Sunday, August 12, 2012

HOW CAN SOMETHING SO GOOD BE SO BAD? THE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE OF WOMEN RELIGIOUS AND THEIR GOOD WORKS AND BAD FAITH




My comments first: Pictured is Catholic priest, Father Dwight Longenecker, with his wife, children and the former Bishop of Charleston, Bishop Baker, who accepted a post in 2006 as Chaplain to St Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina. This brought him and his family back, not only to his hometown, but also to the American Bible belt, and hometown of Bob Jones University. In December 2006 he was ordained as a Catholic priest under the special pastoral provision for married former Anglican clergy. He now serves as parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Greenville.


He has some very interesting comments on the "liberally radicalized Leadership Conference of Women Religious" on his blog. The vast majority of Women's Religious Orders who won the hearts, minds and imaginations of countless, Catholics, Protestants, atheists and even Hollywood because of their Religious Commitment to Catholicism, their work in Catholic Schools and other institutions to serve the needy, their distinctive habits, spirituality and Catholic Faith, abandoned that which brought them to the pinnacle of respect worldwide for a radicalized form of being "nuns" that is part and parcel of our secular culture's move to fierce individualism and self-determination.

In other words, liberal nuns have become entrepreneurs in helping the poor and promoting the secular culture's radical feminism and post Christian ethos. How can this be and is it good for them and the Church?

Well, today's radicalized nuns are NOT IN ANY SHAPE, FORM OR STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION your "father or mother's" sisters and should not in anyway be confused with what nuns were and did up until the early post-Vatican II era in the late 1960's. Today's version is not in any way related to that.

Yes, these sisters do good works, except where they tear down the institutional Catholic Church and her teachings regarding the sanctity of life of every child conceived. But why should that bother us? Oh, and yes, they like post-Catholic ritual that boarders on Wiccan ideology and strange philosophies. But heck, let them do that, they help the poor, downtrodden and neglected. But so does the Salvation Army and the Shriner's.

Read Fr. Longnecker's take on it:



Is Liberalism dead? Ross Douthat comments HERE on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the decline of liberal Christianity. It’s a speculative piece which highlights the chasm that now exists within all forms of liberal Christianity and historic Christianity. I’ve written on the subject a few months ago HERE. This divide yawns not only within the Catholic Church, but within most of the Protestant denominations as well.

It’s a divide between those who view Christianity as a human, historical construct which may (and must) adapt itself to the current trends within society, and those who believe the Christian religion is revealed by God for the salvation of the world through his Son Jesus Christ–and that this is an eternal and immutable gospel which only changes and adapts in minor and superficial ways.

In many ways the term ‘Liberal’ is a misnomer, for what we call ‘Liberalism’ is really better termed ‘Progressivism’ or ‘modernism’. These terms are more precise because the belief in the beatitude of progress is at the heart of liberal religion and the classic term for this many headed heresy is ‘modernism’.

We should be clear, the problem with the Catholic sisters who are in revolt is that they are modernist. Too many of them have abandoned what we might call ‘the old, old story’–the story of mankind’s creation by a loving God, his fall from grace, the curse of original sin and the redemption of the world by Our Lord Jesus Christ. They’ve substituted social work, causes for justice and peace and now a wacky new age spirituality which many of them wish would take them ‘beyond Church and beyond Jesus’. Their keynote speaker was Barbara Marx Hubbard–a new age thinker who promotes ‘conscious evolution.’

I have commented before on this sickness within Christianity. There are many theories about what the smoke of Satan’ in the church might be. I believe it is this: the insidious fumes of modernism–which dilutes the supernatural, doubts Sacred Scripture, denies the efficacy of the sacraments and denigrates the authority of Christ in his Church. The paradox of the present situation, as Douthat points out, is that the very agenda of liberal Christianity would not be possible without the ‘old, old story’.

The trendy sisters of today were grounded in the old time religion of supernatural and saving Catholicism. Their spirituality and understanding of the faith was rooted in the need for salvation, the forgiveness of sins and Christ’s saving work. They were brought up on a diet of prayer and humility and sacrifice and service that grew out of a traditional Christian religion.

Like other protesters they have departed from the old way, but without the old way they would have no way. Like Protestants who’s identity is caught up with the fact that they are NOT Catholic, the modernist sisters only seem to have an identity when they are in protest against the ‘old patriarchal Catholic Church.’ Their protest gives them purpose. Once that rebellious rage diminishes their identity diminishes, and if they have nothing to live for other than that protest movement how will they attract new vocations?

