In this corner, we have the over-the-edge budget-slasher (social programs, of course) and self-proclaimed “good Catholic” Paul Ryan. And in the opposite corner, we have the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who despite their overwhelmingly politically conservative leanings… just ask Planned Parenthood, or most women in America… perceive Ryan’s budget as contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ (more like those of Ayn Rand, they say) regarding assistance to the poor, and aren’t afraid to say so. (Indeed, as far as I can tell, the USCCB aren’t afraid to say anything: they must somehow be judicially assured of retaining their tax exemption as they actively engage in politics. Could their ace in the hole be those six (6) Justices on the Supreme Court who are Catholic?) Tonight, Ryan and the USCCB will go far more than 15 rounds, battling over the classic contradiction built into religious conservatism: call it “budget‑busting vs. Bible‑thumping.”
Come out fighting and beat each other to a pulp, “gentlemen”!
Oh, and Nichols provides us with the Malapropism of the Week, attributed to Paul Ryan: “Ryan says: ‘The preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenants of Catholic social teaching, means don’t keep people poor, …’ ” Would those Catholic tenants be in Catholic tenements? I don’t doubt for a moment that “tenants” is the word Ryan said.