Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

11/26/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

At a level much deeper than political labels, we are experiencing a clash of worldviews and competing definitions of human freedom

I am afraid we will be fooled again if, after this election, we buy the idea that conservatism is the solution to what is needed in this Nation - and in the West. The collapse of Western civilization will not be remedied by conservativism. Political movements alone are inadequate for the task.

Inside of Catholic Church, Quebec City

Inside of Catholic Church, Quebec City

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/26/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: progressive, liberal, conservative, neo-conservative, Democrat, Republisb, freedom, politics, just society, social justice, government, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - In the aftermath of the US Presidential election the Monday morning quarterbacks are out in full force. I write to address a deeper  concern. We must be wary of any attempt to equate a political label with being a Christian - including the label conservative. 

Make no mistake, I am not a political liberal. Nor am I what is masquerading as a political progressive these days. I have long contended that there is nothing progressive about contemporary political progressives.

The judicial manufacture of a right to reach into wombs and kill our youngest neighbors is not progressive. Judicial and legislative efforts to give practicing homosexual paramours equal legal status to marriage is not progressive.

Denying the Right to the Free Exercise of Religion, the "First Freedom" in the American tradition, is not progressive. It is a threat to the very foundation of all of our freedoms.

Catholic Christians know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ demands a response which goes beyond the walls of our Church buildings. We are our brother and sister's keeper. We do not reach out to people in need because they are Catholic, we reach out to people in need because we are Catholic.

No HHS regulation will compel us to violate our deeply held religious beliefs. Neither can a Presidential administration compel us to stop caring for the poor, the sick and the needy. Clearly, the next few months are leading to an historic Church/State showdown in the United States of America.

At a level much deeper than political labels, we are experiencing a clash of worldviews and competing definitions of human freedom, human flourishing, human progress and what constitutes a truly just and human social order. The positions espoused - and lifestyles affirmed - as progressive by some using the term as a political label turn the clock back on progress.

I will soon be 58 years old. In some ways I am still just an aging "former hippie" whose rejection of the misguided values of a consumerist, secularist, narcissistic, hedonist, instrumentalist and nihilist culture led me to re-embrace the Catholic Christian faith as the true alternative culture when I was a much younger man. 

Recently, while in line at Starbucks for coffee, I heard a young couple comment on a CD offered for sale on the counter rack. It featured the best hits of the rock group "The Who", taken from their long musical career.  The cover was a photo of the Who I remembered from when I first began listening to them.

The young man said to his girlfriend, "can you believe that is the Who. I can't believe they looked like that." I smiled and chimed in, "That's them, I remember it well". We all smiled.  However, as I left with my coffee I recalled the words from one of their songs which haunts me these days, "We don´t get Fooled Again."

I am afraid we will be fooled again if, after this election, we buy the idea that conservatism is the solution to what is needed in this Nation - and in the West. The collapse of Western civilization will not be remedied by conservativism. Political movements alone 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 much more. We do not need a conservative movement we need a classical Christian revival. 

It was the Christian Church that gave the West its foundational conviction that every human person has dignity because we are all created in the Image of God. From that foundation came the bedrock belief that we all possess fundamental human rights which are endowed upon us by the God who created us.

These rights are not given by any Civil Government - and they  cannot be taken away by any civil government. These rights must be recognized by Civil Government or it is an unjust government.

The American founders carried this 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 once called Christendom.

It is only a recovery of the Jewish and Christian vision of the dignity of every human person, the primacy of true marriage and the family and the acknowledgement of the existence of normative, fundamental moral truths which can be known by all - and should govern our life together - which will guarantee the future of Western civilization.

These truths are revealed by the Natural Law and knowable through the exercise of right reason. They  fueled our understanding of a just sociey. They ensured our survival against totalitarianism of every ilk and every political persuasion. 

When embraced and welcomed, these principles will again help us to rebuild a genuinely free society. 

Freedom is a "good" of the human person - not some ethereal disconnected concept. Freedom has a moral foundation which brings with it obligations to do what is right, good and true. Choosing what is always and everywhere wrong does not increase freedom, it leads to bondage and erodes freedom.

We need to be responsible for our freedom. 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/sister´s keeper.

However, discharging this obligation should be informed by a social ordering principle, the principle of subsidiarity. This principle insists that governance 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 it is of the rightist or the leftist version. They both meet one another at the back door, shutting that door on true human progress. Statism squelches freedom, creativity, initiative and stunts genuine human compassion.

But that is not because "government" is evil - it is not. Whether government is good is dependent upon who is doing the governing. Also, where it happens (at the lowest practicable level) and whether such governance reflects the objective moral values which must inform and limit its role.

Good government does not begin with the isolated individual. In the words of the first book of the Bible we read "it is not good for man to be alone". It begins with the family and moves outward in circles. We can only be fully human - and experience human flourishing and freedom - in relationship with one another.

We are by nature - and by grace - social creatures.

We need a revival of the classical Christian vision which helped to birth both Western culture and the American experiment in ordered liberty. We need a new freedom movement. This new freedom movement must proclaim an authentic vision of human freedom - not libertinism masquerading as liberty or a selfish individualism which rejects our obligation to one another.

It must insist that some choices are always and everywhere wrong because there is a moral foundation to freedom. What is right and what is wrong is written on the human heart. For example, we all know it is always wrong to kill an innocent neighbor. That is not a proper exercise of freedom.

This is true even if that neighbor lives in the first home of the whole human race, the womb. We can no longer hide abortion behind Orwellian language such as choice and loaded newspeak such as "abortion rights".  Abortions do not have rights, people do. Every procured abortion denies a person the fundamental human right to life.

