A unique conflict of ideas is emerging from the Pope and the Obama administration. Few would be surprised to find liberal Catholic leaders taking Obama’s side. But what is strange is that these pundits are favoring not abortion or gay marriage, but money-idolatry and greed.
Stranger still, no one seems to notice this contradiction, especially the liberals themselves.
The Pope issued a speech this week harshly criticizing the world’s current financial culture as being “an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.”
In the finance world, ethics “is a nuisance! It is regarded as counterproductive…. These financiers, economists and politicians consider God to be unmanageable, unmanageable even dangerous.”
“The Pope appeals for disinterested solidarity and for a return to person-centered ethics in the world of finance and economics.”
Liberal Catholic pundits like the National Catholic Reporter’s Michael Sean Winters are crowing about this speech because they think it condemns conservative advocates of the free-market.
But these same liberal Catholics continue to defend the Obama administration’s insistence, in law and in nearly every court in the country, that businesses do not and cannot exercise religious ethics.
Obamacare, as you probably know, forces Catholic and other Christian families in business to provide early abortion drugs, contraception and sterilization in their health insurance plans.
The Obama administration has refused to exempt these people. But it’s worse than that. No less than three times later this month the Obama administration is arguing in court that a family business “is a for-profit, secular employer, and a secular entity by definition does not practice religion.”
In other words, there is no such thing as religious ethics in business. The President is eager to banish religion from economics so that everyone must participate in the abortion and contraception frenzy of his “God bless[ed]” ally Planned Parenthood.
Liberal Catholic pundits including Winters have repeatedly and emphatically defended the President’s current rule, and they insist that the Bishops shut up about it. This rule exempts or “accommodates” no one except churches and some non-profit organizations. Families earning a living in business are not even capable of claiming religious duty–they are only allowed to care about profit.
Ironically, this idea destroys the notion that businesses should care about workers, immigrants, “climate change” or just plain honesty. All those values are impossible to pursue if a family business “is a for-profit, secular employer, and a secular entity by definition does not practice religion.” The President, and Winters in his defense, are saying there can be no religious character to the thousands of Catholic families doing business in America who go to great expense to treat their workers and communities with great dignity, and who just don’t want to be conscripted into Planned Parenthood’s hegemony.
In contrast, you will recall, “The Pope appeals for disinterested solidarity and for a return to person-centered ethics in the world of finance and economics.” Meaning: religious ethics in business is not only possible, the Gospel demands it.
Michael Sean Winters couldn’t disagree more with the Pope on this point. Except when he wants to criticize Fr. Sirico. Only then will Winters claim he wants “ethical accountability” in the business world.