Wednesday, May 4, 2005

MH - More Catholic than the Pope?

Well, this was bound to happen. This article appeared at NRO yesterday, the contention being that "When it comes to traditional morality, President Bush - not John Paul II - had it right," and it's set off a firestorm at Amy's comments section. 217 comments at last check! We're lucky if we get that many hits in a week! (Actually, thanks to all of you, we're lucky with that figure more times than not.)

Despite the off-putting (arrogant?) subtitle, the provocative piece actually has some interesting things to say, or at least things that can be discussed. My own point, to which I alluded in my March 28 post, is that the Pope's teaching is not necessarily inconsistent with traditional Catholic teaching, but rather represents an evolution of that teaching, relfecting new methods of punishment which have the potential to eliminate the conditions which have in the past required execution as a means to protect society. My contention in the post was that while I probably agreed with the Pope in theory, in fact those conditions do not currently exist in the United States. If they did exist, I would be more inclined to accept the idea that capital punishment was no longer necessary. But again, I say that those conditions don't exist at this time, and until and unless they do, we must allow as to how capital punishment will sometimes be necessary in order for the state to discharge the duty of keeping society (both free and incarcerated) safe from violent criminals. Same with the war - perhaps we're looking at teaching that has evolved, but must continue to evolve as we adjust to a new and different defintion of war that has to take into account terrorists rather than nation-states, and the idea of preemptive striking as a just use of preventative measures to forestall a much greater conflict. Just a thought, but one that I think can be intelligently debated.

There was some very intelligent conversation in the comments section of Amy's post, and some predictable name-calling. If you keep it civil, ;) we'd like to know what you think.

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