Ultrasound technology uncovers the lie every day. Medical science has confirmed what our consciences long ago told us, even if we tried to hide their voice. Procured abortion is barbarism. Legalizing it does not free us, it enslaves and dehumanizes us.

The secularist censors want to denigrate truth claims - such as the fundamental dignity of every human life and our defense of marriage and the family and society founded upon it. They do so by calling them all "religious positions" rather than accepting that there are moral norms which are objectively true. 

They then insist that these positions are not appropriate for public policy or political discourse. Their goal is to keep our truth claims within our Church Walls through an incorrect interpretation of the Free Exercise of Religion which results in the persecution of believers. 

There is a difference between a "secular" State, a State which welcomes all religious expressions, or none at all; a State which is not identified with one religious institution - and "secularism", an oppressive anti-religious regime which seeks to censor out of the public forum the wonderful contributions of the Church and of the great ideas informed by faith.

There is a Cultural Revolution underway which threatens not only Christians but all freedom loving people. There are two conflicting visions of the human person, human freedom, human flourishing and marriage and the family contending for the future. These visions are incompatible with one another. Only one will triumph.

The collapse of our Nation and the West can be averted; but only through the influence of the Christian Church and her allies. It is the Christian vision of the person, the family and the common good which will pave the way for a recovery of freedom.

It is the Christian vision which will pave the way to true progress. Christianity is the antidote to the descent into barbarism arising out of the current neo-paganism masquerading as liberation.

We have lived through word games which portend the creeping oppression of dangerous and inhuman regimes in the last few decades. The misuse of the word progressive is another example of " what the late, great C.S. Lewis in his "Studies in Words" called verbicide.

There is a concerted effort to paint those who adhere to orthodox Christianity as "backward." Nothing could be farther from the truth. We are the true progressives.

It has been the contributions of Christianity throughout modern history, such as its´ insistence on the inherent and inviolable dignity and worth of every human person, which has set people - and cultures- free from the bondage of totalitarianism and produced true human progress.

It has been the truths proclaimed by the Christian Church which have brought down errant philosophies that enslaved Nations. It has been a Christian world view and anthropology that has  advanced true human liberation. It will again be the Church that leads the world to a future of real progress - because she is its champion.

We do not need conservatism, we need a classical Christian revival.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More U.S.

No Phony Truces in the Battle to Block Most Anti-Life, Liberal Court in a Generation

Image of The United States Supreme Court

By J. Kenneth Blackwell

While much of our attention is on the Presidential race, the looming battle over a Supreme Court nomination merits no less attention.  The battle lines are clear in this nomination and the future of the Court and our Constitutional principles are at ... continue reading


Fr Frank Pavone - Amoris Laetitia: Pope Francis' Encouraging Roadmap for Families Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

Amoris Laetitia is a timely and loving exhortation for families towards genuine charity that begins within the nuclear family. It can be described as a new road-map for a culture that has taken a sad and tragic detour. The Joy of Love recognizes women's ... continue reading


Catherine of Siena: We Need Saints for this Missionary Age Watch

Image of Today, in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar, we commemorate one of the greatest women saints of Christian history, Catherine of Siena.  While praying at Peter's tomb, she experienced the great weight of the Church fall on her shoulders.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Father, raise up women like Catherine of Siena for this new missionary age of your Church. Women who are so in love with you, and so conformed to the Image of your Son, they can do for your Church in this hour, what she did in her own. Saints are a gift for the ... continue reading


Christian student shockingly dropped from master's program for practicing religious rights Watch

Image of Andrew Cash was discriminated against for practicing his religious rights (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Andrew Cash practiced his religious rights at Missouri State University - and was dismissed from the master's program in counseling as a result. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic News Agency, Cash was referring same-sex couples to another ... continue reading


Not a newsflash, U.S. government authorized use of propaganda on American people...in 2013. Here's who to blame Watch

Image of Obama signed the amendment into law in 2013.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Does the news seem a little too pro-American to you? Does it seem reporters pull punches and that the real issues are ignored? Perhaps that's the result of a quiet change to the law that took place in 2013. A law banning the use of government propaganda on the American ... continue reading


The cost of incarceration: What can we do? Watch

Image of What can we do about overpopulated prisons and ex-cons' ability to find work (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)?

By Matt Hadro (CNA)

Experts from across the political spectrum are calling for criminal justice reform, as a new White House report shows the human and economic costs of the current justice system. Washington D.C. (CNA) - "This is a singular moment in one of the most challenging issues ... continue reading


Sickening portrayal of Jesus pinned to a dartboard presented as art in university library Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An appalling portrayal of Jesus plastered to a dartboard was posted up as artwork inside the Art Library at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "art piece," titled "Vitruvian Man," shows Jesus nailed to the dartboard ... continue reading


Which bathroom should you use? And why is this a question? Watch

Image of Figuring out which restroom to use isn't supposed to be a dilemma.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The American people are seemingly obsessed with public restrooms these days and precisely how people use the potty. The fear is being stoked by concerns that individuals who "self-identify" as the opposite sex, will take advantage of liberal policies and assault ... continue reading


Prayer Is the Path to Real Freedom Watch

Image of Prayer is the lifeline of a Christian

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Jesus said to his disciples: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. CHESAPEAKE, VA. ... continue reading


Why is Obama now sending 250 MORE troops to Syria? Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack Obama will be sending more troops to the Middle East.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

U.S. President Barack Obama announced 250 more special operations forces are to be deployed to Syria within the next few weeks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  Obama stated: "Just as I approved additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL, I've decided to ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 16:1-10
1 From there he went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra, where there was a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,2 ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:18-21
18 If the world hates you, you must realise that it hated me before it ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 30th, 2016 Image

St. Pius V, Pope
April 30: Pope from 1566-1572 and one of the foremost ... Read More