Libertarians and VirtuCons: What Are The Differences?

 

In the last few weeks, we’ve had VirtuCons and libertarians striking out their stances and trying to better understand each other. Interestingly, many of the threads featured exchanges where both sides expressed similar — if not identical — goals and suppositions, but remained certain that the other side rejected them. The differences between the groups may be profound, but they’re more subtle than we credit them.

So what are the differences? There may be other ways to cut it — and stipulating that ideological Turing tests are hard — but the basic disagreements seem to be over 1) The extent of the danger posed by the state; and 2) What it will take to revive the culture. Everything else flows from those disagreements.

The Libertarian View

Libertarians believe that most of our social pathologies — e.g., under-employment, the decline in marriage and fatherlessness among the poor, etc. — result from the state’s attempt to remedy them. Therefore, they argue, once the perverse incentives of government are lifted, the culture will essentially right itself. This isn’t based on a belief in Man’s inherent goodness, but on the observation that people respond rationally to incentives and opportunities; forced to confront the true costs (and rewards) of their behavior, most people will quickly figure out that they cannot survive on vice, indolence, and irresponsibility, and will adapt accordingly. And once more people are taking care of themselves, looking after the genuinely indigent and broken becomes much easier to handle.

The VirtuCon View

In contrast, SoCons/VirtuCons believe the libertarian solution is simultaneously cruel and naive, underestimating how badly damaged society is while over-estimating its ability to revive itself. While they also want to dramatically reduce the size and scope of government, they believe we have to strengthen social guard rails for a while yet before we can consider other changes. That includes — for example — promoting a traditional understanding of marriage and continuing bans on intoxicating drugs and prostitution. VirtuCons have no desire to impose their beliefs on others, but they’re clear-eyed about how delicate free societies are and what it takes to keep them running. Once the culture has adequately recovered, then we can focus our energies on cutting the state down to where it should ideally be.

Where Do We Go From Here?

First, we should acknowledge that we share an ideological opponent in the Progressive Left. Our opposition may have slightly different motivations and greatly different emphases, but SoCons are no more indifferent to the dangers of the administrative state than are libertarians to the importance of private virtue. The reason why we’re arguing with each other is because our common interests outweigh our differences.

That might change at some point — especially if we’re successful — but not any time in the near future. There’s simply too much Leftism to undo.

Image Credit: Shutterstock user soliman designs.

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  1. Nathaniel Wright Member
    Nathaniel Wright
    @NathanielWright

    What of those who believe that the interference of the state – going as far back as ancient Rome – offers perverse incentives that corrupt virtue, but who believe that we have a responsibility to attempt to persuade our neighbors our private lives toward virtue instead of ignoring the vices of others?

    • #1
  2. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: VirtuCons have no desire to impose their beliefs on others,

     That’s a hard one to swallow. I ain’t biting.

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: but they’re clear-eyed about how delicate a free society is and what it takes to keep it running.

     Clear-eyed, or naive in thinking that:

    a) it is the role of government to keep “society running”, and 

    b) government can actually do so in a way that is beneficial. Centralized power that lends itself to corruption, doesn’t strike me as the ideal means of trying to keep society “virtuous”.

    Which is why I said earlier, the…logical…ideal “social conservative (virtue-conservative has an even more distasteful and absurd sound to it than “libertarian” does) form of government would be a “benevolent dictator”, or the Pope. 

    It would take something like that to actually get to what they want. Because any government run by normal human beings, isn’t going to amplify or restore any sort of “virtue” to a society of 300+ million people. That, seems to me, to be the main difference

    And one that is rather…central…to the American form of government. 

    • #2
  3. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    Nathaniel Wright: What of those who believe that the interference of the state – going as far back as ancient Rome – offers perverse incentives that corrupt virtue,

     Amen! There we have it. Wasn’t this one of the cornerstones on which the American form of government was created in the first place?

    I’ll go with that, rather than what some unlimited government social conservatives…imagine…it can be. 

