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Monday, May 7, 2018
Leftist House Chaplain keeps job as Ryan backs down
conservatives thought John BOEHNER was a piss-ant!
article appeared in Powerline on May 5th
By Paul Mirengoff
When Speaker Paul
Ryan fired Rev. Patrick Conway from his job as Chaplain of the U.S. House of
Representatives, critics of the decision argued that Ryan made the decision
because Conway is Catholic. Conway himself reportedly
took that position in a complaint against the Speaker’s office.
You're a real hero, Paulie
The claim is absurd.
Ryan himself is Catholic.
A more plausible
charge is that Ryan fired Conway because of his theology. Conway is a social
justice warrior. Indeed, Rep. Gerald Connolly, one of Conway’s main supporter, described
him as a close follower of Pope Francis who is willing to tangle with
lawmakers on political issues.
Ryan denies that
Conway’s left-wing theology (ideology, really) motivated the decision to
discharge him. Ryan says the decision was based on complaints from members about
Conway’s pastoral care.
But Conway’s ideology
and willingness to tangle with lawmakers on political issues justify his
firing. The House Chaplain should not be an ideological partisan.
ideology may be rooted in the teachings of Pope Francis makes no difference.
Imagine a House Chaplain whose socially conservative views are rooted in the
traditional teachings of his denomination. If he expressed his social
conservatism, say opposition to gay marriage, in his capacity as Chaplain,
Democrats wouldn’t hesitate to call for his discharge — and they would be
Rev. Patrick Conway
Conway, in his
private capacity, can favor whatever distribution of income appeals to him. But
when he injects his redistributionist preference into a prayer about tax law,
as he did last November, he shows himself unfit to serve the House of
Representatives, a bipartisan body. Ryan should have fired him back then.
I should add that
Conway’s ideological bent can bear on his ability to deliver quality pastoral
care to all House members. Some conservatives might not feel comfortable
confiding in a leftist pastor, just as some liberals might not feel comfortable
with a socially conservative one. But even if that’s not the case, the House
Chaplain should stay out of policy debates.
Ryan has backed down,
though. He reinstated Conway.
It strikes as
emblematic of Paul Ryan’s disappointing tenure as Speaker that he could not
execute his sensible decision to fire Conway.