81 Responses to Why I Am Voting Anti-Democrat Come November

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    Well said Joe. My family has been Republican since the Civil War, but I would note that my father told me on several occasions that he was not so much voting for the Republicans, as against the Democrats. I am not blind to the flaws of the Republicans, but I would have to be blind to vote for the Democrats as they are currently constituted.

  • Linus says:

    Both parties are still playing a good cop/bad cop shell game routine at taxpayers’ expense, hustling hard for the banking cartel and ignoring important issues. I would never vote for any pro-abortion candidate but other than that I have no idea who to support.

  • The Republicans do not care whether everyone is materially successful or not; they simply want people to be free to become so through their choices and efforts.

    Really? I’m sorry, but the idea that the GOP somehow is immune to the idea that being wealthy is the greatest good is outright laughable. Their preoccupation with the economy as opposed to spiritual issues as well as their glorification of the rich businessmen makes it really hard to buy the GOP as this anti-materialistic alternative to the Dems. If you’re against materialism, you’re against both these parties.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Michael,

    You’re completely wrong. The Republicans might hold that becoming wealthy is the highest good for them personally, or heck, even for everyone – but their POLICIES aren’t premised on the idea that everyone MUST be materially successful, that it is some sort of moral imperative or even practical possibility. That’s a fact.

    Economic freedom means freedom to be wealthy, or freedom to be poor, or anywhere in between, as it suits a person.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    And you can be “against” both of these parties all you like, fine – I’m not some huge fan of the GOP. But when it comes time to vote, since no one good can win, we must vote for those who will do the least evil.

    I mean really, let’s get over the high school anarchist rhetoric.

  • Nate Wildermuth says:

    Joe, Pacem in Terris explains that man’s salvation includes both body and soul:

    59. Consisting, as he does, of body and immortal soul, man cannot in this mortal life satisfy his needs or attain perfect happiness. Thus, the measures that are taken to implement the common good must not jeopardize his eternal salvation; indeed, they must even help him to obtain it.(44)

    “They must even help him to obtain it.”

    The Church is very wise to point out that material prosperity, rightly ordered according to natural law, is conducive to salvation. Indeed, missing the mean with prosperity–either in riches or destitution–puts a stumbling block before man’s salvation.

    Just as materialism errs in denying the spirit, other ideologies err in denying the body.

    Can one vote for a materialist? I see no reason to give a blanket answer to that. It’s better to focus on specifics:

    Can one vote for abortionists? Can one vote for warmongers? I believe the answer is ‘no’ to both questions, which would preclude most candidates in both parties (although not all).

  • Linus says:

    Michael, accumulating monetary wealth requires the opposite of materialism. It requires efort, planning, and saving. Spending money that you don’t have on things you don’t really need is materialistic. Eschewing debt and simply having money in the bank is freedom, not materialism.

    And Joe, how about we stop the name-calling before we stop anything else. Michael’s reponses clearly don’t warrant the “high school anarchist” crack. In fact, contrary to your assertion, no one “must” vote for anybody or anything in America and hostile, dismissive attitudes such as the one displayed in your remark are part of the reason many young people feel so disenfranchised from the whole political process. Then they start doing silly things like drinking the Obama kool-aid.

  • Paul Zummo says:

    Can one vote for abortionists? Can one vote for warmongers?

    This is a cutesy way for people to absolve themselves of the moral responsibility of making adult decisions. One party, with fewer and fewer exceptions, unreservedly supports abortion. A majority of the other party’s membership recently supported two wars, a questionable decision but hardly something justifying the sobriquet “warmongers.”

    And yes we get it, both sides are bad. Neither party is perfect. We can caveat this thing to death, but at the end of the day you have to make a serious evaluation of the merits of the candidates and their parties. If you honestly think both sides are equally morally reprehensible, then fine. You are entitled to such an opinion, but I am also entitled to question your judgment.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Linus,

    If someone chooses not to vote because I made a snide remark, that stupid decision is entirely on their head, not mine.

    That said, you’re right. His comment didn’t warrant that. So, my apologies.

  • The Republicans might hold that becoming wealthy is the highest good for them personally, or heck, even for everyone – but their POLICIES aren’t premised on the idea that everyone MUST be materially successful, that it is some sort of moral imperative or even practical possibility. That’s a fact.

    Materialism does not require that everybody have money. It might lead those who believe material wealth is necessary for happiness to that conclusion, but you can also have the conclusion that who cares if they’re miserable or not, let’s not deprive our own material wealth (and happiness) for theirs. They’re both materialists in that regard; what distinguishes them is a willingness to force others to provide the material wealth necessary for the happiness of others. Neither one is remotely close to bringing out a vision of Catholic social teaching.

  • I mean really, let’s get over the high school anarchist rhetoric.

    You argued Party A is better than Party B b/c of C distinction. I argued that C is actually common to A & B and therefore does not by itself provide a justification.

    While I think that both parties are terrible, and am I not a member of either one, I do plan on voting and usually prefer Republicans. An anarchist I am clearly not. One wonders with this use of the term anarchism and your use of socialism whether the words you use mean what you think they mean.

    Michael, accumulating monetary wealth requires the opposite of materialism. It requires efort, planning, and saving.

    No, materialism is the idea that material goods constitute happiness or are the only things that have any value. One can be thrifty or lazy and still be a materialist.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Nate,

    “The Church is very wise to point out that material prosperity, rightly ordered according to natural law, is conducive to salvation. Indeed, missing the mean with prosperity–either in riches or destitution–puts a stumbling block before man’s salvation.”

    I don’t disagree. But the fact remains that material prosperity cannot be the sole or highest good. It is this mentality that I see on the left and among many Democrats; it is explicit in every lamentation over voters who choose “moral values” over their supposed “economic interests” in the Democratic Party.

    “Just as materialism errs in denying the spirit, other ideologies err in denying the body.”

    Of course. But to rightly order things in a hierarchy of values is not to deny those things that are placed beneath others.

    “Can one vote for a materialist?”

    That isn’t really the question, though I would say that if there is a choice between a Christian (not just in words, obviously) and a materialist, Christians ought to vote for their own.

    As for the rest, it is a question of who to vote against, not for. No one is good in politics, or very few are at any rate. But some are more evil than others.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Michael,

    “Materialism does not require that everybody have money.”

    No, and I didn’t define it that way either. Materialism as a philosophy is the belief that nothing exists but matter, and often discrete, physical matter (though some I think would take the position that anything that all that does exist, is necessarily matter, and that all spiritual phenomena if they acknowledge it to be real is somehow a material phenomenon, but that is a whole different debate).

    As a political theory, materialism, denying the existence of a spiritual reality, naturally sees material prosperity as the highest good.

    As a practical policy, materialism places material, usually economic concerns, above all other concerns. And especially when the materialists are Marxists, all other concerns as seen as epiphenomena of material conditions; change the material conditions, and all else necessarily changes. This view can be held with more or less fervent devotion, depending on who we are talking about.

    “what distinguishes them is a willingness to force others to provide the material wealth necessary for the happiness of others.”

    That’s a HUGE difference.

    “Neither one is remotely close to bringing out a vision of Catholic social teaching.”

    No one argued it. Indeed, I would say that anyone who expects either party, or ANY party for that matter, to “bring about a vision of CST” is deceived. It is our job to do that; the fact remains, however, that this will be more likely to happen when we are free to act on our own initiative. And this free initiative is what the Republicans value and imperfectly promote and defend, whereas Democrats increasingly believe in a managerial nanny state. I only claim, then, that Republicans and especially Tea Party candidates will do LESS harm to our cause than Democrats. They will still do harm.

    “You argued Party A is better than Party B b/c of C distinction”

    In a purely negative sense. It is less bad.

    “One wonders with this use of the term anarchism and your use of socialism whether the words you use mean what you think they mean.”

    I said “anarchist rhetoric”, and it was a bit of frustration since I felt your post was uncharitable (calling my argument “outright laughable”, for instance) – I decided to repay a slight with a slight of my own. It wasn’t right.

    I assure that I know what anarchism and socialism are, having not only studied both academically, but actually having been a socialist activist who worked among people from every variety of radical leftism for several years.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    I said it, by the way, because what we often hear from anarchists is that one shouldn’t vote, or that it is even somehow immoral to vote. But then, you I think would enthusiastically support a party that you thought was good, whereas no anarchist on principle would support any political party.

  • That’s a HUGE difference.

    But it’s not a difference in materialism. One can argue that it’s a difference in concept of governmental authority or the ability of the government to engineer a social utopia. But it’s not a fundamental difference in materialism; rather an disagreement about how to carry out materialism principles into policy.

  • Elaine Krewer says:

    “This is a cutesy way for people to absolve themselves of the moral responsibility of making adult decisions.”

    To tell you all the truth, sometimes (not always) I suspect that is what people who blithely proclaim that all politicians and parties are equally evil and corrupt, are actually doing — saying in so many words “This decision (of whom to vote for) is too hard so I’d rather just not bother.” Or maybe their thinking is “I don’t want to choose wrongly so I’ll just not choose at all.”

