Letters to the Editor

Sailing Between Left and Right Ideologies

Dear Editor: I have been intending for some time to write to you to let you know how much I appreciate your great work at The Tablet.

I want to commend you, in particular, for the intelligence, clarity of thought, knowledge, and perspective you bring to “The Editor’s Space.” As you have observed, we — unfortunately, even in the Church — are very divided.

So it is not easy sailing between the Scylla and Charybdis of left-right ideologies. But you manage to steer a straight course with the guidance of Catholic teaching, which is, after all, the best guidance there is.

I congratulate you.

Joseph Capobianco


Editor’s note: Thank you. As other readers’ letters show, the column is not always perceived as you say but, yes, we do try to steer the right course.

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2 thoughts on “Sailing Between Left and Right Ideologies

  1. The Catechism and Catholic Social Doctrine ARE the best guide there is. However, in view of the many negative comments I’ve read here and elsewhere supposedly posted by Catholics, too many Catholics are unfamiliar with Catholic social teaching. The USCCB noted this in a report released in 1998 (and I’m not sure things have gotten any better): ” There are many innovative efforts by Catholic educators to communicate the social doctrine of the Church. At the same time, however, it is clear that in some educational programs Catholic social teaching” is not really shared or not sufficiently integral and explicit. As a result, far too many Catholics are not familiar with the basic content of Catholic social teaching. More fundamentally, many Catholics do not adequately understand that the social teaching of the Church is an essential part of Catholic faith. This poses a serious challenge for all Catholics, since it weakens our capacity to be a Church that is true to the demands of the Gospel.

  2. It’s easier to fool people than convince them they have been fooled. When you predetermine a single set of premises, presuppositions, and expectations to an argument, and disallow opposing ideas to be advanced to those assumptions, you are not allowing or providing “balance.” There is no such thing as “different ideologies.” They are all the same. Assuming they are different, is a biased presupposition of one side of the political debate.
    Ideology is different than theology and philosophy. All ideologies are essentially left wing and anti-religious in nature. There is no such thing as a political spectrum of “two sides.” All ideologies are rooted in the idea that truth is a human made cultural construct and that people “possess” truth.
    Conservatism rejects a “spectrum” of left and right because it recognizes that truth is divinely endowed, and to which we are subject. Truth, because it is synonymous with the mind of God, possesses us, we have no special privilege to claim mastery over truth. We serve it. We don’t invent it. We don’t create it. Not one bit of it.
    If you’re pridefully conceited you’re a believer in ideologies. If you genuinely believe in God, you reject all ideology. Christianity is the opposite of promethean Pelagianism. We don’t want the utopia that ideologies promise, that can never be and always and everywhere create massive evil by trying to make it happen.