Book Review of ‘Render unto Caesar’ by Archbishop Charles Chaput

By Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Render unto Caesar is a book written by a Roman Catholic Bishop, who can only speak truth or falsehood as a person who is indelibly marked as a Baptized and Confirmed Christian and Bishop. From here to eternity there is no time-out that a Baptized Christian can take from being a Christian. Render unto Caesar is therefore written by a Christian, out of and within a Christian ethos in general and a Catholic mind-set in particular, and hence, it is herein evaluated for good or for ill on that basis.

Charles Chaput, the very conservative Catholic Bishop of Denver and a very nice fellow personally, steers clear of any serious analysis of the primal issue in Church-state relations, which either poisons or empowers everything else. He does not seriously address in Render unto Caesar the foundational problem of the morality of Christians using violence in all forms against other human beings, and even each other, under the guise of the word “state.” In other words he assumes as Gospel truth, and accepts, the Constantinian definition of the content of Christian love—a definition and content that is patently inconsistent with the definition and content Jesus gave the word love by His words and deeds. Specifically, Charles Chaput’s definition of Christian love includes killing and maiming people. Jesus’ does not. His understanding of Christian love cannot be found in original Christianity. It comes into its own about 300 years later under the influence of Emperor Constantine.

Beyond this, no more really needs be said about the book. If one accepts Chaput’s understanding of Christian love, he or she may still have quibbles and squabbles, or maybe even fist-pounding arguments, with him about what he writes on this page or that of his book regarding the implications and applications of his understanding of that love. But, if one accepts Jesus’ definition of love, he or she will find an entire book one cannot accept, because it is the Constantinian understanding of love that underlies all thought in it.

Take for example the book’s introductory quotation from the philosopher Henri Bergson: The motive power of democracy is love. I agree. In fact on April 4,1971, I gave a public address of some length on this very subject, subsequently published as, Direct Democracy and Agapé. In it I referenced the word love exclusively to Christlike love, specifically quoting in full 1 Corinthian 13 to be certain that people would be clear about what I was saying. Since love is a word with an almost indefinite number of meanings attached to it in English, I felt truthful communication required this explicit clarification. In Render unto Caesar the meaning of the word love slips and slides like a drunken sailor all over the lot. Sometimes what is being said appears to be Christlike love, or at least a logical deduction from it. Then on the next page it is clearly Constantinian love. The confusing and commingling of these understandings of love, understandings that exclude each other because of a principle of logic known as the law of non-contradiction* are the piedi d’argilla on which Render unto Caesar makes its stand for everything it presents as moral truth in conformity with the teachings of Jesus.

*[“X” and “not X” cannot both be true; between “X” and “not X” there is no middle ground.]

The word “state” is by secular definition an abstraction communicating the right of some people to employ violence against other people, e.g., Max Weber‘s famous definition says that the concept of a state refers to an organization that has a monopoly on legitimate violence over a specific territory. Using a word, “state,” whose definition includes the legitimate use of violence, in order to legitimate as love in conformity with Christlike love the violence done by Christians in its name is the fatal and tragically flawed tautological presupposition in Archbishops Chaput’s thinking and book. It is the analytical and spiritual two-way bridge that makes it possible to interchange in clear Christian conscience Constantinian love and Christlike love. It is this presupposition which allows Christians to take statements of St. Paul, St. Peter and Jesus Himself, “Be subordinate to authorities” (Rm13:1), and “You must obey God rather than man” (Ac 5:29), “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars” (Mk 12:17) and turn them into justifications for Christians in a “state” doing the utter opposite of what Jesus taught, e.g., killing six million Jews or six hundred thousands Iraqi civilians. Jesus in no way gives any of his disciples the right to do with a group or a gang or a crowd—regardless of how it names itself—what He told them they cannot do alone. No word, e.g., “state, Mafia, revolution, army, etc.,” that includes in its essential definition the use and justification of violence can be super-imposed over the teachings of Jesus in order to cover them up and render them nugatory, thereby making the opposite of what Jesus taught regarding God’s will become what the believer in Jesus must now obey as God’s will! Jesus’ explicit commission to the Apostles and their legitimate successors forever is to “teach them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20)—and He explicitly teaches by word and deed, and commands without reservation or qualification, “Put up your sword,” “Love your enemies” and “Love one another as I have loved you.” He teaches and commands this, at least as vigorously and as clearly, as He teaches and commands the rejection of adultery or anything else in the Gospel.

