…in my remarks here, which is sort of like thinking I’ve accused him of being part of the Double Malt Scotch Manufacturers Lobby.
No. I’ve merely accused him of embedding nonsense like this in the interminable 6000 word styrofoam packing material of a windy, ill-composed bid to make himself what the NY Times considers a Man of Letters Who Has Grown:
“I believe, American Catholics should accept state recognition of same-sex marriage simply because they are Americans.”
This, being translated, means “We have no king but Caesar.”
It’s pretty much the same stuff he argued in his piece on the New Fusionism, in which he preached that prolifers and the paladins of global war for salvation through hedonistic democratic capitalism are the Brangelina of the New American Century. Christ and Caesar are basically saying the same thing, especially Caesar. Pay no attention to the old guy in the papal mitre.
It’s the kind of thing Rockefeller Republicanism and Kennedy Liberalism says in the eternal quest to jettison or tame and harness for use those awkward bits of Catholic teaching that conflict with what all sensible people in DC, LA, and NY say about those intractable issues the Church is on about. The key to Bottum’s “Get with it, Catholics, and be real ‘Murkans’. Everybody else is.” argument is not “not being prolife” (in terms of “allied to that political demographic and finding it useful to furthering one’s political aims”). Of *course*, his argument is compatible with being “prolife” in that sense. It’s been a hugely useful demographic for the “conservative” side of the duopoly (though, unfortunately, rather obsessed with the hope that the Republicans will actually do something besides exploit them, which has always been an annoyance.) So “prolife” is, you know, great and all. Salt of the earth people. Very, er, pious and stuff. It’s just that that demographic ought not to be allowed to, you know, have controlling interest in the real aims of those the Germans call the besserweiser: people who Know What’s Best for You and when you should ignore the Church. People who know the time has come for the Church to just get over that silly thing it has with
“Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’?
That’s a nice sentiment and all, but the important thing is the triumph of Reasonable Republican Leadership that increasingly looks indistinguishable from Reasonable Democratic Leadership when it comes to all that Life, Marriage, and Family stuff the Church is on about. That stuff may still gin up the crowds in Paducah–the sort of people you can reliably count on to be snookered into believing even an empty suit like Romney is “prolife” when you need to cast that spell on Election Day. But the bottom line is that once that little task is past we need to temper our faith in the teaching of the Church with “I believe, American Catholics should accept whatever America insists upon simply because they are Americans.”
Once you’ve made that bargain, Mr. Bottum, everything else is just haggling about the price.