Reader Isaiah Jones writes:
I recently recorded a podcast that was very much influenced your book on CST.
(He is referring to THE CHURCH’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: A PRIMER ON CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING.)
I’d love to get your feedback on ways that I can build on these foundations connecting it to Mercy, CST, and Race for my Masters in Theology Capstone.
You may be very interested in the work of Sherry Weddell and the Forming Intentional Disciples Discussion group on FB. She is highly attuned to the Missionary World and what is happening in developing nations: facebook.com/groups/436537336408999
I too, highly recommend this book to everyone.
I’m sincerely glad for you. I hope your book and the ideas in it spread wide and far enough to become mainstream (again?), to the point where people across the political spectrum can have honest disagreements that nevertheless center people’s wellbeing as the end to public policy, as opposed to viewing them as replaceable cogs in a machine.
Also, in the intersection of religion and politics I recently came across this article by Rebecca Hamilton:
GQP Whore Bishop Alert: What’s Happening to Disney Can Happen to You.
Her article could be considered prophetic, given what has followed soon after:
Marjorie Greene’s DELUSIONAL Rant On The Catholic Church
It serves as a reminder that for many of these politicians, Catholics are merely tools of convenience, to be disposed of at the earliest opportunity, should one arise.
Seriously, how twisted things have to be for outspoken atheists on a political commentary show, to come out in defense of the Catholic Church and Christianity in general? Its as if the baseline for what was universally seen as moral has receded considerably on one end, to the point where there is less distance between atheists and the Catholic Church, than there is between the Catholic Church and what passes in the US for “Conservative Christianity”.
It goes to show that the labels and categories we use to describe different ideologies can often fall short or be completely misleading when taken at face value.
As Tom Holland argues persuasively in DOMINION, modern atheists are, for the most part, deeply and intensely Christian atheists. Indeed, many of them are emphatically more committed to fundamentally Christian moral conceptions than the MAGA antichrist worshippers are. So we find them making common cause with a lot of the Catholic tradition while the antichrist worshippers who adore imbeciles like Greene are aesthetes who happen to like smells and bells but who hate the Church and Christ present in the least of these.
Well yeah, that’s the thing about culture: its the proverbial water we swim in. For better or worse, Christian culture serves as our common point of reference. You could even make the case that the bulk of atheist criticism of Christianity consists of pointing out the ways in which the later fails to meet its own standards and to uphold its own values.
All this serves to make the Greene’s position even more bizarre. Its like walked into the plot at the very end and missed the entire plausible deniability enabling backstory, where her side is supposed to arguably be on the side of the good guys. So she would say things like, “the Church means well, but they’re causing more harm than good”, or “the Church could help those people more if they deployed those resources in their home countries”, and so on.
But nope, instead, she just says the quiet part put loud: the Church is “satanic” for helping people in need, because of some unspecified clash with “the law”. Its like they’ve gone so far off the spectrum that they lost the ability to even pretend to be good people. They can’t even fathom the concept in their minds.
Maybe that’s the closest we can come to what Hell would be like.
This is precisely Holland’s point. Nearly every atheist critic of the Church criticizes the Church on Christian grounds. And not simply in order to show that Christians are hypocrites, but because the atheist deeply *believes* things that are, in the end, founded in the Church’s mystical doctrines and are in no sense derivable from “science and reason alone”. Believing in such a thing as “human dignity” at all is, in the end, rooted in Genesis 1. Nietzsche entire complaint against “English flatheads” was that they continue to believe in Christian morals when they could not ground them in anything but a Christian faith they were losing. Holland’s point is that we are still doing that and that we need to face the fact that virtually everything from BLM to wokeness to MeToo to gay rights/civil rights/worker’s right movement (which conservative Christians all hate and postmodern liberals all support, find their roots in fundamentally Jewish and Christian assumptions.