Culture Ethics Institutions Politics

Catholic and libertarian? Pope’s top adviser says they’re incompatible

cardinal maradiaga
Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa prays during a Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York in 2009. RNS photo by Gregory A. Shemitz.

WASHINGTON (RNS) Taking direct aim at libertarian policies promoted by many American conservatives, the Honduran cardinal who is one of Pope Francis’ top advisers said Tuesday (June 3) that today’s free market system is “a new idol” that is increasing inequality and excluding the poor.

cardinal maradiaga

Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa prays during a Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York in 2009. RNS photo by Gregory A. Shemitz

“This economy kills,” said Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, quoting Francis frequently in a speech delivered at a conference on Catholicism and libertarianism held a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

The pope, Maradiaga said, grew up in Argentina and “has a profound knowledge of the life of the poor.” That is why, he said, Francis continues to insist that “the elimination of the structural causes for poverty is a matter of urgency that can no longer be postponed.”

“The hungry or sick child of the poor cannot wait,” the cardinal said.

Maradiaga, who heads a kitchen cabinet of eight cardinals from around the world that Francis established to advise him shortly after his election last year, also argued that personal charity was insufficient to solve global problems.

“Solidarity is more than a few sporadic acts of generosity,” he said.

Instead, he said, solidarity with the poor, as envisioned by Catholic social teaching, calls for “dealing with the structural causes of poverty and injustice.” The cardinal stressed that the church “by no means despises the rich,” and he said Francis “is also not against the efforts of business to increase the goods of the earth.”

“The basic condition, however, is that it serves the common good,” he said.

A charismatic churchman who speaks fluent English, Maradiaga was animated in his criticism of the effects of today’s free market capitalism and he peppered his remarks with digs at economic conservatives.

Trickle-down economics, he said, is “a deception,” and he declared that the “invisible hand” of the free market — the famous theory advanced by the 18th-century philosopher Adam Smith — was instead being used as a cruel trick to exploit the poor.

Maradiaga at one point brushed aside the fierce criticism that many conservatives have leveled at Francis by noting that “many of these libertarianists do not read the social doctrine of the church.”

“But now they are trembling before the book of Piketty,” he said with a laugh, referring to the controversial best-seller on the wealth gap by the French economist Thomas Piketty. “At least it is making them think,” he added.

Maradiaga was the keynote speaker at the conference, called “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism.”

The daylong seminar waded deep into the contentious American political debate over the economy and the role of government, and it showed once again how the moral implications of that debate are playing out most vividly in the Catholic Church.

Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who chairs the House Budget Committee, is a Catholic who is also his party’s champion for budget cuts for social programs, cuts that are opposed by the church hierarchy. He is also a disciple of the libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., while not a Catholic, is the GOP’s most prominent exponent of libertarian ideas and is being widely touted as a leading candidate for his party’s presidential nomination in 2016 — a race that increasingly looks as though it will serve as a national referendum on libertarian ideas.

Tuesday’s conference was sponsored by Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, and the speakers — bishops and theologians, as well as pundits such as Mark Shields and academics like John DiIulio — were almost universally antagonistic to free market libertarianism.

Yet it was CUA’s own business school that last year sparked a controversy by accepting $1 million from the foundation of Charles Koch, a billionaire industrialist who is an influential supporter of libertarian-style policies.

Critics accused the university of taking money to promote ideas that are opposed to Catholic social teaching. University officials rebuffed those charges, joined by many bishops and conservative Catholics who have become prominent advocates of the idea that Catholicism and libertarianism can coexist or even support each other.

That notion, however, found little backing and much opposition at Tuesday’s sessions.

Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash., one of the U.S. hierarchy’s more prominent champions of Catholic social teaching, warned that growing inequality is creating “a powder keg that is as dangerous as the environmental crisis the world is facing today.”

Cupich said political leaders cannot wage this debate “from the 30,000-foot level of ideas” but must take into account the real-life implications of policies as they play out on the ground. “Reality,” he said, quoting Francis, “is greater than ideas.”


About the author

David Gibson

David Gibson is a national reporter for RNS and an award-winning religion journalist, author and filmmaker. He has written several books on Catholic topics. His latest book is on biblical artifacts: "Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery," which was also the basis of a popular CNN series.


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  • The Church should set the example by transferring its considerable wealth to a trust for the benefit the poor. It should be independently audited and administrated. Only then can we take their advice seriously, considering the History and even current behavior of the worlds largest and oldest institution.

  • And since the Popes and the Bishops have given us their unsolicited advice, I shall give mine to them. 1) Stop telling lies. 2)Trust the God that you claim to revere. 3) stop acting like the village bully. 4 )Above all, stop arrogantly claiming that the Church is more than merely an organization of men, seeking the goals devised by men, not the will/purpose of the Gods, which is ever beyond our grasp.

  • I am a Libertarian Catholic. I can tell you this, these cardinals and church officials can’t insult an economic system that has never truly existed. Especially when they come from socialist countries to begin with. (Isn’t socialism supposed to be the ultimate economic equalizer for the poor!?) How can capitalism be to blame when what they are arguing against (American Corporatism) is not even the enemy they have defined it to be? Capitalism is free of the burdensome regulations that keep the poor and little businesses down bellow the boot of corporations.

    Also, what I find ironic amongst my fellow Catholics and Christians in general is the complete disregard for God’s second greatest gift to us; free will. If God is good enough to grant us ultimate choice in our lives and affairs, all Christians should be embracing and championing personal liberty and freedom to great success or great failure alike.

  • Having sex with children, denying scientific facts, despising freedom, which god does the Catholic Church serve? Satan?

  • The Church has also condemned in the past, democracy, socialism, communism, capitalism, oligarchy and other political systems and ideologies. The fact is, there is no political system that is truly “Catholic” in its entirety, so fully libertarian Catholics would have to ignore Church teaching on somethings just as a Catholic Socialist would to be purely socialist.

  • As the Pope and his Vatican Bank are in league with the parasites draining the wealth of the world to make an elite few rich beyond the dreams of avarice to the great harm of the whole of humanity, he should shut his mouth. We know the deal. We know the plans for depopulation. We know the role the central banking elite, including your own, play in this genocide. By the way, the papacy has shown a fondness for fascism, Nazism, and genocide in the past. The robes of Peter are soaked in blood.

  • He’s right that the free market can be, and is an idol for many. By itself this says nothing about the free market. Any good thing can become an idol. Regardless, in many ways the free market is simply another application of God’s command to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

  • So let me get this straight.

    According to this adviser to the Peronist Pope it is OK to take stuff from people under the threat of violence and death as long as it furthers their agenda?


  • Well stated, Steven. How can one criticize a philosophy and practice based on completely voluntary interactions and transactions between individuals? Maradiaga and Francis both see the obscene failiings of current economic and market structures but both misattribute this to capitalism when it is nothing less than cronyism and even fascism. It is illogical to decry the wealth disparity which results from true wealth creation when all parties to a (freely engaged) transaction benefit. When the provider of a product becomes rich by satisfying the needs and desires of buyers, the latter cannot be said to be disadvantaged. It is hand of corrupt officialdom which results in injustice, for there will ever be those who bribe officials to give them an advantage and pervert the mechanism of competition.
    Religious institutions and spokesmen would better serve the disadvantaged by focussing on the evils of warmaking, which hurts not just the poor, but also serves as the mechanism to trample the freedom of all, not the least within the land of the belligerent, entrenching the position of officialdom and the military-industrial-financial complex, the epitome of crony ‘capitalism’.

  • The cardinal should be referred to as Cardinal Rodriguez, not Cardinal Maradiaga. As is usual with Spanish surnames, the father’s family name is listed first, followed by the mother’s. Rodriguez is the cardinal’s father’s family name; Maradiaga is his mother’s. It’s a mistake frequently made by Anglos.

