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Thursday, August 30, 2007

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carlos

Thomistic, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments. Another thing to point out to the liberals who champion a vision of Christ as the "liberator of the oppressed" masses: Christ didn't ever advocate the overthrow of Roman rule even though, without a doubt, Rome had imposed its yoke upon Israel by force.

In truth, the Scriptures actually show that Christ and his family abided by the law that was imposed upon them by Rome. Joseph and Mary went back to Bethlehem because Augustus had asked for a census (Luke 2:1-5). Jesus asked that taxes be paid to Rome (Matthew 22:21). Even though a Roman soldier could demand that a Jew carry his gear one mile, Christ advocated carrying it for two (Matthew 5:41).

I do not mean to say that a war for national liberation could not be just, of course. However, the Gospels themselves show that the picture of Christ the "liberator" is erroneous.

Katherine

As a liberal, I think you have created a straw man only to knock it down. My faith and my prayer life animates and guides by social action. I regularly interact with others of like mind and our views bear no relation to what you described.

Alan

Great job Thomistic! I love it! There are so many marxists in the clergy. I think that is part of the problem in the Church. many marxist infiltrated the Church and taught their theology to young men and have been teaching this evil in the universities and colleges We has Catholics need to expose this !

carlos

Katherine, I don't think he created a straw man. Most liberals aren't shy about the fact that they would rather the citizenry pay more taxes so that the government can right perceived inequities. Most conservatives aren't shy about the fact that they believe that government action often causes more problems than it alleviates.

The National Flood Insurance program--which the feds subsidize--is a prime example of government meddling that creates perverse incentives. If there was no flood insurance subsidy, then homeowner's insurance in flood areas (i.e. coastal regions) would be prohibitively expensive. Since there is a subsidy, however, coastal areas get built up with residential and commercial buildings.

carolg

There is a great book called "Liberalism is a Sin".
It was written 100 years ago and reads as though it was written last week.
I would consider it a must read.

Jean

Also lets remember Jesus was not Roman Catholic. He was a Jew in 1st century palestine.

Jean

Jesus was not a liberal, however he was not a conservative either. Jesus as presented in the gospels, is very much at odds with oppressive religion and in general very lenient with the outcasts to society and religion. It seems he chose for example to do many of his actions on the sabath. In a sense Jesus goes beyong both the liberal/conservative dichotomy. He spoke of a new Kingdom, where God would be the guiding force. After all it was the religious people of his time which sought to get rid of Him. Why? Cause he challenges our allegiances. Do we care more about maintaining church doctrine thus making an idol out of it and forget the maxim that the "sabath was created for man..and not man for the sabath."? Or do we seek God's kingdom and attempt at making God's love known to people around us? [which includes using the wisdom the church has acquired in 2000 years of history]. I am not saying we should not be faithful to the sacramental life and to the communities of faith [including the pope]..but never make an idol out of any of them...including making an idol of our egos. YES...difficult indeed. But "with God's grace and love" this should be enough.

Dude

Thomistic, great post!

Jean: Jesus started the Catholic Church. The 'Roman' part of Catholicism only indicates the left lung of 2 (Eastern Rite, or orthodox and Western/Latin Rite Catholic, aka Roman Catholic).

As Dr. Peter Kreeft says: To be a Catholic it is wise to have a liberal heart, and a conservative mind.

Very simple and very true.

Trubador

Reminds me of the one about the militant environmentalist who drove around with a "What Would Jesus Drive?" bumper sticker on the back of his beat-up VW Beetle. At a stop light he pulls up behind a huge pickup truck with several tools chests in the flatbed, a lumber rack on top... and a bumper sticker that said "Jesus Was A Carpenter".

Jean

Dude

I firmly agree...Jesus began a movement/reform than became the catholic church. But he did not "create" the catholic church. The term catholic..was not even used widely up until the 4th century [YES I know it was used in a letter by written by Ignatius to Christians in Smyrna around 106 but at that point it was stricly used to mean universal..not as a term defining a group!] We have complicated things a lot. He went around...giving very little dogmatic answers. But I guess all religion tends to do that. It is our task to always go back to the essentials!

Trubador..THANKS for putting it all in perspective.

Jean

"He went around...giving very little dogmatic answers. But I guess all religion tends to do that." [complicate things!!!]

CORRECTION ADDED!!!

Patrick

Jesus was not a liberal, however he was not a conservative either.

Of course Jesus transcended our notions of what it means to be a liberal or conservative. I hope everyone realizes this.

