethic, that’s what made America great. Catholic values are incompatible to what made America great in the first place.

  • ccnl1

    The award should be for Socialist of the Year!! Hey, it appears to work in Canada and Western Europe when it comes to health insurance. Anyone know the status of unemployment insurance in these countries??

  • douglaslbarber

    adrian-ste wrote, “This country was built by the protestant work ethic, that’s what made America great. Catholic values are incompatible to what made America great in the first place.”If this nation had depended on protestants to mine coal and make steel during WWI and WWII, you’d be manifesting your bigotry in the German or Russian language today.

  • adrian-ste

    douglaslbarber:If the U.S. had relied on the Catholic view of redistribution of wealth, then we would be speaking German and Russian. Because it was capitalism that created wealth that financed the U.S. military mobilisation in WWI&II. This is a country founded on protestant(Puritan) values and we should not loose sight of that sir.

  • dove_

    Catholic of the year goes to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Secy. Hillary Clinton, who are walking the walk.Michael Moore is great and is heads above the rest in his sphere of influence, but as they say, to feed the hungry you need to provide food – talking isn’t enough.

  • douglaslbarber

    adrian-ste, I don’t know where you got the idea that the Catholic church favors a redistribution of wealth. While popes from Leo to Benedict have argued that the pursuit of profit by the powerful can harm the weak, they’ve all been careful to reaffirm that it is wrong to steal. You might want to actually read something written by a pope before become a self-proclaimed expert on what the Catholic church teaches.

  • sjag1

    CCNL1: The unemployment system in Canada is bent to-wards the same as health insurance that is part of a social safety net. The basic benefit for 1 full year is rated at 55% of your average income to a maximum of $447.00 per week and maternity leave is 1 year at 80% of your average income and your health insurance is a constant in any circumstance. Consideration as to family size and the employement opportunities in specific areas modify/improve the amount by special supplementary packages. It’s involved, but that is main thrust of the plan.

  • fredgran

    “Mr. Moore has my vote for human rights, period. I am glad I am not Catholic and I strugle with God every day knowing how hypicritical churches are. The example is Catholics beileve abortions are wrong and protest maddly, but utter not one word with sending our men and women into a war based on lies.” RBraun who wrote the above words in a comment to this article should be made aware that Pope John Paul II condemned the US entering into war with Iraq. The vast majority of Catholic, while they may condemn abortion, do not share the other value of the religous right.Fred Granata

  • PrinceBuster21

    Might a list of those having an STD posted on the Internet help? Sounds good to me!!!! Said names would remain until the STD has been eliminated with verification by a doctor. Lists of sexual predators are on-line. Is there a difference between these individuals and those having a STD having sexual relations while infected???Posted by: ccnl1You are a truly sad individual, ccnl1.Judge not.

  • Mnnngj

    Moore should get the award. His communication is the same as the one Christ tells people in the better parts of the Bible. He looks out for the disadvantaged, notes the corruption/greed of the rich and is for the working poor and middle class. I saw his latest movie and liked it as well as I think it should be seen by as many as possible.

  • Rdobrick

    I am not Catholic, but it’s amusing to see how all the replies here fit into either the utopian or ideological category.

  • gilbertpb40

    I saw Michael Moore’s latest documentary, Capitalism, A Love Story” and it was wonderful. He is a man who lives his Roman Catholic religion. Jesus said–“whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me”. I wish many more people would live their faith as Michael Moore does.

  • mr1492

    Capitalism is an economic system. Not a system of governance. Capitalism, as all economic systems, is inherently amoral (not immoral.) The morality in society is from the system we choose to govern ourselves and distribute (or re-distribute) the resources generated by our economic system.

  • hyjanks

    To state that Moore’s style borders on buffoonery is to implicate H.L. Mencken as a fellow wag.

  • Fate1

    “Can we please put this argument to bed and move on to more serious ones? This argument is no more compelling that the one that runs “As rar as slavery– if you are against it down own slaves — not my right as a catholic or a person to force my rights onto you.”Can wqe stop comparing apples and oranges? Abortion is restricted in this country, severely. Abortion becomes very difficult for a woman after the first trimester. The issue of abortion is not abortion or not abortion, its about WHEN abortion is allowed and when it is not. Some take it all the way back to conception which is ridiculous. The truth is that those shouting about outlawing abortion at any time will, when confronted with having a situation, be glad they have a choice, no matter what choice they make. The abortion debate is always about how others should act, which is typical in any political argument, which abortion has become, rather than a medical or even ethical one.

  • ukgirl1

    If Michael Moore is Cathloic of the year then all I can say is Thank God I am NOT a Cathloic!!!!

  • Fate1

    “This is a country founded on protestant(Puritan) values and we should not loose sight of that sir.” And those values included tolerence of slavery, blatant racial and religious discrimination and a willingness to slaughter an indigenous population for land. Good riddence to the protestant “work ethic”, which relied on murder, slavery, indentured servitude and immigrants in sweat shops and deep mines to get the job done. America is what it is today because we turned against that work ethic in favor of a free and equal society, something Puritans continue to complain about when it comes to immigrants, people of other races working with them or moving into “their” neighborhoods. Get over it, the days of master and slave are over.

  • jhpbriton

    fate1Selective history lesson provided by you in previous post neglects to state that the slavery issue (N v S) could not have been decided following Revolutionary War. Maryland south through Georgia would NOT have formed US without the awful 3/5’s rule, etc. Yes, it was horrific. Stage was set to resolve issue in future. Unfortunately, the only way that came about was with Civil War. Frankly, most of the anti-slavery initiatives came from those same puritans you rebel against. Forget the master-slave chip on your shoulder. Slavery has not existed in the US for quite some time. Did you attend school? Did you excell at your academic pursuit? Do you work hard every day and still yearn to improve your skill set? Either evolve or die. The same can be said for workers. We do not need many blacksmiths in this era. Nor buggy whip manufacturers.