  • This Cardinal and all religious leaders appear to need to take a step back and look at the really big picture. Violence by the state against its own people is responsible, in the 20th Century, for the deaths of more people than all of the wars of that century, according to the recently deceased Rudolph Rummel of the University of Hawaii. Between this ‘democide’ and wars, we count the deaths of some 400 Million people and the impoverishment of vastly more.
    It is not Libertarianism that is incompatible with Catholicism, it is the acceptance of governments which use or tolerate mass violence, typically deceiving their own populations with propaganda, demonizing opponents within and without.

  • @TVC,

    Let’s get this out of the way quickly.

    There is no ‘God’ to serve. The entirety of religion is a manmade enterprise and speculation about what to with scripture is itself just another version of ‘scripture’.

    All of it is nonsense.

  • When the Cardinal says that today’s free market system is “a new idol” that is increasing “inequality and excluding the poor,” it makes me want to ask: “What free market can he be talking about?” because I do not see any free market. I see only a market hobbled by state corruption and systematic roadblocks preventing the poor from improving their condition.

    I must agree with the Cardinal that “the elimination of the structural causes for poverty is a matter of urgency that can no longer be postponed.” Hey, maybe the Cardinal IS thinking what I am thinking! Let’s remove all the unjust “structures” keeping the poor in their poverty.

    First, let’s remove every special government favor, business subsidy, monopoly grant and too-big-to-fail bailout. And stop these eminent domain takings for fat cats with money to buy politicians.

    At the same time, let’s get the jackboot off the necks of the poor by LETTING them make a living. Dump those regulations against home-based businesses, against gypsy cabs and affordable babysitting. Let the street vendors flourish.

    And repeal occupational licensing laws, so people who know how to do work will be able to work; people like barbers, hairdressers, florists, undertakers, private investigators, appraisers, dog handlers, firearms instructors, massage therapists, toenail clippers, pawn brokers and fish dealers. Even doctors and nurses and lawyers can be trained and vetted without all the government interference. Let the people (the market) decide what education or certification they want from the guy that cuts their hair. Leave the state out of it. Now that is some structural change!

    I know not everyone will open up a home business, but the mere the option will free many people who now feel the stranglehold of jobs they feel they cannot leave. And even those who do stay as wage-earners will have more bargaining power. It’s a good deal, however you slice it.

  • @Locke,

    The Church has outlawed many things. In fact almost anything you can name has been vehemently outlawed or ‘sort of okay’ by this ridiculous institution:

    CHRISTMAS TREES – (Jeremiah 10:24)
    SHAVING – (Leviticus 19:27)
    CURSING – (Ephesians 5:4)
    Gossip – (Leviticus 19:16)
    Football on Saturdays (Exodus 20:8)
    Eating Lobster – (Leviticus 11:10)
    Eating Pork – (Leviticus 11:7)
    Cotton/Polyester – (Leviticus 19:19)
    Associating with women who
    Are having their Periods – (Leviticus 15:19-20)

  • Raised Catholic here…I have a relationship with God—just like anyone else.
    Been through a lot so far in this lifetime. Seen some of the best and worst of humanity up close and personal.
    I’m not afraid to say that the pope’s top adviser is completely wrong. His statements are ill-founded, emotionally-charged, baseless and down-right hypocritical.
    This is merely the cardinal’s OPINION.
    Here are some facts:
    The Vatican and U.S. Catholic Church spent nearly 180 billion dollars in 2010. Note: that is only the Vatican and the Catholic churches in the United States.
    The Vatican Bank has more than 33,000 accounts.
    The spending is secret—meaning we have no hard data (proof) of where and what the money is being spent on.
    I do know one thing—one sad thing, according to The Economist: “The molestation and rape of children by priests in America has resulted in more than $3.3 billion of settlements over the past 15 years.”
    So when Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez illogically states, “this economy kills”, I can’t help but feel even further detached from the church.
    Don’t get me wrong, they do a great deal of good and billions are spent on aid; however, when they start down this “free market is a bad thing” road…or “Adam Smith tricked poor people”, it shows a complete and utter lack of understanding of sound, non-Keynesian economics.
    Adam Smith was a brilliant man who challenged the absurd, coercive, collectivist status quo which dominated during his day.
    That is precisely why the cardinal smeared him.
    Not because he “tricked” people; but because he enlightened people.
    Hench the major movement we know as the Scottish Enlightenment.

  • God bless you Randy England.
    That was beautifully stated.
    If you ever happen to run for office…you’ve got my vote!

  • @Samuel Johnston,

    You said, “Trust the God you claim to revere”

    That is the problem. There is very likely no god up there.
    So you have handed the power to those who make the claims based on what THEY DECIDE is the meaning of scripture because THEY SAID SO:

    “bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me.” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)

    Context – Parable of the Minas.
    Meaning – “Do what I say because I said so”

  • God is just a word.
    God could mean a multitude of things (quantum mechanics, your favorite sports team, climaxing during love-making, that feeling of being connected to nature, a medium-rare filet mignon, a baby’s laugh, Deepak Chopra, Oprah, Tom Brokaw, Rush Limbaugh, Coleslaw, I taut I taw a putty tat).

  • Max, what are you trying to do?
    Convince people that what they’re experiencing…or have experienced isn’t real?
    That seems childish in and of itself.
    But hey, it’s a free world (sort of), so have at it!
    Convert away.

  • As the existence of politicians like Paul Ryan and people like the right-wing commenters in this very thread prove, Catholicism and libertarianism certainly ARE compatible. As a fan of neither ideology, I say they are welcome to one another.

  • @J.,

    Thanks for acknowledging my full right to preach the truth.
    Thanks for knowing that my rights are fully protected regarding my debunking for ‘Jesus Christ’.

    The idea that people are waiting for pontiffs and cardinals to tell grown-ups how to think and what to think should make you squirm.

    This is 2014. Not 1420!

  • @J,

    Your desperate attempts to force a god into existence by defining him differently doesn’t make it real.

    And the cesspool of primitive immorality at the heart of religion should make you run away from it without further ado.

    “I came to earth as my own son and arranged for his torture and bloody death all for your benefit.” – Yawheh

    Oh? Is that all?

    “And now you owe me.” – Yahweh


  • @SixHertz,

    It takes no faith to ‘not believe’ in God.

    Where is God? No place.
    Oh. Okay. Then we’re done!

    Does it take faith to NOT BELIEVE in Leprechauns?

  • “the elimination of the structural causes for poverty is a matter of urgency that can no longer be postponed.”

    What does this have to do with Christianity? Or Catholicism in particular.
    The one guaranteed silver bullet which always kills poverty – (It has never failed) – is THE EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN.

    Yet that is exactly what the church is against. It can’t stand women being in control of their bodies, their sexuality or their marriages.

    Religion *claims* to be the remedy for poverty but in every region where religion is strong, including the USA, poverty goes up:
    Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, South America, Libya, Egypt, Texas!

    But where religion is dead or dying those cultures are booming:
    Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, New Zealand, Holland..etc.

    Religion is not the remedy. It is the problem.

  • Why do religions in our world get involved in politics at all?? Jesus said his kingdom was “no part of this world ” (John 18:36) and he always preached the good news of that heavenly kingdom or government as the ONLY hope for mankind (Matthew 24:14 ). That kingdom will soon put an end to all of man’s kingdoms (governments, per Daniel 2:44), and bring wondrous blessings to mankind (Isaiah 11:1-9; Revelation 21:1-4). 😀

  • Frankly the Catholic Church and libertarians can both go jump in a lake for all I care. They are both equally useless. They used to be good buddies, now they are at an impasse. Pardon me if I don’t care, To heck with them both.

