Wednesday, September 19, 2012

There is no Catholic vote. Good or bad?
Fr L doing what priests do, exhorting.
  • The church is a big tent (here comes everybody), not a micromanaging cult.
  • There are Bad Catholics (most people) and there are Modernists (a pious or at least churchy, perfectionistic minority ironically like many of us trads that way). Don’t confuse the two.
  • I understand the religious across the board tend to vote Republican. There are devout D-voting mainliners and peacenjustice Modernist Catholics (like those old nuns grabbing a few headlines before they die off) but they’re also-rans.
  • Well-meant integrism’s wrong. There are no such things as Catholic physics or Catholic economics.
  • Catholic Social Teaching™: sanctified welfare state, not necessarily with a state church anymore, but anti-abortion and promoting peace and family values. Believed in by the devout from the European paleo right (Bishop Williamson doesn’t like capitalism) to the reigning Pope (good European Christian Democrats) to the old ward/union Democrats (Catholics in most of American history; good social conservatives unlike liberals now; the people the Dems now scorn: Archie Bunker) to ’70s liberation theologians (except the peace part?). Like the mainliners do (and more important, like the peer-pressure liberal popular culture* the mainliners tag along after), they think Republicans are vulgar and libertarians selfish monsters (that Ayn Rand’s beliefs were that doesn’t help).
  • But the church’s only real ground rules are about the ends: peace, life (thou shalt do no murder as the old Prayer Book rightly puts it) and family.
  • Freedom regarding the political means to those ends is the true freedom of the laity, the apostolate of the laity in the world. No clericalism, no theocracy.
  • So, amazingly, Vatican II’s right (I have no use for the council otherwise: it didn’t define doctrine so join me in deep-sixing it; my Sunday Mass is as if it never happened): liberty, not integrism (of the right or the left, including the third-wayers/distributists**), is the way. Lay autonomy. Libertarianism.
*Christian ethics minus Christ.
**Make a product people buy and we’ll talk.

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