Taxes, tyranny and a Catholic Tea Party

Can a Catholic be a member of today’s Tea Party? There are many versions of the Tea Party in the … Continued

Can a Catholic be a member of today’s Tea Party? There are many versions of the Tea Party in the United States today but what they have in common is how they link taxation and tyranny. It may surprise some that the justification to rebel against taxation and tyranny is found in the writings of the 16th century Jesuit priest, Juan de Mariana (1536-1624). This first of the Catholic Tea Partyers, however, could teach the current movement a thing or two.

Mariana was considered a radical thinker for his times because he placed the rights of the people over those of the king. Where others had been cautious in asserting such rights, Mariana was bold. Not only was excessive taxation illegitimate, so also was government-inspired inflation. In his De Monetae Mutatione (On the Alteration of Money, 1609) Mariana called monetary devaluation “robbery” of ordinary citizens. These views would certainly please today’s Tea Party. However, Father Mariana’s most radical teaching was on the right to assassinate a tyrant in his De Rege (On Kingship, 1599). Trying to apply that theory to today’s reality should give pause to everyone in Catholic America.

Mariana wrote against the Divine Right of Kings, urging Catholics to violence against Protestant tyrants in Europe. Although censured for his radicalism, Mariana’s theory has since been applied to colonies where the rulers were not elected by the conquered peoples. The American War of Independence is perhaps the most important example, but we might also include the Irish revolt against English rule. Irish patriots cited Mariana’s theory in the Easter Rising in 1916 because the British Parliament ruled over Ireland through members elected by the English but not by the Irish themselves. The same theory applies to Puerto Rico that has ruled since 1898 by the U.S. Congress in which Puerto Rico’s citizens have no vote. In such cases, the “tyrant” is the alien, unelected government.

In contrast to these examples of long-gone kings and distant colonies, the U.S. government and President Obama today have been elected by majority vote. (In fact, Obama received the highest number of votes in U.S. history.) It should be noted, however, that some in the Tea Party spout reasons to deny legitimacy to the president’s election, including spurious doubts about where he was born. Different religion was also justification for revolt in Mariana’s theory. Here again, the Tea Party in its posters and blogs frequently claim that Mr. Obama is a Muslim – which suddenly becomes grounds of illegitimacy.

But while it is easy to dismiss the unfounded prattle of the Tea Party about Mr. Obama’s birth and religion, the more serious issue of violence remains. I do not think that the Tea Party in its various organizations and regional groupings advocates the murder of the President of the United States. However, it takes only one person and one bullet to assassinate. John Wilkes Booth, for instance, was a celebrity of the time who had dabbled in the politics of states’ rights, and shot Mr. Lincoln on the grounds that he was a tyrant. Booth is to be condemned.

The moral issue for Catholics in the Tea Party today is whether or not membership contributes to a culture of violence. Racist attitudes have been cause for violence throughout U.S. history and therefore there is a moral imperative for organizations like the Tea Party to censure and expel racists from its numbers. That responsibility, I add, is not addressed solely by a press release distancing the organization from a notorious leader. It is also important for each member to do the same, such as by tearing down racist signs at rallies.

Similarly, the issue of guns and violence to further political ends is immoral where the government is democratically elected. The Second Amendment “remedy” is un-American and against Catholic morality.

I would suggest Catholics think twice about attending a scheduled Tea Party rally in Washington to counter-pose the racially integrated United States of the “I Have a Dream” speech. The participation of the National Rifle Association at this rally organized by unelected celebrities is perplexing because it establishes a connection between armed violence and political ends.

Father Mariana would see that, but I’m not sure he would approve.

About

Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo is Professor Emeritus of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College and Distinguished Scholar of the City University of New York.
  • Climacus

    Stevens-Arroyo grudgingly concedes: “I do not think that the Tea Party in its various organizations and regional groupings advocates the murder of the President of the United States.” Talk about damning with faint praise! I do not think that the Democratic Party in its various organizations and regional groupings advocates the murder of the President of the United States, either, although one might be forgiven for drawing the wrong conclusion from rallies during the Bush Administration.The rest of the problems with this column don’t even bear noting.

