Skip to comments.God is Not a Republican
Posted on 07/31/2004 7:55:34 AM PDT by tcgEdited on 07/31/2004 9:03:37 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
God is Not a Republican By Deacon Keith A. Fournier © Third millennium, LLC
I got your attention with this title, didnt I? I will probably get a lot more than just attention. I am sure I will receive angry E-Mails, accusations of selling out; its all getting so, well, un-civil and we have not even made it through both major party conventions. I am already tired of the stridency, the talking heads and the messiness of it all!
Let me make myself and the title of this article a bit clearer, God is not a Democrat either. Nor is He a member of the Constitution Party, the Libertarian party or any of a growing number of political alternatives that reflect a growing dissatisfaction with both major political parties.
Political parties are our creation, not His. He has called us into this world and given us the capacity to exercise our freedom. We make our choices and in those choices we change ourselves, as well as the world around us, for better or for worse. One of our choices is how we choose to govern ourselves and whether we will do so for the common good.
We Americans will soon be faced with one of the most important choices in my lifetime, electing the next President of the United States. This is an election of particular importance for Christians because of the issues that most of us hold as vital to a truly just and humane society.
Over the years I have come to group those issues in categories around what I call four pillars of social participation; the dignity of every human life (from conception through to natural death), the primacy of true marriage and family (as the first vital cell of all civil society as well as the first church, first government, first school, first economy and first mediating institution); authentic and responsible human and religious freedom; and our obligations in solidarity with all the poor and the needy.
I have worked for decades to encourage Christians, indeed all people of faith and good will, to build a more just and human society around these four pillars. I have participated in, and helped to build, movements and associations oriented toward this vital work because I have long believed and proclaimed that my faith compels me to live a unity of life. I reject the so-called private/public dichotomy of some Catholics and other Christians in public life as heresy.
My faith is profoundly personal but it is radically and fundamentally public. It is not a coat that I put on when I enter a Church building but rather a center from which I live and a lens through which I view all of human and social existence. There simply are objective moral truths that must guide truly human behavior and authentically free and just social community life.
For example, the position I hold on the right to life and the dignity of every human life at every age and stage is NOT, in the first instance, a religious position; it is a human rights position and I know that it must become the polestar of all good public policy. Without the right to life and the freedom to be born, as well as the further right to live a full life and die a natural death, unimpeded by euthanasia, passive or active, there simply are no other rights or human freedoms.
If freedom becomes reduced to a notion of doing whatever one chooses, including the intentional killing of children in the womb, the elderly, the dependent it has been gutted from its true meaning and reduced to some right to exercise a raw power over others. This counterfeit definition of choice as a right to do what is wrong will not promote true freedom. It will inevitably lead to a new and profane form of slavery.
Like most folks, I have tried to use my prudential judgment in exercising a treasured right, the right to vote as an American citizen. I believe that there is a hierarchy of values in the application of this kind of judgment. I have sought to order the issues in deciding for whom I would vote. Of course, I will do so once again this vital election year.
However, it is getting really hard to live through the political chicanery and reinvention, the glitz and image and the increasingly hostile responses of even good people to the growing hostility of our political dialogue and climate. For example, every morning I receive several missives (that is what they are) by E-Mail telling me why one party is evil and implying the other party is somehow good. Frankly, I am growing sick of them all.
To any political experts reading this article, I am a swing voter. I write this article to give some insights into the issues that will determine my vote. Maybe the so called experts will pay attention.
I officially left the party called Democratic years ago. The last Democrat that I enthusiastically supported was Governor Bob Casey. I could not be associated with a party that claimed to care for the poor and failed to hear the cry of the poorest of the poor children in the womb. Though I never officially switched my registration, I have been lumped with the other major party called Republican. I have seriously considered trying to launch a new party, one that is pro-life, pro-family, pro-freedom, pro-peace and pro-poor. I am leaning heavily in that direction.
I am whole life, pro-life. I absolutely oppose the taking of innocent human life in the first home of the entire human race, the womb. Science has confirmed what our conscience has long known; the child in the womb is out neighbor. It is always and everywhere intrinsically evil to take innocent human life. It is also intrinsically evil to manufacture human embryonic life to then kill that life for spare parts.
I also oppose capital punishment, though on different moral grounds. It is no longer defensible in the West because it is no longer necessary to protect or preserve the common good. Bloodless means are available to protect society and punish the criminal. Also, there is simply no doubt that mistakes have been made and we have executed the innocent. Mercy should trump justice. Vengeance is never ours.
Marriage must be defended and protected from the current assault against the institution. Marriage is what it is and we all know it. There is a word used in Philosophical and theological discourse to speak about the nature of things. It is the word ontology. It refers to the essence of something. There is an ontology to marriage. A cabbage is not a rock. A dog is not a human person.
