A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far, Away…

A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far, Away… May 12, 2013
Yes, she really said this.

When Democrats swore that they supported traditional marriage. Oh. Wait. That was only nine short years ago. My bad.

Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air has more on this flashback to a, ahem, simpler time.

One thing though. In case you haven’t noticed, big time Republican pols are falling all over themselves jumping on the same-sex marriage band wagon these days too. The attorney who argued that George W. Bush won the 2000 election before the Supreme Court, Theodore “Ted” Olson? He’s the fellow who argued for same-sex marriage to SCOTUS back in March. Maybe you’ve forgotten that enough Republicans in New York state cast the deciding votes to recognize same-sex marriage there. The same thing happened in Rhode Island a few weeks ago.

There is also mounting evidence that Republican support for same sex marriage has grown markedly just since 2009,

Bit by bit, opposition to same-sex marriage is vanishing — a trend particularly noticeable in the nation’s most conservative corners. An ABC News/Washington Post poll published last week shows that 52% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters under 50 now support gay marriage, as do 81% of Republicans under 30.

And it’s not just public opinion that’s changing: recent weeks have seen a growing number of Republican legislators announce their support for same-sex marriage. Earlier this month, Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) reversed his anti gay marriage stance after his son came out, and as of February, Minnesota state senator Branden Petersen plans to co-sponsor a bill that would legalize gay marriage in his state.

Some Republicans are also turning their energy to the Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8, California’s infamous gay marriage ban. This week, Theodore Olson — former Reagan advisor and assistant attorney general to George W. Bush — will argue before the Court in favor of overturning Prop 8 (Olson is one of a small faction of Republicans who have historically supported gay marriage. In 2009, a year after Prop 8 passed, he declared that it was “utterly without justification” and “could involve the rights and happiness and equal treatment of millions of people”). His argument is accompanied by an amicus brief, signed by more than 130 prominent Republicans, supporting marriage equality.

Read more at Policymic.

Maybe you believe that Catholics can’t be Democrats because of the stuff written down in the Democratic Party platform that is contrary to Catholic teachings in regard to life issues and the definition of marriage. Meanwhile you believe that Republican politicians are okay because written in their party platform are policies that are in agreement with Catholic teachings on those issues, despite the growing numbers of Republicans who don’t support their party’s platform.

If your blood is starting to boil because I claim that Catholics can be members of either political party, scan up to the top of the page again and reread the quote from St. Bernadette Soubirous about not having to convince anyone of anything. In the spirit of informing folks, though, recall something that I’ve said before, as some pine for a new party that will supplant either the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, or both.

…the best way, short of a revolution, to change the two dominant parties, so that they more closely reflect Christian ideals of liberty, and the dignity of the human person, is to become involved in them locally. That is the principle of subsidiarity put into action. It will be messy, frustrating, and time consuming, so think of it as a vocation. And it will be about as fun as petting sharks, or swimming with piranas, which is why most of us don’t get involved.

Actually, that was pretty naive of me to think that. It’s very much putting the cart before the horse because it assumes, again naively, that we as Catholics are well versed in our own faith, when in fact many of us are not. Joe and Jane Pewsitter, on average, don’t read Papal Encyclicals, nor do most parishes (if any) give a seminar when the Pope writes a new encyclical, you know, in an effort to keep folks apprised of the Church’s teachings in this day and age.

So as a reminder, note that the title of this blog is not YIMRepublican or YIMDemocrat. Note that it isn’t YIMLiberal, YIMConservative, or YIMLibertarian. Note that it isn’t even YIMAmerican, anymore than it would be YIMEnglish, YIMChinese, or YIMSenegalese, etc.

The blog’s title is Why I Am Catholic, and I won’t be apologizing for calling folks’ attention to things that either major party, or any minor party (or any entity, for that matter) is doing that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church, while they hope that we turn a blind eye to this fact just so they can win an election next time around.

In a way, what I’m saying is like what St. Paul was telling the Galatians (emphasis is mine),

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love.

 You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth?  Such persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.  A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. I am confident about you in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty.

And to the Ephesians,

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be associated with them.  For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.

Going forward, I will infuriate folks for sure  if they struggle to pigeon-hole me into one of the little boxes that many try to  assign folks into in a feeble attempt to take God’s whole, wide, wonderful world and divide it into two camps labeled simply Good, and Evil, while substituting those words for other labels of their choosing depending on which way the weather happens to turn.

For future reference, here is what I am about. I’m trying to be a disciple of Christ, not the winner of popularity contests.

Christ must be at the center of our lives.
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  • Stefanie

    Amen, Frank.
    I follow Christ.
    I follow His Church as He established it — unvarnished & unapologetic.
    I sometimes get varnished and apologetic and it makes me cranky not loving and a poor witness to my Lord Jesus Christ.
    I strive to praise Him daily, take His Body into my Body as often as I dare (three times this weekend!), and take His Body into my classes (two classes today with students ranging in age from 3-1/2 to 40), guide firmly those who come to me for advice about the Church, teach with joy.
    For those who try to pigeon-hold my societal-cultural-political beliefs, you will receive a loving smile and a listening ear and a hope that you will listen to what the Church teaches with an ear that longs to hear.

  • I’m not Catholic. But I wholly agree with you that God is bigger than any political party. So thanks for that. As a Christian who is gay, I often find myself stuck between two worlds and feeling like I’m pissing everyone off because I refuse to demonize the gay community or the Church.

    Regarding the anchor point of this post, it seems contrary to say “it’s not my job to convince” on the one hand and “we should shape public policy through political activism” on the other. I’d be interested in a more thorough fleshing out of you view the mingling of religion (whichever one that may be) and civics.

    All my best to you.

    • What I’m basically saying is that evangelizing the culture can’t be done if one isn’t engaged in the culture. But it also can’t be done unless one is evangelized , and steeped in, the beliefs of one’s own faith.

      I’ll point you towards John Milbank’s article, “The heart of Christianity: A theological defence of apologetics.”

      Therein lies this quote,

      …today, apologetics – which is to say Christian theology as such – faces the integral task of at once defending the faith and also of defending a true politics of civic virtue (rooted in Platonic and Aristotelian assumptions), as well as a renewed metaphysics of cosmic hierarchy and participatory order.

      In the article linked to above, Milbank uses examples from the trials of Socrates, Jesus, and St. Paul wherein the defendants each made appeals beyond the polis without being against the polis .

      It seems paradoxical, but Christianity is no stranger to paradox.

  • Chesire11

    Amen! I have watched with dismay, many Catholics make our faith the servant of political parties, either confusing their party with the Church (on the right) or elevating their party over the Church (on the left). BOTH parties are of this world, and serve worldly interests. When they appear to embrace our faith it is only to ensnare our loyalty.