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Sunday, 2 September 2012

To build a society where God does not exist...musings on politics and reason

After discussing the GOP convention with some Europeans, I realized that many people here have fallen into two errors. The first is a great cynicism towards all forms of governance, which is dangerous. The second error is that Catholicism cannot deal with the complex questions of politics. But, we must and shall. One of our strengths is natural law philosophy.

The lack of natural law philosophy and the relativism of ethics, as well as the emphasis on individualism have created many nations which are now created to exist as if God is not real.

This did not happen overnight. And, as I read Gramsci, who recognized that the only group which realized what was happening were the Popes from 1848 on, I realize that most people in both the East and the West now truly believe that a nation, governments can exist outside of natural law or a recognition of the existence of God.

The Church under Blessed John Paul II moved away from Thomistic Philosophy which emphasized the relationship between God and the State to a philosophy based on relationships. The only problem with this switch is that we must still realize that the power of the people is limited even in relationship. Relationship among people is not infallible.

People, leaders, governments cannot determine law. If law is determined only by people, it remains grounded on relativism and subjectivism.

Tyrannies thrive on relationships of small cabals who decide what law is or is not.

If a small group has power, this power can determine anything. This has been the movement of law in Europe and in America.

That Cardinal Dolan and Congressmen Ryan AND Governor Romney referred to natural law is significant.

The law which is written on the hearts of men and women because we are human is called natural law and this must be recognized not as an old-fashioned concept but a sacred realization of our being.

Relativism and individualism ignore God or any absolutes. Many conversations regarding politics no longer include any idea of absolutes.

I am unabashedly a Thomist. I do believe we can apply the basic ideas of Aquinas and Augustine to modern politics and the relationship to the polis, the city, the State.

If a political party or government denies natural law, we have chaos or totalitarianism.

I am all for States' Rights. I am for small government. I think that the family, the local community, the polis should deal with most of the problems of governance. I am against large government as it takes away from subsidiarity and personal responsibility. To be continued...

Think, pray, act. Read Thomas Aquinas. Read Pope Benedict XVI.