Homosexual relationships and the sexual acts accompanying such relationships cannot ever constitute a marriage. They are not capable of being open to the fullness of the love that is at the foundation of the unitive nature of marriage and for which even our bodies are constituted, that is the total gift of self to the other in faithful, lifelong love. Nor can such sexual acts, or the relationships formed around them, ever be procreative, open to new life in children. Social groupings built on such relationships are also not families.
There is an intense effort underway to categorize those who still support this objective reality as uncaring, bigoted or antiquated. We are not. Marriage and the family founded upon it are the future of freedom. Redefining marriage and family will not help anyone, including those who are self defined homosexuals. It is also destructive of the social order. Marriage and the family built upon it is the solid foundation of civil society. It is the first vital cell of that society.
Of course all persons must be treated with human dignity and not be discriminated against and that includes homosexual persons. However, there are other ways to protect against discrimination than the current efforts to redefine the fundamental social institution of marriage, the defining cornerstone of our social order. To destroy marriage under the guise of tolerance is dangerous and corrosive to the common good and horribly intolerant.
I opposed the pre-emptive war in Iraq. I rejected then- and still reject - any notion of a pre-emptive war. Like all Americans, I believe that prudence and justice now require that we assist the people of Iraq in their hour of great need. I do not see all that much difference between the two major parties on how we must act going forward in Iraq.
In fact, a word to probably well intended Republicans; repeatedly telling people like me that one candidate opposed the war in Vietnam, as if that fact would make people like me feel more negatively disposed to him simply because of that, is not helping you with us. I opposed that war also! In fact, I marched in Washington against the Vietnam War. Perhaps some of my colleagues have either forgotten their opposition to that war or they have morphed into some sort of Alex B Keaton kind of conservative from birth caricature. I have not. War is always horrible and must be strictly evaluated according to an authentic application of the principles of the just war analysis. .
I am deeply concerned that in the wealthiest Nation on earth we still have not solved the real health care crisis. I dread the idea of a nationalized solution because big Government has not proven itself to be very efficient nor is it very good at compassion and care. That is part of why I also support the faith based and community initiative of the current administration as a part of fulfilling our national obligation to the poor.
Churches and religious institutions ARE good at compassion and care and need to be seen as partners in solidarity! The principle of subsidiarity which holds that government is best when it is closest to those being governed and the principle of solidarity that reminds us of our obligations to one another and that we are our brothers (and sisters) keeper have found a wonderful meeting place in this great new (really quite old) initiative. It is fresh, creative public policy.
We MUST now find the creative solutions to providing health care for all Americans. The market will not solve this crisis without leadership. I have an ever increasing disdain for an economism that somehow posits freedom as best advanced through a kind of economic Darwinism. Freedom is a good of the person. Our market economy is a tremendous vehicle for freedom but it must always be placed at the service of the person, the family and the common good. We simply MUST hear the cry of the poor! Expanding economic participation to all is a vital part of making sure that free is the operative description before the phrase market economy! That must be true in our international economic relationships as well.
I could continue, but this article is far too long already!
You can see just from what I have written thus far, that I am neither Republican nor Democrat, neither liberal nor conservative. I am, however, very politically engaged. In fact, I watched much of the convention in Boston. I will watch much of the one in New York.
BOTH will certainly disappoint me.
However, I am not ready to join any of the current Third Party efforts. I feel that it will throw away my vote at this time. I also cannot opt to not vote -as a growing number of people whom I respect are choosing to do.
I will vote. Here is why.
The next occupant of the Whitehouse will choose at least three Supreme Court Justices. That choice will determine whether the current culture of death hiding under the profane precedent of Roe v Wade will take another generation of our children.
The next President will provide the moral leadership so desperately needed to prevent new cultural revolutionaries from eliminating marriage and family from its favored social status by equalizing homosexual and heterosexual relationships outside of marriage and using the power of the State to enforce this new order.
The next President will have an opportunity to solve the health care crisis, expand economic opportunity, bring our troops home from Iraq with honor and dignity and continue to open up our market, and our National embrace to the poor in all of their manifestations. This is an important election.
However, God is not a Republican, nor is he a Democrat .and neither am I. ________________________________________________________ Deacon Keith Fournier is a married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond. He is a human rights lawyer and a graduate of the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University, Franciscan University of Steubenville and the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law. He is the founder and Thomas More Fellow of the Common Good Movement. The author of seven books, he recently wrote The Prayer of Mary: Living the Surrendered Life which will be released before Christmas.