    I know people don’t like being put in the position of choosing between two or more evils, but we can’t afford to wait until a perfect candidate or party comes along. There is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with simply choosing the candidate/party likely to do the least damage or inflict the least evil. Sitting it out or insisting upon third party or write in protest votes only enables the MOST evil/damaging parties to keep on winning.

    Most of the time I can usually find SOMEBODY I can cast a vote for on this basis. Only rarely have I ever completely skipped voting for anyone in a particular race on the grounds that both or all of them were just too evil, crooked or incompetent to support. Yes, I have voted for lesser-evil pro-abortion candidates in cases where both major party candidates were pro-abort and the one who was less aggressively so had a decent shot at winning. My thinking is, always do what you can to limit the damage if that’s the best you can do.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Michael,

    “But it’s not a difference in materialism.”

    I don’t deny that both parties embrace materialism. The point is that a) not all Republicans elevate it to their highest value (there are many Christians in the GOP who do not do this), and b) even those who do, don’t believe that everyone must be materially successful or sated in order for there to be “social justice” – only that people are free to pursue that end. It is equality of opportunity vs. the Dem’s equality of outcomes. Do you deny this?

    I think my claim is reasonable and even evident: that the Republicans value materialism among other values, and that it isn’t necessarily and always the highest; while with the Democrats it often is.

    “One can argue that it’s a difference in concept of governmental authority or the ability of the government to engineer a social utopia. But it’s not a fundamental difference in materialism; rather an disagreement about how to carry out materialism principles into policy.”

    And I maintain that that disagreement is significant enough to make one party worth choosing over the other, or better yet, as I said, one worth rejecting. I mean, that’s the whole point here.

  • Julie says:

    How many more decades will it take before people realize that the pro-life rhetoric of Republicans are empty promises?

    Bush Jr and Reagan promised to end abortion. Both had Republican controlled Congresses.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    Actually Reagan never had a Republican controlled Congress. Bush Jr. had a House narrowly controlled by the GOP until January 2007, when the Democrats took over. The Democrats controlled the Senate from May 2001-January 2003 and then from January 2007. The Democrats in both chambers under Reagan and Bush Jr. were of course overwhelmingly pro-abort and fought all pro-life proposed legislation tooth and nail.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Well you know what? Even the rhetoric has some value. Because it says to people that this issue is important. And the people who hear it often take the rhetoric to heart and they fight and they do what they can, even if their politicians just spew it out as rhetoric.

    Our society needs pro-life rhetoric. It is necessary, but far from sufficient. Obviously what is necessary is the end of Roe and a culture of life. But people learn through rhetoric, and so the pro-death rhetoric of the Dems is evil in itself. It sows moral confusion and really moral stupidity. “I’m personally against abortion, but I think it should be legal” – stupidity 1. “I don’t want to impose my religious views on others” – stupidity 2. “No one really knows when life begins.” Stupidity 3. And so on, and so forth.

  • GabrielAustin says:

    I continue amazed that few recognize the similarities between the “tea party” and the first revolutionaries of America, France, Russia, Italy &c.
    The revolutions were against governments that had become corrupt and were enmeshed in bureaucracies.
    Nowadays the bureaucracies are the goal of college education – to get a job in one of the four great bureaucracies: government, corporations, the professions, the media.

  • Paul Zummo says:

    Julie,

    Have you ever heard of a Court decision called Roe v. Wade? Are you even dimly aware of the functioning of our government, and the concept of separation of powers? Further, as Don pointed out, Reagan never once had a fully Republican Congress – he had six years of GOP control of the Senate, but a Democratic majority all eight years in the House. Bush the elder had a Democratic majority all four years, and the younger Bush had a tiny Republican majority in the House for 6 years and the Senate for 4. Even if some kind of magical legislation could have been passed to outlaw abortion, it obviously would never have gone anywhere because of the Supreme Court.

    Now a funny thing about that Supreme Court. It’s true that 3 of the people who turned out to be votes in favor of abortion rights were Reagan and Bush the elder appointees, and two of those were really bad errors in judgment by Reagan and Bush respectively (O’Connor and Souter). But the third, Anthony Kennedy, was sitting on the Court only after Reagan’s initial selection, Robert Bork, was defeated. And why was he defeated? The Democratic controlled Senate, led by the titan of Catholic social Justice Ted Kennedy, demagogued the appointment and ultimately derailed it, causing Reagan to go with his third choice, one whose record in the lower courts belied the sort of Justice he would become.

    So Roe was upheld 5-4 in the abominable Casey decision. And the decision would have gone the other way were it not for the intransigence of Democrats and Ted Kennedy.

  • I think my claim is reasonable and even evident: that the Republicans value materialism among other values, and that it isn’t necessarily and always the highest; while with the Democrats it often is.

    What other values? I think that for Republicans, materialism is often the highest value as well.

    And I maintain that that disagreement is significant enough to make one party worth choosing over the other, or better yet, as I said, one worth rejecting. I mean, that’s the whole point here

    Ok, but that’s a different claim than the “The Dems are better materialistically than the GOP”

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Michael,

    Well, I disagree. I think the Republicans value equality of economic opportunity – meaning, a set of policies that will foster individual economic liberty. Democrats favor equality of outcomes – a set of policies that will ensure that everyone has a base standard of living.

    ““The Dems are better materialistically than the GOP””

    Eh? I don’t know what you mean by that. If you meant “more” instead of “better”, well, I think I already explained why. And I don’t see how that contradicts my main argument at all. It’s the same claim.

  • David Jones says:

    Joe,

    Christ is in our midst!

    Your brain is much bigger than my own. This is a fact. Your heart is very good. You’re a good man and a great American. Judge what I say below, but pray about it first. Here are my initial thoughts and judgment of your post. More to follow.

    Why I Am Voting Anti-Republican Come November

    I reject the liberalism (and classical liberalism) which is inherent in both the Republican and Democratic Parties. Read Kenneth R. Craycraft Jr., Robert P. Kraynak, & James Kalb.

    I reject the Neoconservatism which has infected the G.O.P. like a flesh-eating bacteria. Read both Neo-conned and Neo-conned Again.

    I reject the covert/overt Republican operation, both political and economic, led by the late Richard John Neuhaus, Michael Novak, George Weigel, Robert Sirico, & Deal Hudson. Read David Schindler and Tracey Rowland.

    I reject the Religious Right appeal. We are in the world, but not of it. We are “Resident Aliens.” Read Stanley Hauerwas, D.G. Hart, & Peter J. Leithart.

    your unworthy friend,
    David

  • Eric Brown says:

    By what standard, I am curious, does one conclude that materialism is the highest good to Democrats while it is merely a good among many to Republicans?

    It is an interesting — and somewhat perplexing — claim because I don’t know how that is substantiated by any data. To my mind, it seems that one has a view that one party’s economic philosophy (or maybe its members) succumb to philosophical materialism seemingly more than the other side, so one concludes that materialism is the highest good for that party. Though the claim in my mind still remains quite objectionable.

    Though it is an interesting claim and I shall recall it the next time someone says abortion is the highest good for Democrats.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    David,

    The plain fact is that CST and classical liberalism – if the latter can truly be said to have started with Locke, who although a heretic still began from at least Biblical premises – share a major premise, that being the origin of and right to private property. John Locke’s treatment of the origin of private property and Pope Leo XIII’s are virtually identical.

    This doesn’t mean that every tenant of classical liberalism is compatible with Catholicism, but this common view of private property is a sufficient basis for political – not philosophical – but political cooperation.

    This should not be surprising, since another commonality between Locke, Jefferson, and traditional Catholic political theory going back to Bellarmine, Suarez, and the Salamanca school is that a) governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and b) that the people have a right to change their form of government, and to resist tyranny.

    It is individualism that the Church opposes, and co-blogger Blackadder has a post on that up now that we’ve all seen, distinguishing it from libertarianism (aka classical liberalism). I don’t think philosophical individualism was inherent in early classical liberalism, for again Locke recognizes that men are naturally drawn into society for the same reasons Leo does.

    I have a detailed comparison of their views on my blog, on the post Catholic Distributarianism.

    At any rate, I hope that by voting “anti-Republican” this means you will be voting for third parties (which is fine, even if I think it ultimately contributes to the success of the Democrats). If it means you will be voting Democrat, I ask you to seriously reconsider.

    I reject neo-conservatism as well. But I won’t support a greater evil to resist a lesser one.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Eric,

    “By what standard, I am curious, does one conclude that materialism is the highest good to Democrats while it is merely a good among many to Republicans?”

    I’ve developed it in further comments, and I think I explained it in the post as well.

    I find it in much left-wing commentary that, since at least 2004 and the reelection of George W. Bush – which deeply shocked and aggravated many on the left – conservatives have been the “dupes” of “religious hucksters” who have tricked them into voting against their economic interests, and for the party of the rich, by playing to their religious and superstitious concerns. Perhaps you weren’t paying close attention to the political commentary on the left at that time, but I was – I was in the thick of it.

    This belief is a clear profession of materialism. It doesn’t consider for a moment the validity of spiritual issues, it sees them only as a tool used by elites to control the masses.

