Jingoistic Right Wing Claptrap ≠ Church Teaching

Jingoistic Right Wing Claptrap ≠ Church Teaching February 27, 2024

Student debt relief is a massively important pro life, pro family government policy. 

A member of our family, who is an ordained minister, told us several years ago that he was being approached by young couples who want to marry, but can’t afford to do so because if they married, their combined incomes would increase the payments on their student loans so much that they could not afford to live. 

Their solution was to ask him to marry them without a marriage license and without “officially” and legally getting married by filing papers, changing names, etc. They wanted a marriage that was “off the grid” so to speak, because of the burden of student debt. 

Young people today cannot get married, buy homes, and have children because they are smothered with debt from their student loans. At the same time, self-appointed “pro life, pro family” clergy and activists are joining hands with the billionaire’s boy’s club in condemning student debt relief. 

Last week, I personally watched a priest on EWTN go off on a totally inaccurate riff about the horrors of student debt relief. This man, who was sitting in front of a camera on what is purported to be a pro family, pro life Catholic television network, was wearing his clericals, his shiny white collar flashing in the camera lights while he rambled and jabbered about how student debt relief was a symptom of the moral breakdown in our society. He followed that with a few totally idiotic comments about “economics,” which he clearly did not understand himself. 

Now, this priest is entitled to his opinion. But when it comes to things like government policy and economics, his opinion is not worth any more, and based on the utter ignorance of what he was saying, I would venture that it is worth considerably less than other people’s opinion. 

I don’t have any objection to him thinking what he thinks. I don’t agree with him. I think his opinion is jingoistic right wing claptrap. But it’s his opinion and he’s entitled to it. 

However, when he gets on a national religious venue, dressed in his clericals, during a program that is touted to be “teaching Catholic truth” and sounds off with his political opinion, then he’s stepped over a line. He is, whether he consciously intends to or not, conflating his misinformed, knee-jerk Republican Party messaging with Catholic teaching. A lot of people watching that show will walk away from their televisions convinced that it is righteousness to follow this partisan political cant, and that somehow or other, using the power of government to help the young adults of this country have the resources to marry, start a family and buy a home is sinful. 

That’s ignorant garbage.

The truth is that the same billionaires who funnel money into religious ministries like EWTN in order to buy their messaging have also pretty much bought the Republican Party. Their goal is to use the politicians their money has put in office to funnel the treasury of the United States of America into their billionaire pockets. 

They have bought the voices of many of our religious entities through grants from foundations that are financed by money accrued from tax cuts, government contracts and “privatized” government agencies and then laundered into a means of buying public opinion through a tax code that was written by and for these self-same billionaires. 

The reason for “buying” religious voices is simple. It is done so that priests, preachers, bishops, imams and rabbis will go in front of their followers and equate economic policies which benefit these billionaires with righteousness and morality and condemn anything that helps the poor, the working class or anybody but those billionaires. It is done so that priests and preachers will lie to their flocks, turn the Gospels on their head and equate using the tax-payers’ money to help the actual tax-payers with sin and moral decay. 

In this upside down morality, you have priests getting on tv and condemning both the people who want to help young Americans with student debt relief, and the young Americans themselves, as if getting an education and wanting to buy a home or get married was a sign of moral decay and deeply sinful. 

When President Biden first announced student debt relief, we had many Republican politicians jumping up and denouncing it. It turned out that most of these same politicians had had millions of dollars of federal loans their businesses had received during the COVID shutdown forgiven. 

We need to take the economic foot off the necks of America’s young people. If they can buy homes, start families and move forward with their lives, that will help the economy, not hurt it. Student debt relief is a massively pro life, pro family policy. It is also a needful thing for our country. 

Priests are entitled to their opinions as individuals. However, their opinions are just that. Their opinions. 

When they’re wearing that collar, speaking from a venue where they are claiming that what they say is Church teaching, they need to give us Church teaching. 

Anything else is profoundly dishonest. 

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