In light of yesterday’s post about Morning Minion’s challenges to Rick Santorum’s authentic Catholicity, I found this column at the Huffington Post to be quite interesting. (Vox Nova and Huffington Post mentioned on the same blog post? Please, do not panic. You eyes will not explode.) If you recall, this is one of the claims that Tony made about Santorum:
Santorum defines his theology as stemming from the bible (Protestant) as opposed to the single sacred deposit of the Word of God comprising sacred scripture and sacred tradition (Catholic).
On the other hand, Professor Howard Schreber observes:
Rick Santorum is a case in point. Santorum’s is a specifically Catholic form of faith. The recent flap over contraception is only an example of a much deeper phenomenon. As observers have noted, he talks frequently about natural law, but rarely quotes the Bible directly — his arguments draw on a theologically informed view of the nature of the world, not a personal relationship with the text.
Indeed, in the past Santorum has been quite forthright about the fact that he does not look to the Bible for guidance, he relies quite properly on the guidance of the Church. There is obviously nothing wrong with that … but it sits very curiously with traditional Evangelical Protestant attitudes.
Now, one of these individuals sounds more intimately familiar with what Rick Santorum has actually written and said in his life. I’ll leave it to you to guess which one.
I think that Shreber both overstates the connection between conservative Evangelicals and Catholics and understates the broad schism that still lingers at the heart of their respective philosophies (both theological and political). But his post is worth a read.
Less worthy of your time - this screed by Daniel Nichols, which concludes thusly:
This is a man [Santorum], in the final analysis, despite his piety, is willing to contradict what his Church teaches to serve America.
This, my friends, is idolatry.
To choose Rick Santorum for president is to choose Nation over Church, this world over heaven, and Mammon over God.
When the secular left has a less unhinged view of Catholic candidates than the Catholic left, and is more willing to engage in actual analysis of what Catholic candidates stand for, we’re in for a world of trouble.
A recent post over at Vox Nova by Henry Karlson gives me an opportunity to address an issue that has been on my mind as of late: the state of evangelical-Catholic relations in the United States. It will likely surprise no one that my views on this matter are diametrically opposed to his. I believe this is the case, quite frankly, because Karlson – and he is far from alone in this, among his comrades – has a disordered hierarchy of values. He writes:
Vox Nova has for years pointed out the negative influence Evangelical Protestantism have had on American Catholics, where such Catholics have engaged Protestant sensibilities, turning their back on authentic Catholic teaching. It is easy to see how many American political ideologies have become a part of the religious faith of Catholics, so that when discussing religion, they end up echoing American political screeds.
So much for ecumenicism! Somehow Catholic dissent on torture is to be blamed on the influence of high-profile conservative evangelical converts, i.e.:
[T]hose who mock Catholic social doctrine in Papal Encyclicals and those who think intrinsic evils, such as torture, is [sic] fine…
I wonder to which conservative evangelicals Karlson might point to explain left-wing dissident Catholic acceptance of intrinsic evils such as abortion and the perversion of marriage.
In order to understand this matter at all, we have to understand that while they overlap and intersect in many places, religion and politics are not one, nor should they be. Aside from non-negotiable issues, and I agree with Karlson at least on the point that torture is one of them, Catholics are under no obligation to categorically reject “American political ideologies” as if they were the graven images of Baal.
The reference to “American political ideologies” is all the more absurd when one considers a) that the “ideology” most publicly supportive of torture, neo-conservatism, is deeply rooted in Leo Strauss’s views of European philosophy as well as disillusionment with Trotskyism, and b) that the ideologies, at least on the right, most opposed to torture – libertarianism and paleo-conservatism – pride themselves on a much more solid foundation in Anglo-American political thought. Has he never heard of Ron Paul’s position on torture?
It is arguable at any rate that many of the policy positions held by Karlson and some of his co-bloggers violate the principle of subsidarity, though this is neither tantamount to theological dissent or a lapse of personal piety.