The “state,” as it is now understood in the minds of most people and has so been understood with few exceptions since its inception, intrinsically does not and cannot follow the teachings of Jesus because the sine qua non of its existence is violence and enmity. As Carl J. Friedrich, formerly Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard University, writes in the concluding paragraph of his book, The Pathology of Politics, “Our analysis has, I hope, shown that politics needs all these dubious practices; it cannot be managed without violence, betrayal, corruption, secrecy and propaganda.” Therefore, how can a follower of Jesus voluntarily participate in it and still be a faithful disciple of Jesus?

More precisely, a “state” is an abstraction. It has no mind of its own any more than it has a body of its own. Its active and directing will must consequently be sought in the person(s) who is, de facto, in reality, the directing mind and will of this sound-bite abstraction called “the state”—the fear for the survival of which, by the “state’s” way of thinking, justifies anything and everything. The very ego and center and will of this idea/value system called “state,” which objectively has no ego, center or will, is a human being(s), king/queen, president, dictator, oligarchs, plutocrats, prime minister, et al., with an ego, center and will. When that directing human being(s) is a Christian he or she will either bring the mind of Christ regarding means and ends to his or her choices and decisions for implementation in the state, or he or she will bring some other mind with its idea of power, meaning, worth, effectiveness, good and evil, etc., to the task.

But note, the mind of Christ in the Gospel is clearly a mind filled with the nonviolent love of friends and enemies from its center to its circumference. Unless the statesman or stateswoman who is a follower of Jesus can and will bring this mind to ALL his or her decisions and not ever bring a mind contrary to Jesus’ mind, then no Christian can ever be a king/queen, governmental politician, statesman, soldier, et al. Why? Because, for the Christian the Will and Word of God as revealed by the incarnate Word (Logos) of God, Jesus, play second fiddle to no merely human arrangement, rule, plan or value system— not for a single instant. For a Christian to think otherwise would throw his or her faith in Jesus and his or her orientation in existence into irrationality and chaos, indeed, into peril—unless he or she could find some psychological, social or chemical adjuvant to suppress awareness of the depth of the absurdity, untruthfulness and destructiveness of what had been chosen.

For example, Article III, section 3 of the U.S. Constitution declares that loving the enemy, “giving aid and comfort to the enemy,” is specifically an act of treason. How can a Christian follow (serve) the Constitution and Christ at the same time? He or she will either obey one and disobey the other, or be the servant of one and the betrayer of the other. No person can serve contradictory Masters simultaneously—and the Christian is talking “Masters” here with a capital ‘M’ when he or she is talking about choosing against the teaching Jesus, God Incarnate! How can a person possibly implement and apply the unequivocal teachings of Jesus as stated in the preeminent foundational document of Christianity, the Gospels, and at the same moment implement and apply the law as unequivocally stated in the preeminent foundational document of the “state,” the Constitution?

This question also applies to the Christian President who is designated by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief of the military, and by statue as head of the CIA, FBI and NSA, that is, head of the organizational arms for homicidal violence, pain induction and fear in the state. Likewise this question pertains to any Christian who is or desires to be king, prime minister, dictator, oligarch, plutocrat, et al. There are just some jobs in this world that there is no Christlike way, hence no Christian way, of doing, e.g., operating a house of prostitution, plunging a dagger into another human being’s eye, burning-off the face of an enemy fellow Christian. Since Jesus chooses no one to be a part-time Christian, there is no such thing for a Christian as a moral time-out from following Jesus in order to do such jobs, or a time-out from following the “impractical” Jesus in order to be “practical” for a moment. Let alone is their such an option allowed for by Jesus as taking a time-out from following Him on the basis of We will be nonviolent, after we get what we want!

I could go on indefinitely making my obvious point here, but perhaps a way of bring added clarity to the what is at stake would be to quote directly from my book, All Things Flee Thee for Thou Fleest Me: A Cry to the Churches and their Leaders to Stop Running from the Nonviolent Jesus and His Nonviolent Way:

The renowned Protestant theologian-lawyer, Jacques Ellul writes:

I have shown in detail that every state is founded on violence and cannot maintain itself save by and through violence. I refuse to make the classic distinction between violence and force. The lawyers have invented the idea that when the state applies constraint, even brutal constraint, it is exercising ‘Force’; that only individuals or nongovernmental groups use violence. This is a totally unjustified distinction. The state is established by violence. Invariably there is violence at the start. And the state is legitimized when the other states recognize it (I know that this is not the usual criterion of legitimacy, but it is the only real one!). Well then, when is a state recognized? When it has lasted for a tolerable length of time. During the state’s early years the world is scandalized that it was established by violence, but presently the fact is accepted, and after a few years it is recognized as legitimate.

