Some People Just Need to Stick to Politics 17

There is something in me that likes James Carville. I’m not sure exactly what that is. I certainly do not agree with all of his political views, but I’m sure he’s a really nice and likable guy.

When he says silly things like this, however, I think someone needs to tell him to put a sock in it. Sorry if that was not nice, but… Please, Jim, just stick to politics.

A friend of mine once told me that politics is the thing we talk about the most and know about the least. I am not afraid to admit that his comment was probably aimed directly at me. He might as well have told me, “Just put a sock in it, Jim.” I have been called to task on some of my political statements, even here on this blog. So maybe I need to apologize. Alright, I’m sorry.

I am sorry that the legalized slaughter of infants in their mother’s womb is, de facto, a political topic in this country and that I cannot restrain myself from expressing my views on the matter. I am sorry that so-called social justice Catholics in Carville’s “Let us love one another” camp don’t see the contradiction in using the Gospel in this way to justify their adherence to a political party that actively promotes abortion as a woman’s reproductive right. I’m sorry that so many people are still ignorant about the implications of the HHS Mandate and that this is why I feel the need to get political sometimes.

We are told not to mix religion and politics. If we are associated with some religious organization, we are told to stay out of politics. Yet we are also told that Jesus actually would have supported the political party that openly opposes Church teaching on countless issues and the saddest part of all is that the most vocal among the ones who attack the Church and the Bishops in this country are political Catholics.

Once again, Pope Benedict recently made a very timely statement regarding detractors within the Church. I need to include a caveat and a disclaimer here. I am not comparing anyone with Judas — I mean that. I realize how harsh that comparison is. Please, understand my point is that more people (certainly some Catholic public figures) need to listen to what the Pope is saying and think very hard about it. What would be the best thing for them to do?

“Judas. Judas could have left, as many of the disciples did; indeed, he would have left if he were honest. Instead he remained with Jesus. He did not remain because of faith, or because of love, but with the secret intention of taking vengeance on the Master. Why? Because Judas felt betrayed by Jesus, and decided that he in turn would betray Him. Judas was a Zealot, and wanted a triumphant Messiah, who would lead a revolt against the Romans. Jesus had disappointed those expectations. The problem is that Judas did not go away, and his most serious fault was falsehood, which is the mark of the devil. This is why Jesus said to the Twelve: “One of you is a devil” (John 6.70). We pray to the Virgin Mary, help us to believe in Jesus, as St. Peter did, and to always be sincere with Him and with all people.” — The Pope’s Angelus Message, Sunday, August 26, 2012

If you would like to respectfully disagree, I welcome your opinion. If you think I should stay out of politics, please tell me why.

17 comments

  1. As a catechumen, I hail from a Protestant background where a mix of religious teaching as well as political opinion flowed forth from the pulpit. One of the things I admire about the Catholic Church is her insistence that clergy maintain Mass as Mass, and not a bully pulpit. Experiencing the Holy Eucharist with the totality of every thought focused on Him is a welcome blessing.

    That being said; and understanding that we should render under Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto the Lord what is the Lord’s, there is a time and place when it is most necessary for the Clergy to stand, lead, teach, and minister to all, wholly entrenched within the world of politics. When politics assumes authority over the Church, when politics threaten the ability of His followers to live a life with which He would be pleased, when politics fosters hate and discord, it is very necessary for the Clergy to stand in the gap as a voice of reason. And doing so does not cross some imaginary line of acceptability or appropriateness.

    Thank you for standing up and speaking out. This is precisely why we have leadership; to remind us of our greatest priorities, our most precious commitments, and are most sacred duty. Keeping that focus non-partisan as much as possible is sometimes difficult, dependent upon the partisans, but in light of Archbishop Dolan’s extraordinary closing benediction at the DNC last night, I think all have an exceptional model from which to learn.

    God Bless, and thank you from a clueless newbie for your perspectives, guidance, and ministry.

    • Thank you, Aidan! These are indeed tumultuous times. It’s more than enough to make a “newbie” feel clueless. I don’t think you are clueless, though. Your comment makes it clear to me that you have a balanced and proper perspective on the whole set of issues, as confusing and complicated as things are being presented these days. God bless & welcome to the Church as a catechumen!

  2. Great post, partner.

    I always love the folks that try to disqualify your opinion if you do not match their ideal of what a qualified holder-of-opinions IS: parent (for parenting conversations), soldier (for war topics), female (for abortion) etc.,.

    I guarantee your thoughts on the subject are more learned than theirs, if only because you HAD to listen to their opinion spouted by every talking head on TV and in the paper, every day. You KNOW their opinion, backwards and forwards, by rote.
    In order for you to have a differing view, you had to read and search for the truth elsewhere.

    Logically, disagreeing with the ‘accepted thought’ cannot be illegitimate simply because …it disagrees with the ‘accepted thought': that’s circular reasoning.
    Of course, that may be why Progressives employ it so often.

