Pope Benedict: Liberal, schmiberal!

At Mirror of Justice, Rick Garnett has a good critique of my “Pope is a Liberal” piece:

No doubt, the Pope’s views on many questions regarding the organization and regulation of the economy put him well to the “left” of the American political center.  But, the suggestion that the overall vision of society and the person presented in the new encyclical, and the letter’s premises about morality, truth, duties, anthropology, are (insert here all the reservations, expressed by other MOJ-ers, about labels) “liberal”, in the way that category functions in contemporary American and European politics, seems misplaced. 


Today’s “liberalism” — notwithstanding the community-and-solidary language that is trotted out for use in debates about economic regulation and taxation — is very hard to separate, I would think, from the relativism, individualism, indifferentism, and atomism that the Pope criticizes with *at least* as much fervor as he calls for new spending programs.

My “Pope is a liberal” take was being provocative in the sense that I wanted to show the wider public (as well as cons and neo-cons, I suppose) that you can’t categorize B16 or the Church as one thing or the other. And I think in the US context he and the church are generaly categorized/criticized as conservative (whatever that means in the post-Palin or pre-Palin era).

For the church, it’s the great “et et,” a both/and.

Comments read comments(6)
post a comment

posted July 8, 2009 at 10:19 am

That’s kind of funny that Rick Garnett would define liberalism as “hard to separate from the relativism, individualism, indifferentism, and atomism” … I mean, what the hell is he talking about?
I mean that in a funny way. Ha Ha.
Oh, I know, let me make up some words and then use them in a pejorative context to categorize someone because I’m offended that they are categorizing me.
My dad’s stronger than your dad.
Nyah nyah nyah.
When do I get my turn on the swings.

report abuse


posted July 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Cindy, You aptly summed up many of the interactions we all have on here…thanks! Besides, we all know liberal is a swear word and you are both in trouble!
David, you are apparently expecting too much from your readship.

report abuse


posted July 8, 2009 at 3:25 pm

readership…(ironic I misspelled it, huh)

report abuse


posted July 8, 2009 at 6:40 pm

The problem is that when you “provoke” (as you admitted you were doing) simply for the sake of starting an argument among what you perceive are these warring factions you get the childish comments that are so often found on this blog…
I think that your “always political” lense distorts your point of view and weakens the interesting insights that you occasionally have, and as in this case, take the discussion of a papal encyclical to an undeservingly low level.

report abuse


posted July 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm

It’s time for a real revolution! When the citizens rise up against the corruption and inside political dealings, then we will have FREEDOM again, the kind of freedom our forefathers had for a very brief period of time.
Down with LIBERALS!!
If you identify with one of these groups, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Liberals seek to imprison your thoughts through such fascist tactics as Political Correctness and social blackmail.
Conservatives seek to imprison your body through tactics like the ruthless perversion of our capitalist system and an over-abundance of laws that only the insiders know well enough to manipulate.
Revolution is coming.
Revolution is coming.
Revolution is coming.

report abuse


posted July 18, 2014 at 2:35 am

s more, Google Play has exceeded its twentieth million download.
The quality of the links The quantity of the links The velocity of link building.

Glass with bones – Google Glass does not use conventional speakers, instead it uses bone-conduction technology.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Pontifications. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!   ...

posted 2:38:01pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Moving on, and many, many thanks... recent vacation and related absences also coincided with an offer from to cover religion for them, as editor Melinda Henneberger announces here in her roundup on the site's very successful first 100 days. That ...

posted 8:29:24pm Aug. 02, 2009 | read full post »

Calvin at 500, Calvinism 2.0
If you thought you knew John Calvin--who turned 500 last week--you probably don't know enough. For example, that he was French, born Jean Cauvin. And if he was in fact scandalized by dancing, he was also a lot more complex than that. I explored ...

posted 11:53:35am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

Apologia pro vita sua...Kinda
 In my defense, I've had computer outages and family reunions and a few days of single-parenthood, which is always a bracing reminder of what many parents go through all the time. And this weekend it's off for a week's vacation. Anyway, ...

posted 10:51:36am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

When Benny met Barry: "I'll pray for you!"
The first word via Vatican Radio and first image (that I saw) via Rocco: Speaking to Vatican Radio, Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi said "moral values in international politics, immigration and the Catholic Church's ...

posted 12:54:28pm Jul. 10, 2009 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.