4 November 2005

Catholic brainpower firepower

TNR Online discusses the Catholic intellectual backing of the evangelical movement in America.

a bargain of the devil oyu don’t know here.  For Catholics of a
certain bent (they’d refer to themselves as “orthodox”, although by
that term they indicate that they prefer the theology of the
post-Reformation over that of the patristics and the unified church of
the first millennium [in general]), the agreement means that they get
footsoldiers for the culture wars.  Evangelicals get a language
that doesn’t require the quoting of a scripture and interpretation that
few people are willing to accept.

But for each side, there’s a danger.  Both sides don’t really
think that the other is of the same faith community and therefore not
fuly Christian.  For the Catholics, those of the conservative bent
would say that the true church can only be found most fully in that
which is in communion with the bishop of Rome; that is, Protestants are
part of a church that is a church, but a defective one.  For
evangelicals, the tradition of referring to “Christians and Catholics”
is a long one, and one which I heard used even as recently as this week
in my department.

It’s a tenuous alliance and one which exists mostly for expediency, I
think.  And perhaps one way to decrease the power of the religious
right is to separate evangelical muscle from Catholic minds.

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