Friday, December 30, 2011

Taking Another Look at Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich has been in the cross hairs of the political muckrakers as his stellar performances in the GOP presidential candidate debates boosted his standing to front line status. Peggy Noonan, the Wall Street Journal columnist, a prominent Catholic journalist, published a recent  article in WSJ suggesting she's backing Romney and dismissing Gingrich's chances while barely touching on specifics of why she rules out his candidacy.

On the other hand, public endorsements piling up behind Gingrich are newsworthy:

 Prominent economist Arthur Laffer, the architect of Ronald Reagan’s economic plan, announced yesterday that he is endorsing Newt Gingrich for president. Economist Laffer Endorses Newt Gingrich

Watch Michael Reagan's comments and in depth Newsmax interview with Speaker Gingrich

The Rev. Donald E. Wildmon, founder and chairman of American Family Association (AFA) has endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for President. Rev. Donald Wildmon Endorses Gingrich

Thoughts on Ms. Noonan's analysis of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich:
 I believe (and hope) Ms. Noonan looks to Ronald Reagan (her former boss whom she has often written and spoken about admiringly) as the "gold standard" of the modern GOP conservative political leader. Mitt Romney's mushy and shifting views on social issues are disturbing. I believe Peggy Noonan is a faithful Catholic. I also believe Newt Gingrich is a serious Catholic convert. Many of us in the hinterlands of America can identify with Gingrich, the prodigal son, whose past moral lapses are well known.

There, but for the grace of God, go I and the rest of us flawed members of the human race who represent the American voting public. Many of us have had marital problems. Gingrich has made mistakes. He doesn't have much to prove to anybody. His past public life has been laid out and filleted every which way. We either believe he's a penitent who admits his mistakes and look at the rest of his resume for evidence of contrition along with substantive accomplishments or dismiss him as thoroughly flawed, untrustworthy, and unacceptable. We Christians are well aware that the Almighty used the adulterous AND penitent King David to do great things for His kingdom. I don't hear Mitt Romney admitting his mistakes; rather we hear excuses and side steps.

Gingrich had a successful record doing his part as Majority Leader in Congress in advancing the Reagan legacy and  in getting major things done in Congress. He thinks problems and potential solutions through. He's done some really heavy lifting as a conservative GOP leader and his past experience and leadership could make a real difference.

Romney's resume is slim and his mixed record as Governor and as an entrepreneur turning businesses around does not inspire confidence, considering the scope and complexity of the obstacles he's going to come up against as the CEO of the U.S. Gingrich may have a quick tongue and a predilection for controversial sound bites but he certainly gets the attention of the press and his ideas debated and disseminated. I would give more weight to the opinion of widely respected economist (and Reagan economic advisor) Arthur Laffer who earlier this week publicly endorsed Mr. Gingrich's candidacy than to Ms. Noonan's "touchy feely" musings.

I'd like to see Gingrich working on our nation's horrendous economic and financial problems either from the White House as POTUS, as Vice-President, or leading a high level cabinet position. I believe inspite of the baggage Gingrich would bring into the office of the Presidency, we value voters can put more faith in Gingrich in forcefully defending life and marriage, national security, international diplomacy, reduced government intrusion in the lives of Americans and respect for the 10th amendment than we can in Mitt Romney.

Some may scoff at this final analogy but I believe the comparison is apt and timely. Biographers and historians saw in Abraham Lincoln an exemplary virtue, wherein he exhibited at times of severe tribulation a tremendous capacity to grow as a man and as a powerful lonely  leader dealing with almost impossible obstacles. Not many thought Abe was up to the job but he proved them wrong by the end of his presidency. I believe Mr. Gingrich may be a similar figure on the world stage who may possess the character to grow and do great things and not flinch or retreat in the midst of the complexities of domestic and international crises confronting our country. He certainly has the intellectual fire power. Perhaps the zeal and passion he has found in his new sacramental life as a Catholic will reinforce and provide him the strength to deal effectively with the many trials and tribulations he will surely confront as President of the United States.
May God's will be done and  this be our motto: "In God is our trust"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bishop Reverses Catholic School Decision to Deny Admission to Child Raised By Homosexuals

An Australian Bishop recently reversed a diocesan school's decision to deny admission to a child raised in a homosexual household. Bishop Kevin Manning of Wilcannia-Forbes explained to the press that “(y)ou can’t discriminate against a child on the grounds that the parents are in a homosexual relationship... You are vesting the sins of the parents on the child - it’s quite wrong.”

