“The pre-eminent issue for our country at this time is healing and coming together.” So said the Catholic Bishop of San Diego Robert McElroy. President Biden expressed similar views in his Inaugural Address when a talked about the need for unity.
I couldn’t disagree more. Without an agreement regarding values and the philosophical and theological foundations upon which those values proceed, there can be no unity. The building blocks upon which all of Western Civilizations have evolved can be found in the concepts of the Natural Law. The Natural Law is defined as “an order written in the hearts of all men made known through the faculties of reason (and if you are a Christian or Jew) through revelation. The Natural Law is relevant when we explore the mysteries of natural science, social and political philosophy, and civil and legal secular scholarship. The Natural Law does not exclusively require an appeal to scripture as Aristotle and the stoics that informed him believed that every human being could grasp moral and physical truths through intellectual reflection.
St. Paul taught “the demands of the law are written in the hearts of all men even those who have not received Devine revelation.” Early Christian philosophers used the ideas of Natural Law as a way of communicating with non-believers. The Law of the Old Testament and the promise of the New Covenant and the fusion of Aristotelian logic in St. Thomas’s Suma Theologica with Judeo Christian thought, were the bases of Enlightenment theory that resulted in our own Declaration of Independence. The basis of Our Founding can be found in scripture and in the writings of the ancient Stoics and Greek philosophers.
I can find no grounds to unify with people who support a political philosophy that rejects the principles our Country’s Founding. Black Lives Matter (BLM) and ANTIFA reject these principles
BLM proudly proclaims its belief that all black Americans should receive a guaranteed minimum income and “free” healthcare, schooling, food, real estate, gender reassignment surgery, and abortion; bring an “an end to all jails” as we know them; disrupt the traditional family; demand reparations on behalf of foreign nations; and form a “global liberation movement” that will “overturn US imperialism [and] capitalism.” —Acton Institute Press
BLM embraces socialistic principles and they believe that the redistribution of resources should be granted exclusively to Black people. Not only are they socialist—they are racist.
The two basic principles of Catholic Social teaching 1st described in Pope Leo’s Rerum Novarum in 1891 incorporate the ideas of SOLIDARITY-“what you do to the least of my brethren you do unto me” and SUBSIDIARITY—that requires the lowest social unit (the family, the tribe the community) —not government—”Am I my brother’s keeper”—yes I am but the government cannot be the agent for helping those on the margins—”Render unto Cesar”. In that encyclical, Pope Leo strongly defended the right of private property and condemned socialism. A century later Pope John Paul in his encyclical “Centesimus Annus” “wrote the free market is the most efficient instrument for utilizing resources and effectively responding to those in need”
He later warned about unjustly excluding those at the margins from the “circle of exchange”. Isn’t that precisely what government social welfare programs do by creating a state of dependency for those in need instead of providing incentives for empowerment?
E Pluribus Unum works only if we share common values. It is precisely those shared values that kept our country together even during and after the Civil War. It is precisely those values that brought us together during our Founding. It is those values that brought us together to stand against Fascism and Communism and all other forms of 20th Century totalitarianism. We must once again embrace those common values if we are ever to unify.
For me, a country that embraces unity at the expense of losing its values and belief in God, is no different than any other Godless totalitarian regime under whatever “ism” it goes by. Without once again embracing the values of our Founding there can be no unity.