Skip to comments.A Catholic Governor Embraces the Principle of Subsidiarity
Posted on 07/19/2010 8:38:56 PM PDT by Coleus
|A Catholic Governor Embraces Subsidiarity|
|by Deal W. Hudson|
The new governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, is distinguishing himself in two ways as a Catholic politician. Not only he is pro-life, but he is also aggressively pursuing a set of policies grounded in the principle of subsidiarity. At a time when most prominent Catholic politicians -- Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and John Kerry -- have advocated federal government solutions to problems like health care, Gov. Christie is pushing in the opposite direction by releasing a New Jersey Privatization Task Force Report.
In the 57-page report, the Task Force proposes privatizing the states motor vehicle inspections, housing construction inspections, turnpike toll booths, state parks, psychiatric hospitals, as well as contracting for highway maintenance work, and outsourcing worker's compensation claims and all pension, payroll, and benefit payments systems. These recommendations, according to Christie, will save New Jersey taxpayers over $200 million a year.
If the humanity of unborn life is the tenet most ignored by Catholic politicians, the principle of subsidiarity comes in a close second. Of course, unlike the 6th commandment -- "thou shall not kill" -- subsidiarity must be applied prudentially. The principle itself is simple:
A community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1883)
The Catechism is unambiguous in its claim that Catholics should uphold subsidiarity to offset one of the dangers of socialization, i.e., an "excessive intervention by the state" threatening "personal freedom and initiative" (#1882-1883). Christie also seeks to keep the burden of funding government from growing any further -- he has proposed a constitutional amendment capping property tax increases at 2.5 percent above the prior years receipts. Christie explains, "Thats 2.5 percent growth in total for everything -- municipal tax, county tax, and school tax. There is only one exception to this cap -- to pay required debt service." The New Jersey governors further reliance on subsidiarity is seen in his recent speech supporting "parental choice" in education at American Federation of Childrens National Policy Summit Dinner in Washington, D.C. Legislation has already been introduced that would provide vouchers to students at "chronically failing schools," like the ones in Newark that Christie described as "absolutely disgraceful."
There were doubts raised during the campaign about Christies pro-life commitment, but those credentials were solidified by his eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood from the 2011 New Jersey budget. State Democrats are already pushing to restore the more than $7 million in funding despite an $11 billion dollar deficit next year (the state has been on the verge of bankruptcy). Its often said that some Catholic commentators focus too much on life and marriage issues, relegating prudential matters too far into the background. Thus far, Gov. Christies performance provides an opportunity to reflect on the longer view of a Catholic in politics. Gov. Christie represents a pro-life, pro-family Catholic politician drawing upon the principle of subsidiarity to make budgetary and policy choices that look to the private sector, not the federal government, for solutions to pressing problems. Deal W. Hudson is the director of InsideCatholic.com and the author of Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States (Simon and Schuster).
Talk about problem solving without breaking the bank....Pray that other governors will get a clue from gov. Christie.
I’m going to be surprised if there isn’t an assassination attempt on this man.
Could you image him as a Presidential Candidate? He would rock the house!
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
I thought I heard him say there is no chance he will run for POTUS in 12.
Is that accurate?
What I’ve heard from/of him reminds me of Reagan.
Very good indeed!
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is following the same path.
He’s also Catholic.
He said that his wife doesn’t want him to run for POTUS and also that he hasn’t been governor for 6 months and it would be unfair to the voters for him to not put 100% of his time as governor. He said that he was elected to be governor and that’s what he wants to do, be the governor of the state of NJ and do the best job as possible...
And, let’s face it, the democrats and their mouthpiece, the press, would do anything to get him out of NJ. The cops, teachers and public employees, for the first time in 50 years, are finally asked to forgo a raise for one year. He was left a $14 billion deficit by the so-called, wall street whiz, Jon Corslime, and tough decisions had to be made...
Good for him. I love VA.
Do they come from some alternate universe where Christie Todd Whitman was a devout churchgoing Catholic, publicly pro-life, fought to remove activist judges, dedicated to stopping abortion funding, staunchly supportive of traditional marriage, anti-euthanasia, and championed school choice and vouchers?
I suppose if there's another "Christie Todd Whitman" out there who governed like Ronald Reagan on social issues, the comparison of her to NJ's current Gov would make sense.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.