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.
No, he makes his case and he's consistent. I don't agree with him on capital punishment or Iraq but I respect his view.
He is not a liar or a power-hungry thug like the typical Dem pol.
GOD may not be a Republican (or a dim), but I have a newsflash for this author. GOD does not support EVIL, or the political party that embraces EVIL. dims are the party of EVIL!!! You can quote me...
I could not vote for this Democrat. In fact, I have written extensively about that fact. I really wonder how anyone could think any differently after reading my most current article. Below is one I wrote last month
The Sophist Candidate Separates Faith and Life
The Sophist Candidate Separates Faith and Life
By Deacon Keith Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
I oppose abortion, personally. I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception ."I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist," he continued in the interview. "We have separation of church and state in the United States of America." - John Kerry
Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.-
Pope John Paul
Amidst the photo-ops of baseball, families, and hot dogs- well-scripted Americana- the Democratic Presidential candidate from Massachusetts has shown his true colors, and they are not red, white and blue.
On the Fourth of July, the day when we all reflect on the very meaning of freedom, he engaged in sophistry of the lowest order. He intentionally tried to confuse Catholics and trade off of his identification with the Catholic Church while absolutely renouncing the core of that faith. Yes, intentionally. I said it and I mean it.
In Dubuque, Iowa, in an interview with the newspaper, the Telegraph Herald, Kerry said the words that begin this article. I know, some newspaper reports say it was somehow unintentional; after all he is trying to keep out of the controversy, right? Wrong! He knows exactly what he is doing. He is trying to delude Catholics, other Christians, other people of faith and people of good will by his sophistry in order to be President.
John F Kerry knows that the truth concerning the right to life of all men and women, at every age and stage, is not a religious position. It is revealed by the Natural Law and therefore can be known and must be followed by all men and women. This nonsense he sputtered to the newspaper in Iowa was intentional sophistry and it must not be allowed to stand. Only Catholics can tear the mask off of this façade and I for one intend to do so.
Sophistry is defined as a a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone. That is precisely what this Presidential candidate tried to do on the Fourth of July when he gave this interview.
The Catholic faith that the Senator wants to trade upon does not just speak to our "personal" lives. It is not "private". It speaks to the whole of life and is meant to inform and transform the entire way we both view and live our lives as Catholics and as human beings. Our Catholic Christian faith must be lived as an integrated whole. It is not like a hat that we take off when we enter public life. In fact, it is precisely there where we need to inform our participation in order to truly serve the common good of all men and women.
Our baptismal vocation compels us to live a unity of life. If our faith does not inform our participation in every sphere of life, it is not real, it is feigned. Those who claim adherence to the Catholic faith and then publicly renounce it in word and deed are engaged in an egregious error that puts their soul in grave risk. They also engage in public scandal.
The "separation between faith and life" that is being foisted by this man as a cover for his perfidy on this fundamental human rights issue has been called "one of the greatest errors of our age." That expression was a vital part of the "Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World" (Gaudium et Spes), the profound document of the Second Vatican Council that specifically dealt with our relationship with the modern world:
"43. This council exhorts Christians, as citizens of two cities, to strive to discharge their earthly duties conscientiously and in response to the Gospel spirit. They are mistaken who, knowing that we have here no abiding city but seek one which is to come, think that they may therefore shirk their earthly responsibilities. For they are forgetting that by the faith itself they are more obliged than ever to measure up to these duties, each according to his proper vocation. Nor, on the contrary, are they any less wide of the mark who think that religion consists in acts of worship alone and in the discharge of certain moral obligations, and who imagine they can plunge themselves into earthly affairs in such a way as to imply that these are altogether divorced from the religious life. This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age."
This phrase separation between faith and life has been repeated numerous times by Pope John Paul II in his writings and became the framework for the Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life wherein the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith proclaimed:
"It is a question of the lay Catholic's duty to be morally coherent, found within one's conscience, which is one and indivisible. There cannot be two parallel lives in their existence: on the one hand, the so-called 'spiritual life', with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called 'secular' life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social responsibilities, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture.
