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Catholic professors blast Boehner's record over cuts to poor
May 11th, 2011
07:27 PM ET

Catholic professors blast Boehner's record over cuts to poor

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) - When House Speaker John Boehner steps up to the podium at the Catholic University of America's commencement on Saturday, he'll be tap dancing around the line between faith and politics.

On Wednesday, a group of 70 professors, priests, nuns and others from the Washington university and other Catholic colleges around the country fired off a letter calling Boehner on the carpet for what they say is his lack of support of legislation for the poor.

"Your record in support of legislation to address the desperate needs of the poor is among the worst in Congress. This fundamental concern should have great urgency for Catholic policy makers. Yet, even now, you work in opposition to it," the letter reads.

Boehner, Catholic by faith and Republican by party, was able to garner enough votes in the House for the passage of HR 1, the House budget proposal that has drawn the ire of many religious leaders.

The group of professors said the proposed cuts in the budget to Medicare, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program and food stamps "guts long-established protections for the most vulnerable members of society."

Along with their letter they sent the speaker the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, a Vatican document on the teachings of the Catholic prepared in 2004 by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The compendium cites specific guidance for lawmakers: "Those who exercise political authority must see to it that the energies of all citizens are directed towards the common good; and they are to do so not in an authoritarian style but by making use of moral power sustained in freedom."

Stephen F. Schneck is a professor at the Catholic University of America and director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies. He is one of the signers of the letter and said the impetuous for it took root early in the budget debate.

"It was probably the contrast between what the bishops were telling us about paying attention to the needs of the poor and the actual budget that passed through the House of Representatives," Schneck said.

"One of the most ancient teachings of Christianity is preferential treatment of the poor, and it seemed that in the way in which the ... budget tried to address the deficit and the debt, it was particularly targeting programs that serve the poor," Schneck said.

"We thought that was an inappropriate balancing of the various interests of society. It seems to us these examples that we gave were illustrations of what were really egregious targeting of really valuable programs to the poorest and most vulnerable people in America."

Schneck and the other signatories on the letter are urging Boehner to join with a group of religious leaders who have been calling for a "Circle of Protection" to be formed around federal programs for the poor. That group grew out of what some have said are liberal Christian activist groups but in recent weeks has grown to include a broad scope of Protestant, Catholic and evangelical leaders.

“Lawmakers need to understand what a circle of protection means," Jim Wallis, the head of Sojourners, said on a conference call with reporters last week about the effort. "It means if you come after the poor, you will have to come and go through us first."

The coalition of religious leaders behind the "Circle of Protection" also has drawn the ire of conservative media outlets.

Rush Limbaugh said on his radio program last month, "A favorite tactic of the left, you know, when it suits them they'll talk about Jesus Christ. When they can convince or try to convince everybody Jesus Christ was the patron saint of liberalism, then they will herald Jesus Christ."

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said the commencement address won't wade into the political battle over the budget. "The speaker will be delivering a personal, non-political message at the Catholic University of America that he hopes will speak to all members of the graduating class, regardless of their backgrounds or affiliations," he said in a statement to CNN.

"He is deeply honored to have been invited by CUA to address the school's graduating class and is looking forward to receiving an honorary degree from the only Catholic college in our country that is chartered by Catholic bishops,” the statement continued.

Steel also noted that an editorial in the student newspaper heralded the school's choice of commencement speaker.

Boehner is not the first Catholic politician to face criticism over how his politics and prayers mesh. During the 2004 presidential campaign, Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, was denied communion over his support for abortion rights, which some bishops said was in direct violation of the church's teachings.  Then-Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a Rhode Island Democrat, found himself in a similar row with his bishop in 2009 over abortion and was barred from receiving communion.

Schneck said any notion of whether Boehner's support for budget cuts would merit a withholding of communion is an "issue above my pay grade" and better left for a pastor, not a professor, to decide.

"I think the issue of a violation is one between him and God, but it seems the budget that has gone through the House of Representatives seems to be at odds with what should be the approach congruent with Catholic social teachings," Schneck said.

