National Review vs. Caelum et Terra re: Me

National Review vs. Caelum et Terra re: Me February 14, 2012

This is kind of funny. The other day I mentioned I am noodling the question of whether to vote GOP given Obama’s choice to make war on the Church (Latest unbelievably brazen Administration lie: “And I would simply note with regard to the bishops that they never supported health care reform to begin with.” – Jay Carney).

I haven’t made up my mind, because as Caelum et Terra notes in rebuke of my noodling (and I am acutely aware of, which is why I am noodling, not deciding) “both parties are promoting grave evils.” As I mentioned, so long as both parties were more or less in balance about the vast amount of corruption they are inflicting on the US, I was content to not vote for either (and yes, a GOP that makes empty promises but which, in reality, works as hard to maintain the status quo on abortion as the Dems do is more or less in balance with them, even on the evil of abortion).

But Obama’s war on the Church is, as I said, a new wrinkle and makes me consider tossing my two copper coins in, not to support the GOP’s pursuit of war without end, or its contemptible disregard for serious prolife change, or its vile enthusiasm for torture, or it corrupt crony capitalist whoremongering, but because its cynical exploitation of religiosity means that it prefers to use Christian piety rather than crush the Church mercilessly, as Obama is attempting to do. Caelum et Terra thinks this is more or less selling out, a position I can certainly empathize with.

Meanwhile, over at National Review, Gina Dalfonso notes my noodling as well and is gobsmacked, as are some readers. I really don’t know why. I’ve made it perfectly clear many times that I regard politics as the art of the possible and that my moral calculations always center around how to promote the progress of the Faith. When both parties are advocating grave moral evils, I see no point in choosing which circle of hell I want. But when the equation changes and one party sets out, not only to advocate for sin, but to mount an open and naked assault on the Church which Jesus founded to act as the sacramental remedy for sin, I adjust my moral calculations accordingly.

One reader amuses me by demonstrating the classic identity politics that has become so prominent on the right, suggesting that maybe I’m not good and pure enough to vote GOP (because “purity” apparently means dedication to pre-emptive war and torture). Brilliant. Turn down prospective voters with loyalty tests. That’s the way to win! And they say *I’m* a perfectionist. Others adopt the theory I “hate” capitalism. No. I just don’t regard it as Sacred Tradition. Others assume that because I think the current field of GOP candidates an absurd embarrassment I am, natch, a liberal. Why? Because identity politics requires Manichaean blacks and whites.

So a conservative Catholic who opposes abortion, euthanasia, and gay “marriage”, hates Communism, regards Obama as a tyrant, voted for Reagan and Bush twice, supports just war, supports capitalism (within just limits), says that all that the Holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims is revealed by God, stands for monogamy and rejects artificial contraception, and thinks Benedict XVI is the bees knees? Yes, I am a “liberal” because I oppose torture and pre-emptive war and think it obscene that the strong prey on the weak in this country with increasing impunity, while middle class incomes flatline and vast amounts of wealth accumulate in fewer and fewer hands. That makes me a socialist, doncha know.

Anyway, I haven’t made up my mind yet about how I will vote. And in any case, how I will vote in the national election here in ultraviolet blue Washington will make no difference to our electoral college votes which will go for Obama in any case. But, as I have been saying, the question of how we vote in national elections is not about how your vote and mine will change the outcome of the election. It won’t. The real question is how your vote and mine will change us, because it most certainly will. That’s what holds me back for voting for either hairball either party coughs up.

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