    • #3
  4. Rachel Lu Contributor
    Rachel Lu
    @RachelLu

    I think you’ve done a very nice job of summarizing some VirtuCon points, but I would just add this: I don’t necessarily think we need to agree on a definite ordering. (Do we shrink the state first or reform the culture first?) We should work on both simultaneously, and in most cases we should seize opportunities to make the state smaller when we can. But, a couple of considerations:

    1) We won’t be able to build a winning coalition just around cutting things. There needs to be more to the message than that.
    2) In certain cases we should perhaps be wary of opportunities to minimize the state, insofar as those go hand in hand with a culturally destructive libertinism that may end up furthering social breakdown and, ultimately, leading to more statism. Statists thrive on social dysfunction, as we already know. So yes, there are cases, like drug legalization, that call for caution. I don’t have absolutely set or uncompromising views on drug law, but I am a little perturbed by the blasé attitudes of some libertarians. Some don’t seem to have seriously considered the possibility of massively increased addiction, and some don’t even seem to care. That’s pretty shortsighted.

    I’ve said this before, but on a philosophical level, I think there are many for whom the attraction of the small state solution lies mostly in its *ideological* minimalism. They like it precisely because it does seem to be a one-size-fits-all, live-and-let-live, no-need-to-dig-into-the-fine-print sort of political theory. They like it because it doesn’t require us to settle any hard questions about distributive justice or what kind of society we want to be.

    But see, most Americans don’t see these as strengths. They want something that seems thoughtful and responsive to the issues of the day. I know we don’t want to re-live the Bush era, but in that case we need to find ways to make Americans see that we “get it”, that don’t involve promising to shower them with government programs.

    • #4
  5. otherdeanplace@yahoo.com Member
    otherdeanplace@yahoo.com
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Not exactly on topic, but is that “Argument” key brought to us from the makers of the “Reset” button?

    • #5
  6. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Where I think the Rachel keeps getting misunderstood is that she is asking the Libertarians to engage in as Tomas Sowell says “thinking past stage one”.  Yes, the first order effect of reducing the administrative state by getting rid of drug and prostitution laws will be to increase individual liberty.  However, if we reduce the state in these ways without simultaneously fostering a more virtuous culture the societal ills could increase, which could lead to calls from politicians and the public for more statism (unfortunately likely of the progressive persuasion) to correct those ills.
    Libertarian policy prescriptions can only be sustained if a majority of the public ascribes to a libertarian ideology.  Therefore if Libertarians want to achieve a sustainable political movement to liberty they should be careful in what order and how quickly you implement Libertarian policy prescription.  With that idea drug legalization is probably not the place to start.  Why not start with reigning in the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

    • #6
  7. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Eustace C. Scrubb:

    Not exactly on topic, but is that “Argument” key brought to us from the makers of the “Reset” button?

     Nope. This one actually works. ;)

    • #7
  8. liberal jim Inactive
    liberal jim
    @liberaljim

    Rachel Lu: 1) We won’t be able to build a winning coalition just around cutting things. There needs to be more to the message than that.

     Increasing personal liberty, increasing opportunity and market efficiency, and shifting necessary government to the most local level possible are the libertarian positions I am most familiar with.  “Just cutting things” is nothing more than a misguided mantra.  If you want to argue against libertarian positions, argue against libertarian positions, not straw men.  

    • #8
  9. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Z in MT: Where I think the Rachel keeps getting misunderstood is that she is asking the Libertarians to engage in as Tomas Sowell says “thinking past stage one”.

    Point well taken, but this cuts both ways. For instance, Jamie Lockett has pointed out numerous times that VirtuCons seem to forget that the more virtue becomes a matter of public policy  — especially if we’re talking about something from the government — you make it easier for the Left to intervene next time they gain power.

    • #9
  10. Rachel Lu Contributor
    Rachel Lu
    @RachelLu

    But nobody is really suggesting that virtue should *be* our public policy, only that it should inform it. Of course, I don’t think one really can make public policy without some ideas of what human good really is. The left already has rather substantial ideas about this, so Jaime’s “con” is really, well, just the status quo. And there’s absolutely no reason to think they’re planning to get more epistemically modest anytime soon.