    “It is an interesting — and somewhat perplexing — claim because I don’t know how that is substantiated by any data.”

    It’s supported by the fact that many leftist commentators made these arguments, its supported by the rhetoric and policies of Democrats themselves, it is evident in militant secularism, egalitarianism, and redistributionist policy.

  • David Jones says:

    Joe – Tracking. My comments were intentionally provocative, but not nearly as insightful as your post and follow-up comments. I agree with you about the Democrats. It just deeply saddens me and angers me that they have embraced the Culture of Death, hedonism, etc.

    I have a love/hate relationship with the Republicans, but I deeply believe in the genius of the two-party system. I guess having a Mormon for President couldn’t be any worse than having a Muslim for one.

    I have a suggestion – change the name of the Tea Party to the Bourbon Party. I bet you would get more followers…

  • Republicans value equality of economic opportunity – meaning, a set of policies that will foster individual economic liberty.

    I think the Dems could make a good argument that they value economic opportunity as well. However, instead of defining it as the rules are same for everyone, the recognize that the poor lacks the resources to have the same economic opportunity for advancement. Thus, they give resources and affirmative action to try to equal the playing field for opportunities, not necessarily the outcome.

    I have to admit, your claim about materialism baffles me. We must just be talking past each other.

  • Nate Wildermuth says:

    Thanks for replying, Joe. I’m glad we agree on the hierarchy of goods, and agree that material goods (rightly ordered) are conducive to spiritual salvation. So here’s the thing: should we judge political program on their underlying philosophy, or should we judge political programs on their practical effect? Obviously, the underlying philosophy will affect the effect, but what is our ‘bottom line’? Your support of Republicans seems predicated upon the idea that their materialistic tendencies do not come out in practical political programs, so I’m thinking you tend to focus more upon the practical political program’s effect?

    If that is so, then perhaps an argument against voting for Democrats need not focus so much on their materialist ideology as much as the practical legislation which is warped by that ideology: abortion on demand, the welfare state, so forth.

    But if we focus on practical politics, then as I’ve said before, I believe that rules out the murderous policies of the Republicans as well. Far from being a child-like renunciation of political duty, it is sometimes our duty to stand up against murder, even if it means being murdered ourselves.

    Our goal as adult Christians is not to win electoral battles, friends. Our goal, and our God-given task, is to be faithful witnesses to the truth–even to the cross. Thomas More modeled that prudential yet radical path quite well.

  • Paul Zummo says:

    I believe that rules out the murderous policies of the Republicans as well.

    Nate, this is the second time you’ve made such a ludicrous statement without backing it up with anything resembling facts. If you’re alluding to relative positions on the war, then you’ll have to square that with the fact that a majority of Democrats also voted for both wars, and that the current occupant of the Oval Office – a Democrat – has not slowed down the pace in one of the major theaters of operation.

    You can keep making these “ah, they’re both evil” claims, but they do not actually reflect reality. This seems more like moral posturing than an attempt at anything resembling reasoned analysis.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Michael D.,

    I don’t see why my claim about materialism should baffle you. Read Pius XI again. Read Jesus again. They laid it out more simply than I did.

    Maybe you don’t see that in the Dems, or maybe you see it equally in the Republicans. I do see it in the Dems, and only to a lesser degree in the GOP. That’s my argument. If you don’t buy it, oh well. I did my best.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Nate,

    “should we judge political program on their underlying philosophy, or should we judge political programs on their practical effect? Obviously, the underlying philosophy will affect the effect, but what is our ‘bottom line’?”

    Well, obviously I think we can say that by their fruits, we shall know them. The bottom line has to be the candidate’s position on non-negotiable issues, such as abortion, gay marriage, parental rights, and religious liberty for the Church. 9 times out of 10, however, we find candidates with acceptable positions in the GOP, and we don’t find them in the Democratic Party.

    And you have to admit that this is due precisely to the philosophical differences! Many (not all) Republicans are Christians, and they place a higher priority on their Christian beliefs than do most Democrats, for either personal reasons or political reasons. That is simply a fact. Now, are they perfect Christians? Have they built the city of God? Have they restored the social reign of Christ the King? Obviously not. They have flaws, defects, some are wanton and brazen sinners. Many of them are Protestants, so there’s a problem there too, though not to the extent the anti-Protestant bigotry constantly pumped out by Vox Nova would have it.

    Even the worst among them, though, have Christian constituents they must appease. Whereas Democrats represent an ever-growing Godless demographic. Maybe, just maybe, the growing Mexican population will check their secularism. In reality, I think it is the Mexicans who will change, not the Democrats.

    “Your support of Republicans seems predicated upon the idea that their materialistic tendencies do not come out in practical political programs, so I’m thinking you tend to focus more upon the practical political program’s effect?”

    Conditional, limited support, and yes – that is correct. I do focus on the effect, but I don’t ignore the cause.

    “If that is so, then perhaps an argument against voting for Democrats need not focus so much on their materialist ideology as much as the practical legislation which is warped by that ideology: abortion on demand, the welfare state, so forth.”

    No, I think we do need to zero in on it, for the same reason that Pius XI did. We need to be clear about what our priorities are, about what is important and what is not. We need to make a clear statement that we seek, FIRST, the Kingdom of God and His justice – and only then, I believe will these material things be added unto us.

    The Democratic Party, like every European socialist party, and in the final equation, like every communist party, views man as solely responsible for his fate. Their differences are in how they would implement their programs and to what degrees, but the premise is the same; we are here alone, so we must eventually try to build a heaven on Earth.

    Whereas the Christian knows this is impossible by their own effort, and that the best society imaginable on Earth can only ever be the consequence of living a life wholly dedicated to love of God and neighbor – something that cannot be legislated.

    “But if we focus on practical politics, then as I’ve said before, I believe that rules out the murderous policies of the Republicans as well.”

    I think the truly murderous faction of the Republicans, the neo-cons who want to start new wars, are entering a period of decline and have been in one for some time. In any case, I am voting against the Democrats, not for the Republicans. I am voting for the least harm. Except in the case of Ron Paul or some other principled statesman.

    “Far from being a child-like renunciation of political duty, it is sometimes our duty to stand up against murder, even if it means being murdered ourselves.”

    I agree, Nate. In this case, though, the government will continue policies that lead to murder no matter what we do or who we vote for. However, our action can stop the worst of the murderers from being in power. Why waste a vote? To me it isn’t this sacred thing to vote, nor is it this terrible thing to be avoided. It is my right as a citizen, and I will use it the same way I use everything; to do good, or when this cannot be done, to prevent the greatest evil.

    On the murder scale:

    Dems = wars + abortion
    GOP = wars

    So, there you have it.

    ” Our goal, and our God-given task, is to be faithful witnesses to the truth–even to the cross. ”

    I agree, but I don’t see how voting for a lesser evil contradicts that goal.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    To no one in particular:

    Here is materialism:

    “It’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” — Barack Hussien Obama

    It’s all right there. It is the standard, classic Marxist argument, I know it because I was around it and I believed it and I preached it. It is what Marxists call “false consciousness.” If they were thinking clearly, these bitter people would see that it is the rich who are their enemy – not people who are attacking Christianity or trying to take their guns away, or disrespecting and disregarding America’s history and legacy.

  • Art Deco says:

    I believe that rules out the murderous policies of the Republicans as well. Far from being a child-like renunciation of political duty, it is sometimes our duty to stand up against murder, even if it means being murdered ourselves.

    Just to point out that we are at war in Afghanistan, whose government harbored an international criminal organization which committed a horrendous casus belli against the United States and whose allies wish to reclaim the state there. Pacifism is not the teaching of the Catholic Church, and neither is the notion that the use of force is a franchise extended to an approved list of the wretched of the Earth.

    And there ain’t no such thing as a ‘neocon’.

  • Nate Wildermuth says:

    On the murder scale:

    Dems = wars + abortion
    GOP = wars

    Well put, Joe!

    Art, the Church firmly and unequivocally condemns the savagery of modern warfare, even while maintaining that war, in theory, can be justified if fought for the right reasons and in the right way.

  • Donna says:

    “This can come only from a mass conversion to Christ and to the full Catholic faith. The highest goods are spiritual, and they can only be fostered and spread through the freedom of the Christian religion, specifically through the Catholic faith, whole and unblemished.”

    There are not two beliefs, but one and that is Faith in Jesus Christ alone and in his Word–although your position was beautifully written and made much sense, and I agree with your points, I must abhoridly disagree with any words that point unbelievers and believers to a system and not our Lord.

    Faith in a system, such as the Catholic Church is a turning away from true faith in Christ alone. We as Christians must decide once and for all not to comprimise our one faith, which is in our Lord and Savoir, Jesus Christ alone.

    I am sorry I came onto this site, but my sister posted somthing and I followed. Why do you point the sheep to anything other than Gods Holy Word, the Holy Spirit and Salvation only through the works of Christ alone???

    You proclaim to know that all Christians are universal in Faith, but instead of pointing to The Gospel of Grace through Christ the Savoir,which is to be our only faith according to the Apostles you point to the Catholic Church. Have you ever compared the scriptures–Gods Holy Word with the practices of this Church? “This can only come through mass conversion to Christ” May I suggest you stop right there?

    Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . .Christ the Lord, our Savoir–Amen and Amen!!!

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Donna,

    Thanks for your comments. It is my duty to inform you that you are lost in heresy, however, and that you must turn to the Catholic faith if you truly love Christ, for it is His Church.

    “Faith in a system, such as the Catholic Church is a turning away from true faith in Christ alone.”

    Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church.

    Matthew 16:18: “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

    Luke 21:31-32: “And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.”

    Matthew 18:18: “Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.”

    Luke 10:16: “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me”

    And there are many more passages that establish that Christ built his Church upon Peter, the rock, and that he gave to His apostles authority on Earth, in this very Church. The Acts of the Apostles further confirm this:

    Acts 1:24-26: “And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place.

    And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”

    Again, only one example. So, Donna, if you truly believe in the Scriptures – which did not exist as “the Bible” for Christians in the early days, who had only the traditions of the apostles to go by – and if you truly wish to submit to Christ, then you must also recognize the Church that He established, outside of which there is no salvation.

    Bottom line: you cannot accept Christ, and reject His Church. If you read the Gospels with an open and honest heart, you will see that this is so.

  • David Jones says:

    Joe – I stand with you. Thank you for insightful post and comments. You have deeply considered these matters and write with important nuance. I follow you.

    Nate – You are correct. As Catholics we need to stand against the warfare culture of the Republicans and some Catholics.

    I find it more than a little ironic that many who beat the war drums the hardest have not and do not currently serve. For those that feel so passionate about making war they should go down to their local recruiting office and join the military. Instead of talking, walk the walk.

    Art Deco – There is such a thing as a “Neocon”.

    http://ressourcement.blogspot.com/2006/01/use-of-term-neoconservative.html

    http://ressourcement.blogspot.com/search?q=neocon

    http://ressourcement.blogspot.com/2010/08/war.html

    http://ressourcement.blogspot.com/2010/08/blog-post_1517.html

    There is such a thing as a “Catholic Neocon” as well. They often go by another code-name of Whig Thomist. We can go there if you desire.

    http://thechurchandtheliberaltradition.blogspot.com/

    Refer to half of my classic posts on my blog.

    http://ressourcement.blogspot.com/

    I might add this a big problem of the Tea Party. Maybe they should take off their war bonnets and pick up a bottle of bourbon or a rosary…

  • Art Deco says:

    Art, the Church firmly and unequivocally condemns the savagery of modern warfare, even while maintaining that war, in theory, can be justified if fought for the right reasons and in the right way.

    You made no reference to strategy, tactics, or methods.

  • c matt says:

    I know people don’t like being put in the position of choosing between two or more evils, but we can’t afford to wait until a perfect candidate or party comes along. There is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with simply choosing the candidate/party likely to do the least damage or inflict the least evil. Sitting it out or insisting upon third party or write in protest votes only enables the MOST evil/damaging parties to keep on winning.

    Is this the case? If McCain had won, would there be a Tea Party movement? The problem with the “vote lesser of two evils approach” is that we continue to get this ratchet effect (aka the Hegelian mambo) where the candidates get worse and worse. In other words, we keep getting more evil, albeit at a slower pace (what a shocker).

    In 2004, it was vote Bush because McCain is too evil. In 2008, it’s vote McCain because Obama is too evil. So we went from W, who was against expanding federal funding for ESCR, to McCain who was in support of federal funding of ESCR, to who knows what next?

    We treat voting the same way many accuse shareholders of treating corporate profits – always pushing for the immediately next short term profit at the expense of long term fiscal health.

    By voting third party, we forced the GOP to at least slow its leftward slide. Heck, even the Dems have had to backpedal on their lefty “accomplishments”. If everyone had just voted the lesser of two evils, there would be no Tea Party right now, no revolution, and no incumbents/lefties scared sh–less. I will vote for a candidate because I believe in good conscience, I can vote for him. It is the least I deserve from my representatives, and the least they owe me.

  • c matt says:

    (Although I fear Donna was just a drive-by posting, just in case)

    Donna,

    I have to second Joe’s words. I know you are skeptical of the Catholic Church, and on several occassions, it has given reason to be skeptical, but then Peter also denied His Lord three times. Yet Christ chose Him to be His rock. Go figure.

    As another skeptic learned, to be deep in history, is to cease to be Protestant.

    Please keep an open mind when pondering certain questions:

    How did you learn about Christ, and how is it you even know anything about Him?

    How do we even have Scripture? What is Scripture – who decided that Paul’s letters and the Gospels are Scripture, but the Gospel of Thomas or the Mormon writings, or for that matter, Mohammed’s writings are not the Word of God?

    What did the early Christians themselves understand about Christianity (hint: read about the Church Fathers and those who lived within one generation of the Apostles themselves)?

    What does the New Testament tell us about how Christ’s word is received and passed on?

    What specific doctrines of the Catholic Church are anti-biblical – that is incompatible with Scripture themselves?

    What does Scripture say about who is to interpret scripture – who has the authority to teach and pass down the word of God?

    What does it tell you about the Protestant practice of personal interpretation of Scripture that there are literally thousands of denominations with conflicting interpretations, but only one Catholic Church? Is personal interpretation of Scripture really a solid guide to understanding Scripture and Christianity when there are so many different denominations springing from these interpretations?

    What are sacraments? Do we need them? Who has them, and who doesn’t?

    These are just a few things I think you owe it to yourself to deeply consider. You obviously have strong faith in Christ, and that is a great thing. With that faith as a basis, do not be afraid to dig a little deeper, and perhaps you may find the treasure He has given us in His Church.

  • David Jones says:

    Joe – I stand with you. I really appreciate the insights and nuance(s) you bring to this conversation. Thank you my friend.

    Art Deco – You’re killing me brother. There is such a thing as a Neocon. In fact there is even such a thing as a Catholic Neocon. Refer no farther than then the writings of the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, may he rest in peace.

    http://ressourcement.blogspot.com/2006/01/use-of-term-neoconservative.html

    Team American Catholic – Those in the Tea Party and Republican Party should be (and some are) concerned about both the welfare and warfare state. Both are problems. Leaving a discussion about Just War to another day I think we should all be able to agree on the following point about fiscal conservatism. To ever get our fiscal house in order we must deal with the 800 lb guerrilla standing in the room, the Department of Defense (DoD). Entitlements is problem, but so is an unrestrained budget for the DoD. I have my doubts that Republicans have sufficient internal fortitude to deal with the Military Industrial Complex and doing what needs to be done to create a balanced budget. In the past Republicans have been very poor in doing this. They cut taxes which is good b/c it’s our money to begin with but they then increase the budget for their own pet concerns, i.e. Defense, etc. This is why electing Rand Paul to the Senate and others like him to Congress is an important step in the right direction. We need to bring fiscal discipline back to our Federal Government.

  • Donna says:

    John

    Christ established his body, the church; which consist of born again believers who follow the teaching of the Apostles, who followed Christ, not a false religious system that is a counterfeit, but the true church, in which you are born into, you don’t join up.

    Ephesians 1: 17-23 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18)The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19)And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

    20)Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21)Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22)And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23)Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

    Christ is the Bridegroom; the Church is made up of his body, the bride. Of course, I cannot reject the Church, I am a part of Him. I have been grafted into Christ’s body. He is the rock of my salvation.

    Look closely at the scripture you provided and you may be given the eyes to see. You should always read the ones before, so you are not tempted to just grab and pull to fit your agenda. Anyone can do that, especially the Devil, he did it all the time. In order to fully understand the passage we should always start at the beginning.

    What is our Lord talking about? He is asking the disciples who they think He is, and Peter gets a revelation provided by God the Father himself, and boldly declares to the Lord, You are Christ, the Son of the Living God. To which Jesus then responds.

    Mathew 16:13-18 13) “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14)And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.15)He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?:

    16)And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (17)”And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” 18)And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

    John, what rock is he speaking about? I will tell you, the cornerstone, the truth revealed about Christ, he is the rock of our salvation, not Peter. “upon this rock” this truth, of who He is and this has been revealed by God the Father through Simon Peter.

    Look closely, he did not say, you are Peter and you are the rock, who will build my Church. Nevertheless, this is what you are seeing John, but it is not what it says.

    The passage in Mathew 16:13-18 exalts Christ, not Peter. Peter confesses the Christ. Christ does not confess Peter. The foundation of the church is not Peter; it is the truth that Peter just confessed, which was revealed to him by God the Father.

    By saying Peter is the foundation and not Christ, you are believing a lie, that a man and not the Christ, is the foundation.

    Colossians 1:12-18 “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13)Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

    14)In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15)Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

    16)For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17)And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

    18)And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. “

    Wolves crept in and deceived the flock, just like the Apostle Paul said they would. This Church system, committed adultery with Pagan Rome, killed the Bride and hunted her down for not believing in false doctrine brought into the church. You are professing faith in a system that is corrupt, and does not represent the true bride of Christ.