Well, John F. Kerry is morally incoherent. No, worse, he is trading off of identification as a Catholic while he rejects the very core of that identification.
What if we were talking about the killing of disabled people outside of the womb? I know the thought is appalling, but follow me on this one. What if, in some heinous evolution of a society that defines freedom as a raw power over others, the disabled were the next group to be deprived of their inalienable right to life? Then, along comes a candidate who said, I personally oppose the killing of disabled persons but I will not allow my religious position to dictate my behavior as a President. How would we respond? We would all be appalled and rightly so!
Well, John F. Kerry is engaging in precisely that kind of specious public posturing. To say that one accepts what the Catholic Church teaches about the dignity of every human life from conception to natural death is to accept the fact that such a position is not simply religious, rather it is revealed in the Natural Law. Thats right, it is one of those inalienable rights that Kerry was supposedly celebrating on the Fourth of July when he gave this interview.
Senator Kerry, I appeal to you as a Catholic, you are openly rejecting the truth about life as infallibly taught by the teaching office of your Church. Thats right, read those words at the beginning of this article. They are very clear! They ought to send you right to the Sacrament of Reconciliation! Next, you are rejecting the truth revealed in the Natural Law and therefore binding upon all men and women. Finally, you are engaging in deliberate sophistry, attempting to trade on the faith that you refuse to fully embrace in order to win an election.
I, for one, will continue to pray for you, while I do everything I can as a citizen to persuade others to keep you out of the Office of President of these United States.
Deacon Keith Fournier is a married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, who also serves the Melkite Greek Catholic Church with approval. 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.
"in the wealthiest Nation on earth we still have not solved the real health care crisis.
We have the finest health care on earth. I live in an American city with a plethora of large hospitals fully equipped with the latest state-of-the-art equipment, doctors and medicines....and even illegal aliens who ought to be thrown out of the country...can get access to all of it EVEN IF THEY CAN'T PAY FOR IT!
God is not a Republican but it's not the Republican Party demanding homosexual marriage rights, abortion on demand and trying to kick any mention of God (and prayer) out of every public institution.
Then you are NOT a swing voter, and shouldn't call yourself one.
I would vote for a number of Democrats who are pro-life. I suggest you check out Democrats for Life.I am a swing voter. I vote pro-life and I try to vote in accordance with the Social teaching of the Catholic Church.
Don't bet the house on it, we have a man inside.
Being a "swing voter" doesn't mean you don't vote a straight party ticket. It means you are uncommitted and could potentially "swing" either way.
NOR is he a Democrat or Independent, or anything else.
God is RIGHT!!!!!
As long as you lean and follow whatever is the RIGHT THING, you're following God's path...Follow whatever it is that the Democrats follow (Abortion, Gay Marriage, Removal of God from everything this Country stands for) and you're WRONG!!!!!
Intending on staying with the sinking ProGay Cafeteria Catholic ship, are we?
Good luck with that.
I know that
If Ray Flynn were the Democratic candidate, I would swing Democrat.If Rudy Guliani were the Republican, I would not vote for him
I will always stay with the ship where Christ is at the helm. As for political parties, that is entirely a different matter. It is time for a new one.
I'll be damned if he is a democrat
I am not aware of anyone who is anti-peace. Some of us just recognize that if good people do not oppose evil people then the evil people will easily dominate in every country in the world.
I am equally unaware of anyone who is anti-poor. Some us remember Christ's words "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." It was not and is not the job of government to care for the poor. It is our duty as people of God to do so.
The US government has spent trillions of dollars to eliminate poverty and yet the poverty level has barely budged since 1965. This despite huge economic growth the the last 20+ years. Restoring the concept of charity as opposed to entitlement will go along way to getting people out of poverty.
I'm sure he cheered the UN intervention in Yugoslavia where people were herded into "safe zones" only to be slaughtered when the blue helmets abandoned them.
"as our swords."
Christ! I do believe those are fighting words.
Making it up on the fly...?
We don't need capital punishment because we know the legal system would never let a killer out once he has been convicted. < /sarcasm>
Good article. I would like to make a few points when I have more time. Thank you for the post.