10 responses

  1. Cannot one engage in the politics while understanding that the purest theory of a modern state and the psychology of a consumer society are at odds with the Gospel? Everything is political, which means not only that certain principles and laws bend with the political situation but are upheld as well. So often the debate about U.S. Catholicism or Christianity does not acknowledge that our economy is hell-bent on consumer waste and has been since before the Great Depression. For economists the puzzle remains how to continue growth, but we ought to be asking ourselves at what point is growth just opulence, mismanagement, and theft, particularly of the future. If we don’t face the consumer economy, we aren’t serious about examining our place in America or resolving the grave challenges that beset not only this country but the world?

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  2. The following sentence encapsulates everything that is so wrong with Catholic intellectual culture today: “Many of us are shocked and depressed by the current state of America – its hardness of heart to the most vulnerable; its contempt for the poor; its violence abroad and at home; its corrupt sexual morality; its increasing intolerance and persecutory zeal (with ourselves as targets); and so on.”

    Where is the mention of socialism? Where is the mention that federal entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, and the overbearing income taxation that comes with them, are evil? Where is the mention that refusing to go to war against Assad in Syria and Khomenei in Iran is evil? Where is the condemnation of Catholicism’s cowardice in the face of the twin threats of socialist democracy and pacifism?

    These are the most odious aspects of American culture today, and with both problems, American Catholic culture is worse than the general American culture at large, which should be absolutely horrifying to any faithful American Catholic. The USCCB worships at the altar of socialism, The Beatles, Gandhi, and MLK, not at the altar of God.

    Put me in the accommodationist camp when it comes to America’s founding. You cannot be a coherent Catholic historian without also being a Whiggish historian, and that implies that you must recognize America represents the highest point of Christian civilization so far reached.

    On the other hand, put me in the radical camp when it comes to the irreconcilable differences that indicate that the Church should try its best to cooperate with government programs for the poor as little as possible. It’s time to break ties and go our separate ways from this wicked state. Not because America’s founding was wrong, but rather because Americans have turned against what they once were. No more joining hands with the government and helping them with their welfare programs. It’s wrong.

    The Catholic Church must regain its independence from the atheist state, and America seems to be the only place in the world where this might be possible, for Catholic intellectual culture is dead everywhere outside of America. Judging by this article, it might be already dead within America too.

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  3. One wonders if universal human values do exist. When people want only their own ways, could we ever agree upon a set of human values supposedly good for all? Good for one is not necessarily good for others.

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  4. Values must be perceived as what they are – that which promotes the good of the holder. The values that are universal to all human persons are those that allow human individuals, each human individuals to live as a community. People become confused about this because not all sets of people hold all the universal human values. Those values that are universal however, are repeated in all sets of people.

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  5. liberalism
    [lib-er-uh-liz-uh m, lib-ruh-] Spell Syllables
    Examples Word Origin
    noun
    1.
    the quality or state of being liberal, as in behavior or attitude.
    2.
    a political or social philosophy advocating the freedom of the individual, parliamentary systems of government, nonviolent modification of political, social, or economic institutions to assure unrestricted development in all spheres of human endeavor, and governmental guarantees of individual rights and civil liberties.
    3.
    (sometimes initial capital letter) the principles and practices of a liberal party in politics.
    4.
    a movement in modern Protestantism that emphasizes freedom from tradition and authority, the adjustment of religious beliefs to scientific conceptions, and the development of spiritual capacities.
    ——————————————————————————————-
    The problem with accommodating a liberal philosophy, is that without a final authority, there can be no cohesiveness of belief, and thus every man becomes a religion onto himself, as we define what is good, and what is evil.

    Liberalism, is in essence, a contradiction in terms. While it is true that liberalism has a false anthropology, it is also true that one cannot be, in essence, a liberal, if one recognizes, from the start, that our unalienable Right to Life, to Liberty, and to The Pursuit of Happiness has been endowed to us from The True God, the purpose of which can only be, what God intended.

    There is no such thing as a liberal or conservative Catholic. Catholics recognize that the poor, we will always have with us; we must always have concern and care for the poor, just as we must always respect the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception, and the sanctity of marriage and the family.

    Catholics recognize that what is necessary for human flourishing is living in Loving relationship with one another in communion with God.

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  6. Mr. Brian, how can you hold that not being at war with Assad or Iran is wicked when one of our greatest ‘allies’ in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia? The Saudi regime is both anti-Christian and illiberal. It is forbidden to say Mass there; sharia law is implemented there; one can go on and on. Nonetheless, no one ever hears the war machine trying to gin up war against Saudi Arabia.

