"Through our civic organizations, through our churches, through our charities — through all of our different groups where we interact with people as a community — that's how we advance the common good," Ryan said.NPR gets a counterpoint from a polisci prof at Catholic University:
But Stephen Schneck... says he thinks Ryan is "completely missing the boat and not understanding the real heart, the real core, of Catholic social teaching."I'm no expert on Catholic doctrine, but it seems to me that the key difference is whether you want individuals and relatively small associations of individuals to experience the inward motivations and choices to be charitable in giving and ministering to others, or whether you want a rational, overarching system that determines what everyone must give and what everyone ought to receive. In the second view, you care more about meeting all the needs, and you don't depend on the various individuals deciding to be good. In the first view, the needs create opportunities and tests for everyone to notice and to care enough to do something, to give. If you set up a governmental structure to deal with those needs, then everyone can move on and assume needs are being met, the experts will tweak the structure and get the taxing and spending something reasonably close to right.
Schneck says Catholicism sees everyone as part of a mystical body, serving one another. True, the New Testament does not specifically speak to the government's role. "But charities and individuals and churches can't do it all," Schneck says. "When charities are already stretched to their limit, Catholic social teaching expects the state to step up and to fill that gap."
So, now can you figure out how Jesus wants you to vote?