    Acts 20:29:31 “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30)Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31)Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

    Deuteronomy 32: 1-4 1)”Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2)My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: 3)Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. 4He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

    This is the Church, it is His body, not a building, but it is established in His name, Christ. You have been deceived John. You must believe on Christ and be born-again into His name, which is the name above all names, Christ, the Son of the living God, He is the Rock. Your faith should be in Him, not any man or Church system.

    All who believe in Christ and are saved make up the bride, the true church. You don’t join the church you are born into it.

    Christ is in me and the Holy Spirit teaches me and opens my eyes when I read His Word.

    However, I will not argue scriptures with you anymore. You will see what you can see and believe what you choose to believe. You can call me a heretic, go ahead, but I follow the voice of our true Shepard, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savoir.

    Matt,

    Specifically I will answer one of your questions and only because you appear as if you have all the intellect, knowledge and answers, but you never even mentioned the third part of the God Head, who teaches us all things, through Christ the Lord. I am sure you have read the entire Word of God, and recall the Apostles being told by the Lord to wait for the promise, the comforter, who will bring to memory all that he taught them?

    John 14:11-18 11) Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. 12)Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13)And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14)If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15)If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    16)And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17)Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18)I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

    Anyway, like I said, I am not here, nor did I mean to argue, it is just that it breaks my heart when I see anyone not lead a person directly to Christ—including denominations; these are mostly business systems with intellectual men who have left Christ outside and hinder unbelievers because they put everything else in front of him/her instead of the Word of God, and the one true Faith, which is Christ Jesus; the only way to God.

  • David Jones says:

    Donna – Christ is in our midst! I agree with you… We must boldly proclaim the Good News which is only found in Christ. He is the one who saves us. He is the one who gives meaning to our lives. Thank you for your witness.

    You might the following websites of interest.

    http://www.scripturecatholic.com/

    http://bridegroompress.com/sc/index.htm

    http://www.cin.org/users/james/

    http://www.thesacredpage.com/

    http://www.salvationhistory.com/

    your friend,
    David

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Donna,

    You couldn’t even get my name right, when it’s right in front of you. My name is not John, it’s Joe. I don’t say this to be mean, and I hope you won’t take it that way, but I do have to wonder how closely you are paying attention.

    You say,

    “Christ established his body, the church; which consist of born again believers who follow the teaching of the Apostles, who followed Christ, not a false religious system that is a counterfeit, but the true church, in which you are born into, you don’t join up.”

    Donna, there are a number of false ideas here. First, we are born again through baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. This is a sacrament in the Catholic Church. It is the first sacrament one receives, it is how one enters into the Church.

    What you fail to understand, and what you must understand in order to be saved, is that Christ established a clear hierarchy. He established Peter as head of His Church, and the other apostles as bishops who were subordinate to him. This is clearly shown in the passages I quoted to you before, which I advise you to carefully read again.

    The authority that Christ gave the apostles was to exist in perpetuity – that means, forever. Matthew 28:19-20:

    “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

    Jesus gave the apostles, in addition to the power to “bind and to loose” (as I showed in the previous post), to teach to all the nations. He promised that he would be with them “all days”, meaning that this authority would not possibly end with the apostles themselves. As Acts shows, the apostles prayed to Him to guide them in their replacement of Judas. They went on to establish other bishops in other places. And then they did the same, and so on, throughout history.

    So the Catholic Church has perfectly preserved the structure, the order, the hierarchy and authority that Christ himself established.

    Now, you ask:

    “what rock is he speaking about?”

    Donna, he is speaking of Peter. He changed his name from Simon, to Peter, which means rock! Whether you go with “petros”, “petra”, or the Aramaic which Jesus actually spoke, “kepha”, it all adds up to “rock” – Peter IS the rock.

    Since you like to quote the Old Testament, you should also consider the other times God has changed a person’s name, such as from Abram to Abraham, or from Jacob to Israel. He did it as he established these men as leaders of His people. Contemplate this deeply, Donna – your soul is at stake.

    “By saying Peter is the foundation and not Christ, you are believing a lie, that a man and not the Christ, is the foundation.”

    No Catholic denies that Christ is the source of all authority. But Christ established a Church here on Earth precisely because he would no longer be here in a human body to lead it visibly.

    The plain and simple fact is that Christ changed Simon’s name to Peter, which means rock, and said that it was the foundation of His Church. To deny that is to deny Christ.

    Regarding Acts 20: yes, we have always recognized heretics as those wolves. Those who reject the authority of the Church and call themselves Christians are heretics and schismatics, wolves who devour the flock.

    “This is the Church, it is His body, not a building, but it is established in His name, Christ.”

    No one said the Church was a building.

    “You must believe on Christ and be born-again into His name”

    I was, at baptism.

    It is you who must hear the Church. Matthew 18:17:

    “And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.”

    And again, Luke 10:16: “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me”

    You deny the authority given by Christ to the apostles in perpetuity. You deny that he elevated certain men to positions of authority to teach and instruct others. You deny the very Gospels and the entire New Testament. You despise the Church, and therefore, you despise Christ.

    It isn’t too late. I encourage you to study and reflect some more, to read the encyclical I linked above, and most of all, to pray on it.

  • David Jones says:

    Team American Catholic – I agree with Joe… We must focus on life, marriage and family. Our choice is clear.

    I do have a question for you to ponder though. To use Ron Paul’s word, are you concerned about corporatism? This seems to be a problem for both parties, but especially one for the Republicans.

    Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street
    http://www.ConservativeBookClub.com/products/BookPage.asp?prod_cd=C7650

    How Wall Street Fleeced the World
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2024228,00.html

  • A.C. says:

    Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin.

    Have you actually read the Bible? You mention that: “It is true that throughout the Scriptures, God exhorts the Israelites to care for the poor, the sick, the widows and the orphans.” What about the New Testament? It’s the root of Catholicism. Did you happen to miss that part?

    I honestly hope that you did. It’s clear from the comments that you have no respect for anyone who has a dissenting opinion and as such I see no need to put this gently.

    You clearly believe that you should not have to be charitable to others. That’s fine, plenty of people share your views. Social darwinism is alive and well, no need to fear on that note.

    However, to hide behind a religion, especially one so rooted in charity, is reprehensible. Twisting Christianity to support your own selfish desires goes against everything for which the religion stands.

    As for the fight against abortion – if you really want to end it, you need to do more than make it illegal. You need to set up a support system for expecting mothers and for the children once they’re born. What’s the point in forcing the mother to birth a child in the street (no healthcare means no hospital) only to let it starve to death? I’m sure you think this builds character, but I doubt a starving infant would agree.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Well said? So you think, Eric, that I’m “twisting Christianity to support [my] own selfish desires”?

    Thanks a lot, old friend.

    As for A.C….

    “What about the New Testament?”

    I quoted it three times. Did you miss that part?

    ” It’s clear from the comments that you have no respect for anyone who has a dissenting opinion and as such I see no need to put this gently.”

    Of course not. You’re a font of tolerance, except for those you perceive to be intolerant. Then you can be as uncharitable as you like. How Christ-like of you.

    “You clearly believe that you should not have to be charitable to others.”

    No, I do not believe that the state should force people to be charitable. It is our duty as Christians, not our obligation as citizens.

    Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum:

    “[W]hen what necessity demands has been supplied, and one’s standing fairly taken thought for, it becomes a duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over. “Of that which remaineth, give alms.”(14) It is a duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity – a duty not enforced by human law.” (22)

    “Social darwinism is alive and well, no need to fear on that note.”

    I don’t subscribe to social darwinism. But if slander makes you feel better, please, continue.

    “However, to hide behind a religion, especially one so rooted in charity, is reprehensible.”

    When you have a valid argument to make, let me know. I hide behind nothing.

    “What’s the point in forcing the mother to birth a child in the street (no healthcare means no hospital) only to let it starve to death?”

    What’s the point? That you can even ask such a question shows how far removed from Christ you really are. It shows what sort of value you place on life. It’s exactly the materialist mentality I pointed out.

    Here’s an update for you: the possibility of starvation never justifies the murder of an innocent human being.

    “I’m sure you think this builds character, but I doubt a starving infant would agree.”

    And I’m sure you’re so twisted and corrupted by hate that you actually believe the nonsense you type on the screen.

  • Eric Brown says:

    Joe,

    I agreed with the overall argument not the unnecessary embedded cheap-shots. I simply didn’t bother to make an exception. I thought — incorrectly — that it would be assumed.

    I wouldn’t say you “twist” Christianity because that has certain connotations that I think would be terribly wrong to apply to you. I do think you at times may misinterpret or misapply Christian teaching in some ways. I am sure you think likewise. We often reach different conclusions. I don’t think you’re a non-conscientious Christian “twisting” the truths of the faith for selfish designs.

    I hope that distinction helps. If it does not, I cannot see how such a conviction is any worse than you labeling me as young and naive, or according to this post, because I’m a Democrat, I’m either naive, ignorant, obstinate, or some combination of the three.

  • Donna says:

    Forgive me Joe, I am wearing reading glasses that need an upgrade, I apologies for getting your name wrong.