In the U.S. Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston early this year similarly reversed a decision by a local elementary school that denied admittance to a child in the same circumstances and his office published norms against "discrimination". The Cardinal wrote that “(w)hile there are legitimate reasons that might lead to a decision not to admit a child, I believe all would agree that the good of the child must always be our primary concern”.

However Archbishop Charles Chaput in 2010 before his transfer to Philadelphia earlier this year declared as the Ordinary of Denver that a local Catholic grade school was correct in directing a lesbian couple to enroll two children in their household somewhere else when their relationship came to light. Archbishop Chaput was direct and forthright, clarifying his position in the diocesan paper. He wrote, “Most parents who send their children to Catholic schools want an environment where the Catholic faith is fully taught and practiced.  That simply can’t be done if teachers need to worry about wounding the feelings of their students or about alienating students from their parents".

Archbishop Chaput concluded that when guardians and parents oppose the Church’s teachings the situation puts “unfair stress on the children, who find themselves caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church.” 

What possible motive could a homosexual couple have to put their child in a Catholic school, considering their disordered view of human sexuality is not in accord with Catholic moral doctrine on sexual ethics? I would venture the following possibilities:
  1. They genuinely desire a good education for their child, considering parochial and religious-based private schools are widely known to provide higher academic standards compared to government-run public schools;
  2. They are testing what they perceive is a discriminatory system, expecting the school will deny their child entry which would precipitate on their part a lawsuit and/or appeal to higher authority within the Church hierarchy and civil authorities;
  3. They are executing a planned attack on the Catholic school system and Catholic sexual mores hoping to set ablaze a widespread protest fueled by allies in the media against the Church and Catholic schools. (This attack on  religious schools is not unique. It's quite common in states like California);
  4. They are acting out what active homosexuals share in common - the desire to gain acceptance for their "cause" and what they perceive is an affront to their "civil liberties". Their objective then is to challenge society to accept their sexual deviancy and perversion as moral and good and they do this by causing public scandal, shamelessly depicting themselves as VICTIMS of "homophobic" and patriarchal institutions and an unjust social order. One thing for sure, homosexual activists love drama, street theater, and confrontation.
Perhaps the same sex partners with a child have a genuine desire to give their child the best education possible. Unfortunately their moral values are diametrically opposed to what their child, raised in a homosexual "family", will be exposed to on a regular basis in a religious-based school.

Why expose their child to intense emotional conflict, what social scientists call the anguish of "cognitive dissonance", where the child sees the incompatibility between what he or she learns in a disordered home with a homosexual couple ruling the roost and what is taught at Catholic school about the Creator and the order of creation and nature that is at the root of Judeo-Christian teaching about the dignity of the human person who is made in the image of God?

But then again the homosexual couple's purpose may not be so altruistic.The child could be seen as a tool, a pawn to advance their socio-political cause to turn society upside down to conform to their acceptance of Kinseyian sexuality (pedophile sexologist Alfred Kinsey). This is in keeping with the  homosexual movement's relentless push within civic and private institutions for legalization and religious and social acceptance of sodomy.

What is to be said about a Catholic bishop who cannot defend the Catholic school's refusal to accept a child being reared in a household with active homosexual guardians? Has he counseled the same sex couple to leave the sinful lifestyle of cohabitating homosexuals, imploring them to do what is not only in their own best interest spiritually and biologically but also what is best for the child living in their household? Has he gained their acceptance that the child will receive the same religious instruction in the faith at the school without exception, with the understanding that because the religious education at the school  does not conform to their religious values, then much harm - psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually - would most probably be the outcome for the child?

If the bishop has not made this effort as a shepherd of the Church or if the couple after receiving counseling rejected his advice and in the aftermath, he mandates that his diocesan schools must accept children from homosexual-led homes, then, in this writer's opinion, at the very least, the bishop has made himself a willing "useful idiot" and ally of the homosexual movement and is undermining  the principles and doctrines of the Church.  A serious reading of Mark 9:42 would recommend the Bishop's prudence and fortitude in this matter when considering the scandal caused to the body of Christ and, closer to home, the school community - teachers, administrators, students and their parents. Vatican authorities should be alerted for assistance to correct the scandal in the bishop's diocese.

