Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Keith A Fournier

4/5/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Freedom is much more than a freedom from, it is a freedom for responsible and virtuous living. The early founders spoke of the pursuit of happiness with reference to just such an understanding of virtue as a key to living a happy life

As a Nation we have lost our moral compass. As a direct result, we are losing real, genuine freedom. The idea that we can separate moral issues from fiscal or international issues is wrong. There is a moral basis to every political and social concern - that includes economics and foreign policy. Making this claim is not reserved to the religious.It acknowledges a Natural Moral Law which can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason.  That Natural Moral Law is the ground upon which every great civilization has been built.

Lady Liberty Cries

Lady Liberty Cries

Highlights

By Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/5/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: freedom, liberty, conservative, neo-conservative, rick santorum, mike huckabee, republican party, democratic party, virtue, libertarianism, Keith A Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - The pundits have been burning the technological version of the midnight oil concerning the future of the Republican Party. An April 1, 2013 article in Politico entitled "Social conservatives fight back" offered the response of Rick Santorum who told Politico in an interview, "Look, the Republican Party isn't going to change. If we do change, we'll be the Whig Party. We're not the Libertarian Party, we're the Republican Party."

I may not share his confidence any longer on the Republican Party. I left the Democratic Party many years ago, after its leadership was taken over by a morally incoherent coalition of social and cultural engineers. I am a reluctant Republican. In fact, I never officially registered as a Republican. Now, I am deeply concerned about the leadership of the Republican Party as it retreats from defending the moral foundations of a free society.

When there is nothing objectively true - which can be known by all and form the basis of our common life - there is no basis for true freedom. Freedom can neither be realized, nor can it flourish, unless it is exercised in reference to choosing what is true and what is good. Our choices not only affect the world around us, they change us as a people.

As a Nation we have lost our moral compass. As a direct result, we are losing real, genuine freedom. The idea that we can separate moral issues from fiscal or international issues is wrong. There is a moral basis to every political and social concern - that includes economics and foreign policy. Making this claim is not reserved to the religious.Such a claim acknowledges a Natural Moral Law which can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason. That Natural Moral Law is the ground upon which every great civilization has been built.

The Natural Moral Law gives us norms needed to build just societies and govern ourselves.  It must inform the positive law of a Nation or it becomes lawless and devolves into anarchy. We need men and women in to run for office and govern who are unafraid to acknowledge this fact. They need to be strong enough to withstand the incessant effort to caricature, label and disparage them because they openly espouse such views. Truth does not change, people and cultures do; sometimes for good and sometimes for evil.

There is a hierarchy of rights, which begins with Life. When there is no recognition of a preeminent right to life, there follows an erosion of the entire structure of all human rights. Human rights do not exist in a vacuum; they are goods of the human person. When a society fails to recognize that persons are more important than things, when it loses sight of the primacy of the inviolable dignity of every single human person at every age, every stage and of every size, it embraces a form of practical materialism, worshipping a new golden calf.

The division between social thought and economic application is a false dichotomy. The market was made for man and not man for the market. Only a moral people can ensure that a market economy remains free. Without the freedom to be born, all of the talk about compassion for the poor as well as the promise of economic freedom is hollow. Our failure as a Nation to recognize that our first neighbors in the womb have a right to be born and live a full life in our community is a foundational failure in our obligation in solidarity.

It is also an open rejection of the entire ethic of being our brothers (and sisters) keeper and its implications. There can be no enduring lasting solidarity upon which to build a secure future in a culture that kills its own children and actually calls it a right. Freedom is much more than a freedom from, it is a freedom for responsible and virtuous living. The early founders spoke of the pursuit of happiness with reference to just such an understanding of virtue as a key to living a happy life.

In addition to insisting upon the recognition by the State of the fundamental Human Right to Life we must also defend authentic marriage. Marriage is the first society into which children are to be born, learn to be fully human, grow in virtue, flourish and take their role in families and communities. We can only be fully human - and experience human flourishing and freedom - in relationship with one another. We are by nature - and by grace - social creatures. 

