When you write about the intersection of religion and politics, the last few weeks have provided a wealth of topics upon which to ponder and opine.

After Paul Ryan’s selection as the GOP VP nominee, we saw mountains of commentary about his budget proposals. Beyond just discussion of the pragmatic, opposing Catholic opinions blared from every digital bell tower both commending or condemning Ryan’s proposals. We alternatively listened to those extolling the budget as a reasonable first step in budget control in-line with Catholic teaching or excoriating the same proposal as profoundly un-Christian and in direct violation of Church teaching.

Remarkably, both sides in the debate cite “Church teaching” as backing up their claims.

They both can’t be right, right? The Church can’t teach two contradictory things, right? So what does the Church really teach?

For many on opposite sides of the political spectrum, the Church teaches whatever you want it to. You simply need to find someone somewhere in the Church who has said something seemingly agreeing with your conclusion and then cite that source as definitive. You just need to build your own Magisterium.

The beautiful part of this practice is that you can have different Magisteriums for different issues. Say for instance, …

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*subhead*Stop it.*subhead*