Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Birth of the Messiah?



Well, they (by which I mean a large percentage of Americans - Republicans and Catechism Catholics excluded) are celebrating like it's Christmas over on the other side of the big pond.

And I must say that they have picked the more attractive candidate. As far as one can form an impression from this distance (and believe me we have had no shortage of media coverage of the election for World Leader), there wasn't much to like about Senator McCain. And as much as I loved Sarah Palin and would really have enjoyed seeing what they made of her in Washington, I think that for her sake and for the sake of her family, she is far better out of it (although I have heard speculation that she might run on her own ticket in four years, I can't really see it...)

But the thing about good leaders and responsible statesmen is that they really don't need to be "likeable" or "popular" or even "attractive". They have to be good governors who will preserve their nation in peace and prosperity while protecting the liberty and rights of every individual member of that society. When leaders have legislative authority they also need to be able to make good laws for the well being of all.

Today I listened to an edited version of the Acton Lecture by Father Robert Sirico given in Sydney when he was here for WYD. His basic thesis was an
explicit defence of that old liberal view, that the state is not God, and that the state that pretends to be God is the beast, or the anti-God, the anti-Christ. This [the separation of the ius sacrum (sacred law) from the emperor's ius publicum (public law)] becomes then not just a strategic truth, but a doctrinal truth as well. The state no longer bears the burden of being a surrogate religious authority that reaches into the depths of conscience, its moral basis must refer to something outside itself, something beyond the state
What I wonder, with the rise of President-Elect Obama, is whether the voters have perhaps forgotten this separation, and whether many of them are looking to their new president to provide for them what only the Messiah (the real one) can really provide. There is a strange sense that the generation who could not abide their parents "Not Yet" and demanded (in answer to the question "When do we want it") "We want it NOW", have lost any sense of the eschatological and imagine themselves to have finally lived to see the dawn of the New Age itself...

7 Comments:

At Wednesday, November 05, 2008 9:36:00 pm , Anonymous matthias said...

There is an interesting article by the Canadian catholic writer Michael O/Brien about Obama.Here is the link,
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/nov/08110307.html

 
At Wednesday, November 05, 2008 11:12:00 pm , Blogger Joshua said...

While I would not at all endorse crazed viewpoints, by the very definition of the term one who seeks a Messiah other than Jesus Christ is running after a pseudo- if not an anti-Christ...

Is this not what PE means by the Papacy (which he in conscience rejects), for example, bearing the marks of the Anti-Christ?

"... and as you have heard that Antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have arisen..." (I John ii, 18)

 
At Wednesday, November 05, 2008 11:39:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

We use the term "Anti-Christ" loosely. As used by John in 1 Jn 2:18,22; 1 Jn 4:3 and 2 Jn 7, "Anti-Christ" is literally one who does not confess that Jesus is Christ in the flesh - ie. "Anti" (against) "Christ".

But the Beast in the book of Revelation - which is often identified with the AntiChrist - is quite a different kettle of fish.

The interesting thing is that Ch13 of Rev gives us two beasts: one who is a political power (13:1-10) and one who is more clearly a religious power (13:11-18). By his description, the second one is clearly aping Christ (he looks like a Lamb but speaks like a dragon or serpent). It is this beast which is named "666" and usually identified with the Johannine Anti-Christ.

In fact, both beasts are "Anti-Christ" in their own way. The problem with simply identifying the anti-Christ with the Papacy, is that it places the Anti-Christ only in the religious sphere, whereas Rev 13 clearly shows that the political powers can also be "anti-Christ".

 
At Thursday, November 06, 2008 4:59:00 am , Blogger John said...

That's very interesting about the Anti-Christ and the Beast. I'll save it; I'm sure the topic will come up again some day...

John McCain is a man of great personal decency and honor--I could give you stories. But he's more a legislator than an executive. Not an attractive candidate.

Sarah will not be fading away. She is a stunning natural politician and leader. She did not have enough time to really find her feet in McCain's machine, or in national politics. She was just beginning to show her stuff in the last two weeks of the campaign.

Despite what your news media and pundits will be telling you, she's very smart. But she expresses this in action, not as intellectuals do. Look forward to hearing about how she is "stupid." Republicans always are---it's an American tradition.

My guess is that Obama is too clever to try to be "The One" in actual day-to-day politics. If he does he won't last long. He ran as a sort of Rohrsach candidate, and people have been projecting their hopes and dreams onto him. Once he starts to make actual decisions a lot of people will necessarily be disappointed.

 
At Thursday, November 06, 2008 8:39:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

Yes, and as John references "many" antichrists (I'm sure the gnostic heretics are part of them) it really tortures the text to read the Papacy back into it.

Moral failings on the part of some Popes there have been, to be sure, but none of them ever denied the Incarnation of God in human flesh.

 
At Thursday, November 06, 2008 12:26:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Look forward to hearing about how she is "stupid."

Oh, don't you worry, John, we got plenty of that. Those of us married to Sarah Palin types know better.

(P.S. I don't imply that Cathy has ever been moose hunting).

 
At Thursday, November 06, 2008 6:44:00 pm , Blogger Louise said...

What a pity, David. I'm sure it would be fun to go moose-hunting with Cathy. Except for that lack of moose thing we have here in Oz.

 

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