I have a personal situation I need to share. I am a full-time Catholic. I don’t bring out my faith on Sundays for Mass and try and be something else during all other times. I am sure many Catholics are in the same situation.
I, like many others, will be voting this November 2020 election. As such, as I study candidates, their party’s platforms, etc. I analyze things through a Catholic lens. Given my background, I also look at things from a financial and economic perspective; however, these thoughts are outside the scope of this writing. The purpose of this article is to share this Catholic’s perspective on what I am reflecting upon.
To begin with, let’s look at some background material. There is a movement to become more socialistic in the United States. What does this mean? Well, socialism is communism. The Oxford Handbook of Karl Marx states, "Marx used many terms to refer to a post-capitalist society—positive humanism, socialism, Communism, [a] realm of free individuality, [a] free association of producers, etc. He used these terms completely interchangeably.” Communism is advocated by Marxists. The label Marxist comes from the book entitled “The Communist Manifesto” written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engles and originally published in 1848. A current leader of the “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) movement named Patrisse Cullors, for example, said that she and her fellow organizers are “trained Marxists” in a recently surfaced video from 2015.
What is communism? According to the dictionary, communism is “a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class warfare and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.” To be complete, socialism is defined as “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” The term “regulated by the community as a whole” could be and often means “regulated by the government that presides over a population.” Further, for a socialistic and/or communistic form of government to exist, all members in that society must have unwavering, absolute allegiance, and dependence to and on the government. This translates to the government granting universal rights to the masses in contrast to individual rights. As an example, this the reason why the lawsuit against Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for birth control and abortions under Obamacare was undertaken. Socialism abhors any deviations from the homogeneous rights of the masses given by the government even if the rights are inappropriate for particular individuals or groups.
The current form of socialism being advocated is a hybrid model. First, socialistically there is a focus on the distribution of goods and services, and a redistribution of wealth which I will refer to as assets. Second, this model of socialism cannot be supported unless capitalism is the engine that generates the assets that are to be distributed. This the reason why socialists will always call for forms of taxes, regulations, and permitting is so that it can redistribute collected assets. However, the redistribution of assets is not based upon merit, achievement, amount of work performed, creativity, etc. Under this approach, people are all homogeneous and simply a common commodity upon which the assets are to be equally distributed. There is no tolerance for individuality under this approach. Consequently, all means of production of goods and services need to be owned or control by the government otherwise one person would become more prosperous than another. Because people are homogeneous they are also of equal value, or—potentially—of no value. Those that cannot contribute to the generation of assets to be distributed are looked upon as having no values to society and are seen as expendable. If a person is found to be expendable, they are a liability. The unborn and elderly fall into the category of being societal liabilities. This is the reason they advocate abortion up to and including the 9th month of pregnancy and euthanasia for the elderly. As the New York Times reported on March 29, 1984, “Elderly people who are terminally ill have a ‘duty to die and get out of the way’ instead of trying to prolong their lives by artificial means, Gov. Richard D. Lamm of Colorado…”
Eduard Bernstein—a Socialist-Democratic (i.e., Marxist)—who had a close relationship with Marx and Engles, noticed that the revolution between the bourgeoisie (i.e., capitalist that own the means of production) would eventually be revolted against by the proletarians (i.e., the working class); however, no revolt occurred. Moreover, Bernstein opposed the “Communist Manifesto” claim of Blanquist tendencies. Blanquist contended that social revelation should be driven by a relatively small group of highly organized and secretive conspirators. When Lenin instituted revolution to institute communism in Russia, he thought that he could not count on the working class to carry out the revolt and he would need paid revolutionists, called Bolsheviks. Bolsheviks were a manifestation of Blanquist tendencies. This is why people supporting communism will not condemn violence because it is working in concert with their agenda. It is also conducive for Marxist revolutionaries to, if possible, disarm the populous who may disagree with their objectives to reduce resistance.
Lenin also realized that he would have to control the narrative to the general populous through propaganda. Propaganda can not allow for alternative narratives that must be stifled at all costs and by any means necessary. This is the reason why—according to David Horowitz, in his book entitled “Dark Agenda”—associated with the Russian revolution, Marxists removed religious teaching from the schools, burned 100,000 churches, sentenced to death 130,000 Russian Orthodox Priests between 1917 and 1935. 95,000 of these Priests were killed by firing squads. The Russian Orthodox Church had a different message than the propaganda being promulgated. Communism must replace God by the government positioning itself as the god of the people to maintain control of the propaganda being espoused. Today, many mainstream news reporting agencies have become propaganda machines in the spirit of Lenin’s revolutionary efforts. Further, people will not hear corrections to errant reporting being called out on the Marxists who are promoting communism because the propaganda is being performed in support of their cause.
Today, we have an organization of paid revolutionists—in the Blanqust tradition—Anti-Fascism (ANTIFA) that attempt to move their social objectives forward through violent and non-violent acts rather than through political processes. Loren Balhorn, in an article entitled ‘The Lost History of ANTIFA—states “72 years after the triumph over Nazism, we look back to postwar Germany, when socialists gave birth to ANTIFA.” The three-arrow symbol used by ANTIFA in the United States today appears to look like the ANTIFA organization symbol in Germany where ANTIFA originated.
Additionally, churches like St. Patrick’s in New York, and Synagogues in Pueblo, Colorado have been vandalized. Religious practices (e.g., prayer) explanations (e.g., chastity before marriage) are purposely excluded from schools. Even Notre Dame said that Lou Holtz—their legendary football coach—comments did not speak for them when he delivered an anti-abortion message during the 2020 RNC. Coach Holtz comments are consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church and—as far as I know—Notre Dame is a Catholic University. People of faith are definitely under attack even from within Catholic institutions.
