The brand new encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI is out and there are a smattering of responses about the blogosphere. Whatever we may want to say about the merits or liabilities of Benedict’s claims in the encyclical, no one could do worse than Michael Novak in his pathetic response over on the First Things blog:
What Benedict XVI has not spelled out yet is another forgotten lesson from St. Augustine: the ever-corrupting role of sin in the City of Man. Augustine points out how difficult it is even for the wisest and most detached humans to discover the truth among lies—and how even husbands and wives in the closest of human bonds misunderstand each other so often. The Father of Lies seems to own so much of the real world.
What are the most practical ways of defeating him? The Catholic tradition—even the wise Pope Benedict—still seems to put too much stress upon caritas, virtue, justice, and good intentions, and not nearly enough on methods for defeating human sin in all its devious and persistent forms.
So, according to Novak what we need is to stop trifling with all this stress on “caritas, virtue, justice, and good intentions” and starting looking for some new “methods for defeating human sin.” Not only is his whole thing about the “Father of lies” owning the “real world” straight up Manicheaism, Novak clearly just doesn’t think Jesus is worth bothering about in any significant sense whatsoever. Fuck charity, justice, and virtue, I need an effective method, dammit! In short, for Novak, Jesus simply doesn’t save.
What other method could there be for dealing with sin other than love, justice, and virtue we ask? I can only assume it must be some sort of coercive power. What else is there?
I mean seriously, this prick is saying that there’s far too much stress being given…to justice. WTF??
Novak has very openly declared his own apostasy. His god is Adam Smith and his religion is neocon capitalism. For goodness’ sake, he even acknowledges in his quote that it is outside of “the Catholic tradition”! Thanks for proclaiming your heterodoxy, Novak, old boy. At least now we don’t have to argue with you about it anymore.