A Catholic Theologian Not Enamored of Obama
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...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.
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?
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.