    Meanwhile, on our side, thinking about virtue shouldn’t make us eager to meddle in everyone’s affairs, precisely because virtue does require some freedom. However, it’s also the product of habituation, so our proposed policies (including downsizing) should be considered from that standpoint. How will they affect the population? Will they erode the culture or set conditions under which it can flourish?

    It’s just a thicker and more complete vision of what our society should be aiming for. I understand that’s why Jaime doesn’t like it; he’s one of those people who’s attracted precisely to the minimalism of the libertarian perspective. But, as I said above, I don’t think most people are.

    • #10
  11. Gary The Ex-Donk Member
    Gary The Ex-Donk
    @

    AIG – well articulated point:
    “Because any government run by normal human beings, isn’t going to amplify or restore any sort of “virtue” to a society of 300+ million people.”
    In fact, I would additionally qualify it as a “broad and increasingly diverse” society of 300+ million people.  Regardless of how some may feel about this description, it’s an unyielding reality.

    • #11
  12. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Rachel Lu: I’ve said this before, but on a philosophical level, I think there are many for whom the attraction of the small state solution lies mostly in its *ideological* minimalism. … They like it because it doesn’t require us to settle any hard questions about distributive justice or what kind of society we want to be.

    This is certainly not true of many — I would say most — of the people who post here on Ricochet.

    And even if it is generally true, speculating upon the reasons why people hold certain positions does little to resolve the validity of those positions. For example, to say:

    “on a philosophical level, I think there are many for whom the attraction of the virtucon solution lies mostly in its *ideological* minimalism. … They like it because it doesn’t require us to settle any hard questions about the limits of state power or what kind of government we want to have.”

    doesn’t really say anything helpful about the virtucon position, except that it has a different focus from whoever is making that statement.

    • #12
  13. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Rachel Lu: most Americans don’t see [this epistemic modesty] as strength…. They want something that seems thoughtful and responsive to the issues of the day.

    Which is why the candidate who was mocked for having pages of detailed policy proposals beat the candidate who relied on mendacious soundbites in the last presidential election.

    Oh.

    (By the way — don’t get distracted from documenting the positive case for virtue conservatism by these drive-by comments.)

    • #13
  14. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    A hallmark of conservatism is an appreciation of history. If things were going well before a change, and then deteriorated after the change, conservatives are supposed to be the ones who point out that the change is probably a mistake. 

    Conservatives like me look at statistics on out-of-wedlock births and children growing up without fathers, which we consider to be relevant indicators of family life, and we compare the current statistics to what they were before certain policies or trends went into effect. Not surprisingly, the family as an institution was much stronger before frequent and no-fault divorce, much stronger before abortion (which cut the father out of a core decision about families), much stronger before government policies began enabling and encouraging women to make birth decisions separate from marriage, and so on.

    But when we conservatives stand up and say, “these changes did more harm than good,” we’re accused on being retrograde, patriarchal, racist, sexist … you know the drill.

    There’s a prejudice that says that all change is inevitable … all change is “progress” … once things change, we can’t go “backwards.”

    We must defeat that stereotype. Why? Because it’s stupid.

    • #14
  15. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Tom, I think you’ve got a finger on the scale here:

    “VirtuCons have no desire to impose their beliefs on others, but they’re clear-eyed about how delicate a free societies are and what it takes to keep them running.”

    Based on Rachel and Merina’s posts, I think both of those are pretty clearly not accurate summaries of their positions.  They most certainly *are* looking to impose their beliefs on others.  Even on this page Rachel says:

    “Meanwhile, on our side, thinking about virtue shouldn’t make us eager to meddle in everyone’s affairs, precisely because virtue does require some freedom….

    “It’s just a thicker and more complete vision of what our society should be aiming for.”

    Some freedom, but not too much! and only enough (apparently) to aid what “our society should be aiming for”.  In their view.

    • #15
  16. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Rachel Lu: [virtue is] also the product of habituation, so our proposed policies (including downsizing) should be considered from that standpoint. How will they affect the population? Will they erode the culture or set conditions under which it can flourish?

