osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Please do not answer glibly

Because I'm really trying to figure this out. But most people will answer with a rather glib expression of their own views rather than anything vaguely educational or fact-based. The person I usually ask about this stuff is fatlefty, but I have not seen him online for awhile and my time for phone calls is diddly/squat. I saw this piece in USA Today that the Catholic Bishops had sent a letter to Congress that the Ryan Budget was not in keeping with Catholic morality. Mind you, it took Ryan saying that his budget had been "inspired" by Catholic teachings and complaints from socially liberal Catholics to get them in gear. What I am still trying to figure out is whether there is any rhyme or reason for what takes precedence or rates what punishment in the Catholic Church. In Judaism, while we don't have a formal ranking system, there are actually a set of rules for how to determine the comparative badness of breaking one commandment over another. We also have lengthy discussions about "suppose you can only do commandment X by breaking commandment Y," or "what if your duty to warn someone against a possible sin conflicts with your duty not to embarrass them." Do Catholic Bishops have any system for deciding that being pro-choice is worse than being anti-aid to the poor? Or that being pro-choice is worse than being pro-death penalty? I ask because I am always suspicious religious systems that make it so that God always ends up agreeing with me. Mind you, I'm not saying there is anything innately inconsistent with saying support for one political position is worse than support for another, or saying that one set of issues is clear cut (because abortion is always wrong) but another is more murky (the principle of charity must be balanced against many other factors). That's why I want to avoid glib answers like "No, they just do what they want because they hate women and hate freedom." I would actually like to know. Since the Catholic Church actually has a fairly complex body of law and is hierarchical in nature, I assume there is some system for prioritizing and ranking these things.

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