Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What to Do?


Yesterday — or it could have been the day before or even earlier — somebody commented on the Synod on the Family the Catholic Church is holding in October, right after the World Meeting of Families in September in Philadelphia.  Someone (else) had sent around an e-mail containing a link to an article about how the Synod was going to be hijacked and used to advance an agenda at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

"The natural law is written in the hearts of all men."
Now, the teachings of the Catholic Church per se are not of immediate concern on this blog.  The Just Third Way is based in part on the understanding of the natural law teachings of the Catholic Church as analyzed by Mortimer J. Adler and Father William J. Ferree, S.M., Ph.D.  As the natural law is (according to Thomas Aquinas) “written in the hearts of all men” (meaning every human being), there is nothing particularly Catholic in that, although it is catholic, meaning universal.

Be that as it may, the commentator asked a very good question: “What should people be doing about this?  Where to protest?  Where to raise the voices of truth?  We cannot just sit and read emails.”

Well, we never said that just sitting and reading e-mails (however educational it is to read our e-mails) is going to do anything other than inform or enlighten.  We hope.

What should people be doing?  That begs the question, actually.  The first concern is, How do we get the power to do something in the first place, never mind what?  “Power,” after all, is defined as “the ability for doing.”

"Devil take 'e Dan'l Webster, power follows property."
That gives us our answer right there.  Effective action of any kind requires power, and, as Daniel Webster pointed out, “Power naturally and necessarily follows property.”  As long as most people remain without ownership of capital, they will remain powerless, laboring under “a yoke little better than that of slavery itself.” (Rerum Novarum, § 3.)  Only by designing and implementing an aggressive program of expanded capital ownership will the great mass of people be empowered and thus able to resist and overcome the attacks on the family — or anything else.

This is not to say that protests and demonstrations do not have their place.  If they result in positive action, they are invaluable.  The problem, however, is that most demonstrations consist of demands that “somebody else” do something.  Participating in demonstrations may impart a feeling of immense virtue, but if it doesn’t lead to effective action, all you’ve done is waste time and resources that could better be spent in addressing the problem behind the problems: the powerlessness of the individual and the family.

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Evangelization Enterprises, along with the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and the Center for Economic and Social Justice, and (possibly) the American Society for Tradition, Family, and Property, will be participating in the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in part to present some new ideas about how to realize the vision of Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI, and thereby secure the family against the inroads of the Culture of Death and other forces tearing it apart.  We would also like to have a follow-up symposium on the subject at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Maryland, if sufficient resources can be raised.

If you want to make a contribution to help defray costs, send us an e-mail, info@cesj.org, and we will forward the information to Deacon Joseph Gorini of Evangelization Enterprises, who is coordinating the effort, or to the appropriate individual in the participating organization, all of which are qualified under IRC § 501(c)(3).

So, what should people be doing?  Right now figuring out how to do something at all.  What to do can follow.

#30#

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