House Speaker Paul Ryan went to the bat for Catholicism at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Thursday, CNN reported. The comments came within a speech where the Wisconsin Republican railed against political tribalism.
Ryan explained that he is watching a deepening of “identity politics and tribalism” in the country, as well as a trend of “moral relativism” that is becoming “more and more pervasive.”
The tea party advocate has spent the years since becoming Speaker of the House blasting Democrats and attacking former President Barack Obama.
“It looks like the president wants to move down the class warfare path. Class warfare will simply divide this country more. It will attack job creators, divide people and it doesn’t grow the economy,” Ryan said of Obama in a 2011 Fox News interview..
He took the attacks to a new level as the Vice Presidential running mate in 2012.
“He’s distorting the truth, he’s dividing the country, and he’s becoming more bitter and partisan by the day. Frankly, it’s kind of sad to see,” Ryan said of Obama on CNBC in 2012.
It got worse when Ryan attacked Obama’s strong stance against the Republican budget that cut things like food stamps, child nutrition, Meals on Wheels and other programs that help those in need.
“History will not be kind to a president who, when it came time to confront our generation’s defining challenge, chose to duck and run,” Ryan said.
Today, however, Ryan put aside his self-awareness and proclaimed a more Catholic nation was the solution to ending identity politics.
“If there was ever a time, if there was ever a place where Catholics — from the clergy to the laity — are needed, it is here and it is now, helping solve this problem, addressing this challenge,” Ryan said. “Our social doctrine is the perfect antidote to what ails our culture.”
He noted it is an opportunity for Catholics “to lead” and “help bring our culture,” one could even say the Catholic identity, to politics. That way, Ryan believes it will bring “our country closer to their great moral potential.” The implication is that those who disagree do not have such a “moral potential.”
“We are uniquely suited for this task — from the clergy to the laity, we all have got to step up,” Ryan added.
It’s unclear if Ryan’s comments are about President Donald Trump’s use of third-grade rhetoric and identity politics to divide Americans and sow division. Ryan’s speeches about identity politics have become old-hat in Washington, beginning just before Trump was elected.