Kill-power is the ultimate power on which every government is based. Hence the macabre incident during the 1992 Presidential campaign, when the white Rhodes Scholar-Governor returned to Arkansas to preside over the execution of a mentally retarded African-American man, makes total sense. No one is allowed to rise to a position of political power unless he or she proves to those who finance the ride up the political escalator that he or she is not squeamish about killing people, that he or she has the “right stuff.” A non-negotiable “quality” one must exhibit for high office is the willingness to pull the trigger. Tolstoy puts it this way:

In spite of the unceasing efforts made by men in power to conceal this and to ascribe a different meaning to power, power is the application of a rope, a chain by which a person will be bound and dragged along, or of a whip, with which he will be flogged, or of a knife, or an ax with which they will cut off his hands, feet, ears, head—an application of these means or the threat they will be used. Thus it was in the time of Nero and of Genghis Khan and thus it is even now, in the most liberal of governments.

Or, to quote from Mark Covelli’s book review of Render unto Caesar:

As St. Augustine noted, anticipating the work of such later scholars as Franz Oppenheimer, the state originated in the world, not through social contract or voluntary arrangement, but rather through force, robbery and murder: ‘A gang is a group of men under the command of a leader, bound by a compact of association, in which the plunder is divided according to an agreed convention. If this villainy wins so many recruits from the ranks of the demoralized that it acquires territory, establishes a base, captures cities and subdues peoples, it then openly arrogates to itself the title of kingdom, which is conferred on it in the eyes of the world, not by the renunciation of aggression, but by the attainment of impunity. For it was a witty and truthful rejoinder, which was given by a captured pirate to Alexander the Great. The king asked the fellow, ‘What is your idea, in infesting the sea?’ And the pirate answered, with uninhibited insolence, ‘the same as yours, in infesting the earth! But because I do it with a tiny craft, I’m called a pirate: because you have a mighty navy, you’re called an emperor.

Render unto Caesar is a book that George Weigel, the Catholic signatory of the now infamous Project for a New American Century (“A new Pearl Harbor is needed”), could have written and it would be no big deal—just another piece of ruling-class financed religious propaganda. But, for a Christian Archbishop to put this publication out for public consumption, this is a different matter. In this scenario Render unto Caesar may garner kudos from a few or from many Christians, but the 82% of people on the planet who are non-Christian have Matthew, Mark, Luke and John by which to evaluate it, and they see clearly that it has little to recommend it as a thought process that mirrors that of the Jesus of the Gospels. As Gandhi noted, “The only people who do not see Jesus as non-violent are Christians.” By that standard, i.e., Jesus’ teachings, Render unto Caesar is just more of the same old, tortuous rationalization of Christian power politics and Constantinian Christian ideology—just more of the “sound and the fury signifying nothing,” to use Shakespeare to make St. Paul perhaps a tad clearer in 1 Corinthians 13—if such improved clarity is possible with a writing of the cognitive, moral and spiritual luminosity of St. Paul’s Hymn of Agapé!

If Christlike love fails for the follower of Jesus, violence—whether it be considered culturally sordid or culturally romantic, culturally legitimate or culturally illegitimate—is no substitute. Where the Church fails to be an extension of Christ in time and space, a “baptized state” with Christians manning the levers of power is not available for pinch-hitting duties. To quote from the last book, The Civilization of Christianity, of the renowned Catholic Biblical scholar, the late Rev. John L. McKenzie, “For Jesus, Rome was essentially trivial.” And, by essentially McKenzie means essentially, according to its most acute and most accurate theological meaning.