    Libertarians are all about making rule of law up for the highest bidder. Wealth makes right, there is no responsibility in exercising power, make the world safe for oligarchy. Government should be too small to function except to attack personal liberties, and promote rampant corruption. People who get elected on the promise of doing nothing of value while in government. A political dumping ground for racists, paranoids, isolationists and political dead weight.

    The hypocritical Catholic Church with its vast wealth and political influence is equally pernicious and worthless. The list of things worthy of objection from them is way too long for one post.

  • Samuel, as well as preaching the “Good news of God’s kingdom” (Matthew 24:14) as the only hope for mankind since it will be the ONLY source of peace for mankind (Daniel 2:44; Psalm 34:10,11; Isaiah 11:1-9): Revelation 21:1-4).

  • Steven, I am a 100% theocrat, and I don’t belong to any political party and never have (59 years young). Basically, I am for God’s rule instead of man’s rule. I believe that man has tried every type of government on his own and as the wise man, Solomon, wrote, “man has dominated over man to his own injury.” (Ecclesiastes 8;9). In addition, God gives us this advice: “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man who can bring no salvation. (Psalm 146:3)

    Yes, I totally agree with you that God gave us free will to make choices about lifestyles and beliefs. But in addition to that, he gave us his Word, the Bible, to learn about he personality and marvelous qualities of love (foremost), justice, wisdom and power. The Bible also shows his dealings with people (especially the Israelites whom he continually and continually forgave), showing his mercy and compassion in spite of our imperfect state. But, besides that, he provides us with guidelines, principles and commandments that, IF we APPLY them in our lives, bring happiness to husbands, wives, children, young, old, all mankind.

    Since I am a theocrat, I do not vote for government officials remain (neutral when it comes to politics and wars. My allegiance is to God’s kingdom or heavenly government which Jesus mostly preached about in the Gospels. I pay my taxes, respect authority, obey man’s law as long as they do not conflict with God’s law (Acts 5:29); then I must obey God as ruler rather than man. So I pay Caesar’s things to Caesar and God’s things to God (Mark 12:17).

    It was prophecied by Daniel (at Daniel 2:44) that God’s kingdom would put an end to all of man’s kingdoms and rule for all time. That is where my focus is on.. God’s kingdom; and upon Jesus’ return (looks like it will be soon considering the status of our planet and fulfillment of many (not all) Bible prophecies (2 Timothy 3:1-5; Luke 21:5-19; Matthew 24:3-14), everyone will need to exercise their God-given free will and make a choice for either (1) man’s kingdoms (which are doomed); or (2) God’s kingdom, which will put an end to ALL suffering of mankind and provide marvelous and stupendous blessings to all nations in earth (Psalm 37:10,11; Isaiah 11:1-10; Revelation 21:1-4). I hope that MANY will make the right choice!!!

    My daughter is an Independent but does not belong to any religion…free will at work.

  • Without “God” or the idea of a god, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution have no “teeth” to keep the government at least a little bit at bay. If our rights are not backed and originating from a higher power that cannot be touched or conquered, then our rights originate from the government. Where rights originate, they can be taken away. Inalienable and God-given rights were the terms used for a reason, without this the government can giveth and taketh as they please when it comes to our rights. Well except for the current administration who also usurp the system of checks and balances to pass their agenda, but I think you should see the point.
    And atheism is a “religion” that requires “faith” because you wouldn’t even be on a website named “religion news” advocating for atheism if it weren’t, or if you didn’t feel the need to have your views justified and forced upon others. No person here is seeking out atheists and trying to convert them, so folllow your own words and just don’t believe. Which to do so would mean that you would also have to forego explaining yourself and trying to convert others. To truly not believe, your actions would be to do nothing and to not even acknowledge that what other people believe even exists.

  • You have no idea what Libertarianism is. Read these books and then come back to your comment. The Road to Serfdom: F. A. Hayek and Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson. The individualism, free will, free enterprise, the ability for small companies to freely compete with large corporations, small government, keeping lobbyists from owning the government, keeping crony Capitalism and Socialism out of our government, more freedom to the individual, getting rid of the collectivism and thought that holds down the individual, etc etc are the key components for Libertarianism. So what you are saying by attacking Libertarians is that you are for governmental and corporate subjugation. You claim Libertarians are exactly what they abhor.

  • Ayn Rand would hate to be called libertarian, and Paul Ryan is a poor example of an objectivist.
    Judge Andrew Napolitano would’ve been a good guest speaker for this event.

  • I’d be willing to bet five dollars that you own or have owned a fedora/trilby. It’s “atheists” like you who give normal well-adjusted sane people like us non-theists a bad name.

  • Let’s not pretend that true free markets have ever existed, especially since the dawn of state institutions, including the early Church, which was a de facto superstate for almost 1000 years and did not, like every other state entity allow for free markets. Taxes and state interventions backed by the threat of coercion, are inherently distorted markets.

    Do not blame freedom and free markets for the outcomes produced by distorted markets. I wonder how the Pope feels about anrcho-capitalism or market anarchism… shouldn’t we value the non-material things as well? Say the common good, abundance, increased knowledge and happiness of our fellow human beings?

    I mean I’m a libertarian/anarcho leaning catholic…. and I’ve spent the last six years studying history and getting a masters in education, not because I’m going to experience increases/gains in monetary based/material wealth, but hopefully a wealth of a different kind, not that there is anything wrong with money.

    We need to rethink applications of the free market, its about choices and value systems. What do you value?

    Do we make this world as it is, or accept the world as it is and feel powerless in its inevitability? Are we not tools of God’s will as I taught children from the catechism and was taught myself?

    If an all powerful God wanted the human race to solve its problems through coercion and violence, instead of free will, wouldn’t a divine omnipotence and omnipresence be best suited to coordinate mortal movements, like chess pieces, for the desired outcome?

    I for one believe God so loved us that we have the gift of free will, including the choice in creating our own value system, hopefully with divine guidance. Maybe we should trust that freedom, and not resort to looking to coercion and governments (which have maimed, lied, enslaved and murdered for power, or threatened as much…) to solve our problems and direct our moral codes and be responsible for the welfare of our fellow human beings.
    A society is only as good as the individuals who comprise it and act within it.

    Just a thought… still really like Pope Francis

  • Yes I do know what it is and how people are using the term today.Certainly as defined by the conservatives who claim to be libertarians at present. What they allegedly abhor and what they work towards are the same thing.

    There is a glaring hole in its philosophy you can drive an oil tanker through. What you think are supporting and extolling small businesses are used by bigger businesses to restrict markets and strangle small companies. Lack of regulation, weak (“Small”) central government all allow large actors to manipulate the system at the expense of others and representative government. Libertarianism supports crony capitalism even when they say they aren’t.

    They also ignore the role of the federal government in the role of enforcing civil liberties. They ignore the efforts of private actors towards discrimination. Every politician who claims to be libertarian has been deadweight. Doing nothing of value and proud of it.

  • Why are Paul Ryan and Rand Paul being presented as libertarians? They wouldn’t know libertarianism if it punched them in the face. Perhaps the misconception here isn’t that libertarianism is incompatible with the Catholic religion, but instead is centered around the fact that you’ve never even MET a libertarian!

  • Hear hear! Most of the people listed aren’t even remotely libertarian. I’ll give Julie Borowski and Milton Friedman a pass, though they border more on libertarian-lite than anything.

  • Because they are trying to brand their gilded age economic policies, deregulation, corporate welfare, and bigotry as allegedly extolling individualism.

    Calling such things libertarian gets all the ignorant “useful idiots” coming out of the woodwork screaming “statist” at everyone.