    In the spirit of seeking the maximum of common ground, then, if we put to one side for the moment: (a) traditional crimes (murder, theft etc.); (b) the war on drugs; and (c) the welfare/safety net (and I’m willing to throw in medi-* here as a working matter), then everything else is, in principle, and subject to review, ripe for repeal?

    To take a concrete example, are there virtue-based reasons (as opposed to electoral reasons) for being cautious about disestablishing public employee unions?

    • #16
  17. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    Z in MT: #6 “[t]he first order effect of reducing the administrative state by getting rid of drug and prostitution laws will be to increase individual liberty.”

    I am not taking an exception to this, rather it seems a way to make a point.  Where drug laws have been suspended, one of the benefits to the state (at least in the short term) is tax revenue.  Money, the ability to pay one’s bills, is a desirable good; but not the highest good.

    It has been noted before at this site, that there are dangers to the individuals whose lives go up in smoke, to their spouses, to their children, to their employers, to anyone on the street when they are driving, hence to society nearby and at large.  That is a legitimate consideration and concern.  What is our responsibility to those people when the law okays their preferences?  What is our responsibility to society nearby and at large?

    (As an aside, I believe I read that one can purchase cannabis in Colorado more cheaply if one does not mind not paying tax to the state.  Rum runners?  Moonshiners?  If money is tight, then what is to be done?)

    • #17
  18. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    liberal  jim: #8 “If you want to argue against libertarian positions, argue against libertarian positions, not straw men.”

    When I read Rachel’s response I did not see it as a straw man.  While libertarianism has a position in politics, probably closer to fiscal conservatism than anywhere else, a winning coalition needs more than what is being offered by libertarianism alone.  

    I don’t believe that offering the majority of the populace the opportunity to light up is a winning proposition.  Neither do I believe that legalizing prostitution is a winning item.  

    Suggesting shrinking the state is a good start, but then what gets cut when the state is shrunk?  Somebodies’ prize will be lost in the process and one might need those votes to win the election.  Suggesting the moral conservatives who are interested in families and children should be negated won’t win those votes.  Suggesting that the US pull all the troops back to our continental borders and leave the world to go to hell (as has been suggested at Ricochet), won’t win those votes.  

    So, if those votes are lost, where will you pick up the votes you need to win?  Rachel was right.

    • #18
  19. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    Both “sides” — like many others, I don’t see that the duality needs to be so stark — need to reflect on the path forward to a smaller State. A couple of examples come to mind:

    • Too many libertarians are blasé about the impact of changing what are now long-established institutions like Social Security. The Hayekian school, which demands respect for settled arrangements, isn’t as sexy as the Rand or Rothbard visions of utopia. A reversion to smaller government will be a high-stakes game of Jenga: it can’t be wished into existence.
    • Too many social conservatives don’t recognize their complicity in the big government mindset. From the Social Gospel, to Word/Faith, name-it-and-claim-it preaching, to the current flow of government funds to church charities, there are pervasive threads of theology and action that promote envy, greed, and sloth within the Church. Or at least what masquerades as the Church.

    Ultimately, both sides struggle with the error and sin of trying to immanentize the eschaton.

    • #19
  20. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I’d like to take the most urgent concern as it relates to the family and the rearing of children first:

    I reject the premise that tearing down the barrier to same-sex marriage in any way reduces the size and scope of the state in our lives.

    Your turn.

    • #20
  21. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    Tuck: #15 “Some freedom, but not too much! and only enough (apparently) to aid what “our society should be aiming for”. In their view.  [Referencing responses by Merina and Rachel]

    One wonders what a society would be like that did not attempt to apprehend, try and punish murderers or thieves or other miscreants. One might note that at least some of the Ten Commandments still exist in secular law.  So, some freedom is an apt description.  So, what “our society should be aiming for” is correct.  We don’t want murderers working the streets.  We don’t want our houses burgled or our persons robbed.  Limits to how “free” we are is the correct way to think about things.  