  • Carstonio

    “Censure and expel racists from its numbers” is misleading because white resentment seems to be a major characteristic of the Tea Party. I’m not talking about the attention-seekers waving Obama-as-Joker signs, I’m talking about the rank and file members who claim that the government favors blacks over whites, and who use racially loaded euphemisms like “good, hard-working people” and “welfare class.” I can imagine American Catholics objecting to that resentment, since it was targeted at people of their denomination in past decades, particularly at Catholics of Irish and Italian ancestry. It wasn’t all that long ago that JFK’s Catholicism was a campaign issue, where he almost had to promise that he wouldn’t be a puppet of the Pope.

  • Athena4

    I don’t know, Mr. Stevens-Arroyo. I know someone in Nevada who is a very devout Catholic and a Teahadist. As for Climacus – I am a lefty. I went to several rallies and am a member of at least two left-leaning websites. I never, ever, EVER heard or read anyone advocating for Bush to be assasinated. Impeached, frequently. Killed? No. Just because one nutball European filmmaker made a movie does not mean that all of the American Left advocated that. Besides, Dick Cheney was the best insurance policy that one could have!

  • areyousaying

    One only need to look at Bill Donohue and the Catholic League to see how close some Catholics are to teabaggers.

  • WmarkW

    People who recognize my name from some of the other On Faith boards might remember I’m the secular conservative. I support the STATED goals of the Tea Party, because our government is currently spending us into impending inflation that will eventually explode the deficit with interest payments.That said, it concerns me a great deal when Tea Partiers take guns to things like health care reform town halls or that demonstration about the federal budget in Virginia in January. Guns have no place at a peaceful rally. Their display accomplishes nothing but implying that one might take up arms against the US if it implements policies one doesn’t like.The Tea Party likes to think of itself as quintessentially American, and the American way is to VOTE on taxes.

  • CatholicAmerican

    “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”-Edmond BurkeIt is disturbing that this article perpetuates the lies about the TEA party movement being racist. As a mother, health care professional, Catholic, and TEA party activist,it is interesting that more Catholics haven’t participated in fighting the health care policies that this dictatorship would like to have the people believe is so “fair” in its less than life promoting policy (Have you read the legislation and the ethics articles by those in this administration?)This is NOT about race- it is about the people being taxed enough- and a president whose agenda is going to change your life forever. As for the 2nd amendment, one only needs to look at the Bible for the answers associated with the points you make Mr. Stevens-Arroyo. Additionally, perhaps you should attend a TEA party before perpetuation of FALSE facts about racism- liberals like yourself always say, “walk a mile in someones shoes”. Hopefully, people like you will wake up to your government betraying you before it is too late. I would suggest going to Dr. Alan Keyes website to clarify your misrepresentation on the matter. Dr. Keyes is a true African American leader, and a president who should have been elected by Catholics and other people of faith.

  • Climacus

    Athena4, It was not uncommon to see at least a few explicit or implicit threats (how genuinely felt, we know not) against George W. Bush’s life during protests that took place while he was in office. For examples, see I don’t think anyone could seriously argue that those sentiments were characteristic of the American left generally (although in my view, anti-war rallies during the GWB years were worse in this respect than the meanest Tea Party rally I ever saw). However, Stevens-Arroyo doth protest too much, methinks. “I’m not saying Tea Partiers are a bunch of murderous thugs, BUT …” Stevens-Arroyo’s rhetorical posture is so transparent that it practically telegraphs his punchline. (“I’m not saying your mama’s fat, BUT… her high school picture was an aerial photo.”)

  • jamestheconvert

    Although censured for his radicalism…” Nuff said. Take my cues from the Holy Father. Go Tea Partiers!

