Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Separation of Morals from Politics

Jacques Berlinerblau is a professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, holding the chair in Jewish Civilization there. He is also a regular columnist on the Post's collection of blogs. He has a recent posting advocating the separation not only of religion from politics, but also of morals from politics.

To which I responded:

"I am always amazed by a couple common contentions in modern American culture.

1) What a person believes has no bearing on what he does.
2) What a
person does when he thinks nobody is looking has no relevance to what he does
when he is being watched.

Of course, spelled out, both statements are
patently false. We never act EXCEPT based upon what we believe to be true, and
very clearly the same person acts privately and in public, and if his conduct
when unsupervised is reprehensible, we have no reason to trust him except that
he is being supervised, which means we cannot trust him unsupervised.

need to be very clear on the full range of beliefs of candidates, from practical
(it is important to balance my checkbook) to esoteric (the nature of God). We
have nothing else with which to estimate how he will act in circumstances we
cannot foresee. If I believe that the bridge ahead is out, I stop the car. If I
believe the bridge to be intact, I continue driving. If I believe another person
to be making threats he can carry out, I prepare to defend myself. If I believe
the person "threatening" me is a six year old having a tantrum, I chuckle and go
on my way. If I believe humans have an innate dignity (from whatever source)
that transcends any other consideration, I treat people with the utmost respect.
If I think people are *just* very complex arrangements of matter, then I've no
reason to treat them differently than other complex arrangements of matter (like
sheep, trees, computers, etc).

We need to know that the candidate we are
electing is not just skilled, but good, and not only good when we are watching,
but good through-and-through, because there will be many times when the
president must act while very few are watching. If we are not convinced of the
president's personal goodness, how can we trust him to act well? Witness the
situation with our current administration.

Lastly, supposedly "private"
affairs are often more public than we suppose, if for no other reason than that
private actions are acts, and as such reveal to us the inner life of the actor -
in fact, nothing BUT his actions tell us about who he is. If M. Mitterand saw
fit to break his vows to his wife on a regular basis, why should the people of
France presume that he would keep his vows to them? I will not vote for a man
known to be an adulterer for exactly that reason: if he will not keep his
promise to his wife, then he is not a promise-keeping sort of person, except
perhaps when it suits him. In which case, I do not want to hear him babble in
front of the Supreme Court all sorts of silly promises he might not keep when
the time comes, depending on how it suits him.

Without any intention of
advocating some of the models rejected by Prof. Berlinerblau, I only observe
that while the French Model might work for them (although, Prof. Berlinerblau
neglects to mention the foment in France that partly involves the French Model),
I see no reason for us to adopt it."

As usual, my (I think) very logical and thoughtful post went completely ignored by the subsequent 50+ respondants, who prefered only to scream and wail about Conservative Christians or how gays and divorce are wrecking the nation. In my mind, the first thing wrecking our nation, built on a shared discourse about important questions, is an inability to conduct a respectful public discourse.

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