Jesus as presented in the gospels, is very much at odds with oppressive religion and in general very lenient with the outcasts to society and religion.

Jesus was at odds with hypocritical pharisees who were more interested in themselves than God or their fellow man. I hope you are not attempting to compare the Catholic Church (in general) to the evil pharisees Christ confronted.

Do we care more about maintaining church doctrine thus making an idol out of it and forget the maxim that the "sabath was created for man..and not man for the sabath."? Or do we seek God's kingdom and attempt at making God's love known to people around us? [which includes using the wisdom the church has acquired in 2000 years of history].

The cross serves to illustrate out relationship with God and our fellow man. The vertical beam symbolizes our relationship to God. The horizontal beam symbolizes our relationship with our fellow man.

Both aspects of the relationship are important. In fact, the first three commandments of the decalogue pertain to our relationship with our Creator. The third commandment states, “Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.” This was not merely a suggestion. If the choice is between attending Mass on Sunday or caring for the sick, then caring for the sick comes first. But, this does not diminish our moral responsibility to obey the commandment.

I am not saying we should not be faithful to the sacramental life and to the communities of faith [including the pope]..but never make an idol out of any of them...including making an idol of our egos. YES...difficult indeed. But "with God's grace and love" this should be enough.

There is a tendency in some circles (yes, liberal) to soft pedal (or play down) church doctrine and moral teachings in favor of vague sentiments about brotherly love.

It amounts to removing the vertical beam of the cross and emphasizing only the horizontal beam. THEY ARE BOTH IMPORTANT!

Without a pope and clearly defined dogma we have doctrinal chaos (e.g. 20,000 Protestant denominations). Without strong moral standards we will have seminaries full of perverts because we don't want to be called "rigid."

I forgot who said it, but I like the following line:

If you are not a liberal when you are young, you don't have a heart. If you are not a conservative when you are old, you don't have a brain.

Patrick

Also lets remember Jesus was not Roman Catholic. He was a Jew in 1st century palestine.

Jean, I notice that you like to draw these distinctions between the Medieval Catholic Church and the early church community.

On another thread you implied that 1 John 5:16-17 cannot be interpreted as referring to mortal and venial sin because St. John was a first century Jew not a Medieval Catholic. I don't know what was in the mind of the human author (St. John), but I believe the Catholic Church interprets that passage in the context of mortal vs. venial sin in accordance with the meaning inspired by the Holy Spirit.

I also believe Jesus was both God and Man. He was born a Jew fulfilling promises and prophesies made to the Chosen People. He then established a church with St. Peter as its leader. St. Peter later took up residence in Rome. This church established by Christ is known as the Catholic Church, and its leaders still reside in Rome. So, what point are you trying to make with the above statement?

Have you been reading commentaries by modern Biblical exegetes like Raymond Brown? Those guys approach Scripture with a purely academic approach. It is modern literary criticism. The faith and wisdom of the church through the millennia is largely disregarded. These modern literary critics are the ones who say things like. "That passage can't mean that! Because he was a first century Jew!"

Jean

Of course I have to read the gospels and think what the persons experience was and from what point of view they were writing from. I am not a biblical scholar but it is fundamental when reading anything from other periods to keep in mind the culture and environment in which that person lived AND as important not to read OUR notions. I admit this is difficult but of supreme importance, otherwise we only read to confirm what we already believe and miss what the sacred writer intended. Orthodox biblical scholars keep this in mind as they study scripture. My point regardign the "catholic church being founded by Jesus" is that like the Jews we tend to glory on that as if that makes us above everyone else like the Jews [who also had similar notion=the chosen nation] Jesus told them [and it must apply to us too!] God can make these stones turn into children of Abraham. In other words...that we are the first means if anythign...we have more responsibility.

joanne

So much thought, well-expressed, Thomistic. But, it excuses the conservative too readily, I think. There is no doubt that today's liberals have gone way too far and are hanging off a cliff if they haven't already fallen off. But the faults and errors of conservatives remain even if they're not as radical as those of the liberals.
Thinking about the whole liberal vs conservative question one day, it occurred to me that even without political parties and extremists to label, there would be two tendencies of sin for believers. One is to attempt to love God with all our being without regard for our neighbor. The other is to love our neighbor to the extent that his pleasure becomes our rule. The two greatest Commandments serve as the guide and balance for our behavior, whether we require a nudge (or a shove) to the right or the left. And neither Commandment is rightly obeyed without the other. Still, they are not equal. The second, properly fulfilled, must come from the first. But obedience to the first becomes a lie if not fed by adherence to the second.