  • baobabatk

    There seems to be a generalised ignorance in the USA about what makes a Muslim. A Muslim is “made” when he is born to a Muslim parent) and this is a permanent condition that cannot be changed by him defecting from Islam. He cannot be “unmade” in the eyes of Islam. Mr. Obama is a Muslim, forever. Even if he were to formally apostasise, he remains a Muslim albeit a traitor to Islam and would be liable to a “fatwah” on his head. The fact that he, the President of America, bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago convinces me that he is using “taqiyya” to hide his religion from the Americans who voted him to power. “Taqiyya” is lying or dissimulating to protect Islam and Muslims or their interests. It is an actual philosophy that is taught in Muslim schools worldwide. I prefer the attitude of the founder of my Faith, who tells us the father of all lies is satan.

  • shamrock11

    The tone of this article reflects the tone that the Democratic Party has chosen from President Obama on down to guide the coming elections in November and on into 2012. Divide and conquer!! And this from the man who promised he would be the healer, the uniter…at long last bringing the various factions in this country together. As a Catholic I “smell” the stench of prejudice all through-out this article. Mr Stevens-Arroyo has chosen to brand the Tea Party with the Democratic choice of weaponry…to divide this Nation by digging up all the old arguments based upon narrow minded bigotry and hatred. This is an admission they cannot win elections based upon this Administration’s performance. To Mr. Stevens-Arroyo I would say this is 2010, not 1810 nor even 1910..the average American voter is alot more savvy and willn not hopefully be drawn into this malestrom again of bitterness and bigotry..no matter how much ink is spilled trying to link the Tea Party to old hatreds! The Tea Party members have one thing in common and that is revulsion for the direction this Democratic Party has taken this country and are dedicated to turning the ship of state around before the whole country sinks in the ocean of debt and malfeasance.

  • areyousaying

    Hannity, O’Reilly, Donohue and US Archbishops fit right in with Soap Opera Sarah’s intolerant teabagger cousins.

  • tojby_2000

    CATHOLICAMERICAN wrote: It is disturbing that this article perpetuates the lies about the TEA party movement being racist. There can be no denying that significant numbers of TeaBaggers are racist- a cursory glance at rally signage confirms it.

  • chrisinwien

    Mr. Arroyo wears his Catholicism on his sleeve – and it’s just as thin.Aquinas allowed for armed insurrection against an unjust tyrant. Yes, even regicide.The “Divine Right of Kings” was an Enlightenment invention designed to give the monarch the powers of Leviathan. No medieval Catholic monarch claimed such rights.And so, down goes another of Mr. Arroyo’s assertions, because Catholic teaching and practice in medieval times **always** recognized the rights of the people against the king. The Spanish word for such “rights” is “fueros” — meaning, literally, “outside of” the powers of the king.I realize the Post hates Catholics (except for pliable dissenters), but why push these ignoramuses? Long live the Pope! Get rid of this dope.

  • Elohist

    To chrisinwien:Aquinas never wrote about inflation as a form of tyranny — the 12th century didn’t regularly use paper money. And since when is 1599 the Middle Ages? Arroyo gave exact dates (I looked them up!)James II of England claimed a Divine Right to rule: was he speaking for the Enlightenment or for himself in the Baroque Era? In fact, you got the facts backwards: the Enlightenment DENIED the Divine Right of Kings. The rest of your dribble is just as wildly incorrect. Maybe you should check facts before spinning slogans.

  • itstheorientation

    What a democrat!

  • enaughton27

    don’t know, Mr. Stevens-Arroyo. I know someone in Nevada who is a very devout Catholic and a Teahadist. — Seriously? When I was on the Michael Moore site around 9/11 (back when he had a comment board), there were constant calls from within and without the US for Bush’s head — literally. They wanted the guy d#ad.

  • usapdx

    ALL RCC MEMBERS SHOULD JOIN WHAT EVER PARTY THEY WANT TO WITH A OPEN MIND AND VOTE WITHOUT ANYONE TELLING THEM HOW TO VOTE EVEN THE RCC. ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS. NO RELIGION GROUP OF ANY KIND BELONG IN AMERICAN GOVERMENT FOR WE ARE A GOVERMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE.

