Jon Stewart is the man. He points out that no one likes the right/left polarization of the media, just as no one likes the right/left polarization of the country. So what’s the answer? Well, in a word, Catholicism. Part of what I love about my religion is that it’s unplugged from the political system; it lives in a healthy sort of disdain for the left and the right. This isn’t because it’s moderate. It’s because the Church is the true center.
Wrapped up in the world of politics, it’s easy to see the views of the Church as some sort of concession between the political parties. But I beg you, don’t think of the Church’s position of being pro-life and against the death penalty as a moderate position, as some sort of compromise between the right and the left. The Church’s position is true, and the right and the left are – though I hate to get all Latin-massy on you – heresies, plain and simple. Capitalism and socialism are both – by the Church – considered evils that treat man either as an economic means or as mere part of a social whole. (To which we say bleaugh.) But the Church’s economic teachings of subsidiarity and distributism are not compromises between the two systems, but the truth that both capitalism and socialism have left behind.
It’s really the difference between finding a religion and finding truth. In our “church-visiting” culture, in which people have told me they “are still looking for a Church that fits me”, the Catholic Church makes the bold claim that you must fit the Church. So it is with politics. The Church does not fit the existing political structure, the existing political structure refuses to fit with the truth the church professes. So, when folks ask you about your politics, let ’em know: I’m Catholic.
That’s all! Lent she cometh!