/S/ Phil Sevilla
December 15th, 2012

Monday, October 24, 2011


Clarke D. Forsyth of Americans United for Life recently penned an insightful article in the Washington Times (Saving Personhood: Growing Number of States Protects The Unborn Child) about the growing support in the states backing "personhood" amendments. I added a response to a critic of Forsyth's article who claimed the Roe v. Wade decision is "settled law", that is stare decisis, and should not be overturned because to do so would be imposing a "religious law". From a secularist's point of view, he's probably right, that is, Roe V. Wade will not be overturned. But like the abolition era of America in the mid-1800s where the controversy and conflict between the pro-slavery and free states did not abate after the 1857 Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford, America today is very much deeply divided about legalized abortion.  Abortion remains a defining characteristic of who we are and what we believe in. It often is a subject at the forefront of socio-political discourse in every level of society.

Is the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) 1973 ruling in Roe v Wade settled law?
When we consider how legalized child killing after 37 years continues to divide and haunt the
consciences of the majority of the  citizenry? There are legal precedents where errors of judgment committed by SCOTUS caused untold harm to the body politic and incited prolonged social disharmony and conflict.  Consider two examples: The Dred Scott vs. Sanford case in 1857 which ruled African-Americans brought into the country as slaves were not protected by the constitution and Korematsu vs.  U.S. in 1944 where the Supreme Court majority ruled it was constitutional for the U.S. to place Japanese Americans in internment camps.

The "settled" Dred Scott decision was never overturned. It was rendered a DEAD law by the
13th amendment ratified on December 6th, 1865.

The "settled" Korematsu decision was never overturned. A congressional commission reported in February 1983, thirty-nine years after the majority of High Court justices agreed to herd Japanese-Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint that “[A] grave injustice was done to American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry who, without individual review or any probative evidence against them, were excluded, removed, and detained by the United States during World War II.”

The "settled" 1973 Roe V Wade decision and subsequent related decisions will one day in the
not so distant future, God willing, be likewise roundly rejected as an abominable affront to
constitutional law, a prime example of raw judicial activism!

But there's one difference... Americans must once again follow the prescripts of natural AND
objective moral law. Americans will stop aborting when they come to understand and accept who
they are, each a precious person made in the image of the Creator,called to acknowledge the choice they make in considering abortion is not morally neutral - it is either good or evil
and will redound to their future in life and for all eternity.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


My name is Philip Sevilla. I live in San Antonio, Texas. I grew up in Quezon City, Manila, and immigrated to the U.S. when I was 18 years old to go to school in the U.S.  I have been involved in the prolife movement in America for twenty one years. First in the San Francisco Bay Area (California) and, until recently, I was the executive director for a Catholic Pro Life ministry and crisis pregnancy center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am addressing this open letter to all Filipinos around the world and especially to our praiseworthy brothers and sisters in the pro-life movement in the Philippines united with our beloved Filipino bishops in fighting the Reproductive Health Bill currently being considered by the national government in Manila which will pour millions of dollars of abortifacient contraceptives into so-called "family planning services" to corrupt and destroy the Catholic Filipino family.

It is a scandal and abomination to all of us Filipino-Americans who have been in the front lines helping to save babies and mothers from the devastating consequences of abortion in the U.S. that American population control agencies including USAID and, no doubt many well-known American foundations, are conspiring to kill our Filipino children and sterilize our women and men like barnyard animals. Why? Is it about overpopulation or really the specter of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood,  and her racist progeny seeking to control the hordes of minorities who don’t deserve to walk the Earth or breathe the same air as the enlightened elite in America and Europe? Did you know that most Planned Parenthood facilities are in  minority centered  neighborhoods in America? Do the population controllers ever consider the gift of the Philippines to the world? She has been sending millions of her well educated sons and daughters to all corners of the world as priests, doctors, nurses, engineers, architects, artists, musicians, nannies. When have the Filipinos ever been a burden to America or the world? In World War II thousands of Americans and Filipinos fought and died together to preserve freedom in Asia.

Widespread contraception and abortion have deeply infected and corrupted America. So many women and men have been wounded by immoral living that precedes the devastating effects of contraception and abortion. Fr. Paul Marx (requiescat in pace) was an early pioneer and patriarch of the prolife movement. Blessed Pope John Paul II called him the "apostle of life". I and my colleagues in the Catholic prolife movement in America have realized that Fr. Marx was a prophetic voice in the wilderness. He often warned us that as sure as night follows day, abortion follows contraception. The contraceptive society is an abortive society.

