The Bishops Are Wrong and Have No One But Themselves To Blame for This
#21
Well, Crusading, needless to say, I disagree.

But, I would say that it would not be immoral for the government to mandate that drugs to treat Attention Deficit Disorder should always be covered by every employer.

This thread alone proves their need.
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#22
(02-02-2012, 01:24 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: The point is that there is nothing inherently immoral with the government requiring businesses to provide certain benefits to employees. No one is saying that this is always prudent or just or that the government ought to mandate provision of contraception and abortion. 
I disagree. There is a huge problem with the State telling ANYONE business owners or employees what to do with their property and that is what you're saying isn't immoral. When the State forces an employer to provide certain "benefits" to their employees it is telling that employer what to do with their personal property. THAT IS IMMORAL. Now this is different from the Church telling Catholics how to treat their employees, this is within the realm of moral teaching and is NO place for the State to get involved. I suggest you read The Law by Frederick Bastiat for a good insight on property rights and why they are so important to the fabric of society.

Here is a link to the book online.


http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html
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#23
The state was heavily involved in the economy during the middle ages, going so far as to set prices.  The Catholic Church didn't utter a peep.  Neither did the saints. 

Several pre-Vatican II Popes condemned completely unregulated capitalism that allowed the poor and especially children to suffer.   You guys are making stuff up to say the Church says the state can't be involved in the economy at all.  You won't be able to provide a single church document or writing of a saint that would support that.  Saint Thomas Aquinas was not a democratic libertarian. 

The Church has condemned communism and the extreme excesses of capitalism, but in between there is a wide spectrum of economic views that Catholics can hold.  So it's fine to disagree on economics as long as we aren't advocating communism or defending children working in textile mills.  But, even though we might have strongly held views that are informed by our faith we can't act as our if political views were de fide
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#24
(02-02-2012, 02:15 PM)WesternWarrior Wrote:
(02-02-2012, 01:24 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: The point is that there is nothing inherently immoral with the government requiring businesses to provide certain benefits to employees. No one is saying that this is always prudent or just or that the government ought to mandate provision of contraception and abortion. 
I disagree. There is a huge problem with the state telling ANYONE business owners or employees what to do with their property and that is what you're saying isn't immoral.

But this would seem to ignore the properly public character of private property. Pope Pius warns about this and its opposing error:
Quote:46. Accordingly, twin rocks of shipwreck must be carefully avoided. For, as one is wrecked upon, or comes close to, what is known as "individualism" by denying or minimizing the social and public character of the right of property, so by rejecting or minimizing the private and individual character of this same right, one inevitably runs into "collectivism" or at least closely approaches its tenets. Unless this is kept in mind, one is swept from his course upon the shoals of that moral, juridical, and social modernism which We denounced in the Encyclical issued at the beginning of Our Pontificate.

Private property has a place in the life of a political community, so it is perfectly reasonable for the community to take some interest in how that property is used. Although, one must also avoid the collectivism that Pius XI warns us about.
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#25
I think one thing CR is not understanding is that property rights are tied to the right to life. Property is often the means by which we make our livelihood. Government mandates regarding wages and benefits limit the options of business owners with regard to how they allocate their resources. The requirement to provide for the health needs of employees especially affects very small businesses, that might only need a couple of employees but can barely afford them.  The funding required to provide healthcare to these employees may lead to reducing the number of employees to one or zero. For some businesses, this may mean failure, if that manpower was necessary to operate. That means where once there were three people employed, now none are employed, and they can no longer provide for their basic needs. Hence, the tie between property and life.

Mandating that employers provide healthcare for their employees favors mid-size to large corporations, because typically, only they have the funds to provide this benefit (without a significant cut into operational capacity). Most of them provide this benefit voluntarily, anyway, because they realize it is necessary to recruit quality talent. Here, the market provides the incentive to provide healthcare benefits (along with many other excellent benefits that are not mandated). For lower-skilled workers, who may not have a highly marketable skillset, they may not be able to find such gainful employment, but if small businesses, that require less-skilled labor, have been reduced in number because of healthcare mandates, then that leaves fewer job options for those less-skilled workers, which leads to higher unemployment.
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#26
If you want a good read or two concerning The Church's teaching, as opposed to the secular side, try these:
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13rerum.htm
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13sta.htm
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13liber.htm
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13sapie.htm
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13rgt.htm
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13grcom.htm
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11QUADR.HTM
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12SUMMI.HTM
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6develo.htm
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_p...us_en.html
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_p...ns_en.html
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_p...is_en.html

Pope Pius XII; Summi Pontificatus
"57. But the moment comes when the inevitable law triumphs, which strikes down all that has been constructed upon a hidden or open disproportion between the greatness of the material and outward success, and the weakness of the inward value and of its moral foundation. Such disproportion exists whenever public authority disregards or denies the dominion of the Supreme Lawgiver, Who, as He has given rulers power, has also set and marked its bounds.

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#27
(02-02-2012, 02:24 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: The state was heavily involved in the economy during the middle ages, going so far as to set prices.  The Catholic Church didn't utter a peep.  Neither did the saints. 

Point 1: Just because it happened during the Middle Ages doesn't mean it was good or right. A lot of foolish, unjust, fratricidal wars occurred in the Middle Ages, as well. We need to escape this mentality that says "if it happened in the Middle Ages, it was Catholic."

Point 2: The Church's forte is not social sciences. I don't expect the Church to give definitive teachings on the negative affects of price-fixing. Just because the Church didn't speak on it doesn't mean it's not immoral.