The irony is that they now work hard for the poor and to promote peace and justice, and they do so from a background of real Christianity. However, can they continue their work without that real Christianity? Can their good work with the poor and their advocacy for peace and justice stand without religion? Of course it can. That’s why young women quite rightly look at them and say, “If I want to be a social worker or a care giver or a school teacher I can do that without being a nun thank you very much.” What the modernist sisters have done therefore, is to put themselves out of a job.

That’s why other young women (like the Nashville Dominicans, the Sisters of the Renewal, Poor Clares and Sisters of Life) who want to follow Christ through a religious calling are donning traditional habits and learning how to pray again and are returning to full blown, unapologetic Catholicism. They are saying, “You can teach and do social work without the Catholic faith–but not for long. We want to be fully Catholic, fully professed sisters and fully involved in Christ’s work with the poor, the uneducated and the needy.

A few years ago the Vatican launched an investigation into the seminaries in the United States. Very quietly and efficiently the powers that be went through and asked questions, got answers and tried to clean things up. They tried to root out theological modernism and the endemic croneyism and the ‘pink mafia’. Now the seminaries are starting to fill up again. Maybe, just maybe the present purification of the women’s orders will eventually have the same effect.

If it does not, then the women’s orders that have gone the way of modernism will either die out or cease to be Catholic.

26 comments:

Gene said...

For anyone who wants the short version...they're the enemy.

Joseph Johnson said...

Once again, it reminds me of the time, back in the 1990's, when the new Catechism of the Catholic Church first came out and I was telling our unhabited sister, then DRE at St. Joseph, Waycross, how I thought it would help clarify and straighten things out, reunifying the Church. Her exact words in response to me were, "That Catechism is what divides us."

This was also during the time that I was back and forth from our Diocese and the Diocese of Little Rock (where they had a daily Tridentine Mass--which I was very excited about and very ready to talk about). The then bishop of that Diocese, Bishop McDonald (formerly of our Diocese) had just made one of his priests a monsignor, giving him the purple cassock (and the right to also wear the black one with red buttons and piping). In this same conversation (about the Catechism), that sister told me in no uncertain terms that I didn't know what I was talking about and that we didn't have monsignors being named anymore and they certainly didn't wear those special cassocks anymore. She spoke adamantly (as if she was getting angry) and insistently. I tried to maintain composure and be respectful but I knew she was wrong and I refused to concede the point. I guess we both then at least knew where we each stood.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Joseph, I have horror stories of this sort as well but am so embarrassed by what I've heard "modernist" nuns think and say that I can't repeat them here without my blood pressure shooting through the roof. I'm of the generation who were taught by habited nuns, watch their transition to being "post Catholic" led by this sham of an Vatican organization called the LCWR. Many of the sister who endured the cross of this transition and do so bitterly, but privately shed many tears. Many of them left religious life in the 1960's and 70's because it became the antithesis of what their founders envisioned and the reason why they had joined to begin with. The modernist nuns were more than happy to see the traditional minded one depart. The same was true in the seminary in this same period. Traditional or conservative candidates were persecuted and usually by feminists nuns and the priests who loved them or wore dog collars and leashes for these sisters. The modernist persecution of traditional Catholicism in the post-Vatican II Church is a story that needs a movie.

Joseph Johnson said...

Father,
As I may have told you before, I too was educated by habited (Franciscan) sisters from the first grade until I finished the fifth grade in 1972. When I was in the first and second grades, the sisters were still in the full habits (like Mother Angelica's order now wears) but they wore white ones during the hot months. They then changed to the "modified" habits for their final years at St. Joseph Academy in Waycross, which operated with lay teachers from 1972 until it closed later in the 1970's.

I still use some of their teaching methods for explaining the Faith to my PRE students. If we still had such a school today, my daughters would be there.

Joseph Johnson said...

Father,
By the way, isn't it very interesting and exciting to see that we now have two Catholic candidates for vice president who have very different views on what and how much of their Faith they bring into their decision-making in public life (eg. Biden is pro abortion rights and Ryan is pro-life)?

Aonymous 2 said...

