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  1. February 16, 2010 7:49 pm

    Exactly. EXACTLY. Great post, MM.

  2. David O'Rourke permalink
    February 16, 2010 8:58 pm

    As a Canadian I have been shaking my head in wonder as I watched the whole “Tea Party” phenomenon but I have been shaking my head in utter horror as I’ve watched Neo-conservative Catholics trying to rope Catholic social doctrine in to support their battle against Obama’s health care bill. “Subsidiarity” seemed to be the word that came trippingly to their lips.

    The bishops, it should be noted, were very clear that while they opposed government funding for abortion they favoured healthcare reform and also went further than Obama in calling for the bill to cover immigrants.

    I believe there is an urgent necessity for the American bishops to make clear that Catholic social doctrine and neo-con political views are not one and the same and they might as well start with Deal Hudson’s “Catholic Tea Party”.

  3. February 16, 2010 9:29 pm

    David – I agree absolutely.

  4. brettsalkeld permalink*
    February 16, 2010 10:45 pm

    We don’t hear much about Keith Fournier here at VN. What do people think of him? Does he have much of a following? I don’t love everything Catholic Online does, but I often find Fournier a useful antidote to Hudson. Especially because they aim at roughly the same audience.

  5. cathobiblique permalink
    February 16, 2010 11:22 pm

    Well I guess your analysis can hardly be taken as “based on reason and the intellectual order ” and it is a pity.
    You can disagree with the Tea Movement Party but affirming that there is nothing Catholic in this movement doesn’t stand.
    Let’s see: smaller government, personal responsability, morality in the society, subsidiarity, focus on the family and education, etc.
    Seems very Catholic to me.
    You accuse some of “putting ideology over Church teaching” but it appears that you fell in the same trap…
    By the way, not all Tea Party members are neo cons, many, like me, love the Constitution and consider themselves as conservatives, Old Right that is.
    In Jesus

  6. February 16, 2010 11:39 pm

    Cathobiblique: please tell me what the “tea party” movement stands for. I’m genuinely confused. They claim to seek fiscal prudence, and while they heavily reject a healthcare reform that is fully paid for, they had no problems with two wars, a huge tax cut, and an enormous medicare expansion – each of which costed more than the proposed healthcare bill and none of which was paid for. Please explain.

    For sure, you add these inherited items to the biggest downturn since the Great Depression and you get a huge fiscal deficit. So the protests are saying…what? Obama is supposed to strenously cut the deficit during a severe recession. Sorry, but that makes no economic sense whatsoever.

    It is stuff like this that leads me to believe that these people really don’t know what they are talking about – and worse, don’t seem to care about learning.

    Now, onto the other stuff. What exactly is Catholic about small government? The Catholic position is that government has a properly defined role, which is (to put it crudely), “big” in some areas, and “small” in others. And what exactly do they want the government to back off from? How about military spending, the single largest “big government” program in the budget? Count me on board! But they don’t, do they?

    No, they stand for an essentially liberal view of individual rights, which I contend is not fully consistent with Catholic social teaching.

    As for the rest – personal responsibility, morality in society, family, education – all fine by me, but I ask again, what does this stuff mean? It’s vacuous. And how does it explain the anger and bitterness against Obama and the embrace of the far right?

  7. February 17, 2010 12:12 am

    cathobiblique: I am very interested to know why you love the Constitution. Could you expound on that please?

  8. February 17, 2010 12:23 am

    cathobiblique, in listing the beliefs of the tea party movement you missed the part about drawing Hitler mustaches on posters of Obama.

  9. February 17, 2010 6:24 am

    “I believe there is an urgent necessity for the American bishops to make clear that Catholic social doctrine and neo-con political views are not one and the same and they might as well start with Deal Hudson’s “Catholic Tea Party”.”

    First I am not sure it is clear at all that all neo con views are imcopatiable with Catholic thought. Of course NEO CON is often in the eye of the beholder I suppose

    That being said though I am not a TEA PARTY GUY I have a hard time seeing NEO CON thought has the basis of it. In fact it is a tad diverse with many factions some neo con like and others that oppose it. What makes the Tea party movement interesting to watch is if it can keep all these factions together

  10. February 17, 2010 6:33 am

    “Cathobiblique: please tell me what the “tea party” movement stands for. I’m genuinely confused. They claim to seek fiscal prudence, and while they heavily reject a healthcare reform that is fully paid for, they had no problems with two wars, a huge tax cut, and an enormous medicare expansion – each of which costed more than the proposed healthcare bill and none of which was paid for. Please explain. ”

    Well I know this not directed at me but I think I will take a swing at that. It is not really clear besides on the budget issues and thinking the Federal Govt should be scaled back what the TEA PARTY stands for. I mean where does it stand on Trade, on Foreign Policy, and other matters.

    While there might be creatures called neo cons in it it also appears to me that there are a good number of Paleo conservatives in it that generally oppose neo cons. You have the Club for Growth folks and the Libertarians too. So to me it is pretty much unclear what the Tea Party stands for or how much diversity in thought it will have within its ranks. Only time will tell.

