The Communion of Saints

The Communion of Saints
I hope there's room for me.

Welcome all - especially Mancunians.

Hello anybody lost in the blogosphere. Welcome to the ruminations of a politically left of centre, Man United supporting, blues loving, history-fixated, Catholic wanderer. Be warned, I am a bit of a curmudgeon.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Call me what you like, but never a liberal.

My byline of CatholicLeft continues to ruffle a few feathers of those across the North Atlantic, mostly I think, because of the state of political positions taken there. So, I feel a bit of clarification is needed.

Sadly, utilitarianism is now coming to be seen as synonymous with radicalism across the political spectrum.
I consider the issues of abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage and the like to be examples of the individual being placed above the community, where 'what I want' is more important than anything else and this is truly damaging. This infects the whole of the political spectrum, increasingly throughout Europe too.
I am a communitarian and hold views on issues of taxation, criminal justice, healthcare provision, welfare support, housing, defence, privitisation of industries, immigration, et al, that put me firmly on the traditional left of politics. All of these views are deeply fed by my religious beliefs as much as are my opposition to those matters already addressed.
It is healthy to have Christians in all parties to fight and strive to be heard for the needs of all. The Democratic Party in the USA has been hugely damaged by its sidelining of the traditional working class Christian (particularly Catholic) voice. It means that it can win Presidential elections (as the Republicans keep shooting themselves in the foot with the choice of candidates and extreme positions in election platforms) but not, outside of extraordinary years, the elections to the House of Representatives. It baffles many of us this side of the Pond, that coal miners vote for Republicans, but that is fault of the Democratic Party becoming more aligned to 'liberal' causes that the needs of the working man and woman.
For what it is worth, the worst thing you could call me is a liberal.


  1. I am proud to be a Catholic Liberal Democrat (a UK one!). Unfortunately there are many in my party who espouse views on matters of conscience (like abortion on demand though not the loving care of women who have had terminations, and like same sex MARRIAGE though not equal opportunities for same sex couples) which are not reconcilable with by faith, but any Catholic LibDem will follow his conscience rather than his party on these issues and I praise such politicians as Sarah Teather MP who does this vociferously. I must admit I do not often see these conscience calls in American Democratic politics.

    The rest of Liberal Democrat policies is in line with Catholic social teaching and its option for the poor and underprivileged and the principle of enabling rather than nannying. My personal politics are thus totally in sync with my faith. I should be a strange Christian if they were not.

    I too find it incredible that the Catholic Church in the USA so obviously favours a party like the Republicans which in nearly all questions of social justice, equal rights, peace and internationalism, etc. is so clearly opposed to most Catholic/Christian principles.

  2. I am not comfortable with the tag right-wing though in common political parlance that is what most people probably would call me: I am a monarchist by conviction; a traditionalist, socially and liturgically, by experience; a firm believer in limited government and economically of no particular hue bar believing in a free market with adequate checks and balances. I suppose if I'm anything I would be what the Canadians would call a Red Tory or the British would call a High Tory.

    I would make the point with regards to the Church and the Democratic Party in the USA, that the Church has not chosen to "leave" the Democrats, rather the Democrats have "left" the Church. By and large on the big moral questions of the day the Republican Party now has far more in common with the Church than the Democrats. I don't see that changing any time soon.

  3. Thanks for this David. There are members of the Liberal Democrats I would vote for (I don't belong to any political party), as there are even some Tories I would be tempted to support (not many). Equally, there are more than a couple of Labour politicians I would struggle to support. To be fair to the Catholic Church in the USA, it is supportive of much that the Democrats espouse as they are issues that the Church fought for first and the Democrats embraced as their own, but find it difficult to be heard on those issues as the press are more keen to report battles on abortion, same-sex marriage and the like. My remarks are to do with liberlism as concept rather than the name of a particular UK party.