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Ten Commandments

Pope's Inequality Crusade Violates Tenth Commandment

In modern terms the Tenth Commandment tells us not to covet the possessions of others. Yet coveting the possessions of others is exactly what Pope Francis is doing with his income inequality crusade. Even worse, Pope Francis is inspiring millions of Catholic's around the globe to violate the Tenth Commandment and covet the possessions of others. If his quote supporting "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state" isn't coveting the possessions of others, then what is?

Pope Francis is correct to point out that the goodness of those wielding economic power is required for trickle-down economics to benefit the working class (see our opinion piece on income inequality to see why) but, as directed by the Tenth Commandment, the Church should not be fostering the politically motivated envy and class warfare that is associated with the income inequality issue.

If Pope Francis really believes in "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state" then he is also violating the Seventh Commandment, thou shalt not steal. Because our government doesn't create its own wealth, to provide a benefit to some, our government must take it from others, either from current citizens using taxes or future citizens when they borrow it. Forcibly taking from one group to give to another less fortunate group may make some feel righteous but it is still theft. Redistribution by the state would be involuntary by definition and because it's involuntary, it is exactly the same as theft.

Similarly, for government to provide the poor with healthcare as Pope Francis suggested, government must force another group to provide it. If the Pope believes the poor are not getting the healthcare they need, then he should be working on a way for the Church to provide it. This is a legitimate statement not political hyperbole because Catholic churches and the Vatican have the resources, infrastructure and the medical professionals in the congregation to perform this service for the poor.

With the introduction of the income inequality issue and his statement on healthcare, the Pope has made obvious something that had been previously occurring but less obvious, that the Church has become more involved in politics over the years and that the Church's political positions are liberal and aligned with Democrats. Those that follow Church politics know that Church leaders who develop the legislative agenda for the Church favor more restrictions on firearm ownership, government funding of charities, policies that help illegal immigrants and they oppose the death penalty. The Church may be socially conservative but it is politically liberal. If the Church were to exit the political stage, one has to wonder if collections would rise, especially from politically conservative and libertarian Catholics.

The Church, not the government, should help the poor. When the Church helps the poor, the money needed is obtained voluntarily through Church collections. When government helps the poor, the help that is provided must be taken from another group of individuals whether they approve of it or not. This may seem acceptable to some because they perceive it to be for a good cause, but the fact that the government chooses who wins and who loses (i.e., who it takes from and who it gives to) is what fosters corruption and is why there is big money influencing politics. If the government wasn't choosing winners and losers, there would be no benefit and therefore no reason for individuals and corporations to try to influence politicians with money, gifts and future jobs.

The Church should stop allocating resources to politics and instead devote them to helping the poor (like helping the poor with healthcare as previously stated). Church members can still vote based on their religious values without the Church being directly involved in politics.

Right now we have a government that doesn't obey the Constitution. If the Church doesn't obey the Ten Commandments, our country is finished.

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