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Be afraid

Ross Douthat wrote a column for the New York Times on Sunday…wait, hold it right there. How does that guy even get the privilege of a regular column in one of the biggest papers in the country? It’s a marvel.

OK, but anyway, he wrote this ridiculous column in which he moaned about the decline of Catholic influence in American politics. I would have just said “good!” and moved on, but this analysis made me worry.

The problem for authoritarian conservatives like Douthat is that the GOP is wildly out of step with the US Catholic Bishops and the Vatican on just about every economic issue: wealth inequality, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unions, universal health care — even global warming (not to mention the death penalty and immigration).

The other problem he has is that American Catholics overwhelmingly reject the bishops’ stance on the sex stuff the GOP obsesses about and a whopping 60% of them want the Church’s leadership to focus on social justice issues — which are of course anathema to the Republican Party.

Do you get that? American Catholics find the Catholic bishops too conservative, and the Catholic bishops find the Republican party too conservative. The Republicans are worse than the Catholic hierarchy, and we all know in what contempt I hold Catholicism.

When Catholic bishops find you too stony-hearted and callous, you know you’ve got a problem.

Comments

  1. says

    When Catholic bishops find you too stony-hearted and callous, you know you’ve got a problem.

    Well, for one the RCC acknowledges that evolution is a thing, and that social justice stuff may have some merit, sometimes. That’s obviously anathema to any Rethuglican Taliban who is planning to get or stay elected.

  2. Larry says

    I don’t think this matters too much, if at all, to the Teabaggerstanis. Catholics are an abomination in their eyes any way. Just one more group to hate on as they downsize to support levels on the quantum scale.

  3. glodson says

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the Catholic Church accept Evolution(albeit theistic evolution) and pretty much reject Young Earth Creationism?

    I think it is funny that the GOP seems to worship the ideas of Ayn Rand while trying to court the religious, and actively seem to reject any good suggestion the Catholic Church might make while accepting the really shitty ones.

    It is like they are trying to be both stupid and evil.

  4. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    It is like they are trying to be both stupid and evil.

    What do you mean “trying”

  5. laurentweppe says

    So, basically: the catholic laity does not agree with its clergy in matters where its clergy agrees with the GOP but it does agree with the clergy in matters where the catholic clergy disagree with the GOP, and as a result, one pundit who does not have the guts to be frank and say “I hate catholics because they’re not the obsequious lackeys I wish they were” decide to use some inept verbiage about a supposed “loss of Catholic influence” as a coded message.

  6. glodson says

    What do you mean “trying”

    I mean they are actually intending to be the stupid and evil party, and not being stupid and evil by mere happenstance.

  7. thumper1990 says

    It is like they are trying to be both stupid and evil.

    I think to be that stupid and evil, they’d have to be trying. Comeone, give them some credit, they put a lot of work into devaluing humanity you know!

  8. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I mean they are actually intending to be the stupid and evil party, and not being stupid and evil by mere happenstance.

    and succeeding!

  9. jaybee says

    Six Catholic justices out of nine on the Supreme Court. Douthat is right — Catholics clearly are underrepresented there.

  10. vaiyt says

    Meh. If those callous, stone-hearted conservatives in the GOP were devout, paying Catholics, there would be no complaint.

    As long as you have God in your heart (and in your pocket), you can be as much of an asshole or a murderer as you want.

  11. consciousness razor says

    Oh, I started out afraid. Then I had a little bit of that patented Catholic Guilt™. Then I grew up, and now it’s mostly disgust. But there’s still fear too.

    wealth inequality, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unions, universal health care — even global warming (not to mention the death penalty and immigration).

    The thing is, you could easily find Catholics to the right of Hitler on all of those issues. And sure, they’re not all in lockstep with the pope or even Ross Fucking Douthat. Don’t let any RCC apologist tell you otherwise! But that’s partly because a lot of them are worse.