He also said the professors will not be disrupting the speech in any way and that their efforts were merely educational.

"Our efforts are to reach out to the speaker and hope to persuade him to think about endorsing the circle of protection."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Mass • Politics • Vatican

soundoff (1,057 Responses)
  1. John

    Like this is some "new," "astonishing" realization... the GOP has ALWAYS been "anti-poor!"

    May 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  2. Scott H

    Ah, the Roman Catholic Church. I don't think it met a socialist dictator it didn't somehow sympathize with. If people want to give to the poor, I say do it out of charity and kindness...and do it DIRECTLY, rather than let the Roman Catholic Church OR the Govt. be the clearinghouse of that "charity".

    May 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Robert

      I think the point is that if he wans to claim to be a Catholic he should act like one otherwise abandon the label.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  3. WWJD

    WWJD?

    He would take to the streets. He would roit. He would burn the houses of the money-changers.
    He would kill the agents of Caesar.
    NOW

    ANARCHY IN AMERICA ~ TAKE IT TO A POST OFFICE NEAR YOU!

    May 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  4. Anne Chovey

    remember when the poor caused the economic collapse..???
    you don't remember.......cause they didn't

    May 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  5. AB

    John Boehner is not doing anything wrong other than stop the country from going down to a wrong direction. There is not a reason for US to have any poor when foreign like me without family or anything at all come here and make it. For a foreigner without parents, I came in to US, graduated high school, have a BS degree and a masters. I was able to take loans which I am now paying back with a very good job with a pharmaceutical company. I am not putting anyone down but this actually proves that anyone who is willing to work can make it. Why is the fed has to give all the time.

    First of all it is not helping the individual who never work, it is keeping people from depending on themselves which are now hurting the country because people are not self reliant, when problem occurs they don’t know what to do to fix it. From their parents giving them everything to the fed continues to give them everything when their parents failed to do it. I am in my mid 30s and I know people younger than me in welfare. To me the system is destroying people instead of helping them. When the country is struggling, they won't have anything to contribute to the country and help bringing it back up. Their children will end up living the same life style as them. So the country will end up going down and it is happening right now.

    Everyone think that democrats are right with the way they do things, but they failed to realize that democrats also are going to stop them from being self reliant and at the end they will loose their freedom because they are going to rely on the government for everything they need. John Boehner is not being cold towards the poor; he is only stopping the country from going down and this has nothing to do with being catholic. The Lord orders everyone to continue to work until his return. That priest who is accusing John Boehner obviously failed to read the Bible. For those who failed to understand that, should try to ask them this question, why are the foreigners came here in the state and left their country? It is because we are looking for the opportunity we don't have back in our home land where working hard can take you from poverty level to a much better life. Where we are from we can't do it because the government tries to control everything. If you don't work you don't eat and the government is always on your face.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • WWJD

      GO HOME DOT HEAD

      May 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Tony

      AB, if you don't understand that not all people in a community of 310 million are going to have the same fortunes, abilities, and wherewithal to succeed (a subjective term) or not succeed, then you should probably go back to school to complete your education. And while you're at it, take a few elementary grammer courses this time so that you don't sound like a redneck.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Lily in Texas

      I don't believe your story.

      "There is not a reason for US to have any poor when foreign like me without family or anything at all come here and make it. For a foreigner without parents, I came in to US, graduated high school, have a BS degree and a masters. I was able to take loans which I am now paying back with a very good job with a pharmaceutical company."

      You obviously had some help getting to America as "a foreigner with no parents", right? Or did Santa Claus just drop you off here from his sleigh?

      How did you get here? How did you enter the country legally "as a child without parents"? Who fed you a a child? Who enrolled you into school? Who paid for your vaccinations to get into school? How did you get your citizenship?

      Your story smells a bit.

      May 12, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Tam

      I applaud your achievements! This country is lucky that you have chosen it as your home.

      May 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  6. Cdn Jim

    Are they're only figuring this out now?