  • diadhuit

    What??Can a Catholic be a member of “Move On Dot Org”?How about membership in the New Black Panther Party??or what about that Progressive Party that hails abortion on demand and “gay marriage”, oh yes, I remember now, the Democratic Party!Can a Catholic be part of the Democratic Party?Nope!

  • jonacameronsr

    Why not, we are human beings with thoughts and ideas?

  • PracticingCatholic

    Mr. Stevens-Arroyo lacks even a rudimentary ability to argue logically. He does a great disservice to Catholics and Tea-Party members by mentioning the sins of “Marianna” and then, when the only connection is in his imagination, connecting them with conservative/Tea-Party ideas. The Post should be ashamed to publish such thoughtless nonsense.

  • bruce18

    Dear Mr. Stevens-Arroyo,

  • johnc_80

    Sure, a Catholic can join the Tea Party, but why would they want to? And what is the Tea Party anyway besides a rudderless movement of people who are angry about things they can’t bother to educate themselves about? The Tea Party is more of a buzz phrase, so if someone Catholic, Protestant, or Jew is inclined to be part of it, they can probably describe themselves as being part of the Tea Party without being confined to a set of beliefs, because the so-called Tea Party is amorphous.

  • Catken1

    “or what about that Progressive Party that hails abortion on demand and “gay marriage”, oh yes, I remember now, the Democratic Party!Can a Catholic be part of the Democratic Party?Nope!”More shame to the Catholic Church, for its belief that pregnant women are subhuman property who do not have the right even to say no to someone else living inside their body and using their physical resources, no matter what happens to them as a result, because lifelong celibacy is required for a woman to remain a full human being. More shame to the Catholic Church, for its belief that marriage is properly defined as a mere physical matter of genitals and breeding, rather than a spiritual and emotional commitment of love and companionship. More shame to the Catholic Church, for its apparent belief that it has the right to use the secular law to impose its religious dogmas on non-Catholics’ personal lives and personal choices, while, of course, fighting any effort to have anyone else’s religious dogmas imposed on them.

  • forlornehope

    Please could Mr Stevens-Arroyo get his historical facts checked. Irishmen in 1916 could vote for members of the United Kingdom parliament in exactly the same way that the Scots, Welsh and English could vote. Women did not get the vote in the United Kingdom until after the Great War. To say that Ireland at the time was ruled by “England” (which I suspect he is conflating with the UK) is rather like saying that Texas is ruled by the United States. The British Empire did include countries that were not represented at the Westminster parliament. Ireland was not one of them.

  • pete30

    The point of the piece was to reinforce the mantra that teapartiers are crazed birthers,racists,violent extremists. Last 9/12 I attended the D.C. March and it was an amazing assembly of Americans…energized, frustrated but respectful and PEACEFUL. The 8/28/10 event is non-political and is called Restore Honor. The event will honor our heroes, heritage and future. It will explore and celebrate the personal virtues of American heroes. Honesty is one of the values that we plan to restore. Please come and see for yourself..all are welcome. We come in peace. And, yes I am a Catholic.

  • mibrooks27

    Actually, everything in this hit piece is wrong. The Tea Party, at least the people I know in that movement, are pro- gay rights and pro- choice. The Tea Party is, in fact, the last bastion of genuine Jeffersonian liberalism in the country. The sole reason it has been attacked, as far as I can see, is their opposition to free trade and job outsourcing, their advocacy of using trade tariffs, duties, fees, and punitive taxes on investments that result in job outsourcing. That apparently frightens China and India, the two headed hydra that funds both major parties, and Wall Street’s greedy myopic twits, hell bent on committing suicide.

  • MHawke

    Those Catholics who heed Matt 25:40 will likely reject The Tea Party and those that blindly follow the church leadership may be lead that way. It has ever been thus…The experience of the health care debate whereby 59,000 nuns supported health care reform in defiance of the bishops is a recent example of this eternal contradiction.

