A reader has questions about cultural liberalism in the Age of Trump

A reader has questions about cultural liberalism in the Age of Trump August 12, 2019

He writes:

I’ve had a question that I’ve been struggling with that I wanted to run by you, in all seriousness do you think you can have the economic liberalism of the Democrats without the cultural liberalism?

Doubtful.  But since I don’t think we can fix cultural liberalism by laws and force–and I’m not at all convinced that cultural liberalism is an unalloyed evil–I don’t think that it’s all that important a question.  On matters pertaining to sin, I see not much difference between the Right and the Left on cultural liberalism except that the Right fights to make abortion illegal for the poor while preserving it for Republicans, corporate leaders, and their mistresses.  They also fight to make sure those guys can turn the screws on the poor and force them to abort out of poverty while punishing them for doing so.  And since abortion is 100% the creation (with Roe) and retrenched right (with Casey) of GOP court appointees, the whole ridiculous fantasy that the GOP cares about social conservatism is grotesque.  The Trump cult just re-funded Planned Parenthood again for the umpteenth time in the new budget.  What was the “prolife” arm of Christianist Right Wingery headed by the likes of Frank Pavone doing? Cheering for sadistic cruelty to brown children at the border and instructing the faithful that Everything is Fine there while Trump again stabbed them in the back.

I know that you’ve made the point that the Republicans haven’t made any real gains on the issues important to a Catholic anyway and may have lost ground, but it does feel that the Democratic leaders want to push us even further from the ideal,

I’m not so sure anymore.  Recently, I had a friend who (weirdly to me) spoke of me as a Progressive.  I told him, “I’m a social conservative. I’m a Catholic who believes all that the Church teaches on the pelvic issues. I also believe what she teaches about money, which is radically different than what the Freak Show of Francis-hating, Trump-defending Right Wingery in the American Church teaches. I think our primary difference is that most conservative Catholics who lean to the middle primarily think the big civilizational threat is pelvic and LGBTQ, while I think it painfully obvious that the big civilizational threat is what Jesus actually devoted the bulk of his moral preaching to: Mammon. He talks about money constantly. He talks about sex occasionally and even then is rather easy going on whores. The side of the boat that is near gunwale under is the crushing oppression of the world’s poor by a tiny oligarchy driven mad by greed and bent on destroying everything–including a Church that believes in the preferential option for the poor–in their lust for Mammon. American Conservative Catholics are for the most part, totally committed to helping them and fighting this pope tooth and nail.

“There are a billion people living in poverty. We are currently ruled by an oligarchy where fewer people than I have fingers on my hands own more than the rest of the citizens of the US and that oligarchy is working to destroy our Constitutional order and the European Union while cooperating with the pirates overseeing the remains of the Communist old order. The middle class is in grave danger of becoming the poor. And the propaganda machine of the oligarchy is busily fanning the demons of white supremacy to keep the Stupids ginned up against the browns in both the US and Europe.

“And that propaganda machine is also at war with the Magisterium. The right, not the left, is by far the loudest internal enemy of the Church in this hour. And so those of us who defend the Magisterium have gone from being dinosaurs who don’t understand that FutureChurch is the wave that will bury JPII (in 1997) to being despised “Boomers” who don’t understand that the Alt Right and the Extraordinary Form are the wave that will bury Francis.  I have always believed Jesus’ point that the grave threat the Church faces is seduction, not persecution.  I think it far more serious that millions of right wing  Catholics have been seduced to cheer for child torture and glory in Bill Barr taking a dump on the Magisterial teaching on the death penalty than Dianne Feinstein’s stupid bigotry or some cabinet appointee having to put up with a Dem moron insulting him for being a Knight.”

I can probably live with economic liberalism over Trumps instability and lies, even if I don’t agree with all of it as a best practice to get goods and services to the most people, but I would agree it’s better than what the Republicans are offering with just tax cuts as an answer for everything, the age old “I’m liberal on culture and conservative on economic” is actually not true today, just look at Howard Schultz, I think the argument can be made it’s been reversed with many young people.

Yeah.  The Dems are, on most issues, far closer to the Church’s teaching.  Since neither party actually cares about abortion, the cry “But abortion!” from a thoroughly seduced Right Wing as the all-excusing shibboleth that taketh away the sins of the Right is just a filthy lie now.  The Right are very clearly a cult of nihilist predators politically speaking.  And the religious right are mere court prophets for that.  I regard it as a moral imperative to destroy the political right since they pay for the whoredom of the theological right.  The Left mostly responds to the Holy Father and the Magisterium and approval, with significant exceptions, of course.  But the obvious and sensible thing to do about that is to agree with them on all the places they are right be more vigorous on behalf the least of these than they are.  Then you can say, “You are right about so much.  Why then do you neglect the least of these in the womb?”  But the insanity of the current cult of Trump is to lie about caring for the unborn and then devote their real energy to defending torture of children at the border and lying that his mob of white supremacists shouting “Send them back” is not a mob of white supremacists.

So my answer to the question just to show my cards is No, you can’t have one without the other, that still may be better that Republicans, but it’s a scary place to start,

What do you think?

I think I am morally bound to support the Dems and destroy this seductive cult of a white supremacist Mob Boss.

God bless you as you struggle with all this.  Hard and challenging times.

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