Monthly Archives: May 2015

Answers to a Survey on the Family–part 6

In early 2015, our Archdiocese like many others was offered a 47-question open-ended survey in order to gather information about what people throughout the world understand about the Church’s teaching, her pastoral practice, current conditions, and the reality of marriage and family life.  The survey was probably a poor translation, and the questions were ill-structured, so I ended up writing about 15,500 words in the one week window for completing it.  I have chosen to share a few of these, here, as well, for your comments.  I will quote the question, and what follows is my answer.  I have edited the answers slightly for brevity, politeness, and clarity.

10. What human pedagogy needs to be taken into account — in keeping with divine pedagogy — so as better to understand what is required in the Church’s pastoral activity in light of the maturation of a couple’s life together which would lead to marriage in the future? (cf. n. 13)

The question and the text of the Relatio paragraph are once again obscure. Nonetheless, we will muddle on.

The Relatio at 13: “By reason of the divine pedagogy, according to which the order of creation develops through successive stages to the order of redemption, we need to understand the newness of the Christian Sacrament of Marriage in continuity with natural marriage of the origins, that is, the manner of God’s saving action in both creation and the Christian life.” I parse this as a reference to the dual ordering of causation we often observe in theology, that is, to the difference between the order of generation and the order of causation.

Because God is perfect act, when we observe an unmistakably divine action in process, we know that the end is already realized in the order of final causation, that is, with regard to what will be accomplished inclusive of all contingencies encompassed by the divine decree. Because God’s action does encompass and maintain in force such contingencies, including the moral liberty of rational creatures, divine acts which encompass such contingencies appear in seed form and flower in history, assuming they are such as must flower and not wilt. (Of course, we know that an “indelible mark on the soul” may remain indelible, though one may still choose separation from God, though Heaven forfend such a result!) Therefore, we must understand that natural marriage, intrinsic and fundamental to the Order of Creation, and therefore prior to the Church in the order of generation, is ineradicable and unalterable even by the Church.

Christ, the “Lord of the Sabbath,” has already revealed the direction of the unfolding flower of natural marriage, the Sacrament of Matrimony. The Church has always recognized that she is bound by the dominical sayings that determine clearly within history the orientation of the divine action in marriage; this action is always present in seed in natural marriage, and flowers in the Sacrament of Matrimony, though its full fruit remains bound up in the mystery of the Body of Christ, reserved to the Last Day.

A man and a woman inclined to marriage—or a man seeking a woman, or a woman seeking a man, desiring marriage—have begun to receive the seed of marriage, in their desire for permanence and their inclination to exclusivity, especially as those two are linked to their sexual behavior. However, the planting of this seed remains uncertain until all of the elements that determine marriage—the elements the Church has recognized in the dominical sayings, as well as the rest of revelation—are manifested in the marriage.

Thus the divine pedagogy, and the Church’s Magisterium as its submissive agent and authoritative recognition, require of all responsible people an earnest teaching that marriage must be an indissoluble, exclusive union of a man and a woman ordered to the engendering and education of their children. That is, the divine pedagogy through both nature and dominical teaching establishes this meaning, and this responsibility for teachers, with regard to natural marriage. (We must at all times avoid confusing “natural marriage” with “civil [recognition of] marriage,” which is related to but not constitutive of “marriage” per se.)

In the Sacrament of Matrimony, Christ and His Church bless, witness, and enlarge the spiritual and practical benefits of marriage. In the order of generation, the family—the society formed by natural marriage—stands prior to the Church, and is not constituted by her. However, the action of Christ in determining within history what might have been obscured by human sinfulness also teaches us to recognize a special grace, and a special obligation, that a man and a woman may minister to the Church who witnesses their marriage. The Church has clearly recognized that the man and the woman together are the ministers of matrimony, and as ministers of grace for the whole Church, the man and the woman have both a privilege and an obligation which honors their calling and holds them responsible, not alone to themselves, but to a whole community.

The Church’s “pastoral activity,” therefore, must continually work to annex to the desires of man of woman, and woman for man, the ideas of fruitfulness and permanence; to annex to the desires of man and woman for permanent, fruitful union the ideas of responsible and blessed service, in rearing children and in sharing the blessings of holy matrimony with the whole Church; and to clarify that there is not, and cannot be, any other “marriage” but that which by nature has been clearly set forth, but revelation underscored, and by dominical saying determined beyond all contingency.

