Friday, December 21, 2007

PATRIOTISM IS NOT ENOUGH

More than at any other time since the 1960's, American Catholics are faced with a “see change” in the defining criteria of their own cause. I assert that this is rooted in three things:

  1. A reluctance on the part of the Catholic layman who identifies with modern 'Conservatism' to invest the time to become familiar with Catholic social teaching,
  2. A reliance upon so called 'conservative media' which is anything but Catholic, and
  3. A lack of understanding the causes of 'cultural political trends' within contemporary American politics.

Catholic Social Teaching:
The Church pretty clearly states that while she favors no particular economic system, any system must be controlled by the people at the most local level as is possible. This is known as the principle of subsidiarity. Contrast this with a Federal education budget which is larger than any that even the most rabid liberal could legislate, but which was given to us by a Republican majority and a Republican administration. Golly, I don't remember voting for that when I voted for the present crop of 'conservatives'. Say, would anyone like some free prescription drugs while we are on the subject of spending? How about a North American Free Trade zone so that our employment dollars can be threatened by some third rate dictatorship south of the border? You didn't vote for that one either? Huh! Strange!

Catholic dogma on just war theology prescribes the principal of proportionalism. Clearly both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have gone on record as opposing the war in Iraq on the grounds of a lack of proportinalism. Yet how many 'conservative' Catholics stake out their own position on the war without checking out these statements by those two great Catholic shepherds and squaring it against the New Catechism? I was fooled myself for the longest time by my lack of diligence in this matter until I went back and read what these Catholic leaders wrote and said to our president before, during, and after the bombing of Iraq.

Patriotism without informed Catholic social and moral theology is as fluid a thing as Protestantism. In fact it is a hallmark of Protestantism. But if we have suffered the protestantization of the Mass for the last 40 years, can it be unreasonable to assume that we have suffered the protestantization of conservative political philosophy in the last 10?

The great Catholic apologist and thinker G.K. Chesterton states of the truly Catholic man that “He is loyal to his own country; indeed he is generally ardently loyal to it, such loyal affections being in other ways very natural to his religious life, with its shrines and relics. But just as the relic follows upon the religion, so the local loyalty follows on the universal brotherhood of all men. The Catholic says ' Of course we must love all men; but what do all men love?' They love their lands, their lawful boundaries, the memories of their fathers. That is the justification of being national, that it is normal'. But the Protestant patriot really never thought of any patriotism except his own. In that sense Protestantism is patriotism. It starts with it and never gets beyond it. (underline mine) We (Catholics) start with mankind and go beyond it to all the varied loves and traditions of mankind”. In like manner, Chesterton goes on to point out that many a convert to Catholicism has been called a traitor by his conservative brethren for seeing beyond mere patriotism.

Reliance Upon So Called 'Conservative Media'
Long before Catholics were picking and choosing, one Catholic columnist stands out as the standard bearer for dissident teaching. In many ways he is way ahead (chronologically) of the heretic John Kerry. For he assured Catholics that they had no moral obligation to obey MATER ET MAGISTRA

Thus we see a contradiction between the informed man in the pew who sees the Church as magisterium and Mother and for example, a pundit like William F. Buckley and his famous essay “Mater si, Magistra no!”. While I do not directly accuse Buckley of being a Freemason, indeed any Catholic who studies the many papal documents on Freemasonry can see the underlying philosophical continuity between the Ivy League Skull & Bonesman and modern day Conservatism as defined by Buckley and men like him. For those of you who are Buckley readers, I encourage you to read both his article of that title and the encyclical he was advocating disobedience toward! Liberals and neocons agree that he paved the way for the grand dissent against Paul VI's condemnation of contraception in Humanae Vitae. I have often heard Buckleys name mentioned so as to excuse away 'The Gospel of Life'.

The bottom line here is that the modern Catholic conservative is intellectually lazy. He would rather listen to Mark Levin or Michael Savage or read National Review and be entertained or feel smart than invest the time and energy on learning magisterial teaching. Perhaps that laxity was excusable before the internet... it is not excusable today.

The Causes of Social and Political Trends:
Any of us conservatives who have wisened up to the antics of the Marxist/Leftist 'I hate America' media elite crowd... remember a time when we began watching news stories and seeing them in a newer and clearer way. I remember the first time I watched the evening news as anchored by some leftist of renown while asking myself 'why are they (the media) choosing to frame the story in such and such a way'.

And yet, as conservatives we seldom are critical like that if we are reading what we personally consider to be a reputable conservative columnist. We go even further with this absurdity and will silently squirm when we see Hannity lie and insult Fr. Euteneuer and the Church over Humane Vitae, while we simultaneously become vocal and indignant as we catch Hillary in a lie or manipulation (which is not a difficult task to witness). Many well intentioned conservative Catholics will explain this dichotomy away by saying that while they may disagree with a Buckly or a Hannity on this or that, that we conservatives must hang together if we are ever going to end abortion. Yet few of us ever notice that the 'pro life carrot' gets even further away with each passing Neocon year. Why is that? It is because if the issue ever came down to winning what Ronald Reagan hoped for in a Paramount Human Life Amendment, then there really would be no single issue to distinguish modern day Republicans from Democrats. This reality is the fruit of Unitarian theology which is the offspring of three hundred years of the great secret society. And this philosophy has indeed infiltrated modern day Republicanism.

Bishop Bernard Fellay stated that this modern Freemasonry affects even the Holy Church of Rome. Yet the good Catholic conservative would deny that the same forces successfully subverting the Church hierarchy would attempt to subvert modern conservative opinion makers... or represent their ideas in a society like Skull and Bones. Strange dichotomy of thought, no? They trust that Rome is subverted at high levels, but not that their own party is!

We now have Catholic conservative commentators joining the ranks of the leftist media in denouncing Gov. Mike Huckabee's Christmas message. Never mind that Huckabee is Americas best chance at ending abortion... “how DARE he use a Christian symbol in a political message.”

Many of us will nod and agree with the talking heads and don an air of 'false impartiality' just to show what a fair minded bunch of folks we conservatives are. Yet will we wonder as we march on some January 22nd of the future why we appear to be ineffective in our own cause.

1 comment:

Behold Your Mother said...

Dear and venerable Pascendi!

So good to read your article on the Social Teaching of the Popes.

Whether the issue is Free Trade, Parental Rights in Education or War, you are correct in stating that there is no practical difference between the Democrats and Bush Republicans when it comes to how we are governed.

While it is true that our Republican friends might throw a little 'feel good' rhetoric about school choice our way every four years, they never expend serious political capital to make it happen.

They are prepared however to expend enormous amounts of political, financial and human capital on issues like War and Free Trade, but as you say so correctly, unfortunaltely their positions on these issues have absolutely nothing in common woth the teaching of the Popes on the just ordering of society.

So the faithful Catholic loves the Church as Mater and Magistra, for their never can be any false dichotomy between the too.