There is no sense of the essential centrality, the essential ultimacy of Christlike love, as encapsulated in unparalleled fashioned in 1 Corinthians 13, that is essential to the understanding of what a “state” is or how it operates. To the contrary, the reality and truth of the “state” and the reality and truth of Christlike love are intrinsically contradictory. The monopoly on legitimate violence is essential to the definition of the “state,” not Christlike love. If this is not so, then why is it that even in a state where an overwhelming majority of people are Christian, no one ever runs for office by saying he or she will faithfully obey all of Jesus’ teachings, e.g., the Sermon on the Mount, in fulfilling the obligations of their particular political office? The indispensableness of freely given Christlike love—as that without which anything and everything, including the pursuit and perfect attainment of the so-called earthly “common good” is nothing (1 Cor 13)—is as much a non-thought in the definition and operation of a “state,” as it is a non-thought in the analysis and understanding of the “state” and its essential method of operation in Render unto Caesar.

Christlike love, “Love one another as I have loved you,” is the only Way Jesus, the Logos (Word) of God, taught and therefore it is the only Way Christians can faithfully follow Him. That love always includes the nonviolent love of friends and enemies. All else is dross. A human life on earth is short, a mere nanosecond in the incomprehensible reaches of time. It will soon pass. Only what is done in authentic Christic love will last (1 Cor 13, etc.)—and this does not include engaging in or supporting culturally normalized violence and justifying it under the auspices of interpreting the Gospel by the method of Orwellian doublespeak, that is by re-naming the violence and enmity—of one’s friends, associates, patrons, ideological compadres, fellow nationalists, fellow travelers, political benefactors, financial supporters, Church, tribe or state—“Christlike love.” A Christian regardless of rank in the Church, or an entire Church, can play the intellectual and spiritual ostrich from here to eternity but violence, in reality and in truth, is never and can never be “loving as Christ loves,” and its moral justification as being in conformity to the Will of God will never be found in the teachings or life of Jesus. Therefore, that which is done in human existence which does not have as its center and central concern Christlike love e.g., by the “state,” is but “a gong booming and a cymbal clashing” unto the eternal abyss of nothingness. Render unto Caesar misses, side-steps or outright evades placing the “state” and its intrinsic, de facto, modus operandi before this mirror. Is this because if it were placed before this mirror what would be reflected back would be essentially nothing!

The explicit and unequivocal renunciation of violence by Jesus, the incarnation of the God who is love (agape)—whether the violence be executed publicly or clandestinely, whether it be engaged in on behalf of the rich or the poor, the ruling class or the oppressed, the status quo or the overthrowing of the status quo, a conservative agenda or a liberal agenda, self interest or self defense or social responsibility, governments or revolutions, the Mafia or other commercial interests, the Church or the “state”—demands an equally explicit and unequivocal renunciation of violence by all the Churches of Christianity and their memberships. Otherwise, they are not being what they were given existence to be by Jesus, namely, an extension of Him and His mission in time and space. The accumulation by the Church of wealth, political power and status, is but “the sound and the fury signifying nothingness,” if it is accomplished by choices contrary to new commandment, 1 Corinthians 13, the Sermon on the Mount, the teachings of Jesus.

Now, the saddest thing about Archbishop Charles Chaput’s book, Render unto Caesar, is that 98% of the Christian Churches and Christian leaders, from Moscow to Manhattan, from the Pope to Putin, agree with him and think as he does vis à vis the teachings of Jesus and their relationship to the “state.” They believe, or at least publicly posture believing, that the piedi d’argilla on which this book stands are rock solid, namely, that Christlike love includes Christians getting a hold on the levers of the state’s apparatus of violence. As previously noted, they only disagree with Bishop Chaput, and among themselves, on some of the details of the execution of violence—on which human beings and on behalf of what causes Christ would approve killing, maiming, torturing, destroying and desecrating other people under the auspices of the “state.”

 

Some Christians who espouse Chaput’s understanding of faithful discipleship in relationship to the “state” are primarily concerned with the violent destruction of human beings in-utero, others with the violent destruction of human beings extra-utero. However, Jesus does not teach “Love your enemies in-utero as I loved my enemies, but extra-utero you can kill and maim them.” Nor, does He teach, “Love your enemies extra-utero as I love my enemies, but you can kill them in utero.” Some, who adopt the understanding of the place of the “state” in a Christian’s life that Charles Chaput sets forth, would think it would be morally acceptable to Jesus for them to kill Adolph Hitler, others would think it would be morally acceptable to Jesus for them to kill those trying to kill Adolph Hitler. But, at root they all—Charles Stanley, John Hagee, Alexei Ridiger, James Dobson, Reverend Ike, Dimitrios Arhondonis, Hans Kung, Charles Chaput, Rowan Williams and tens of millions of other Christian pastors and preachers—are in complete agreement, getting the state’s power of violence in the hands of good [by their particular standards, not Gospel standards] Christians is faithful discipleship on the part of the Church and on the part of those Christians who pursue this end. It is the opus Dei.

