Fr. George Zabelka…

… a powerful Christian counter-witness to the enormously popular cult of Mars among conservative Catholics who are much more passionate about and spend far more energy fighting for the glory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki than they do fighting against (or even being aware of) the shame of something like this.

We conservative Catholics brag that the Magisterium gives us guidance while Protestants are prey to whatever wind of doctrine or cultural fad their pastors happen to have motivate them.  But how many of us conservative Catholics actually formulate our thoughts according to the teaching of the Catechism when it issue is not sola scriptura, the papacy, or the Real Presence? How often do we simply repeat the coos and sneers we are taught to imitate by our favorite secular conservative news sources?  When the Church denounces the use of nukes against civilians as a crime against man and God, or urges the minimalization or abolition of the death penalty, or warns the preventive war is not in the Catechism, or says that we have an obligation to the poor, or says other things that sound “liberal” to conservatives, how Protestant are we?  How inclined to define “prudential judgment” as “ignore the stupid bishops on everything except abortion, euthanasia, contraception, and gay marriage”?

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  • Dan C

    1. In diametric opposition to Zabelka’s ecumenical call for declarations of peace, the Cult of Mars is a crafted political alignment of conservatives of every religious stripe, from Catholics to Evangelicals.

    2. That war marked and warped the “greatest” generation. They evacuated to materialist lives in suburbs, they created the current era of “never-ending war,” they were the parents of the baby-boomers, began divorcing at a high rate never before seen, and its conservative legal scholars crafted Roe vs. Wade.

    3. Praying for one’s enemies! Zabelka has such a wonderful point. That is never done. In America today every other person is our enemy, and it is true we never pray for them. The culture wars make half the country an enemy, with many awaiting with excitement an armed conflict of civil war, remarking how much the era is like Spain’s pre-civil war era. My general belief is that the Church in America must be made whole in some way before it will heal. The culture wars have marked one path for that: banishment of whoever those heretics are. Our enemies in the culture wars will be the enemies in whatever civil war would evolve. No one is praying for one’s enemies, and continue to gin up hysteria for war. (Actually, Catholic Workers frequently pray for one’s enemies, but often unbathed as they are, no one pays attention to them.)

    • Dan C

      I suggest the path of the culture wars toward Church healing is the wrong path and will plunge the Church further into poverty and suffering, shrinking it even smaller. Those Catholic leaders bitterly choosing such a path (lay and episcopal) do so against the Body of Christ.

  • MarylandBill

    I think Catholics, good Catholics, should reject the labels of liberal or conservative (remembering Chesterton’s famous quote regarding conservatives and progressives). We are faithful to the Church or not. If not, it really doesn’t matter if we are conservative or liberal Catholics.

  • Sal

    Children represent a disproportionate share of the poor in the United States; they are 24 percent of the total population, but 36 percent of the poor population. In 2010, 16.4 million children, or 22.0 percent, were poor.
    That’s from the Poverty Center. They say that , for 2010, 15.1 % of the U.S. population were poor.
    So, are they saying that 36% of 15.1% is the number of poor children? Is the 22% figure the number of children in the U.S. in poverty out of all kids? These figures seem to not mesh. Did they leave something out?

    • Sal

      Never mind- some were real numbers, some were percentages. Math not my forte.

  • Art

    I love my Catholic faith and the Church. I pray that those inside the Church can continue to clean up the mess that they made and rid the filth within. In our pop culture the message of the Church goes on deaf ears because they look at the sins of those within side the Church. Any discussion I get into with agnostic, atheist, or protestant friends always leads back to the sins of the Church.

    I also believe we lost the art to articulate and use of philosophy within our culture. Now it is cheap one liners/catch phrases that rule debates.

    We can debate conservatives and liberals inside the Church all day long, however both are right about what is wrong, but also wrong about what is right. We live in a very screwed up world and my trust in human beings in this world is becoming less and less. All I can do is focus on Christ and the truth that was given to us from the 1 and true Church.

  • Ye Olde Statistician

    You want to be careful about comparing international statistics, since it often happens that they are not measuring the same thing. What are the criteria for being counted “poor”? For comparison, the infant mortality rate in the US appears to be higher than in Europe; but in the EU babied born below a certain size are automatically counted as stillbirths and no effort is made to save them, whereas in the US the same class of births are counted as births and, despite oft-heroic efforts to save them, account for one-third of all infant deaths. When the same criteria is used for both, the infant mortality rates are comparable.
    It may also matter whether the reported rates are actual data or whether they are the output of a model. Some while back data on illegal immigration was being presented as if it were fact when it was actually the result of a model. In the case of several countries, the model predicted a negative illegal immigration count, although these were not headlines in the media.

    • Art

      We live in a skewed up world!

  • Help me out here. What is the posted chart purporting to demonstrate?

    Keith Töpfer

  • Dave R

    Read the interview with Zabelka, and while I agree with him on the unacceptability of bombing civilians, I must disagree with him on his dismissal of just war theory. I think that, in the world of today, if all Christians stood together and declared that they would not be part of any war in any way at any time, all of Christianity would be wiped out by nations and/or religions hostile to Christianity pretty quickly.