Notes from Exile
UNITED STATES—I intended to steer away from specifically religious themes, but I must put that off again because, somehow, words crept into my Canyon News article, which were not my own and unacceptable.
Bush is God? Himself!
I indicated in last month's "Viva Benedicto!" article that I intended to steer away from specifically religious themes, but I must put that off again because, somehow, words crept into that Canyon News article, which were not only not my own, but which are unacceptable to anyone who seeks to authentically reflect Catholic teaching. That is, the third of three sentences, which originally read:
"The Catholic religion is much more complex than that. In short terms, it is "conservative" as to "Faith and Morals." But, besides opposition to (e.g.) the death penalty and the unjust Iraq War; Papal support for strictly controlled capitalism, to defend the poor and ordinary wage earners, is really "to the left" of "mainstream" Democrats."
--Was changed to read:
"But this conservative stance aligns the Church with some liberal ideologies: opposition to the death penalty and the unjust Iraq War; Papal support for strictly controlled capitalism; and defense of the poor and ordinary wage earners are all to the left of moderate Democrats."
--As to the words, which I have italicized, firstly, the Catholic Church never aligns itself with any ideology, although it may make temporary alliances with adherents to some ideologies. And the words, "ideologies", and, "liberal", are especially loaded. The first is especially evocative of those ideologies, which seek to present themselves as wholly integrated world-views, such as Marxism and Nazism. And even insofar as adherence to the ideology of a party such as the Democrats ("woman's right to chose") or the Republicans, ("never speak ill of thy fellow Republican", not even Bush and his unjust Iraq War!) limits the freedom of any Christian or other person of good will, it is unacceptable.
And "liberalism" in religion is the virtual antithesis of Catholic thinking. That is, it is radical individualism, which rejects Church authority in matters of faith and (especially) morals. This was well-summarized in the last major statement of Cardinal Ratzinger before he was made Pope Benedict XVI:
"How many winds of doctrine we have known in these last decades, how many ideological currents, how many fashions of thought? The small boat of thought of many Christians has often remained agitated by the waves, tossed from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, etc.
Every day new sects are born and we see realized what
Opposition to religious "liberalism" ("moral relativism") of this sort leads many to think that political "conservatism" is the appropriate response. But George W. Bush's "conservatism" is actually one of the forms of "liberalism" which the Church condemned in the 19th Century; that is, yet another ideology based on radical individualism, further distorted (as it was then by the British Liberal Party) by the Calvinist "predestination" heresy which effectively reverses the "Christian" order of things, to exalt the rich and powerful over the poor and the oppressed.
And this means that both of America's political parties represent unacceptable forms of radical individualism; abortion for instance, and Bush's invasion of Iraq in opposition to the pleadings not only of our beloved John Paul II, but also of nearly all of the other world religious leaders. So, when Mr. Bush even claimed the imprimatur of his "god" for his unjust "war of choice", he really revealed himself as quintessential "liberal", in the classic sense of that word; someone whose only "god" is himself!
But, alternative ways of thinking now emanate from many quarters. For instance, in the Arab-Israeli context, the (American) Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace follows in the saintly footsteps of Martin Buber, while the "Evangelical" Reverend Jim Wallis's "Sojourners" group seeks to unite its effervescent peace and justice witness with opposition to abortion. Initiatives such as these offer real ways out of the mess that Mr. Bush has gotten us in to.
A Westwood native, David Irby is a writer and social justice activist now based in Dingle, in beautiful
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