  • You owe Max and me $5

    It is real sane to believe in:
    -talking reptiles
    -virgin births
    -ritual cannibalism
    -taking advice on marriage from people forbidden to marry


  • It should be obvious on its face that no government, business philosophy or social engineering program will fix this historical, worldwide problem. They will only succeed in relatively small, temporary fixes only but will prove unable to address the systemic issues in masse. The problem is much deeper than that – the human heart. Fix that and a watch the world change.

  • Hi Max,
    I could have said, “As a start towards rationality- try honesty and humility.” Now it would be nice if people would quit conjuring up idols to satisfy their feelings of purposelessness, insecurity, and fear of death, but most will not.
    Look at the success of Mormonism- a new religion started in the Nineteenth Century, well after the “Age of Reason”.

  • Hi Fran,
    Quoting the Bible as authority is pointless. I prefer the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM
    “O Thou who burn’st in Heart for those who burn In Hell, whose fires thyself shall feed in turn, How long be crying, ‘Mercy on them, God!’
    Why, who art Thou to teach, and He to learn?” “If I myself upon a looser Creed Have loosely strung the Jewel of Good deed, Let this one thing for my Atonement plead: That One for Two I never did misread.”

  • Too many poor countries have had corrupt or inept leaders. There is no
    such thing as a true Socialist State that was successful.
    In fact, the Catholic Church teaches that pure socialism is evil.
    One only has to look at the former USSR along with Castro’s Cuba, Venezuela,
    North Korea, and other similar nations that have created a poor class.
    Even Communist China was able to greatly reduce the number of poor
    by allowing Capitalism. The Church receives money to thrive not by
    Socialist leaning nations but by those who allow Capitalism. The Church
    succeeds just like nations by allowing freedom, liberty, and the opportunities
    for both material and spiritual growth.

  • I got 2 things to say. 1. As a libertarian, I would appreciate it if the media STOP calling Rand Paul a libertarian. Senator Paul himself has said NUMEROUS times that he is NOT a libertarian. 2nd. It is hillarious to see a religious leader claim that it’s church and a political-moral philosophy that says “T it immoral to initiate violence against your fellow man and his property” to be incompatible. Considering the fact that the Church CLAIMS to hold to the Ten Commandments, which two of them teach that one should NOT steal or kill. (two things the institutions that this particular priest advocates for commit on a daily basis). If libertarianism is incompatible with Catholicism, it’s because Catholicism has FORSAKEN the Teachings of Christ..

  • Yet one can look at the standard of living and social programs in the rest of the developed world and say with a straight face, “Americans are doing something screwy”.

    A government which ignores or actively attacks the least of us is one incapable of doing right for the best of us. Conservative economic/social policies are closer to China or Russia than Switzerland and Canada. oligarchy, government to the highest bidder, sham representation, attacks on civil liberties, these are both the “libertarian” mindset and what goes on in a banana republic.

  • I believe the priest is missing the point of libertarian ideals. Free market means everyone is able to succeed. Now as far as the poor, we have help in place to assist, but the free market system is in place to not hinder capital mainly. America is a great example of a short term plan for allowing success to thrive in business while blessing the poor through charity. America is known for its charitable contributions. The world giving index in 2011 placed America first in charitable donations. I believe that Christ has called us as individuals to follow him and as a collective to bless the body.

    I respect the Catholic faith as I do my Protestant faith, but I find it troubling that in this time of great wealth and great poverty, we see that we should give up our ability to run economic policy as best as possible to give out charity to the poor. If the church would stop building million dollar buildings and spend more time feeding and clothing the poor, as they did in the 50s, then we wouldn’t have this problem. Govt healthcare, economic spending and much more can be traced back to people turning from the church and focusing on Gov’t to help. America’s main trouble is our advance in policing the world, not charity donations and help unto the poor. We help the poor quite well. We do not allow the middle class much room to grow, which affects our economy greatly. Our main problem is allowing the ultra rich to have an upper hand which is not a libertarian ideal, but a fascist one. Libertarianism is furthermore a means to protect freedom, not purely to define economic policy. On a simple note, if America didn’t spend billions overseas we could take care of more people home, but it seems this priest wants us to take care of everyone with the rest of the world, which I think we all ready do quite well.

  • Pope John Paul I stated: “It is a mistake to state that political, economic, and social liberation coincide with salvation in Jesus Christ”.

  • Well said! The Cardinal should look at the great “success” of socialism in his Honduras. Dirt floors in the embassy row restaurants. A hillside of shacks and trash are the view from the top hotels in the capital city.

  • All true. This is why John Locke, the single greatest influence behind the American Revolution and Constitution, and fervent proponent of religiious toleration and “separation of church and state,” was repelled by atheism — because a supreme and transcendent God is the only thing that can logically iunderpin the idea of fundamental human equality. “The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all.” –Locke, “A Letter Concerning Toleration,” 1689.

  • True. If the RCC is going it constantly harp on wealth redistribution and the demonization of capitalism and free enterprise, then, really, put your money
    where your pious mouth is and open the vaults, sell what is valuable and give
    to the poor.
    In other words walk the walk.

  • When did the Objectivists take over Libertarianism? Libertarianism includes other strains of thought like Agorism and Minarchism.

  • Everyone understands that the free market doesn’t exist in any economy currently? The only thing that currently exists are varying degrees of a “command economy.” Yes, even in the United States.
    The Pope has called more than once for a “poor church for the poor.” When will we see his plan?

  • “he world giving index in 2011 placed America first in charitable donations. ”

    What this stat misses is that the need for receiving charity was much higher than in many developed nations. We have a healthcare system which impoverishes the working to middle class. Education, the great eraser of class distinctions is becoming more of a luxury than the necessity it is. This is due to people who believe unfettered actions of large businesses are of greater concern for government efforts than promoting the best for the most.

    The infrastructure which reinforced the middle class is being eroded. One can not expect people of power and wealth to behave properly on their own. Their benefit is not the benefit of the nation. When loosed from regulation, restraint and control, the laws of unintended consequences take hold. Ex. Loosening rules concerning corporate officers as shareholders has lead to the total loss of the notion of corporate “duty of care” and fiduciary responsibilities. What was supposed to give greater incentives to corporate leaders to run a company well has in fact given them impetus to run them into the ground at personal profit.

    Churches have NEVER been adequate in the role of helping the poor in its entire history. In places where they are the sole form of aid to the destitute, they fail miserably. There are far too many strings attached to such efforts. It is not really the goal of religious organizations. Charity is always a means to an end for them. A way to gather souls and justify tithing.

    “America’s main trouble is our advance in policing the world, not charity donations and help unto the poor”

    Actually that has always been a boon to our economy. At least it was back in the day when production meant something in a conflict. For a nation policing the world, our military is pitifully smaller now than it was during more prosperous times. Isolationism never benefited the nation. One cannot promote trade with the rest of the world unless we are helping make it a safer one as well.

  • So Paul Ryan read some Ayn Rand. A lot of people have read ‘Mein Kampf’, too, but they are hardly Hitler disciples and Nazi philosophers because of it. This was a hit piece.

  • Just the ones running for office under such banners.

    Civil libertarianism, the idea that the rights of the individual (not corporations, but actual live humans) have greater priority than most government interests is far different than what people calling themselves “libertarians” say.

    The irony for most libertarians is that civil libertarianism all but requires active strong government power to be exercised.

  • Around the time people started paying attention to Ron Paul.

    He completely trashed the concept of libertarianism in favor of neo-confederacy, isolationism, theocratic nonsense, and trying to rehabilitate the reputations of rabid racists. But at the congressional level he was electable. Kentucky is 47% in adult literacy.