    Are there positions taken by the government which are an overreach?  Yes.  Should those be brought back?  Yes.  Can we shrink the government by relieving it of some of those instances of overreach?  Yes.  Will we gain adherents?  Maybe.  One might note again that there are those who benefit directly or indirectly from the way things are now.  They won’t be voting for us and they will be voting against us.  

    • #21
  22. Ed G. Inactive
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    …..

    So what are the differences? There may be other ways to cut it — and stipulating that ideological Turing tests are hard — but the basic disagreements seem to be over 1) The extent of the danger posed by the state; ….

    If Ricochet members, of whatever stripe, have anything in common then it’s this: we all love to question assumptions. 

    While I realize that you’re trying to summarize, I think that the divisions are actually deeper than and antecedent to your proposition. Starting with divisions over the nature of “the state” and “society” themselves. Including the legitimacy or illegitimacy of political incorporation which contains a geographical component (as opposed to being entirely notional) and some reasonable assumption of permanence of such incorporation.  Also divisions over the nature of consent and coercion, specifically how those fit into a society of any large number into which we are each born out of someone else’s choice.

    • #22
  23. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    A libertarian society has never existed.  We can speculate, but we don’t know what the unintended consequences of such a system would look like.  Small government is the American tradition, but never to anything like the degree libertarians want.  The founders were certainly very concerned with limited government and local control, hence battles over federalism, but I don’t think they could be called libertarians.  And of course, traditions surrounding family and other aspects of life have a way of working out problems that arise slowly and circumspectly.  That’s why conservatives care about tradition.  So it’s not too surprising that conservatives, whose understandings of government Rachel and KC have laid out very nicely, would be doubtful about libertarian theory.  Freedom is actually a rather complicated concept, which should be amply clear when we look at the problems of the world.  How do you allow maximum freedom while avoiding exploitation and abuse?  The harm principle is wholly inadequate to answer this question because it is so subjective.  It cannot answer ethical questions about what constitutes harm and abuse.  So heigh-ho, round and round we go, while the left rides roughshod over all of us. 

    • #23
  24. Ed G. Inactive
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    …..

    So what are the differences? There may be other ways to cut it — and stipulating that ideological Turing tests are hard — but the basic disagreements seem to be over 1) The extent of the danger posed by the state; ….

    In fact, I think that on your first point there is probably more agreement than there is to be found on other propositions. Following it, though, we get into sometimes severe divisions. The follow on divisions include:

    • the extent of benefit we stand to gain from political incorporation
    • the appropriate response to these risk/reward assessments
    • differences in assessment of “harm”
    • divisions over whether a particular policy addresses harm being done versus forcing someone to be virtuous.
    • #24
  25. Cornelius Julius Sebastian Inactive
    Cornelius Julius Sebastian
    @CorneliusJuliusSebastian

    Sorry to be away for so long everyone.  Combination of increased work responsibilities and my marriage finally falling apart.  But I digress. Excellent piece, Tom.  I agree with Rachel that there is no, or at least ought be no, reason why both agenda items can’t be pursued.  I’m a self-identified SoCon (VirtuCon is a new one on me, I like it though).  I don’t think Libertarians in the main are mean or naïve, but I do think this observation, that individuals when “forced to confront the true costs (and rewards) of their behavior, …will quickly figure out that they cannot survive on vice, indolence, and irresponsibility, and will adapt accordingly[,]”  is at least overly optimistic as a basis for the formation of any virtue beyond economic self-sufficiency.  Granted, that would be an improvement over where we are trending, but this seems to me to be grounded in a view of society very similar to the contemporary liberal view that only the individual and the state exist.  What is needed are the intermediary institutions that cushion the relation between the individual and the state.  These historically have been the family and religious institutions, primarily. Those institutions are cultural, not political.  And culture is upstream of politics.  Culture quite literally denotes belief and therefore to transform the culture, by definition, we are in the realm of making normative distinctions about what behaviors etc. should be encouraged and which should be condemned.  I think there is a substantive difference in state authority to preclude certain behaviors deemed destructive by the common weal, and state authority used to act as a surrogate parent.  We all can agree on condemning the latter, and have varying degrees of dissent between us over the former.  Why don’t we focus on killing the welfare state and just agree to disagree on the other issues?  It will be virtually impossible to form a working coalition or platform if we don’t.

