Friday, August 07, 2009

Laity and Politics

Nicoletta MacKenzie writes,

Some years ago, a young Frenchman who was staying with a neighbor while studying at the School of Mines in Golden, walked over to my house as I worked in the yard. He was proud of his country. Health care was nationalized; education was free; women had the right to abortion; France, he proudly announced, was not a slave to religion: in his enlightened homeland, faith had nothing to do with politics.

The poor young man did not know that he had walked into a buzz saw. I asked him: “So, religion has no role in society?” “Not in the public square, no. God has no place in politics.” I continued: “And what are your laws based upon?” “Upon justice.” I insisted: “Who says what is just? Who decides what is right and what is wrong?” The young man looked down at me from his superior height and proudly announced: “The philosophers.” I’m not so easily silenced, so I persisted: Which philosopher?

Exactly. Who defines the terms of discourse in the public sphere? Philosophers? Me thinks not. Hollywood and pop culture? Today - yes, largely. But the Catechism of the Church teaches otherwise. I.e., watch:

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