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” in which he suggested that, without noticing it herself, Ayn Rand had made John Galt a Christ-figure.The Catholic left dutifully reported that Sirico sees Galt as a Christ-figure, which he never did.When the school was founded, a mere 12 months before, one of the big donors was the Charles Koch Foundation. Almost immediately 50 professors wrote a letter to CUA president John Garvey and Andrew Abela suggesting that a grant was inappropriate in light of Catholic Social Teaching.Charles Koch gave a million and entrepreneur Tim Busch gave 0,000 in order to “support research into the role principled entrepreneurship can and should play in improving society’s well being.” In the CUA press release, the University said the Charles Koch Foundation “supports research and higher education programs aimed at improving understanding of how economic freedom advances human well being.” Freedom advances human freedom? The charges against the Kochs were they supported Governor Scott Walker in his fight to free public sector employees from having to join the union, that the Kochs support those who question global warming, and that they opposed expansion of Medicaid in some of the states.Influential Catholics—many of them supporters of Barack Obama—are advancing a proposition that may have the result of sullying the reputations of Catholic conservatives and those Catholics arguing for a robust market economy.
One of their targets, and the only organization named in the conference was the Acton Institute, the Michigan-based think tank that seeks “to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.” Look at Acton’s core values and they line up almost perfectly with Catholic Social Teaching.The line began with libertarianism and went straight to political conservatives and to free marketeers. Boudway also said, “Show me a country that has surrendered its politics to the dictates of the market, and I will show you a culture where personal attachments of every kind are less secure than they once were and where the poor and every other vulnerable population are at most an afterthought.” To that I would say, yes please, show me that country.“Most Catholic defenders of laissez-fair ideology describe themselves as conservative.” But even they know such an ideology is really the “great disrupter, its gales of creative destruction sweeping away traditions, institutions, and communities that stand in its way.” Where no others did, Boudway had the courage to name names. John Di Iulio of the University of Pennsylvania gave perhaps the most disappointing talk.One of the overarching questions, at least for some of us in the room, was where are the libertarians you all are talking about?
Why weren’t any of them invited to speak, perhaps to engage, to explain themselves.But that cannot happen if your project is less about advancing the cause of Catholic Social Teaching than it is about scoring political points and winning elections.