Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mr Collins conjures up Banquo's Ghost at the Voting Table

Well, here's a novel attempt at negative politics: Public-Commentator-For-Ever Mr Paul Collins, writing in Eureka Street ("Abbott and Santamaria's undemocratic Catholicism"), attempts to conjure up the ancient spectre of B.A. Santamaria to discredit our Opposition Leader (and aspiring PM) Tony Abbott.

As Gerard Henderson's reply to this article ("Defending Abott and Santamaria") shows, there's a lot of smoke and mirrors involved in Collins' argument.

Basically, it goes like this:

1) Mr Abbott is a self-declared disciple of B.A. Santamaria
2) B.A. Santamaria was an "integralist"
3) "Integralism" was an authoritarian political ideology that sought to impose a narrow interpretation of Catholicism upon citizens' freedom of conscience
4) It was therefore just like Italian Fascism

Umm... As the Bard wrote: "Hence, horrible shadow! Unreal mockery, hence!" (The Scottish Play: Act 3, Scene 4)

[Post Script: Actually, the funniest bit in Collins' piece is the very last paragraph, where he writes:
I am not claiming that Abbott consciously follows Santamaria's integralism. But there is always the danger of osmosis, of absorbing attitudes without realising it. If I were a politician — or an archbishop — I'd want to put considerable distance between myself and the most divisive man in the history of Australian Catholicism.
Perhaps Mr Collins thinks that Mr Abbott has been sleeping with a copy of the works of B.A. Santamaria under his pillow!]


At Thursday, August 19, 2010 9:10:00 am , Anonymous Peter said...

Paul Collins attacks Catholics for being too Catholic? Knock me over with a feather! They sure get to recycle that headline a lot.

So what would a un-'limited' version of Catholicism be? Oh wait, we have that in the Brennen sophistry explaining how a Catholic can vote Green in good conscience. Only if it is Collins' kind of Catholic.

At Thursday, August 19, 2010 6:50:00 pm , Anonymous Marcel said...

"I'd want to put considerable distance between myself and the most divisive man in the history of Australian Catholicism..."

Tony Abbott, if elected PM, could well end up being a very divisive figure in Australian Catholicism. Probably not, however, for the reasons Mr Collins puts forward.

Some of us who have followed Abbott's political career are actually concerned that he will continue to blur the lines on important moral issues. Tony Abbott is enthusiastically supportive of IVF and does not have a problem with contraception. He has often repeated that abortion should be safe and legal (how abortion is ever safe is a mystery to me).

He makes puzzling statements about 'same sex relationships' and Catholic practices (like Lenten penance). Abbott is one of Australia's most famous Catholics, but staunch integralist he is not.

NB. Although I am dissatisfied with the Opposition Leader's doctrinal orthodoxy, we can safely bet his Government would be much better on the important moral issues than Fabian socialist Gillard's team.

At Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:42:00 pm , Anonymous Tony said...

But Paul Collins is technically a Catholic priest that has broken his sacred vows without due process, Tony.

Assuming that's true, Gareth, how is that relevant to my point? Do you understand what ad hominem is?

As such, the Church should distance itself from one of its clergy who has left the ministry making public political or religious statements.

Again, how is that observation relevant to the point I was making?

At Thursday, August 19, 2010 11:13:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

I also find the article interesting by Collins in that Santamaria despite all his hostilities towards the Labor Party NEVER supported the Liberal Party in the slightest.

Indeed not. On the other hand, he did pursue a strategy which substantially benefitted the Liberal Party. He may not have advocated its policies it, but he was certainly - and knowingly - involved in keeping it in power. Which is "support" of the kind that poltical parties like most of all.

At Friday, August 20, 2010 1:49:00 am , Anonymous Gareth said...

Pere: He (Mr Abbott) is seeking to exploit the situation for electoral advantage;

Gareth: Which in reality is his job and I and which any politican is expected to do. It may be politically exploitive, but I wouldn't say it makes him any less 'Christian' in his thinking.

After the long post Pere, I would honestly like to see what you consider to be the a 'Christian' aslyum seeker policy that would also take into account millions of Australians concerns that governments should only uphold the application of those for refugee status those that TRULY deserve it and ensure that those that have gone about the legitimate ways of seeking refugee in this country.

I think you will find the task is not that easy at all and successive Australian Governments have been more on the ball and in line with true generous and Christian thinking than many would have us to believe.

At Friday, August 20, 2010 9:33:00 pm , Anonymous Matthias said...

Well i am a Proddy so i really do not have any right to comment about it nor do i really care,with respect. . I see nothing against it in Scripture so i take that as my starting and ending point.

At Monday, August 23, 2010 9:26:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

Matthias, My greatest moral concern about IVF (apart from the fact that it often drives a wedge between the uniative aspect of marriage by using donor egg/sperm) is that it always results in a number of fertilised eggs (=human beings) being washed down the drain or stored in vats indefinitely. I would think that even anabaptist Christians recognise that the Scriptures have an injunction upon killing other human beings.


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