    May 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  7. Brett

    All them idiots up in Washington care about themselves and that is it. WAKE UP AMERICA!!! Something has to be done before its too late. I love this country. But, its not like it used to be. The devil has taken over. If you take a look at the layout of Washington D.C. you will notice a pentagram with the White House sitting on the top of the pentagram. You will notice 3 center plazas that have 3 streets coming off each one of them. If you do the math that is 666. Washington D.C. is the DEVILS territory. The design was created by a MASON. They say that this country was founded upon Christian principles and beliefs. I am a christian. But, if you think about it and do a little research you will find that this land was stolen from the Indians. Now, that to me is not a christian way of doing things. This country is so much filled with GREED and STUPIDITY.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  8. John

    These elite brain-workers don't actually represent anyone. There are no consequences for their way of doing politics. No-one to pay for it? Oh, well. What do I care, I'm saved. You're bankrupt? Oh well, the Lord will provide. These guys may have points I actually agree with, but no church is in any way qualified to run a country. That's why we have elections. If they think they have ideas they want to put forward, they should run for office and stop sniping at people who are actually trying to make a difference rather than philosophizing about it. Frankly, if this 'Catholic' group is so worried about the poor, perhaps they should ask the Vatican to bust loose some of it's gazillions.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • CD6910

      They're not a group. And the Catholic Church does a tremendous amount – in money and service – to the poor. At least speak some facts, not just hatred.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • John

      I don't hate anybody. What are you talking about, bud?

      May 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • John

      BTW "On Wednesday, a group of 70 professors, priests, nuns and others", did you read the article?

      May 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  9. Tony

    Well, as usual, if you have a discussion about anything with a bunch of Catholics, eventually the subject of abortion comes up. So, since we're on the subject, I would really appreciate it if any pro-lifers out there could tell me how happy they are that Casey Anthony and Susan Smith didn't have an abortion.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  10. Duane - St.Pete FL

    bad to the poor?........the poor pay no taxes and they suck all kinds of tax money up.......so they take and give nothing. 48% of people in this country pay no taxes......none yet thay are the ones taking more than anyone. Tax the poor at least 15%.......and have them pay for at least a portion of what they take. We really need to stop villinizing the rich and always keep in mind what Mr. Thomas Jefferson said......

    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can
    prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under
    the pretense of taking care of them. – Thomas Jefferson

    May 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Jion

      Ah Duane – a large portion of that 48% that pays no taxes is the rich...the figure has no bearing on this argument whatsoever

      May 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • John Works

      Nearly half of our budget goes to the Dept of defense. I support our soldiers, but there is a ton of waste in defense contractors. Social Security is the other part close to the other half of the budget. The people drawing Social Security paid into the system. So lets get this straight the 48% you believe pay nothing could not prossibly be the big drain on the budget. The total welfare amount is barely a rounding error in the defense budget.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • John

      Hey, John Works. Your figures are completely wrong. Defense is around 21% of our budget, as is SS and then again Medicare/Medicaid. This information is quite easy to research if you would get off you lazy rump and look for it. 'John Works'?? I don't think so, bud.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Duane - St.Pete FL

      spending in the defense in a good thing...that is what our government is supposed to do......the social programs stink and need to be brought under control. People need to save for their own retirement. The "rich" pay far more than their fair share....I mean my bonuses are taxed at 38%, that's crazy, and for what? so some Mexican can walk over the border and set up shop and start collecting benefits?....hunger goes a long way to motivate people to get to work......

      May 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Lily in Texas

      The poor and working poor DO pay taxes whenever they purchase groceries, clothes, school supplies, etc.... It's called state sales tax. Federal taxes are another matter.

      OTOH, why does BIG OIL need $400Billion a year in taxpayer subsidies? The subsidies started when oil cost $17.00 a barrel and R&D required more investment than they had. That's not the case today with oil hovering around $100 a barrel. Our subsidies are what is giving them record breaking global profits over the last 10 years. Heck, welfare and unemployment assistance are limited, why not Big Oil's?