    You wrote: “You deny the authority given by Christ to the apostles in perpetuity. You deny that he elevated certain men to positions of authority to teach and instruct others. You deny the very Gospels and the entire New Testament. You despise the Church, and therefore, you despise Christ.”

    Wow, off with her head! your coming off as very arrogant to accuse a fellow Christian who has confessed by her own testimony that she has accepted the gift of salvation and received Jesus Christ as her savoir, as one who despised the very one who saved her.

    Also, lets get this clear, so we know the truth. I did not say I don’t believe in the leadership of the true church or the authority of the Apostles, disciples or Bishops or even elders, etc.,

    I believe all of the Apostles teaching, every bit of it, as long as it is in the bible, I believe in the true church, which is made up of all who come to Christ and have been baptized into his name, and the Father and Holy Spirit.

    I just don’t believe in the church system you are telling people to have faith in, If there is an assembly of believers that follow Christ Word, and the entire scriptures and don’t add anything to it or teach anything contrary to His word, than I will be the first in the pew.

    Joe, I am not your enemy, I am a believer in Christ, as you say you are, I don’t agree with what you are saying, about telling people to have faith in the Catholic Church, we should only exhort and promote faith in the Gospel, Gods Word, God Almighty, the Holy Spirit and God the son, Jesus Christ.

    How misguided is this? I read Gods Word, worship and believe in Christ, call Him my Lord, was baptized into his name, and received the Holy Spirit to teach me and just because I will not listen to a stranger who practices false creeds and dogmas, which are unscriptural, you call me a heretic? God Almighty knows the truth

    Also, why are you ignoring the fact that Jesus did not leave us to just one man, who falsely claims to be god on earth, and who says his words are above ‘scripture’?.

    Jesus is always with us, he comes inside us, as LORD, and we are baptized by the Holy Spirit who teaches us all things; and he shows us the lies very clearly.

    Do you suppose you have not had the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and that is why you cannot see the truth of the Scriptures or the error of the system you are putting so much faith in.

    One of the great commandments of Jesus was ‘preach the gospel to all the world. Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16)He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

    Why do you suppose this system, this Catholic Church kept the gospel, the Word of God away from the people for 1,000 years? I don’t really want an answer to this question, I just want you to see how well this corrupt system took care of the sheep.(I am being sarcastic) Look at the fruit of it since its beginning.

    Look at its history, read the Holy Fathers, and about the Popes who argued over who was Pope, ridiculous.

    Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. This system constantly brings in new teaching not found anywhere in scripture and is always changing depending on the person who claims to be the head of it.

    If I had looked at your words and the single scripture you quoted and took it at face value, Mat 18:17, I would think it was telling me that if I did not hear the church that I would be as the heathen and publican, but praise the Lord Almighty!

    There is scripture before this and it is talking about a Christian called brother (and still is today ) who commits an offence to another., the one offended is to go to him in private, then if he doesn’t listen, he is to bring a couple other witnesses, then if he still does not hear he should let the church settle it.

    Of which, as I have said before, the church is the entire assembly of believers, and where ever this particular story took place, could have been an assembly of thousands or more or less, the scriptures are not specific in this.

    Most likely this assembly or church, had an elder, disciple or Apostle present, but if not as long as Jesus Christ is within their midst, and the presence of the Holy Spirit, with prayer and wisdom, the majority can decide about the offending brother, who has already been warned twice.

    The point is, the church is made up of believers who stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith, which is the gospel, not the church itself, as in Philippians 1:27

    27)”Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;”

    Here are the Words of Christ right before that set you quoted in , Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Can you see clearly that Christ is the final authority on earth, always and perpetually, and not a single man, who proclaims his own authority.

    And before you point to your prior post when you said, “No Catholic denies that Christ is the source of all authority. But Christ established a Church here on Earth precisely because he would no longer be here in a human body to lead it visibly”

    This is what I believe and this is according to the Word of God. God ordained 12 apostles, not just one ‘to take his place’ and rule it over any of the others or the sheep.

    According to the scriptures, Apostle Paul speaking, in 1 Corinthians 3:9-11

    9) For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

    10) “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.”

    11)”For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

    Oh, I feel like I have been arguing, and it doesn’t even matter, your ears are shut and your eyelids closed. I will leave, this is not getting anywhere. You believe one way and I another, but yet we both believe in the Lordship of Jesus Christ, or do we?.

    Good day to you Joe, and again I am sorry for getting your name wrong.

  • Eric Brown says:

    Donna,

    Two questions:

    (1) Where in the Bible does it say that the Bible is the sole source of authority? I ask this for a simple reason. The Bible, which means “collection of books,” was composed over a long period of history and the religious faithful in both the Old and New covenants did without the book we currently possess.

    The Church, pre-existed the canon, not the other way around. The first instance in history we have an actual list of the 27 books included in the New Testament, for example, is in an Easter sermon given by St. Athanasius of Alexandria in 367. It was not until the 390s that a local synod (council) met and affirmed the list of St. Athanasius and it was held universally that the 27 books (ordered as we have them) were inspired text and the official canon of the Church.

    The development of the New Testament canon and its fluidity presents a difficulty for your approach to Christianity — given your lack of concern of Sacred Tradition.

    Several texts, for example, the Shepherd of Hermas, the epistles of Clement, the epistle of Barnabas, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Secret Gospel of Mark, the Gospel to the Hebrews, The Infancy Gospel of Matthew, and several other non-inspired apocryphal documents were considered in many areas, though not universally, to be inspired and such texts were treated no differently than any other book of the New Testament.

    Such books are not quite like, say, the Gnostic gospels or other such heretical texts. A non-inspired text such as the Protoevangelium of James or the Epistle of Barnabas contains nothing that contradicts the Christian Faith, both are orthodox, but they simply (as the council later universally accepted affirms) are not inspired.

    But for what reason should you believe this council? For what reason do you hold the celebration of Christmas? It is not required of you by the Bible. The phrase “Christmas” actually comes from an old English idiom to refer the Feast of the Nativity (December 25), that is the Mass celebrating the Feast of the Incarnation. “Christmas,” literally is Christ-Mass. Another common old English idiom is “holiday,” which was used to refer to holy days of obligation.

    (2) How do you account for a “sola scriptura” religious faith that was virtually impossible until the invention of the printing press? Even still, most people could not read. The scriptures were traditionally heard in the readings at Mass. This is the very reason that the New Testament written in Greek and the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) were translated into Latin (cf. The Latin Vulgate) so that the scriptures would be in the vernacular and able to be understood by the laymen.

    Were Christians simply living in error for 1500 years? And by what standard did the reformists judge (and still judge — because there are, what, some 30,000 denominations today?) what was in accord with the Apostles’ teaching and what was not?

  • Eric Brown says:

    I should add — in case you are busy and unable to continue our dialogue here — that you should look into reading Scott Hahn’s “The Lamb’s Supper.” You may not agree with his conclusions, but it will help you understand both what Catholics believe and how we read the Bible. This may help you, at least, understand our perspective and may explain our disagreements regarding biblical hermeneutics. God bless.

  • David Jones says:

    Donna – Christ is in our midst! I applaud your courage in posting comments here at The American Catholic, but what I most appreciate is your love of Christ. We have much to discuss. If you desire feel free to drop me an email: ltdan4123@yahoo.com

  • No one special says:

    I find it amazing how passionate some people can become about their own views to speak so hatefully at times. We were all raised differently and have all had our own life experiences which molded us into who we are now. One opinion can’t always be more right than another for this reason.

    If you want to try to change someone’s opinion, logic tells me that you don’t do it by being rude and spiteful. That accomplishes little. You only use rude language to make the dissenting opinion(person) look inferior and to make yourself feel more validated. I think you can figure out how to do it another and more effective way. Everyone here has demonstrated that they have a brain.

  • JYoung says:

    Our President has recently and repeatedly said

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    Why does he repeatedly NOT quote the Declaration accurately by not saying …endowed by our Creator with…?

    Could it be that he would like us all to believe our “Rights” now come from the Government vs. God?

    This alone is reason enough to not vote Democrat. This main stream media WILL NOT make mention of this, only Fox News.

    Vote Conservative where you can

  • David Jones says:

    In defense of Joe I will say this. We must boldly proclaim the truth. Doing so is an act of charity.

    I would just ask folks, everyone, to consider your tone. Sometimes you can be telling the truth and be 100% correct (in theory), but communicate it in such a manner that it turns folks away. We all should beg Christ for the gift to communicate the Good News to others. Veni Sancte Spiritus, Veni per Mariam.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Eric,

    When you say “well said” to what I think was a pretty hateful attack on me, and obviously so, without anything else, well, what I am supposed to think? No, it wasn’t obvious, what your real intent was. Thanks for clearing it up.

    To everyone else:

    David is right. Truth must be proclaimed boldly. I try to do so as charitably as I can, but we have a false notion of charity today that is rooted in the idea that no idea can be true, no idea can be right – they’re all equal, which means none are true or false, all are possible, none are impossible, and that has to be reflected in our discourse.

    Well, that’s garbage, and it’s anti-Christ. And I won’t participate and I won’t speak as if that’s the reality when it isn’t.

