Please check out this piece by Austin Ruse, head of C-FAM, over at Crisis. HERE He looks into the truly bizzare claims from the catholic Left that anyone who doesn’t agree with them about redistribution of wealth and Pope Francis’ every delphic utterance related to economic issues must a … wait for it… “libertarian”! And we all know that being a “libertarian” is, for the catholic Left, worse than being a dog catcher or tow truck driver or even a defender of marriage.
You might recall that the Wile E. Coyote of liberal catholicism, Michael Sean Winters of the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap), had a couple meltdowns about the evils of “libertarians” (who exist only in his imagination, of course). Just mention Acton Institute to these folks and then make popcorn. For example, HERE.
Anyway, Austin Ruse has a good piece which you won’t want to miss. Some samples:
A Trap Set for Catholic Conservatives
Influential Catholics—many of them supporters of Barack Obama—are advancing a proposition that may have the result of sullying the reputations of Catholic conservatives and those Catholics arguing for a robust market economy.
They couch their arguments in Catholic Social Teaching; the common good, political community, love for the poor, subsidiarity. They compare this over against libertarianism; a radical individualism where each man sets and makes his own course that—damn all the rest—leads to his flourishing unless the heavy hand of the state interrupts it. Above all—to radical individualists—the State is the Enemy. [NB] Except some of what these people call libertarianism, isn’t.
This proposition got at least a partial airing out last Summer at a conference called “The Catholic Case Against Libertarians” hosted in the lovely offices of Bread for the Poor, offices far larger and far nicer than the poor pro-life group that I run and most others that I know.
One of the overarching questions, at least for some of us in the room, was where are the libertarians you all are talking about? [Good question. Of course, they exist only in the imaginations of those who are out to get these straw men.] Why weren’t any of them invited to speak, perhaps to engage, to explain themselves. One of the organizers answered that when he said, quite unbidden, that libertarians were not invited to engage the conference “because we are here to instruct them, not to engage them. It is similar to the Church’s instruction of communists.”
I do not want to suggest that any of the speakers were cagey but as I recall only one of them even mentioned the name of a group that is suspect. Matthew Boudway of Commonweal [Commonweal? I’m shocked! Shocked!] drew a bright line right at the real target if the conference. The line began with libertarianism and went straight to political conservatives and to free marketeers. “Most Catholic defenders of laissez-fair ideology describe themselves as conservative.” [Are there lots of “laissez-faire” types out there? I don’t think so.] But even they know such an ideology is really the “great disrupter, its gales of creative destruction sweeping away traditions, institutions, and communities that stand in its way.” Where no others did, Boudway had the courage to name names. He named the Acton Institute. More on Acton below.
Boudway also said, “Show me a country that has surrendered its politics to the dictates of the market, and I will show you a culture where personal attachments of every kind are less secure than they once were and where the poor and every other vulnerable population are at most an afterthought.” To that I would say, yes please, show me that country.
John DiIulio of the University of Pennsylvania gave perhaps the most disappointing talk. He went after “self-professed Catholics” who had dared to challenge some of the Pope’s economic pronouncements. One expected more from him, who is greatly admired by Catholic conservatives, than his repeated suggestion that Catholic conservatives are “radical libertarians” and therefore not “true Catholics.” [See what’s going on?] He said such as these are fine with families living in the streets, Third World children suffering from malaria and HIV/AIDS, and indigent elderly with curable diseases. It could have been an Obama campaign commercial.
Stephen Schneck, who runs the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America, gave among the most interesting talks, tracing libertarian ideas from Barnard de Mandevile’s 1704 poem The Fable of the Bees to the French Revolution to the Scottish Enlightenment to Civil War America and down to the present day.
He began, though, with Ayn Rand and John Galt. He took the detour through history to demonstrate “that I do understand libertarianism: its roots and its branches.” And he ended his historical tour back with Ayn Rand and John Galt.
That is the thing that occurred to some of us that day and subsequently. Any support of a market economy equals libertarianism equals Randism equals heresy.
Read the rest over there.