It is indeed interesting, Joseph, especially as Biden and Ryan are also split over other matters in the social teaching of the Church, the Bishops have condemned Ryan’s budget and, until his recent purported disavowals, Ryan was an ardent disciple of the atheist Ayn Rand. As I have said before, all this presents serious difficulties for those of us who accept all of the Church’s teaching and who seek conscientiously to follow the guidance of the Bishops in Faithful Citizenship, which not all followers of this Blog apparently see the need to do.

For those who do take all of the Church’s teaching seriously, however, and do not just pick and choose on the grounds that some of it is “illegitimate” or for some other reason, it requires the exercise of practical wisdom in evaluating whether, and how, it may be possible to negate Biden’s {and the Administration's) pro-choice position as well as Ryan’s anti-social teaching positions, in light of the separation of powers.

One thing is for sure. The choice of Ryan as VP nominee is likely to throw the issues into sharp relief, both for Catholics, and for the nation as a whole, and the election holds the promise of focusing on fundamental philosophical differences instead of superficial matters. Now, if they could just stop the mudslinging and behave like grown-ups. . . We can hope.

Joseph Johnson said...

Anonymous 2,
As to the social teaching split, I was also thinking of this difference as I wrote my short comment but did not mention it as I personally see more room for prudential debate on the practical application on this issue as opposed to the pro-life issue, which is much more clear cut.

For more on this, see Rorate Caeli's recent article (about the second one down today) entitled "Politics: Papal Reminders An Out of Control Welfare State Leads to Out of Control Spending" This article merely quotes the writings of Pope Pius IX and Pope John Paul II on this subject.

Gene said...

The Bishops' response to Ryan is predictable. It is time for the Church to stop enabling the welfare state and the so-called "poor" in this country and tell them to take up their pallet and walk. There is nothing Christian or charitable about keeping an entire class of people enslaved to the Democratic plantation and the race/class baiting hucksters in the Dem party.

Anonymous 2 said...

Thanks for the reference, Joseph, which I have now read. I agree that abuses and excesses in the social assistance programs must be addressed, that subsidiarity should be respected and properly and realistically applied, and that prudence should be exercised in lieu of ideology (whether of the Left or the Right). Also, to respond to Gene’s point, integral human development requires the development of a genuine sense of self-responsibility rather than a sense of entitlement and dependence on a nanny state.

That said, the candidates need to get beyond ideology and slogans and mudslinging and get on with fashioning a genuinely wise approach focused on the true common good. Here is my own formula for public policy making again for what little it is worth:

“[G]et short-term political calculation out of it, get partisan bickering out of it, get ideology and money out of it, and get on with fixing the problem and fashioning a smart ________ policy based on the very best objective information we can obtain."


I am not holding my breath, although we must live in hope!



Henry Edwards said...

Anonymous 2,

The fact that Biden is pro-abortion and Ryan is anti-abortion surely trumps any other comparison of their moral positions.

However, if one is himself well-informed about the Church's social teachings, then a reading of Ryan's Georgetown statement

http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/26/full-text-of-paul-ryans-remarks-at-georgetown-university/

might suggest that he understands and practices it better than Biden, and perhaps better than our U.S. bishops.

Gene said...

Well, Anon 2, I certainly agree, but it will never happen because it makes too much sense.

rcg said...

A2, I don't have a problem with the economic 'philosophy of Ayn Rand as it relates to Government any more than I have a problem with Horatio Alger's stories. If anything it shows how we could find some common ground with secularists in proper government.

Similarly, I do not think the Bishops have corrected what got them in the current political fight: they have a political philosophy that led to this exact point and will reenact itself if they don't review all of their positions.

rcg said...

About the LCWR: there are many people who do good acts and do not accept the Church's Truth. There are very few who took vows to the Church, then disavowed it publicly. The LCWR are despicable for their betrayal of their vows, not their beliefs.

Anonymous 2 said...

Many thanks for the link, Henry.

It was a very good speech, rhetorically, I think. I am not so sure about the substance, of course, because I suspect many of the assumptions are questionable. But so, I suspect, are many of the assumptions made by the incumbents. One hopes, then, that those assumptions will be thoroughly questioned and probed during the next few months, preferably in the quixotic spirit I suggest above.

If I may continue my tilting at windmills, some of the relevant factors for me as a non-partisan voter who is seeking to vote as a conscientious Catholic will be:

(1) Have the candidates clearly, and honestly, articulated their goals?

(2) Have they clearly, and honestly, articulated the means they propose to achieve those goals?

(3) How do these goals and means relate to our Catholic understanding of the common good?