  • Nate Wildermuth says:

    While the truth must be spoken boldly, Joe, our beloved John Paul II taught specifically of how to do so (he also modeled how quite well too):

    6. Truth does not allow us to despair of our opponents. The man of peace inspired by truth does not equate his opponent with the error into which he sees him fall. Instead he reduces the error to its real proportions and appeals from it to man’s reason, heart and conscience, in order to help him to recognize and accept truth. This gives the denunciation of injustice a specific tone: such denunciation cannot always prevent those responsible for injustice from stubbornly disregarding the obvious truth, but at least it does not set out to provoke such stubbornness, the cost of which is often paid by the victims of the injustice. One of the big lies that poison relations between individuals and groups consists in ignoring all aspects of an opponent’s action, even the good and just ones, for the sake of condemning him more completely. Truth follows a different path; that is why truth does not throw away any of the chances for peace.

    I highly encourage all bloggers and commenters to read JPII’s entire message, as the Internet does harbor malevolent spirits that try to divide and destroy the body of Christ:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/messages/peace/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_19791208_xiii-world-day-for-peace_en.html

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Donna,

    “Forgive me Joe, I am wearing reading glasses that need an upgrade, I apologies for getting your name wrong.”

    That’s ok. Now I ask that you read carefully my replies.

    “Wow, off with her head! your coming off as very arrogant to accuse a fellow Christian…”

    Donna, you are a heretic. You follow a religion that you or someone else made up – not the religion instituted by Christ.

    I tell you this because I want you to be aware of the truth, of your error, so you can turn away from heresy and be saved. Indeed it is my duty as a Christian to tell you this. If I wanted you dead, I’d let you wallow in ignorance.

    “who has confessed by her own testimony that she has accepted the gift of salvation and received Jesus Christ as her savoir, as one who despised the very one who saved her.”

    Donna, if you accept Christ as your savior, then you must accept His Church. If you don’t hear it, you don’t hear him. That’s how serious this is.

    “Also, lets get this clear, so we know the truth. I did not say I don’t believe in the leadership of the true church or the authority of the Apostles, disciples or Bishops or even elders, etc.,”

    Obviously you do, since there is an unbroken line of succession back to those same apostles in the Catholic Church.

    “I believe all of the Apostles teaching, every bit of it, as long as it is in the bible, I believe in the true church, which is made up of all who come to Christ and have been baptized into his name, and the Father and Holy Spirit.”

    That is not who makes up the Church. Heretics and schismatics are outside of the Church, even if they profess to believe in Christ.

    The beginning of your errors is, “as long as it’s in the bible.” Sacred Tradition begins with the apostles and pre-dates the Bible by a couple hundred years. The first Christians were not converted by “the Bible”, but by tradition. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:14.

    The Catholic Church gave you the Bible. It, guided by the Holy Spirit, discerned which books were truly inspired and which were not. If it wasn’t for the Catholic Church, you’d be reading and believing Gnostic heresies – Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Judas, etc. You take this entirely for granted because you’ve been mislead by heretics.

    “I just don’t believe in the church system you are telling people to have faith in,”

    Let’s go there. What is your problem with the Catholic Church?

    “If there is an assembly of believers that follow Christ Word, and the entire scriptures and don’t add anything to it or teach anything contrary to His word, than I will be the first in the pew.”

    Donna, again, your problem is manifest. Christ gave the apostles the authority to instruct. There will necessarily be truths that are not exactly spelled out Scripture – like the Holy Trinity, which you must believe in to be a Christian – which nonetheless exist in Scripture. This is why Christ gave the apostles the authority he did, and promised to be with them until the end of the world.

    There is no teaching or practice of the Catholic Church that runs contrary to Scripture… though it pains me to say that in the last 60 years a lot of the Tradition has been snubbed in favor of Modernism. But that’s a whole different can of worms.

    “Joe, I am not your enemy, I am a believer in Christ, as you say you are, I don’t agree with what you are saying, about telling people to have faith in the Catholic Church,”

    I don’t know what you mean. But it is Christ you said, he who is not with me, is against me, and he who gathers not with me, scatters. The gathering is the work of the Church. If you are against it, you are against Him.

    Now you’ve probably lived your life as a Protestant, so you didn’t know better. But I’m telling you now that your views are in serious and deep error, and you’ve got to amend them.

    “we should only exhort and promote faith in the Gospel, Gods Word, God Almighty, the Holy Spirit and God the son, Jesus Christ.”

    I don’t know what you mean by “faith in the Catholic Church.” The Church must be obeyed because Christ established it as His authority on Earth. Of course our faith is in Christ. These aren’t opposite things, Donna. They go together.

    “How misguided is this? I read Gods Word, worship and believe in Christ, call Him my Lord, was baptized into his name, and received the Holy Spirit to teach me and just because I will not listen to a stranger who practices false creeds and dogmas, which are unscriptural, you call me a heretic? God Almighty knows the truth”

    A stranger? Donna, you didn’t think all of this up on your own. Someone told you. The creeds and dogmas of the Church are, first of all, soundly based in Scripture, and secondly, guided in their construction by the Holy Spirit. Read Acts again. The same spirit that guides the Apostles, guides the Church today. That is what Jesus established. Do you really think he he just established a church, with a clearly hierarchy, a visible head, and with all of the powers I have already showed, to exist for one generation?

    Of course not! He wished for this Church to last until the end of time. So the same authority he gave to the apostles, is passed on through succession, to the next generation. And the Holy Spirit guides the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome. That is why we know that it is not the “work of men”, but men aided by God directly. That is what it means when Christ says he prays for Peter so that his faith will not fail, and then tells him to “confirm his brethren”, and then promises to be with them until the end of the world. Think about it, Donna.

    “Also, why are you ignoring the fact that Jesus did not leave us to just one man, who falsely claims to be god on earth, and who says his words are above ‘scripture’?.”

    No pope has EVER claimed that, Donna. Someone has told you lies. But Jesus DID elevate one apostle, Peter, above all the others, and it is for Peter alone whom He prayed for an unfailing faith. This means that what he teaches CANNOT be “above Scripture”, and no pope has ever defined a dogma that has been contrary to the Scriptures. This is a historical fact.

    “Jesus is always with us, he comes inside us, as LORD, and we are baptized by the Holy Spirit who teaches us all things; and he shows us the lies very clearly.”

    All this is true – but he also established a hierarchy, Donna, a teaching authority on Earth. And he tells us in the Gospels that if you don’t hear IT, then you don’t hear HIM.

    “Do you suppose you have not had the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and that is why you cannot see the truth of the Scriptures or the error of the system you are putting so much faith in.”

    Of course I have been baptized. It is you who has been lied to by heretics. I’m telling you the truth now. A lot of this anti-Church mentality stems from the Protestant heresy that one can NEVER lose their salvation. But of course Scripture confirms that we can lose it, through certain sins against God and man, and the Church is here to guide us in the avoidance of these sins.

    “One of the great commandments of Jesus was ‘preach the gospel to all the world. Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16)He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

    No dispute here! That commission is the work of the Church. He said those words to his apostles, who he designated to be the leaders in his church!

    “Why do you suppose this system, this Catholic Church kept the gospel, the Word of God away from the people for 1,000 years?”

    It did no such thing. Where do you get this information? There was no printing press in the ancient world. Bibles had to be written by hand, and this is what the Catholic monks did in the monestaries for 1500 years until the printing press. If it wasn’t for those Catholic monks, who believed in and belonged to the Catholic Church, you wouldn’t have a Bible today.

    “I don’t really want an answer to this question, I just want you to see how well this corrupt system took care of the sheep.(I am being sarcastic) Look at the fruit of it since its beginning.”

    Well, I have – but obviously you’ve been reading lies. You don’t bring up specific incidents, though, so I can’t respond to anything specifically. But there is nothing you could mention that I could not answer.

    So, what will it be Donna? Will you try to prove your claims? Or will you back away because you fear being proven wrong? The truth will set you free, if you have the courage to stick around and hear it.

    “Look at its history, read the Holy Fathers, and about the Popes who argued over who was Pope, ridiculous.”

    Right. As if the Protestants didn’t sub-divide into a million different tiny little sects, all arguing with one another. Yes, there were conflicts in Christendom, and God sometimes allows confusion to develop to punish people for their sins. But the true Church was always there, and the arguments eventually ceased. So those arguments, such as in the Great Western Schism, were bad times indeed, but the Church didn’t cease to exist.

    “Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. This system constantly brings in new teaching not found anywhere in scripture and is always changing depending on the person who claims to be the head of it.”

    For nearly 2000 years, the Church has not changed on a single point of faith or morals. What changes? And what is taught that is not in Scripture? You can’t point to anything.

    “Of which, as I have said before, the church is the entire assembly of believers, and where ever this particular story took place, could have been an assembly of thousands or more or less, the scriptures are not specific in this.”

    Donna, when you read the ENTIRE Gospel, you see that Jesus established Peter as the head of the Church, and the apostles as bishops. Those are very specific! So obviously Jesus is referring to the Church that He will establish – with Peter as its head, with the apostles as the bishops, with all of the authority and powers he specifically gives to them in the other passages I quoted for you.

