Jacob Rees Mogg is a not only a perfect English gentleman of the old school, he is also a committed conservative Catholic and a consummate politician.
Usually when we hear the word “politician” we think of some grubby, obese slime ball doing back room deals while chomping on a stogie.
Not so Mr Rees Mogg. Instead he is consistently articulate, tolerant, street smart and saavy, while being courteous and self deprecating.
He also does not compromise his Catholic faith, and he does so in a very interesting and powerful way which distinguishes him, as a Catholic, from other Christian politicians.
More about that in a moment, but take a minute to view this interchange with a BBC news hound who hounds Rees Mogg about his Catholic beliefs.
You see what he does? He quite rightly separates out any sort of opinion he might have about hot button issues from the teaching of the Catholic Church.
This is very, very important in the highly charged atmosphere of the present political debate about issues like gay marriage, transgender rights, feminism etc.
Why? Well consider the case of Tim Farron, a UK politician who was hounded out of office because he thought gay sex was a sin. The problem with poor old Mr Farron is that he was a Protestant and therefore his moral standards could never be more than his own personal opinion. Quite rightly then, the liberal establishment ate him up for dinner because why was his opinion necessarily any more correct that the opinions of the gay campaigners?
This is the fatal flaw of Protestantism and why, in the end, even the most conservative Protestants will tumble under the onslaught of the gay campaign.
Catholics on the other hand, like Mr Rees Mogg, can say quite truthfully, “This is not a matter of my opinion. I can be quite tolerant of anyone who disagrees with me or has a different lifestyle, but do not expect me to contradict or betray the teachings of my church.” Rees Mogg, in this situation was asked his opinion of a political colleague who was a lesbian and who was pregnant. The interviewer clearly thought he would be a hard line Christian and condemn, but instead he rejoiced in the gift of new life and said he had no problem accepting his colleague who had a different belief system, but why was the interviewer not similarly tolerant?
Notice that this is also what St Thomas More did. He took himself out of the equation. His opinion about the King’s divorce and remarriage was of no consequence. What mattered was the truth of the Catholic faith. People will rarely die for an opinion, but they will die to defend the eternal truth of the Catholic faith.
This unlocks the genius of being a Catholic. The views I hold about homosexuality or divorce and remarriage or capital punishment or most anything are NOT my personal opinion. My opinion does not matter. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church. Attack that if you like, but when you attack that realize that you are not attacking the personal opinions of another individual, but the 2000 year history and wisdom of the worldwide, holy, apostolic church.
He could have said, “It ain’t me luv. Take it up with the pope.”
Rees Mogg not only gives an example for Catholic politicians in the UK, but he should do so for those in the USA as well.
Notice that these quisling “Kennedy Catholics” do exactly the opposite. Rees Mogg suspends his personal opinion in favor of “the teaching of the Catholic Church” in which he takes refuge. The Kennedy Catholics say, ” I am personally opposed to abortion, but respect a woman’s right to choose.”
Cowards. They take refuge in their personal opinion while Rees Mogg sets aside personal opinion in favor of faithfulness to the Catholic Church.
More power to the man and may he live long and prosper.
Image Creative Commons.