November 10, 2002

One can take much humility in the fact that Jesus called us sheep. It should tend to dampen our pride for our positions, be they political or religious, although they don't much - myself especially. I've too much of that cussed John Adams in me. Besides, in this day of moral relativism, it is helpful to remember that some policies are right. For those in those in antebellum times, there was a correct view of slavery (i.e. its evilness) that was arrived at either by circumstance of birth (i.e. the North mainly) or by conversion or ultimately war.

As a white male with a middle-class income, I perfectly fit the Republican demographic. My credibility is slim with those like Ono, whose heartfelt discomfiture at the rejoicing in conservative quarters over the election illustrates what I said in my DC triplog - the tyranny of tradition and culture. I haven't yet "stepped outside the box" of my culture much. Sure, the arguments of the conservatives sound utterly convincing to me, but is this a result of true open-mindedness or am I a product of my background? How can I ascribe the latter to those who are liberals but not to myself? You can't tell me that it's a coincidence that 80% (or so) of Protestants never become Catholics and vice-versa. If the claims of Catholicism were equally compelling with Protestantism then one would expect approximately 50% of Catholics becoming Prots & vice-versa.

I wrote about the African-American lady on the tour bus who loves Clinton and is furious at the "crucifixion" he received at the hands of Republicans. She is as surely in her demographic as I am in mine. Real credit goes to converts for they are the brave ones who go against the wind. I don't mean to sound too deterministic, or too close to denying free will, but cradle Catholics should certainly ascribe no pride to the fact of their being Catholic, nor white 39-yr old men to their conservativism. I guess that is why converts like Scott Hahn electrify - it cost them something. And that is why someone like a Justice Thomas oozes credibility.

Obviously, being a Republican has nothing to do with being a Catholic. If the Democratic Party were tomorrow to become the party of life and the Republicans pro-abort, I would become an instant Democrat. And there would be something purifying in that independence, which now I can exercise only in limited areas (like the death penalty).

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