About Ben Conroy

Ben Conroy is a columnist with The Irish Catholic, an intern at The Iona Institute, a contributor to discussions and debates in the Irish media, and an aspiring fantasy author.

  • agadofive.leti

    You voted for Obama? You must not have been a very good judge of characters. Jesus told us, “You shall know them by their fruits.” You were used. I have no respect for the left and all the damage voting left has caused the disintegration of America’s foundational morals, values, and ethics.

  • MeanLizzie

    No one writing here voted for Obama. My guest blogger, here, is writing from Ireland where, presumably, no one was voting in a US election! :-)

  • The_Repentant_Curmudgeon

    Nonetheless, I would be fascinated to hear how he arrived at the conclusions below. I read Obama’s book, I looked at the legislation he sponsored, I read an extensive interview on his religious beliefs and I saw no mystery there at all. He has governed exactly as I would have predicted.

    When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, I was really, genuinely hopeful that a new kind of left-wing politics was about to emerge – less culture-war aggression, more comfort with faith in the public square. I hoped there would be greater willingness to acknowledge the good faith of social conservatives…

  • FrankieBeanPie

    @ agadofive.leti — You’re an ass. What could you possibly hope to gain from posting such a mean spirited diatribe? Hope your hate doesn’t eat you from the inside out.

  • Gail Finke

    I disagree with many of your opinions but found this piece very interesting because I think both parties stink. As a former Democrat, I have no hope in the Democrats embracing or even going along with anything you wrote — I stuck around to try to be a pro-life Democrat until the party went way, way off the deep end with its love of abortion, euthanasia, and otherwise making sure all women are almost always sterile in order to be, I guess, better workers. I can’t figure out what other reason there could be for the Democrats’ insistence that women line up to sterilize themselves for free, while likewise ensuring as much as possible that they be able to kill their children for any reason up until the moment of birth, and to be able to request euthanasia for themselves or their elderly/disabled/sick relatives. While this is the case I don’t understand how anyone with any moral sense at all can be a Democrat. That leaves the Republicans. Right now their positions are more compatible with Catholic Social Teaching, but only in contrast to the total dive-bomb of the Democrats into the sewer of moral relativism, and there’s no guarantee that will stay that way.

  • Ben Conroy

    Quite. :) Certainly thought he’d be better than he was, though, and happy to accept the label of sucker.

  • spudjr60

    “In the heyday of the Religious Right we had faith leaders acting as cheerleaders for hawkish foreign policy and free-market economics”
    I will never understand what is Un-Catholic about “free-market economics”.
    The bedrock of free markets is private property. There is a commandment about theft, so private property is not sinful.
    Food consumption is necessary to live, but excessive consumption (gluttony) is sinful, in the same way exploitative and manipulative business dealing is sinful.
    But the underlying philosophy of free markets is good, while the institutional corruption and organized theft at the heart of any form of government socialism will always promote evil.

  • vox borealis

    My guest blogger, here, is writing from Ireland where, presumably, no one was voting in a US election!

    Unless it was an election for, say, mayor of Chicago…

  • The_Repentant_Curmudgeon

    I’d be curious to hear from readers how many of you know Democrats who truly yearn for Christ. I live in Chicago, but I can’t think of anyone who fits that bill among the various churches I’ve attended.

    Not that I want to say anything good about the Republican Party these days. The growing Randian libertarianism is as bad as anything the Democratic Party might come up with, and it’s probably much worse in the sense that it delivers more material gain (and thus is idolized more).

    I feel so dispirited around my right wing political friends these days. Give them a political victory and suddenly everything is right with the world. I find myself doing my best trying to knock them off their pedestal of optimism.

    As I said to one of them over the weekend, “I can’t see any reason to get excited about any of these guys [the likely GOP Presidential nominees]. I’m not sure anything short of a prophet can save us now.”

  • agadofive.leti

    God bless you too. My point, is that liberals have caused much damage with their agenda and the liberal ‘so-called christians’ with their disobedience to the word of God (which should supersede all). I’m not the one name calling, so what does that say about you? Sounds like you’re the one ‘hating.’ :-)

  • agadofive.leti

    I agree with your post. The Democratic party has chosen a platform of pro-abortion, anti-marriage, anti-family, anti-God, anti-Christian everyone do as you want, no budget because money falls from trees (or they make more), etc. Did you know that at the DNC putting God back into their platform was ‘boo’ed’ by the majority but because of the American outrage, they chose to put it back in? The least of two evils is the Republican Party. I will vote for a pro-life, pro-marriage, Christian candidate.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    It seems like a truly pro-life, pro-marriage, Christian candidate is getting harder to find, especially at the federal level. I’m highly discouraged too.

  • Alexander S Anderson

    “Free-market economics” isn’t simply about private property. There have been plenty of systems– from the slave states of Greece and Rome to the feudal states of the middle ages– that have had private property with having a liberal, capitalist system. The Church approves of private property, but that does not mean it’s necessarily on the side of “free-market economics.”

  • L.B.

    “When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, I was really, genuinely hopeful that a new kind of left-wing politics was about to emerge ”

    God help us!

    This reminds me of the Marxists who say “If only the right people were in charge” … “If only Communism had a fair chance”… “If Stalin only knew”.