In 1965 the U.S. Supreme Court in Griswold vs. Connecticut ruled that the state could not prohibit the use of contraceptives. Estelle Griswold was the executive director of Planned Parenthood in Connecticut who brought the suit to court. The early contraceptive pill was developed by Planned Parenthood researchers. Eight short years later in 1973, the same U.S. Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade slid down the slippery slope of moral turpitude by striking down state abortion laws. Now the International Federation of Planned Parenthood can’t wait to get its infernal clutches on our girls to destroy their innocence and purity and kill their babies.

Dr. Bogomir Kuhar, one of the founders of Pharmacists for Life International, studied the relationship between OCPs (Oral Contraceptive Pills) and chemical abortions. He found that when combining OCPs (the most popular form of contraceptive) with all forms of contraceptives the IUD, DepoProvera, Norplant, injectables, implants, and oral products that work in a similar fashion, between 9.6 and 13.4 million developing human beings in their mothers' wombs are terminated in the U.S. each year.

While surgical abortions number 1.3 million a year in the U.S., many more unborn children, up to at ten times more, as estimated by Pharmacists for Life researchers, are being killed by chemical and other types of contraceptives. Many contracepting women don't even know they are aborting.

The medical, socio-economic, moral, and demographic effects of widespread contraceptive use are well known in America:

·         The pill has destroyed marriages. In America, one of every two marriages ends in divorce.
·         The pill has greatly contributed to promiscuity, adultery, and to the alarming rate of declining marriages and traditional families in America.
·         Greater number of young girls in their teens experiment with sex when contraceptives are readily available.
·         The contraceptive society is a dying society. Witness Japan's rapidly aging population presently unable to reproduce to maintain a healthy economy. The same terrible future is confronting most of Europe and America.
·         Inspite of widespread use of contraception and abortion, immoral living has resulted in the exploding rate of single parent families in America who fall into severe economic hardships, trapped into lives of poverty and high rates of juvenile delinquency and gangland crime.
·         Contraceptives and abortion allow sexual predators and sex offenders to hide their insidious crimes.
·         Contraceptives give users a "false sense of security" and when they fail, and they do for a number of reasons, abortions follow.
·         For Catholic Christians, the use of artificial means of contraception (and abortion) is an intrinsic moral evil and is always a grave mortal sin.
·         The growing evidence linking breast cancer and contraceptives, confirmed by U.S. government studies, is very alarming.
·         The link between the epidemic of sexually transmitted disease and widespread casual sex with or without contraceptive use is another major indicator that a contraceptive society is a sick and unhealthy society.

This will be the future of our Filipino people if population controllers are successful in corrupting weak Filipino political leaders who will sell our birthright like Esau for a bowl of porridge. Shame on President Aquino and his legislative allies if they lead the nation into this bottomless moral abyss. It brings to mind the Aztec lords who sacrificed countless children to their bloodthirsty gods who could never be satisfied.

If Filipino political leaders and health officials are really serious about helping the Filipinos plan their families responsibly while faithfully adhering to Catholic moral principles, let them investigate and embrace the effective natural science behind NAPRO technology and new fertility monitoring systems like Novuscor’s FertileView software which can assist couples in conceiving or in delaying pregnancy. These morally sound technologies are in keeping with our Holy Mother Church's eternal precept that Catholics must always be open in marriage to God’s gifts and the possible conception of children.

/S/ Phil Sevilla, San Antonio, TX
August 28th, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Get Ready for Overheated Debate about Governor Perry's Record

I recall (yes, I'm a baby boomer) the election season of 1992 when Governor Bill Clinton was running for the office of  POTUS. At that time I finished reading an expose of Clinton's antics as Governor of Arkansas, a book titled "Slick Willie". In 1992 the Internet had not been widely propagated by inventor, Al Gore. (May his current invention, Global Warning, be less successful)

As an IT technologist in Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley at the time, our company was an early adopter and pioneer in Internet communications along with other technology-based companies, universities, and government think tanks. Many early Internet users including Catholic pro-lifers were tuned in on who the real Bill Clinton was. We banged the gong about Clinton's anti-life prejudices and brazenly corrupt political activities. But we were preaching to a small choir. In my job at SUN, I also had occasions to speak to people in Arkansas who worked in the private sector. Testing the information I learned in Slick Willie, the good citizens of Arkansas confirmed in private conversation that Clinton's poor character and history of corrupt practices as Governor were true. Alas the all knowing omniscient national press was clueless and aided and abetted his election.