      Boehner's priorities are obviously not faith based but greed based.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  11. kawayan

    Boehner makes his money by protecting the rich – not the poor. The Catholic church makes their money by pointing out the wrong doings of people like Boehner. In the end, both of them makes a lot of money 😦

    May 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • CD6910

      The Church uses it's money to help the poor. Boehner? Not sure.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • John

      CD6910 No, it really doesn't. The Church says that it does, and talks a lot of crap about it. Sort of like the US Government. Any of them.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  12. Ragweed

    Who should take care of the poor? Accordng to scripture, it is an individual's responsibility to take care of those less fortunate than themselves. By extension, this should be the church. I don't know of any place in scripture that says the government should take care of the poor.

    In fact, the U.S. government is responsible for crerating the largest welfare class in history, starting with LBL's so-called Great Society. When people learn to become dependent on the government, they lose all incentive to better themselves.

    Taking a realistic look at the system if the government only took care of those who are genuinely poor, I'll bet that the welfare rolls would be reduced substantially, probably to the point that we could actually afford it.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • CD6910

      I agree with your point of government being an enabler of the poor. Give and give doesn;t help them become independent.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • NonZionist

      It will be interesting to watch your opinion change as you yourself become poor, along with the rest of the middle class.

      You can't sink the bottom of the ship without sinking the whole ship.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • WWJD

      @ RAGWEED the sinner.

      .
      Where n "scripture" did it authorize the Spanish Inquisition, The Crusades, sterilization of indigenous peoples, burning of
      witches, I could go on ad naseum. Your "scripture" is just prattling claptrap. I see your posts on the Gay American Conservativce ~ GAC threads.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • John

      WWJD Really? Stay on topic much?

      May 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Tam

      Ummm . . . who is LBL?

      May 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      You mean LBJ right?

      May 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  13. Bill McL

    Government handouts seems to produce contempt for those paying the bills by the recipients and contempt for those receiving the help by those who are being taxed. The better way is for people to be connected on a personal level to a community of faith. The people being helped see how those who are helping are just like them, couponing, struggling, being frugal; the people don’t know who is being helped (churches don’t reveal that information to their congregations), but do gain respect for the working poor who live, work, and worship among them.

    Charity Tracker is an online program used in Charleston, SC and other places. It connects people in need to churches that will help them. Users go online with a need, and churches near to the need respond. The goal is to keep people from being anonymous, going from church to church with needs, and never connecting with a community of faith. It seems to be working. It creates respect on both sides – the givers and the receivers. The roles could be reversed tomorrow for any of us.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  14. stives

    We are witnessing how America elected leaders really are. We are still living in the haves and have nots; we can't even take care of our poor and homeless, and yet, we spend billions of america monies all over the world and for what? Everyone see now what people say to their face are good, and yet, when they get into office on the Hill, they act as if they don't know you anyomore. It is about america tax payers looking out for themselves because there is not more unity in how we look out for one and other. CEO's, Congressmen, etc., is all about themselves in their families all of a while stealing and taking more from all of us. The writing is on the wall and we seek need to seek what is ahead of us; it is not about what we have, it is how we as American Tax Payers are being treated with the high prices on just about everything. That old saying that we prices goes up, the businessess turn around and make us pay so that they can make a profit....it is time we not partake in that old saying because we are already broke and will continue to be broke because people want us to pay for what they are responsible for paying. Bottom line is.....we need stop purchasing things we don't need!

    May 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  15. M-Theory

    The underlying fundemental philosophy that shades one's particular side of this issue is: Either you're personally OK with paying your taxes to help the poor OR you don't want to pay to help the poor... it's that simple. Any other argument is a smokescreen. The argument 'the programs are ineffective" is disingenuous by nature because no money or will is allocated to fix them. Each individual has a vision of who he thinks the masses of poor to be..... either helpless, needing sympathy or opportunists gaming the system. The truth is there are both kinds...but to leave the helpless for the sake of spiting the opportunists is morally inept, which is hypocrisy among supposed evangelicals.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Sam

      You're incorrect plain and simple. You narrow it down to two choices: (1) Care for the poor and give the gov't money to do so and (2) Ignore the poor and hoard your money to yourself. What about fundamentally disagreeing THAT IT'S THE GOV'Ts JOB TO HELP THE POOR. It's my money, and I will help the poor with my money how I see fit. Instead of looking at Boehner's legislative record, why not check out his charitable giving record and see how that stacks up against the average democrat, the so-called friends of the poor.

