Tuesday, October 09, 2012

A Catholic Theologian Not Enamored of Obama

While left-leaning “Catholic” theologians have signed on to support the Obama reelection campaign, other voices in the profession are not so taken with our incumbent president.

One of those is Marquette theologian Mark Johnson, who has posted a detailed deconstruction of Obama’s Democratic Convention speech.

One particularly cogent passage:
Charity, in the Catholic context in particular, is the love we have directly for God first and foremost, and for his Images (i.e., us humans) precisely in our likeness, our family resemblance, to him. It is this devotion towards God’s human creatures that commands us care for their basic needs: whatsoever you do...

But this vocabulary and these virtues I learned in church and through the myriad ​rivulets of my Catholic religion. It is not the task of government to instruct me on the proper love of God, or of God’s people. My priest does that, your rabbi or imam does that.

The President is not my pastor.​

My ultimate concern is that, in President Obama’s take on things, nothing seems to lay outside the scope and possible command of the federal government​. The federal government is in charge of protecting the American personality, of protecting “who we are” (the President’s trump card when he is at a loss in arguing for why we should not allow something: “it’s not who we are”). The federal government is the protector of charity and love. What’s left for those of us who aren’t in the government?
As Johnson is aware, Obama is guilty of the same misbegotten notion that the leftist theologians now getting signatures for a letter attacking Paul Ryan are: the notion that charity is the purview solely of the Federal government, and not other levels of government, nor the Church, nor families, nor neighborhoods nor friendship groups.

It’s a notion that embodies the “one-sided centralization” that Catholic Social Thought has always condemned.

It’s a misbegotten notion typical of secular leftists, which is what the anti-Ryan theologians are, notwithstanding any religious rhetoric they may spout.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Janice said...

“A Catholic Theologian who IS enamored of Obama” is a contradiction in terms. How can someone calling themselves a Catholic theologian profess to agree with the constant attacks on the Catholic Church and its teachings that Obama has displayed since his first month in office? Are these Catholic theologians aware of Obama’s abortion policy?...his policy in terminating live birth abortions? …his policy on taxpayer-funded contraceptives?... his refusal to allow prayer at White House functions while hosting Muslim prayer meetings? …his endorsement of same-sex marriages? …his blatant lies concerning issues that put our military service people at dire risk?

Catholic theologians should consistently teach and promote values that were taught by Jesus Christ. Obama rejects Jesus Christ and all His teachings—so there is no possible excuse for Catholic theologians to be “enamored” of him at all.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

in President Obama’s take on things, nothing seems to lay outside the scope and possible command of the federal government​.

Russell Kirk noted that a socialist government requires cookie-cut citizens; no real humans are allowed. (Obviously not his text.)

10:38 PM  
Blogger ElizabethK said...

Good job, Mark Johnson. It can be hard to speak out from within the institution, and I'm encouraged to someone who is willing to do so. I'm saddened by the groupthink I see on my own campus, and the lack of real dialogue.

10:56 AM  

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