  • Of course none of that reference to Locke is what Chad meant.

    Chad is saying our government is beholden to God, his version of it. You are actually undermining it with a reference to Locke. Do you even believe your own statements or do you just throw up apologia whenever it suits you?

    The whole concept of separation of church and state is that God never enters the picture with government beyond, “to each their own”. Locke supported such separation because it is the only way to ensure religious tolerance. Secularism is not atheism. Far from it.

    Yes separation of church and state came from Christians like Roger Williams and William Penn. But not from Christians whose concepts you or Chad respect. People who did not follow orthodoxies, who abhorred injecting God’s name into civil matters and did not ever try to tie public policy to being “godly”.

    Locke is an interesting reference. His religious belief allowed him to undermine and contradict much of his own political theories by going out of his way to make exception to atheists. You are correct, but you also pointed out a key flaw in taking Locke seriously as the sole basis of our religious freedoms. It reduces your argument to mere name dropping for effect.

    Separation of church and state and religious tolerance do not really work if one does not also accept atheists as well. This is why modern interpretations of religious freedoms drop that little peccadillo of Locke’s writings.

  • There seems to be some confusion in the article (or maybe that’s the catholic’s confusion) about Libertarianism and (economic) Liberalism… Because they clearly aren’t the same – while all Libertarianism requires some degree of Economic Liberalism there are infinite possible graduations…

    Libertarianism is not mainly about economy – it is all about not letting the State to own it’s people, as property to do whatever it desires with the human lives. It’s a expression of individual free will not being override by totalitarian coletivism…

  • “in 2005, Ryan paid fealty to Rand in a speech he gave to the Atlas Society, the Washington-based think tank devoted to keeping Rand’s “objectivist” philosophy alive. He credited her with inspiring his interest in public service, saying, “[T]he reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand”

    Feel free to slink off in embarrassment.

  • The churches wealth belongs to all. it is used to help and benefit the poor and rich alike.
    You Samuel J, believe lies.

  • The Church was the most powerful force in the Western world for well over a Millennium and it created little, if any, material wealth to share. It did, however,
    erase the Greek language and its wealth of written knowledge, sanction slavery, serfdom, wars, and commit a thousand other crimes against humanity. It suppressed science in favor of magic, murdered many thousands of poor women as witches etc., ad infinitum. Now this profoundly dishonest man, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, fails to acknowledge Church history, its wealth obtained by fraud, or its moral corruption, and wants to give us advice and moral guidance. These men have no shame. They are sociopaths.

  • If you’re going to quote Scripture at least get your speaker right. Your quote is NOT Jesus’ words, but the rich man’s words.

  • It has nothing to do with the year Max.

    You gotta get your head around the bigger picture of what they are trying to do. you obviously have no experience with it which is part of your problem.

    Curious in all your ‘wisdom’ that you would even bother with an article like this or a comment board.

  • @Chad,

    You said, “atheism is a religion that requires faith because you wouldn’t be on a website named Religion News advocating for atheism if it weren’t”

    Atheism is not a faith. Is ‘OFF’ a TV channel?
    Besides, I’m not advocating for Atheism.

    I am advocating for the separation of church and state.
    And part of that argument is to LOUDLY announce my existence to religious people such as you.

    I’m an Atheist and I vote.

    Sure, in addition it is a matter of fact that Religion is immoral and a fully man made enterprise.
    Believe in God if you want – but it is damaging to mental health, freedom, economic fairness and every other positive thing humans attempt to do.

  • max, I learned that women should be able to choose, control their bodies, sexuality and marriage from being catholic.

  • @Shawnie5,

    In an atmosphere of overwhelming
    and OVERBEARING religiosity
    the Atheist is the balance; the rational voice in the room.

    John Locke would not approve of a majority Catholic Supreme Court lording over our current democracy with a bunch of religious edicts.
    And he would not approve of the current
    Right Wing CHRISTIAN Big Money Oligarchy
    protected and promoted by Fox News Media.

    In almost every instance where the word ‘FASCIST’ is used – you can replace it with CHRISTIAN.

    JOHN LOCKE would understand that such a powerful movement is treasonous to liberty.

  • And? He’s not an Ayn Rand disciple. Nor is he a libertarian. Neither would claim Paul Ryan’s politics… He read some of her work…he doesn’t “follow” Ayn Rand or her philosophy, nor are his politics libertarian. I’m not embarrassed to know the difference. Are you embarrassed that you don’t?

  • @el Toro,

    You are obviously not a Catholic woman or you would never utter such nonsense.

  • Are you dense or just used to making silly excuses?

    Ryan was praising Ayn Rand, in a meeting of people whose organization is about praising Rand’s Objectionism, and saying she inspired him politically.

    From the same article I liked to and you didn’t bother to read

    “Ryan not only tried to get all of the interns in his congressional office to read Rand’s writing, he also gave copies of her novel “Atlas Shrugged” to his staff as Christmas presents, as he told the Weekly Standard in 2003.”

    He’s a Randoid. Your denial is ridiculous. Whether he is a “real libertarian” or not is subjective and nothing I have to care about. But Ryan calls himself one. As do the “Paulies” and the “Tea Party” rank and file. They are the people the Cardinal is addressing when referring to libertarians.

  • @el toro,

    Why is an Atheist like me commenting when some religious figure preaches some foolish dictates to the faithful?


    Witches were silent.
    How did that work for them?

  • @Larry,

    The ‘Rich man’s’ words?
    No. The lesson of the parable is “Obey me, or you will die.”

    🙁 🙁 🙁

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their king and EXECUTE THEM IN FRONT OF ME. ” — JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    🙁 🙁 🙁

    “The Master will cut him to pieces” — JESUS (Luke 12)

    🙁 🙁 🙁

    Fear and Threats = evidence that religion is a lie.

  • @Larry: My point, of course, is not to advocate Locke’s particular perspective or recomendations but to point out that our founders and most of the enlightenment thinkers who informed them understood perfectly well the source of the belief in fundamental human equality and inherent rights — no matter what their own private religious beliefs may have been. And many honest atheists even today, being well versed in history and philosophy, still understand this. An example is the German philosopher and sociologist Jurgen Habermas, who has expressed deep concern about the future of liberty and human rights in Europe in the wake of the increasing abandonment of–indeed, ignorance of–their theological source.

  • Everything is going perfectly according to plan, Rome’s plan. The book, The Keys of this Blood, (circa 1990) written by Jesuit Scholar and Vatican Insider, Malachi Martin, clearly outlines the Papacy’s plan for world domination. To the discerning eye, it has been eerily effective. Malachi Martin showed that there were three powers vying for control of the New World Order: Communism, Capitalism, and Catholicism. he predicted that catholicism will be the victor.

    Uniting with Capitalism, the Papacy was successful in eliminating one competitor, Communism. Time magazine reported on that phenomenon in its February 24, 1992 cover Story: HOLY ALLIANCE-How Reagan and the Pope conspired to assist Poland’s Solidarity Movement and hasten the collapse of Communism. Now there are two: Capitalism and Catholicism.

    The Roman church, in it’s usually craftily deceptive way, uses the term Libertarianism rather than Capitalism in expressing her dislike and disdain of a system, despite its flaws, has brought more opportunity, economic fairness, and human development than any the world has ever known. This is the essence of Francis’ objective which is so eloquently expressed by his emissary, Cardinal Maradiaga.To use the word Capitalism would appear to be too overly antagonistic and offensive to a system the papacy so hates. Besides, Libertanism achieves one more of her coveted goals in her strategy for world domination, division.