  12. frog says

    Catholics are a staggering example of “people will be the religion they’re raised in” combined with “people will declare a religion even if they’re not actually religious.” (I mean, let’s start with the obvious problem of people continuing to declare affiliation with an organization that protects child molesters. I keep having that conversation with my mother; she keeps insisting that it’s worth staying Catholic because of the good things they do. I don’t ask for specifics, in the interest of family amity.)

    The main distinction between Catholicism and most other mainstream Christian religions is the pope. On the ground, most Catholics completely ignore huge swathes of what the pope says (starting with birth control). I think this is what Douthat is really whining about–all those Catholics who might as well be Anglican or Lutheran for all they care what the pope says.

    Oh, Ross Douthat, you silly piece of work. You make me sad.

  13. jamiejag says

    Douthat & Brooks are the latest reasons why I won’t subscribe to the times, even though I’d like to support Paul Krugman.

  14. unclefrogy says

    for all the conservatism of the clergy and this guy complaining I find it interesting that there are and have been a number of very liberal catholics The Kennedy’s and Joe Biden come to mind .
    uncle frogy

  15. w00dview says

    I mean they are actually intending to be the stupid and evil party, and not being stupid and evil by mere happenstance.

    Yeah, a heavy mix of fundamentalist christianity and Ayn Rand’s delightful “fuck you, I got mine ” philosophy tends to lead to a party of greedy, power hungry, compassionless bigots. The two feed off each other perfectly. One of the finest examples of symbiosis in politics, it could also be the most destructive.

  16. simulateddave says

    And of course christianity and libertarianism go together like peanut butter and chocolate. The Republicans’ solution to get these two views to happily coexist? Easy. Just eliminate the few redeeming features of each. So you get christianity (only without that stuff about charity and compassion) combined with libertarianism (only without that stuff about liberty).

    Charming ideology you got there, Republicans.

  17. chrisv says

    Six Catholic justices out of nine on the Supreme Court.
    That is scary and that is wrong. I sure hope at least a couple are CINO. Imagine…a bunch of misogynistic silly old men wearing dresses, crazy hats and expressing belief in the totally unprovable are effecting how I live my life. THAT is INSANE! America, grow up.

  18. pixiebiz says

    Hi [waves] first time commenter lllooonnnggg time reader (years, and years, and years).

    um anyhoo, I just wanted to say that I’m really sick of people waving around the 60% of catholics are progressives thing, because it is completely irrelevant.

    The catholic church as an institution is an extremely regressive and POWERFUL force. I was just at the “March for Life” a few weeks ago as a counter-protester, and although the media didn’t cover it much, the fact is the vatican organized hundreds of thousands of people (their count was half-a-million, idk it certainly was a hell of a lot) to march to regress women’s rights. Even if the rest of the country didn’t notice, DC was certainly shut down for the day. When these vatican shitstains get their private meetings with our representatives and can say “Hey look, I got half-a-million people to walk by your office with pictures of dead babies, oh and also we Catholics make up 1/4 of the electorate” I don’t think that the invisible 60% of not asshole catholics really come into play very much. I mean, I didn’t see ANY of them standing up with us with a “Progressive Catholics for Choice” banner. I drove from San Francisco to be there, at the very least you would think there could have been a contingent of “DC Catholics for Reproductive Rights” or some such thing, but nope, that 60% couldn’t even get off their lazy asses to organize resistance in their own city.

    The only thing these numbers really mean is that 60% of catholics don’t really care to much for the vatican’s policies when it comes to their own life , but only in an armchair wishy-washy “But I like MY birthcontrol” kind of way, not in a “I’m going to actually take a stand against the vatican as a horrible institution which does horrible things and must be actively resisted” kind of way. Whereas that other 40% of true-blue asshole catholics are organizing, fundraising, and ACTING on their convictions, and they are getting shit done. Abortion and access is being whittled away state by state, county by county, clinic by clinic; and those so-called “progressive” 60% of catholics are doing NOTHING to stop it.

    SO FUCK THEM AND THE HORSE THEY ROAD IN ON /end rant