Another week, another dismal article in The New Republic (a former magazine) to beat up. We promise not to make a habit of this, lest TNR get an anti-stalking injunction, but this week’s TNR howler, “Originalism Is Dead; Long Live Catholic Natural Law,” is so stupid that we had to smack it around as another stepping stone to our ongoing conversation about constitutional originalism. Key question: if Thomas Aquinas and Thomas Jefferson were placed in the same room together, would they understand and agree with each other? The left, mired in historicism, thinks not. Harry Jaffa knew better.

Speaking of Harry, I did look up the quote I paraphrased (badly) in last week’s episode on his 1991 warning that the end of the Cold War was going to make the left more dangerous. The full article is here, and here’s the concluding paragraph:

The defeat of communism in the USSR and its satellite empires by no means assures its defeat in the world. Indeed, the release of the West from its conflict with the East emancipates utopian communism at home from the suspicion of it affinity with an external enemy. The struggle for the preservation of western civilization has entered a new—and perhaps far more deadly and dangerous—phase.

But along the way, we also get in a pillow fight, take in some reviews of Kosher whisky (!!), wonder why Iranians are illegally crossing over our southern border, and the wonky and obscure clue this week that demonstrates how radical the Biden Administration intends to be. So in other words, something for everybody!

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There are 6 comments.

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  1. StoughtonObserver Member
    StoughtonObserver
    @Bruce W Banerdt

    This is becoming the best podcast on Ricochet.

    • #1
  2. Steven Hayward Podcaster
    Steven Hayward
    @StevenHayward

    StoughtonObserver (View Comment):

    This is becoming the best podcast on Ricochet.

    You’re a great American!

    • #2
  3. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    My brother-in-law grew up as a Chicago democrat. I remember 10 or 15 years ago he would joke about the Republican Party worrying about socialism in the Democrat party. The implication was, he wasn’t like that and it was completely over blown. Then last election he had Bernie and Elizabeth Warren signs in his yard. 

    Talking to him, I think people on the left just reflexively want to support any collective action the left comes up with no matter what. They don’t care if it comes from the top or the bottom but they just really get off on that. They think it has to work because they just believe in central planning and more and more non-public goods. If everybody has the right attitude and pulls together it will work. That’s the way he thinks.

     

     

    • #3
  4. dukenaltum Coolidge
    dukenaltum
    @dukenaltum

     A truly splendid podcast…  

    • #4
  5. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Thanks for the podcast. The discussion of natural law is great. I have heard it said that Protestants may have a harder time then Catholics in battling the secular culture because they do not have natural law in their toolkit (so to speak). The Church spent about 1500 years working on and articulating the creed, philosophy, theology (including dealing with the rise of Islam) before the Protestants came along. The Protestants have, so to speak, piggybacked on the all that work. Without natural law and other parts of philosophy and theology, will the Protestants be able to hold off their secularization by the culture?  For that matter, will the Church if they turn away from these parts of the Faith?

    • #5
  6. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Thanks for the podcast. The discussion of natural law is great. I have heard it said that Protestants may have a harder time then Catholics in battling the secular culture because they do not have natural law in their toolkit (so to speak). The Church spent about 1500 years working on and articulating the creed, philosophy, theology (including dealing with the rise of Islam) before the Protestants came along. The Protestants have, so to speak, piggybacked on the all that work. Without natural law and other parts of philosophy and theology, will the Protestants be able to hold off their secularization by the culture? For that matter, will the Church if they turn away from these parts of the Faith?

    Speaking as a Lutheran, the study of and belief in the reality of natural law is alive and well. While the term natural law does get used periodically and is understood, most discussions revolve around the Biblical language of being made in the image of God, the uniqueness of each human life, the sacredness of all human life, and the theology and practice of daily life that flows from it. These discussions most often arise in terms of the current struggles against abortion, the commodification of children (surrogacy, IVF), and euthanasia, and it is in these issues (among others) that we partner with our brothers and sisters in Christ from the Roman Catholic church (Hadley Arkes, a Jewish convert to Roman Catholicism is a frequent guest on the Lutheran podcast “Issues, Etc.”). We regularly participate in the March For Life, with the closest Sunday to the march being celebrated each year as “Sanctity of Life Sunday”.

    Without getting into a sectarian argument, Lutherans do not begin their Christian heritage in the year 1517 AD, but with the Great Commission and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Our pastors are in the line of apostolic succession, preaching the Word and rightly administering the Sacraments. Our faith is Scriptural, creedal (Apostolic, Nicean-Constantinopolitan, Athanasian), and draws on the wisdom of Eastern and Western church fathers, the Lutheran Confessions, and other theologians from the entire history of the Church.

    Any Christian denomination that is abandoning or has already abandoned a belief in natural law, has typically also abandoned other Christian beliefs about humanity, such as original sin and man’s need for the saving life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Another way to look at it is those denominations that have no Scriptural, creedal, traditional, historical, and external doctrinal or confessional statements that they adhere to regardless of time, location, government, or surrounding culture, inevitably follow whichever way the secular winds are blowing.

    • #6