As we pro-lifers in the trenches feared, Slick Willie almost immediately by executive order overturned years of pro-life gains restricting public funding of abortion (Mexico City policy enacted by President Reagan) and launched an all out attack on pro-life activism with F.A.C.E., the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, put into effect and aggressively pursued by Atty. General Janet Reno in 1994. According to the late Fr. Paul Marx, founder of Human Life International, FACE obliterated the rescue movement in the U.S. I can attest to that as a member of Operation Rescue at the time.

What does this have to do with Rick Perry and his run for the office of POTUS? Well,  Al Gore's internet, widely propagated today, while a very effective means of populist social communications, is also a tool used for evil. (There are more than 200,000 registered X-rated sites on the internet which is a fraction of what truly represents porn-related interactions on the internet.)

Many conservative Texans believe Rick Perry is a good guy, not perfect, but an experienced politician with a good resume for the job of President. Many digital age pundits including talk show celebrities don't have a clue who Rick Perry is. But leave it to the "progressive" press collecting  factoids squirreled away on their tablets and smartphones to belittle Rick Perry's record in thirty second soundbites for attention-span- challenged twitterers. While Texans argue about his accomplishments and shortcomings, we can count on many in-state supporters and detractors to attempt to influence the hearts and minds of voters outside the great state of Texas. So be it. Let the contest begin. Let Perry's record be put out in the glare of public floodlights. (By the way, speaking of the vigilant press, has anyone discovered Barack Obama's school transcripts from Columbia and Harvard?)

Bishop Rene Gracida (Leo Rugiens - Roaring Lion) posted a fantastic fact sheet on his blog, The Huffinton Reposte, which will help professional and amateur pundits alike sift through the wheat and chaff about Rick Perry... almost a FAQ about the nagging, head scratching questions regarding his record. (Could be titled, "What you always wanted to know about Rick Perry but were afraid to ask?" Or ... "Rick Perry for Dummies") Take a read:


More elucidating facts about Governor Perry's performance in the driver's seat during economic upswings and downturns.


Here's another worthwhile read on Perry and Texas fiscal matters for thoughtful voters who endeavor to spend more time "under the hood" than most consumers of cable and radio news programs.


Thank Al Gore for inventing the world wide web!

/s/ Phil Sevilla
San Antonio, TX

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Governor Perry - Managing the Media with Prudence and Savvy

Gov. Rick Perry ignited a firestorm after his comments in Aspen on July 22nd about homosexual marriage. I found quite a bit of blowback from the Christian media. Here's an example:  Gov. Perry Takes States Rights Position on Gay Marriage
 A good summary of the secular press' slant on the whole affair after Perry's careless comments: Perry, Conservatives and Gay Marriage: An Evolving View?

Bottom line... lessons learned... again and again:
·    Nothing new here about the media - most are not friends of Christian conservatism and they are not objective.
·    Watch what you say, tread very carefully - every word will be scrutinized, second guessed, and distorted. Perry should know this.

One crucial thing I observed which critical Christian believers picked up on...
What did Perry say in Aspen that offended their Christian sensibilities?

"Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That's New York, and that's their business, and that's fine with me." He continued, "That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business."

"Well, it's not fine with God, Governor Perry," is a common thread I found resonating on Christian blogs, voicing readers' deep disappointment with Perry's statement.

Perry needs to send out a clear explanation addressing Christian conservatives' concerns about his remarks. Confusion can spiral out control and if he intends a White House run soon, his campaign, sadly, may be defined by four seemingly innocent words he enunciated in Aspen.

I'd like to remind Perry that in 1967 there were only a handful of states that legalized child killing - Colorado, Oregon, California, N. Carolina.  New York followed in 1970. What happened? Six years after Colorado, seven Supreme Court judges voted that a Texas statute restricting abortion to cases only when it was necessary to save the life of the mother was unconstitutional. The rest is history.