  • realitybased1

    What a ridiculously obvious phoney piece of writing this is.Historically challenged would not accurately describe this statement; rather it is an outrageous lie. Rome ruled monarchies throughout Europe for centuries and the reaction of Rome, ie Mariana and its other Jesuit cultists, was to smear the “protestants” so named because they “protested” graft, abuse, and crime in Rome which had indentured all of Europe with its false religion and blackmailing of peoples’ souls.

  • overed

    Can a Catholic be a member of today’s Tea Party?Gee, isn’t membership in one nutjob organization enough?

  • drjcarlucci

    So, Catholicism is incompatable with smaller government, lower taxes and spending, and fiscal responsibility.I learned something new about the catechism. What about bearing false witness – slandering people as racists when they aren’t?I guess to be a good Catholic you must be a Liberal.What a load.

  • JaneDoe4

    Taxes, taxes, taxes….So we should allow the tax cuts for the top earners in this country to continue? Despite the recession the number of millionaires in the US increased 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009. Is this what you would prefer?Taxes WILL NOT INCREASE for people [couples] earning $250,000 a year. If the tax cuts for the rich continue [as the republicans wish, as well as “blue dog democrats”, our deficit will increase by $678 billion dollars.Please, you people in the “low information” crowd – wake up – the Republicans are exploiting you and you’re too dumb to figure it out.

  • capsfan77

    I just wasted 5 minutes. Not sure why I read these things, but this one’s among the most illogical.

  • JaneDoe4

    The Tea Party types aren’t racist? Really? Ever check out their disgusting posters carried around by a bunch of crazed loooking nutjobs?And the ridiculous survey that said most Tea Party types are better educated and have higher incomes is such a load of crap. Look at them! Overweight, baseball caps, men with sloppy looking outfits and big pot bellies. Women with outdated hairdos, fat, sloppy clothes and carrying around misspelled, racist signs?Get real. Better educated, refined and more intelligent people don’t go around dressing like that, or pack guns to rallies or look as deranged as these nuts do.ROFLMAO

  • sameolddoc

    Catholics should worry about priestly buggery and the perverts who engage in it before they get going on things like the Tea Party

  • drjcarlucci

    Taxes, taxes, taxes….So we should allow the tax cuts for the top earners in this country to continue?————–Yes.The small business people who generate the majority of jobs fall into thsi group.If they have more $$ in hand, they will hire in order to expand their businesses.If Obama had spent 10 minutes in the private sector he would realize this basic fact. Get over the class envy.

  • rayd11

    I don’t think any intelligent, well-informed Catholic could be a Tea Party supporter. The Tea Baggers are constantly complaining against “big government” but when George W. Bush spent billions for ill-advised wars and increased our budget deficit substantially, these same people were silent. The last time I checked, the Pentagon was part of the government, and it is very big- consuming more than half of all federal tax dollars.

  • leafgreen

    “I don’t think any intelligent, well-informed Catholic could be a Tea Party supporter”I am a 21 year old Catholic who will have a Masters in Political Management from GWU before my next birthday. I read the news daily (including this rag) and I still support the Tea Party.Sort of ruins your stereotype, doesn’t it?

  • mini2

    “The moral issue for Catholics in the Tea Party today is whether or not membership contributes to a culture of violence.”The violence in the Tea-Party movement is rhetorical; the reasons for not being a Tea-Partier are ethical. They are an uncharitable lot for one thing; they are uncivil, for another. Their group since rather carefully self-selected, therefore hardly diverse enough to include the lame and halt, the poor and “sinful”; all in all, I should not think them Christian in any meaningful sense.Hence, Roman Catholics, if the movement appeals to you, join as you would the Rotary, NAACP, or YMCA.

