Friday, September 20, 2019

What's "Integralism"?--and More

Having heard and read about "integralism" for the last several weeks, I'm pleased to have found a definition in this essay.

...laws and society should reflect a moral order...
"Integralism" is all the rage lately, and perhaps the most-discussed event having to do with it was the Ahmari-French 'debate' held at Catholic University a couple of weeks ago.  (Rumor has it that there will be another one at Notre Dame soon.  Stay tuned.)  The whole thing was kicked off by an essay in First Things last March.  Google just the title of that essay and you get 20 or so hits pro and con.


...The question raised by Ahmari and the co-authors of a document entitled “Against the Dead Consensus” in First Things in March 2019 is whether or not those of us preoccupied with tradition and the things tried and true are best served by this level playing field in the face of secular integralists who desire nothing more than to destroy faith in public life utterly. Should we not combat this with an integralism of our own, one informed by principles that endure?

Enter David French, who was the particular target of Ahmari’s ire as the former defended “drag queen story hour” in American libraries on the basis that these protections for error — even under the worst conditions of secular integralism — also extend protections to Christians as well. For those familiar with the classic film A Man For All Seasons one can see Sir Thomas More rise against his soon-to-be son-in-law asking William Roper when the devil turned ‘round on him where would he hide, the laws of England being all flat?...
Good question.  You can hear the screech already:  ".....imposing your morality...." along with the rush to a Federal court to impose THEIR morality, leaving hundreds of thousands of dead babies, AIDS victims, and who-knows-what chaos in what used to be called 'ladies' rooms.'


One could point out that "Our Morality" also happens to be the "morality" of several thousand years' worth of human existence and--by the way--continues to be so in most of the world--or that "Our Morality" actually secures human flourishing and happiness to the greatest degree vis-a-vis 'other' moralities; but arguing for self-control in the most materialistic society in history just ain't going to prevail.

On the other hand, is it right and just that we Christians should be lambs led to slaughter and (even more important) put our children into the same position?

...One doubts that any French supporters changed their minds, but among the students in the crowd there was a certain sense that Ahmari had demonstrated two sailient points: (1) that at some point in time, we need to stand for something and reimpose moral values on the public square, and that (2) this isn’t going to be discussed calmly in a classroom, but rather fought for with a resolve that matches the vehemence on the left....
In reality, the only thing which allows the amoral civilization-wreckers to gain any ground is precisely the remains of Christian integralism which result in an orderly society.  Allowing that Christian moral order to disappear will come with a serious price.  Remember what St. John Paul II said about liberty:  it is the freedom to do what is rightSounds like morals to me.

The law of self-defense allows us to forego it and become victims.  That is a licit choice.  But the law of self-defense does NOT allow us to sacrifice others.  You can choose to become a victim of a beating or murder even if you're armed.  But you can NOT choose to allow another (your wife, child, or a stranger) to become a victim, assuming you are capable of preventing it.  That's the lesson of the Good Samaritan, in case you missed it.

So there's a reason for "integralism":  the rest of society.

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