Archive for the ‘Strategy and Tactics’ Category

What should Conservative Catholics say when someone says “I just love this new pope?”

November 24th, 2014 Comments off

We are in the midst of a curious phenomenon. Everyone loves the pope except conservative Catholics.

Elton John loves Pope Francis

Elton John loves Pope Francis

Elton John loves the Pope. I think he thinks the Pope is about to change Church teaching on homosexual practice and the definition of marriage.

“He is a compassionate, loving man who wants everybody to be included in the love of God,” John said of the Pope. “It is formidable what he is trying to do against many, many people in the church that opposes. He is courageous and he is fearless, and that’s what we need in the world today.”

James Robison, conservative Evangelical Southern Baptist, also loves the Pope. I think he thinks the Pope is leading people more to have a fervent, personal experience of Jesus Christ. Robison described his meeting with Pope Francis this way:

He said he wanted everyone to have a personal life-changing encounter with Christ and enter into a personal relationship with Jesus and become bold witnesses for the Gospel. Religion is not the way; Jesus is.

So fervent was his message that as he concluded I said, “As an evangelist, I want you to know what you just said deserves a high five!” The translator communicated what I was saying and in a moment of exuberance he raised his hand and gave his first high five ever. What a beautiful picture of love and supernatural oneness for the sake of the Gospel and those Jesus came to redeem.

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Thinking Strategically and Faithfully, about the Pope

November 18th, 2014 Comments off

I have received many responses to my somewhat tongue in cheek article last week, “Mom’s Home,” imploring my fellow Conservative Catholics to stop disrespecting the Pope. The responses were all over the map. I thought it would be well to offer a window into my strategic thinking. This post should help you understand what I’m trying to do. Although I am largely speaking with my fellow Catholics, the proper response to Pope Francis concerns everyone who cares about the future of marriage and family.

Pope Francis w Cardinal Muller, who organized the recent Humanum Colloquium on Complementarity of Men and Women

Pope Francis w Cardinal Muller, who organized the recent Humanum Colloquium on Complementarity of Men and Women

Let us begin with what we know, and reason from there to what tactics make sense.

What we know about the Catholic Church:

  • The office of the Papacy is bigger than any man who occupies it.
  • The Pope will not change the doctrine: he does not have the authority to change doctrine.
  • However, he can change the practices surrounding the implementation or promulgation of the doctrine on marriage, divorce and the family that serve it more or less well.
  • The Pope can err on prudential matters, and frequently does. For instance, the track record of Vatican diplomacy over the centuries is not particularly stellar.

What we know about this particular pope:

  • The Pope knows he does not have the authority to change Catholic doctrine.
  • He is charming and exuberant and spontaneous. Many people love him and find him attractive.
  • He loves Jesus and hates the devil.
  • He is not executing his teaching office regarding marriage as well as the world needs him to, and certainly not as well as his remarkable predecessors. If the students are confused, the teacher is not performing well.
  • He has left room for interpretation on some points, and has not clarified some issues.
  • We do not know what he is thinking or planning by this lack of clarity. He may have some wise hidden plan. He may have some nefarious hidden plan. He may just be careless. The fact is, we do not know.

What we know about the advocates of the Sexual Revolution: Read more…

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Against religious liberty (arguments)      

June 28th, 2014 Comments off

I like religious liberty just fine, thank you very much. But I must say, I am tired of hearing the pro-family movement making religious liberty their primary argument against the Sexual Revolution. Too many of us have done this with the HHS Mandate (which amounts to creating a Contraceptive State) and Gay Marriage (which amounts to creating Genderless Marriage.)

I realize that we are poised for the US Supreme Court’s decision on the Hobby Lobby case on Monday. Still, I want to share my

I want YOU to take your FREE contraceptive pills!

I want YOU to take your FREE contraceptive pills!

objections to this rhetorical strategy:

First, religious liberty arguments do not address the underlying issue we are fighting about. We can make good rational, natural law arguments for our position, arguments that should be comprehensible to intelligent people of good will.

If we do not make such arguments, we sound as if we are dodging that issue. Some people on our side would rather talk about bakers and wedding photographers, than the real issue of why
marriage is the social institution that links the generations to each other, and that children have genuine rights that adult society ought to strive to respect.  Some people frame the HHS Mandate issue in terms of the harm to Christian employers and institutions, when the real question is HOW THE HECK DID THE STATE EVER GET IN THE CONTRACEPTION BUSINESS IN THE FIRST PLACE??!?!?!?!

Second, religious liberty is a losing argument. The Sandra Flukes and Dan Savages of the Read more…

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Evacuation from Dunkirk: a continuation of my open letter to San Diego Social Conservatives.

June 12th, 2014 Comments off


My first letter drew some discussion on my Facebook page. That is great. I am glad.

Kirk Jorgenson is not the subject of discussion here.  I like Kirk. He ran a good and honorable campaign. A lot of you worked hard for him. I respect that.

Evacuation at Dunkirk June 1940

But now that particular battle is over.  We have metaphorically evacuated from Dunkirk. We are safely in the British Isles. Let us regroup and think about our next move.

The enemy holds such a commanding position on the legal and political battlefield, that direct combat on that field of battle is highly unlikely to be successful. The Democratic Party, with its commitment to the whole Sexual Revolutionary Agenda, has a super-majority in the CA state legislature. Sexual Revolutionaries control the courts, in California, the federal courts, and at the US Supreme Court.

All of this means the Revolutionaries can change the rules to suit themselves. They already have been changing the rules, in case you haven’t noticed. They like the thin veneer Read more…

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After the Party: An Open Letter to Social Conservatives in San Diego and Beyond

June 10th, 2014 Comments off

On June 3, 2014, Kirk Jorgenson, came in third in a run-off style primary election for the 52nd Congressional District. He obtained 17% of the vote. Jorgenson had been the favorite of the Social Conservative community in San Diego.

OK, San Diego Cultural Conservatives. Kirk Jorgenson lost his runoff race for the 52nd Congressional District.

Can we talk now?

I know you feel terrible. I saw how hard all of you worked. I know how enthused and hopeful you all were. But I was never optimistic that he would come in second and thus become eligible for the run-off election in November. Not that I have anything negative to say about Kirk himself. I love Kirk. I love his family. I love the people who worked with him and his campaign. That’s all of you.

But it is time for cultural conservatives to take a sober-minded look at California politics and our place in it. I don’t believe a guy like Kirk ever had a chance.

Warren Buffett and Charles Munger, Sr, funders of legal cases and other abortion causes

Warren Buffett and Charles Munger, Sr, funders of legal cases and other abortion causes

The Rich and Powerful of both political parties like the Sexual Revolution. They don’t mind pornography or divorce. They just aren’t all that bothered by kids without relationships with their parents. They don’t mind schools saturated with contraception. They don’t mind abortion on demand, sex education in the schools and “Bathroom Bills.”  They are against parental notification and informed consent requirements for abortions.

To take one particularly salient example from California Republican politics: Charles Munger, Jr. Charles Munger, Jr has an outsized influence on the California Republican Party, due to his wealth. He is working to “move the party to the center.”  We all know that is code for “giving up the social issues.”

Munger’s father, Charles Munger, Sr. and Warren Buffett bankrolled People v. Belous, the California Supreme Court case that overturned California’s abortion Read more…

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