instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Friday, November 14, 2008

Put no trust in princes, in mortal men in whom there is no help

Fr. Philip links to a page of responses to Obama's election on the Dominican Life USA website (aka DomLife). (I may have prodded him to mention it with an email I sent him on it.)

Partial Disclosure: When the Dominican Leadership Conference assumed editorial control of DomLife, I went in short order from having editorial privileges to not having my blog linked, so I am not an unbiased observer. (By the way, I "met" the then-Br. Philip on DomLife back in the day when commenting was allowed.)

That said, two things particularly bother me about the posted reactions.

The first is the complete lack of any residue of Dominican formation in many of the comments. How many could have been written by just about any politically liberal American and posted to just about any politically liberal American comment board? Does contemplation of the truth really add so little to political observation?

Second, related to the first but more troubling, are the many references to hoping in President-Elect Obama. The Christian hopes in God and puts no trust in princes.

The response may be that expressions like "at last here is someone who can be a figure of hope for the whole planet" -- from no less than a former Master of the Order -- refer to a natural hope for a natural good that is difficult but possible to obtain through natural means.

Well, maybe. (And maybe when the International Co-Promoter for Justice and Peace for the Dominican Family says Obama's election "felt to me like the resurrection of the soul of the USA," she means a natural resurrection obtained through natural means and is no way confusing faith and politics.)

But that simply cycles back to the first problem. Dominicans make vows (Lay Dominicans make promises) to preach Christ. The world is full of people who preach natural hope for natural goods obtainable through natural means. I suggest the world is not brimming over with people who can distinguish natural hope and supernatural hope.

So why, can someone tell me, are Dominicans preaching natural hope?