(4) In light of the likely configuration of Republican-Democrat representation in the House and the Senate, which presidential ticket promises to maximize the common good?

Regarding factor (4), for example, if the Republicans have a majority or a blocking minority in the Senate, then presumably an Obama Administration would be unable to have a pro-choice nominee for the Supreme Court confirmed and would have to put forward a candidate acceptable to the Senate, if indeed it puts one forward at all. Similarly, if the litigation challenging the health care mandate as contrary to the free exercise clause holds good promise of success, then that problem is also neutralized.

Of course, such calculations are only relevant if one considers that one or both parties are guilty of unwise ideological or other extremism and if one wants to neutralize that extremism and instead compel the parties to start behaving like grown- ups and working together to address the people’s business.

There has been much concern about Obama as a possible “socialist.” I really do hope there will be as much concern about Ryan as a possible “Ayn Randian.” And I hope that he can meet the burden of persuasion he has created for himself by his previous pronouncements supporting her ideology and his actions in distributing her works to his staff. I understand why Ayn Rand reacted as she did given what the Bolsheviks did to her family and their business. But she went too far to the other extreme, I fear, and ended up in a place that can fairly be described as diabolical, for she said things about Jesus and Christians that we would expect our great Enemy to say. So that is in response to you also, rcg.

This is a very important election and, as you can probably tell, I am quite troubled about it.



rcg said...

A2, I could survive more easily with a Randian than a Socialist. For starters, Randians are honest. The most Catholic of all candidates was Rick Santorum who is nearly worthless as a leader. Even if we could live in a totally catholic country w would still have people like Biden, the Kennedys, Cuomo, etc. Even a pro-life candidate may not be able to balance a cheque book. The problem is that any of these polices, as baby sitting services, are bad for our country and bad for us as individuals. I am not sold on Romne/Ryan, but I am not going to make my decision based on their pro-life position alone. For example, if they were all pro-abortion I would see if they were at least willing to tolerate and allow for free exercise of pro-life views and practices. It is through the conversion of our society that we become actually pro-life and not simply totalitarian proscriptive. For removing the choice removes the chance for the person to invite Grace. It is a paradox, but it s what saves us and elevates us.

Anonymous 2 said...

rcg and Henry,

One additional thought. Leaving aside for the moment Ayn Rand's attacks on religion and Jesus Christ, what troubles me the most potentially about the Romney-Ryan ticket is that Ayn Rand exalted the self and self-interest as the supreme value. I don't think it is possible to get less Catholic and less Christian than that. So, if that value system will inform the Romney-Ryan ticket, it is a real problem for me, as I hope you can understand.

Regarding Ayn Rand's views in general, here is a link for the 1959 Mike Wallace interview with her. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a version that included the entire interview without the usual tiresome inappropriate comments. I refrain from comment myself and let the interview speak for itself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ooKsv_SX4Y&feature=related

Does anyone have any insights or reassurance to offer? I would certainly welcome them. My own current inclination is to think that Catholics are called at this critical time to seek the true common good and to witness to the truth of our faith against the untruth of secularism and selfishness in all its forms, whether on the Left or on the Right.

Gene said...

Anon 2, "Possible socialist?" Why do you want to soft-peddle it? Just 'cause he doesn't wear a sweat shirt with a big "S" on it doesn't mean anything.
I don't give a damn for Rand or Obama. She is a mega-humanist and he is a Leftist hack whose strings are pulled by Soros and others.
Oh, did you know Rand was nuts...

rcg said...

She was a proponent of enlightened self interest. She did not perennially follow that doctrine for she used those around her as personal servants. Consider Thomas Jefferson and compare his writings and 'philosophy' to much of what he did personally.

The one clear problem among Objectivists is their cult of personality that surrounds Ayn Rand. I am very skeptical that her ideas are coherent or comprehensive enough to qualify as a philosophy. Despite her best efforts Objectivism has become essentially a religion that must not have a god lest it compete with their founder for attention. Also, the goal of Objectivism is be Right and correct, objectively. They consider the human mind as essentially unlimited. This is where her ideas flirt with fascism.

In the most narrow sense, however, her idea of a free society with limited government is worthy of use. The rest dissolves upon contact with air.

Catholic Social Doctrine has similar issues in a different direction when one considers that whole swaths of society are essentially still infants and unable to care for themselves without massive welfare structures. So, is Socialism or even Communism the best and most practical manifestation of Christ's teachings? One shudders to think where we might be if Engels had found God in his search of the heavens.