      The fundamental difference is this: Democrats believe it's the government's responsibility to mandate charitable giving and therefore don't give out of their own pockets. Republicans believe it's the individual's prerogative to help the poor and therefore give generously and willingly from their own finances directly to the poor. The stats have never shown anything different.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • John

      SAM, very well said, sir.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Samuel

      I agree with M-Theory. Anything else, like Sam's comment, is merely a rationalization for greed.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • 13Directors

      Well put!

      May 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  16. CD6910

    I agree with their action. However, I find it interesting that professors at other Catholic schools don't do the same thing when it comes to abortion – namely Notre Dame and Gerogetown when Obama went there. Abortion ends a life; cuts to the poor do not.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • ???

      Yeah, starvation isn't that lethal.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • CD6910

      No one is being starved. When you are alive you can do something about your situation.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • ???

      Apparently you have never worked with the homeless.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • JJ

      Nobody starves in America

      May 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • CD6910

      Sure have. There are people who need it, and people who abuse it. The point again being that being aborted you have no choice in your own life. You are dead. The hypocrisy is how these supposedly Catholic universities handle guests who do not support Church teaching.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • ???

      Oh you're one of the people who believes that, despite much scientific evidence tot he contrary, that a large portion of the poor are poor because they are all lazy and wouldn't help themselves if they could.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • CD6910

      Not really. I am one of those that believes the more handouts you give, the less likely it is for someone to get off the handouts. Our govt is an enabler of the poor, many (not most necessarily) who are capable of getting jobs but refuse.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • ???

      Ruby Payne's research has been discredited.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • CD6910

      sorry, don't know who ruby payne is.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • ???

      Sorry. Ruby Payne is the intellectual source of conservative beliefs that poverty is mostly due to some characteristic of the individual. She wrote a book called The Cycle of Poverty. Her research has been proven to be based on her own underlying prejudices against the poor. It was discredited not only by exposing her underlying prejudices but by empirical research showing most people are poor due to factors they have no control over.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • lord avie

      congratualtions for this post. You are absolutely correct in you comment. Why didnt the faculty at Notre Dame object to Obama getting an HOnorary Doctorate when he openly support abortion and stem cell research from embryos? By the way given Georgetowns records recently on many fronts, I don even consider them to be a Catholic Instution.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      As long as any Christian group protests abortion but will not protest War I will call them all hypocrits. Sorry War kills so many children and innocents and I rarely see the out pooring of anger or passion for those innocents from so called Christians. I guess if it is the life of a Muslim, a Hindi, a Jew or another Christian in Africa it really doesnt "count" as much as a fetus in America.....

      May 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • John

      ??? your name suits you as you are clueless. Perhaps you have worked with the poor. So have many others who believe abortion is wrong. This does not make you all-knowing. One thing I do know, you are an arrogant person.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • DefHeff

      Have you ever been to a food bank in the inner city such as West Baltimore or LA or DC? Or a small town that doesn't have a food bank at all? Maybe you should leave the comforts of your own home and go help some people who actually need it. Obviously you have been very ignorant as to what has been going on in America for the last several decades.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • 13Directors

      They're always calling out pro-abortion candidates.

      May 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  17. Mark B.

    Blah, Blah, Blah. Jesus knew the self-righteous. It doesn't matter how Boehner appers in their eyes. He only he to answer to their superior. It reminds me of the Scibes and Pharisees.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  18. JJ

    I'm not rich but I hire two people to work in my home full time, pay their taxes, etc. If my taxes go up I slash one from the payroll to afford the taxes and will bank the rest. If taxes go up, my reserves will grow faster and there will be one less job out there. And one less person paying income tax as well. Not sure about the macro implications of raising taxes, but I do know that in my house this is the irrefutable case.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Robert

      Wait your not rich but you have two people working in your home full time? Do you an McCain have the same idea of middle class?

