Can’t Remember if I Pointed to This

Can’t Remember if I Pointed to This November 20, 2012

But it’s pretty good: Five Things Catholics Should Learn from This Election Season

More prudent thinking is good.

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  • Really, one of the lessons should be that pro-lifers need to be savvy and stay on target. Mourdock and Akin damaged the pro-life movement. But the other lessons there are good too.

  • Andy

    Thank you for pointing me to this. I have wrestled recently with much of what Prof. Bennett is talking about – especially point one – But an inextricable part of Catholic doctrine is this: if we are baptized we are part of Christ. We may still be mistaken, we may still sin, but we cannot simply dismiss each other. The ease with which we dismiss the person we disagree with as not being Catholic has disheartened me to the point of wondering why be a Catholic. If we cannot agree that it is Christ who is the center of our faith, not the Dems or Reps, that it is the Mass we embrace and not a political philosophy, and that we are all sinners, then what makes us unique.
    A preist who is a close friend and thankfully retired given his struggles with diabetes has been helping me work through the dismay I see and read on line. His first council which he laughed that I could not take was to avoid vexatious sites, but he agreed that many times even the vexatious sites cause thought. He pointed out to me clearly though that all of us are children of God and as Catholics we baptized in Christ. He also was clear that as a Catholic I must recognize in each person their kinship with Christ and accept that they are trying to live and believe as Christ wants them to. As I have read here in these comboxes and other places that we must judge other people, his statement was different – we must accept other people as fellow sinners and through our deeds and words help them to grow in loving Christ – not in condemning them.
    Our discussion last night lead him to help me examine the corporate nature of the church – we are a family – sometimes dysfunctional, sometimes functional, but a family none-the-less. He helped me recognize the evil in the libertarian as currently presented, individuality. The rights of the one outweigh the needs of the many. He was then able to help see how our over consumeristic culture is fomenting this drive.
    He has helped me recognize the need to put away political labels, something I think I sort of knew, but couldn’t figure out how to do it. Next week when my wife is at choir practice he has promised to provide with some steps or at least a pathway to help me do this. He did comment though that it was well I am not in the choir as event he body of Christ does have ears.
    So again thank you for this link as it was fortuitous in helping me wrestle with what Father and I talked about last night.

  • Linda C.

    Not sure I buy the “libertarianism as the communism of the 21st century” framing—I think the developing version of statism promoted by both major political parties will fill that role—but I agree with the author as to what is wrong with libertarianism.

    • ivan_the_mad

      I suspect the author means less a comparison with communism in the 20th century as a geopolitical power than with communism in the 19th century as a poisonous heresy.

      • vickie

        My problem is that poisonous libertarians seem to be the ones posting out the problem how big and lawless the US Federal Government has become. Statsism can result in central ecomic planning, perks for those on the inside of the system, endless wars, drone strikes. While Rand and Randians are toxic, some one like Hayek is humane. He just doesn’t think that bureaucrats can ever have enough information to run the economy. Any ISM becomes toxic if it becomes the central organizing principle of life.

        • ivan_the_mad

          “My problem is that poisonous libertarians seem to be the ones posting out the problem how big and lawless the US Federal Government has become.” Your sample size is either too small or skewed by some other factor. I am seeing people from across the political spectrum speak to that problem.

          “Any ISM becomes toxic if it becomes the central organizing principle of life.” Excepting, of course, Catholicism 😀

          • Mark Shea

            I’m not sure I buy that. It is possible to turn the Faith into an ideology too, I think. Or rather, a parody of the Faith. I’ve met plenty of Catholics on line who offer a Catholic faith I would not be especially anxious to touch with a barge pole. Often they advertise it as the Truly True Real Traditional Catholic Faith.

            • vickie

              “It is possible to turn the Faith into an ideology too, I think. Or rather, a parody of the Faith.” That is why I prefer to think of the One, Holy and Apostolic Church as the bride and body of Christ rather that another -ism, as lovely as that -ism can be.

              • ivan_the_mad

                Yes, I agree with both of you. I was attempting to be funny (and failing, I see).

          • vickie

            You are correct: I am thinking of Glen Greenwald on the left; Pat Buchanan was big help in helping sort out the problems with US foreign policy. Who else do you know of?

            • ivan_the_mad

              Rather than list contemporary writers by name, I’ll list sites where many of them contribute. Caveat: Being a conservative, my list will skew that way. By way of special enjoyment on my part, I’ll single out Dreher and Unz. If you’re interested in older conservative writers whose ideas are still quite applicable to today’s utter foolishness at home and abroad, I’ll be glad to share a list of those. I hope all of this is useful.

              The American Conservative, Front Porch Republic, (the curmudgeonly) Chronicles, The Atlantic,, New Oxford Review, Distributist Review, Caelum et Terra, Counterpunch,

              • vickie

                Thanks Ivan these are helpful.

  • John

    “The rights of the one outweigh the needs of the many. He was then able to help see how our over consumeristic culture is fomenting this drive.”

    I would suggest that it’s not really the ‘rights’ but the ‘wants’ of the individual. Too many of us ‘want’ to go shop at midnight on Thanksgiving night to fulfill some emptiness inside ourselves. It seems so quaint that stores, not even 20 years ago, would open at 7am! Now, that’s not enough. 6am, 5am, 4am, then to Midnight openings. We must consume more, earlier so that Wall Street will be satisfied with our consumption on their earnings report. Let the magical ‘job creators’ create! Frankly, I wish the states would roll back some of this. It brings out our worst individual demons. I’ve always admired New Jersey for shutting down retail on Sundays. I’m sure there are other states that do this, but I am not aware of them.

    Secondly, I’m a bit surprised by the outpouring of emotion I’ve seen on social media, and the media in general over “Twinkies”. Of all things! It’s not like we have lost the Apple Pie. Just, the Hostess ‘Fruit Pie’. Which I’m not sure qualifies as pie, fruit or food. We’ve probably all had a ‘Twinkie’ at some point in our lives. It’s an empty reminder of how we fill ourselves both emotionally with something that means so little and physically with empty, cream filled calories and chemicals. One could conclude that as a culture, our soul is just that. Empty, and cream filled.

    We’re all entitled…it’s not a program, it’s a way of life.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    It’s a great article, and only further confirms to me that my Catholic conscience cannot tolerate a vote for either major party. This is no longer about lesser evils. These are simply different great evils. I do not wish to serve either Sauron or Saruman.

  • tz

    I only learned one thing. That few, if any, will learn anything, have a new thought or idea, from the results of the election.

    If to be baptized suffices, what of confirmation? Holy orders and (deacons)/or marriage?

    Libertarians would divorce the church from Caesar – except that it is an affair, not a marriage.

    If abortion is a “litmus test”, what about the vitriol or lyes told when the case of rape or incest came up?

    Give to the poor – or else we will send someone with a gun to rob you and give the proceeds to the poor – it is called the “Great Society”. Perhaps we could have armed, Jesuit robbers called the “Great Society of Jesus”. Ignatius of Loyoa was a soldier after all…

    Evil has only the power we give it. It often seems a seduction, but it is less that than our desire for whatever the seducer is promising. Few will do evil out of a desire to do evil, but there is no resistance today to doing evil as long as the goal is good. Yet “non serviam” still applies if you get to the ends via illicit means.