  • docwhocuts

    Who are these people?Can you just write an article without know crap about the top?Tea party is socially liberal, fiscally conservative, somewhat libertarian in nature.Religion has no role in such an organization.If you otherwise believe in the core values of fiscal conservatism and hands off social policy (liberal) and HAPPEN TO BE catholic… then by all means join.

  • alex35332

    Tea party is socially liberal, fiscally conservative, somewhat libertarian in nature.Religion has no role in such an organization.If you otherwise believe in the core values of fiscal conservatism and hands off social policy (liberal) and HAPPEN TO BE catholic… then by all means join.POSTED BY: DOCWHOCUTS | JULY 29, 2010 3:53 PMThat describes the opposite of what I have seen. They strike me as Socially Conservative. Very pro-war and very religious.

  • fishcrow

    “I do not think that the Tea Party in its various organizations and regional groupings advocates the murder of the President of the United States.”Golly. You’re obviously a very smart guy, mister Stevens-Aroyo. You must have really wrestled with that one before commenting so carefully.

  • PSolus

    “In the mean time, it’s a shame the government has no way to retrieve the billions in fat bonuses that Wall Street paid it’s elite financial wizards out of the federal bailout money.”What about the non-elite financial wizards?And, how does on tell the difference between elite financial wizards, and non-elite financial wizards?Am I an elite commenter, or non-elite commenter?

  • Carstonio

    “They strike me as Socially Conservative. Very pro-war and very religious.”That describes my own experience with them. Their worldviews seem very authoritarian and absolutist, treating most or all issues as us-versus-them. Often this involves a siege mentality, or a self-righteous sense of being surrounded by fools and idiots. Most of the ones I’ve encountered are Menchen-like in their grumpiness but are actively hostile to the intellectualism that Menchen championed.

  • jjedif

    Anyone who is a racist, white supremacist and/or is backward-looking and anti-progress and/or is in favor of abolishing the elected, accountable public government and replacing it with an unelected, unaccountable corporate government should join the Republican-Tea Party. That, no doubt, includes many Catholics who are NOT Hispanic since race and greed for power and money ALWAYS trump religion and make religion into a hollow shell.

  • chatard

    This is what passes for a news organization these days. —Some—Most of these people who appear in this column which is supposedly “On Faith” but is actually a platform for secular progressive nonsense, are babbling idiots

  • map529

    They are both bigots, hate-filled, bunch of old white, priviliged men, who like to oppress people. It’s a perfect fit.

  • bill3

    Leafgreen, somewhere in all that schooling you brag about you should have picked up the concept that ANYTHING THAT APPLIES TO A SAMPLE SIZE OF ONE IS STATISTICALLY MEANINGLESS. That said, I’m so glad you come here and enlighten us with your brilliance. God knows you could be off managing politicians or whatever it is people with masters degrees in political management end up doing. Also, as an FYI, its not a stereotype you attempted to debunk with your post but simply an assertion by RayD11. Stereotypes are commonly held beliefs and I’d submit that the average person has no opinion whatsoever about Catholics (well informed or otherwise) joining the Tea Party.

  • thebump

    There is a commandment against bearing false witness, and while the author does not go as far as some of his fellow travelers on the hard left, nevertheless it is imperative to denounce his slander against the many millions of Catholics who support the various Tea Parties.Obama’s operatives have been engaged in a calculated, cynical strategy of lies, smears and disinformation meant to discredit anyone who dares criticize his performance or dissent from his policies. Wittingly or not, the author has signed on to this despicable campaign.Perhaps someone should ask the author when he stopped beating his dog. That would make as much sense as raising the subject of violence or racism with a Tea Party supporter.Shame on the author.

  • weh48

    It is simple. Too much taxation is finacial theft of hard working people.The TeaParty represents the spirit of the constitution and thus the law. If the law says you are speeding, Don’t like the law. With freedom, comes responsibility.What do YOU think?

  • weh48

    It is simple. Too much taxation is finacial theft of hard working people.The TeaParty represents the spirit of the constitution and thus the law.Don’t like the law. With freedom, comes responsibility.Note: The TeaPary is not a racist group they are a constitutionalists group. What do YOU think?

