Saturday, February 27, 2010

An Important Challenge

There is only one argument against monarchy that is of any real concern to me. As expressed in this blog post, the monarchy principle supposedly derives from pagan unitarianism and is inconsistent with Christian trinitarianism.

According to the author, "It would seem then that after the revelation of the Holy Trinity... no representation of divine sovereignty in the world-immanent realm is possible. The attempts to produce and, then, theologically justify such representation was, at its core, flawed and predicated on a misunderstanding (or improper emphasis) of God's 'oneness.'"

Really? No representation of divine sovereignty in the world-immanent realm is possible?

Did not Jesus Christ represent divine sovereignty in the world-immanent realm? And, do not bishops and kings represent Christ on earth?

This seems like a bad argument. I'd much appreciate it if anyone can explain how I'm mistaken.

It is most probable that some conceptions of monarchy derive from pagan sources. It may also be true that some conceptions are informed by some Christological error (e.g., the King's two bodies?).

However, at present, I understand that the Father has committed all authority to the Son, and that the Son rules through his representatives in the world-immanent realm.

Also, at present, I am unaware of any principle that precludes Christ's rule through the agencies of popes and/ or emperors.

Who is Carl Schmitt?

Recently, I have learned of this important political theorist of the last century. UO was visited by "Durendal", the author of the blog Schmittian Jurisprudence, who agrees that "classical liberal and libertarian systems can only produce the nihilism of mechanistic legality."

Providentially, my friend Perry Robinson sent me another link that references Schmitt.

On Monday I received Schmitt's The Concept of the Political and Political Theology from Amazon.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Theoretical Reason vs. Practical Reason

Let me take capital punishment as a case in point. To observers who pay no attention to the Church’s rationale, it appears that the Catholic Church is moving toward a pacifist theoretical position. This is not the case. The Church will never condemn capital punishment in principle. It can’t. The Church is judging that in the context of our times, i.e., the terrible bloodshed of the last century and the creeping culture of death, there is more danger in capital punishment's widespread use than in its widespread neglect. The Church might be wrong here, but I’d never know it.

In fact, even though I’m a strong proponent of capital punishment, I also advocate a complete restructuring of the justice system, which in turn requires a restructuring of society. However, we don’t live in Andrew’s world; we live in the real one. What I advocate is not really practical at the present. The Church is responding to the world as it actually is. I would completely fail if I somehow obtained power to implement my social policies—a lot of eggs would be broken. Destruction and misery would result. On the other hand, the Church will inevitably succeed in its mission.

I am willing to submit my theoretical reason to the demands of the Church’s practical reason in the present. And I trust that the Church’s practical reason is guided by her theoretical reason (illuminated by divine Tradition).

I also believe my theoretical reason corresponds very closely to the Church's, but am unwilling to grasp at what hasn't been offered. Instead of the revolutionary path, I wait in submission to the established order of things, while retaining hope for a better day--a day when kings will once again render judgment and justice on the earth.