The following column appeared in the January 3, 2014 edition of The Boston Pilot, at http://thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?ID=16803.
Is the pope a Marxist?
To be a conservative should mean recognizing that any true progress depends on receiving a tradition, being open to what Chesterton called the democracy of the dead. To be a conservative means to recognize that we belong to the great organic continuum of humanity, where past, present, and future are under our stewardship. It means being realistic enough to see the hubris of utopian schemes which, in the name of the powerless, slaughter the powerless on the altar of “progress” and revolution. To be conservative means recognizing that there are no silver bullets in politics, but only the unceasing labor of prudence and mutual deliberation. Conservatism should mean recognizing that we are not God, and that the indispensable communal act is that of thanksgiving and praise of the all-provident Creator and Sustainer of all things. Conservatism should mean humility, piety, and gratitude.
What was Rush Limbaugh thinking, to accuse the Holy Father of giving aid and comfort to the inhuman ideology of President Obama, a man who speaks of addressing inequality but is uncompromising in his advocacy for abortion? The president would like it to be so that the pope is on his side, but that just means he doesn’t understand anything Pope Francis says about solidarity with the powerless. Not the first thing. But a supposed conservative feeding the president’s delusion?
Conservatism needs Pope Francis, because it has become riddled with the same disease that has bedeviled the Left from its beginning in the French Revolution: secular contraction of consciousness, partisanship, radical individualism, and a hatred of religion unless it simply serve the interests of ideology.