Thomasian Thought on Justice and Taxation

A quick background.   Thomas of Aquin, or Thomas Aquinas as he’s more generally known pondered greatly in the 13th century.  Such a ponderor the world seldom sees.   Truely a prodigious ponderor was he.   So prodigious that he endeavored to write the a complete compendium of all the Church’s teachings as a teaching guide which today we know as “Summa Theologica”.   It’s a tremendous tome that Tom wrote.

One area for exploration is on the ideas of social justice.  Seems pertinent in a world that believes government is the answer to most all issues of the day.  The long held teachings of the Church on social justice held that the individual, operating from a position of free will and charity was the best approach to the matter of the poor.  Paraphrasing the Thomasian teachings, a man has the right to his own wages, and a citizen has the right to be protected by government from the evils of theft of those wages.  Thomas was very very big on “rights”.  Natural Law and the rights that derive from God are among the fruits of Thomasian thought.   But I digress.

A man has a RIGHT to his wages and to be protected from theft.  The virtue of rights presupposes the obligation of others to respect those rights.  The virtue of men respecting the natural rights of other men is justice.  Still with us?

The proper act of justice is to render to each man exactly what is due that man.  The social contract requires each man act in perfect justice, allowing men to act in such a way as to expect freedom from injury or theft, and to take risks to build up wealth knowing he shall be protected in doing so.  As wealth increases, all of society is lifted up.  Where justice rules, the fruits of a man’s labor is his own.  As justice falters, men lose the incentive to labor as the stability of social life dies.

Enter charity.   Man may merit grace when practicing the act of charity.  Grace is a supernatural gift from God and is required for salvation.  Grace cannot be earned, but is freely given.  The act is worthy of grace which we hope will be extended.

Taxation by government to force help for the poor conveys no merit to the consideration of grace.  To subscribe to a theory of government where the rule of government and the power of the gun is used to force the wages of one man’s labor to support another both injures the social fabric of justice which builds up wealth of a society but simultaneously discourages the true virtue of charity and the grace it may impart.    Moreover, that happiness which comes from knowing you are  choosing to do good works is taken from you as well.

Look at where we are today.  Government is the answer.  Taxes support the poor, not charity.  Churches are irrelevant.  Class conflict rages.  Happiness is missing.   St. Thomas Aquainas, Doctor of the Church.  1225 – 1274.

(Acknowledgement to Frs, Walter Farrell and Martin Healy for their pocket version of Summa Theologica, “My Way of Life, the Summa Simplified for Everyone”.   http://www.amazon.com/My-Way-Life-Walter-Farrell/dp/9992056940/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_2/181-9876552-6576657)

Melinda, the naughty Catholic

Having just read that Melinda Gates and her hubby, Bill, have upped their contra-ception giving to $1 billion…. Well I just have to say something.

Melinda, a naughty Catholic, seems to feel that the best use of one thousand million dollars is to enable consequence-free sexual intercourse.  Not food for the hungry, not medicine for the sick, not surgery for the lame… but one thousand million dollars for consequence free sexual intercourse.  Just damn.

This got me thinking… perhaps the whole family genetic lineage thing is the root of all the world’s problems… from poverty to racism to acne.  Why not mandate 100% of the world’s reproduction be licensed through government.  Out of work fertile females can become “individual gestation contributors”, paid for the womb rental as they grow offspring like a cash crop. 

Worthy individuals, as the term “family” just isn’t right in this modern age can apply for zygote privileges and pay at the counter if approved.  As zygote becomes blastocyst becomes embryo becomes fetus… hang with me, there is a baby in there somewhere… becomes cash crop ready for harvest, becomes citizen and finally worthy of constitutional protection… the customer can track their harvest online with the latest vaginal web-cams.  

Race, sex, IQ, and other attributes can be purchased on the black market (not racial here people…that’s what it’s called) but officially all such pre-selection would be banned.  Wouldn’t be in keeping with the socially correct goal of the elimination of all the world’s ills.   Of course, defective zygotes, et al, will be terminated in keeping with those same worthy goals.

We’ll eliminate the messy family situation with all of the unfairness that comes from the accident of birth.  The government can apply carefully selected rules to this situation and all will be well in the garden.

