In their letter, prominent theologians and other academics take Boehner to task for the budget that he and other Republicans “shepherded through the House of Representatives” as it “guts long-established protections for the most vulnerable members of society” including the poor, the elderly and the disabled
and grants tax cuts to the wealthy and to corporations.
As the New York Times notes, the 75 professors “call such policies ‘anti-life,’ a particularly biting reference because the phrase is usually applied to politicians and others who support the right to abortion.”
According to the letter, Boehner has indeed failed to uphold basic Catholic moral teaching. Here is an excerpt (with my emphases in boldface) from the letter, whose full text can be read via the National Catholic Reporter:
Mr. Speaker, your voting record is at variance from one of the Church’s most ancient moral teachings.
From the apostles to the present, the Magisterium of the Church has insisted that those in power are morally obliged to preference the needs of 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 2012 budget you shepherded to passage in the House of Representatives guts long-established protections for the most vulnerable members
of society. It is particularly cruel to pregnant women and children, gutting Maternal and Child Health grants and slashing $500 million from the highly successful Women Infants and Children nutrition program.
When they graduate from WIC at age 5, these children will face a 20% cut in food stamps.
The House budget radically cuts Medicaid and effectively ends Medicare.
It invokes the deficit to justify visiting such hardship upon the vulnerable, while it carves out $3 trillion in new tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.
The letter ends by calling on Boehner to follow the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, with its “principles of the common good, the preferential option for the poor, and the interrelationship of subsidiarity and solidarity.”
It’s way past time.
I find it utterly unbelievable that so many who think of themselves as Christian, other religions, or even spiritual, could support the Ryan budget and extremist policies that are being foisted on America.