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  7. The Saudi government, like the Pakistani government, is weak, opaque, and inherently unstable. We are allies with them only because the existence of the Syrian-Iranian axis makes it necessary, similar to how the U.S. was allied with the U.S.S.R. during World War II.

    I think bringing up charges of hypocrisy in this context is somewhat of a red herring. While I agree that U.S. alliances with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are problematic, I also know that the necessary first step to make reform in those countries possible is the destruction of the current governments of Syria and Iran. The same applies to reforming Palestine and the ugly alliance that the EU has with them (and which the Catholic Church supports!), whereby Europeans are guilty of directly enabling terrorists.

    All of what I wrote above I expect to be far beyond the competencies of Catholic clergy, as it involves complex strategic calculations and the ability to “see the game behind the game” when it comes to international relations. So it’s perfectly okay if the Catholic Church does not officially endorse war. I don’t expect it to.

    Nonetheless, I am certain that Jesus commands us to go to war, and that the Catholic Church is practicing evil by preaching a false gospel of pacifism and accommodationism in order to prevent it. Church leaders speak plain heresy on matters of war on pacifism on a regular basis, and it comes straight from the top, with Pope Francis himself attributing motives to those who passionately urge us to go to war, which any realistic analyst knows are complete bunk and outrageously childish and immature.

    If you want to know who is right and who is wrong in these types of debates, a good place to start is usually by examining the types of arguments and motives that are driving people. If you look at the Church’s motives in promoting pacifism, they are absolutely noxious and disgusting, and have nothing to do with faith in God.

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  8. From the beginning, there has been no debate among Catholics in regards to The Sanctity of Human Life from the moment of conception, and The Sanctity of Marriage and The Family; if there appears to be a debate on these issues, it is due to those who profess to be Catholic, but are not in communion with Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/motu_proprio/documents/hf_jp-ii_motu-proprio_30061998_ad-tuendam-fidem_en.html

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  9. Brian, “Nonetheless, I am certain that Jesus commands us to go to war,” Citation, please.

    “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” I think this falls under the let’s get our country together before we can lecture the rest of the world.

    Start with our foreign policy. In the 1970’s, Saudi Arabia enjoyed a period of modernism. In fact, women didn’t wear burkha and had many more freedoms. The United States came along and started to funded and arm the Islamic fanatics to curtail the USSR/Communism. Unfortunately, these fanatics the seized the mosque in Mecca in 1979 and transformed Saudi Arabia what it is now (our tax dollars at work). I recommend “Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia” by Robert Lacey. It is impossible to understand the Middle East mess without understanding the 1979 Seize.

    Whether or not, the United States should have been in 1991 Gulf War is debatable. What isn’t up for debate is our immoral destruction of their water supply. In fact, “George Washington University professor Thomas Nagy concluded, The United States knew it had the capacity to devastate the water treatment system of Iraq. It knew what the consequences would be: increased outbreaks of disease and high rates of child mortality”. Over 13 years, the US embargo kept the specialized repair equipment and chemicals to purify its water supply out of Iraq, Diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid killed children (nearly 500,000 in 2003 alone). Iraqi Catholic Priests, therefore the Vatican, knew of their deaths. No wonder, Pope John Paul II saw the embargo as immoral and frequently called for its end.

    Pope John Paul II rightly was against the Iraq War. (R. James Nicholson, the American ambassador to the Holy See, added that the pope’s comments reflected the Vatican’s growing worry about, and preoccupation with, the situation in Iraq. In the last month, an increasing number of Vatican officials have raised questions about the morality, necessity and consequences of a war in Iraq – NYT 1/14/2003). I think he understood how Catholics were depended upon a secular Iraqi society. Unfortunately, the US placed Prime Minister Al-Maliki, a Shia who destroyed the secular society. Not only does ISIS thrive in the power vaccum created by the weak US sponsered Iraqi government, but ISIS consists of Sunnis who suffered under PM Al-Maliki.

    So Brian, how is any of this part of our Catholic theology?

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  10. One more thing! As conservative Catholic who sent her children to parochial school, I now look at my Church and wonder who are we.

    I have never heard a sermon against killing children, whether by US drones or by IDF in Gaza. As Catholics, shouldn’t speaking out against the killing of children be the bare minimun requirement? Catholics oppose abortion, rightly so, but what about the lives of Middle Eastern (already born) children? Who are we that we can throw their lives away?

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