Rand Paul’s understanding of the role of government starkly contrasts with the role envisioned in Catholic teaching. It is no surprise then when he breaks from the Church’s position on a wide array of issues, particularly those affecting the poor and the most vulnerable.
What may be more surprising is his rejection of the Catholic belief in universal human equality. The Church believes in the fundamental equality of all human persons, as each is made in the image of God and has inestimable dignity and worth. Having a religion other than Christianity—or none at all—does not negate this reality or dimish one’s rights. Many non-Catholic Christians share this belief.
Rand Paul does not appear to be one of them. In his argument against intervention in Syria, where tens of thousands have been killed by their government, Paul seemed to indicate that a key interest in Syria is the welfare of Christians, many of whom are aligned with Assad’s regime.
Is this an illegitimate concern? Absolutely not. Among the rebels, there are violent extremists who may carry out reprisal killings and restrict religious liberty if they gain control of the government. Further, their strength has grown as the people of Syria have been slaughtered by their own government and the rest of the world, including President Obama, has failed to protect these innocent victims. Intervention would have been far more effective prior to the radicalization of the opposition.
What is a problem is Rand Paul’s clear indifference to the plight of non-Christians. First, he shows more concern over the hypothetical killing of Christians down the road than the tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims who have actually been killed by Assad’s brutal regime, including the many families murdered in the own homes by their government. Second, he points to possible reprisals against Christians, but not Alawites or any others. He seems more concerned with the sectarian protection of Christians than human rights.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment