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My grandson Joshua Ray is 21 years old and student at Ave Maria University in Florida working toward a degree in law to defend religious freedom and the traditions of our Founding Fathers.

He is also a concert pianist and Catholic apologist. I am unbelievably proud of him.

If you get the time to read this whole article he just had published in the Freeman News-Letter, please give it a “like” to help him get more things published.

Integralism: The End of Government?

Coerced virtue is no virtue at all.  JOSHUA RAY  JAN 14, 2024

“JESUS FOR PRESIDENT.” These words emblazoned on a yard sign during the 2016 election cycle still stick in my mind to this day, and for good reason. Jocular nature aside, the endorsement is a poignant commentary on the relationship between politics and religion as it exists in the mind of the common man.

Taken most directly, the sign is a plea for help, a call for a divine solution to the political ailments of our nation, which most of the country rightly understand to be moral in nature. But oftentimes, the proposed cure is truly worse than the disease.

As Dr. James M. Patterson, Chair of Politics at Ave Maria University, cogently asserts, “It is important for those who stand for ordered liberty and constitutional government to stay vigilant against dangerous ideologies on the right as well as on the left and not assume that they will simply burn themselves out.” Integralism is one such ideology that must be guarded against, made especially dangerous since it poses as a principled political solution that logically follows from the truth of Catholicism.

Given the burgeoning rise in integralist sympathy, especially among “many young conservatives [who] are unsettled by the status quo and want a definitive answer to the many setbacks they experience in public life,” Patterson’s warning is more relevant than ever before. As he says in a 2023 article titled The Promise and Peril of Freedom Conservatism, “it is tempting to think that the years since the rise of Donald J. Trump, Catholic integralism, Christian nationalism, and National Conservatism are merely an interruption of the old fusionist place defining the American Right.” Transient or not, effective political discourse now requires the consequences of integralism to be discussed and its flaws exposed.

Most of us know intuitively that politics and religion are linked in some way or another. The popularly dubbed “culture wars” are just the latest example of man’s collective understanding that where there is moral conflict, political conflict necessarily follows. From the death of Socrates onward, the prevailing philosophical understanding of politics has involved the inculcation and enforcement of some moral order with a corollary view of man’s ultimate good.

In recent years, this traditional philosophical groundwork has crystallized in a compelling new way with the emergence of Catholic integralism. This is a school of thought which, generally speaking, holds that the ideal political arrangement is decidedly theocratic in nature—a confessional state ordered around the moral truths of Catholicism. It does so on the basis that “political rule must order man to his final goal”, which, in the mind of Catholics, is logically synonymous with the attainment of salvation via the Church. …

The whole article can be read HERE.