    If you think about it, it makes sense. Do you think Christ would establish a hierarchy and grant powers to specific individuals in one verse, and then in the next verse be speaking of some undifferentiated “assembly”? Of course not.

    Christ didn’t establish two churches, but one. It has a visible head (the successor of Peter), it has bishops subordinate to him (the successors of the other apostles), and they have the power to teach, to forgive sins, to offer the sacrifice of the Mass, etc. All of this is directly from Scripture. Of course the rest of us are a part of the Church as well, priests and laity.

    “Most likely this assembly or church, had an elder, disciple or Apostle present, but if not as long as Jesus Christ is within their midst, and the presence of the Holy Spirit, with prayer and wisdom, the majority can decide about the offending brother, who has already been warned twice.”

    No. Where does Jesus talk about a “majority”? You’re adding things to Scripture now. You’re using your own reason. Don’t you see that? Instead of speculating about majorities and elders and the like, why not go with what Christ said? I already quoted those passages for you. Put them together with this one. Then you will see what “the church” is, not some vague “assembly” but a clear hierarchy with clear authority.

    And your reasoning is also flawed. We don’t really need to know the specific offense that Jesus was referring to, since there are obviously MANY things a person could do that are wrong – the POINT is that anyone who does not hear the Church, is as the heathen and the publican.

    “The point is, the church is made up of believers who stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith, which is the gospel, not the church itself, as in Philippians 1:27

    27)”Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;”

    No one denies this. But notice how none of this EXCLUDES or REJECTS the hierarchy established by Christ.

    “Here are the Words of Christ right before that set you quoted in , Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Can you see clearly that Christ is the final authority on earth, always and perpetually, and not a single man, who proclaims his own authority.”

    Donna, Jesus says this right BEFORE He ascends into heaven. He says in the very next verse:

    “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

    This is exactly what the Catholic Church did, and does, and will ever do! Of course all authority comes from Christ. But that also means that Christ has the power to vest his authority in whoever He chooses – would you really deny that? Would you say to Jesus, “um, excuse me Lord – you can’t give any of your power to Peter like you said you would, because authority comes from you alone.” Of course not. Christ, the source of all authority, can grant authority to whomever He chooses. And that is what he did for Peter.

    Read John 21:15-17!

    “When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs.

    He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep.”

    This is so clear, so obvious. There’s no other way to interpret this. This is after Christ has risen from the dead, before He ascends into heaven. He leaves Peter in charge of his sheep. And to think he would only want one person to be in charge for one generation, and to leave his sheep without a shepard for the rest of time after that, is completely absurd. Christ established this institution FOR US. And you reject it, you are ungrateful. Turn around, recognize the truth, and accept it!

    “God ordained 12 apostles, not just one ‘to take his place’ and rule it over any of the others or the sheep.”

    I hope you clearly see now that you are completely wrong. You cannot read John 21:15-17 and make that claim. If you do, you’re a liar. This, in conjunction with the other passages I have already quoted clearly show that Christ did indeed, without a doubt, elevate one apostle above the others. And all throughout Acts, Peter speaks and acts as the leader of the Apostles.

    None of your NT quotes contradict anything I said. Of course Christ is the ultimate foundation. But here on Earth, while he reigns in heaven until the end times, it is Peter upon who he builds.

    I noticed that you had nothing to say about that, either – do you acknowledge that Peter means “rock”, and that Christ was referring Peter as the rock upon which he would build his church?

    Face it, you’ve been refuted. It needs time to sink in, I know, so I don’t expect you to convert now. But let it sink in, really think about it. And we’ll be here when you’re ready to talk further.

    I wouldn’t take all of this time and write all of this out if I didn’t care about your soul. I do. So when you want to come back with some hard questions, we’ll be here to answer them.

  • David Jones says:

    The Superficiality of “Left” & “Right”
    We must discover that real Catholic politics are outside the Lockean spectrum, and we must learn to see ourselves as neither right nor left-Lockeans, but as Catholics, who ought to differ from one another only within the clear bounds of permissible Catholic teaching.
    http://distributistreview.com/mag/2010/10/the-superficiality-of-left-right/

    Individualism and the State: Part I
    One of the root errors of economic liberalism is known as individualism.
    http://distributistreview.com/mag/2010/07/individualism-and-the-state-part-i/

    Individualism and the State, Part II
    Leo XIII clearly argues that not only does man exist in society by nature, but that man exists in the state by nature; and further, that the state, “no less than society itself,” is a natural institution with God at its origin.
    http://distributistreview.com/mag/2010/07/individualism-and-the-state-part-ii/

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    There’s simply no disputing the similarities – the outright overlaps – between John Locke and Pope Leo XIII. You have to be blind to miss it, which unfortunately a lot of people at the DR are.

    Which isn’t to say they are identical, no, of course not.

  • c matt says:

    Donna,

    One other thing to think about. You said that the Catholic Church adds to scripture, changes things, etc. Well, what about Protestants? Jesus forbade divorce. In 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has never recognized divorce. Every Protestant sect does. So who changed?

  • sal says:

    All political systems are human attemnpts at coping with life after the Fall. As Mr. Jones has stated, right and left labels are no longer useful. However, I’m not sure there is a correct way of doing politics since all human constructions inevitably fall short and potentially rival God’s Kingdom; and his kingdom does not come with our careful observation, neither does one say here it is or there it is–in some Thomistic formula or Lockean contract, no, it’s within us. And we pray it will daily manifest itself until He returns to establish it for all to see.

  • sal says:

    Mr. Matt, I think you’re mistaken in your assesment of Protestantism. An inherent mechanism for reform is at work there. As with Israel of old, churches move toward God and away from him, and the flexibility is there for churches to get back on track. In Protestantism, you do not have one church that once derailed is a trainwreck. You have the ability to reform, renew, rework, reappraise, renovate, etc. Revevatio was a key term during the Renaissance. And it speaks to the need for constant reform–not because we are moving toward ever greater progress, but because we want to be able to regain truth each time it’s lost, and to resume the normal path once it’s abandoned. And yes, there is a constant tendency to lose touch with that. It’s a perennial issue, and no one is exempt–no church is without its problems. To answer your question, who has changed–we all have! And we need to get back on track. The journey home takes us back to God and his Word, and to a faithfully witnessing church whatever that church may be labeled.

  • sal says:

    A system developed in the history of Roman Catholicism culminating in Aquinas’ Summa. And I just think that we as humans have this propensity to engage in a lot of Babel-like constructions, e.g. intellectual edifices, organizational machinery, etc. I guess what I’m trying to get across is something of the bigger picture, because I don’t think the matter can be settled in terms of proof-texting or ‘this is what my background asserts’ kind of thing. I think we need to go for what C. S. Lewis caught, i.e. the morphology or grammar of things: When we get a sense of that broader picture, it puts the smaller things into perspective. If we work from the bottom up it seems reasonable an logical, but we’re atcually mislead, and this is at the heart of the problem I believe exists with Aquinas (and the scholastic doctors generally. They were trying to construct a tower and they of course did what anyone would do–they began at the bottom. But God’s Word breaks forth from above and without. Azuinas had been listening in at the back door to the Islamic rationalist debate concerning free-will and predestination–there was a golden age in Spain where the Arabs were engaged in some tower-building of their own–and we were all led on a wild goose chase as a result.

  • sal says:

    Well, I can appreciate that sentiment. Our political and economic systems are always paltry in contrast to what God intended and to what he has in store for us when he returns. I say when he returns because I think in the meantime all this world’s systems can do at best is but rival His claims. His kingdom will constitute a new world without end. All things will reach perfection and completion. All that is good and redeemed will find a place there. All that is evil (or that falls short of God and his goodness will remain outside).

    And this leads me to an interesting insight I came upon. As Augustine of Hippo pointed out, evil is not a reality in itself. It is a falling short of the reality God made. It is less than real. And this is why C. S. Lewis spoke as if this world was but a murky reflection of the real one–he wasn’t actually a platonist. I think it is also why it is said that when one looks into the eyes of a psychopath there is nothing there. He is like the walking dead. And we are all like ghosts now compared to what we shall be. C. S. Lewis wrote Till We Have Faces. In the fullness of God’s kingdom, things will not be less real but more real–we have to get used to seeing that newness ahead as really real. So evil then, is not a reality in itself. It lacks reality–that’s why we call it evil!

  • sal says:

    Having said all of that, God still made us as separate creatures and we are permitted to go our own way and to exprience whatever results from that. And that separation is pictured in terms of the city’s symbolism–there are people who remain outside the gates. They were invited in but never showed up. And they do live on since they are created beings with existence of their own. I simply mean to state that evil implies a lack–a lack of what God intended. Evil is not the invention of something new–it is a person not doing what they were made for. Instead of uniting with God, they turn in upon themselves–they become immersed in conflict. So a person in that situation is separated from God, from others, and from themselves (their true nature). That evil is a privation of the good, as Augustine understood so well. It is dying and death; It is eternal death.

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