Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Free Market Faith in God

The faith of Americans is alive, vibrant and well according to this piece from the Wall Street Journal. Despite headlines and sensationalized stories from wishful thinkers of a less religious bent (stories and headlines that are as old as the Republic) religion continues to thrive in America--in no small part--because of our very open approach to the subject. The Pew survey that made headlines announcing the rise of atheism in America some weeks ago is notably taken to task in this story. Apparently, one-fifth of the self-reported "atheists" in their survey also said that they believed in God. The authors of this piece hilariously dub this, "a semantic confusion rich in meaning." Indeed.

Of course, acknowledging what I choose to call America’s religious "vibrancy" (and others will call its chaos) is bound to make some conservatives of a more orthodox bent wince. Without dismissing their concerns and while acknowledging the theological challenges this "vibrancy" presents for them, I still would have to say that this Catholic prefers the small "c" catholicism of our regime to the big "C" Catholicism of more homogeneous countries. It is a kind of chaos, yes. And chaos has its very real sort of problems that require diligence. But on the whole, it inspires a people with more mental agility, more hard-earned and deeply serious faith, and, I think--also, more sympathy for the unconverted. It makes us more mindful that everyone is a potential friend in Christ--if we can persuade him. It is a religiosity that is worthy of our natural freedom and our human potential.

Thanks to Kate for passing along this article.

Discussions - 7 Comments

I take it then you would agree that John Kerry ought not to be denied sacraments for his position on abortion? Does his perspective, absolutely vilified on this site for years, contribute to the 'vibrancy' of your vision? Does his position count as mental agility, or as being hard-earned, or deeply serious?

ren, his position is vicious. It is the contrasting darkness behind any vibrant vision of religious freedom and part of the chaos Julie mentions, above. Kerry requires conversion on that point, that a human life has value beyond its convenience.

My question for ren is, "Why do you wish to impose homogeneity upon the vibrancy of American religion?" If John Kerry's positions on life do not square with those of the church to which he says he belongs and if, as a consequence of his public outspokenness on the question, he is denied the sacraments, why is that a matter of concern for any person other than John Kerry and those in a position of authority within said church? If John Kerry does not agree with his church on the question of life or with their decision to deny him the sacraments, surely he should be able to find a church in this country with which he is in deeper agreement. And he is also certainly free to voice his opposition to the church. Your objection seems to boil down to a kind of outraged indignation over the fact that John Kerry (and others like him) have been unable to persuade the Church to agree with them and to declare their position on abortion to be the true one. Churches certainly do not need to be (and probably should not be) as open as a country is to variety in opinion. When they are, religion is dead. See Europe.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a horrific plane crash in Montana that took the lives of the family of Irving "Bud" Feldkamp of Lodi, California. He lost two daughters, two son-in-laws, and five grandchildren, as well as the pilot and four other friends of the Feldkamp family. They were all on their way to a week-long vacation at the Yellowstone Club - a millionaires-only ski resort. The cause of the plane crash is a still a mystery. There was speculation that ice on the wings may have caused the crash, but this particular plan model has been tested for icy weather and experts have stated that the ice being the cause is unlikely. Feldkamp owned the plane.

But there is more to this story than the Main Stream Media will report. Bud Feldkamp is a very rich man. He owns Allcare and Hospitality Dental Associates and he is the CEO of the Glen Helen Raceway Park in San Bernardino. He also owns the 17 California Family Planning clinics which perform more abortions in the state of California - Planned Parenthood included - and these clinics perform abortions through the first five months of pregnancy.

The plane carrying Feldkamps' family and friends crashed 500 feet from its landing destination into The Catholic Holy Cross Cementary owned by Resurrection Cemetery Association in Butte, Montana. The plane and its passengers landed nearby the "Tomb of the Unborn" a memorial that was erected as a dedication to all babies who have died because of abortion.

One could surmise that the Church isn't the only one that John Kerry is unable to persuade abortion is a good thing. The Feldkamps need prayers and hopefully all that read this will be more than willing to do so.

That's a good point. American religious liberty would allow for the free-thinking John Kerrys of all kinds to begin their own semi-Catholic church with doctrine to suit themselves. If we can have 20 varieties of Baptists, then why can't the various kinds of Catholics sort themselves out of that church into churches of their very own?

Liked JULIE'S fine point regarding Kerry, where she noted his association "with a Church to which he says he belongs," ------------ instead of simply "belongs."

Perhaps in another life Julie was a Canon lawyer........ I can see her in the opening scenes of Henry V, in some solemn gathering, responding to the King's question: "[W]e pray you [our learned canon lawyer and Papal envoy] to proceed, and justly and religiously unfold why the law Salique, that they have in France, or should, or should not, bar us in our claim...."

Can't say that's a line I had considered, Dan . . . but thanks for the chuckle!

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