Skip to comments.Is Obama Thinking Like a Catholic?
Posted on 11/25/2008 12:25:34 PM PST by Alex Murphy
Vice President-elect Joe Biden liked to say that his Catholicism created an entire culture that shaped his views on public policy as well as private and personal obligations. Biden is just old enough to remember the Catholic ghetto in which whole neighborhoods were called by the name of the local Catholic parish. The Catholic press was filled not only with news about Catholic matters but advertisements for Catholic social events, Catholic undertakers, Catholic vacation destinations. In the early 60s, when Biden was finishing college, 70 percent of Catholic children in Philadelphia still attended parochial schools. The consumer culture was just beginning to put its hideous, materialistic id into most Catholics identity.
We are far removed from that world. Yet, the vestiges of that culture still motivate Biden and, if yesterdays news conference is any indication, some of it has begun to rub off on President-elect Obama. During the Q-and-A after he announced his economic team, Obama repeatedly demonstrated a certain intellectual disposition that is classically Catholic: the "Both-And."
One of the most basic divisions in the intellectual life of the sixteenth century was the Catholic insistence on this "Both-And" approach to theology while the great Protestant reformers Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and Cramner set out their theological challenge invoking "Either-Or" distinctions. The Reformation theologians insisted that it was grace, not nature, that perfected the human soul, that it was Scripture only, and not Tradition, that guaranteed the authenticity of the Church, and that it was faith, not works, which achieved salvation. The only counter-example I can think of was Luthers famous observation that a Christian was "simul justus et peccator," at the same time justified yet still a sinner. (And, if Luther had written only that thought, it would be enough to guarantee his status as a theologian of orginality and genius.)
Catholic theology, on the other hand, tries to see past the apparent differences to a common source. So, grace perfects nature in Catholic ethics, Scripture and Tradition both flow from the same font of revelation, and faith and works must go hand-in-hand.
The press are all reformers: Their questions are designed to force a choice, a distinction. But, whether the topic was tax cuts or the Big Three automakers, Obama insisted on this "Both-And" approach. The point of repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy was both an effort at social justice and a requirement of fiscal discipline as Obama tries to keep the budget from getting too out of whack, even while he plows ahead with his tax cuts for the middle class which, again, serve both to strike a more just balance in society and as an economic stimulus. The Big Three need to be saved and they need to be saved in such a way that turns the industry toward more environmentally friendly vehicles. And, the stimulus package also must serve two masters: "Not only do I want this stimulus package to deal with the immediate crisis, I want it also to lay the groundwork for long-term, sustained economic growth." If Bellarmine had been an economist
I know, I know: I can hear the abortion-only brigade getting up from their fainting spell and angrily arguing against any linkage of the President-elect with the Catholic Church, still less with one of its leading intellectual saints, Robert Bellarmine. But, friends, cool down your laptops. Obama is not going to be received into the Catholic Church anytime soon. I know that. You know that. Most importantly, he knows it. That is not the point. The point is that a fundamental intellectual disposition that has served Catholic theology well through the years seems to have found its way into this mans head, and the reason is probably similar. The "Both-And" has long allowed the Church to focus on maintaining unity within the Church, even at the expense of nifty theological innovations. One of Obamas strongest selling points, especially to unaffiliated and other swing voters, was his repeated call to move beyond the partisan nastiness and find common ground. After eight years in which George W. Bush has channeled that strange mixture of humility and ferocity that is at the heart of orthodox Calvinism, Obamas pursuit of "Both-And" common ground, even when it is a little fuzzy, is a welcome tonic for a nation that has never been as divided as the political class would have you think it is.
Catholic theology, on the other hand, tries to see past the apparent differences to a common source. So, grace perfects nature in Catholic ethics, Scripture and Tradition both flow from the same font of revelation, and faith and works must go hand-in-hand...