So what are the Catholic Church teachings in the face of this situation? First of all, the Catholic Church stands against communism. Please see my previous article on Catholic365.com entitled “Socialism Vs. Catholic Teachings” that was published in February 2020. Interestingly enough, Fr. Calloway comments in his book entitled “Consecration to St. Joseph,” that Pope Pius IX saw the serious errors in communism. As such, Pope Pius IX wrote, “We place the vast campaign of the Church against world communism under the standard of St. Joseph, her mighty Protector” in an Encyclical entitled Divini Redemptoris (Concerning Atheistic Communism) in 1937. In short, the Pope emplored the entire Catholic community to pray to St. Joseph to protect the Church from communism. The Catholic Church is soundly against communism even when presented under the banner of socialism.
The Catholic Church believes that every life is sacred from conception to natural death, even when these people cannot contribute to the generation of products, services and wealth to be distributed under the auspices of socialism. By way of example, on the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website, two articles appear thanking the Trump administration for actions taken to protect life. One article was about the National Institute of Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board report that recommended withholding federal funds from 13 out of 14 research proposals. The other article commended the withholding for funds concerning financial support of global abortions called the Mexico City Policy. In short, while the Catholic Church does believe that “Black Lives Matter,” it expands the sacredness of life and in total advocacy that “All Lives Matter.”
While the essence of this social movement being advocated is truly the promotion of class conflict between the bourgeoisie and proletarians, the catalyst of the movement is the promotion of racial division under the heading of social justice. Concerning social justice, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: [Note: Proceeding number are paragraph numbers used in the Catechism.]
1928 Society ensures social justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.
1929 Social justice can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of man. The person represents the ultimate end of society, which is ordered to him:
What is at stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator, and to whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly and responsibly in debt.
Two observations can be made from that Catechism. First, humans are not divided into groups like race, sexual orientation, demographics, etc. The teachings are that everyone inherently has dignity by simply being a human. Second, individuals are given their due based upon their nature and vocation. Human nature is defined to mean the core characteristics (feelings, psychology, behaviors) shared by all people. In summation, human dignity is an inherent right given by God, not governments, and must be respected.
Further, the Catechism teaches—concerning governments—that:
1897 "Human society can be neither well-ordered nor prosperous unless it has some people invested with legitimate authority to preserve its institutions and to devote themselves as far as is necessary to work and care for the good of all."
By "authority" one means the quality by virtue of which persons or institutions make laws and give orders to men and expect obedience from them.
1898 Every human community needs an authority to govern it. The foundation of such authority lies in human nature. It is necessary for the unity of the state. Its role is to ensure as far as possible the common good of the society.
1899 The authority required by the moral order derives from God: "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment."
1900 The duty of obedience requires all to give due honor to authority and to treat those who are charged to exercise it with respect, and, insofar as it is deserved, with gratitude and good-will.
The United States has a Constitutional Republic form of government where some decisions are made Democratically (i.e., usually local issues) and others through elected representatives. In light of the teaching from the Catechism, our elected officials are to vote on issues for the common good of the society. These decisions include public safety, national security, etc. Socially, decisions must be made to maintain or establishing the dignity of each person, and ensuring that everyone is given their just due. Under this system of government, we—as Catholics—are required to work through the political process. We are not to implement or force change through violence that results in coercion by instilling fear or intimidation outside of the established political processes as ANTIFA does. Everyone is to be treated with dignity and shouting over someone's speech or demeaning the individual (e.g., I am smarter and know more than you so your opinion is unworthy of consideration) is simply not the Catholic way. All people have God-given dignity and should be allowed to be heard.
Additionally, the Catechism states that we are to respect our governmental institutions. This respect includes law enforcement, border security, ICE, etc. that enforce the laws established through government processes. Associatively, there has been a desire by some to have open-borders. However, as stated in the “America – Jesuit Review,” dated February 16, 2016, in an article entitled “Pope Francis’ border policy: its more complicated than you think” states, “It may come as a surprise to detractors of the Catholic position on immigration, but the Catholic Church acknowledges and supports the right of nations to control their borders and to enforce their laws. Indeed, enforcement is a key ingredient of sound immigration policy, so long as it includes due process protections and safeguards human dignity.” In short, the United States is well within its rights to protect its borders and institute border security from a Catholic perspective.
Concerning self-defense (i.e., the potential use and ownership of a firearm), the Catechism teaches, “Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow…” (CCC 2264) Catholics are allowed to defend themselves, loved ones, and innocents with deadly force when there is an immediate and emanate threat to life.
Lastly, Jesus said, “Many will say to me on that day, O ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name? Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’” (Matt 7: 22) We must always be a guard against those who claim to be Catholic in their public presentations, yet do not advocate following the teachings of the Church. These people may indeed be Catholic by their baptisms, but they are false teachers and proclaimers of the Catholic faith. For example, statements and positions concerning marriage are being made that are not consistent with the teachings of the Church (i.e., see my article on Catholic365 entitled “The Truth About Mariage” for more information). When it is a public official that makes a presentation of themselves as a shepherd of the people, I reflect upon the words of the Prophet Ezekiel, “Thus says the Lord GOD: Look! I am coming against these shepherds. I will take my sheep out of their hand and put a stop to their shepherding my flock, so that these shepherds will no longer pasture them. I will deliver my flock from their mouths so it will not become their food.” (Ezekiel 34: 10) Finally, we must pray for our nation, it is written: “…if then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land.” God says “my people.” We Catholics can heal our country by our prayers and supplications to God.
After much thought and reflection, I will be voting for Donald Trump to continue to be the President of the United States in the 2020 Election. Additionally, we all need to pray that fallen away Catholics like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi come back into full communion with the Catholic Church. As St. Monica demonstrated, we can all pray that everyone goes to Heaven.