To that end, the Church must clearly state the distinctions between marriage and “civil [recognition of] marriage,” which is valid when there is a natural marriage actually recognized by a civil document, and a dead letter (or perverse folly!) when there is no such natural marriage. Two men, or two women, or whatever else is not one man and one woman mutually consenting to indissoluble, exclusive union ordered to fecundity, cannot be the subjects of marriage, and no regime can cause them to be so. Nor, indeed, can the Church; the Church can no more make a “marriage” of a same-sex union than she can make Aphrodite a member of the Holy Trinity.

It is therefore urgent that the Church clearly define her own deference to the authentic definition of “natural marriage,” so as to distinguish both the “ecclesial [recognition of] marriage” that is part of the discipline of the Sacrament of Matrimony and the “civil [recognition of] marriage” that is part of a just civil order’s response to the realities of marriage and family life, without appearing to muddle categories or to speak in Gnostic fashion of a secret “sacramental marriage” invisibly exalted above mundane “civil marriage.” These incoherent terms must be abandoned at all costs, lest we add confusion to a disordered world, rather than speaking as the “experts on humanity” we once claimed we could be.

Finally, then, we ought to proceed in “human pedadogy” on two fronts, at the same time: First, we must fully engage faithful families, precisely as families, in the life of the Church, building neighborhood and ending our seduction by the “youth culture” that defeats intergenerational tradition-building and robust spiritual formation. The “divine pedadogy” of marriage is a double witness, to the children of the faithfulness of the parents through their participation in the life of the Body of Christ, and to the assembly of the faithful of the family through their fidelity and growth as a family, including their honest struggles and the resources those will demand from the Church. Only by rigorously forming those who are to be married, and warmly engaging them in the life of the Church, can this fruit of the sacrament be enjoyed—too often, today, it is partly or wholly wasted, withering on the vine unused (or falling off, rotten). Second, we must fully engage singles, strangers, friendly unbelievers, and whoever else comes into the neighborhood of the Church with the lives of families, not with mere programs—especially not programs with segregate them with “their own kind” and pander to them without providing them the examples and blessings of interacting with those who express the various vocations of familial, clerical, and religious life. Breaking down these segregating, atomizing, individualistic programs in favor of a richly interdependent neighborhood families, we can and should shape a neighborhood where single people and those with damaging or disordered experiences of “family” can be quite literally touched by those living this vocation, and can share in the mutual assistance of all walks of life, assistance sanctified and supported by the Sacraments of Matrimony and Order.

We cannot integrate those who reject “natural marriage” into the life of the Church as married, for they are not; we can integrate anyone into the life of the Church as friends of her families, her clergy, and her vowed religious brothers and sisters. When we make faithful families, by their example and their generous and hospitable sharing in the life of the Church, the ministers of grace that Christ made them, we can expect those who are not attached to families, or who misunderstand families, to begin to benefit from their example—and more profoundly, from the grace they minister to the whole “household of faith.”

Magical Thinking: Especially Useless in Theology

Tinkerbell seems to have invaded the mindset of modern man. That is to say, too many people think that if you believe something it makes it so, and if you do not believe something that makes it so. How often have you heard people say, “Well, I don’t believe in Hell.” Then they go on living like the devil–imagining that just not believing in Hell makes Hell go away. (Here is a connected post: Do You Believe in Hell?) Likewise a good number of religious people think that just by believing a particular doctrine makes it so.

This is practical relativism.

(source: If You Believe in Fairies…)

This habit of thought is, perhaps, not exclusively modern–but it certainly has a modern pedigree:

HAMLET
Denmark’s a prison.

ROSENCRANTZ
Then is the world one.

HAMLET
A goodly one; in which there are many confines,
wards and dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.

ROSENCRANTZ
We think not so, my lord.

HAMLET
Why, then, ’tis none to you; for there is nothing
either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me
it is a prison.

ROSENCRANTZ
Why then, your ambition makes it one; ’tis too
narrow for your mind.

