The Gospel Truth

Papal Economics 101 | August 7, 2013

Many of you probably have seen the bogus interview between MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio that made the rounds in April on the Internet.

I  was over-joyed after reading the transcript of the so-called interview that never aired.

Then it dawned on me, it was too good to be true.

Some research proved that was the case.

Chris Matthews 2011 Shankbone.JPG

We probably ate together at the Cross

Given the state of mind of most of the Catholic Church’s hierarchy, I could not even fathom that our new pope thought exactly as I did on big government, the poor and our duties as Christians.

So even though these words did not actually emanate from Pope Francis’ lips, they still ring true and anyone who reads them can learn what is wrong with the world and why millions of the poor are the way they are.

In fact this phantom interview should be required reading for all who preach about poverty, economics and government.

One of my serious pet peeves is how dense so many of our Catholic hierarchy are on the matter of jobs, economics and even poverty.

I remember as a child in the fourth or fifth grade, the nuns would tell us that Papal infallibility did not apply to secular subjects, such as math, history, and science.

In other words the popes could be as ignorant on logarithms or quantum physics as any high school sophomore.

This goes doubly for the bishops of the Church on economics.

Perhaps the dismal science is just too complicated or worldly for them.

Every time our Archbishop Richard Carlson tries to muster the troops against an ObamaCare that will force Catholic compliance with insurance that offers birth control, I turn a deaf ear because he does not understand the real issue.

Archbishop Carlson at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Just one question

I would love to ask him if Obama would grant the Church an exemption or a waiver would he still support the odious health care bill?

I fear that his answer would be in the affirmative.

What the archbishop may fail to understand is that there is more at stake than religious freedom.

ObamaCare is just a large government welfare program, designed to confiscate the wealth of those who produce and give it to the under-productive members of our society that have latched their livelihoods to the federal government hand-outs and take-aways.

There can be no real religious freedom without economic freedom.

People have to be allowed to keep as much of their money as they can so they can support the churches and synagogues of their choice.

That’s what freedom is all about.

This Leviathan in Washington has gotten so large and so greedy that it lusts for every dollar that is not nailed down.

So to illustrate the truth of economics, I have chosen to excerpt several statements that phony interview put in the pope’s mouth.

Pope Francis on Economics and Poverty

In Europe first and now in America , elected men have taken it upon themselves…to create an atmosphere of dependency.

For their own selfish need to increase their own personal power.

Governments are very good at creating poverty where there is no reason to explain it.

I believe poverty is part of the natural condition and that is bad enough.

But my task is to prevent the aggravation of this condition.

If it were only true

The ideology that adds to the poverty must be denounced.

I have a saying for myself, No more poverty than God originally intended in the fall from Grace.

Certainly God would direct the new Pope to have more compassion for these newly created poor.

And if there is any social justice in the Church, the new Pope would have a stern word for the creators of the new situation.

No buyer, or seller either, enters into any exchange against his will. It is the nature of the economy. Man is frail, and he makes mistakes and sometimes is greedy and they enter into exchanges that don’t help them.

Sometimes they become poor, but they made choices.

There is nothing the Church can do except try to educate people to become good consumers. Chiefly, for me, it is an education solution on that side.

And the Church has more schools around the globe than any other faith. I say teach the people to save their souls, and also teach them how not to become poor. And how not to allow the government to trick them into poverty.

I blame the self-serving politicians.

It really is the politicians’ fault

Friend, (Matthews) you are a socialist and your friends are socialists. And you are the reason for 70 years of misery in Russia, and Europe now is seizing in pain from your policies.

You believe in the redistribution of wealth and it makes entire populations poor. You want to nationalize everything and bring every human endeavor under your control.

You destroy a man’s  incentive to take care of his very own family, a crime against nature and nature’s God.

You want social control over populations and incrementally you are making everything against the law.

Together this ideology creates more poverty today than all the corporations you vilify have in the history of man.

People being dominated by socialists need to know we don’t all have to be poor. Some poverty is part of our being cast out of the Garden of Eden.

Poverty and original sin

But look at the empire of dependency created by Hugo Chavez.

Promising them, tricking them into worship of government and his very own person.

Giving them fish but not allowing them to fish.

If a fisherman does develop a talent today in Latin America, he is castigated and his catch stolen by the socialists.

Sure, there is voluntary poverty that is virtuous. Many understood the nobility of making themselves independent of the fleeting things of earth. They are distractions from our pursuit of the truth.

I only oppose involuntary poverty.

I think people agree, through their economic choices that some of their money goes to build these. Capital building should be voluntary.

Only when the politician confiscates their wealth, to build government factories, government schools, government hospitals.

Teach a man to fish

Only then do the people not agree. Money given voluntarily is legitimate to build with. Money coerced from the people is not legitimate to build with, because it isn’t given voluntarily.

The best government was created by the Americans, in which they admitted that people are endowed by their creator and most of the administration of society was left to the relationship between God and man.

