We love the Church, but by and large, churchmen don’t understand a lick about economics. This results in foolishness not limited to—and usually much more catastrophic than—the mushy Christian-Democratic statist gunk the Czar was recently surprised to find in the new Catechism. And they’re charged with articulating teachings about man’s responsibility to man. This becomes a trainwreck when their ignorance meets the self-righteousness of a lot of the laity.
John Zmirak explains:
I’ve often heard people talk about their most beloved aspect of our Faith. When asked, “What’s your favorite thing about being a Catholic?” some well-instructed souls will cite the Eucharist, while others will speak of their devotion to Our Lady. The pointier heads in the room might cite the Church’s rich storehouse of worldly and heavenly wisdom. In the old days, people pointed to the liturgy—but that was before its renovation in the 1970s with shag rugs and cheap wood paneling. My mother (if speaking candidly) would surely have copped to Bingo. Reading what many Catholics have to say on economics and politics lately, it seems to me that if these folks answered honestly, they’d have to say: “Being Catholic gives me a high-minded rhetoric of noble-sounding values, a sense of moral superiority, and unrestricted license to speak and write as a crank.”
I’m reminded of people I used to meet at Latin Mass, whose faith was past reproach, but who hadn’t spent quite enough time on the care and feeding of Reason. Some would wave at me yellowed copies of The Remnant, citing the latest column proving that heliocentrism is a heresy. But I’ll never forget the sweet old lady who took me aside one Sunday.
“Do you know what I read?” she whispered. “The environmentalist scientists are planning to reduce the world population to 700,000 people, and turn the rest of the planet into a nature park.”
“And you know how they’re going to do it?”
“Well . . .”
“They’re going to clone dinosaurs and unleash them on us,” she said, almost giddy with glee. Apparently some columnist had read Al Gore’s Earth in the Balance, rented Jurassic Park, and connected the dots.
Unsure of the charitable response, I restricted my remarks to these: “Well, you know what I heard? For the past 30 years, the Freemasons have been faking the weather.”
“Yeah. I don’t have time to tell you how they do it, but I promise I’ll give you all the details next time I see you.” And I never came back.
I’d made the woman’s day. From then on, whenever it seemed to be spitting smog on Lexington Avenue, or blazing heat on the asphalt, she knew that behind the Masonic façade there really was glorious, temperate, Catholic weather—if only we could see it.
That pretty well describes how too many Catholics look at economics and public policy.
Like you’re not going to read the whole thing now.
Confidential to J.P.Z. The Freemasons don’t run the weather…any more. We run the weather now. Just say thank you to GorT for the cool summer and lack of hurricanes.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.