HAMLET
O God, I could be bounded in a nut shell and count
myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I
have bad dreams.

(source: SCENE II. A room in the castle.)

………………………………..Hail horrours, hail
Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings
A mind not to be chang’d by Place or Time.
The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less then he
Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; th’ Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce
To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav’n.

(source: Paradise Lost: Book 1, and see also the Mt. Niphates soliloquy!)

…so it’s odd to have to say that William Blake, in this piece, picked the right thread on this one.

Inscribing Sense

Ellen Wilson Fielding makes a very good point about the irreplaceable part every human life has in God’s work.  A Confirmation candidate and I were just discussing the relationship between “the problem of evil” and God’s decision to create humans in a universe that takes our decisions seriously, a universe where we have the potential to grow into authentic friendship with God.

She says it well:

It is natural for human beings to tell stories that testify to the meaning in their own and others’ lives. There is nothing wrong with that. The problem comes when we jump from not being able to perceive the meaning in a given life to concluding that there is none.

Then we roam near the territory of the mad astronomer in Samuel Johnson’s novel Rasselas. After years of closely studying the sky and the heavenly bodies, he fell into the insane belief that he actually determined their movements and operations: “The sun has listened to my dictates, and passed from tropic to tropic by my direction; the clouds at my call have poured their waters, and the Nile has overflowed at my command.”

No death is senseless in God’s sight. Because we are not God, that is not true of us. That doesn’t mean we don’t praise – and delight in – heroism and self-sacrifice, and direct our abilities to battle accident, disease, and other evils of the fallen condition. But in doing so, humility – one of whose definitions is self-knowledge accompanied by acceptance – is perhaps the most practical and productive virtue we can aspire to.

(source: Understanding “Senseless” Deaths)

How much more true, then, that we cannot decide for the living what their lives may be worth!

Never Tell Me the Odds

You really don’t know the day or the hour:

John Nash, the Nobel laureate whose life as both a genius mathematician and a victim of cruel mental disorders inspired the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind, has died with his wife, Alicia Nash, in a crash on a busy stretch of motorway in New Jersey.

He was 86 years old and his wife was 82. They were on the way to their home near Princeton University late on Saturday after flying from Oslo, where Mr Nash received a prize for mathematics from King Harald V. Police said that the driver lost control of the taxi they were riding in and struck a central reservation barrier. The two were thrown from their vehicle

(source: John Nash dead: A Beautiful Mind mathematician and wife Alicia killed in a car crash)

Lord, have mercy.

Why We Need a Longer Month of May

To have enough time to explain it to our dear friends and family who are not Catholic:

If you mention May and the Blessed Mother, you have to mention May Crowning. If you mention May Crowning, you have to explain how Mary is the Queen of Heaven & Earth. If you mention that Mary is the Queen of Heaven & Earth, you have to talk about the Assumption, the Immaculate Conception, the Ark of the Covenant, the New Eve and why that’s all scriptural. You’ll have to crack open the Bible and look at the Book of Revelations and the “woman clothed with the sun” and explain how Mary was prefigured by Hannah, Ruth, Queen Esther, and Judith.

(source: Good Luck: just a few more days to explain Mary-and-the-month-of-May to non-Catholics)

When Teaching Morality Subverts Morality

Rine’s description, quoted below, rings true for both my upbringing (where my much-beloved summer camp’s wonderful director nevertheless felt the need to preach his signature sermon “Puppy Love Leads to a Dog’s Life” in the middle of every teen week) and my time among evangelicals.  It even tends to cover the spectrum beyond that, wherever one encounters any attitude better than “anything goes.”  And don’t get me wrong, this is slightly better than “anything goes”–but, as Rine discovers, not by much:

As I consider my own upbringing and the various “sex talks” I encountered in evangelical church settings over the past twenty years, I realize that the view of marital sex presented there was primarily revisionist. While the ideal of raising a family is ever-present in evangelical culture, discussions about sex itself focused almost exclusively on purity, as well as the intense spiritual bond that sexual intimacy brings to a married couple. Pregnancy was mentioned only in passing and often in negative terms, paraded alongside sexually transmitted diseases as a possible punishment for those who succumb to temptation. But for those who wait, ah! Pleasures abound!

