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Guest Opinion: Transforming Culture Through Politics? Comments

As Catholics we need to approach politics in a serious way.  Christ calls us to transform culture, not to be swallowed up by it. Culture is not transformed by politics.  Culture must be rooted in those "Permanent Things" which preserve and promote our humanity in all of its greatness.  The desire for truth, beauty and the good can be realized.  The candidate which best understands this fact deserves our full support and vote. Continue Reading

11 - 17 of 17 Comments

  1. Diane
    3 years ago

    When the author writes that it is poetry, literature and the "beautiful things of life" that transform a culture he is refering to WHAT transforms, it's a given that this is done partly through the means of media and religion, also the family, schools, etc. By the way take a look at the music and art forms presented by the media- pornography plain and simple, coupled with violent words in music and speech. Pornography is from the Greek for "devils pictures". Is it any wonder the world has become so corrupt? R&B, Rock, Jazz, Rap, Punk music has some of the vilest sounds and words imaginable. Music goes sraight to the brain without a critical"filter". No wonder so much is bad. The things of God raise us above our lower selves and it's hard to find in the secular world.

  2. Andy Holland
    3 years ago

    'Culture must be rooted in those "Permanent Things" which preserve and promote our humanity in all of its greatness.' - but being on the side of humanity, on the side of man, is a mark of Satan and a historic problem in the Catholic Church going back to St. Peter. Remember Wolsey? There is a limit to what politics and humanism can do. Remember Borgia? Power is a very dangerous thing - our strength as Christians lies in weakness. Our best examples are martyrs - people who are despised and rejected by the world and crucified, following Christ all the way. I'll take a Thomas More, a Bernadette of Lourdes, a Thomas a Kempis any day over a modern politician or sound piece. We need more like Padre Pio all the way around.

  3. Larry
    3 years ago

    Politics, poetry, literature are reflections of society - they may lead a change or reflect a change. I agree that Catholic leadership has not kept up with the challenges and needs of the Catholic faithful for the last 70+ years but there have been so many changes, experiments and a life of flux that it was hard to get hold of what it means to be a Catholic and then lead. Thank God Vatican II came along and that Vatican I was broken up by a war. --- Neither conservative politicians nor Catholic Leadership has spoken up enough to counter the liberal voice and establishment over these years. Before Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church had a 'bunker mentality' - us against the world so we isolate us from Protestants and all other religions. We saved 'pagan babies' and prayed for the conversion of Russia. We had our own schools and CCD run by Catholics more in a position of authority. --- Now, with ecumenism, we're open to so many others that its hard to criticize or critique them or know how they fit into a 'Roman Catholic' view of the world and salvation. So many more Catholics are much better educated (high school, College degrees, MA, PhD, MD, JD, etc.) we can think more for ourselves than they could during the 30s and 40s when we depended on our local priests and bishops to help us understand and deal with the world. The exodus of priests, nuns, brothers and sisters since the 60s not only depleted our leadership but forced us to rethink the role of laity in the church and the world. We're still struggling with this. Contraceptives gave women more freedom to do things (accepted and not acceptable) on their own and in and for society and they have redefined personal relationships. ---- In all this, the voices of the leadership have been weak compared to the shouting since the 60s and 70s of the left and liberals in and out of the church. They should loud, often and don't care if they lie or misstate what they say - their cause is to win. The media (TV, newspapers, many magazines, etc.) is liberals and/or votes for democrats - the party of abortion, contraception, pro women and anti male in the family, dependency on government, anti school improvement and school or parental choice, pro union and anti society growth for all, etc. Look at how they explain what is happening and what stories they cover and don't cover. ---- It will take some time for Catholic leadership (now including lay leadership) to get together enough to stand up and get a backbone. We've recently gone through the 'priests sex scandals' so its shaken up a bit and confidence in our leadership is not great in some areas. Let's see what develops.

  4. Patrick
    3 years ago

    Excellent article! As Catholics our political philosophy should be informed by our faith but we must be clear that our faith and our Church do not require us to support a particular political party. There are some who say that Catholics MUST support the GOP in the same manner that 50 years ago some said Catholics MUST support the Democratic ticket. Politics, even at its best, is cynical and of this world. It is necessary for the orderly administration of society. It is NOT necessary for the salvation of our eternal souls. The purpose of the civil government and its laws are not there to make us good Christians, they are there to make us good citizens. The culture wars are part of a real conflict between us and Satan. Victory will come through prayer and devotion and observance of the sacraments and each person's individual accounting for their own sin. It will not come through a ballot. Any political party that suggests that you are a better Christian because you vote for them (or a worse Christian because you vote for the other guy) should not be trusted. Trust in Christ!

  5. techwreck
    3 years ago

    Vance, The Church leadership in the U.S. is entrenched in the liberal progressive establishment. They have confused Christ's message that we "love one another" with the liberal progressive goal of letting the government care for everyone.

    Conservatives, who believe that Christ commanded us to help others, not subcontract help to government programs, are not welcome in the Church. You will not find them in the USCCB staff or in the staffs of most dioceses. You will not find them in the bishops' "Catholic Conferences", the political arm of the Church.

    Our Church has been politicized, and is more interested in being progressive than Christian. ...and Jesus wept.

  6. Rob
    3 years ago

    Vance, implicit in the charges against the liberal establishment would either be a complete failure of conservatism or perhaps there is really no such thing. What has upset me the most about the conservative movment over the last 10 years is that it mostly serves as a vehicle to make money. It's great at deregulating businesses, defense spending etc, but absolutely isn't there where the culture of death is concerned. It's overempahsis on the economy clearly puts life issues in the back seat. Either way, whether our country embraces the liberal establisment or conservatism in it's current form, neither will transform this country for the good. I think the author does a good job describing this. As Christians, this is a huge problem as we look to align ourselves with a party or politician.

  7. vance
    3 years ago

    Jones did a so-so job explaining why politics does not transform culture. He only hints on what does transform culture- poetry, literature, and the "beautiful things of life". Jones left out two critical components of our society- mass media and religion. Media includes print, television, movies, music, and now internet. Media has defined our culture since the invention of the radio. For centuries, the church defined our culture but the church forfeited their role to the secular Liberal Establishment by mid twentieth century. Liberal Establishment media has spoon fed its anti-Christ Death Culture to our society in steady doses over the last 70 years. Their success is due largely to the fact that the Bishops and clergy offered no resistance or counter challenges to the Liberal Establishment.

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