  • ekim53

    If Moore hates Capitalism so much, why doesn’t he give every bit to the Catholic Church that he made off of evil capitalism. Does that Catholic Church like hypocrites.It’s America and it’s Capitalism that gives more than all the countries put together to help other countries.Just a terrible article…frivolous

  • Fate1

    “It’s America and it’s Capitalism that gives more than all the countries put together to help other countries.Well there you go, everyone in America can walk into an ER and get treatment. Anyone, even illegal immigants, anyone who needs care. We are not a country to deny treatment when it is needed. Now, assuming we do not want to change that, how do we pay for it? You may complain that you don’t want to pay for the treatment of the poor and uninsured through some government run plan but you seem to already know that you do pay for them since the treatment they get in an ER is not absolutely free. All of us paying for care and insurance are paying for it. If you do not consider that to be right then you should want reform.As for people in other countries dying from rationed care, do you have the numbers and studies to back that up. The studies I have read show Americans dying from health insurance death panel decisions, leaving us with a lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality. Do I need to bring up the 3 month old baby who was denied health insurance because he was fat? A “preexisting condition”? Here is a link to the story, from Fox News no less so you know it must be true…

  • Fate1

    “If Moore hates Capitalism so much, why doesn’t he give every bit to the Catholic Church that he made off of evil capitalism. Does that Catholic Church like hypocrites.”If you ever attended a Catholic mass you would know there are two collections (offerings) during the service, the first for the church and the second for “the poor”. Any Catholic knows why the first offering is for the church and they also know which plate is the most full. The church’s priorities are in that order. Why should Michael give to an organization that claims to tend to the poor yet makes it its mission only after fattening itself? And Michael gives to charity. “Raising Malawi” is one he is noted to contribute to. 60% of the profit from Farenheit 911 went to charities. Maybe before you call someone a hipocrite you should base your words on facts and not wishful thinking. Your black and white world is neither.

  • revbookburn

    Michael Moore deserves the award. Capitalism: A Love Story is one of the greatest films in modern times. A cannot be labeled or branded in a simple manner. Michael’s integration of faith, American principles, hopes for the future, and humorous delivery has made this his best film. Further, he has exposed the most horrendous evil of our times. Rev. Bookburn – Radio Volta

  • larry_carter_center

    I don’t think Michael Moore has spent any time at the United Nations where the Vatican has full veto power over condom distribution. So if a poor person most anywhere on the globe wants to wear a balloon during intercourse to prevent deadly HIV, other std’s and too many pregancies, too bad, breed and die according to the Nazi Pope. There are photos of this Hitler Youth evil person in Germany while many millions died and he gave the Fuerher Sieg Heil. Michael Moore should give full criticism to any priest who denies anyone condoms and would rather a woman die of deadly pregnancies and carry a rapist’s child than give up the lie that life begins with “stem cells.” Life begins with a willing healthy mom and she must be free to choose or it is more slavery that the Vatican has promoted for centuries which increased Papal wealth into the mega billions. Banco Ambrosiano too deserves Moore’s expose since he did well to expose the bank/stock/derivatives/mortagage scams. Moore is Catholic apologist of the year. Capitalism has made the Cardinals & Archbishops & Sisters of Mercy mega billionaire players in the death care games at hospitals too. 843-926-1750 Dial An Atheist, Larry Carter Center

  • larry_carter_center

    This is my first post ever on this topic. Why did I get a censorship message that I posted “too many” recent posts? I’ve not posted in a week or more and that was about Herb Silverman, Atheist leader. So to keep this short, Michael Moore needs to tell the truth about the capitalist Banco Ambrosiano Vatican bank. Michael Moore needs to tell the truth that the Nazi Pope blocks all condom distribution world wide through the United Nations with his veto powers there. This means if people want to prevent HIV transmission and death, std’s and unwanted pregnancies, you need to obtain balloons from private agencies or an individual country or pay hard earned cash in the marketplace. Michael Moore is propagandist of the year for priests who have not lifted a finger to prevent abortions by promoting birth control. The Vatican is the enemy of humantiy and their proposed merger with Church of England members is an evil Machiavellian move. 843-926-1750 Dial An Atheist Larry Carter Center

  • larry_carter_center

    HY Janks and Fate 1 said it best: HL Mencken kind of humor will disarm the evil Vatican operatives hold over people.

  • thebump

    Moore is a blubbery ignoramus.

  • whsme

    After seeing a couple of dozen expressions of nonsense and anti-Catholic bigotry:The Holy Roman Catholic Church is not the pope, the bishops, the sexism, the pedophilia, etc. It is the People of God. Michael Moore is as much “the Church” as Ratzinger. He preaches and teaches the Church’s social gospel far better and more diligently than any but perhaps one per cent of the US Catholic bishops. There are hundreds of millions of Catholics who try hard to live the gospel, to heed the Beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount), to love and serve the needs of those in need–everywhere. There are many, hundreds of millions, who live comfortable bourgeois lives, too, reflecting the zeitgeist.

  • ccnl1

    “There are hundreds of millions of Catholics who try hard to live the gospel, to heed the Beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount), to love and serve the needs of those in need–everywhere. “The taxpayers of the USA far outshine the Catholics described above.

  • coloradodog

    Catholic of the Year?The best representative of O’Reilly Catholics is Bill Donahue.

  • ccnl1

    Once again, who is Bill Donahue???

  • ccnl1

    And the strange and sad “gibberisher” aka INDENIAL, JJ, Blog-lady, The Revelator et al returns yet again…….