Thingish Things

Leave God Out of It

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - May• 11•11

A number of professors at Catholic University just sent a nasty diatribe to House Speaker John Boehner, a practicing Catholic who will be giving the commencement address at the University this year, questioning his religious faith for proposing federal budget cuts.

“It is good for Catholic universities to host and engage the thoughts of powerful public figures, even Catholics such as yourself who fail to recognize (whether out of a lack of awareness or dissent) important aspects of Catholic teaching.  We write in the hope that this visit will reawaken your familiarity with the teachings of your Church on matters of social justice,” the letter reads in part.

Here is the letter in full.

Funny, I got a pretty good Catholic education, and I don’t remember reading anything about government deficit spending where charity is concerned.  From what I understand, charity is supposed to begin at home.  And I suspect that my Republican great-grandfather, who headed the English Department at Catholic University, largely would have agreed with me.

It is offensive as a Catholic — however poor a Catholic I am — to have my religion cynically exploited this way. No country on earth spends more on its poor and disabled than the United States does.  We spend so much money, in fact, that we are borrowing 45 cents of every dollar we spend.  How trying to pay down the federal deficit, so that our children and their children don’t get stuck with this bill, is failing to recognize the “teachings of the church” is beyond me.

Professors have every right to pen letters to the Speaker, but they have no right to invoke Catholic dogma into U.S. budget fights.  They should be ashamed for doing it.

I wonder if these professors also sent letters to Democrats who voted for federal abortion funding…


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  1. Your Friend says:

    As total dollars per person, yes the U.S. spends a lot, but as % of GDP per person, we are among the lowest. Everything is relative.

  2. cede says:

    There was a terrific op-ed on this topic in the WSJ last month by Roger Pilon entitled “Is It Immoral to Cut the Budget?” (If you are not a WSJ subscriber, you can view a reprint at In it, he reminds us that “the Good Samaritan parable instructs us to attend to the afflicted voluntarily, not through coercive government programs.”

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