Politics is the search for the practical, not the perfect. Frozen to inaction by the lack of the perfect choice for yourself you will be handed the favourite choice of others. We don't participate enough in our Government up front when it counts and are disappointed with the choices we have when it is almost over. Participating means keeping the elected officials under constant pressure to reach a broader practical solution. This can mean not passing a law at all, which is a novel thought these days.

So you might consider voting for the group that you feel is influenceable by you and your group.

Anonymous 2 said...

Thanks for your responses, Gene and rcg.

Gene, I used the word “possible” in the case of Obama for two reasons, First, people disagree on the definition of socialism, much as they disagree on the definition of conservatism (some call extreme economic libertarians conservatives, for example, although I would not). Thus, I lived under British socialism for many years (Labour Party governments headed by Harold Wilson and Jim Callahan, with a commitment to Marxism in the Party Charter). As the expression goes, “You ain’t seen nothing yet” if you think what we have under Obama is socialism in that sense –How about an 83% top income tax rate with a 15% surcharge for unearned income on top of that (i.e., 98%), with a relatively low income threshold for triggering that rate, and multiple nationalized industries, including coal, steel, all major utilities (gas, electricity, phone, etc)? I kid you not. Remember those days, John? (This one is to John Nolan). Second, I wanted to leave open the question of Obama’s ultimate true intentions. Perhaps in his heart he is a socialist in that sense, although I tend to doubt it.

And I used the word "possible" for Ryan because I am not conclusively presuming he is a complete Randian or Objectivist, just saying that he has a burden of persuasion (a rather heavy one for me) to overcome in that respect.

rcg also, I am glad we agree about Rand. Indeed, how could we not as Catholics? Of course, I also agree that we should not throw the baby out with the bath water. I would even be happy to dialogue with ardent Randians/Objectivists, but, as with all such “interfaith” dialogue (and Objectivism is a secular religion, I believe), without compromising our own Catholic principles. Yes, “the idea of a free society with limited government” is a perfectly worthy one with a venerable tradition to support it. But surely not _her_ idea of what such a government should look like? Quite apart from her support for abortion, etc, her championing of a complete, and I mean a complete, laissez faire economy is utopian, na├»ve, and immoral.

There is no such thing as a completely free market (at least not in our modern, highly complex society) and, even if there were, I would not want to be responsible for the dead bodies and major other suffering it would cause before it “corrected itself.” It is ironic that Rand invokes Aristotle. She likes his emphasis on empiricism and human potential but conveniently disregards his emphasis on community, moderation, and practical wisdom. If that is the sort of economy Romney/Ryan want to give us, I cannot in good conscience support them any more than I can in good conscience support unlimited abortion or disregard of the Church’s free exercise rights under the First Amendment. But, rcg, I don’t expect a perfect candidate. I just want to find ways to maximize the common good or, looked at more negatively, at least to minimize the harm the government can do to the common good. I suspect we may agree on this.

BTW, I assume you know that the Ayn Rand Institute distributes thousands of copies of her books to high schools around the country each year in an effort to indoctrinate our sons and daughters. If you didn’t here is the link:

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_classroom_books

And, of course, they are a major supporter of and influence upon the Tea Party movement. Here is a link to ma book about this. I don't know the book or the author but I believe the post is on the conservative David Frum's Blog:

http://www.frumforum.com/ayn-rands-atheists-are-crashing-the-tea-party/

So the "enemies of the Church" are to be found on both the Left and the Right and in both major parties I am afraid.




rcg said...

A2, try this. It's a variation on some other rules:

1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
2. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.
3. Have a plan.
4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work.
5. Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to replace every politician you meet.

This is the nice version and I think is charitable enough. No one gets physically injured.

Gene said...

RCG, You are soft peddling the old martial saw about, "Have a plan to kill everyone you meet." It just takes "sizing people up" to a different level. LOL!

Anon 2, It isn't the enemies outside the Church that concertn me. They are honest and straight forward about their hatred of Catholicism and Christianity. It is the worms within the Church that are the problem...progressivist/Leftist Catholics in name only who remain in the Church only to bring her down. They should not be tolerated, befriended, or succored in any way. They should be viewed as one would view an armed intruder in your house. Pray for them? Ehh...I suppose we should, but I only do so as in the Fatima prayer...you know,those souls most in need of God's mercy. Actually, I consider it wasted effort.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene, Thanks for the translation of rcg’s comment. =)

You may not be concerned about enemies outside the Church, but there have been many postings on this Blog about the forces of liberal “Godless secularism” and its obsession with “pelvic issues” (abortion, same-sex marriage, etc) and how Catholics should resist these forces both within and without the Church.

