Spreading the Wealth Around: A Roman Catholic Value

One of John McCain and Sarah Palin’s favorite criticisms of our next president, Barack Obama, is that he wants to “Spread the wealth around.” Here is a take on that criticism from my father, Ed Kohler, who for a significant time in his life, was a Father (Catholic Priest):

Dear Editor,

“You spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” Senator Obama is reported to have said to Joe the Plumber. (Times 10-16).

Some conclude that proves Obama is a socialist. I, however, find him a closet Roman Catholic. For this reason.

The underpinning of the Church’s social doctrine for over 100 years is an ancient principle that goes back to Aquinas (1224-1274) that calls for the equitable distribution of limited resources.

Wealth, a limited resource, is more than money. It is also education, health care, a job with a living wage, decent housing, means to live a dignified old age, all resources in short supply.

History shows that the wealthy too often serve their self-interest by opposition to even modest efforts to level the playing field. Only a strong central government has the power to overcome that opposition and move us toward a society where those with much have a little less and those with less have a little more.

Ed Kohler

Well said, Dad.

3 thoughts on “Spreading the Wealth Around: A Roman Catholic Value”

  1. Kudos to your [F]ather! Yes, whenever a right-wing-nut complains about “socialism” I remind them that Jesus was a socialist. If the Religious Right actually understood anything about the religion they pretend to know, they would recognize many socialist — and even communist — traditions within the early Christian church.

  2. I echo your dad’s sentiments – “Christian values” are far more inclusive and global than the hijacked version currently touted as the only truth in certain quarters.



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