There was little attempt to cultivate an attitude toward sexuality that celebrates its full telos: the bonding of the couple and the incarnation of new life. And there was certainly no discussion of a married couple learning to be responsive to their fertility, even as a guiding principle. To the contrary, the narrative implied that once the “waiting” was over, self-discipline would no longer be necessary. Marriage would be a lifelong pleasure romp. Sex was routinely praised as God’s gift to married couples—a “gift” largely due to its orgasmic, unitive properties, rather than its intrinsic capacity to create life.

(source: What is Marriage to Evangelical Millennials?)

Abandonment of the proper understanding of marriage among many American Christians is a key reason we find it hard, even when we try, to live and plan and teach as we know we ought.  Even when we know better, we are constantly made to feel that we are outliers, that we don’t quite “get it.”  We are vulnerable to the lie that ours is a holdout position, mere nostalgia for a past nobody wants.

Man and woman were made for God, first, and for each other; and marriage was made to ground and fecundate that reality; its proper fruit is children.

For this reason husbands and wives should take up the burden appointed to them, willingly, in the strength of faith and of that hope which “does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  Then let them implore the help of God with unremitting prayer and, most of all, let them draw grace and charity from that unfailing fount which is the Eucharist. If, however, sin still exercises its hold over them, they are not to lose heart. Rather must they, humble and persevering, have recourse to the mercy of God, abundantly bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance. In this way, for sure, they will be able to reach that perfection of married life which the Apostle sets out in these words: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church. . . Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the Church. . . This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

(source: Humanae Vitae)

Answers to a Survey on the Family–part 5

In early 2015, our Archdiocese like many others was offered a 47-question open-ended survey in order to gather information about what people throughout the world understand about the Church’s teaching, her pastoral practice, current conditions, and the reality of marriage and family life.  The survey was probably a poor translation, and the questions were ill-structured, so I ended up writing about 15,500 words in the one week window for completing it.  I have chosen to share a few of these, here, as well, for your comments.  I will quote the question, and what follows is my answer.  I have edited the answers slightly for brevity, politeness, and clarity.

9. What marriage and family values can be seen to be realized in the life of young people and married couples? What form do they take? Are there values which can be highlighted? (cf. n. 13) What sinful aspects are to be avoided and overcome?

There are a number of goods aspired to by adolescents approaching adulthood, and sometimes those goods are realized in a lifetime of fruitful marriage (not forgetting the coordinate goods of celibacy and single service). As a college professor, I can tell you that most students do imagine future lives as including marriage and family, and they are motivated to consider problems such as providing for and educating families. However, they have been brought up in a culture that provides no clear path from dependent childhood to responsible married life, preferring to multiply distractions and prolong adolescence. This “youth culture” is a seedbed of profoundly debilitating ideological delusions. Compounding this, even the brightest students are taught to emulate teachers and members of elite culture whose faulty anthropology and political ideology pits them against the “heteronormativity” (as they call it) of family life. Young people comfortable with a hedonistic, consumerist lifestyle are therefore kept in perpetual adolescence by their commercial culture, while those interested in growth and the common good are taught to celebrate everything except intergenerational family culture, and to regard traditional marriage as a negotiation for power rather than a unique good.

Under these conditions, the goods of marriage would be hard enough to attain even if our culture had not taken as axiomatic the exploded pseudo-psychology of Freud, in which sexual drive is a deterministic constant which varies only in its expression, and “heterosexual” marriage a conventionalization of that expression for purposes of social utility—a view of marriage now inaccurately regarded as “traditional” by many well-meaning people and by many academics critical of intergenerational family culture. Under these conditions, almost all people are persuaded that it is “healthy” to express sexual impulses and “unhealthy” not to do so, and that reasonable patience and acceptance of limitation in sexual desire is “repression.” For those so taught, all relationships are modifications of a drive to sexual mastery of others, the modifications being more or less successful from one situation to another. When people so taught are offered no alternative to the infantilizing “youth culture” but a “liberating” ethic of suspicion against family culture, their normal sexual impulses are thwarted; for many, there is no correspondence of their desires, the end of those desires, teaching and practice in fitting those desires to their ends, or even social reinforcement for seeking such fitness. As a result, the sexual practices of college students are not so much promiscuous as thoroughly confused, incoherent both rationally and socially. Unfortunately, that confusion does not eliminate the consequences of sinful behavior.