The effort to redefine marriage out of existence threatens our future as a free, virtuous and healthy people. Marriage and family have been inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of creation and relation. In the words of the first book of the Bible we read  "it is not good for man to be alone". It all begins with the family. We can only be fully human - and experience human flourishing and freedom - in relationship with one another. We are by nature - and by grace - social creatures. 

Children have a right to a mother and a father. Of course we must care about the single parent family and the many broken homes. However, their existence does not change the norm necessary for grounding a stable and healthy society. In tact marriages and families are the glue of a healthy and happy social order.

Freedom brings with it obligations to do what is right and to care for others. We have an obligation in solidarity to one another and, in particular, to the poor. We are our brother/sister´s keeper. The division between social thought and economic application is a false dichotomy. The market was made for man and not man for the market. Only a moral people can ensure that a market economy remains free.

However, we also need to apply the social ordering principle of subsidiarity in implementing this obligation in both governing structures and the economic order. This principle insists that governance should be exercised at the lowest practicable level - first - beginning with the family. Larger governing entities must never usurp the rightful role of families and the mediating structures of society such as religious institutions, associations, charities and small self governing structures between the family and the institutions of civil government.

Statism never works, whether of the rightist or the leftist version. It squelches freedom, creativity, initiative and genuine human compassion. Not because government is somehow intrinsically evil, but because collectivism is simply not good government; it is tyranny. The question we should ask is whether government is good, including whether it is efficient and effective as well as healthy. That can best be assessed by considering who does the governing, where it happens and whether such governing reflects truly moral values.

We must insist upon the moral foundation of freedom. We may be free to choose, but some choices are always and everywhere wrong. We know this is true because it is written on the human heart. It does not require religion to reveal it or to make it obligatory. It is a part of our common morality. For example, the shared knowledge of what is right is the basis for our criminal justice system. We all know it is always wrong to kill an innocent neighbor. This is true even if that neighbor lives in the first home of the whole human race, their mother's womb. We hide voluntary abortion behind Orwellian language such as choice and abortion rights in an attempt to make it sound noble, but it is barbarism. It does not free us; it enslaves us.

We need men and women to run for public office who can champion authentic freedom - in a way that inspires people to sacrifice for it. We need candidates who  promote an authentic vision of human freedom; not a libertinism masquerading as liberty or a selfish individualism rejecting our obligation to one another. They will also need thick skin because they will face the brunt of the intolerant secularists along with the derision of some within their own political circles. 

The secularist censors want to relegate our truth claims concerning the dignity of every human life and our defense of marriage and the family founded upon it by claiming they are just religious positions. They then insist that these positions are not an appropriate subject for public policy or political discourse. They want truth claims to be confined within our Church Walls. They now try to use the Police power of the State to silence us.

This is not freedom it is tyranny. There is a difference between a secular state, a state which welcomes all religious expressions or none at all, and "secularism", an oppressive anti-religious regime which seeks to censor out of the public forum the wonderful contributions of the Church, people of faith, and the great ideas informed by faith which have shaped the West. There is a Cultural Revolution underway in the West. There are two conflicting visions of the human person, human freedom, human flourishing and marriage and the family founded upon it as the first cell of a truly just society contending for the future. These visions are incompatible with one another. Only one will triumph.

The American founders carried a vision of authentic freedom into the experiment in ordered liberty called the United States of America. However, they did not come up with this ennobling and enabling vision on their own. They received it from the treasury of Western civilization which is found in Christendom. It is the Jewish and Christian vision of the human person, the primacy of marriage and the family founded upon it, and the acknowledgement of the existence of normative, fundamental moral truths, which guarantees the future of Western civilization.

The truths revealed by the Natural Law have fueled our determined efforts to build a truly free society. They have ensured our survival against totalitarianism of every ilk and every political persuasion.  When embraced and welcomed, they can properly govern our life together and keep the flame of freedom burning in the torch of Lady Liberty. When rejected, we will succumb to the various forms of tyranny which pretend to liberate but only lead to slavery. The Republican Party is at a crossroads. Will it compromise on the moral basis of a free society?