...friends, cool down your laptops. Obama is not going to be received into the Catholic Church anytime soon. I know that. You know that. Most importantly, he knows it. That is not the point. The point is that a fundamental intellectual disposition that has served Catholic theology well through the years seems to have found its way into this mans head, and the reason is probably similar...After eight years in which George W. Bush has channeled that strange mixture of humility and ferocity that is at the heart of orthodox Calvinism, Obamas pursuit of "Both-And" common ground, even when it is a little fuzzy, is a welcome tonic for a nation that has never been as divided as the political class would have you think it is.
“Both - And” has it’s foundation in the hypostatic union of Divinity and Humanity.
At this point, we’ve seen no evidence Obama has applied it in his policies. He supports killing pre-born children, and that pretty much sums up where he stands.
I pray this citizenship issue comes to light; Seems to be the only way to stop him.
yes, I can see where thinking like a Catholic could lead one to conclude infanticide just might not be such a bad thing after all. Or perhaps not.
IMNSHO, he’s a *&*&% nothing (Black Liberation Theology is NOT a religion - it is a political philosophy that is marxist - thinks like one, acts like one, talks like one...is one...
The press are all reformers: Their questions are designed to force a choice, a distinction.Not in this day and age. The press are all enablers: Their questions are designed to present The One™ in a positive light.
As a serious PS. I do with the author would delve more into the post reformation Protestant theology that has shaped so much of modern Protestanism. This theology has its roots more in the philosophy of Kant than the theology of Calvin.
The media will do anything to make the big Zero look good. If he had learned anything from Catholicism then he would not be in favor of killing babies.
Maybe there'll be space in my next one.
so glad I wasted 5 minutes reading that. should have stopped when I saw the title.
I’m sorry, the piece is incoherent. You can’t lay Obama at the feet of Catholic theology.
If Biden and Obama were believing church-going catholics, we’d have a lot less to worry about. They’d probably still be statists, but statists with a moral sense.
Biden is essentially a secular catholic, catholic in name only, and Obama claims to be a fellow evangelical though he’s been outed now by his Reverend.
The point isn’t the flavor of their Christianity but rather that what faith they may possess has been displaced by a greater faith in the State.
More likely like the muslim he is.
"America" is a liberal Catholic screed that isn't fit to be turned into toilet paper. It hardly speaks for orthodox Catholicism, or even for Catholics outside of the Kumbaya fringe. This whole piece is an exercise in wishful thinking on their part, and hardly borne-out either by Obama's religious past or his present mindset. He's about as "Catholic" as the Dalai Lama, and far less principled. And for this magazine to invoke the American Catholic mindset of days long ago, and couple that with wholesome appeals to folks like St. Robert Bellarmine (!!!) is just a laughably disingenuous bait-and-switch to get the gullible to think this monster is a throwback to the good old days.
There is such a wide range of what constitutes Protestant belief that a stalwart Reformed believer may have more in common with a Catholic than with a liberal Episcopalian.
I tend to think that Protestanism in general is undergoing a second Reformation. With those affirming their faith as expressed by Calvin,Luther, etc establishing the orthodox branches of their denominations or finding new ones all together. In the choice of whether to follow Christ or Culture they have chosen Christ.
SECTION 1. OVERVIEW
On September 22, 2006, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Department (Treasury) issued Notice 2006-85, 2006-41 I.R.B. 677, to address certain transactions involving foreign corporations where a subsidiary acquires stock of its parent from its parent for use in a triangular reorganization. Comments were requested in section 7 of that notice regarding similar transactions, including transactions where a subsidiary acquires stock of its parent from a person unrelated to its parent (such as from the public on the open market).
For reasons similar to those discussed in section 2 of Notice 2006-85, the IRS and Treasury believe that taxpayers characterization of these transactions, as well as other transactions involving acquisitions from related parties, raises significant policy concerns. Accordingly, this notice amplifies Notice 2006-85 by announcing that the IRS and Treasury will issue regulations under section 367(b) of the Internal Revenue Code to address these and similar transactions.
