Friday, September 07, 2012

Benedictions, Courage, and Cooperation: Obama and the DNC vs. Romney and the RNC

I'm still trying to sort through what it means that Cardinal Dolan agreed to congregate with and give a benediction and his blessing to all those baby-killing gay marriage advocates.

At the very least, it undeniably means Obama had the courage and self-confidence to invite one of his fiercest critics from the realm of the Catholic hierarchy to share the stage with him. In my mind, it's just one more example (at the very DNC no less!) of, as Bill Clinton so eloquently noted, Obama's willingness to cooperate with those who disagree with and even criticize him on policy matters. Can you imagine the Republicans inviting one of the nuns from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious to give the benediction at their convention!?!? No? Neither can I.

Secondarily, it means fundamentalist conservative Catholics have to watch, horror-stricken I'm sure, their man-of-the-cloth playing nice with those godless heathens.

It also means that one doesn't have to have the words written down for God to be invoked by and present in the person of his official representative in America, literally, on the Democratic Party platform! (By which I mean the actual, physical stage at the DNC!)

Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, and Catholic Charity

I'm probably a bit overly attentive to this than most people are, but as a Catholic who was quite turned off by Ayn Rand's dismissiveness of Christian charity (hell, ANY charity) in her objectivist philosophy, I find it quite curious that Paul Ryan thought it fit to provide his Congressional staff with gifts of that avowed atheist's book "Atlas Shrugged" rather than a copy of the bible or Saint Augustine's "City of God" or even G.K. Chesterton's "Orthodoxy."

To me, if he absolutely had to put essential reading materials into the hands of his staff as one of his first actions with his staff and as a signal of the values he hoped to inculcate in his office culture, his decision to privilege Rand's and her godless selfishness over God and His call for self-sacrificial charity in what to push his staff to read tells me a good bit about his moral priorities, none of it all that admirable.