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Time for an Evangelical and Catholic Alliance for the Common Good Comments

We must join together and reassert in an age of relativism that there are objective truths which can be known, principles by which we can form truly free societies, and rights endowed upon us by God.The American founders carried such a vision into the experiment in ordered liberty called the United States of America. However, they did not come up with this ennobling and enabling vision on their own. They received it from the treasury of ... Continue Reading

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  1. Jeffrey Caperton
    1 year ago

    It has been said that "politics makes strange bedfellows", and an alliance as suggested by the Deacon epitomizes just that. We may agree on a number of social and moral issues, but that is generally where the agreement ends.

    But this does touch upon a subject that has bothered me for years. I feel that Christianity (Catholic and Protestant) is too political, particularly this website which I often refer to as Republican online. I believe that Deacon Fournier is writing from the heart about subjects that are important to many Christians, but he comes off as partisan at times, assuming virtue in one party while assuming absolute evil in the other, when it is not that simple. And I concede that Christianity cannot exist in a political vacuum, but I believe we need to transcend the partisan bickering that dominates the political environment. I have often said that politics is the realm of the ruthless, so Christians need to find a way to participate in the process without adding to the rancor and becoming as much a part of the problem as the system itself.

    But, since we are advocating pragmatic alliances, why not have Catholic Republicans join hands with Catholic Democrats on those issues for which they can agree? I think Catholic Republicans will have more in common with Catholic Democrats than with Protestant Republicans. And keep in mind that there are number of Catholic Democrats who oppose abortion on demand. As it is, becoming embroiled in partisan politics narrows our focus, sometimes to the point of being single-issue Christians. Abortion and same-sex marriage are not the only evils that exist in our society, many of which are perpetrated with our blessings. Freedom needs to be more than the ability to own a firearm. And capitalism must be restrained if we truly want a culture of values instead of rapacious consumerism; the market must not rule.

  2. Edwin Reffell
    1 year ago

    Not a few Evangelicals call the Catholic Church -the only one founded by Jesus Christ- "the whore of Babylon". How can we unite with those people? I was brought up and was very anti-Catholic and tried many of the 38,000 denominations founded after the reformaton. Many protestants are good people and some like Corrie ten Boom are truly saintly but they completely disregard Jesus' prayer for unity. Only the Catholic Church practices the unity Jesus Christ prayed for. Unity in diversity allows every believer to develop and mature in his or her Christian faith at the same time as respecting others' individual development and maturing in the Christian faith and being open to the complete Catholic credo. How odd that some Catholics have considered the Church dead. No other denomination is so alive as the Catholic Church. It is tragic that the West is forsaking the ideals on which society has been founded. Relativism is a natural conclusion of the protestant idea of your own subjective,understandng of the Gospel alone and at-the-moment beliefs being the right ones. Freedom of religion is essential and secular governments and religion should respect each other but not be indivisible. Islam combines secular government and religion.

  3. KarlVDH
    1 year ago

    I think there's an old premise here we want to consider before we start holding hands with these people because we agree on POLITICS. There's a very old saying that keeps playing in my mind as I read and re-read this article. It's simply this... "The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend."

  4. KarlVDH
    1 year ago

    "We must join together and reassert in an age of relativism that there are objective truths which can be known, principles by which we can form truly free societies, and rights endowed upon us by God" open a discussion about developing an alliance with evangelicals for the sake of political ends with a remark about objective truth and moral relativism is the height of irony. I'm surprised, Deacon.

  5. Jeffrey Caperton
    1 year ago

    Kevin Pastorino,

    Like you, I attended a huge number of "Biblically-based" churches as a young lad to include Baptist (Southern, Progressive [A contradiction in terms], other), Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, Power Through Abundant Living, Salvation Army, among others, all of whom claimed a monopoly on "true belief". I also attended some rather unknown ministries, one with the amusing title WOW (Word Over the World) ministries. So, like you, I am well-traveled within American Christianity. I do not reject out of hand that your experience with Protestant circles is not the same as mine, but I still stand by everything I say, particularly Protestant harsh attitudes towards poverty where I heard statements such as “We need to ship the poor overseas and sink the ship half way”.

    However, I neither believe that the liberals created poverty or perpetuated poverty no more than capitalism or anything else. Nor did liberalism destroy the American family. However, if you are more comfortable with, or have this great need to blame somebody, I can tell you that there is plenty of blame to go around; that every sector of society bears some of the guilt to include Christian circles. But, to be honest, I can think of no time in history where knowing who to blame has actually solved a problem. To the contrary, it only escalates into a contest of who can point a finger at the most while the problem remains largely ignored, so perhaps it is this endless finger-pointing blame game and rancorous debate that has perpetuated poverty and destroyed the American family.

    Back to the issue at hand, perhaps your experience in Protestant circles has been different. However, with my own experience, I find the Protestant ethos somewhat harsh, often to the point of cruel, which is why I left Protestantism to become Catholic and I feel no compelling need to form an alliance with Protestant Evangelicals. Perhaps you are right in that we need a party for Catholics and a party for Evangelicals, but I fear that will only serve to make it easier for the Democrats and Republicans to divide and conquer. How do we win?