A Christian being morally permitted to kill and maim people on behalf of the “state,” is the most ecumenically agreed upon idea in the Church today as well as, in Church history for the last 1700 years! That of course does not make it a truth that Jesus taught nor a truth that can be deduced from what Jesus taught.

An icon of Jesus as a soldier firing a machine gun at another human being is understood across the board to be a preposterous image of Jesus. It is an image imparting a grave and destructive false witness. But, what of the image of Jesus as Prime Minister of Israel, Premier of Russia, President of the United States, or Head of State, Head of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the military of the Vatican City-State? Are these authentic images of Jesus or are they equally false images imparting a grave and destructive false witness to Christians and non-Christian alike? Indeed, does not each of these images absolutely require the other? Does not the Christian soldier killing and maiming people with a clear conscience require the Prime Minister, et al., permitting him or her to kill and maim? And, does not the Christian Prime Minister, et al., require the soldier with the machine gun ready to pull the trigger on the PM’s command? To have an image of a Prime Minister, et al., without including in it a soldier prepared to destroy human beings upon a given order from the PM is like having an image of a Mafia Godfather without his “enforcers” and triggermen. Both images are arrant nonsense because of what they leave out. As the old song goes, You can’t have one without the other!

So, is the Christian who orders the trigger pulled any more or any less a faithful follower of Jesus and His Way, a true image of and witness to Jesus and His Way of love (Jn 13:34, 15:12, Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1970, 2822) than the Christian soldier who upon the PM’s orders pulls the trigger of the machine gun thereby cutting another human being to pieces? Practically all PMs and their “enforcers” in Western civilization over the last 1700 years have been and are Baptized Christians!

The piedi d’argilla of Charles Chaput’s book is the piedi d’argilla of just about every Church and pastor today, and for most of Church history. From House Churches, to Pentecostal Churches, to Glass Cathedrals, to Rock Basilicas—First World, Second World, Third World and Fourth World—nearly all Churches and Church leaders and Church members have been trying to be Pilgrim Churches and Pilgrim people while standing and walking on these ever-corroding and corrupting feet of clay, that is, on a presentation and enfleshment of the truth and love that Jesus taught, that is blatantly not the truth and love that Jesus taught. Specifically, under the violence-laden catchword and canopy of the “state,” Christians have been told they are morally allowed by Jesus to do what Jesus explicitly commanded them not to do: kill, maim, torture, destroy, hold in enmity and desecrate other sons and daughters of the “Father of all.” They have been told that they can follow Jesus’ explicit commands to “Love your enemies, “ and to “Love one another as I have loved you,” by killing, maiming, torturing and destroying their enemies or those whom the power elites of a “state” tell them are their enemies.

But nothing in the teachings of Jesus says or even suggest this, nor is there anything in His teachings that even hint at violence becoming morally acceptable for His disciples when it is done as part of a crowd—whether the crowd names itself a state, a corporation, a Church, an army or any combination thereof. Render unto Caesar as noted above steers clear of this primal issue and simply assumes that it is a settled matter that followers of Jesus can be faithful followers of Jesus and kill and maim people, or order the killing and maiming of people, e.g., war, abortion, capital punishment, etc., if it is done—under the auspices the crowd gives itself or is given by other human beings—by invoking a name that includes in its definition the right to kill or maim people, e.g., “state,” “revolution,” “crusade,” etc.

Render unto Caesar is a book by a Christian and a Bishop about love, politics and Jesus. But, it is not a book about the love that Jesus teaches in the Gospels nor is it a book about the politics of Jesus. It is a book that says one can achieve Christ’s ends by using unChristlike means. To believe this disconnect between ends chosen and the means chosen to achieve them “requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse,” to use Charles Chaput’s own words from a talk by him on Pro-choice people who call them selves pro-life. God is not mocked—we reap what we sow. It makes no difference if we re-name corn, “apples,” or re-name violence, “Christlike love.” Nor, does it make any difference for how long we have been re-naming corn “apples” and violence “Christlike love.” It is equally irrelevant what personages of distinction re-named corn, “apples” and violence, “Christlike love.” What we will get in reality for sowing corn and violence is a harvest of corn and violence, and their fruits!

