Although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is, in some respects, one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked... in which I have spoken of so many important things done by Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply, To the superiority of their women.

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Cafeteria Catholic

Picking and choosing what to believe and practice is what the majority of Christians do. We're limited by our flesh and cannot perfectly conform to God's standard, the Law of the Ten Commandments. Thankfully, He sent His Son to pay for this and promises to heal the world one day. Meanwhile, sincere Christians work through a process of conviction through our sins. I'm pleased that I'm not the person I was five or ten years ago because the Lord has grown me spiritually though the working of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the trials of life. And for the record, I'm not a Catholic, but a Baptist who reads her KJV straight up with the kids everyday, well, almost everyday. But the Catholics have got their catechism down, and Jack Hunter couldn't help but notice that Mr. Santorum had not taken notice of what the Pope and centuries of Catholic teaching regarding war.

On Bill O’Reilly’s FOX News program Wednesday night, Rick Santorum found himself defending his views on contraception. Reports Mediaite:“It’s going to be a national demonization and you’re going to be portrayed as an extremist,” O’Reilly explained, “and some of your views are out of the mainstream according to polls.” He noted in particular that 98% of Americans support the freedom to use contraceptives, while Santorum believes states have a right to ban them.
 Santorum noted that the Vatican had restricted the use of them and that he believed states that approved of them should be able to legalize them as well.
 Added Santorum: Bill, you’re a Catholic, Catholic Church teaches contraceptive is something you shouldn’t do.
This is comedy gold for me as Bill O'Reilly is known to have written up pron movie reviews. 
O’Reilly continued to chide Santorum for his supposedly “extreme” views, but I applaud the Senator. There should be more Americans willing to stick to their faith even when it is unpopular or they stand in the minority. There was a time when more Americans agreed with Santorum about contraception. This doesn’t necessarily make Santorum’s position any more or less right or wrong, only more or less popular. Big difference.
But the problem with Santorum is he picks and chooses when to stick to his Catholic faith. The Vatican is so dedicated to protecting life that it looks down on contraception, but the same is true of its view of “preventive war.” There is a time for war, says Catholic teaching, but only as a last resort and only in accordance with the Church’s Just War TheoryWhen Cardinal Ratzinger was asked whether a U.S. led war on Iraq would be “just war” he replied before it started: ”Certainly not… the damage would be greater than the values one hopes to save.”
Ratzinger added: All I can do is invite you to read the Catechism, and the conclusion seems obvious to me… the concept of preventive war does not appear in The Catechism of the Catholic Church.”When Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, he said during his Easter message in 2008: Nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees…”Catholic leaders generally said that America’s decision to attack the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001 was a just war because the U.S. was defending itself after 9/11. Ron Paul, a devout Christian who also subscribes to Christian teaching on just war, also voted to go to war with Afghanistan after 9/11.But both Pope Benedict and his predecessor Pope John Paul II agreed that the Iraq War did not qualify as a “just war.” Paul agreed with the Vatican. Here Paul echoes the Catholic Church’s position on preventive war:

Santorum has called Paul’s foreign policy everything from dangerous to crazy. But is the Catholic Church “dangerous?” Is the Vatican “crazy?”Santorum was a strong advocate for the Iraq War and still champions the concept of preventive war.
Santorum should be applauded for sticking to his faith and Church teaching on contraception. But perhaps he should be consistent and begin to apply that teaching to his foreign policy as well.
So we have the Baptist Ron Paul pointing out a codified Catholic teaching regarding war, meanwhile our Catholic candidates act like that part of the catechism doesn't apply to them. The way this world is going, this makes total sense I suppose.


  1. " Well, the states have a right to do a lot of things. That doesn’t mean they should do it. Someone asked me if the states have the right to do it? Yes. They have the right to do it, they shouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t vote for it if they did. It doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to do it. As you know, Bill, you’re a Catholic, Catholic Church teaches contraceptive [sic] is something you shouldn’t do. So when I was asked the question on contraception I said I didn’t support it.

    Santorums's complete quote.

    And this is an excellent article on the Just War Doctrine.

    I have no opinion on the subject since I really don't have enough information. I will say that when a Pope makes statements he is voicing his opinion and doesn't carry the weight of doctrine.

  2. It's interesting that Santorum believes that the states have rights to "do a lot of things" when he seems intent on shutting down those rights ie. No Child Left Behind which turned teachers into "human resource inspectors" and wrest away state control of schools. The liberals will have a field day with him for sure on this.

    Thanks for the link. It only proves the point, however the terms can be twisted to who defines what is a grave danger. My question is, are we getting factual information on the threats, or like in WW1 are the threats trumped up? There are billions of dollars at stake, so there is tremendous motive to put a nation that counterfeits its money in a war.
    What makes me doubt the Iran hype is that not one, but two Mossad chiefs says that they're not that concerned about Iran. Plus, Good ol' Bush signed over nuke technology to several Muslim nations, many of which were friendly with Iran five days before leaving office. So which is it?

    I don't agree with a lot of what the Pope says, but his statement reflect reality in the case of Iraq. The Christians there have suffered more than most, a pattern that seems to follow American interventionism.

  3. My question is, are we getting factual information on the threats, or like in WW1 are the threats trumped up?

    I don't believe 99% of what we hear.

    I'm posting a link later to an article written by Jeffrey Tucker (pretty smart guy) that will be of interest to you.

    Oh heck - go read it now...

  4. Ok, now I want to read Against Leviathan, sounds pretty good. If I only had time!


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