However, slowly that has been eroded by the atheists on the left, who would replace man’s relationship with God with a new relationship with an opportunist like Hugo Chavez.

Friend, I’ve been studying America this month, before the Pope chose to resign. You must not have fear at speaking the truth. It  is for the salvation of souls and the recovery of Thomas Jefferson’s people.

America must not fall to the new painted communism. Even the low  information voters don’t want America to be sold into slavery. I pray they cast out the money changers in their government!

What manner of  government is there that condones sin?

Abomination upon abomination–giving monies for the murder of children, giving monies for  the murder of the elderly!

Your government has been infiltrated by men of sin.

A utopian ide?

You have created a new type of state, the so-called welfare state. This has happened in order to respond to the  needs of the politically created poor.

However, intervening directly is depriving the original society of its responsibility. Families escape responsibility in the welfare state.

And churches even escape responsibility. People stop giving to charity and see every poor person as the government’s problem.

I am a Catholic priest and there are no poor for me to take care of— they are made permanently poor and the property of the politicians.

The social  assistance state leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic thinking than by real concern for helping people.

Needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them who act as neighbors and parish members to those in need.  (Subsidiarity)

People are kept poor so they will vote for the very candidates that made them poor.

(Ed.’s note: I would add–just look at what the Democrats have done to the black communities that continue to vote for them!)

Realism in religion and economic!  What a splendid combination!

Just look what Lyndon Johnson’s  war on poverty did!

A war on the poor

All the government spending in the world cannot eliminate poverty.

It is a utopian idea because the only way it will work is if government leveled the wealth of their citizens making everyone (except themselves) poor.

No inequality–just the equality of the bread line.

17 trillion spent on welfare since then and the poor are still with us.

They have become just what the Democrats want–a permanent underclass.

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7 Comments »

  1. All true, but who wrote or said it if not the Pope?

    Comment by Rudy Oetting — August 7, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

  2. BB, I found it difficult to determine what the Pope really said and what they said he said. But the whole damn thing is gov’t takeover of health care and now Common Core–feds taking over the school curriculum. They’ve got us by the balls and as Jesus said, “the poor you will always have with you”. They give the rich somewhere to give their money so they can make it to heaven. It’s harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.The whole darn mess stinks to high heaven. Pax.

    Comment by Mary B. Lachney — August 7, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

    • Mary: The whole article in my mind is what I wish he had said. But in truth he did not directly say any of it. It was a contriived article by some website I am not familiar. BB

      ________________________________

      Comment by Bill Borst — August 9, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

  3. Professor!

    I reject the welding-at-the-hip of atheism to socialism. That was a scare-tactic of the cold war to enlist the aid of the pulpits in the rupturing of our national duck in the fight against communism which probably would have died of fouling it’s own nest without that Cold War.

    I have a friend who was raised RC. He was educated in the parochial schools. We were once discussing communism and he said “what is communism, really?” and I gave him the simple definition “from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs” text-book answer. He thought a bit and said “that’s my religion”. I think he graduated ~1970.

    Now he’s “fallen away”. I recently renewed my relationship with him. He still feels that communism is the way things ought to be. I haven’t discussed it with him yet enough to know why he fell away from his faith. Possibly part of it was this artificially created dichotomy between “atheistic communism” and “xian capitalism”. He’s told a socioeconomic system which seems appealing to him is “atheistic” so he runs to atheism ( or at least away from his church ) because he’s “informed” that only atheists adhere to that socio-economic model.

    The leftists have picked up the scraps left behind by the conservatives and stitched together a fine Monster. They animate it with lightning bolts of tax revenues. IT’S ALIVE!

    But a true “atheist” is a rationalist and realizes that free-market capitalism is the only practical socio-economic model because it doesn’t ignore human nature. To the extent it creates a society which works for human progress beyond what would happen naturally it attempts to harness the “sin” of greed to the oxcart of the greater good and this has been found to work admirably when left alone to work.

    Simply because the leftists chose to subsume the mantle of “atheist” does not mean they should be allowed to get away with it. Also the same for liberalism. They claim they are liberals but a quick examination of their actions belies this. They want to clamp down with government controls on everything it’s possible to control and there’s nothing “liberal” about that. The word is related to the word liberty just as the term arms in the 2nd Amendment is related to the word army.

    The leftists subsume the title of protectors of the opposite of faith but yet their model of a society depends on the faith that someday all men will become angelic, the condition necessary for communism to work. So they are not atheists because they believe in a religion that says men can be perfected into moral angels or complete and utter altruists.

    Maybe they can and someday something will be put in the drinking water and all will be capable of rendering according to their abilities and taking only their needs. Meanwhile, I’ll stick with the realistic system which can harness sin and turn it to some measure of virtue.

    But I am a liberal in that I believe all things must be allowed where you can’t prove overwhelmingly they cause some danger to public safety/health/morals. I am “atheist” and adeist too.

    Perhaps there needs to be another term created—anti-theist and anti-deist. Those would apply better to the communist leftists because they are against the competing faith, not simply without faith.

