Judge ye not, lest ye be judged, Messrs. Boehner and Ryan, which is how the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops could frame the former's infinitely discrete (the rowdies would call it hypocritical) politico-theology.
Having scored mucho altar-boy points with the bishops for condemning the Obama administration's sulfurous war on religion--which amounted to costing the Church nothing to violate none of its principles--Speaker Boehner and Rep. Ryan now find themselves in a line of fast and furious fire from the same high priests for having launched, well, a war on religion.
For example in one of their four recent letters to Congress that excoriates the House budget for its devilish indifference toward the poor, the bishops
singled out food-stamp programs, urging lawmakers to reject "unacceptable cuts to hunger and nutrition" programs for "moral and human reasons....
"Cuts to nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will hurt hungry children, poor families, vulnerable seniors and workers who cannot find employment," said the letter, signed by Bishop Stephen Blaire. "These cuts are unjustified and wrong."
Paul Ryan's response? The usual. He's got a puppy's head squeezed firmly in an elbow's crease, while softly cautioning that it's the profligate Obama who dictates his miserly, itchy finger; simultaneously he grips a village-destroying torch that he swears will save the villagers.
Meanwhile, John Boehner? His reaction is fascinating, it being along the lines of, "If you don't plug that whining then by God I'll really give you troublesome priests something to cry about -- and don't make me stop this car." You think I'm exaggerating? Here's Boehner, yesterday: "I want them to take a bigger look. And the bigger look is, if we don't make decisions, these programs won't exist, and then they'll really have something to worry about."
Correct me, O hermeneutical ones, if I'm wrong here, but isn't Boehner lecturing the bishops on the preeminence of secular considerations over pious obligations? Some conservatives might reasonably argue the fiscal virtue of a kind of buttoned-down Babbittry, but "values" conservatives surely cannot -- especially those who just finished arguing that any trespassers into the Church's self-declared territory are but warmongering antireligionists.