I think this is one of the signs foretold of the End Times…

 

Pizza and Paris Hilton… not one or the other, but both.   Some people…

http://www.wcnc.com/news/Man-barricades-self-in-hotel-demands-pizza-and-to-marry-Paris-Hilton-161692515.html

 

Man barricades self in hotel demands pizza and to marry Paris Hilton

Man barricades self in hotel demands pizza and to marry Paris Hilton

BELMONT, N.C. — An intense situation unfolded inside of a Belmont hotel on Saturday.

Authorities say 61-year-old Fredrick Denney barricaded himself inside his room at the Hampton Inn threatening to shoot at police.

According to officials, Denney caused a disturbance at the hotel earlier Saturday morning.

Multiple agencies including the Regional SWAT Team responded to the scene on Cecilia Alexander Drive. Officials shut down the second floor of the hotel as they tried to reason with Denny.

NewsChannel 36 has learned his demands included pizza and to marry Paris Hilton.

After hours of negotiating, he was pepper sprayed and taken into custody.

Authorities say he’s had several run-ins with SWAT Teams in other states.  According to the Gaston County records, Denney is from Roseburg, Oregon.

He was taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation.  His bond was set at $90,000.  He’s now facing several charges including “intoxicated and disorderly”.

The Church Militant

 

I considered kicking this off with the quote from the conversation between Pilot and Christ about earthly kingship (John 18:36) but felt that was over the top.  But let’s just say that there is a reason “the Church militant” is an apt description as persons of faith struggle against so many things in this world.  

Two news stories hit my screen last night… one describes an effort to use civil law against the Church to remove holy images from Church owned property so as not to offend others, the second outlines one families struggle to invite others to worship in their own home.  I wonder if we can still retreat to the catacombs of if that would be illegal without handicap ramps and exit signs? 

http://www.cuatower.com/news/2011/10/20/university-accused-of-discriminating-against-muslims/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2170007/Father-faces-60-days-bars-hosting-Bible-study-OWN-home-city-rules.html

Happy, er, Independence Day?

Today is July 4, 2012.  Used to be that we’d greet each other with “happy Independence Day”.   Those words slipped my lips earlier this morning… and I was left with a bit of a backwash aftertaste the moment they escaped.

Perhaps like the phrase “It’s a free country”, “happy Independence Day” is one of those expressions that just won’t work very well any more.  Add it to “happy Saint Valentine’s Day” as a we rush headlong into secular dependence.

Heavy sigh.

Acknowledgement and suggested reading at  http://neveryetmelted.com/2012/07/03/it-used-to-be-a-free-country/

SAK7

Thought for the day…. on the advent of the Affordable Care Act ruling perhaps?

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”   SAK

The Supreme’s are expected to hand down a ruling today on the constitutionality of The Affordable Care Act, more frequently and accurately described as Obamacare.   The quote for today seems to fit perfectly what I fully expect to erupt regardless the ruling.   

Majority Drools

“Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion…”   SAK

One of my favorite bloggers http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked/ recently came out of the closet and announced her conversion from Atheism to Catholicism. Pretty gutsy thing to do these days…especially among the intellectual elite of which she is a member. I’m enjoying the moment as a watershed event… but also must admit I miss the more restrained and focused commentary her writings engendered prior to this shockwave.

Whereas her atheist posts generally received perhaps 20 to 30 comments, most offering some level of value to keep the conversation moving forward… this week the comments have mushroomed to several hundred, and are generally rather acerbic… especially from the atheists she’s abandoned.

One of the ongoing themes seems to be… OK, so you decided there is a supreme being, but how can any thinking person sign up to be a mind numb robot in the Pope’s army? Was there some type of brain injury involved?

In today’s culture bashing Catholicism is one of the last permitted, nay… celebrated, bigotries allowed. I’ll leave today with this comment… Why would any intellectual reject atheism and look out across all the theisms offered across humanity and select this particular flavor of worship? Anything would represent an easier walk. Why sign up with a crowd that is so out of step with modernity… rejects female priests, rejects birth control, rejects homosexuality and has a structured hierarchy that purports to have a teaching authority that includes infallibility under certain finite circumstances? Pardon my Hindu pun, but Holy Cow… really?

Perhaps the minority of these traditional, believing Catholics have the Truth?