  11. February 17, 2010 6:52 am

    “sobriety. It is suffused by the remnants of a southern white culture, and its tone is anger and bitterness. This bitterness is directed not only against a black president but also against an official Washington that (for the first time in a very long time) is not dominated by southern white men, against the perils of non-white immigration, and against an amorphous elite with nefarious intent.”

    I am not sure if this movement is especially southern. Its seems more national than that. Also I am not sure what is met by “southern white culture” Migration from the North and Midwest over the decades has amde a new South in man ways and white folks are effected by that.

    I am not a Tea Party guy because I find the underlying ethos sort of Libertarian and I am not a Libertarian. Plus there are Club for Growth types in it and I get mad at them.

    But I don’t think they are mad because we have a black President or worried about black folks.

    If that were so The Tea Party types in Alabama would not be backing a black immigrant from Trindad in a Congressional race

  12. brettsalkeld permalink*
    February 17, 2010 8:27 am

    Also, after having read Hudson’s post again it occurs to me that what is really at issue here isn’t so much Hudson’s confused attempts to align Catholicism and the GOP. He’s been doing that for years. What is really fresh in this post is that he is proposing the Tea Party movement as a model for American Catholics to rebel against their bishops. Not only should Catholics espouse neo-liberal/neo-conservative (the same darned thing!) positions on taxation, pre-emptive war and health care, they should use the tactics of angry caricature and public dissent against their own bishops. That one far right Catholic would express such nonsense is not surprising. The gads of supportive comments he received, on the other hand, literally scares the crap out of me. (I’d use stronger language but I gave up cursing for Lent.)

    It seems to me that those who follow Hudson’s assessment of our bishops have probably met very few of them. My experience of the bishops has been overwhelmingly positive. The vast majority are a great blessing to the Church.

  13. grega permalink
    February 17, 2010 9:40 am

    “…as a model for American Catholics to rebel against their bishops. ”
    Brett is this really news ? One does not have to click all that much to get a rather acute sense that the conservative American Webcaths burn with deep desire to march to the drum of folks they happen to agree with foremost politically –
    LOL they even helped spawn a Twittering Pope Z.

  14. February 17, 2010 10:30 am

    I think that Hudson’s call to arms against the Bishops is long overdue, and I welcome it, if for no other reason that it illustrates the essential identity between left liberal american catholics, who have long opposed the hierarchy for reasons (apparently) different from Hudson’s, and right liberal american catholics, who up to this point have been able to convince themselves that they may remain fully catholic and fully liberal at the same time. To quote Marx, this recent move of Hudson’s increases the contradictions, and is only making explicit on the level of politics what has been entailed by the views of whig catholics for a long time.

    There is one difference between the self-understanding of left liberal and right liberal catholics, however, which deserves emphasis. Whereas left liberal catholics extend their suspicion of the hierarchy all the way to the top, to Rome, right liberal catholics often posit that they are loyal to the *real* church, which they identify with Rome (and especially with papal pronoucements in the areas of faith and morals), and that their disloyalty to their actual bishops on other issues is therefore consistent with their being faithful catholics. This is a wrinkle which needs further exploration and critique, if only because the teaching of the Church *does* allow for disagreements about, say, whether any particular war is a just war and whether the aims of catholic social teaching are best achieved via one policy approach or another. The legitimate leeway on these areas has, of course, been fully exploited by the right liberal ideology of american catholics, and has allowed them to convince themselves that they may dissent from the church’s views on Iraq, on torture, on the death penalty, on universal health care, without thereby dissenting from the church. This is a big problem, for it blinds right liberal catholics to the obvious fact that they embody the same distorted anthropology and philosophical and political assumptions as do their left liberal enemies.

    The solution to this problem lies not in the articulation of the contradiction itself–for as Marx saw, the awareness of contradiction is by itself insufficient for its solution–but in forms of practice, begun on the level of the family and parish, that depend for their success on a shared good not reducible to private interest. The american church’s failure to successfully implement these practices on a wide level is a very great one.

  15. February 17, 2010 10:38 am


    I think you are very right to condemn this, but I think you’re falling into the same trap Hudson is when you try to trace its origins.

    The only cure for this disease is an emphasis on a humility and fidelity to the bishops, including the USCCB & the pope.

    Unfortunately, in such areas as liturgy, sexual morality, etc. it was the left, not the right, that undermined the authority of the bishops. This continues even today as seen in the left’s dogmatic attachment to a healthcare plan that promotes abortion even when the bishops have been adamant in arguing that it ought to be opposed until the abortion clauses are changed.

    The past however is irrelevant. The future is what is at stake. If scandals like the Catholic tea party are to be avoided both sides must drop their partisan affiliation (and this means you too, Minion) and devote themselves to the teachings of the bishops & popes.

