Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Behold St. Dalton - Model of Devout Catholic Secularism

Dalton McGuinty's parents were obviously not very environmentally-friendly. According to the Sun's Christina Blizzard, Dalton is one of ten children in his large Catholic family, and "jokes that while other kids got a new puppy for Christmas, he got a new brother or sister."

That's a lot of carbon-producing earth polluters!

However, Ms. Blizzard hails Premier McGuinty as some kind of political demi-god in today's column, Premier Pops off on Pope. Mmmm... Interesting headline, but let's move on.

Blizzard has canonized Dalton for telling off Pope Benedict following the papal comment agreeing with "Mexican bishops who said Catholic politicians had excommunicated themselves by legalizing abortion in that nation's capital. A papal spokesman later clarified that statement to mean that the bishops had not actually excommunicated them."

The way I interpret that statement is that by the very act of enabling a pro-choice policy, a Catholic politician has ex-communicated himself. I have yet to hear of any politician being officially ex-communicated by the Pope. Please enlighten me if I'm wrong here.

It is a nuanced, but highly important difference. As an example, if I say I am a concerned environmentalist, but I go around littering and driving a big pollution-belching car to the corner store all the time, I'm not really an environmentalist, am I? My actions define me.

Should all Catholics who are true to the doctrine therefore recuse themselves of politics? That is a very interesting question. I really don't have the answer, but I think at some point your moral convictions are inseparable from the way you conduct yourself and how you see the world.

"The Pope, his purview is the church. My purview is Ontario and there is one particular aspect of myself that is in common with the Pope -- I happen to be Catholic, but I have other responsibilities as well," McGuinty told a scrum before a caucus meeting yesterday.

Perhaps Dalton is more of a Catholic relativist.

* * * *

Update: BTW, Dalton. Where's your Catholic outrage here?

Thursday Update: Lifesite - "Mr. McGuinty needs to show some respect to the Church to which he claims to belong," said Suresh Dominic, spokesman for the Catholic pro-life group Campaign Life Catholic. "It is the job of the Church, and not Mr. McGuinty, to decide who may and who may not receive Holy Communion."



Canadi-anna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Canadi-anna said...

Why do people laud the ability to compartmentalize one's values?

Issues like abortion are not the exclusive domain of the Church. One can be anti-abortion without also being Catholic, so why do politicians feel compelled to distance themselves from values that might reflect, though not be dictated by, their religion.

Besides - how brave is Dalton for standing down the Pope on issues that have been decided by the Supreme Court and about which he'll never have to articulate a position.

p.s. I deleted the previous comment because I made a glaring grammatical error.

Anonymous said...

"I really don't have the answer, but I think at some point your moral convictions are inseparable from the way you conduct yourself and how you see the world."

...and there's the rub (for all of us me thinks)

It's the difference between "talking the talk" or "walking the walk".

Not easy, but no one ever said that life would easy....or else I missed that lesson. :-)


Don said...

What is sad is that the media rarely question a politician's claim to their religious faith. If a politician self identifies as a practising member of a particular faith, yet their actions show them to not follow the faith they so publicly profess, why are they not held up as examples of hypocrites and/or liars. It tells a lot about a politician's character (particularly their honesty and trustworthiness) when they insist on living the lie that certain self professed [insert religion of your choice here] politicians do.
Sadly, the MSM is only too eager to engage in the tired xenophobic cliche of Catholic politicians answering to a foreign power in the Vatican. They dress it up in liberal terms, but it all stems from the same centuries old anti-Catholic mentality. That is likely why individuals like Christina Blizzard applauded McGuinty's words.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

It's the difference between "talking the talk" or "walking the walk".

Raz, exactly. I can think of a few politicians who did the latter: Joe Comuzzi, Bev Desjarlais, and there must have been others who were punished for their moral convictions.

Other politicians flaunt their religious affiliation like just another accomplishment on their resume. (I'm SO good!)

A real person of faith is humble.

Anonymous said...

In regards to your update, Joanne, the CBC pilot about the naughty altar boys....there has got to be some restraint on the part of writers, directors, producers, etc....when they use a symbol such as the communion host as a symbol for comedy.

That bugs me as much as when Little Mosque on the Prairie had a scene where the host was ridiculed by Muslims as being cannabilistic.

The CBC are cowards, and just not thinking. To cavalierly put on a sitcom like this for the general public - some of which hold the communion host as sacred - is shameful.

We all know that they wouldn't show the Mohammed cartoons on television in a comedy, to ridicule Mohammed.

What goes around, comes around, and the day in Canada when the CBC goes belly-up will be a good day for all.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Raz, that day can't come soon enough.