f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

October 5, 2004

mugging Professor Grace

Filed under: — David Giacalone @ 10:49 am


let’s mug Prof. Grace (Oct. 4, 2004)


To thank Prof. Martin Grace of a tort et a travers for responding to my recent musing about conflicted Catholic Libertarians, I set out today to find a “cool coffee mug” for his hypothetical Catholic Libertarian Society.   In doing so, I learned a lot and had some fun.   [Except for my curiosity about how ideas and actions jibe, I have no explanation for the interest of your Editor — an ex-Catholic and “thoughtful” liberal — in the relationship between the powerfully hierarchical Church and the empowering, free-market ideology.]


Here are a few things I learned:

    • The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, which “seeks to articulate a vision of society that is both free and virtuous,” considers itself to be a Catholic Libertarian organization.  It has a Book Shoppe, but apparently no coffee mugs or t-shrits.
    • Prof. Grace’s posting last week asking “Is There Such a Thing as a Libertarian Catholic?” is the first result for the Google Search <“catholic libertarian”>.

    • People on the Right and the Left can get awfully ugly when discussing their ideological/political opponents — with the Right directing violent ideation at the Left (e.g., here and there) and the Left feeling intellectually and ethically superior to the Right (for example, here).  

        • Master Issa and I disapprove of this loony Nuke the Moon logo: nuke moon, and to a tao shark mug being hawked on the Web by a far right group.

    • In September 2003, Professor Bainbridge referred to himself as “Catholic libertarian neo-conservative.”  Although he has not yet joined this discussion, he’s heartily invited.

    • There is a large amount of info on the Net on the connection between Christianity/Catholicism and libertarianism.  For example, see here and there.


thomas more  Despite spending far too long looking, I uncovered no appropriate logo for Martin’s CLS.   He suggested using “St. Thomas Moore’s profile as our logo.”  I could only locate materials on St. Thomas More, so that’s his picture at the start of this paragraph.   To be frank, he’s just not “cool” enough to sell any t-shirts, and selling is pretty important to nonprofits and libertarians.


Nonetheless, here are some possible inspirations for the Grace CLS logo:


– “no theo”  the No American Theocracy Mug (from CafePress.com) to re-assure the anarchist fringe

                       – the faux news mug for fair and balanced freethinkers faux news

heartless libertarian is harsh, but might work when campaigning against school budgets (order)


–  when flip-flopping, the “Trouble Maker & Innocent Bystander” combo might prove helpful . .  trouble maker


– if your Faith falters, there’s always the Relapsed Catholic mug or Galilei sweatshirt

no w   I don’t know how the presidential candidates will woo Catholic Libertarians.  They might want to check out Franklin Foer’s Dubya and Catholic Social Theory, and Fr. Miller’s The Divine Right Of Capital, and note that the Church condemned using the interent to foster “radical libertarianism,” back in 2002.   No one need feel left out, however, as Catholics for Kerry bumper stickers are available and Vote Catholic Not Kerry magnets.


Well, Martin, I don’t know if my efforts have helped.  I do believe, however, that no ideology has all the answers for maintaining a government and political system that can preserve liberty, while promoting prosperity and social justice for all.  I don’t think any religion has all the answers either (to things spiritual or political), but don’t get me started.


p.s.  I can’t leave without offering haiku from Kobayashi Issa, translated as always by Prof. David G. Lanoue.

rice-planting song–
let everyone’s anger
be cured


in my sake cup
down the hatch!
Heaven’s River



       Prof. Grace’s mug . . . “prof grace”

[You can find the “No W” sticker here; and a “Flush the Johns” flush sticker here]

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