What makes Gov. Perry think that New York legalizing homosexual marriage is irrelevant to Texas and the other states that have defended traditional marriage? That's how corruption works!  It spreads, metastasizes, and respects no boundaries!  He speaks volumes in his book, Fed Up, about activist legislators and judges.

If he meant what he wrote about the danger of activist judges and legislators, doesn't he realize his statement last Friday came across as defending the narrow majority of state legislators (33-29) who voted to obstruct the will of the people in the state of New York? If he is fine with New York upending longstanding traditional state marriage laws, then, he will soon find the fight crossing the border into his state by the same leviathan attacking marriage in all 50 states.

Has he forgotten what happened in Lawrence vs. Texas?

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Catholicity of Paul Ryan’s Budget

by Quin Hillyer, Senior Editor, American Spectator
The Kingdom of God is neither a program of social reform nor a political platform. When rendering to Caesar those things that are Caesar’s, we do a disservice to God if we reduce God to the level of a political agitator. Yet while highly specific, programmatic prescriptions for government are inherently suspect if based on claims of divine inspiration, it is certainly meet and right, in assessing policy choices, to apply broad principles derived from faith – in order to ensure they are indeed consonant with the most profound truths we will ever know. Catholics wrestling with American federal budgetary issues, therefore, would do well to inform themselves of some of the themes stressed by their most recently beatified servant, Pope John Paul II. Quite reasonably called by one scholar “the Pope of Subsidiarity,” PJPII distrusted overly centralized bureaucracies for excellent, faith-based reasons.
The Catechism of the church explains subsidiarity succinctly: 1883 Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co- ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”
In Centesimus Annus, PJPII wrote that an uncontrolled Welfare State “leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending.”
Catholics worried about the erosion of the social safety net should therefore understand that there is a vast difference between reforming the safety net and destroying it. It is in that light that the current debate over the budget proposals of Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan should be understood. Ryan, himself a practicing Roman Catholic, is decidedly not undermining the safety net, but trying to salvage it for future generations – another determinedly Catholic concern, that of the sacred trust we hold for posterity. Again, this was a favorite theme of John Paul II.
Talk to Ryan for even a small amount of time and you are immediately struck by the sincerity of his concern about the debt burdens the nation faces and about how it robs hope from generations yet unborn. Examine the details of his proposals and you’ll see stark examples of subsidiarity in practice. What American political liberals describe as an assault on Medicare and Medicaid is nothing other than subsidiarity applied to those programs in order to save them. He would “block-grant” Medicaid to the states – a “community of a lower order” than the federal government – and let the states operate the programs with particular attention to local needs.
For Medicare, Ryan would preserve almost every jot and tittle for Americans 55 and older, but for those under 55 he would devolve choice, and authority, back to the individual. He would do so via what decades of moderate Democrats and Republicans alike have supported, namely the idea of “premium support,” which is basically a straight government grant controlled by the individual which the individual can use to purchase insurance. Liberals denounce this as a “voucher” – although why “voucher” should still be a bad word is not exactly clear. Regardless of what it’s called, it is certainly no affront to those who, ten years or more from now, will become fully eligible for Medicare. It gives control to them, rather than to bureaucrats. It saves money. Indeed, it is modeled after Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program – which because of very similar, consumer-based, market-oriented provisions, has cost the government far less money than projected while costing consumers remarkably less in premiums than even the most optimistic number-crunchers expected. In short, the experience of Medicare Part D suggests that Ryan is hardly being outlandish to say that giving control back to consumers in a market-based system can save money without harming benefits – and thus preserve Medicare for future generations. Either way, it is fully consistent with Catholic principles of subsidiarity and generational responsibility.
The point is not to say whether or not it will work, or whether it is wise policy, and the point certainly is not to say that Catholic teaching requires supporting the Ryan plan. The point is that, by being fully in accord with Catholic principles writ large, the Ryan plan can be adjudged on its merits as a serious contribution to the debate, without Catholics somehow worrying that it in any way violates the Christian imperative to care for “the least of these.
Catholic teaching does not endorse any particular program for elderly health care. But it does give guidance as to whether or not a program is within a broad range of acceptable outcomes. Applying the precepts of Pope John Paul II especially, one can conclude that the Ryan plan passes that test with ease.
Quin Hillyer is a Senior Editor for The American Spectator
The Catholicity of Paul Ryan’s Budget was originally published by Catholic Advocate, 5/5/11