The affair of Fr. Patrick Conroy’s tendered and withdrawn resignation as chaplain of the House of Representatives is one of those regrettable incidents in our public life that nevertheless has the virtue of bringing to light certain things that most politicians would prefer to be kept in the dark.
Among these is the tenuous strength of the Republican alliance between Catholics and evangelical Protestants born of supposedly shared values. In fact, few shared values exist.
The most cited example is their supposedly mutual opposition to abortion. For a Catholic there is rigorously defined teaching about what it means to affirm that human beings are made in God’s image and possessed of an inherent metaphysical dignity; this is why we reject not only abortion but artificial birth control and eugenics and in-vitro fertilization and cloning, and why we insist upon the just wage and the harmonious cooperation of social classes; why, in the face of the mass exterminations of the 20th century the modern popes have (perhaps too forcefully) cautioned against use of the death penalty. Among evangelicals, who only recently decided that abortion should be illegal and in many cases grant so-called “exceptions” that permit the murder of children so long as they were conceived in sufficiently barbarous circumstances, this opposition is a crudely fideistic, if welcome, development. It exists in complete isolation from the other propositions about human nature that for Catholics make it comprehensible. This is why it is also difficult to make sense of the Protestant strictures against homosexuality except as a species of bigotry, appearing as it does against a backdrop of tacit, and at times explicit, approval of divorce, concubinage, contraception, and other disordered practices within marriage, fornication, and self-abuse.
Seemingly in exchange for the cooperation of evangelicals, conservative American Catholics have abandoned one of the great jewels in the crown of the Church, her modern social magisterium, the tradition that runs from Pope Pius IX’s denunciation of Victorian-era classical liberalism to Pope Francis’ Heideggerian assault on the merciless logic of globalized technocratic capitalism. For evangelicals, the idea that there is a common good toward which the political order must be oriented — and that this mutual flourishing cannot be conceived of as the mere aggregate of millions of individuals pursuing their own material interests with limited interference from the state — has no basis in theology. In return for evangelicals’ acknowledgement of one evil, Catholics have learned to ignore what the Church has to tell them about how we are to live in the world with one another.
And for the consequences of this disastrous rejection of our own Tradition, one need only watch the disgusting war on Pope Francis and worship of Trump that has been the policy of the Christianist Catholic, a policy that has resulted in a hemorrhage of our youth who “came to regard religion, in Putnam and Campbell’s words, as ‘judgmental, homophobic, hypocritical and too political.’”
And the Christianist cult that has completely thrown in with Trump and his pack of nihilist predators regard the loss of its children as a sacrifice well worth making for the sake of earthly power. They worship Saturn and Moloch and Mammon and Mars and Venus, not the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I await the cult’s renewed defenses of torture as manly and completely compatible with Catholic teaching. Perhaps Raymond Arroyo can again host Marc Theissen to preach to the faithful about how torture is just fine.
One thing you can be sure of: Arroyo’s Papal Posse, dedicated to poison the Church against the Holy Father, will never host a discussion about how right Benedict XVI was to say, “The prohibition against torture “cannot be contravened under any circumstances”. They will be too busy defending the use of torture they defended for a decade and the President who is fighting for the woman who helped make it happen–since he would love to reinstitute torture.
And if it that means bringing it to our police stations and prisons too? Well, when you run the largest gulag on planet Earth, you are gonna need to cut some little moral corners to keep the untermenschen in line.
That is what “prolife” Christianism exists to defend.
Christians stand for the proposition that there are no untermenschen and that human life–all of it–is sacred from conception to natural death.