I am a Catholic Laymen. I have never been trained formally in Catholic Apologetics. I read the Bible and Catechism and discuss theological issues with my Catholic Priest stepbrother who lives currently in Sardinia. There is no question in our minds that Evangelical and Catholic Churches have been singled out by progressive activists. The response by many churches including a disappointingly few Catholic Bishops has been to try to find common ground in the name of “PEACE”. In John 14:27 Jesus informs us that the peace we all seek is a different kind of peace than the world can give us.
In Mathew 10:21 Jesus states that He will put brother against brother and fathers against sons. In Luke 12:21 Jesus tells us He comes not to bring peace but to divide. Our church leaders are being called on today to compromise their principles in the name of “social justice” and “equity”. It is precisely because of this desire for “peace and compromise” that our faith is under attack today. In my opinion, the weakened compromised Church (and church) is the number one cause of the moral demise of our culture and families. Peace is a process. There will always be those who claim utopian peace can be facilitated by secular constructs—government. As our Founders, The Prophets, Church Fathers realized there will always be a need for government as long as there is a single person who cannot find peace in their own heart. Peace comes from within and is not coerced from without. Virtue is the predicate for good government and for peace. Without a virtuous people there can be neither. The ancient Hebrews found this to be the case over and over again even when theocratic totalitarian regimes were the order of the day. Governments are only as good as the people they serve.
My favorite Catholic Apologetic is Mr. Trent Horn. Over the past years he has written many times on the subject of “Socialism and Christianity”. The two are antithetical to each other and cannot coexist together. He recently opined— “Societal injustices are the result of deeper moral evils like greed, envy, indifference and selfishness”. When we simply try to reorder society so people aren’t poor, we will not eliminate any of these human vices and people will remain poor.”
Some socialists who claim to be Christian look to government as a solution to society’s problems. In the history of the world, utopian promises have never been kept. The poor become poorer. The oligarchs become richer. The power of the bureaucrats and commissars makes them even more susceptible to evil and greed and the problems they promise to fix become greater. A Universal Principle of Catholicism, Christian, and Enlightenment thinking is the concept of “Subsidiarity”. This is the idea that matters should be handled by the smallest least centralized component of authority. Parents should have authority over their children and themselves for example. Neighborhoods, local communities (Parishes in the Church) local government should always be deferred to when possible. Mitigation strategy for the dreaded Covid-19 should be personal and self-directed—thought I’d throw that one in for fun.
Problems inappropriately addressed by the practitioners of social justice like equity and poverty are best addressed remembering the principle of “subsidiarity”. Nowhere in the Old or New Testaments is it suggested that government should be the conduit or mechanism for addressing problems of poverty or equity. These are addressed by looking into our own hearts and finding solutions at the lowest common levels. Aid to the poor should never be a way for government to gain control over individuals and families. Charity should be rendered preferentially to those who have been rendered incapacitated by physical limitations of birth or physical or mental injuries of life. Families and communities should be at the center of addressing these unique issues. For the majority of the poor, restricting charity only to the immediate needs of food, shelter, and health care doesn’t address the main problem. There are 10% fewer people living under conditions of poverty today than there were at the beginning of the millennium. Why? The primary improvement for the conditions of the world’s poor today is not so much our giving of what they needed or wanted, but rather teaching them how to have access to the means of production and distribution that allows them to enter into relationships with those who have already learned how not to be poor. As Notre Dame Professor James Schall states and I paraphrase— By teaching people how to be productive and not be poor, the utopian promises of “liberation social theory” will fall on deaf ears. Unfortunately there will always be those able bodied who want “free stuff”—See what St. Paul says about this in his letter to the Thessalonians Chapter 2.
Social justice—liberation theology—its many cousins—BLM, CRT, ANTIFA —any of the “aims” —progressivism, communism, fascism, socialism, are not empowering. They have no bases in Christianity. Atheism is a common theology to them all. The very reason Christianity is under attack today by those on the left is because the answer to their argument of centralized totalitarian subservience of man, is the Judeo-Christian arguments of “freedom under God”. Freedom can at times be messy, but it most of all is empowering. Problems of equality, poverty, distributions of material assets have always and will continue to be best handled by societies that value liberty over subservience. With liberty there is always hope for a better future. With totalitarianism there is only despair—with the promise of a never to be utopia. God’s promise is that He will help those who work and live to help themselves. Totalatarianists promise: “Only I can help you—the victim” Which promise do you find hopeful and empowering? Today at this place and time we have a choice. I hope my children and grandchildren have that same choice.
MAGA “Fight Like Hell”