Ok, in this blog I am going to try my hardest to keep the anger fairy encouraging me to turn the outrage and sarcasm up to 11 off my left shoulder.
In order to do this I'm going to have to get past the fact that the person the GOP have all but officially rubber stamped as their candidate for POTUS is currently a senior member of, and was formerly a "bishop" of, a crazy cultish religion established by a convicted con man who literally pulled his teachings out of a hat; a faith that maintains ridiculous beliefs such as God lives on the planet Kobol, The Garden of Eden was in Missouri, Jesus did a post mortem publicity tour of the USA, and that when he returns he will build Jesusville in Missouri; a religion that hates gays and encourages its followers to shun ex-members and cut off all contact with them; and its adherants believe that magic underwear will protect the wearer from evil influences. Hard as that may be, I will set that aside.
Instead I will focus on his second place running mate, the glassy-eyed-piano-grinning-chuck-granny-over-a-cliff supposed faithful adherent of the Catholic faith.... yes, Paul Ryan .
You see this being American politics I'm certain as can be that Mr Ryan will be wheeling out his Christianity as a selling point, and explaining with sincerity dripping puppy dog eyes and crocodile tears how his deep love of the faith makes him such a moral person, and how that faith leads his decision and policy making. And this being American politics I'm also certain that at NO point will any responsible journalist ever have the temerity to question his hypocrisy and reveal it to the public.
However.... just in case there's someone out there with the stones to pin Ryan down on that, possibly by lobbing "Gotcha" questions at him during Q&A sessions or rope lines at any of the upcoming rallies and town halls where his gurning mug will be turning up on tour, here is what the Roman Catholic Church ACTUALLY believes and states.
(if you do manage to HitchSlap him try and make sure you catch it on video and get it up on YouTube and sites like this and Crooks and Liars).
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: Central Catholic doctrine states that capital punishment under any circumstances is a "moral abomination". Those are the words of the current Pope, and echo the selfsame positions stated publicly and in official statements by the previous holders of the office.
POVERTY/INCOME INEQUALITY: Pope Benedict has stated more than once that poverty and income inequality in developed western states is "a scandal" that must be combated to ensure a fair society for all. He has railed against societies disregard for tackling such inequality on many occasions. He has said that this is "societal selfishness" and is "immoral wickedness".
WELFARE: Roman Catholic Church doctrine is clear on this - a strong social welfare safety net is essential to protect the poor and needy. That safety net must, as a foundation stone, include welfare related healthcare systems to protect the old and needy. The Pope has said this many times, and the US RCC has petitioned the Whitehouse and spoken directly to the POTUS on the matter several times (ie July 2011). The RCC do not consider any system that relies mostly on privatized heath providers and insurers to be an adequate safety net.
MARKET REGULATION: The Vatican has called for not only robust systems of tight market regulation in respect of financial markets, but also in October 2011 issued a report via its Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace which specifically called for a trans-national body to be established to oversee the international financial markets. They have stated that these strict regulations "are necessary to bring more democratic and ethical principles to a marketplace run amok". The report also states “We should not be afraid to propose new ideas, even if they might destabilize pre-existing balances of power that prevail over the weakest,”. The report was directly based on a statement made by the Pope in 2009.
WORKERS RIGHTS: The Roman Catholic Church has been strongly pro-Union and pro-workers rights (including pay negotiation and fair living wages) since Pope Leo issued the Rerum Novarum in 1891, and maintains that standpoint to this day via its Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. The Compendium outlines the core tenet that such organizations and systems are the only adequate protections the working man has against the abuses of greedy employers. The Compendium is a central core document of faith and dogma in respect of RCC social policy.
CLIMATE CHANGE: The Roman Catholic Church, and Pope Benedict, have stated on many occasions that man made climate change is fact, and have called on national governments and international agencies to combat it as a priority. The Pope sent an official address on the matter expressing his support to the 17th U.N. Climate Change Conference in Durban, and via his US bishops has also petitioned the POTUS and Whitehouse to make the matter a priority action point.
TORTURE & IMPRISONMENT: The Roman Catholic Church doctrine is clear on these matters. Its states clearly that imprisonment without trial and the use of any form of torture are "intrinsic evils". Further, the Church does not recognize the validity of using sanitized terminology such as "enhanced interrogation" to excuse, condone or permit torture.
WAR: Roman Catholic Church official doctrine on this is just as clear. War is not permissible unless it is to directly defend your country from attack across its own borders, and then only on the basis of defense. Aggressive warmaking is considered a serious sin against the Church, as is voicing support for such actions. Pope Benedict has decried aggressive warmaking as foreign policy on many occasions.
CREATIONISM: Roman Catholic Church doctrine and statements on Creationism have called it a "false doctrine" and "intellectually corrupt". The RCC have also stated that there is no foundation whatsoever to teach such beliefs as accepted science, and that to do so seriously compromises the quality of a child's education. Note that the RCC link such beliefs to Old Testament Biblical Literalism, which they also maintain is a "false doctrine".
AND FINALLY: All of the above doctrinal points are considered by the Roman Catholic Church to be "matters of faith and morality". As such they fall directly under the Roman Catholic Church canon law of Magisterium. This states that on such matters the Pope and his church are considered infallible, and that to question or argue against those teachings sets you outside the Church. To state that contradictions are led by your faith is not only a lie, but according to Magisterium technically a heresy.
So my US chums, feel free to give Mr Ryan a few HitchSlaps - after all he has been getting them for over a year now by that brave group of Nuns that dog his trail and point out his hypocrisy.
Perhaps if you hear him bleat about some imagined "war on religion" (and we have already seen that one run up the flagpole by the magic underpants man) you could point out that it his his beliefs that are actually a war on the doctrine of the Catholic Church he claims to be a faithful follower of.
Ryan can not argue that he is unaware of these matters I point out here. After all, he does go on about what a good Catholic he is. I read the Catholic press, even though I'm an atheist, and there have been enough articles there pointing these matters out. f he tries that tack then the logical response is "You do remember the rule against bearing false witness don't you Mr Ryan?".
Good luck my US chums, have a laugh, make it very public, and as the Athenian War Archon Miltiades shouted to his troops facing down the Persians at the Battle of Marathon