  6. Peter Northcott
    1 year ago

    Hi Kevin Pastorino

    I work for an Evangelical Church, and the pastor - my Boss - and I agree on these matters.
    I am writing from England, and I keep a close finger on the pulse on sociological, ecclesiological, pastoral, and theological trends in Evangelicalism here.

    In fact, my Boss, an 'old school' Evangelical reads Pope Benedict and weeps, asking why none of the Evangelicals he knows today can talk about Christ with such beauty and passion any more and, like a couple of others he studied with when training to be a minister about 30 years ago, he is questioning his ability to continue as an Evangelical as it's imploding.

  7. Kristiana
    1 year ago

    Why do we have to "other" everybody to death? This is why people are turning away from organized religion in droves. They don't want to be told their fellow American brothers and sisters are all wrong if they don't agree with whomever is writing about how we all need to come back to the Church and allow it to govern our behavior as a whole instead of respecting the laws of the land set out, however imperfectly, to give the best to and of all worlds/religions, or lack thereof. It so worries me that the new drums that are being beaten to rouse the faithful to march against our current form of government will reach a fevered pitch that Pits Us All Against One Another. Take the following;

    "It is only a return to the Christian vision of the human person, marriage and the family and the society founded upon it - the insistence upon normative, fundamental moral truths - which can secure the future of Western civilization."

    What if we had a minority of any other faith who insisted the same? Can the believers in our Savior, Christ, Imagine someone from other religions forcing Their version of what society should be like on us all? We Are free to worship any way we choose. It is Why America is great! What will make us different from any totalitarian regime if we insist all come to Christ, Or Else, instead of How Jesus led; By Example? Not Insistence. The more we park "others" in our minds as Wrong, less worthy, etc, the closer we are to a Greater split in society than we feel today. People of all faiths should be working together for the common good always. But not by insisting this nation should follow only One set of beliefs. That can't work. It's split countries apart for centuries! Have we learned Nothing from the holocausts others countries have suffered? Any time we stoke the flames of labeling Others as Wrong and ourselves Right, what could possibly grow from that except oppression of the "others"?
    We can't go down that road. Spreading God's Word is an humble act of faith and trust, surrender and love. It's not a militaristic goal. We bring others to Christ by example, not force. Not by force of law or sword.

    "We need to stand together and form a new resistance movement." ???? Really? And you accuse others of anarchy?

    Everyone needs to take a breath. There are ways of sharing God's Words without stoking the flames of a rise against government. This Is a country based on allowing all to live by Their conscience as God guides Them. Not us. Jesus didn't ask anyone to gather and rise up against government. He simply asked that we learn and live by the Golden Rule. Aren't you "men of faith" afraid of the animosity you are inciting between all who will heed your words and take them as a call to incite an uprising and those who simply ask to be left to practice Their faith as God directs them?
    I'm at a real crossroads here. I have given my heart to Jesus and I need a spiritual home and sought out Catholicism to bring my children to. But the more I read about "the faithful" seemingly deliberately trying to drive us all, brothers and sisters of America, apart, I'm left to wonder where I'll find that "Home". I agree with Catholic tenets. But I cannot agree it's up to a new evangelical/Catholic bond to rise up to now force religious beliefs on others, especially government. It's not who we are as Americans. So I don't know where to go or turn to now to find a spiritual home to have my newfound faith watered by unconditionally loving guidance. I sure don't see it in evangelicals, nor Catholicism. I am simply waiting for the rhetoric that I feel is dangerous to our society as a whole to die down to stick my head back out into the world trying to feel as though the Crusades won't visit our shores. No one is being persecuted here. Using inflammatory images like slavery, tyranny, lack of freedom is all meant to only get others to agree they are being persecuted. There's an argument to make for stopping abortions, but why aren't the faithful, again, simply living by example instead of trying to rise up to force their will on a free society? Do you not trust God to guide each heart to their own decisions? Is it as necessary now, as it is for Muslims, for Christians to impose their doctrine on society as a whole? Where is the freedom in that? We have churches. We are free to give and minister. We are free to live our faith in our lives. And so are others. I urge everyone here to read the book "The Boy Who Talked To Jesus" to be reminded of what it means to live your faith, and what it means to impose your belief that only You are Right in your faith above all others. Jesus seeks pure, unconditionally forgiving and loving hearts no matter one's faith, to walk with them. He's here to remind us still to live in forgiveness and tolerance and patience and love for God and each other No Matter Religion or anything that we think Separates us. We are All brothers and sisters in Christ no matter the politics of the day. But do not let the devil work in your heart to make you act in ways that can only lead to unfathomable darkness if we box anyone into the labeled box of "Other". It's for God to read and judge our hearts. Not for man to dictate how we live. If you haven't noticed there is a true spiritual revival across the globe. Have those belonging to churches asked themselves Why people aren't turning To the church for spiritual nourishment? It's because the church feels more political now than a loving spiritual Home anymore. How is a church God's church when its leaders all now have political agendas? What words of love do the seeking hear from the pulpit anymore between the loud shouts of those who are pounding their fists against Others they label Wicked simply because there is lack of political agreement when we so desperately Want to a spiritual leader to lead us into deeper spiritual truths and relationship with God?