Don’t Expect Torch-and-Pitchfork Crowds to Behave Consistently

It’s a long way to Tipperary, and it’s a long way from here to charitable, hospitable Toleration.

Here’s your reference frame:

Last month, as Indiana’s rather tame religious-freedom legislation was being torched by the mob, America’s more devout dissenters were informed that the price of participation in the marketplace was the subjugation of one’s conscience to one’s Caesar. “You can’t opt out of the law,” the agitators explained. “This isn’t the Jim Crow South!” Their core message? That if we all keep quiet about our views — and if we treat commercial transactions as commercial transactions — nobody will end up getting hurt. Or, put another way: “Cater my wedding, you bigot.”

(source: The Tolerant Jeweler Who Harbored an Impure Opinion of Same-Sex Marriage)

So at the time, the range of responses that didn’t require an immediate change of laws (which I think is strongly warranted) and didn’t insist that only bigots could oppose gay marriage described an arc from “go along to get along” to “deal with the problem when it comes to you” to “do business with absolutely anyone, but do it in a noisily Christian way.”

(Actual bigots just don’t get a voice in this conversation, as far as I’m concerned.  But people who treat others according to their real human dignity and yet decline to participate in their delusions and promote their self-destruction need a sensible, lawful, just way to do what’s right.)

All three of the above strategies were recommended by those (including me) who thought that pre-emptively declaring “won’t serve pizza at gay weddings” was unwise.  My favorite is the last, actually.

This case suggests the limitations of such strategies, and what you must anticipate if you adopt it:

a Canadian Christian jeweler custom-made a pair of engagement rings for a lesbian couple, Nicole White and Pam Renouf, at their request. Later, when they found out that the jeweler personally opposes same-sex marriage, they went to pieces and demanded their money back.

Let’s understand what happened here. This Christian jeweler agreed to custom-make engagement rings for a lesbian couple, knowing that they were a couple, and treated them politely. But when they found out what he really believed about same-sex marriage, even though the man gave them polite service, and agreed to sell them what they asked for, the lesbian couple balked, and demanded their money back — and the mob threatened the business if they didn’t yield. Which, of course, he did.

(source: Heads LGBTs Win, Tails Christians Lose) Continue reading »

Provoke Not Your Children to Wrath (or Despair)

I think this is a good example of the kind of sober reflection on current events that we need to be doing–for our sake, and especially for the sake of those who must learn to live in the world we’ve made:

Listening to these voices made me think again of David Brooks’s astute comment that there are the Résumé Virtues and the Eulogy Virtues. The résumé virtues are what create success in status competitions. The eulogy virtues are what gives meaning to life in the face of the inevitability of that ultimate failure, death.

The problem is not that these teens are pushed to succeed at school; it is that when confronted by their own fear that they may fail to do so, at least at the same level as their peers or their parents, they have not been given a powerful vision of how and why their life would nonetheless be worth living.

(source: Why Are Palo Alto Kids Killing Themselves?)

“bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”

Teach Your Children Well

Sometimes it is just amazing to hear the Holy Father give a stem-winder on a subject dear to one’s heart:

However, above all, is the question: how to educate? What tradition do we have today to transmit to our children? “Critical” intellectuals of all kinds have silenced parents in a thousand ways, to defend the young generations from harm — real or imagined — of family education. Among other things, the family has been accused of authoritarianism, favoritism, conformism, and of emotional repression that generates conflicts.

In fact, a rupture has been opened between the family and society, between the family and school; today the educational pact has been broken. And thus, the educational alliance of society with the family has entered into crisis because reciprocal trust has been undermined. The symptoms are many. For instance, relations between parents and teachers in the school have been damaged. At times there are tensions and mutual mistrust and the consequences naturally fall on the children. On the other hand, the so-called “experts” have multiplied, who have taken the role of parents even in the most intimate aspects of education. On emotional life, on personality and on development, on rights and duties the “experts” know everything: objectives, motivations, techniques. And parents must only listen, learn and adapt themselves. Deprived of their role, they often become excessively apprehensive and possessive in dealing with their children, to the point of not correcting them ever: “You can’t correct your child.” They tend increasingly to entrust them to the “experts,” even for the most delicate and personal aspects of their life, putting themselves in the corner, and thus parents today run the risk of excluding themselves from the life of their children. And this is very grave!

