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Smart or Dumb? Howard Schweber: The Catholicization of the American Right

Smart OR Dumb?


I refer to the issue in the article, Howard Schweber: The Catholicization of the American Right which indicates a sorely misunderstood issue in American life–that of  what RELIGION is and its role and influence in personal, and corporate/communal) life.

Religion is the ground-of-being from which human actions  are conceived and from which thoughts and actions proceed.

Religion–as I understand it–is the crux of a value system for individuals and communities, tribal to  national, to global, to COSMIC. its root is re-align, to re-connect with what is, presumed lost.

What one believes to be true in its essence, as in “Where did I come from?” What is my purpose here?” and “Where am I going?” are the bases for religion. Religion/re-align can be pantheistic, belief in many manifestations of existence as cause and effect called Gods,. We have pre and historical examples of this,   recently being the Greek and Roman pantheon.–and the wee-Celtic folk. This approach to ALl That Is exists in ongoing cultures, such as Hinduism. The embodiment of one source of All That Is, as  God/Allah, even, Buddha, who was not a God, but an enlightened being-teacher, and others named Supreme Being, Essence/Energy and words that may be designed to move beyond the limitations of personification.

It is innately inherent in the human animal to accept–or seek–answers to profound questions whether the questions are grounded as spiritual, scientific, philosophical or metaphysical… The pursuit of the unknown–and efforts to make “it” known–is similar. “What the H—is this thing called me, and everything?” A closely following  question often seems to be, “What can I do to escape its wrath and gain favor for me and mine?”

Throughout history, humans have concocted answers-results-beliefs in  facsimiles, usually forgetting (not knowing) internal sources of the questions.. Fear is often the driving force–fear of punishment, as the fear of the disposal of  books of the Koran in Afghanistan demonstrate. Within this re-action is a sense of loss of respect for self and the self’s world that must be retained by deification of objects/relics/customs/dress–name on, and antagonism-war toward the “other.”

Today, humans on planet, Earth,  continue, as ever, to express diverse varieties of spiritual-religious concepts.  Today, instantaneous communication makes possible the bombing of “The World Trade Center” and symbols of power by those who resent–rightly so–those symbols. Why do I say, “rightly”? Because “right” is in the eye of the beholder. The history of hegemony, domination and discrimination make for “right.” The same, oppositionally, make for “wrong.” Both views are relative, conditional, and perceptual in “reality.” We are witness to torturous antagonism between three of the Deist–One God–traditions, with two being popularly prominent, Christianity and Islam. Ironically, all spring form the identical source.

I won’t digress into that history, today. I refer to the issue in the article, Howard Schweber: The Catholicization of the American Right

At the national level, Catholic politicians have emerged as leading figures in the GOP… and evangelical Protestants are flocking to follow their lead. Why?

I hope you can retrieve it. It is in today’s HuffPost Daily Brief.

I have been aware of this issue as the Republican candidates, Santorum and Gingrich dominate the political landscape–with hush-hush-on the Mormanism of Romney. The recent fire around Christian fundamentalism, that is primarily Protestant, has been the focus of the rise in religious conservatism–labeled “social issues- a red herring.

People say, never discuss religion and politics. These are the only–and linked issues– to be discussed. All else can be subsumed under this linkage.

I itch to be in my old class, “Th Individual in Modern Society” where students engaged the study of the role of religion, in personal and social aspects, as social science.

Not having that, I am pleased for this article, and hope that the matter can be plumbed as it is needed.

For me, the confusion, and lack of knowledge of why the USA is as it is, a secular society born of the flaws of religious-monarchal Europe, (The Enlightenment) that, supposedly, respects religion, but is not dominated by religion–especially one– is generally–and essentially–unknown.

My favorite observer and commentators have shied from the topic. This is the first engagement I have read.

It is vital to the life and health–and death–of society. this discussion requires deep, honest, thoughtful, awareness and discussion. Oh heck, when has this nation ever engaged in meaningful dialogue on anything important?  The one on slavery endures. other forms of slavery continue.

I do not “believe,” I “think.”


Author; Growing Up Nigger Rich and Family Lines


About Gwendoline Y. Fortune

Gwen Fortune was born in Texas, reared in South Carolina, entered Bennett College at age 15, and has been an "academic tramp" ever since She lived in Chicago and Skokie, IL during marriage, family and first career. Academic degrees are BA, MS, M. Ph, and Ed. D. She was tenured professor of History at Oakton Community College, consultant in Ethnic Studies at Loyhola U, and exchange professor at College of Lake County. She began writing professionally after divorce, and has devoted her time to fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her published historical novels are Growing Up Nigger Rich and Family Lines. She writes daily, reflecting on socio-economic-political and multi-racial/cultural ideas. She loves mental challenge and her three extraordinary granddaughters. Why this blog? I am a "political animal." I view human interactions as political exchanges. What does one person, or one nation, offer, and what does the other person, or nation, receive? What seems to be gained, and/or lost, and WHY? I comment of what comes to awareness and share observations and thoughts. We discuss--without rancor, ridicule or nastiness-or we part company. Mind-emotion and essence-spirit are invited to participate. The cue is in the post.

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