One thing about Catholics is that, when it comes to partisan politics, they’re split pretty evenly. Only deeply ignorant people lump Catholics in with the “Religious Right” since about half of them are on the religious left. Many are admirably antiwar, and of course, there is even a nice anarchist pacifist tradition, in which one finds Dorothy Day or Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy.
Some Catholics, however, are absolutely terrible on issues of nationalism and war. This article below, written by a priest with whom I broadly agree on almost all theological and liturgical issues, was particularly tasteless. Fr. Zuhlsdorf, who is generally sound when writing about things that he actually knows something about, always ends up toeing the neoconservative line every time he ventures into foreign policy. Most clergy can be safely ignored when opining on political matters, and this case is no different. The text of his irreligious column is below with my comments in brackets.
Usama Bin Laden … Rest in… well… whatever… [How classy. Zuhlsdorf must have forgotten about Matt 5:44.]
by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
Pres. Obama announced tonight, fairly late on a Sunday night, that Usama Bin Laden was killed a week ago, as it seems.
I am guessing that he made this announcement tonight, USA, time, so that people rising in other parts of the world would get the fresh news during the morning at the beginning of a week, as markets open, etc. Had it come at the end of the week, it would have been fodder for Friday evening Muslim sermons. [Because all Muslims liked Osama bin Laden, you see. This assumption that all Muslims support violence is at the heart of the neocon ideology. Always ignored is the fact that a majority of "Christian" Americans support the dropping of American bombs on Muslim women and children.] It still will be, but after several days.
Nevertheless I find the timing of both the event of his killing by a small team of US operatives in a fire fight and the release of the news interesting. One friend called me to opine that they actually found him at a Taco Bell in North Carolina and flew him back to Pakistan before… you know. [ho ho] Moreover, the President seems now to be ready to quote a standard of American patriotism, the Pledge of Allegiance, with its strong invocation of God, when for sometime he couldn’t bring himself to quote the Declaration of Independence [written by an anti-Christian Deist] correctly with its reference to a Creator who gives us our rights. [Yeah! Why can't Obama be more like Bush who once said that the Constitution "is just a goddamn piece of paper."] Color me cynical.
There’s no room for violence in our political discourse? But politics is merely war by other means. Political discourse within the state inherently involves the threat of violence and is ultimately backed by it.
Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS), for which I serve on the Advisory Panel, and LewRockwell.com, for which I blog, have both launched WikiLeaks mirrors. See: RELEASE: Anarchists Launch Wikileaks Mirror, Assistance Program and WiliLeaks-LRC.
Andy Greenberg has a fascinating interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange posted at Forbes.com. Assange states that he has been significantly influenced by “market libertarianism,” and though I disagree with the conclusions of his “expertise in politics and history” he is most assuredly a friend to the cause of liberty. Check out this excerpt from the interview.
[I just posted this on LewRockwell.com]
Lew, I agree completely with you (and Rozeff). As detailed in posts by S.M. Oliva and Glenn Greenwald, it seems clear Amazon is just a victim of the state, and as a libertarian I make it a policy never to blame the victim. And who can blame them for capitulating any more than taxpayers are to be blamed for coughing up the dough? Amazon is skating on thin ice as it is in heroically helping people avoid sales tax. Of course it’s rational to fear the state. Thus I disagree with condemnations of Amazon by libertarians and Antiwar.com’s call for a boycott of Amazon.
Further, Amazon’s managers have an obligation to the shareholders; they have no right to risk or waste shareholder money for political grandstanding. It’s not their money they would be risking. I also think that in addition to the anti-war libertarian activists who are up in arms about Amazon’s pursuit of profits instead of activism, a number of left-libertarians are using this as an excuse to pile on Amazon because it’s big, a corporation, and profitable.
And I, like you, have always disliked boycotts. That said, libertarians can disagree on this tactical issue; and I of course regard antiwar.com as heroic. Thus, to bolster my dislike of boycotting, and even though I disagree with antiwar.com’s stance on Amazon and their intentional rejection of Amazon revenues, I’ve just donated $100 to Antiwar.com (and $200 to LRC).
Update: PayPal has also refused to deal with Wikileaks.
Clarification: In some of my online writings about the Amazon boycott, I’ve apparently given an impression to some that I do not wish to give. Some of my comments have been construed as more than just friendly disagreement. Let me be crystal clear: I am a strong supporter of antiwar.com. They are one of the most heroic libertarian institutions on the planet, and I greatly respect, admire and appreciate everyone who works for and supports it. I love what they do and remain a strong supporter.