    I can make up my mind politically by myself. The church doesn't seem to trust that I'll stay on course with their agenda. Hence articles like this one rather than a loving article that would guide me deeper in faith. It's not for the church to make up our minds for us. It should only ever be the job of the Church to give me the tools of knowledge I need to be able to Choose Freely to make my own decisions in how to live, and to then release me to, and trust in God that I would live in a Way that honors The Lord. Freedom of Religion gives the Church the Right to Guide those who would be led to living as Jesus taught us to live. I would hope never in America would any religion rise above another in making laws that demand citizens, who are free of conscience to worship any way they like, follow only one set of religious rule. There is Zero freedom in that. That is the very definition of totalitarianism. This uprising against all foreigners and the poor and woman and the poor worker is going to only lead us down one ugly road we are all too familiar with from our history books. We are All Equal in the mind and heart of God. It's only we silly humans who create mindless and heartless divisions between us where there should be none. Jesus never said, "Love one another, EXCEPT..." He never asked someone their faith or beliefs before He healed or fed them. He Lived by example which was plenty enough to bring others to want to be as He is. People today are afraid of the rhetoric coming out of the mouths of those who claim to be devout, but who scream the loudest about why others are wicked and the devout are "right". Rick Santorum himself said he thought the Crusades were overrated! Are Christians on a one way path to killing off all who they judge "non-believers"? Is that where we are headed? Because it is surely what it sounds like.
    Where have the faithful gone who preached to us to Love One Another? Are they drowned out by the political saber rattling?
    We cannot, as Americans, turn on each other. No matter our disagreements. We have an obligation by God to Love One Another. The sooner we all turn back to that fundamental fact, the sooner we will all guide each other to days of living in peace, even with those with whom we disagree. It's for God to sort out and judge. Not us. It's ours to live by His Word.

  8. Carol
    1 year ago

    Lets look at the big picture. The Catholic Church is the one "true" church. Established through Christ himself. Society will always target the Catholic Church because of this. Our society has been allowed to form its own rules where anything and everything is allowed. To the people who are weak to this way of living its a free meal ticket to do whatever they please. It is not about conversion to other faiths. These faith fellowships of the world do have "some" good points to them. So, by uniting ourselves on the common "good" of the things we share we can become stronger as a whole group in fighting against this "bigger" problems of the world. Society will always try to snuff out what keeps reminding them of their immoral choices. It's called guilt. They know their actions and choices are wrong. But, they don't want to die to the flesh. They want it all. And, it's getting worse. Sad but true. Lets remember that its good versus evil. Not good versus good. Again, the Catholic Church is the biggest target because it is the one "true" religion. But if good is to prevail in this world then these faith fellowships would be wise to unite with the Catholic Church" in its mission. For the sake of themselves. The enemy believes that if they can take down the "big church" then the other faiths will shortly follow and be easier to overcome.

  9. Kevin Pastorino
    1 year ago

    Dear Peter Northcott and Jeffrey Caperton,

    I am an "Evangelical". My father was a Catholic, my mother a Lutheran, grandparents Catholic or Lutheran, ditto aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings. Then I started reading the Bible; and so, then became a Believer. I have been in maybe 500 bible believing churches all over the world and haven't see what you're talking about - except "rejection" of Catholicism. Which yourselves reciprocate for the same reason: doctrine; hopefully not hate. I have a BA in Mathematics and read the Greek New Testament every day.

    Please be aware that words are very easy to say, very hard to take back.

    "Harsh attitudes towards the poor?" Has not "liberalism" destroyed the American family and caused many millions to become/remain poor? Worship "a form of entertainment?" I'll agree with that. I love Jesus Christ and will sing with great joy and emotion (with drums and cymbals - like David) to prove it.

    Evangelicals voted for Santorum in droves while, I believe, Catholics sat home; probably because he was a Republican.

    We need two new parties: One for Evangelicals and one for Catholics. That way we'll get the "numbers" we need in congress - to stop abortion - even though we have such a hard time voting for each other. (Unfortunately these Catholic reps - which I hope increase in number - will keep voting for failed programs to "help" the poor.)

  10. Peter Northcott
    1 year ago

    I agree, Jeffrey Caperton.
    Also, Evangelicalism has also changed out of all recognition since I left it 20 years ago.
    It is now broadly 'Emergent' which is Postmodern and highly relativised. It has become the 'liberalism' and 'social gospel' it so hated, and its 'worship' is either shamanistic or simply a form of entertainment.

    I think Catholics shouldn't go anywhere near them unless they're strong in their faith and at least have a basic grasp of apologetics.

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