  3. We have spent too long staying out of politics – look where it has gotten us! I am tired of people who claim to be Catholic (and that includes nuns and Priests) who think they know better than the Church. I don’t agree with Martin Luther, but at least he eventually had the courage to leave the faith he didn’t agree with. I am just grateful it is not my job to determine their eternal salvation, but I certainly pray for them daily. Keep up the good work, someone has to be a voice of reason in this insane world we live in now. God bless you.

    • God bless you, too! And I love your thought here: “I am just grateful it is not my job to determine their eternal salvation, but I certainly pray for them daily.” This is a reminder for us, and it is odd that I was just commenting about this on another blog right before I read your comment. We have to remember what our Lord said: “Blessed are the merciful! The shall be shown mercy.”

  4. I had to wikipedia who James Carville is since I live north of the 49th parallel. Interesting times you’re living down there! Is sticking your nose into politics the same thing as giving an opinion about a government policy that affects one’s personal beliefs? I don’t think so. We have to speak up for our beliefs even if they go against the current political thought. Otherwise, we’ll find ourselves with no voice at all and an increasingly weakened Church. On a related note, here in Canada, the opposition party is set to elect as its leader, a lightweight, Catholic-in-name-only, extremely liberal young man with no proven track record. HIs claim to fame is being the son of a former prime minister, Pierre Trudeau…….the one who abolished all our abortion laws. Interesting times for us, too.

    • Interesting times for the whole world, in fact. England, Ireland, South America, The Philippines…. Where does it end? These are all Catholic countries (except England, of course). Now, apparently, they are all CINO countries — Catholic-in-name-only. I am starting to agree more and more with Benedict. As Ratzinger he basically said, “Start looking forward to the catacombs.” I did not know what to think about that when he first said it. He is still saying it now; and now I am not only starting to see his point, I am starting to think that maybe that won’t be such a bad thing. It’s what kept the Church alive before in history. I hate to sound apocalyptic, but it is what it is, I think. Anyway, 8-Kids, keep up the good fight north of the 49th!

  5. Good post, biltrix! Definitely stay in politics, and continue to mix politics and religion, which is to say: blend all areas of your life into one authentic witness to truth. I hate the pressure today to compartmentalize different facets of life. Having to hide my religion at work–this gives me some insight into how it feels to be gay and not be able to mention your private life so that nobody will know. (an off-track idea that just hit me, back to the subject of politics).
    I note your quote in the comment above “Start looking forward to the catacombs”. When I was in Russia, looking at a totally destroyed, burned, looted, shot-at, village church from the Soviet era, the Orthodox priest leading us commented: “Christians, you are looking at your future.” I thought it a pessimistic, foolish remark at the time, but see more and more truth in it every day.

    • Thank you, Reinkat! I don’t think it was an off-track idea, but rather a noteworthy insight. So allow me to digress.

      Understanding. We need to learn to empathize with people. By we, I mean most of us, including myself. It is not easy to put yourself into another person’s shoes and see and feel things they do.

      When we find ways to relate to others whose perspectives and experiences we do not share, we can love people as they are better. This does not mean that we have to agree with them. But we can appreciate them as persons deserving of love and respect. And when we show that we care, people usually start to reciprocate. We can then move one toward reasonable dialogue and better understanding of one another’s views.

      Don’t get me wrong. I love dogma. But being sternly dogmatic is usually not the best approach to dialoge. Learning to engage in healthy dialogue just might be the thing that will keep our culture from reverting to the catacombs.

  6. I disagree with the whole politics and religion shouldn’t mix saying. Fathers, thank you for speaking up on the moral issues that have somehow become political issues. Abortion is a human issue and a moral issue so speaking up for the unborn is speaking up for their human rights which come from God. When the Church has been silenced or silent in the past/present that has led to tyranny in a number of countries. Speaking out against the HHS mandate is a religious issue as well as a constitutional issue. The Obama administration has targeted religious institutions in which he disagrees with, targeted peoples’ conscience rights, and is violating citizens right to religious freedom which is guaranteed in our Constitution by our Creator. If Obama & Co had any respect for people who disagree with his views he would follow the Constitution and not trample on our rights. It is our duty as citizens to take part in the political process as well as to speak up when our rights are being unjustly violated. God Bless.

    • I can only agree with what you are saying, Teresa, and would like to add that not only has “the Obama administration… targeted religious institutions in which he disagrees with, targeted peoples’ conscience rights, and is violating citizen’s right to religious freedom which is guaranteed in our Constitution by our Creator;” they have also incited throngs of pundits and people on the streets (so to say) to chime in with them. In doing so, they have taken anti-Christian bigotry to outrageous new levels in this country. I really can’t blame people too much who “know not what they do.” The question I find myself repeatedly asking is, here, are we dealing with the Pied Piper or the Emperor with no clothes?

    • You’re the best, Arkansas friend! Congratulations for on the award and thank you for the honor. I’ll be traveling for the next couple of days and hope to have the gratification post up and pass the award forward soon. God bless!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s