Well known for his staunch Catholicism, Mr Abbott said he had never let his religion interfere with his policy decisions and pledged he never would as either leader of the Liberal Party or as prime minister.I know nothing about Mr. Abbott or Aussie politics. Doesn't matter. The sentence above is laughable, but hardly funny. It merely reveals the artificial divide between belief and action, faith and public life, doctrine and politics. The divide is further accentuated by the use of a most revealing word: "interfere." Funny, but you don't see sentences like this:
Well known for his staunch Marxism, Mr Bumbles said he had never let his Marxist views interfere with his policy decisions and pledged he never would as either leader of the Liberal Party or as prime minister.Or, quite timely:
Well known for his staunch belief in global warming, Mr Jeep said he had never let his love for monitoring carbon footprints interfere with his policy decisions and pledged he never would as either leader of the Liberal Party or as prime minister.Put another way, how about this:
Well known for his staunch Catholicism, Mr Kanedee said he had never let his religion interfere with his marital decisions and pledged he never would as either leader of his family or as mentor to other husbands and fathers.No, no, no! Of course not. It's always a one-way street, and the vehicle is always going the wrong way, with politics driving ethics and informing morality, and eventually misdirecting and perverting religious beliefs. If, in fact, one's religious beliefs could "interfere" with "policy decisions," there are only two conclusions to be reached:
1). The religious beliefs are false and/or useless. In which case they should be abandoned. If not abandoned, they are simply window-dressing, a cover, a cynical ploy. Or, better: political currency.The reporter doesn't see this, I'm quite certain, not because he is stupid or anti-Catholic, but because this is simply the prevailing, accepted, thoughtless "wisdom." But modern liberalism—which, in its various forms, dominates the political realm in the West—is itself a form of religious faith. In the words of James Kalb, recently interviewed for Ignatius Insight:
2). The policy decisions are in conflict with one's religious beliefs, in which case the politician is either willing to compromise his religious beliefs or he believes policy takes precedence over his religious beliefs (whether true or not), thus destroying his "staunch Catholic" status.
Liberalism is a stealth religion. It becomes established and authoritative by claiming that it is not a religion but only the setting other religions need to cooperate peacefully.Read the entire interview.
The claim doesn't make much sense, since religion has to do with ultimate issues. The religion of a society is simply the ultimate authoritative way the society grasps reality. As such it can't be subordinate to anything else.
Liberalism has been successful at obfuscating its status as a religion, and that's been key to its success. People believe they are keeping their own religion when they give first place to liberalism. What happens though is that their original religion gets assimilated and becomes a sort of poeticized version of liberalism.