SECTION 2. REGULATIONS TO BE ISSUED UNDER SECTION 367(b)
The definitions provided in section 1 of Notice 2006-85 also apply for purposes of this notice.
The regulations will apply to triangular reorganizations where P or S (or both) is foreign and, pursuant to the reorganization, S acquires from one or more P shareholders, in exchange for property, all or a portion of the P stock that is used to acquire the stock or assets of T (T could be either related or unrelated to P and S before the transaction). In such a case, the regulations under section 367(b) will make adjustments with respect to P and S that will have the effect of a distribution of property from S to P under section 301(c). The amount of the distribution shall equal the amount of money plus the fair market value of other property transferred from S to Ps shareholders in exchange for the P stock used to acquire the stock or assets of T. Therefore, the regulations will require, as appropriate, an inclusion in Ps gross income as a dividend, a reduction in Ps basis in its S stock (or, as appropriate, T stock), and the recognition of gain by P from the sale or exchange of property.
The adjustments also will provide, as appropriate, that the amount of property deemed distributed to P is considered to be contributed by P to S immediately thereafter and therefore increases Ps basis in S. See, e.g., Treas. Reg. § 1.367(b)-2(e)(3)(ii).
Finally, the regulations will provide for appropriate corresponding adjustments to be made, such as a reduction of Ss earnings and profits as a result of the distribution (consistent with the principles of section 312).
The section 367(b) adjustments described above shall be made prior to the application of other provisions. For example, after giving effect to the 367(b) adjustments, Ss purchase and transfer of P stock will then be taken into account under generally applicable rules, including sections 304, 358, and 368.
The regulations will address similar transactions in which S acquires the P stock used in the reorganization from a related party that purchased the P stock in a related transaction. The regulations also will include a rule that takes into account the earnings and profits of other corporations, as appropriate, if one of the principal purposes of creating, organizing, or funding S is to avoid the adjustments described in this notice or Notice 2006-85. See, e.g., Treas. Reg. §§ 1.304-4T and 1.956-1T(b)(4).
SECTION 3. EFFECTIVE DATE
The regulations described in this notice will apply to transactions occurring on or after May 31, 2007. The regulations described in this notice will not, however, apply to a transaction that was completed on or after May 31, 2007, if the reorganization was entered into pursuant to a written agreement that was (subject to customary conditions) binding before May 31, 2007 and all times thereafter, but only to the extent that: (1) S acquired the P stock to be used in the reorganization prior to May 31, 2007, or (2) S had a commitment to acquire the P stock to be used in the reorganization from an unrelated party pursuant to a written agreement that was (subject to customary conditions) binding before May 31, 2007 and at all times thereafter, or pursuant to a tender offer announced prior to May 31, 2007 that is subject to section 14(d) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 [15 U.S.C. 78n(d)(1)] and Regulation 14(D) (17 CFR 240.14d-1 through 240.14d-101) or that is subject to comparable foreign laws.
No inference is intended as to the treatment of transactions described herein under current law.
SECTION 4. COMMENTS
The IRS and Treasury request comments on the regulations to be issued under this notice and continue to request comments on those issues discussed in section 7 of Notice 2006-85, including, for example, any issues regarding the source and timing of the adjustments to be made with respect to P and S.
SECTION 5. EFFECT ON OTHER DOCUMENTS
Notice 2006-85 is amplified.
SECTION 6. DRAFTING INFORMATION
The principal author of this notice is Daniel McCall of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (International). However, other personnel from the IRS and Treasury participated in its development. For further information regarding this notice, contact Mr. McCall at (202) 622-3860 (not a toll-free call).
As opposed to slavery-only, womens-sufferage-only and other throw away one issue voters...-sarc This person is clueless.
Maybe he should get together with Jack Cashill and prove that Cardinal George ghosted Obama's book.
After all, they've use some of the same words, haven't they?
And anyway, aren't the Episcopalians/Anglicans the "Both-And" folks par excellence?
Heck, they even have two names for their church ...
Definitely deserves a barf alert.
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