      May 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • tom

      you do not pay their taxes

      you keep part of their pay as required by law

      May 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      Not only are "not sure how it works at a macro level" but you seem not to be sure how it works at an income tax level. I wonder if you being a good Christian had ever considered lowering your own income to pay for those taxes? Also you know that by letting go one employee while saving that income you lose your overhead write off as well. Does the work load change? Do you pay the other guy overtime to make up for the work the one person did? I have too many questions about your company.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • John

      Newsflash, bud. You're rich.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • DefHeff

      Yeah, how does one afford to have two people work directly for them? Housekeepers? Personal assistants? What kind of work do these people do?

      I am middle class and certainly cannot afford anyone to work for me cleaning my house, much less anyone of my middle class friends afford that either.

      You must be someone like one of those CEO's that run the oil companies complaining that my taxes are going up because I make considerably more than a poor or middle class person, right?

      May 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • fedup99

      You make absolutely no sense and show a total lack of knowledge on the issue. You are only trying to incorporate your philisophy (republican), and are attempting to justify your belief. You fail miserably. The only reason that any small business (employer) lasy someone off is because they no longer have the level of demand for their product or services. Likewise conversely, if your demand increases for either and becomes greater than what your current staff can provide, you hire. No tax break makes jobs. Your wrong, ill informed and I suggest you do some actual research instead of spreading your party line crap.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Mimi

      Based on you brief statement, it is clear that you do not have 2 people working at your house. We have a house cleaner, lawn service, snow plower, and gardener. First, the tax increase will not be enough to cause the firing of any of these people/services. Second, I know exactly how we pay their salary, unemployment taxes, etc.... you don't even seem to understand this basic information which makes me think your posting is just political rhetoric that you heard perhaps on Glenn Beck?

      May 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • 13Directors

      No, you're not rich. You're spoiled.

      May 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  19. Steve

    Rather than stomp, stamp, and yell, why don't they set up a charity to do the doings of what they want? I'd rather give $1.00 directly to the poor than give $1.00 to the gov. and them keep $.20. Cut the spending and the taxes and we'd all have more to give. Sure some wouldn't, but is not the freedom to do or not to do, what this nation was founded on? Stop coveting anothers wealth; earn it. The poor at times seem to be just as greedy as the rich.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Kris

      It sounds great. Let us apply the same philosophy to other areas; let us fund our military, the police, the fire departments, road repairs, etc by voluntary contribution! or perhaps we should apply the philosophy only to less important areas where no reliable support is needed.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • physnchips

      There's plenty of charity organizations already set up. People simply don't donate to the poor. I'd rather have the government regulate social classes than the greed inside people's hearts.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      While I feel your intention at your proposal of giving to charity at a local and more direct level to be very good and would work possibly in smaller groups of people. I still find myself asking these questions, who am I to determine what the best bang for my buck at a national level? Would I be giving the money at the right time? How do I keep the charity of my choosing accountable at a national level? How can I prove they deserver their tax status if all donations are at the local level and then funneled up and out? It would be very simple if the world was one neighbor hood and 75% were middle class and 15% were upper middle 5% rich and 5% poor. Easy needs, easy solution. What do you do when your neighborhood is 75% poor and 25% middle? Who pays? Can they pay enough? This is the exact reason national charities were created to fill needs that cannot be filled at the local level. The conservatives love to put this in to a "local" and "neighborhood" kind of debate and apply it to the national level. It really doesnt work that way no matter how you slice and dice it using REAL life facts.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • BigNutz

      Let's give the money directly to the poor so they can buy crack and booze with it! Listen, I worked in many industries, including some that put me in direct contact with poor people taking advantage of the system. Why do "poor" people get to buy steak and lobster with food stamps, and non-poor people who actually work get to eat raman noodles?

      May 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • 13Directors

      A dollar, huh?

      May 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  20. dislexic

    sith elcitra si bmud

    May 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.