My point is that there are other destructive and immoral forces with which we should be just as concerned. Moreover, in some ways they are more insidious because they appeal to conservative versions of deeply held American values such as freedom, individualism, self-reliance, and material improvement, and invoke the founding principles of the nation. It is very easy, therefore, for Americans to be seduced and duped by a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” such as Ayn Rand. The influence of Randian thought on people like Paul Ryan and many others in government is surely evidence of that.

I do not know how far the influence of such thinking has penetrated into our social fabric. Nor do I know how far how far it has penetrated within the Church (although Paul Ryan, of course, claims to be a Catholic himself). Earlier I had said that the Ayn Rand Institute distributed several thousands of her books to high schools in an effort to indoctrinate our children. I was wrong it seems. The figure I read this evening on Wikipedia was 400,000 per year. If that is anywhere near accurate, we have a much bigger problem than we realize!

I am not coming at this with such vigor because of Paul Ryan only. I have been appalled and repelled by Ayn Rand and her philosophy ever since I first learned about it a few years ago from students who had been seduced. I am glad to see, however, that many are now calling Ryan out on his devotion to Rand. So far, his protestations of ignorance regarding the true dimensions of her philosophy are unconvincing to me. Having praised her for so many years and having propagated her views so energetically, he now wants to say he didn’t know what she really stood for. He will have to do better than that I am afraid.

But perhaps all this will bring matters out into the open and we can have a proper national conversation about underlying basic values. I would love to see an honest dialogue exposing the true beliefs of those who claim to represent us in Washington and in other venues of government. Wouldn’t you?




Gene said...

Anon 2, You make an excellent point regarding the appropriation of traditional values by someone like Rand and others. Certainly, the "individualist" mythos is one that is subject to misunderstanding and manipiulation. Theologically, for instance, while Jesus taught a highly individualistic ethic and reached people through highly individualistic encounter, he was not encouraging us to be moral monads or some kind of theological Dirty Harry. That is why he gave us the Church, the Body of Christ, the many acting as One. This individualistic thinking is a temptation for me in many ways, as my former Calvinism walks a very fine theological line with it. But, whether Calvinist ro Randian, it leads to a kind of theological cynicism and a moral solipsism that can be dangerous.
We had to read Rand in the tenth grade "...along with "Brave New World." So neat, how one leads to the other...

rcg said...

A2, I think you are moving to understand that you should not vote for a person because he is Catholic. As nice as it would be to have a competent Catholic in office, until then we have to work with what we have. I suspect that Ryan latched on to Rand because at the time there was almost nothing else that was even close to a workable economic and government model. I am not sure there isn't now. If he was swayed by Rand and has worked through that to truly be Catholic in his world view, then I welcome the Prodigal Son home. It may, or may not, surprise you that I worked for a brief time for the Objectivist Institute in New York. I left specifically over the silly atheistic religion they pushed. So if Ryan followed a similar path, I relate strongly to that. It does not, however, mean I want to give him access to my checkbook quite yet. And even when I do, he will need to re-earn that privilege each day. Sentimentality has no place in the voting booth.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene and rcg,

Thank you for your candid and helpful responses. We all seem to agree about Randian metaphysics and epistemology and ethics. I am still skeptical about her particular "economic and government model," however, because I am not convinced it can be so easily separated from those other elements or, if it can in theory, then not so easily in practice.

Ryan has said that Rand made the moral case for capitalism better than anyone. But, of course, we know there is capitalism and then there is capitalism, just as there is individualism and then there is individualism, as you explain Gene. The term must be defined and, for Catholics, qualified by the word "moral" as in "moral capitalism."

Now that is a national debate I would like to see.

rcg said...

Ryan may wish he had those words back, not so much because they are wrong, but because a politician is not likely to understand a moral argument. Basically, the politician should avoid moral proclamations and positions and, instead, establish an environment where the individuals can make the decisions for themselves and be accountable to their society for those decisions. I don't think you can have a 'moral capitalism' any more than you can have a moral bank account. It is the use of the capital, and how one directs its movement, that establishes morality an that is the responsibility of the individual, not of Capitalism.