Editorial: We Do Not Need a Conservative Revolution. We need a Christian Revolution
When Barack Obama was elected President Sean Hannity began a steady drumbeat of calls for a conservative revolution.
The collapse of Western civilization will not be remedied by 'conservativism' or 'neo-conservativism.' They are inadequate for the task.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) The moment Barack Obama was elected to the Presidency of the United States, Radio/TV commentator Sean Hannity began a steady drumbeat of calls for a "conservative" revolution. Soon, he will release his plan for America. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is leading a group of "conservatives" in releasing what they will call a "Conservative Manifesto" at the CPAC convention next weekend.
As a veteran of efforts to enlist faithful Christians into political, social, and cultural efforts to build a new culture of life I fear we are experiencing another effort to enlist us into a kind of resuscitated "religious right" which will continue false dichotomies such as "fiscal" and "social" conservatives. Only a moral people can ensure that a market economy remains free. The division between social thought and economic application is a false one. The market was made for man and not man for the market.
Make no mistake, I am NOT a liberal. Nor am I what is masquerading as "progressive" these days. I would welcome a debate over whether the so called "right" to reach into wombs and kill our youngest neighbors and to give homosexual practice equal legal status to marriage is really "progressive" at all. I contend that those claiming the label "progressive" are really "regressive."
However, I will leave that debate for another day. I do not want to get distracted in the conspiratorial theories which are the mainstay of another popular conservative radio personality. He seeks on a daily basis to "reveal" the "hidden" progressive agenda as if this is something new. Though some of his insights are valuable, I fear they distract us from the real work of offering an alternative vision of progress - as the Christian Church has always done.
I am 55 years old. An aging "former hippie" whose rejection of the misguided values of a consumerist, secularist culture led me to re-embrace the Catholic Christian faith, I looked forward to hearing one of my favorite old rock groups, the Who, at the Super Bowl. They tried hard to summon up their aging voices at that Half Time Show. I rooted for them. I was struck with the haunting words of one of their songs, "We donīt get Fooled Again." I am afraid we will be fooled again if we buy the idea that a "conservative revolution" is the solution to what is needed in this nation.
The collapse of Western civilization will not be remedied by "conservativism" or "neo-conservativism." They are inadequate for the task. Crippled by the lies of the culture of death and indoctrinated by what Pope Benedict XVI rightly called a "Dictatorship of Relativism", we need so much more. We do not need a "conservative revolution" we need a Christian revolution. It was the Christian Church which gave us the understanding of the dignity of every human person created in the Image of God. From that foundation came the core conviction that we all possess fundamental human rights which were endowed upon us by the God who created us. Those rights are not given by any Civil Government. They must be recognized by Civil Government or it is an unjust government.
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 Western civilization which is found in Christendom. It is the Jewish and Christian vision of the human person, the primacy of marriage and the family founded upon it, and the acknowledgement of the existence of normative, fundamental moral truths, which guarantees the future of Western civilization.
These truths are revealed by the Natural Law and knowable through the exercise of right reason. They have fueled our determined efforts to build truly just societies. They have ensured our survival against totalitarianism of every ilk and every political persuasion. When embraced and welcomed, these principles can properly govern our lives together and help us to form genuinely free societies.
Freedom is a "good" of the human person - not some ethereal disconnected concept. Freedom brings with it obligations to do what is right and true. For example, we have an obligation in solidarity to care for one another and, in particular, to care for the poor. We truly are our brother/sisterīs keeper. However, this effort must be informed by a social ordering principle, the principle of subsidiarity. This principle insists that governance must be exercised at the lowest practicable level, beginning with the family. Larger governing entities must never usurp the rightful role of families and mediating structures.
Statism never works, whether of the rightist or the leftist version. It squelches freedom, creativity, initiative and genuine human compassion. Not because "government" is ...
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