Is libertarianism incompatible with Catholicism?


#1

I was recently reading this section of the Catechism on pornography, and the bolded line stuck out to me:

2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. **Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.**

I have noticed a tendency of bishops also to legally oppose same sex marriage in the United States and also encourage the laity to do so. This brings me to ask, is libertarianism incompatible with the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Libertarianism basically says that the government should not legislate personal moral beliefs beyond basically protecting human rights (this could also include the rights of the unborn, and there are pro-life libertarians). A libertarian Catholic would typically say that we should be personally opposed to pornography and same sex marriage and should be vocal about it but should not support legislation that enforces these views. I have held this view myself. But is this even compatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church?


#2

The only way to legally stop Pornography of every kind. is to have a strict dictatorship
as is in North Korea where if you look the wrong way you will disappear...
You will need to have a subservient Society ,, which in the free western World goes against everything that freedom and Democracy stand for...
you as an individual have the right and freedom to do and see whatever you choose ...
if you have good morals then pornography will be of no interest to you...
but I believe there are situations where it is feasible to understand why people are drawn to it..which you can Figure out for yourself.. i Do not believe we should protest against Pornography, it is your freedom to look if you which... The Church sends a Moral message
that pornography is against your faith... it is ultimately for you to adhere to the church"s teachings..
Is Libertarianism incompatible with Catholicism .... I Believe yes.


#3

A libertarian Catholic would typically say that we should be personally opposed to pornography and same sex marriage and should be vocal about it but should not support legislation that enforces these views.

In fairness to libertarians, libertarianism does not require support for same-sex marriage. Since marriage licenses grant various government benefits, and are government affirmation of some activity, same-sex marriage entails needless government actions, and thus should be opposed by libertarians. In fact, libertarian principles would have the government issue no marriage licenses whatsoever.

However, most libertarians would be in disagreement with the Vatican about restrictions on pornography. Since it directly contradicts the Catechism, Catholics should not embrace the libertarian stance on pornography.

The only way to legally stop Pornography of every kind. is to have a strict dictatorship

Iceland's placed restrictions on it, and the UK appears to be placing some minor restrictions on it. Even if it can't be eliminated, it can be heavily reduced by legal restrictions.

i Do not believe we should protest against Pornography

But the Catechism teaches that we should. I understand your point of view, and in fact I held it for a long time myself, but, in the end, I think the prudent course of action is to trust the Catechism on this issue.


#4

[quote="Trigonometric, post:3, topic:337580"]
Iceland's placed restrictions on it, and the UK appears to be placing some minor restrictions on it. Even if it can't be eliminated, it can be heavily reduced by legal restrictions.

[/quote]

Like Trigonometric says, "preventing" the production and distribution of pornography does not require a hard core crackdown invasion of everyone's privacy as in North Korea. There is a common philosophical question of whether a law should be promoted if it is arguably unenforceable. Many people use this argument on the abortion issue, claiming that if we make abortion illegal then women will go to illegal back-alley abortionists, so whether you believe in abortion or not you should support it so that it can be done safely as this is supposedly the "lesser of two evils." But the problem with this argument is that it legitimizes an immoral, unjust and inhumane practice. It is in the interest of the state to promote justice, so regardless of the hypothetical consequences, the state should oppose unjust laws. The question however in this case is whether or not the production and use of pornography is unjust by definition in the constitution. If not, then it may possibly be further argued that the teachings in the Catechism of the Catholic Church may not be compatible with the United States constitution... which brings us to the final point:

But the Catechism teaches that we should. I understand your point of view, and in fact I held it for a long time myself, but, in the end, I think the prudent course of action is to trust the Catechism on this issue.

As do I. I am a Catholic first and foremost, and I keep my allegiances in their proper order of importance: first to the Catholic Church, second to the state of Texas, and lastly to the United States.


#5

As Catholics, we can't just stand silent while society slips to the wayside and into a state of accepting sin and immorality, so in that sense, no we cannot just accept legislation that goes against laws of nature and morality. Having said that, I am a libertarian in the sense that I want minimum government involvement (e.g. get out of marriage entirely) but I recognize that some issues must be made illegal, such as abortion, prostitution, pornography, etc. for the good of society and because of basic morality, so while the two are not inherently incompatible, the way you present seems to grind against the Church's teachings.


#6

Libertarianism is a broad ideology and it can, within Catholic orthodoxy, apply to certain things and not to others, but no, you cannot be a libertarian in the absolute sense of the word. For example, you must vote against abortion. You must vote against same sex marriage. Etc. These are not inalienable liberties that benefit mankind by allowing people the freedom to choose. The West got it wrong.

On issues relating to gun control, degrees of taxation, healthcare, etc. the Magisterium stays silent and allows rulers and politicians to work out among themselves what might be best. Just as long as you operate in the spirit of charity. Catholics can and do disagree over certain things without compromising their unity. The Magisterium only speaks on matters of theology and morality, which includes how civil authorities ought to act with certain issues, and this can at times conflict with a libertarian mindset. So naturally, you'll need to pick which one to follow as they will not be compatible 100% of the time.

I was a pretty far-end libertarian in earlier years and have since shifted my worldview to fall within orthodoxy. This is something you'll need to sort out if you have adopted certain views.


#7

It's the least offensive of political parties, but still incompatible in my opinion.


#8

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