(source: General Audience: On the Education of Children)

There is much more goodness where that came from.  Read the whole thing!

An Ongoing Conversation

A friend and I continue to make an effort to articulate what, exactly, is the way forward for Christianity in our culture–trying to discover how, in a situation where an increasingly intolerant ruling elite actively takes steps to make us inconsequential, Christians can successfully anticipate and defuse the conflict.  From some of my recent comments on the problems in finding a way to do that:

I agree in principle that “we can share this country” is the better part of “this town ain’t big enough for the both of us.”  Just the same, saying this with our hands in the air to those who regard our “share” as a strictly notional, de-institutionalized, publicly inconsequential “freedom of worship” is–well, it’s like making a statement at a sentencing hearing, like pleading with the firing squad.  To “share” will have to mean something that actually permits us to institutionalize our principles, in some real and publicly consequential times and places.

(source: How To Do This?)

Greg sensibly replies thus:

Acting as useful idiots for the church’s enemies…that’s not the path I’m advocating. That’s not “we can share this country” but “please kill us last.” It feeds the persecution of the church just as much as culture-warriorism. The solution is to be neither. Admittedly, models for that are few, though not nonexistent. But I don’t see any alternative to trying. We don’t know whether we can bulid moral consensus. We do know that culture-warriorism is a cure worse than the disease.

(source: How To Do This?)

I reply by pressing him to “draw me a picture” of the alternative, because as far as I can see it exists only in the cracks, right now–or where massive legal and even constitutional change alter the total situation:   Continue reading »

Zenobia, Palmyra Hath Need of Thee!

Under the Roman emperor Tiberius (14–37 A.D.), Tadmor was incorporated into the province of Syria and assumed the name Palmyra, or “place of palms.” After the Roman annexation of Nabataea in 106 A.D., Palmyra replaced Petra as the leading Arab city in the Near East and its most important trading center. About 129 A.D., during the reign of Hadrian, Palmyra rose to the rank of a free city, and in 212 A.D. to that of a Roman colony. With the foundation of the Sasanian empire of Iran in 224 A.D., Palmyra lost control over the trade routes, but the head of a prominent Arabian family who was an ally of the Roman empire, Septimius Odaenathus, led two campaigns against the Sasanians and drove them out of Syria. When Odaenathus was murdered in 267 A.D., his Arab queen, Zenobia, declared herself Augusta (empress) and ruled in the name of her son, Vaballathus. She established Palmyra as the capital of an independent and far-reaching Roman-style empire, expanding its borders beyond Syria to Egypt and much of Asia Minor. Her rule was short-lived, however; in 272 A.D., Emperor Aurelian reconquered Palmyra and captured Zenobia, whose subsequent transport to Rome bound in chains of gold is legendary.

(source: Palmyra | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Sometimes, history is so very sad:

…the loss of Palmyra is an unmistakable tragedy for the world history that now is almost surely going to be obliterated. Believing that civilizational diversity is an affront to their ludicrous interpretation of Mohammed’s divine order, the Islamic State will now sell or shatter the vestiges of Palmyra’s ancient past. And they’ll do so with pride.

(source: The Fall of Palmyra Is a Strategic, Historical, and Human Loss | National Review Online)

Sometimes Doing Right Works Better, Too

Greg Forster has an excellent note on a column by Henry Olsen.  The nut is this promising little paradox:

[W]hile Sam Brownback has slashed Kansas taxes for the very richest and seen little beneficial result, economically or politically, Scott Walker has pursued broad-based tax relief and succeeded on both counts. The political benefits have come not only because Wisconsin has seen more growth but because of the more democratic and republican political morality Walker’s policy represents.

(source: The Real Job Creators | Greg Forster | First Things)