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Children in world's most affluent countries plunged into poverty after crisis Watch

Image of Budget cuts have had a negative impact on children, particularly in Mediterranean countries, such as Italy, Greece and Portugal.

By Karrie Kehoe, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The global economic crisis has plunged 2.6 million children into poverty in the world's most affluent countries, with children in Ireland, Latvia and Greece among the hardest hit, a new UNICEF report showed. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Increases in child ... continue reading


Black Democrats turn against Obama in powerful video. It's not the Republicans or the Tea Party -- it's predatory blacks Watch

Image of Blacks are tired of promises and corruption. The problem is black leadership.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Black Chicago activists have criticized Obama and other black leaders, saying that every black community across the country is being used by Democrats. "Folks are in an abusive black leadership relationship," one angry man said in the clip. "My life has been hurt by ... continue reading


Another six states now recognize same-sex marriage after Supreme Court ruling Watch

Image of The U.S. government has recognized same-sex

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The federal government has continued to increase its recognition of same-sex marriage, granting protected status and extending federal benefits to couples in six more states. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Attorney General Eric Holder announced the news on ... continue reading


Pew Research reveals Latinos growing as a group, but political power is low Watch

Image of A Pew Report shows that Latinos are weakly represented in the current midterm.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When viewed by the numbers, Latinos are becoming an important demographic in American politics. While Latinos have always been an important group in the American cultural tapestry, only recently have their collective numbers risen to make them a substantial political ... continue reading


Will the Bush legacy live on with Jeb? Or will painful memories haunt the family and the GOP? Watch

Image of While many may be wary of another Bush candidacy, it appears the whole Bush clan is behind a Jeb Bush 2016 bid.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The 2014 midterm is right around the corner, but already rumors are rumbling about the roster of potential 2016 presidential candidates. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While many Republicans want, or have thought highly of, Mitt Romney running for a third time, ... continue reading


Comrade Hillary Clinton astounds - says businesses don't create jobs Watch

Image of Clinton's claim was delivered during a speech for Martha Coakley.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hillary Clinton has stunned listeners with the amazing proclamation that corporations and businesses don't create jobs. This leaves many Americans to wonder where their jobs came from instead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At a rally in Boston, Hillary Clinton ... continue reading


More people than ever before renouncing their United States citizenship Watch

Image of The growing number of renunciations by U.S. citizens and permanent residents is linked to a five-year enforcement campaign against U.S. taxpayers who have undeclared offshore accounts.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With 776 names on the Treasury Department list published last week for the third quarter of 2014, more people than ever before have renounced their citizenship in the United States. There are substantial numbers of people to renounce their U.S. citizenship or end ... continue reading


Let the Battle begin. China wants to control the Internet. Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Elected secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, or ITU at a high-level meeting in South Korea this week, Zhao Houlin told reporters that while everyone supports the idea of freedom of speech, what constitutes censorship is open to ... continue reading


Obama's trusted senior advisor Valerie Jarrett revealed to be a key player in cover-up Watch

Image of Trusted senior advisor to the president, Valerie Jarrett, has been revealed to be a key player in the effort to cover up that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about the Fast and Furious scandal.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Trusted senior advisor to the president, Valerie Jarrett, has been revealed to be a key player in the effort to cover up that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about the Fast and Furious scandal. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Recently obtained ... continue reading


Are Ebola patients being 'disappeared?' Several sources warn 'yes' Watch

Image of What is the truth about this deadly disease and its presence in our country?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A news report published yesterday on the sensational website, "Infowars" asks if patients with Ebola are being "disappeared" to prevent panic in the United States. The claim cannot be dismissed because there are several matching reports from across the country. LOS ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 30th, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
October 30: Confessor and Jay brother, also called Alonso. He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter