January 30, 2015

Controversial Koch brothers give big (again) to Catholic University

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(RNS) Businessman David Koch arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala Benefit on May 5, 2014. For use with RNS-KOCH-CATHOLICS, transmitted Jan. 30, 2015. Reuters photo by Carlo Allegri. * Eds: This Reuters photo can ONLY be used with RNS-KOCH-CATHOLICS.

(RNS) Businessman David Koch arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala Benefit on May 5, 2014. For use with RNS-KOCH-CATHOLICS, transmitted Jan. 30, 2015. Reuters photo by Carlo Allegri. * Eds: This Reuters photo can ONLY be used with RNS-KOCH-CATHOLICS.

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(RNS) Many Catholics — and some would say Pope Francis — say the kind of libertarian free-market capitalism pushed by the billionaire Koch brothers runs against Catholic teaching.

  • Critics of the CUA gift say it is ironic that the school would seek such massive support from a social liberal when Catholic charities are not allowed to take any money from any person or group who supports abortion rights or gay rights.

    They take such money all the time.

    The question here, as everywhere, is whether the Koch foundations are in the business of pushing either abortion or “gay rights” and whether there were effective conditions on the donations. The Koch brothers have tended to be generically libertarian (which, by the way, is inconsistent with any sort of ‘anti-discrimination’ law, no matter who the clientele are supposed to be. However, that is not the undiluted object of their donations (which include, for example, PBS science programs) nor can one say that every personal opinion either brother has is a source of particular efforts at promotion on their part. My mother had lots of opinions, but all of her involvement in local politics had to do with one limited set of civic issues.

    What’s more, the complainers do not distinguish between economics as a social research discipline (i.e. positive social science), the normative questions which guide social research, and the principles which evaluate the costs and benefits associated with various ways of proceeding (informed by economics as a discipline). Come to think of it, the people usually prating about Catholic Social Teaching (TM) seldom do this either. The Pope himself has been known (in his too numerous to count off-the-cuff press interviews) to use nonsense terms derived from polemical literature. Very little teaching going on there.

  • Larry

    “have tended to be generically libertarian (which, by the way, is inconsistent with any sort of ‘anti-discrimination’ law, no matter who the clientele are supposed to be. ”

    Which is why libertarianism is such a pile of nonsense. It amounts to putting lipstick on the pig of “might makes right” and pretending one has a right to persecute and attack others under the color of law.

    It completely undermines the purpose of civil liberties by pretending to extol them. Civil liberties are the protection of those outside the political majority from having their basic (what are supposed to be inalienable) rights voted away by more powerful political majority.

    If the school wants the money, they are welcomed to whatever implications it brings either positive or negative. Accepting or rejecting money from a public figure means in the eyes of the public accepting or rejecting the views of said figure.

  • Which is why libertarianism is such a pile of nonsense. It amounts to putting lipstick on the pig of “might makes right” and pretending one has a right to persecute and attack others under the color of law.

    He says while hiring lawyers to harass merchants minding their own business.

    Larry, in the adult world, there is only one sort of person who fancies they are ‘persecuted’ or ‘attacked’ by someone else’s refusal to do business with them (for all the reasons people have): narcissistic jerks.

  • Larry

    Minding their own business? Try breaking laws, committing tortious acts and tying up open commerce with their petty uncivil conduct

    In the adult world, if an act is bad in of itself, claiming a religious privilege to it doesn’t make it any more acceptable. Refusing business based on personal prejudices isn’t any acceptable behavior whether you claim it is in the name of God or just because you “don’t like their kind” .

  • Chris

    These hefty donations from the Koch hydra are little more than attempts to sway the public’s image of them as cold-blooded plutocrats, and that’s why people view their “charity” with skepticism.

    A donation made to a religious cause or charity means nothing when it comes from them; money is their god.

  • Chris,

    It is much worse than you seem to realize.

    They donate to the Catholic Church because religion is part of how dictatorships happen.

    The Koch Brothers want the same thing the Church does.

    To crush Separation of Church and State. Once that happens, the Church and the State will be one and profits will be limitless.

    The Koch Brothers are at war with liberals.
    That is their religion.

    There are not in it for money, but for power to reshape America into their vision of a Christian Happy Land – and in their profound ignorance and their big money they will create a dictatorship.

    Last year’s Hobby Lobby case is a tiny microcosm of what America must prepare for. We are heading into a Theocracy.

    This is why I say “Quit religion while you are still free to do so”.
    Religion and money are the most dangerous combination.

    ____
    AM
    For

  • Jonathan

    Yes. The Koch Brothers are part of the vast world-wide conspiracy whereby the secret cabal surrounding the Papacy will one day rule the world, instituting a massive theocracy (the Pope himself is just a puppet, everyone knows). They will take away your porn, your drugs, and make you read the Bible *all the time*. Frankly, given their success so far, your best bet is to load up and head for a bunker in the mountains. The Papal flag (which you have to admit is pretty cool looking) will be flying from the Capital dome any day now.

  • Fran

    It won’t make any difference whatsoever how much $$$$ they contribute since God’s kingdom or heavenly government will soon put an end to all human forms of rule and rule in their stead (Daniel 2:44), as well as all of mankind’s corrupt, selfish and greedy systems (including economic ones). Amen when that happens!!

  • Fran

    Max,

    The only true “theocracy” is a government or rule by God. Man’s governments will never be a theocracy (even though they try to convince us otherwise!) since they want to rule instead of God and “do their own thing” (they really prefer this!!) and do what is best in their own eyes (and not in God’s eyes), for their own selfish interests and not for the best interests of the masses.

    Church and State should be separate and apart, but they have been “buds” for ages! Eventually, State shall turn on Church; it will be verrrrrry interesting to see the result of that clash!!!

  • Charles Freeman

    They do not fund just Catholic groups. They fund any organizations that are moving along the same religious and politically conservative path. The Kock brothers do fund many religious institution projects, academic departments, and political-religious fellow-traveler groups. Their goal has been expressed many times by their corporate and non-profit agencies. They simply want everyone to recognize their religious objectives and fall in line. There’s no mystery here. The Supreme Court has made it easy for them and others like them. The Court has recognized corporations as people in the Citizens United decision. The Kock brothers and their wealthy cohorts can and will monetarily overwhelm the rest of us. They own the Congress. There are no stoppers for their money directed votes. Sarcasm about what these billionaires have accomplished to our detriment and their plans for the future is just sad.

  • Charles Freeman

    People have been saying that the end times are just arund the corner for two millenia. So far, score the inerrant Bible with a zero for prediction. There have been events interpreted as signs of the Armageddon found in every age by the people willing to believe fairy stories. Inerrant Bible — Nuts!

  • Fran

    The end of this wicked era will come about at God’s timeline, not man’s. Of course, man always wants things done yesterday; nothing new there!

    Jesus provided the signs of when we humans would know that it was near (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21).

    A most important sign is the preaching of the good news of God’s Kingdom (Daniel 2:44) as the only hope for man on earth before the end comes (Matthew 24:14.

    People need to know what the future holds. The fulfillment of these signs is being realized now, and will be “completely” fulfilled (Revelation 21:3,4) just like other Bible prophecies in the past have come true.

  • Jack

    Charles, you make no sense.

    Yes, people have spent the last two millennia saying the end is nigh…..The fact that everything is still here obviously proves they were wrong.

    But how does the fact that they were wrong prove the Bible is wrong?

    One thing has nothing to do with the other.

  • Sally Giroux

    WWJD?

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