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Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, a violent woke “Catholic”?

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 18, 2023

Yet another Catholic-in-name-only politician, as far as we can tell, is Tim Kaine, our Senator from “the great State of Virginia”. Kaine recently made headlines by defending the notorious FBI investigation into “radical traditionalist” Catholics. (It’s an unusual pairing of words, “radical” and “traditionalist”.) Basically, Kaine’s argument is that Catholics who display a particular love of traditional liturgy are prone to radicalization and recruitment into violent jihad against the United States, just like some adherents to Islam.

Well, it is true that Catholics who deeply value their tradition generally believe and strive to adhere to the moral teachings of the Church, and that this belief and adherence puts them at odds at least with the dominant sex-and-gender culture in the United States. But that’s pretty much where the Holy War ends, because Catholicism differs radically (at the root) from Islam when it comes to political ways and means. Islam, for all the efforts of many Muslims today to change things, has built right into its very foundations a strong element of Holy War against “infidels”, a preference for theocratic states, and conversion by the sword. By stark contrast, Catholicism has built within it a very strong preference for suffering, sacrifice and service in the mission of actuating the grace of Christ in the lives of themselves and others.

It is true that I intensely dislike the word “Traditionalism” because it suggests an ideology. In the end, the only good “ism” is “Catholicism”, which is by definition universal—that is, it does not make an “ism” out of one particular aspect of the truth, but only of the whole Truth. Unsurprisingly, then, traditional Catholicism and traditional Islam are polar opposites when it comes to making distinctions between religion and politics. Catholicism traditionally places suffering and charity at the center of the religious response to the human condition redeemed by Christ, with judgment left to Christ Himself. But Islam traditionally places worldly dominance and political control at the center of its response to the perils of infidelity, with judgment meted out by men here and now. As a result of this difference, the primary discontent of “Traditionalist” Catholics has always been aimed at the leadership of the Church for what they see as the betrayal of the Catholic spiritual tradition, not at politicians for being swept along with the spirit of the times.

Of course, serious Catholics cannot respect secularized politicians like Tim Kaine, who consistently advocate laws which are in flat opposition to the natural law. But what actually angers them is Church leaders who refuse to teach, correct or excommunicate such politicians when they trade on the Catholic name to do evil. What angers them is the penchant of so many Catholic religious, theologians, priests and bishops for gaining meaningless popularity by watering down the teachings of Christ, or the the reverence due to Christ in religious worship. The latter issue, when it comes to the various ritual forms, is somewhat subjective; the former is more black and white. But the point is that if “Traditionalist” Catholics are angry with anyone in particular (which is not necessarily the case), they are angry at those who represent the Church, not those who represent the State.

Does this mean the discontents of Traditionalist Catholics cannot be twisted into a radicalized and ill-targeted violence? No, that is not impossible for any discontent known to man. But because this is contrary to any traditional Catholicism (just as it is specifically not contrary to any traditional Islam), such an aberrant radicalization can be expected to arise among Traditionalists only in substantially lower percentages as compared with the general population—especially since the general population is now carefully taught to presume that any discontent they experience is somebody else’s fault.

The real violence, and the real discontent

As we have already seen again and again in recent American history, such violent reactions occur generally on Tim Kaine’s side of the proverbial “aisle”. It is the advocates of our new “woke” culture—with its destructively novel notions of sex and gender and its insistence that the natural law is in itself a violent attack on human liberty—who increasingly wink at both generalized urban violence and violence against believing Catholics and their churches. The news is full of stories of targeted violence against pro-life centers, against Catholic churches, and against Christian believers who are willing to publicly express opinions and engage in perfectly peaceful and prayerful actions that run contrary to the latest fantasies about the human person as championed by the secular liberal State. The persons who are most likely to be reported negatively, denounced publicly or even physically attacked are witnesses to faith and life—not the other way around.

More specifically, of course, it is the physical violence of politicians like Tim Kaine against the unborn and the bodies of women and those who are gender-confused—the white-coated, surgically-clean forms of violence now so prevalent in our society—that is the most pervasive crime that requires investigation and serious improvements in the law. And yet the deeply Catholic among those who oppose the status quo overwhelmingly confine themselves to prayer, sacrifice, teaching and the democratic process.

Now, the thing to note about this is that it is primarily those in power who are guilty of the violence. And the least likely people to respond violently to violence are Christians, including especially those Catholics who take the teachings of the Church seriously, as so-called “Traditionalists” overwhelmingly tend to do. I have repeatedly emphasized that violence arises primarily from those who do evil, for the simple reason that they hate the light, and so they seek to obliterate the light by the power of the State. This is why the witness of a single authentic Catholic sparks outrage, witch hunts, vandalism and specious justifications for every kind of violence, whether by the FBI or the Justice Department or politicians with bent agendas.

Enter “Catholic” Democrat Tim Kaine, to justify the crimes of those in power.

My insight, of course, is not original. It is inevitable that unpopular witnesses should be prosecuted as criminals, and that those in power will always be most afraid of the truth itself. But this point was made first by St. John the Evangelist when speaking of the inevitable opposition to Jesus Christ: “For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God” (Jn 3:20-21). We who marvel at human ways, and especially the ways of politicians, know nothing if we do not know this.

Therefore, even the softest voices of dissent must be investigated and jailed and silenced, simply to protect the violent public peace of those who rule. And the ruling class includes far too many nominal Catholic politicians who do not know the difference between virtue and vice, nor freedom and enslavement, nor law and violence…nor peace and war.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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  • Posted by: wacondaseeds4507 - Apr. 19, 2023 7:12 PM ET USA

    Agree with mverner1960. Evil minds project their own inclinations toward violence on those to whom they are opposed or suspicious.

  • Posted by: mverner1960 - Apr. 19, 2023 6:18 AM ET USA

    I believe that since the Senator is so willfully capable of bending Catholic Truth in service to his goals, he thinks a Traditional Catholic, deep down, would warp his own views for evil in as flexible manner. This seems true of all our apostatized government officials.