What I’d Love to See at the Biden-Ryan VP Debate

Moderator: Both of you are Catholics, yet your beliefs seem to diverge significantly on several important issues. Vice President Biden, how does your Catholic faith harmonize with the policy decisions of this Administration?

Biden: First off let me say that I was Catholic before it was cool! You know what I mean? I was Catholic while Congressman Ryan was still in diapers nursing with his mama.

I’m proud of my Catholic Faith and am proud to say that it informs all my decisions. One of the constant beliefs of my faith is helping the poor. And that’s what Pres. Obama has been doing since the get-go.

When someone loses their job, or gets seriously ill, or disabled, they need a helping hand. Gov. Romney attitude is to let them fall on their faces–smack! Just like that. And that is the exact opposite of what my faith tells me to do when people need help.

Moderator: Okay, your turn Congressman Ryan. How is your Catholic faith involved with your policy positions?

Ryan: I, too, am proud of my Catholic Faith. And Gov. Romney and I want to help the poor as well, but we believe that the government is not the only or even the primary agent to do so. Rather, we should encourage private individuals, churches, communities, and non-profits to be involved. These organizations are on the ground and closer to the people in need of help. Additionally, our plan will bolster the economy by encouraging business rather than hindering it. That will lead to more prosperity. The government does have a role in helping those in need, but the Obama Administration has pushed this truth to an absurd extreme.

But, unlike the Vice President here, my Catholic Faith doesn’t end with this narrow aspect of social justice. Social justice includes justice for all human beings, from conception to natural death. That means justice for unborn children, who have the right to life, the right to be born.

This right to life is another unchanging teaching of the Catholic Church. And Vice President Biden flatly rejects it, while still calling himself a Catholic. That makes no–

Biden: Now wait a second! It is also part of Catholic teaching that every person should follow his conscience. And my conscience tells me that every child should be a welcomed child, with a woman who is prepared to be a mother. And if she is not prepared, it is not right to force her to have a baby. That is her decision, her reproductive rights, and Pres. Obama and I respect that.

Look young fella, you’ve got a lot to learn about the full scope of Catholic social teaching. Be silent when your betters are talking, huh?

Ryan: While all your talk sounds laudable, you don’t mention the rights of the baby who was conceived. No person has an absolute right over the life of another.

The fact is that the Obama Administration has shown no respect for the life of the baby, and you, in claiming to be a Catholic while supporting these policies, make a mockery of the Catholic Faith.

If that were the only serious issue, perhaps it would not be so bad. But you also say you are a Catholic while rejecting the Catholic teaching on traditional marriage.

Biden: That is because I am respectful of all people, and that includes LGBT persons. If two people of the same sex love each other, how can we deny them the right to marry, the same right we give to heterosexual couples? That’s discrimination and bigotry, and the Catholic Church condemns bigotry. Again, this is a conscience issue, one that I have thought much about and believe the Catholic Church is wrong on. I hope that, like our great President, the Church will evolve on this issue and realize the truth.

Ryan: So why do you remain Catholic? If I call myself a vegan, I won’t eat meat. But if I call myself a vegan and eat steak dinners every week, other vegans are right to point out that I’m no vegan at all. You call yourself Catholic yet reject Catholic doctrines. I’m sure another church out there would welcome you with open arms.

You say you respect people’s rights, yet the HHS mandate in Obamacare is trying to force Catholics to violate their consciences and pay for services that the Church teaches are immoral. So you are also a Catholic who is happily persecuting the Catholic Church. Can you explain this complete intellectual dissonance?

Biden: Look, Congressman Ryan. You’re a young guy, and have lots of naive ideals. When you’ve lived a bit more life, as I have, you will see that reality is not black and white like you think it is. Bad things happen, and no one solution works for every situation.

Contraception is simply something necessary for the common good. The vast majority of Americans, including Catholics, recognize this. It is only a small subset, which you seem to belong to, that are out on the fringe and want to deny contraception to others.

I am a Catholic; I’ve gone to Catholic churches my whole life, and I have yet to be reprimanded by my priest or bishop for my actions. So while you say I’m a bad Catholic, you are not in authority in the Catholic Church. If I am doing something wrong, those in authority will tell me so. In the meantime, I will continue to stand in solidarity with the poor.

Ryan: The fact is, people can get contraception anytime they want, as they have been able to for decades. It is wrong to force Catholics to pay for others’ contraception. Vice President, with all due respect, your positions are inconsistent and self-contradicting. If you’re going to be a Catholic, be a Catholic. If you’re going to flaunt and reject the Church’s teachings, man up, be honest, and leave the Church. The American people deserve a Vice President who can rationally defend his beliefs.

Moderator: Okay sorry to cut-in but we have to move on now to another topic…


Devin is the author of If Protestantism Is True and he blogs at St. Joseph’s Vanguard.

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  • Dessy12

    Thanks for this article. If only the moderator would ask the question. Key point is Biden remarking that he’s yet to be reprimanded by priest or bishop. If only our Bishop’s would invoke the canon law and deny Biden and Pelosi the Eucharist. Instead the Bishops are mocking Jesus by allowing a scandal (these so-called Catholics receiving communion) to confuse the body of Christ.

  • Thanks Dessy. The good news is, more and more bishops are being ordained who are bold and orthodox, so hopefully they will start doing this.

  • I think it is a symptom of a deep problem of the Church, the Bishop’s lack of courage and conscience to not stand up for Church doctrine and it is exhibited in the priest abuse scandal because they didn’t do what they should have done to protect the children and look how that worked out! I did read that the Biship in Kansas told Cathleen Sebalis not to take communion after her unwavering support of Dr. Tiller the late abortion dr, Christ is unchanging and so should be the Church! Cardinal Dolan may change things, I hope!

  • francine

    Excellent article. The author “gets it”! Now, the only problem: how do we get hard-headed catholics like Biden to “get it”? When I have discussions about the same issues with some family members they accuse me of being judgmental, divisive, and unloving. Ugh. Sometimes it seems futile. Okay, yes, the answer is prayer.

  • metan

    How could american be so silly chose a president who doesn’t know how to defend himself and the vice president wbo claim a catholic but doesn’t know about catholic teaching , you folks made one mistake in 2008, please don’t repeat.

  • chaco

    I see it all boiling down to 1) God’s Peace or 2) peace that the world (popular opinion) gives We all want to be loved. Hopefully, Biden & others who have chosen to go “downstream with the flow” will see that love without Truth is mere sentimentality [Truth without Love is arrogance.] Mere human acceptance “can’t hold a candle” to the deeper abiding Peace that God gives (see Jn 14: 27). “Hang in there”, and take pleasure in even small victories; As Catholics, we believe in Purgatory which means that gaining even part of the soul is “Moving the ball forward”.