    Catholicism, unlike Capitalism has brought more agony, deprivation, and human suffering than any system known to humanity. I am referring to the Dark Ages. This will inevitably be the result of the Papacy at the head of the New World Order. Her dogmas, doctrines, and principles that has left us tat legacy has not changed; and should she gain vantage ground, which she is orchestrating, humanity will once again brought into a horrific state of affairs.

    Pope John Paul’s Encyclical, Dies Domini (Holy Sunday, circa 1998) lays out the plan for One World Religion. Pope Benedict followed on to lay out the Church’s plan for the One World Government in His Encyclical of June 29th, 2009, Caritas Veritate. The current Pope, Francis, is moving in step with the church’s grand plan to regain control of the world, undo all that Protestantism has done, and institute a regime more sinister than any the world has ever seen. His public persona is indeed gathering in the whole world.

    America and her capitalistic ideals are in a cosmic battle with the Roman Papacy and her long standing foundational principles of deprivation of civil and religious liberties. Problem is, most of America, including its non-Catholic leadership, is totally oblivious to Rome’s determined plan. Like a chameleon she in blending in with the landscape, waiting for her time to strike and ultimately take her self-appointed position as leader of the New World Order: One World Religion, One World Government. Go for more information.

  • @Larry. There is no reply option below your comment, so I’ll respond to your latest here. The Catholic Church’s misunderstanding of libertarianism doesn’t make Paul Ryan a Rand disciple or a libertarian. You have a political axe to grind, but mischaracterization won’t prove your case against Randians, objectivism, libertarianism, or “Paulies” or “Tea Party” either for that matter. It doesn’t matter what he calls himself, or what you, or the Catholic Church call him–his politics are not Ayn Rand or libertarianism.

  • Sorry, I also read Malachi Martin’s book, and it advocated/claimed nothing of the sort. If the Catholic Church desires one world religion, it will be because it contains the fullness of truth, and everyone accepts it with open arms. Something she knows is not right around the corner. But this is what Fr. Martin wanted, not some crazy religion foisted on the planet.

    Sorry adventfalsehood, but your understanding of Church history is about on par with that of a taliban first grader. Please grow up and do your homework. You can start with: Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church by H.W. Crocker III.

    As for this cardinal and his economic statements, they carry about as much weight as anyone else’s on this page so stop getting worked up. Nothing has rescued more people from poverty than good old capitalism, and the sooner more princes of the church realize this, the better off the world will be.

  • God, his Word, the Bible, and his rightful rule over mankind on earth will be vindicated as truth. In addition, his name will be sanctified, and the prayer, “your kingdom come, your will be done, as in heaven, also upon earth” will come to pass. And the Bible does not teach the hellfire doctrine you referred to, a doctrine of false religion.

  • Apparently you don’t know that the Catholic Church does more for the poor than (so far as I know) any other private organization on earth. It’s the majority of the Church’s budget. Catholic schools, hospitals, food aid, etc., have been supporting the poor for 2,000 years.

  • The Catholic Church doesn’t follow the levitical laws. We don’t take every word of the Bible literally. Somebody seems to be confusing us with Protestants.

  • Your denials are about as dishonest and ridiculous as they can get.

    I am not “proving a case against the Randoids”. I am calling you out for being such a bad liar about Paul Ryan’s part as one. The evidence is overwhelming,

    ““I grew up reading Ayn Rand, and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are and what my beliefs are. It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff.” ”
    -Paul Ryan

    He doesn’t follow Ayn Rand? Yeah, right. I have a bridge to sell you as well.

  • I’m not lying. You can “call me out”, call me a liar, use any number of snide remarks. But it still won’t turn him into one. He read some Ayn Rand–that does not a “disciple” make.

  • You were taking a jab at atheism along with Chad and name dropping Locke to do it. As if your brand of religious belief is absolutely necessary for democratic freedoms.

    Chad’s point was hogwash. Our freedom is no more attributable to God than one saying grace at a meal is necessary for the existence of food on the table.

    Even Locke with his antipathy towards atheism believed God and government do not mix. Chad’s idea that a particular political party or policy is in line with God’s will is utterly repugnant to the concept of religious tolerance and freedom.

    Freedom of religion requires separation of church and state. Chad’s declaration that our rights must be backed by the will of God really undermines the notion that he understands what that separation means. Your use of quotes around separation of church and states shows similar disconnect.

    Whatever you may feel about atheism, religious freedom involves recognizing their beliefs are under the same protection of the 1st Amendment as your own.

  • Hi Otto,
    “If the Catholic Church desires one world religion, it will be because it contains the fullness of truth, and everyone accepts it with open arms.”
    The Catholic Church has NEVER recognized that humans have the (God given?) right to have personal judgment (view of) religion. Whenever they are in a position to dictate behavior, the only “choice ” they allow is “join us or the devil to burn in hell”.
    That is what they mean by “free will”. Free Will is tyranny by a false name, and the Church, not God is the tyrant.
    Sometimes I am sympathetic with the folks who claim religion is poison.

    “your understanding of Church history is about on par with that of a taliban first grader.” Otto, I suggest that you look at the History of the term Propaganda.

  • @Sheila,

    Jesus goes out of his way
    to include Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy:

    “…Follow the commands, Do not commit adultery,
    Do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness,

    ——- 🙁 DEFRAUD NOT…” (Mark 10:19)

    But The 10 Commandments do not include DEFRAUDING.
    Jesus INSTEAD
    is pointing to a law found only in Leviticus:

    🙁 .. “Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor,” (Lev. 19:13)

    And MORE:

    …”for it is said, ‘do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Luke 4:12)

    Jesus is commanding they follow Deuteronomy,

    “Do not put the LORD your God to the test” (Deut. 6:16)

    So Jesus is not limiting “the Commands”
    to the 10 Commandments, but has a broader list
    involving Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy
    and other laws.

    The end points are not known. 🙁


    Jesus scolds the hypocritical Pharisees who do not kill their unruly children as God’s law commands:

    Jesus said, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? …. ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ (Matthew 15:3).

    So again, Jesus is invoking the laws of Moses
    “Kill any child who curses their father or mother.”(Leviticus 20:9) (Exodus 21:17)

    Historically, when there has been any confusion
    about JESUS, the default position of the church
    has been clear:

    “….Execute them” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)

  • @Sheila,

    “AIDs is Bad but condoms are worse” – The Vatican 1987-2010

    And as a result 20 million people died

    So poor African women who showed up at Catholic Charities were DENIED the one remedy which would have saved their lives:

    WOMEN BEGGED the nuns and the doctors!
    The answer was NO!
    These women only wanted protection from AIDS!

    20 MILLION PEOPLE died.
    Shame on the Catholic ‘missionaries’ – For shame!

  • Kindly refrain from telling me what and how I think. “Name-dropping” is for people like you who do not grasp the concepts at issue and must appeal to others. My “particular brand” of religion or politics is neither here nor there. Nor was it so for Locke or the founders or the other enlightenment thinkers. This is all about the source of human dignity and rights that the west holds dear and what it is that makes them “inalienable.”

    Nobody has argued that your beliefs SHOULDN’T have protection under the law. My actual point flew directly over your head, as did Chad’s. You have the shallowest understanding of natural rights imaginable. Go yap and snap at someone else’s ankle.

  • Anytime you see someone blathering about the so-called “Dark Ages,” you know you’re dealing with someone whose exploration of history began and ended with their outdated 10th grade textbook.

  • Hi Shawie5,
    Well, I would call the Feudal Centuries dominated by the Catholic Church dark indeed. Knowledge was scarce, books were chained, travel and trade discouraged, and superstition flourished. Worst of all, options for ordinary men were few. Church Cathedrals were covered with pictures and icons mainly because ordinary men could not read. I am so grateful to be FREE of the domination of those voluntarily ignorant and evil, power grasping Churchmen.
    A common fraud was to get some rich noble to give the Church productive land
    (including the people on the land) in exchange for a chapel where monks prayed for the soul of the nobleman 24hours a day and forever. Naturally when the poor old superstitious fool died, the Church promptly, put the monks to other work, forgot the contract, but kept the land.

