The Catholic Position On Gun Control Should Be...

I want you to remember something in the coming weeks and months. Sometimes good Catholics disagree.

How I wish there was more quiet time, more time to grieve, before political bloodletting followed upon actual bloodletting. We no longer have room or time to breathe. We gasp and then we yell. At least that is what it seems like.

But we were not granted the time. Most of those beautiful children in Newtown have yet to be laid to rest, but the big headlines are already political and the side stories are of lives lost. Within days, we won't even have the side stories anymore. People often bemoan the coarsening of our politics. I don't know how it can be coarser than this.

But part of the impulse of everyday Americans is understandable. When faced with unspeakable violence and unthinkable tragedy, we want to do something. And we want to believe that something can be done. Maybe some things can be done, but there is a real possibility that very little can be done.

There will be very real and important public policy debates over the coming weeks, months, and years about a number of topics including mental illness, school security, and of course gun control.

These are all prudential decisions about which good ...

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  1. I wonder if, in our personal relationships, the idea of reasoned, respectful discussions is over. I say that because in my small town, these sorts of discussions are verboten. That is how a modicum of community is being maintained.

    In the larger sense, in the political arena, the polite people lost the war some time ago. I hearken back to the debates when the impoliteness and aggressiveness of the current administration won the day in polls afterward and at the .polls on election day.

  2. Why should there be a "Catholic position" on gun control? For that matter, why should the Vatican bother commenting on genetically modified seeds (which it has done)? This is where subsidiarity should come in; local officials directly accountable to the citizens have the primary responsibility in such matters.

    Unfortunately, Catholics effectively believe in subsidiarity. Otherwise, you wouldn't have the demand for a "Catholic position" on political issues. For example, I don't know what the "Eastern Orthodox" or "Protestant" (yes, I know there are many Protestant denominations) positions are on political issues.

  3. I wonder if, in our personal relationships, the idea of reasoned, respectful discussions is over.

    Gretchen, there's a prominent Catholic blogger who manifests the exact same attitude you detest. Not only does he manifest it; he uses it as his MO. Patrick knows very well who he is; they comment together for the National Catholic Register's Web site.

    If you want to make a difference, here's one way:

  4. Joseph
    Who said there should be a Catholic position on gun control? Did you read the whole post? If so, you missed the entire point.

  5. Patrick, I read your post. Nevertheless, the fact that you even entitle it the way you did proves my point, albeit indirectly, about the minds of most Catholics.

    BTW, I strongly suggest you send the last paragraph to the blogger to whom I referenced in my previous post on this thread. He's a bigger problem than any ostensible misinterpretations on my part.

  6. Let me translate the Amazon Queen from Disingenuous Weasel into English for you, Patrick: "How dare the church offer an opinion on public policy! Also, Mark Shea is the worst person ever, because he whores out his religious faith to a different set of unthinking ideological fetishes from the one I whore mine out to!"

    Hey Jody, remember when you called Benedict XVI "Pope Benedict Arnold"?

    Given you have the same first name as Mengele, Stalin, and Goebbels—and, again, your surname is the Queen of the Amazons—that was pretty damn stupid, even for you.

  7. If you want another example of excerable behavior from the blogger whom I've mentioned, here's one:

  8. The immutable right to self defense comes from the human being being created in the image of God. The Pope is the pastor of all souls and needs to remind people of their immortal souls and their civil rights being human souls.

  9. Mary, this Pope won't do that, nor will any of his successors. Having been based in Europe all these centuries, the Papacy has embraced European thought -- including the increasing secularism that emerged after WWII. Compare the Church's current abolitionist stance toward capital punishment (which contradicts centuries of teaching from Scripture and Tradition) with the European Union's stance.


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