Monday, February 06, 2012

The Catholic - a man without a party

[Note: For anyone so sensitive as to be offended by the gender-inclusive use of the masculine term in the title, it is meant to be an allusion to Edward Everett Hale's novel by a similar title. (Anymore it's like having to explain the punch line of one's jokes, isn't it.)]

This is from one of our readers, and I thought it too good to leave in the Comment Box:
From Ann Coulter, "Iowa Shows Republicans Determined to Beat Obama," January 4, 2012:
"Santorum is not as conservative as his social-issues credentials suggest. He is more of a Catholic than a conservative, which means he's good on 60 percent of the issues, but bad on others, such as big government social programs. He'd be Ted Kennedy if he didn't believe in God.”
Coulter's quote reveals a little more than she meant it to. For her, Catholics are 60 percenters. There is considerable cleavage between Catholicism and her brand of "conservatism."

Surely, the 60% agreement consists in opposition to such social innovations as gay marriage, legalized abortion, stem cell harvesting, etc. BUT – none of these positions were ever bedrock republican establishment issues. Rather, they were Catholic / Evangelical etc issues coopted by the Republican establishment to bring in votes that were not necessarily republican to begin with.

If anything, Wall Street loves abortion because it gives the drug companies and health providers new products and service lines. It prizes stem cells, harvested from the bodies of aborted children, for these could become huge moneymakers once the moral qualms are swept aside. And gay boys and girls are piggish consumers of fashion, toiletries and other flags of self-indulgence. Disrespect for life and respect for sexual perversion is good business.

Clearly then, Wall Street, and its political arm, the Republican Party, have no abiding interest in the moral values of Catholics or any other religious group. There's no money in them. The alliance between Catholics and Wall Street republicans can be regarded, within the inner sanctum, as temporary exploitation, valid only until a better deal comes along.

And that is exactly what Coulter, a journalistic strumpet of the republican establishment, reveals in her sarcastic flip-off of Santorum.

It would be nice if the democrat party had something to offer besides socialism and secularism, but it doesn't. Catholics do not have a home in either party. They should understand that, to the extent that they persist in their faith and the traditional teachings of their Church, they are pariahs in The Land of the Free.
[Hat tip to R.R.-D.]


Greg said...

For a Catholic voting her conscience irrespective of party lines, what are the five (or ten) most important issues?

I am not Spartacus said...

I have a theory about Ann Coulter

Anonymous said...

Dunno, Greg, but Life issues have to be right at the top of those issues, so fundamental to everything else. The "social justice" crowd pushing feminism, gay rights, and socialism forget that human life is a social justice issue.

But there's certainly bound to be many other issues. With the Bishops' voter guide as confused and confusing as it apparently is, it's little wonder that the rest of us are scratching our heads.

Tony said...

The Catholic is a man without a party? No, the alienation goes well beyond that. The bipartisan consensus disdains any man who clings to any sense of common human decency.

Consider the words uttered by presidential candidate Ron Paul:

"My point is, if another country does to us what we do to others, we’re not going to like it very much. So I would say that maybe we ought to consider a golden rule – in foreign policy. Don’t do to other nations what we don’t want to have them do to us."

Lunacy! Treason! Blasphemy! Well did the audience of South Carolina conservatives respond with their chorus of jeers!

Dr. Demento seems to think the beneficiaries of U.S. intervention object to bombing and blockading! What planet is this guy living on?

How can the Empire's infliction of collateral damage trouble Congressman Paul when buggerers are threatening to marry? Doesn't he know it's better to strain at gnats than obsess over the camels' free passage!

Robert Allen said...

Given my Distributist reading of Rerum Novarum, I cannot abide Mitt Romney or the other Republican champions of Big Business. On the other hand, Obama is simply depraved for refusing to see that abortion and homosexuality are evil. Republican policies hurt workers and the indigent; Democrats destroy babies and families. Sitting out the election would be failing to do my civic duty. And even if I could find a 3rd Party candidate who realizes the truth here, to vote for him would be an exercise in futility. I believe that the lesser of 2 evils here is voting Republican.

Greg said...

Doubtless, the moral gamble that abortion is a civil right is going to be a central indicator of where the Catholic should go with her vote.

I understand the comments in the Bishops' voter guide that make that issue incapable of subtraction, but for the sake of argument we should. Especially as directed to your concerns about socialism.

My reading and understanding of Jesus makes the tenets of charity and peace more central than the treatment of abortion and homosexuality. If it is prudent to codify in civil law governments involvement in abortion and homosexuality, is it not also in charity and peace?

Pertinacious Papist said...


Abortion and homosexual sex are specific acts. Charity and peace are abstract principles. It's easy to specify what the former mean. It's hard to know what is intended by the latter unless they are expressed in specifiable acts.

Whenever our Lord used the term "love" in the New Testament, its meaning was never left nebulous, but was always tied to specifics: "He who loves me will keep my commandments." To love neighbor as one loves self, in this context, means to love as one loves Christ, with a specific content.

The 4 Sins that "Cry Out to Heaven" include oppression of the poor, defrauding laborers of their wages, and willful murder, as well as the sins of Sodom (Exodus 2, James 5, Genesis 4, and Genesis 18, respectively).

If you want prioritizations, St. Thomas offers these aplenty in his S.T. In the category of sexual sins alone, he classifies unnatural lechery as the gravest, and of those five, beastiality as the worst (because it doesn't even get the species right).

The upshot is: you're right. There's a lot of clarification required in the public square on these issues for Catholics.

Greg said...

Surely then as a learned disciple, you'll answer the original question...

As a broader question prompted by the appeals to Exodus and Genesis, how is the Biblical reader to discern between the law that is not to be destroyed and the law that is created?

As specific acts among the sins that cry to heaven, the verses on Sodom that the Catechism cites deal, it seems, with a situation that doesn't anticipate homosexual love. Abortion is dealt with indirectly as a civil matter. Cheating laborers of their wages and oppression of the poor are more concrete.

Did Christ, or even historical Catholicism, anticipate modern capitalism?

George said...


Your original question wasn't that. Your original question was "what are the five (or ten) most important issues?

A couple of people have made a run at answering that, but it's obviously not easy to generalize about how Catholics should answer that, because some prohibitions are act-specific (murder, adultery, fornication, theft), while other cases require the faithful to apply immutable principles to culturally emergent and variant situations (cloning, in vitro fertilization, public welfare, immigration).

The easiest things would be those that are "act specific" and related to items high on the priority of fundamental natural rights, like the prohibition of taking innocent human life is related to the natural right to the preservation and protection of one's life.

I should think you grasp that much. What I'm wondering is whether you're in this combox with honest questions, or whether you're here simply to bait and annoy.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...


If it is Greg of St Joan of Arc parish, Minneapolis, I suspect the latter.

Greg said...

I'm not that Greg...whoever that is.


I'm an old student of Dr. Blosser's. If baiting means the same to you as engaging, that's what I'm here to do. I'm sorry that annoys you. I have, I think, enough experience with the professor to know that he isn't annoyed by trying to answer difficult questions. I think I conceded most of the points you're making with the rest of your post...

Pertinacious Papist said...

Hello Beckwith. Apparently from the most recent comments, it's you. In which case, I'm wondering what you think of how brilliantly Obama has recently served as the Apostle of Unanimity among the American Catholic bishops, and, furthermore, what you think (as a lawyer) of the legal issue that sparked their unanimity.

Greg said...

I confess I have not paid any attention to the issue. Where should I begin my reading?