Mary Imparato reports on the elephant in the room at the recent Burke Foundation conference on national conservatism
Catholics keep citing the "disunity" of Protestantism, as if that is something that divides Catholics and Protestants. It manifestly doesn't. Catholicism is just as divided as Evangelical Protestantism, if not more so. It's just that all Catholics claim to belong to the same church. I'm not just talking about political diversity; I include theological diversity. Someone telling you he is a practicing Catholic tells you NOTHING about his political or theological beliefs. I know this because I have met many practicing Catholics. By contrast, walk into any evangelical church and you will find many similarities, esp. regarding the core of theology. Yes, some churches practice infant baptism while others practice believer's baptism, along with other differences, but the "disintegration" of Protestantism is vastly overstated.
Excellent reporting with spot-on comments at the end: Catholic integralism has its own answers to the question of what type of postliberal order is envisageable. It would be naïve and/or intellectually dishonest by political Catholics to accept Hazony's "thin option". This is a fascinating and urgent question, and one that will dominate crucial political debates in the years to come.
Great piece. I've been skeptical of the NatCons since they came onto the scene and frankly a little disheartened to see certain integralists/Postliberal writers collaborate with NatCons in public events. The NatCons have more visibility and popularity at this point, so we should be concerned that their movement will just absorb and subvert the fundamentally Catholic orientation of this substack and its thinkers.
There is obviously at least some good in what the EBF stands for, but their statement of principles circulated earlier this year made clear that theirs is basically a risk-free enterprise intended to draft off of powerful popular sentiments and direct those into a safe, sterile politics with culpably low ambitions. They have yet to articulate anything that would really challenge the kind of entrenched 20th century American conservatism that we've witnessed failing over the last however many decades.
Thank you for this very helpful critique of NatCon3. As I saw the list of programs, there was supposed to be a Catholic panel, with Profs. Burns and Hanssen, both of UD, among others. Since Prof. Hanssen is by reputation a member of Opus Dei, and Burns’s talk and resume sound like they fit into that pattern as well, I wonder if anyone at Postliberal Order will want to address areas of convergence and difference with the Work.