(02-02-2012, 02:24 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: Several pre-Vatican II Popes condemned completely unregulated capitalism that allowed the poor and especially children to suffer.

Here we go again. The sort of capitalism that the likes of Leo XIII and Pius XI were speaking out against was, in every case, corporatist capitalism, i.e. large corporations received some sort of corrupt assistance from the government, whether through influence peddling or policy assistance. When your fellow *Catholics* speak of the merits of capitalism and the free market, you should assume that we are automatically allowing for laws against fraud, theft, and preferential treatment given by the government. We are also asuming that corporations should be held liable for harm done to individuals and to society as a whole.

(02-02-2012, 02:24 PM)Someone1776 Wrote:  You guys are making stuff up to say the Church says the state can't be involved in the economy at all.  You won't be able to provide a single church document or writing of a saint that would support that.

Likewise, nowhere in the Deposit of Faith is it said that government SHOULD be involved in economic engineering.

Edited to correct: I typed "capitalists" where I meant to say "Catholics."
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#28
(02-02-2012, 02:31 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: 46. Accordingly, twin rocks of shipwreck must be carefully avoided. For, as one is wrecked upon, or comes close to, what is known as "individualism" by denying or minimizing the social and public character of the right of property, so by rejecting or minimizing the private and individual character of this same right, one inevitably runs into "collectivism" or at least closely approaches its tenets. Unless this is kept in mind, one is swept from his course upon the shoals of that moral, juridical, and social modernism which We denounced in the Encyclical issued at the beginning of Our Pontificate.

Pius's point is well-taken, but it is hardly a restriction on private property rights. He is merely giving a moral warning on its proper use. That is a matter for the individual conscience to decide. Nowhere does he advocate the use of political force to regulate private property.

In fact, Leo XIII tells us:

Quote:"It is lawful," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "for a man to hold private property; and it is also necessary for the carrying on of human existence."" But if the question be asked: How must one's possessions be used? - the Church replies without hesitation in the words of the same holy Doctor: "Man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need. Whence the Apostle with, ‘Command the rich of this world... to offer with no stint, to apportion largely.’"(12) True, no one is commanded to distribute to others that which is required for his own needs and those of his household; nor even to give away what is reasonably required to keep up becomingly his condition in life, "for no one ought to live other than becomingly."(13) But, when what necessity demands has been supplied, and one's standing fairly taken thought for, it becomes a duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over. "Of that which remaineth, give alms."(14) It is a duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity - a duty not enforced by human law.
Rerum Novarum, 22 [my emphasis added]

And again:
Quote:"The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property."
Rerum Novarum, 15
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#29
I think rbjmartin is spot on. 

Even the perspective of this entire thread strikes me as odd:  why should anyone have to prove that a state action/mandate is immoral?  It should be the other way around.  Methinks I detect an assumption lurking therein, that somehow the state and its decisions/mandates is neccessarily morally superior to that of the individual; a completely indefensible assumption from any point of view, whether it be historical, theological, political theoretical, common sense.  etc.   

Anyway, this sort of mandate - besides being highly questionable at a Constitutional level, and forgetting the obviously problematic content of the mandate - is basically using force to compel some people to relinquish their property to other people (which is immoral), which also reduces a person to a mere means (immoral) towards a particular end that is defined by people who have little interest but in aggrandizing their own power.

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#30
(02-02-2012, 03:29 PM)rbjmartin Wrote:
(02-02-2012, 02:31 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: 46. Accordingly, twin rocks of shipwreck must be carefully avoided. For, as one is wrecked upon, or comes close to, what is known as "individualism" by denying or minimizing the social and public character of the right of property, so by rejecting or minimizing the private and individual character of this same right, one inevitably runs into "collectivism" or at least closely approaches its tenets. Unless this is kept in mind, one is swept from his course upon the shoals of that moral, juridical, and social modernism which We denounced in the Encyclical issued at the beginning of Our Pontificate.

Pius's point is well-taken, but it is hardly a restriction on private property rights. He is merely giving a moral warning on its proper use. That is a matter for the individual conscience to decide. Nowhere does he advocate the use of political force to regulate private property.

Maybe, but referring to the "public" character of property would certainly seem to allow some role for the state, as the state is concerned with the public sphere. Pope Pius seems to say as much when he notes:
Quote:49. It follows from what We have termed the individual and at the same time social character of ownership, that men must consider in this matter not only their own advantage but also the common good. To define these duties in detail when necessity requires and the natural law has not done so, is the function of those in charge of the State. Therefore, public authority, under the guiding light always of the natural and divine law, can determine more accurately upon consideration of the true requirements of the common good, what is permitted and what is not permitted to owners in the use of their property. Moreover, Leo XIII wisely taught "that God has left the limits of private possessions to be fixed by the industry of men and institutions of peoples."[32] That history proves ownership, like other elements of social life, to be not absolutely unchanging, We once declared as follows: "What divers forms has property had, from that primitive form among rude and savage peoples, which may be observed in some places even in our time, to the form of possession in the patriarchal age; and so further to the various forms under tyranny (We are using the word tyranny in its classical sense); and then through the feudal and monarchial forms down to the various types which are to be found in more recent times."[33] That the State is not permitted to discharge its duty arbitrarily is, however, clear.

He argues that the state can, within certain limits, define the exact limits of private ownership. He also points out that "history proves ownership, like other elements of social life, to be not absolutely unchanging," which would also seem to allow some role for collective deliberation on the common good when thinking about private property. At any rate, I was just quoting Pope Pius as an example of the belief that private property has a public character, and that a middle ground between "collectivism" and "individualism" needs to be found.
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