“The moral rights corresponding to this obligation”

For a less snarky, clearer, and more compelling discussion of the rights that correspond — necessarily — from the obligation to work, see John Paul II’s encyclical Laborem Exercens, or “On Human Labor.” Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a big fan of this encyclical, due mainly to the forceful logic of its [Read More...]

On the road to Weehawken

Or consider the role and duty of a ferry boat captain. Her job is to pilot a ferry boat from Point A to Point B and back again according to schedule while ensuring the safety of her passengers. That is her primary responsibility. It’s what she was hired to do and what she is paid [Read More...]

Subsidiarity and Saddleback

My frustration was showing a couple of weeks ago in a post titled: “Responsibility is differentiated, mutual and complementary, not exclusive, binary and competitive.” That post consisted almost entirely of the sentence “Responsibility is differentiated, mutual and complementary; responsibility is not exclusive, binary and competitive,” repeated 10 times with each repetition linking to a different [Read More...]

Responsibility is differentiated, mutual and complementary, not exclusive, binary and competitive

One point, 10 reiterations, 10 links to longer, more thorough expressions of and arguments for that same one point: Responsibility is differentiated, mutual and complementary; responsibility is not exclusive, binary and competitive. Responsibility is differentiated, mutual and complementary; responsibility is not exclusive, binary and competitive. Responsibility is differentiated, mutual and complementary; responsibility is not exclusive, [Read More...]

An inescapable network of mutuality

So Franklin Graham says that churches, rather than governments, are responsible for meeting the needs of the poor. Either one or the other, zero-sum, in competition, etc. This is not the view of most Christians or of most Christian churches. Nor is it an easy view to reconcile with the Christian Bible, which is full [Read More...]

"Pro-Family" means anti-families

It's a new year, so it's a new chance to harp again on one of my pet peeves — the evasive abstraction of the so-called "pro-family" agenda of the so-called "pro-family" groups. These groups sometimes announce their "pro-family" stance by stating their allegiance to "The Family" right there in their name — Focus on the [Read More...]

Subsidiarity: Where responsibility begins

Some simple equations: Subsidiarity + Solidarity = Democracy Subsidiarity – Solidarity = Tyranny It really is that stark and that simple. The good news — at least for those of us who don't favor tyranny — is that these two things are not easily separable. Subsidiarity clarifies solidarity, but it cannot exist apart from it. [Read More...]

Uncle Sam

To be fair, illustrating the personal finance page is a difficult and thankless job. Being asked, week after week, to draw a picture of abstract ideas like “the importance of maximizing your 401(k) contribution” — on deadline — is not an easy task. There are only so many giant piggy banks, ladders and staircases one [Read More...]


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