19th Century Catholics and the Myth of Modern Freedom
Amongst some Catholics, there is a certain unwillingness to see
anything amiss with modern civilization as embodied in the American
dream of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Often, this is
because the only alternatives to democracy we know are the much more
frightening specters of socialism and communism. To many, it seems the
only way to have an effective voice in the American political arena is
to align ourselves with the so-called conservative "Right." Yet if we
follow the logic of the "Right" today, we may wonder why people who
support individual rights and freedom of conscience in the economic and
political realm are so vehemently opposed to the supremacy of individual
rights and freedom of conscience in the moral realm. Many Catholics
give up following the logic at this point and cast their vote in favor
of freedom of conscience as the most important principle - because it is
the most advantageous to them at this moment.
Learn the truth
The Catholic Church, however, has never been concerned primarily with
what is the most advantageous political system at a given point in
history, but rather with the truth.
In Removing the Blindfold, Dr. John Rao explains the conundrum that
modern Catholics face in dealing with the current socio-political
climate and traces the roots of this problem back to the French
Revolution and the principles it espoused. He shows how most modern
Catholics have embraced some form of revolutionary thought without even
being aware of it, and reveals how revolutionary ideals are incompatible
with Church teaching, and always have been.
John Rao, Ph.D., is a professor of history at St. John's University in New York, New York. He is the author of Black Legends and the Light of the World, in addition to articles written for The Angelus, The Remnant, and other periodicals.