________________________________________________________ Deacon Keith Fournier is a married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond. He is a human rights lawyer and a graduate of the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University, Franciscan University of Steubenville and the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law. He is the founder and Thomas More Fellow of the Common Good Movement. The author of seven books, he recently wrote ?The Prayer of Mary: Living the Surrendered Life? which will be released before Christmas.
How can you say you're vehemently pro-life and vote for a party whose platform includes abortion?
There may be pro-choice Republicans, but our party platform, at least so far, is pro-life.
I am not voting for a democrat. I did not say who i am voting for. I am voting for George W Bush. If you have read anything I have written in the past, as well as this article, you would know that. Please re-read the article
Sorry you feel that way
I will not vote for the democrat precisely because of the life issue
The author answered your question when he said:
"I will vote. Here is why.
The next occupant of the Whitehouse will choose at least three Supreme Court Justices. That choice will determine whether the current culture of death hiding under the profane precedent of Roe v Wade will take another generation of our children."
That vote is obviously for George Bush.
hmmm, as I read the article, he writes that the next election will pick at least 3 supreme court justices which could END abortion- a good thing to the writer. How do you read he's voting for Kerry?
This kind of response without reading my article shows how shrill this has all become. Reading my article will tell you I WOULD NEVER VOTE FOR ANYONE WHO SUPPORTS ABOTION ON DEMAND.My fear is that with the polarization, many like me are not going to vote, or are being marginalized in Third Parties. I am worried about this election
BUMP! Thanks for taking the time to write and post this.
One thing I am sure of is that God would never be a big-government socialist or a tax-and-spend liberal. On the other hand, I do know what Jesus would drive - - a Chrysler, of course.
and tcg, don't post articles twice, it's frickin irritating.
By opposing intervention in Iraq and the removal of American troops from Southeast Asia you enable the genocide of millions of Cambodians in the killing fields and hundreds of thousands in the mass graves of Iraq.
Let me guess, you were in favor of intervening in Rwanda and Serbia, right?
I am a pro life Catholic. My wife and I are both Army veterans. We oppose the murder of babies and we oppose genocidal lunatics. We think those who would stand by preaching peace while the lunatics of the world murder by the thousands are as misguided as pro choicers.
There is good and evil in the world Deacon and you should thank the Lord for men and women who enlist in the armed services to fight that evil where it lives.
And while God has no political party, you can bet your house that he would never vote for the party that endorses the killing of babies by the millions.
How does he know he's not a Republican?
Actually ... as PJ O'Rourke has explained rather thoroughly:
Santa Claus is a Democrat. God is a Republican.
Response: Yes he is.
Comment: Not only is God a Republican he is also a Paleo-conservative. That ends that!
This poor married deacon is a mishmash of confusion. He apparently feels guilty for not committing to the priesthood, and his equivocations reveal internal struggle.
Perhaps his wife puts pressure on his politics.
In America, cafeteria Catholics are the norm, and Kerry and Kennedy are allowed to take communion despite their evil support of abortion and euthanasia. Kieth fits right in with this spineless approach. He imagines that fighting Saddam, who is this era's very own Hitler, was wrong. Mass graves mean little to him.
The pope told the US bishops to uphold the teachings by freezing Kerry and Kennedy out of sacrements, the bishops publicly refused. A schism is imminent, and Keith will stay with the corrupted gay-friendly, abortion-friendly aging-hippie pop music church while many of us will happily join the CounterCulture Church, where the old Catholic Mass is said, we aren't forced to hold hands and we can hear solemn spiritual classical music without the tamborines.
Incidentally, a new Schismatic Church would not go bankrupt from the current sex abuse scandal settlements. The existing Catholic Church is beginning to pay dearly for it's "tolerance" of homo clergy.
I'm sorry for the misunderstanding.
I understood this writer to be pro-life and voting for Bush.
It was a rhetorical question.
I actually have friends, who claim to be pro-life, but who don't see the importance of voting for Bush.
I have one friend who says she doesn't intend to vote but is "vehemently pro-life". I was actually thinking of her and my comments to her when I wrote my comment.
The Gipper's up there now, so if God's not a republican, then at least he's getting great advice.
I actually may be more paleo, if I am a conservative at all. I am certainly not "neo" and I am undoubtedly not a liberal
The author is deeply conflicted. It appears (to me) that he is struggling to find the right way, and to that end, I wish him well.
No Republican that I know of has ever claimed that God was "on his side", or proffered an exclusive relationship. Conservatives have however noted that leftists, religiously oriented or not, have strayed so far from "the path" that it is logical to wonder if they hold religious values only in the most dogmatic of ways.
Moral equivocation and a "sliding scale" of so-called "values" do not resonate with people who prefer to live by a sense of principles rooted in religious faith.
I guess, in the final analysis, whatever gets you there....