Politics and Catholicism – Preface

My hope is that you have no idea what I’m about to say.

You may read the subject and leap to social issues in early 21st century America.  You might readily think about the Catholic vote, and the present turmoil, and it might skip across your mind that neither party’s nominee for President is Catholic.  You might be thinking about the separation of church and state, and the role clergy should and shouldn’t have in influencing voters.

Word association is such that I might have no idea what you are thinking.

At any rate, as genuinely entertaining and exhausting as the current election cycle has been, and as contentious as social issues are (bleeding even into economic issues), none of these are my immediate objects.  In medical parlance, I believe they are symptoms of underlying conditions.

So we’re about to get “meta,” to take a deeper dive beyond the turbulence and drama of the surface, with the hope of understanding what fundamental forces are at work.

Now, to parameters and conditions:

  • I concede that this is only my view.  Certain parts are drawn from others, because I find them convincing, but the synthesis of the whole (such as it is) is mine, and I am only a man thinking.
  • I welcome discussion, correction of facts, and so on.  The condition is that it is non-partisan as possible.  Imagine yourself arriving from the future, or from an alien race.  What do we find here?
  • None of this is likely to win you an election.  It’s not tactics, it’s not strategy – it’s a giant step back, to observe.
  • The initial Catholic character of this flows from the previous points:  We are in this world, but not of it.  The world is fallen, things are not as they were meant to be.  But all of this world is passing away (and we rejoice at that).  What, then, is such a pilgrim to do?

If you are discontent with the current state of politics, perhaps a deeper understanding will give you peace.  Peace does not sell, but it does satisfy.

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