Here are a couple more interesting articles on Rep. Paul Ryan. We had a discussion about this last week that you can read about here.
The first article is from the Washington Post: Faith based lesson for Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan is very vocal about his Catholic faith and the role it plays in his politics. Dana Milbank’s article notes that Ryan seems eager to cite his church and religious beliefs when it comes to topics like abortion or opposing coverage of contraception. Yet Ryan seems to ignore the teaching of the Catholic Church – even vocally oppose it when it concerns the poor, the death penalty, or its opposition to things like the Arizona immigration law. To the church’s credit they seem to want to stay true to their beliefs & not bow the the whims of a political party. He visited Georgetown University this week and was rebuked by faculty & protested by students (that’s the 2nd article).
Ryan went so far as to try and call out Catholic Theologians at Georgetown:
“He [Ryan] said the faculty members would benefit from a “fact-based conversation” on the issue. “I suppose that there are some Catholics who for a long time thought they had a monopoly … on the social teaching of our church,” he said, but no more. “The work I do as a Catholic holding office conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it.””
Its it consistent for a politician to use their religion so openly as a selling point for one policy, and then completely ignore that church when his church’s leaders tell him that he’s actually interpreting Catholic doctrine in illegitimate ways and doing things in his job that run counter to their teachings?
Should politicians really be telling theologians what to think?
I wonder if this is even more evidence that 1) you can’t be a politician on the national level and be a Christ follower. It just makes you a walking contradiction. Your party/ideological commitments will force you to do things that your Christian faith won’t allow. 2) If you are following Jesus it will put you at odds with Democrats at some points, and at odds with Republicans at other points. Conversely it will put you in harmony with Democrats at some points and at odds with Republicans at other points. If your primary allegiance is to Christ, you cannot join with either political party.
I actually think this is a hopeful thing to read about, because it tells me that there are still those within the Roman Catholic Church who are not afraid to speak truth to power – even if the power isn’t listening.