If a Catholic cannot feel confident in a time of globalization, what is the point in bearing the name ‘Catholic,’ which is another name for global? (The imperative for globalization began with the commission ‘Go preach the gospels to all nations,’ which turned Christianity away from being the religion of one tribe or one people only, and commanded it to see the whole human race as one people of God.) Globalization is the natural ecology of the Catholic faith.
Michael Novak, “Catholic Social Teaching, Markets, and the Poor,” in Doug Bandow and David Schindler, Wealth, Poverty, and Human Destiny (Wilmington: ISI Books, 2003) 56.
“The violence at the heart of liberal political doctrine makes this clear: the right to self-defense eventually calls for a project of universal redemption. Another way of putting this is to say that some humans have to be treated violently in order that humanity can be redeemed.”
Talal Asad, On Suicide Bombing (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007) 62-63.
After hearing word that Pat Robertson endorsed Rudy Guiliani this morning, I can’t help but think of Robertson’s infamous interview of Jerry Falwell two days after September 11, 2001. In case you don’t remember, in reference to the 9/11 attacks Jerry Falwell claimed that abortionists, gays and lesbians, and feminists “helped this happen.”
In his words,
JERRY FALWELL: And, I know that I’ll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way–all of them who have tried to secularize America–I point the finger in their face and say “you helped this happen.”
In response Pat Robertson said,
“Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government. And so we’re responsible as a free society for what the top people do. And, the top people, of course, is the court system.”
Of course, Falwell and Robertson are best known by terms like the Moral Majority and the Christian Right. With Falwell dead, Robertson has become the symbol of anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, militant rhetoric of the Christian Right.
The Christian Left has always thought of the Right as approaching moral issues too narrowly. You will often hear the Left say, “Yes, abortion is wrong, but be consistent with your focus on the right to life. What about war, the death penalty?” We all know the debate. Although the Christian Right has also been known to support US military operations around the world, I think the Left thought that it was really the social conservatism that held the Christian Right together (i.e. pro-life, anti-gay marriage).
Okay, do you see the irony…the man who once agreed with Jerry Falwell that the gays and abortionists helped 9/11 to happen, has just endorsed a candidate for president that is both pro-gay and pro-choice. Why? I assume it is what Guiliani said, “He supports me because we agree on what we think are the primary issues facing Americans: dealing with Islamic terrorism, dealing with the war on terror, dealing with the out-of-control spending in Washington.” But, wait, wouldn’t endorsing Guiliani actually have the reverse effect. I mean if the gays and the abortionists are given more room to spread their agenda, doesn’t this help the terrorists – like on 9/11?
I just don’t get Robertson’s shift in foreign policy. It seems like he supports terrorism.
WWJD? …What Would Jerry (Falwell) Do?
A few weeks ago U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld signed and released the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Report. Rumsfeld opens the report by replacing the old worn out phrase, “the war on terror,” with what he now calls “ the long war.” Like “the war on terror,” “the long war,” suggests that the U.S. faces an elusive and persistent enemy. It reminds me of President Bush’s comment on his responsibility to “rid the world of evil.” There is evil in the world that is lurking around every corner seeking to destroy “our free way of life.” This is the foundational premise behind the foreign policy of the Bush adminstration. It is a premise that frightens the public, especially after the events of 9/11. The next premise of the Bush adminstration’s foreign policy is that in order to defeat those seeking to destroy “our free way of life” is through the use of military force. Therefore, we must use military force against the evil that exists. Indeed, the conclusion follows. However, should we not question the premises of the Bush administration? Is there evil lurking around every corner attempting to destroy our way of life? If so, is the use of violence the most effective way to defeat evil? Or, in President Bush’s terms “rid the world of evil?”
If the people of the United States want their country to be safer, then the conflict that exists between us and the so-called terrorists must be put into perspective. Furthmore, if we really want to resolve this conflict then the process toward humility must begin. In other words, we must begin to look at our role in the conflict, we must be introspective in order to effectively work toward any sort of long lasting resolution. To many this may seem strange, for President Bush has repeatedly framed the conflict as one-sided – “they hate our freedom.” However, Osama bin Laden, one of the only faces on the elusive enemy we face, has given many more reasons for his attack on the U.S. and none of them include hating our freedom. Can a conflict be resolved by not addressing the concerns of the other party? It seems highly unlikely. The lack of concern for trying to understand why 9/11 happened suggests to me that the Bush administration is not concerned with resolving this conflict. The Bush adminstration’s use of military force on the civilians of Afghanistan is no way to resolve a conflict with an enemy that has no face, and with a perceived ideology against the free world. The “war on terror” is, indeed, beginning to look like a “long war,” precisely because we have never addressed the root of the issue – the causes of 9/11. It is the elephant in the room.
Sometimes dreams come true for U.S. neo-conservatives. When a couple of planes crashed into buildings on September 11, 2001, the hopes and dreams of neo-conservatives everywhere were in plain sight: employ unilateral military operations on Iraq. Today, the American people feel frustrated with the state of the Iraq war. People sense deception and corruption as top officials of the Adminstration are indicted for secrets and crimes. As a result, people grow more and more wary of the Bush adminstrations reasons for going to war in Iraq and the reasons given for staying there. Why has the media been so slow to tell the truth about the neo-conservative agenda? Why has the media been reluctant to talk about the explicit references and plans drawn to invade Iraq in documents written pre-911? The good news is that the media does not have to tell you about the neo-conservative agenda and the hijacking of the devastating attacks on September 11, for they in fact, are willing to tell you themselves.
Go to “The Project for the New American Century” – Cheney, Rumsfeld, Libby, Bolton, Wolfiwitz – the whole crew.