Throwing in the towel is the one tradition American conservatives will always support

August 28, 2013 § 27 Comments

Joseph Bottum makes the usual prescribed dance move in the Hegelian Mambo.

Paul Zummo characterizes it like this:

Furthermore, there’s something thoroughly un-Catholic in Bottum’s white flag approach. I’m not just talking about the failure to defend and uphold Church teaching with regards to marriage. No, we have a faith that is rooted in the cross. Jesus, the ultimate sign of contradiction, gave up his ghost in the ultimate sacrifice to redeem mankind. Martyrs have spilled their blood to defend the faith in the centuries since then. Jesus told us that his teachings are hard, and that those who follow him would be shunned. Yet Bottum preaches the Gospel of “please don’t hate me.”

Yet I sense that despite ostensibly writing from a Catholic perspective in a Catholic publication, Bottum’s main concern is not really with the Catholic Church. No one with a passing familiarity with Church history could seriously claim that this is the thing that will make her lose legitimacy or blunt the import of her overall message. No, this is ultimately nothing more than Bottum’s attempt to salvage (in his mind) the Republican party and move the debate along because he thinks it is damaging to his political party.

(HT Scott).

I agree.  Gay “marriage” is not something any self-respecting Catholic should ever compromise and go silent on for the sake of “fitting in” politically; any more than one should compromise and go silent on no-fault divorce, legalized contraception, or the Jeffersonian/Lockean heresy that the legitimacy of government authority derives from the consent of the governed.

§ 27 Responses to Throwing in the towel is the one tradition American conservatives will always support

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    The irony of course is that by your own definition Paul Zummo and most of the other commentators over at sites like the American Catholic are heretics themselves. You can’t defeat liberalism with more liberalism.

  • Zippy says:

    I’m always gratified when folks grasp the meaning of my posts.

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    Yeah it is sad it has to be made so explicit. The Orthosphere is wobbly in this regard as well.

  • the Jeffersonian/Lockean heresy that the legitimacy of government authority derives from the consent of the governed

    Yeah, because as we all know I’ve long been a big proponent of the Jefferson/Lockean conception of government and society.

    http://books.google.com/books/about/Thomas_Jefferson_s_America_Democracy_Pro.html?id=N55NZ2jdjxQC

    Snark is appropriate when well-aimed.

  • Leo G says:

    The bigger irony, is that we wail and gnash teeth about the declining marriage rate among hetro’s and especially Christians, yet with the legalization of same sex marriages, the rate can start to climb again!

    🙂

  • Zippy says:

    Paul Zummo:
    I unequivocally retract any implicit snark hurled in your direction. (The post is designed to be read “straight” too).

    I do of course retain it for the vast majority of American Catholic conservatives, who not only don’t resist the Jeffersonian heresy unapologetically alongside Kennedian sodomite “marriage”, but treat the former as sacred doctrine and actually defend it. Today’s “conservative” is just an unreflective version of yesterday’s liberal, etc.

  • Retreating on certain issues in the hope to make strides in others accomplishes one thing: Retreating.

  • Gian says:

    Did early Christians make a fuss about private life of non-Christians?

    Christians have the option of treating the secular America as they once treated pagan Rome.

  • Zippy says:

    Gian:
    That is a lousy attempt at a reframe. A better question would be “did early Christians pretend that sodomy was no big deal so that they would be liked by flagrant sodomites?”

  • Mike T says:

    Did early Christians make a fuss about private life of non-Christians?

    There is nothing private about the laws surrounding marriage, as you well know.

  • Proph says:

    @Ita Scripta Est,

    “The Orthosphere is wobbly in this regard as well.”

    In which regard? Most of us there would agree that the vast majority of American Catholics are at least material heretics, and I said as much in a recent comment there.

  • Supposing that sodomite marriage was ever enshrined in the US Constitution, would that preclude Catholics from ever taking a government job that requires an oath to uphold the Constitution?

  • c matt says:

    Being based upon Protestant ethos, I don’t see why not – if Protestants can interpret Scripture as each sees fit, every American is entitled to interpret the Constitution as he sees fit. Thus, you can take an oath to uphold the Constitution as you interpret it, not withstanding the pronouncements of 5 black-robed individuals.

  • THE ONE says:

    heresy- that the legitimacy of government authority derives from the consent of the governed

    Can you expand upon this? Where does authority come from G-d, constitution, etc

  • THE ONE says:

    @Beefy

    most Catholics should be in jail next year if Obamacare remains unchanged. Deal with the reality we are facing, not some hypthical.

  • Proph says:

    “Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation.” –Romans 13:1-2

  • The One says:

    The first Christians refused to join the Roman army. Seems like resisting to me

  • […] to substitute the human will for natural-law based authority. Thus modernity frequently appeals to heretical and false theories under which some aggregation of human wills – some form of “consent of the […]

  • Proph says:

    “The first Christians refused to join the Roman army.”

    Really? All of them? So all these guys were flukes?

    “Seems like resisting to me.”

    I’m an American citizen who has never been a member of the Armed Forces. Am I resisting the United States government?

  • Zippy says:

    The One:
    Can you expand upon this? Where does authority come from G-d, constitution, etc

    I don’t have a detailed theory of how legitimate authority arises. People tend to ascribe such theories to me, because when I say I don’t have one they don’t believe me (that is, they get it into their heads that I must be a liar).

    But it is actually true: I don’t have such a theory.

    I don’t need one in order for my posts on this subject to be correct though. I can criticize an origins theory which says that baby ostriches spring forth spontaneously from boulders without having my own comprehensive origins theory for ostriches.

  • Luke says:

    Except, Leo, that that’s not actual marriage, so no number of those would increase the number of marriages, any more than calling a skunk a dog increases the number of dogs, should the skunks breed a lot that year.

  • […] if you have the stomach for it. Douthat reads Bottum charitably but remains unconvinced. Zippy is tersely dismissive. And rightly […]

  • All legitimate authority ultimately comes from God. If Caesar’s command flouts God’s law, then Caesar’s command is illegitimate and we must not obey. This does not translate into a general right to rebel against all authority; we still have to obey Caesar’s traffic laws.

  • Alice Teller says:

    The Church has always incorporated the good, the beautiful, and the true. Mockery of the sacred is none of these things.

  • […] I’d even suggest that a Christian pharmacist ought to donate all of his contraceptive revenues to a big, mainstream anti-contraception organization.  That is, I’d suggest it if one existed. […]

  • MarcusD says:

    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types–the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob.

    -G.K.Chesterton

    H/T Social Pathologist

  • […] left wing of politics are liberal in a sense that falls under my critique. Everyone else – usually meaning “conservatives” – who supports political freedom and equality is simply being sensible and loyal to his […]

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