  16. February 17, 2010 10:38 am

    Not quite on the subject, but you will remember Austin Ruse’s offer to talk about these things. Well, I called his office and left my cell phone number, as well as my skype address. No response yet. Did anyone else get a response?

    What is a neo-con? It is an attempt to re-label economic liberalism as “conservatism.”

  17. brettsalkeld permalink*
    February 17, 2010 11:09 am

    You’re right. The fact itself is not exactly news. Owning it the way Hudson does here might be.

  18. February 17, 2010 12:33 pm

    The ancient motto, from St. Iraneus, is “where the bishop is, there also is the Church.” This does not prevent the bishop from also being a fool, but it does constrain the opposition. Often, an “obedient dissent” is needed. But I am curious as to where Deal Hudson wants to go with this? To elected bishops? To Bishops subject to the control of some pastoral council (undoubtedly dominated by the moneyed interests of the see).

    Furhter, I don’t see the right as “loyal” in any sense to the Holy See; I see instead a constant effort to redefine the Church in the image and likeness of the GOP, or in Deal’s case, in the likeness of Sarah Palin and the Tea baggers.

    The problem that I see, from both right and left, is the effort to divorce beginning of life issues (abortion, contraception) from the rest of life issues (social justice). Each side emphasizes one to the exclusion of the other. But a truly Catholic polity rests on both, foundationally on life issues, materially on all the others. This is the message of Caritas in Veritate, which has as its stated aim the Union of Popolorum Progressio and Humanae Vitae.

    That is the only Catholic approach.

  19. February 17, 2010 1:38 pm

    Did anyone else get a response?

    He’s probably too busy sipping scotch and eating caviar with other “professionals.”

  20. cathobiblique permalink
    February 17, 2010 5:35 pm

    Subsidiarity is the key to avoid the Big Government or Nanny State that the left and the right impose on us.
    Interestingly enough, all the elected officials who swear to uphold the Constitution do not care about its scope, its basis and its intention.
    And if there is something anti constitutional is to wage war overseas without being attacked and without declaration of war by Congress. I cannot see how a Catholic could be a neo con, agreeing to the war mongering, torture and the constant attack against personal freedom.
    On the other hand, I cannot see how a Catholic could be liberal and agree with the immoral doctrines upheld by the left and the insane redistribution of wealth and other socialist programs pushed by Congress.
    In both cases, always more spending and bureaucratic expansion…
    And if you don’t see where the government needs to back off, well…

  21. February 17, 2010 7:11 pm

    1) Left /= “liberal”

    2) There are folks on the left who are not in favor of the “nanny state.” We’re not in favor of the state at all. We’re called anarchists.

    3) The term “nanny state” usually reveals one’s class allegiances and it does not recognize that the state at least in theory is meant to protect those on the margins of society. Whether one calls this a “safety net,” a simple assurance that people have what they need to live, or a “nanny state” reveals where one stands.

  22. Chris C. permalink
    February 18, 2010 4:06 pm

    If the author had valid point to make, and it is not clear he did, why lose them amidst personal attack, vitriol, and scorn directed against Mr Hudson, who has done nothing more than hold views with which the author disagrees? If the author read his column at all he would know that Mr Hudson had not “called for ” a Catholic tea party movement, only asked if such a moment might be coming. And assuming such a time has come, what problem exactly would you have with it? For all of the sniping, you might have explained why Catholics cannot direct concerns and complaints about the CCHD or anything else for that matter to their attention. There are legitimate questions about this program and many of the Faithful here is the U.S. would like answers. Many of our Bishops have raised these very points. In some dioceses no CCHD collection is taken up. Maybe just maybe, the USCCB is badly in need of reform if not dismantling. Sorry but those of us who suspect so won’t be going away. Better get ready and muster you best arguments as to why this ACORN friendly(until recently) program should not be scrapped. Bluster won’t cut it.

  23. Kurt permalink
    February 19, 2010 2:13 pm

    This continues even today as seen in the left’s dogmatic attachment to a healthcare plan that promotes abortion even when the bishops have been adamant in arguing that it ought to be opposed until the abortion clauses are changed.

    This is the constant Big Lie that shows why the Catholic Right should neither be trusted nor even listened to. We have the Pelosi-Stupak bill passed by the House. We have a Senate bill that has the same language the NRTLC blessed as “pro-life” when Bush put it in a bill, and we have every supporter of health care reform on Capitol Hill admitting there needs to be very restrictive language in the bill.

    And still, this reality is denied.

    Of course, when the Pelosi-Stupak bill went to the House floor, it won a single Republican vote, while most members of the “dogmatically pro-abortion” Democratic Party accepted the abortion restrictions and voted for it.

    It is time to realize that on the abortion issue, we are simply not dealing with honest people. Any bill that is opposed by Big Business will be described by them as pro-abortion regardless of what it actually says. Deep down, they don’t care about babies, they care about profit.

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  1. Of Christians, Catholics and Tea Parties (Part II) « The American Catholic

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