  • When had knowledge NOT been scarce? When had superstition NOT flourished? When were opportunities greater for “ordinary men” and when did greater numbers of them know how to read? None of these were conditions particular to the middle ages. But at least what the middle ages DID bring was a chance for “ordinary men” to increase their land’s production without having imperial taxation remove almost all of it and without the threat of enslavement or imperial military conscription removing them from their lands and families. And many advancements were made which greatly improved life for these “ordinary people” but naturally don’t make as glamorous a show as the ruins of impressive ancient buildings and temples built from the blood and sweat of slaves who were considered less than human.

    You will virtually never hear actual historians today talk about “dark ages” unless they’re referring to a period about which not much is known.

  • It wasn’t all that long ago Catholics were torturing and burning witches and cutting out the tongues of heretics… I presume they had just as much of God’s input then as they do now…

  • Not so fast, we do know that it is individual Catholics, not the Church, which finances the efforts to help the poor. The Church creates no wealth to redistribute. The RCC distributes the funds which are voluntarily donated by the pewsitters who have earned and created wealth under a system which does not confiscate all of it…yet.
    The RCC does not distribute from anything from its historical core holdings of real estate, art, jewels, etc. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

  • As a Catholic Libertarian, I agree with you completely. In addition, today’s U.S. economy is NOT true Capitalism as it was intended to function; it is CRONY Capitalism, which as you know as a Libertarian, is in opposition to a Libertarian true free market economy – one that is not controlled by a few elite companies but one that promotes the “American Dream,” which is dying rapidly under our current Marxist leader.

  • I got your point and Chad’s. It was a direct attack on atheists with the implication that Christian religious beliefs are all but a requirement to the efficacy of Constitutional freedoms. Typical giving praise where it is unwarranted.

    “This is all about the source of human dignity and rights that the west holds dear and what it is that makes them “inalienable.””

    You don’t even believe that statement. Your “source of human dignity and rights” is always cited by you as an example to deny such things. To excuse attacks on human dignity.

    “The Bible is such a book of lies and contradictions there is no knowing which part to believe or whether any…
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.
    -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

    “The path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction.” [George Washington, 1789, responding to clergy complaints that the Constitution lacked mention of Jesus Christ]

    The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institutions may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances, be made subservient to the vilest of purposes.
    -George Washington


  • How many references to Paul Ryan’s love of things Rand-y do you need before you admit that he admired her? Give me a break.

    Frankly I found Ayn Rand’s personal life more interesting than anything she put to print. Her philosophy reads like Bizzaro World Marxism and was a terrible writer of prose. But she possessed enough sheer chutzpah to engage in an affair with a married man many many years her junior and browbeat the respective cuckolded spouses to accept it as the natural course of things. Evil, selfish but audacious as heck!

  • “When had knowledge NOT been scarce?”

    When there was a widespread adopted language used for transmitting knowledge and information across long distances. Like what Greek, Arabic, Latin, Persian, Turkic and Chinese did for their respective empires. Destruction of empires tended to cause disruption of those networks. Making knowledge harder to transmit and scarcer.

    It was not until the rise of cheap printing that vernacular languages became truly useful for transmitting knowledge across long distances.

  • Not a single one of your quotes is relevant to my point, Larry. You don’t get it. I have no expectation that you’re going to get it either, because it requires a panoramic view of history and philosophy which can only be acquired through broadly based education and is not to be found on the propaganda sites that tell you what to think. So find something else to post about and stop wasting all of our time.

  • Otto,
    I don’t know to which book you are referring; but here is the cover of the one mentioned: THE KEYS OF THIS BLOOD. Pope John Paul 11 versus Russia and the West for control of the New World Order. The title page reads: The Keys of this Blood: The struggle for world domination between Pope John Paul 11, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Capitalist West. The Introduction begins with these words: “Willing or not, ready or not, we are all involved in an all-out, no-holds-barred, three-way global competition. Most of us are not competitors, however. We are the stakes. For the competition is about who will establish the first one-world system of government that has ever existed in the society of nations. It is about who will hold and wield the dual power of authority and control over each of us as individuals and over all of us together as a community; over the entire six billion people expected by demographers to inhabit the earth by early in the third millennium.

    The competition is all-out because, now that it has started, there is no way it can be called off.

    No holds are barred because, once the competition has been decided, the world and all that’s in it- our way of life as individuals and as citizens of the nations; our families and our jobs; our trade and commerce and money; our education systems and our religions and our cultures; even the badges of our national identity, which most of us have always taken for granted -all will have been powerfully and radically altered forever.. No one can be exempted from its effects. No sector of our lives will remain untouched.

    The competition began and continues as a three-way affair because that is the number of rivals with sufficient resources to establish and maintain a new world order.

    Nobody who is acquainted with the plans of these three rivals has any doubt that only one of them can win. Each expects the other two to be overwhelmed and swallowed up in the coming maelstrom of change.That being the case, it would appear inescapable that their competition will end up as a confrontation”.

    You mentioned that the Roman Catholic church has ‘the fullness of truth’. You obviously do not believe in the Bible or you would never make such a statement. Of course, it’s understandable, since you may be Roman Catholic and was taught along with other heresies. You therefore may not know that Malachi Martin’s analysis is eerily close to what the Bible predicts. The major difference, the Bible predicts that Jesus Christ, and not the Papacy, will be the ultimate victor. You cannot discern earthly things, so there is no point in sharing spiritual things with you. But I will, anyway.

  • You think there were no vernacular languages in the Roman Empire?

    And only a tiny percentage of those who lived under the Roman Empire were able to read or speak the “widepread adopted language.” About like it was in the middle ages.

  • I’m no Christian, but you HAVE misread this. 19:27 is the last verse of a parable, and the speaker is the King in the parable, as stated.

    However, it is perfectly plain to me that these books were written by professional holy men to be read by others of their guild. We get in a lot of trouble when non-initiates try to read them and act upon them.

    Who, you might ask, are these initiates? They are hard to find; the Church consolidated its power by excommunicating and killing them.

  • You can repeat the same references over and over, and it still won’t make him a Randian. He may have taken interest in her economic viewpoints, but he did not follow her philosophy. His voting record, his proposals…he’s not Randian or libertarian, no matter how hard you try to link him to either one.

  • Yes, Max…I apologize for being a small minded person who would need a lot of faith to believe that we all came from nothing. “Poof” ….we exist by accident. Some big bang occurred and “oops” here we are billions or trillions of years later. Accidental life!! Now THAT is a miracle that takes a lot of faith!

  • I’m a Catholic woman and I concur with what el toro said!! The atheist pigs who use women for their bodies….exploit them through pornography….fool them into thinking that abortions and cancer causing birth control pills are good for them, are the ones who are damaging to mental and physical health, and freedom of women!

  • you are nonsense mad max! you make less sense with every post you write. What sort of silly remark is your post?

  • @Julia and @El Toro,

    So you do not claim ownership of your bodies? They are for a higher purpose?
    Great. Freedom wasn’t meant for you anyway.

    We will now be instituting a new law which says the state can come and take your kidneys and give them to save people who need them. We won’t be waiting for you to die – we will just take your organs if we want.

    Ask yourself: if you won’t support that law to surrender ownership of your body to the state why do you support a law which claims ownership over women’s bodies by the church?

    You prove that religion is a cancer to freedom and democracy.

  • @Freeman,

    There is no ‘safe’ interpretation of Luke 19:27.

    The Parable of the Minas is an injunction to kill disobedient slaves. That is the primary lesson of the parable.

    The Bible doesn’t come with a ‘user’s manual’.
    The Bible CLAIMS TO BE the user’s manual.

  • You missed the point entirely. Common languages were the primary pipeline for spreading knowledge across large distances in the days before widespread literacy and cheap printing.

    Empires were fairly good at spreading ideas to a wide swath of people using common languages. When empires fell, the need to speak the common language is gone. The communication/education networks dry up. Knowledge becomes harder to disseminate.

    Of course everything changed with mechanical type.

  • Care to cite that quote above, or did you just make it up? I don’t think the Church has EVER held the opinion that condoms are worse than AIDS. Plus, the Catholic Church is perfectly okay with people using condoms, and sex as an act of love that need not be specifically for the act of procreation.

    Also, the church is not responsible for the AIDS epidemic in Africa. They were there trying to help along with MANY OTHER organizations.

    If the Church had no condoms to give out, it was because that wasn’t part of their mission – however short-sighted that may have been, and if none of those MANY OTHER organizations didn’t have condoms to hand out then what’s the deal with that?

  • Exactly. And most haters don’t seem to know that the Church also runs at a deficit, primarily because they are helping the poor and extending a kind hand worldwide.

    They like to talk about all the wealth they have in the form of “art,” as if curating the greatest art collection in the world is of no importance whatsoever, or as if selling all that art and “spreading the wealth” would solve anything for more than a minute or two.

    The pope and his advisors talk about changing the economic infrastructure of the world to help build a SUSTAINABLE process for eliminating suffering and inequality. It’s less about money than it is about the attitudes of people, and governments, and corporations.

    Of course, most of the highest heads of governments and corporations could care less about the suffering in the world – all they care about is amassing their own fortune at the expense of anything and everything that might get in their way.

    Then a bunch of them get together at Bohemian Grove and pray to the owl god Moloch every year, and have a ceremony called “The Cremation of Care,” so we know whose side THEY are on.

  • The Catholic Church does not deny scientific facts (it embraces them with the same healthy skepticism that scientists do), or despise freedom of any kind. And there are sexual predators in every institution and every walk-of-life. The Church does not condone anything like that. You sound like you’re either living in the dark ages, or you just despise the church. Either way, you’re incorrect in your statements.

  • Ancient texts written by men are not “policy” of the church. Let’s not mix up Old Testament sexism with Church policy here.

    Atheists who like to cherry-pick parts of the Bible to make the church itself seem either evil or ridiculous make me laugh.

    Do you think the church is against playing Football on Saturdays?

    Gossip is a pretty good thing to teach as fundamentally wrong, though. 🙂

    Also, the church does not OUTLAW anything.

  • The church did not show a fondness for Naziism. Hitler was an atheist, and he murdered Catholic monks. Catholics assisted in helping Jews escape, even setting up an “underground railroad” type system to help get people to safety.

    Oh, and have fun with those Alex Jones videos.

  • And here’s where the atheists start with their bullying techniques and ad-hominem attacks. Hate much, Max?

  • Again, you’re making misguided claims about the church. You really ought to read a bible with footnotes rather than cherry-picking weird OT teachings from websites to support your rabidly hateful anti-religious viewpoint.

  • So what are you sayin?? Square peg in a round hole, do like you did to my brothers and sisters force it in, You sick Fks!

  • @Matt,

    There is no reason to believe God is real.
    It is all man made nonsense and it shows.

    THAT is the point!

    you said, “Atheists love to cherry pick”

    Absolutely not. Atheists love to READ THE WHOLE BIBLE – that is how we became atheists!

    There is nothing but ugly, dirty rotten cherries in the Bible. You won’t find one that is perfectly clean.

  • I hate religion. Not Christians!
    I was a Christian for 44 YEARS!

    Good grief – get over your persecution complex and grow up a bit!
    Your beliefs are based on nothing but scribblings of terrified, ancient barbarians who thought the world was flat.

    It is 2014 for goodness sake! Wake up out of this religious brainwash!

  • Julia,

    No need to apologize. Try reading a science book instead of
    a jumble of contradictory scribblings of a bunch of superstitious nee-do-wells from the bronze age!

  • The VIrgin Mary stated at Fatima in 1917 that the smoke of Satan had entered the Vatican, but that does not mean everyone or eveything in it is Satanic. I’m curious though…what scientific facts do you think that the Church denies? I’m not aware of any.

  • ‘These women only wanted protection from AIDS!’
    Actually what they wanted protection from was a culture where rape was viewed by men as an acceptable practice. I’m afraid we don’t conquer evil in the world by making concessions to it. Handing out condoms is tacit approval for the social attitudes that prevaled in Africa and the Catholic Church was 100% right to stand firm.

    On another note, why are you an Atheist Max?

  • The arrogance of internet Atheism does make me lol. Tell me Max, what is your refutation of Aquinas Five Ways? I bet it’s good.

  • It’s great when people parrot back the New York Times definition of Libertarianism instead of, you know, looking into it for themselves. Libertarianism is really very simple, it is the NAP (non-aggression principle) which states that initiating violence against someone (anyone) is always evil no matter who does it. This is an obvious truth that any rational person accepts. Libertarians always apply this principle to any human interaction. People who are not libertarians all agree that at some point violence is necessary.

  • Larry, there is essentially no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. The Obama administration has funnelled more cash to it’s corporate sponsors than the Bush administration, which in turn funnelled more to them than the Clinton administration, which funnelled more to them than Bush mk1 and so on. Maybe it’s time to put your Stockholm Syndrome aside and critically examine what is going on here? Because the idea that destroying civil liberties is a ‘libertarian’ idea is a terrifying illustration of how spectacularly uninformed you are. Also, the US just IS a banana republic. It was once quite a libertarian place, since most of those who founded it leaned very much in that direction.

  • Sola scriptura sounds impressive up to the point one realises that there is absolutely nothing useful to be said for it, and the current 33,000+ ‘correct’ interpretations of protestantism show exactly how it works out in practice. Can you explain something for me though, as I would really like to hear a convincing argument for it? If the Bible is the sole authority, on what basis do you reject the books of the Bible which were removed from it by Martin Luther? Since there appears to be no Biblical basis for doing so, your own stated belief in Biblical authority demands that you should be using the original Catholic Bible, not a version changed by a man.

  • @Zero,

    You said, “…we don’t conquer evil in the world by making concessions to it.”

    Then why are you a Christian? You are told by Jesus to forgive evil (as in allow, permit, encourage) every time.
    “Forgive not 7 times but 7 times 70.” – Jesus

    The only people you are allowed to execute
    are the enemies of the Lord. Jesus preaches it in the Parable of the Minas:

    “bring to me those enemies of mine
    who would not have me as their King, execute them in front of me.” – Jesus

  • @Zero,

    You said, “Handing out condoms is tacit approval…”

    That is Christian fascist nonsense.

  • @Zero,

    The “arrogance of Internet Atheism”? Nonsense.

    The arrogance is in the Theist – internet or otherwise – who claims to KNOW which God is the true god and who claims to KNOW what that god wants.

    Insolent nonsense.

  • Sad. They should have gone to the other charity mission, the one run by the atheists. I’m sure Dawkins and Hitchens themselves would have handed out the condoms, during their brake from the soup kitchen.

    I’m not being sarcastic to defend or excuse the wrong the Church has done and may still do; but I’m also very aware of the good it does, and the many services it has provided to millions in need – having seen that myself.

    Disclaimer: Though not a militant atheist, but of Catholic background, I define myself as non-religious