  • jkk1943

    It would be more interesting if the author addressed the question of whether Catholicism and Liberal Progressive Politics are compatible. Abortion on demand and government polices to force income distribution-two hallmarks of Liberalism- are diametrically opposed to Catholic Theology. Wait, the liberals will howl, isn’t income distribution an idea the Jesus would like? Hardly, Christian teaching is that charity is an individual responsibility. If the government mandates charity it fosters dependency. Liberalism taken to its logical and inevitable end results in socialism; an economic system distinctly unfriendly to religion.

  • knjincvc

    “Should Catholics join Tea Party?”Only if one of their pedophile priests/bishops OK it.A lot whining about paying federal taxes sooo …then let’s eliminate all federal taxes.Let each state tax to provide services the citizens of the state want and are willing to pay for.

  • mjcc1987

    The mortal sin here is defining Jesus as a republican and a “conservative” and bearing false witness. This is the sin that God finds an abomination, and you will pay the price for an eternity.

  • pjohn2

    From the statements from Father Mariana, one could conclude that the Roman Catholic Church is led by an unelected tyrant, the Pope. The RCC has exerted considerable control and repression over many lands over the past two centuries. So, if tyranny, immorality and corruption are the target, the Tea Party should be assailing the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church.

  • explorers100

    Come on too much taxation. This is simple. Either you support politics like the Tea Party’s which appeal to the very worst in us as in selfishness and extreme self interest or political views like the one held by Jesus Christ which appeal to the best in us.The Catholic Church in America and elsewhere however is lost at sea on this issue because the teachings of Jesus have taken the back seat to the over reaction on abortion and the peculiar and damaging tradition of celibacy. With luck over time, what the Catholic Church advocates or doesn’t advocate will become irrelevant. The sooner the better.

  • persiflage

    ‘Am I an elite commenter, or non-elite commenter?’Not a commenter at all. A declarative vs interogative non-sequitor?

  • Carstonio

    “Too much taxation is finacial theft of hard working people.”That relates to the point I’ve been making – in the context of taxes and government spending, “hard-working people” is used as code for white people, and that has been the case for 40 years.

  • fleeciewool

    If I have trouble falling asleep tonight, I’ll run out to the computer and read this article word for word.

  • larmoecurl

    leaf green “I am a 21 year old Catholic who will have a Masters in Political Management from GWU before my next birthday. I read the news daily (including this rag) and I still support the Tea Party.Sort of ruins your stereotype, doesn’t it?”Bigots come in all ages, pal.

  • chips70

    I won’t bother responding to all the anti Catholic who have posted a comment. However, I would like to present a perspective on Fr. Juan de Mariana views. In the 1500′s most taxes were collected from ordinary citizens to further the purposes of the crown and and its court. Little of the those funds made their way back to the lives of the every day person. One of the great teachings of the Catholic Church is to help the poor the and those who are unalbe to care for themselves. Not all but all but many of our taxes go to those purposes today. What concerns me about the Tea party is their single mindedness that all taxes are bad/evil and against the wishes of our founding fathers. I am not sure that if Fr. Juan de Mariana saw what our taxes went for today he would unilaterly agree that they were all bad. Also, no where in reading the history of our country or our constitution do I find that our founding fathers are against taxation. Their only gripe was about taxation without represatation. They had a clear understanding that for a society to suceed that taxation was one of those necessary “evils” that we all had to live with in moderation. Do not take my comments as an endoresment to openended taxation. I am just tied of all the TEA Partiers pretenting that Taxation is unamerican or un Christian.

  • jontomus

    I’m a linux bigot.

  • manwyze

    No Catholic can be a Democrat either. The entire democratic platform goes against all Catholic teaching, e.g. abortion, homosexual acts, fetal stem-cell research, etc. Maybe Catholics should form our own party and throw all the heathens out of office.

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