Tag Archives: tenth amendment

Catholic Social Teaching and the 10th Amendment vs. ObamaCare

From the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Socialization also presents dangers. 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 the 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.”

God has not willed to reserve to himself all exercise of power. He entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature. This mode of governance ought to be followed in social life. The way God acts in governing the world, which bears witness to such great regard for human freedom, should inspire the wisdom of those who govern human communities. They should behave as ministers of divine providence.

The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.

This is an unusual topic for me to blog about; I don’t normally cover religious topics for a variety of reasons. Still, as I have watched the debate over ObamaCare unfold, I have noted with interest that the Catholic bishops in the United States have opposed socialized medicine only insofar as it would expand federal funding to abortion coverage. Their single issue opposition to ObamaCare has led to the perception that its funding of abortion is the only way it contradicts Catholic social teaching.

But that’s not the case. Tea Party activists have opposed ObamaCare on the grounds that it violates the Tenth Amendment, which plainly says that the powers not reserved to the federal government or prohibited to the states should be reserved to the states or to the people. Catholic social teaching is similar in that it invokes the principle of subsidiarity, explained by the Catechism in the quote above. In essence, both the Tenth Amendment and the Catholic principle of subsidiarity are identical. Both make the case that a massive collectivist takeover of health care is not only unnecessary, but improper insofar as it “can threaten personal freedom and initiative.”

You’re reading that right: Both the United States Constitution and the Catechism of the Catholic Church repudiate collectivism and demand subsidiarity to preserve human freedom. On this issue, our founding fathers who wrote of our God-given liberty would be in lockstep with every pope since at least Pope Leo XIII.

Why point this out? It’s not just a “fun fact.” The bishops have opposed ObamaCare because it does, in fact, expand federal funding of abortion. But what if it hadn’t? Had the Stupak amendment been preserved, the U.S. bishops were prepared to support the bill — despite its clear violation of the principle of subsidiarity. Certainly the right to life and the preservation of human dignity are the paramount concerns, the very foundation, of Catholic social teaching. But the principle of subsidiarity has again and again been expounded upon by the papal teaching authority. It is no small matter.

The U.S. bishops were in a unique position, as both Americans and Catholic bishops, to connect the Catholic principle of subsidiarity to our constitutional principles. They had an opportunity to tell American Catholics that opposing ObamaCare is both a patriotic and religious duty. They utterly failed to do so. They missed an opportunity to boldly reaffirm a mostly forgotten principle of Catholic social teaching, to affirm the link between the Catholic and American commitments to human freedom, and to once again take up the Catholic Church’s historic leadership in the fight against global socialism.

Only the bishops can know why they have chosen not to take this opportunity. All we can do, as ordinary Catholics, is encourage them to elucidate this principle and its connection to American constitutional principles. In the meantime, as ordinary Catholics we can tell our fellow American Catholics, and all of our fellow Americans, what the Church teaches about God’s model of governance versus the collectivist model proposed by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

Mike DeWine for Ohio Attorney General

From the Rust Belt endorses former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine for Ohio Attorney General.

My objections to DeWine’s candidacy are many and are now well-known. I believe that Mike DeWine is a huge player in our insufficiently conservative Republican establishment here in Ohio. I believe that Kevin DeWine, Mike DeWine’s second cousin and chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, tried to clear a path for his cousin’s uncontested nomination for Attorney General. Mike DeWine has serious Second Amendment issues. And to top it all off, former Sen. DeWine hasn’t practiced law in any form since before I was born.

Dave Yost, a well-regarded conservative county prosecutor, would have been a better Attorney General than Mike DeWine, but Yost has bowed to the establishment and entered the primary race for Auditor of State instead. From the Rust Belt continues to endorse State Rep. Seth Morgan (R-Huber Heights) in that race because Morgan is both the authentic Tea Party candidate in that race and is, as a CPA, more qualified for the job than Yost.

Yesterday we learned that the Republican primary race for Attorney General is once again contested. According to the Dayton Daily News, Hardin County attorney Steve Christopher has entered the race saying that “the moderates and conservatives need to have a candidate for attorney general who’s not a professional politician and a liberal, which DeWine and Cordray both are.” The article even points out that Christopher is “part of the Tea Party movement.” Perfect, right?

Well, there’s a problem, as Right Ohio points out. Turns out Steve Christopher has donated thousands of dollars to DeWine’s past campaigns, including primary campaigns, as recently as DeWine’s last failed run for reelection in 2004. Christopher needs to explain to us why DeWine was conservative enough for Christopher to spend thousands keeping him in office before, but magically isn’t conservative enough for Steve Christopher today. Putting it another way, I would rather have the devil I know for Attorney General than the devil I don’t. Why launch the career of another RINO politician? We’ve already got one.

When we put Steve Christopher’s non-starter candidacy aside, this leaves us with only one alternative to Mike DeWine: his Democrat opponent, Richard Cordray. This is true whether we’re talking about actually voting for Cordray, voting for a third party candidate, or just not voting in the Attorney General race at all. Any vote that is not for Mike DeWine or any vote not cast is a vote for Rich Cordray. Bottom line.

It has been noted here and elsewhere that Cordray is better on the Second Amendment than DeWine, and that’s certainly true. But the Attorney General’s office is important for reasons beyond the Second Amendment.

Should ObamaCare pass, we will need an Attorney General who’s going to fight its unconstitutional mandate and other elements of the bill that may be constitutionally questionable. We all know Rich Cordray has his eyes on the governor’s office. Do you think he’s going to inflame his party’s liberal establishment by putting up a fight against ObamaCare? We are living in a time when the Constitution is ignored and states’ rights are the laughing stock of Washington. Maybe we can’t fully trust Mike DeWine, but we certainly can’t trust Rich Cordray — looking to work his way up in his party, the very party that is ripping our Constitution to pieces.

I wish we had a more conservative candidate than Mike DeWine for Ohio Attorney General. I hate the way that the party machine worked to clear the primary of serious candidates so he could win the nomination, now pitting two conservatives against each other for Auditor and jeopardizing that important Apportionment Board seat.

But at the end of the day, I am a Republican. As a Republican, I believe that Mike DeWine with all of his flaws is still going to be better for this state. At least he is committed to some of our values. And Rich Cordray? Well, he’s okay on the Second Amendment. But just wait and watch that go up in smoke the minute he thinks it hurts his “inevitability” for governor in 2014. Rich Cordray is a Democrat and, at the end of the day, will demonstrate the same disregard for the rule of law that his party has again and again demonstrated.

That’s why, for the sake of Ohio and its commitment to the rule of law, From the Rust Belt endorses former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine for Ohio Attorney General.

UPDATE: By the way, this endorsement has nothing to do with the recent poll that shows DeWine ahead of Cordray. I decided to make this endorsement after a lot of thought, and the more immediate catalyst was Steve Christopher jumping into the race.

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