An article published in the April 2012 issue of “In These Times” asks in its title “Will Catholic Bishops Be GOP Pawns?” and warns in the subtitle “The Church and Evangelicals are finding common ground”.
The author suggests that American Catholic leaders ought to concentrate more on promoting the cause of “economic justice” rather than upon so-called cultural issues that have been thrust to the forefront of the American civic dialog over the course of the past several decades dealing with matters such as abortion and homosexuality.
But what the author fails to realize is that, in terms of Christian doctrine, the shared stance between conservative Evangelicals and traditionalist Catholics are more clearly spelled out in the pages of Scripture than something more nebulous such as “social or economic justice”.
For example, the Ten Commandments bluntly declare “Thou shalt not commit murder”. Murder is defined as the taking of an innocent human life.
Nefarious factions profiting from the practice, especially if they have seared their own consciences, might insist vociferously otherwise. But abortion is undeniably a form of murder.
Likewise, marriage is clearly defined in the pages of the Bible. The old adage derived from the Genesis account is that God did not make Adam and Steve, He made Adam and Eve.
Those preferring their Biblical exegesis with more of a distinction of solemnity are not left without textual support from the pages of Holy Writ. Mark 10:7-8 extols, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Revelation does not say man and man or wife and wife.
If there are those that prefer living this way that want to go off and shack up together, that raises a whole other interpretative argument as to what good Christians ought to do if anything. However, those deliberately deciding to go off into such sin should not expect religious and social institutions to extend the same degree of cultural blessing as to those entering into sanctified matrimonial partnership. And this applies also to heterosexual couples living together without authorization of either clergy or state.
The issue of so-called economic and social justice is not quite as clear cut. It is pretty obvious whether or not an individual has been murdered and which relationships are not homosexual. However, there are various interpretations as to which policies will be the most effective at ameliorating the suffering of the poor.
It is not so much that American Protestants or Catholics of a more individualist or free market orientation want to increase the misery of the downtrodden or fail to comprehend the suffering that can be inflicted by excessively complicated institutions. It is precisely because religionists of a more distinctively Americanist perspective do understand profoundly threats posed by behemoth bureaucracies that those of such a worldview endeavor to limit power from whatever social sphere such intrusions might originate.
One aphorism, possibly attributable to Rush Limbaugh, posits that it is easy to be charitable with other people’s money. While one may earn a good reputation for being concerned for the poor when calling for increased public spending, it isn’t really going to crimp the lifestyle of elites calling for it if their taxes are increased should such policy proposals and rhetorical suggestions actually be put into practice.
Most levelheaded people, no doubt even a few American Roman Catholic bishops among them, have a hard time swallowing and complying with these exhortations to give more sacrificially when those higher up the ecclesiastical flow chart can’t seem to keep straight the funds on the books of the Institute For The Works Of Religion also commonly referred to as the “Vatican Bank”. It has been argued that over $100 million has been embezzled from or laundered through the institution in a variety of scandals.
So should globalist planners — both sacred or secular — be successful in compelling regular people to surrender more of what we own, in all likelihood it will no more go to alleviate the suffering of the downtrodden than it already does.
There are certain universal truths that transcend traditional divisions within the broader Christian faith. Those redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb irrespective of on what side of this divide they stand must prioritize what transgressions of the moral law are more egregious than others.
By Frederick Meekins