carlos

One is to attempt to love God with all our being without regard for our neighbor. The other is to love our neighbor to the extent that his pleasure becomes our rule.

joanne, very well expressed, but if our neighbors' pleasure becomes our rule, are we really practicing Christian charity? Perhaps at different times in our nation's history, we have disregarded love of neighbor (i.e. Sherman's use of "total war" against civilians; WWII internments of Americans of Japanese, German, and Italian ancestry), but today in America there can be little doubt that liberals' view of "love of neighbor" is akin to license.

A case in point is SSD. There are many able-bodied men that I have to deal with as a deputy prosecutor, but their goal is to "get on disability" because they will have an income yet no longer have to work. Is it Christian charity to feed the sin of sloth and--at the same time--free up their day so that they may be able to commit other sins (i.e. gluttony, lust)? I'd argue that it's not.

joanne

No argument there, Carlos.

"if our neighbors' pleasure becomes our rule, are we really practicing Christian charity?"
That's my point. And my other point is that to love God with one's whole being without caring for one's neighbor is, over time, not to love God at all, but to love the idea of ourselves as God-loving people.

Joe

I totally agree with this post

HMacK

Our Blessed Lord placed Himself above politics. This is one reason why Pilate had difficulty in judging Him. He did not come here to start a new political party nor a new monarchical system of government. His mission was a Heavenly one.

The great Holy Father Pope St Pius X stated that liberalism is a sin. Therefore, how could Our Blessed Lord ever have had anything to do with this perverted political doctrine. Liberals are naive enough to believe that everyone can have as much liberty as they like without infringing Almighty God's laws or the freedom of society as a whole, since it is all left to the "trompe l'oeil" of being pro-choice and the euphemism of "tolerance".

In effect, liberals are tyrants since if you do not agree with them, then they exploit the legal system when they have the power to enforce agreement, as they are doing right now in various parts of the western hemisphere. There is ample evidence to illustrate just what genre of society we will fall into if the liberals have their way. They will be aided and abetted by the "useful idiots" in the novus ordo church who pander to the same disordered revolutionary concept. They have already demonstrated what a confused and ugly mess the church can be reduced to by infusing it with their similar brand of freedom to choose. The Vatican Councils II called it "religious liberty" and the law of conscience. In the church's government it is called "collegiality". In the liturgy it is called the "ordinary rite" of Paul VI (RIP). In the neo-modernist seminaries and monasteries it is called being tolerant which must be why so many of them have closed down or are near empty - a surfeit of liberal "tolerance"!

Using the criteria Our Blessed Saviour and St Paul have delineated on the rendering of public service to others, our liberal, conservative & socialist politicians have all missed the point about such service. They are worse than the self-interested monarchs who reigned many years ago. Massive amounts of money are wasted on electing men and women, most of whom are motivated by careerism, self-aggrandizement, material greed and some suffer from severe megalomania. And they pay themselves excellent liberal lifestyles for all of this out of the public purse.

Patrick Walker

You are correct - Jesus was not a liberal nor was he a conservative. Jesus bridged all the labels and boxes that we are so quick to place him in - thank God!

What I do want to share with you - as a person of faith who works to help meet the needs of the poor in this world - is that we really need to work together! In an entry from 2005 - you talk about how some Roman Catholic groups have disassociated themselves with the CROP Walk because they distributed contraception and failed to pass on designated funds to Catholic Relief Services.

The truth is that CWS/CROP invited Catholic Relief Services in to examine their records and that Catholic Relief Service found that all designated funding did reach the intended designated organization. Further, CWS/CROP - unlike any other international relief organization - allows for the designation of CROP Funds by the donor - giving complete control to the donor of who will be receiving that persons gift.

It is true that CWS/CROP has given money to partner agencies - particularly in Africa - to educate and prevent the devastating spread of HIV/AIDS.

Would you consider doing a new blog entry to update the information on CWS/CROP.

Yours in Christ and in the service to our brothers and sisters Worldwide,
Patrick

Charles Wade

No Jesus did not come as a "liberator" but He shall return as THE LIBERATOR, and much sooner it appears than most recognize. I do hope that whatever you might consider your political affiliation to be presently that you do prepare for His return as it is not a matter to be voted upon nor does it require the Church's approval In Jesus' Name, Brother Charles

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