    The clarification I need is this: do you think the poor underclass are created only by exerting suasion against those who otherwise would engage themselves in some sort of productive endeavor or do you believe it’s created by encouraging those few who won’t or can’t to reproduce or enabling them to reproduce those who are similarly inclined?

    I believe it’s the latter. I don’t believe you can seduce those who are not constituted to live off the government-thieved wealth of others to do so–or not for long anyway. But the offspring of those who are constituted to live off the filched wealth of others will undoubtedly be more inclined to do so.

    That’s why I despair of any policy-related solution to the situation in which we now find ourselves—a permanent underclass of looters. I don’t believe they can be changed by presenting them with different choices because for too many generations we watered a garden-of-life without weeding it first. You’re not going to turn that around until you have some system of attrition for that sort of person where their reproductive efforts are not subsidized, and you’re never going to get that in a nation where the mantra always is ” in a rich nation like this it’s a shame to…” ( fill in the blank ).

    I think that’s where I may differ from a lot of people concerning themselves with these issues now—there’s still the “no bad boys, only bad situations” mentality.

    But there are bad families. We’ve all known them in our communities.

    And now they, like the post-fall-from-grace poor to whom you refer, will be always with us. But we enriched our own population in them and cannot blame putative supernatural beings.

    Comment by James Stenzel — August 8, 2013 @ 12:48 am

  4. When we have a system that breaks God’s economic Laws, we find that prosperity is lessened and the middle class shrinks. Good economics is also moral, so let’s have a look at some of our enshrined policies and see if they are moral or break God’s Laws.
    The income tax, or for that matter, all taxes on labor, punish work. Now work is a good. Why would we punish it? In the beginning, taxes on labor were sold through envy. The government said they were only going after the “rich.” After all, why should that guy have more than you? (Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.) So envy won the day and soon we were all being taxed on our income – punished for working. Chronic unemployment and underemployment was the result. The cure? “We” needed to support those in need – the poor. But the poor class was growing so fast that the government was running our of money. So we increased the taxes on labor to raise the money. That produced greater penalties for working and so unemployment grew. A vicious cycle began.
    When a person labors, whether turning a wrench or running a global enterprise, that person is exchanging something of his own, his labor, for money. Therefore the wages of his labor belong to him. If I take some of it, it is theft. And if the government takes some of it, it is theft. It belongs to its owner, not to me or to the community. (Thou shalt not steal.) The ends (supporting the poor) do not justify the means (theft). And anyway, the poor are poor primarily because of the penalties for work inherent in taxes on labor, especially the income tax.
    I could go on, but suffice it to say that the same is true of capital.
    God actually knew what He was doing when He gave us the rules we are to follow. We ignore them at our peril.

    Comment by John — August 9, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

    • Dear John:

      While I do agree with you that economics has to have a strong moral fiber to it what we have been witnessing in our government and the Catholic faith is a complete ignorance or misunderstanding of its basic “natural laws,” as well as a connivance of many to subvert human beings to their political, economic and ultimately moral control through the misappropriation of wealth and the isolation of the private sector with regard to profit, loss, job creation and prosperity. Governments do not cause prosperity. They hinder it.

      You mentioned taxes. Some taxes are necessary for the basic protective and utilitarian functions of society, but governments should never be the spouse, parent and guarantor of whatever is good and desirable in life. This is true because they will fail every time. And besides our tax structure is based on the Communist manifesto of Marx and Engels, published in 1848. The progressive tax, the estate tax, the public school and the Federal Reserve Bank are all Marxists ideas. Just look at what they have done to our society. So for the Church and the pope to fail to mention the corruption of government andits false material promises is a big part of our quandary.

      ________________________________

      Comment by Bill Borst — August 9, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

      • Bill, thanks for the reply. I feel that our worsening economic system has a number of spillover effects. I believe that as you take people’s property from them, you are clearly taking their freedom away. And when you take their freedom away, their virtue begins to fade as well. This is aside from the fact that when you provide a direct subsidy to abandon virtue, virtue will wither.
        The bishops don’t talk about this because they don’t get the connection between economic freedom and a virtuous citizenry. They also think that treating material poverty really helps the poor, without seeing that the spiritual poverty the poor suffer is a direct result of the corruption of the soul that always accrues to the recipient of an entitlement to stolen goods versus the recipient of true charity.
        As to taxes, God gave us a tax system which has no disincentive effects – the tithe on land. The tithe was not levied against income as we think about it today – that’s nothing more than an income tax. No, the tithe was a land rent for the use of GOD’S land. The Israelites did not own the land, they legally possessed it – under God’s terms. And only 10% of the tithe went to support the religious establishment. The other 90% funded what we would today call civil government.
        Can you think of any negative economic repercussions that would come from taxing land value heavily and untaxing labor and capital?
        I hope I’m not out of line by suggesting picking up my book, “The Other Law of Moses.” God’s economic system is its subject.

        Comment by John — August 9, 2013 @ 6:17 pm


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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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