Render Whole Heart, Whole Soul, Whole Mind, Whole Strength to the “God of Peace, in Whom Violence and Cruelty Can Have No Part,”* What Is God’s—and You Will Have Nothing Left to Render To Caesar would have been a more urgent and veridical book for Archbishop Charles Chaput to write for the salvation of souls, for the salvation of all humanity and for the Glory of God, during the nanosecond of time that he has on earth and the nanosecond of time he has as a Bishop. Ditto for all other professional Christians—popes, patriarchs, bishops, priests, ministers, deacons, pastors, and others—who publicly write or speak about the Word of God made flesh in Jesus, the Christ. Ditto every Christian, who by Baptism totally immerses himself or herself into the project of becoming an icon of what they are, namely, an icon of Christ “to the Glory of God the Father” and the eternal salvation of humanity. There is only one Way for the followers of Jesus to become in time and space a visible icon of the image that is indelibly impressed on them at Baptism, and that is by the means of “loving as Jesus loves,” as Jesus commanded His followers to love. There is no alternative.

[* Quotation from the Opening Prayer of the Mass for Peace and Justice (in the official Roman Missal of the Roman Catholic Church).]

Without intending to be mean-spirited or demeaning in any way, it seems to me that in general Render unto Caesar is a surface reflection on the Person, Mission and Way of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus, the Christ, as revealed to humanity in the Gospels, as well as, a perfunctory analysis of the Mark 12:13-17, “Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God” text—especially in relation to the bold italics immediately above, of which I will say more in another essay.

Render unto Caesar is a book, that if it had courageously disciplined itself to proclaiming and to exalting the application of that love, and only that love that Jesus taught by word and deed, i.e., a nonviolent love of friends and enemies in imitation of Him and in fidelity to His teaching, could have been an authentic prescription for Christianity becoming that medicinal mustard seed which planetary humanity, trapped in a pandemic of contagious state, corporate, revolutionary and personal violence, so desperately longs for, and so urgently needs for its healing and peace.

Instead, Render unto Caesar is a prescription for more of the same old addictive poison that for over a millennia and a half the Churches have been pouring into the minds and hearts and bodies and blood streams of Christians and non-Christians, namely, the poison of the cross of nonviolent love turned upside down and made into a sword, and then sold to humanity in a package with the label “Christlike love!” Render unto Caesar is just another “baptizing,” rehashing and propagandizing of the pseudo-Christian morality of the state as the Church’s and the Christian’s hired gun! And as those, who since the days of Saul and David down to contemporary state-alliances and church-state alliances have learned, one must render and render liberally to a hired gun, even unto the point of personal bankruptcy—or else!

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1 Comment »

  1. Ken in Denver said

    You know, I read your book review on CatholicDemocrats.org, and thought it was a somewhat slanted representation of what I have heard preached in person by the Archbishop. This longer dissertation railing against the Archbishop’s book is tantamount to public assassination. I respected you on the shorter review, but this goes beyond the pale.

    Tell me something, Reverend, what do you propose we do? Sit back and do nothing in politics to bring about positive changes in social policy? You blatantly advocate that we should shut up, stay out of sight and do nothing… … …If your lengthy review were only to preach total separation of church and state, then I could accept that as a legitimate disagreement. But the vehemence and vitriol you pour into this review effectively call the Archbishop and anyone who agrees with him supporters of facism and the holocaust! Who do you think you are? What self-righteous, deluded wagon did you fall off of? Your review above is certainly not thoughtful, not when you go to the lengths of personal assassination that you just did.

    Do you even know Charles Chaput? Do you listen to his Sunday homilies, have you ever heard his tenderly but firmly address students as they go about their formation as priests and deacons, serving as their shepperd? Have you ever once, in your life, ever heard how he urges us to respect all human life in all forms? Saying that he supports state violence to further Constantinian Christian goals is such a shoddy, outright lie that you couldn’t possibly know the man. I won’t say I’m a drinking buddy, but I have heard him speak many times, he oversaw the act of Confirmation of my brother, and remembers my family. And, he is now helping my other brother to become a deacon. I have heard him speak many times, and what you claim in your review is so patently at odds with the man I know that I find your words to be reprehensible.

    On CatholicDemocrats.org I urged you to respond to my reply submitted to the info line. After reading this drek, I rescind that invitation. I don’t want to hear your brand of poison any further. Good bye and good luck.

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