    Ben, there has been a “war on poverty” since LBJ and we now have more people than ever in poverty. Abortion was unilaterally legalized in 1973 and we now have more abortions than ever. Abortion is not a symptom of poverty. Poverty is a symptom of abortion. Mark Shea is a political hack. Really? Torture? Great, if you’re comfy with Obama’s drone assignations… God have mercy on you, because I don’t see one person on the “Christian Left” “documenting” this evil.

  • fondatorey

    The ‘religious left’ has a ‘resurgence’ every couple of years so there is nothing new here. Presumably the last ‘resurgence’ has petered out as ever single one of the previous ‘resurgers’ has either proved himself a shameless Soros shill or got a better paying political job so there became a need for new blood and therefore a new resurgence.

    Missing in any resurgence of the religious left is any hint of compunction or acceptance of blame for past iterations of the religious left that have existed only as cheerleaders for their political side (not including the “we could have done better but at least we’re not the religious right who are monsters” which we see plenty of). Included in any resurgence is self-congratulation of the sort that would make an NFL wide receiver blush. Included is the direct connection of specific legislation, specific political candidates and often a specific political party with the specific will of the almighty. Included is the belief that utilitarian ends justify any means taken by the chosen.

  • CSmith

    Perhaps I’m just being simple (hey! I heard that) but it seems to me that the national leadership of both parties are completely lost. We need to pray and make the best political decisions we can, but we are not going to change the culture through politics. I don’t believe we can change our national party politics from the top down. And these are two very different goals anyway.

    In a very real way, there is no difference between the national parties, just the face they put on their appeals for money. GOP–”Give us money! Your liberties are at stake!” Democrats–”Give us money! The children are at stake!” When in reality neither party seems to be helping much.

    Given the current situation, I vote Republican in the national elections, because 1) they are still (at least officially pro-life) and 2) it’s the government’s job to guarantee our rights, not our comfort. The government, especially the federal government needs to get out of the business of taking care of people. IF we want that to be a government responsibility, it needs to stay no higher than state level. But in reality, our responsibility to the poor should hit much closer home than state government. Studies have shown time and time again that private charities are more effective in helping people make meaningful change in their life.

  • Anna

    Eh, not many of us as 14 year-olds wouldn’t be rightly labeled “sucker.” :-)

  • CSmith

    I guess I wish we could just be Christians, not Christian Left or Christian Right. I don’t believe the CL will fare any better from political leaders than the CR does.

  • Ponte

    I find it difficult to discern a Christian Left movement outside of the Church in the US. There’s seems to be a bit of discussion within the Church, perhaps, but on a wider societal basis? Not so much.

  • RufusChoate

    The problem for the Left is they are always the Left first and never whatever sub-group they tack on the term: Left.
    Every person I knew who claimed to be on the Catholic Left as I grew up are now only on the Left and still outraged.

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    “I’m inclined to think that Obamacare , while a mess, is an improvement on the status quo”

    Unfortunately, no, I’ve written five posts recently on why Obamacare has actually widened the gap between the rich and the poor, between the wealthy with cancer and the poor with cancer, and actually started a NEW war on women in which one out of every 16 female babies conceived, will be aborted:




  • Dan13

    I like Ms. Bruenig’s writing, but I believe those of us in the Christian left–at least in America–are a dying breed.

  • http://seeinfra.wordpress.com K.Chen

    Thus we must live in hope of the resurrection to come.

  • http://www.windsofchange.net/ Joe Katzman

    To bring a way, way outside voice into the discussion, there’s something to be said for Shi’ite Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s basic contention that adding politics to religion dumbs religion down to the level of politics. Obviously, he can’t be Iranian with an idea like that – he’s Iraqi, in Karbala. I think it’s important to start there.

    I paraphrase, of course, and Sistani himself acknowledged that he couldn’t be completely on the sidelines as that country was trying to piece itself back together. Sadly, Iraqis elected someone who makes Obama look both competent and conciliatory by comparison… and here they are. Time for take-away #2:

    Iraq’s troubles are bad news unless you’re a Kurd, because they built all kinds of infrastructure against a day like this (the Peshmerga are just an outer manifestation), and are able to care for and protect each other. They’re even a refuge for more than a few of Iraq’s Christians these days – the Kurds have a sympathy born of their own experiences, and even ISIS does not want to mess with the Kurds. I think Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub would get it.

    Just might be a couple of lessons in there for all of us. So, how to DO those things?

    If Left Christians want to avoid the traps mentioned, start by working with Right Christians on issues of solidarity, and *never stop*. No outside conditions on cooperation, no nothing. That kind of unity in faith keeps First Things first, and working together is a solvent for the hatred that acts as the primary glue of politics these days. Note: this will be hard. Choose to do it BECAUSE it’s hard, and worth the effort.

    Next, build infrastructure for a better way of living. No use preaching if our walking is not our preaching. Just assume the state either won’t help, or will hinder, be ye Left or Right.

    If you want to keep that infrastructure, make sure Left and Right Christians come together and make it way too costly to attack. That means we ALL withdraw support for the attacking incumbent unless this stops. At the same time, look inside, and have mechanisms in your infrastructure to ruthlessly remove “leaders” who show their true god to be politics or ideology (be it left or right) at the expense of any of the above principles. Catholicism could be good at that, but speaking as an outside observer, it’s something that needs to improve from where it is now.