    • #25
  26. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    Fricosis Guy:

    Both “sides” — like many others, I don’t see that the duality needs to be so stark — need to reflect on the path forward to a smaller State. A couple of examples come to mind:

    • Too many libertarians are blasé about the impact of changing what are now long-established institutions like Social Security. The Hayekian school, which demands respect for settled arrangements, isn’t as sexy as the Rand or Rothbard visions of utopia. A reversion to smaller government will be a high-stakes game of Jenga: it can’t be wished into existence.

    Ultimately, both sides struggle with the error and sin of trying to immanentize the eschaton.

     I don’t know about most churches, but mine refuses to take any money from government because it values the freedom of the church.  I think most churches would take that bargain in a heartbeat over getting government funds and then being subject to the kind of control the Obama administration has tried to exert over the faithful.  

    • #26
  27. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    Friscosis Guy: #19 “Too many social conservatives don’t recognize their complicity in the big government mindset. From the Social Gospel, to Word/Faith, name-it-and-claim-it preaching, to the current flow of government funds to church charities, there are pervasive threads of theology and action that promote envy, greed, and sloth within the Church. Or at least what masquerades as the Church.”

    Social Gospel  – government?  

    Word/Faith – government?

    Name it and claim it – government?

    Government funds to church charities – so far as I am able to understand, these funds actually work better than similar offerings run directly by government agencies simply because the number of people getting paid (and working slowly) are significantly fewer.

    I do have an agreement with you on this however, because the church or charity getting the subsidy is subject to the federal or state law in who gets it and/or how it gets handled.  If the church or charity has a tenet or moral position, that position can be co-opted if the church or charity wants to continue getting the funds.

    Or at least what masquerades as the Church – government?

    What are you arguing for? Or against?  Churches?

    • #27
  28. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    CJS–welcome back!  You’ve been missed!

    I keep reiterating that one of the biggest concerns of Virtucons is that the left is destroying the ability of mediating institutions to do their job.  They’ve been conducting a rather effective war on family and religious freedom through their health care and genderless marriage initiatives.  I think one of the biggest divisions between us and libertarians is that we can’t understand why they won’t support us in resisting these incurions (well, they probably support us on the health care mandates but generally not on marriage.)  In the end, I sometimes think our starting premises are so different that not much reconciliation is possible.  Without common initial assumptions, we only end up accusing one another of being obtuse without making any progress in spite of endless discussion.

    • #28
  29. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    Merina Smith:

    I don’t know about most churches, but mine refuses to take any money from government because it values the freedom of the church. I think most churches would take that bargain in a heartbeat over getting government funds and then being subject to the kind of control the Obama administration has tried to exert over the faithful.

    The charity arm of nearly every denomination — save for the Mormons — gets the majority of its funding from government.

    • #29
  30. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    Donald Todd:

     

    Social Gospel – government?

    Word/Faith – government?

    Name it and claim it – government?

    Government funds to church charities – so far as I am able to understand, these funds actually work better than similar offerings run directly by government agencies simply because the number of people getting paid (and working slowly) are significantly fewer.

    The Social Gospel was strongly aligned with the socialist and progressive movements, but I repeat myself. Its assumptions pervade mainstream Protestant thought.

    I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Word/Faith, but if you can “name-it-and-claim-it”, why not claim lottery tickets, disability checks, etc? And that’s exactly what many of the prayers turn to. Joel Osteen may highlight the businessmen who made it, but there are plenty of desperate souls who think they can pray money into existence.

    You’ve hit on part of the problem with faith-based charities: it gives the government control over the church. Or it does if you’re willing to prioritize cash over conscience. As I’ve noted before, the Archdiocese of Boston gave up its adoption practice via Catholic Charities, while the Fall River Diocese did not.

    Even more corrosive, however, is the willingness to turn to government for funding undermines the obligations of Christians to provide these things. Why give to the Church if you’re already giving to them at tax time?

    • #30
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