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Has Pat Buchanan Turned Protestant?

Recently I wrote about James Howard Kunstler surprising me with some of his opinions. Another long-standing and well-known pundit is doing the same thing. Pat Buchanan recently wrote a post that makes him sound so disgusted with the current pope that he is searching for an alternative to Roman Catholicism.

He rhetorically asks whether the pope has the power to change the eternal verities of the Catholic religion. My short answer is, yes, the pope does.

When Buchanan talks about the eternal verities of the religion, doesn't he really mean the values and ideas that he got used to as a Catholic boy in the 1940s? Does he really think that his religion should be static?

If so, he never belonged to the right religion in the first place. In fact he has overlooked a great advantage and strength of the Catholic church. 

All religions say that they worship "God", but strictly speaking, they either worship 1) a church hierarchy, or 2) a holy book.

Catholics, Orthodox, Mormons, Jacobins, and environmentalists are in the first group. Protestants and Muslims are in the second. Marxists were a mix: the holy canon was laid down by Marx, but Lenin and Mao had a certain authority to append the holy truth.

I have a juicy quote for you from "Darwin's bulldog", T.H. Huxley, from his Preface IV, Science and Hebrew Tradition:

The truth is that the pretension to infallibility, by whomsoever made, has done endless mischief; with impartial malignity it has proved a curse, alike to those who have made it and those who have accepted it; and its most baneful shape is book infallibility. For sacerdotal corporations and schools of philosophy are able, under due compulsion of opinion, to retreat from positions that have become untenable; while the dead hand of a book sets and stiffens, amidst texts and formulæ, until it becomes a mere petrifaction,
Put more simply, a church hierarchy can adapt to modern times, but a holy book is dead in the water. That is why American bible-thumpers were so threatened by Darwin, but the Catholic church took him in stride. It is also why the Catholic church rose to the challenge of Aristotle after all his work became available to them. In contrast, Islam failed to meet the Aristotelian challenge. (And if Protestantism had been around back then, it too would have failed.)

You could consider the adaptibility of the U.S. Constitution. Its "literal truth" can be respected, or alternatively, the meaning of its words can be reinterpreted at will by nine unelected supreme court justices. Once again, this is the #1 or #2 split mentioned above.

Amazingly, the men who wrote the Constitution came up with a third option, that of amending the Constitution. Unfortunately this last option seems to have fallen by the wayside. Amending the Constitution is analogous to the ecumenical councils that the Catholic church has had every now and then when a fundamental dispute needed to be resolved.


Ed said…
Even more analogous to the ecumenical councils would be a Constitutional Convention. I think we are getting closer and closer to seeing one convened and perhaps an entire revision of the Constitution resulting. It may be that or another Civil War; or perhaps both.
Where does Suffering Come from?
Does suffering come from with in or with out?
Anonymous said…
Just another religious-based rant against homosexuality by Buchanan. When will folks learn that homosexuality has nothing to do with religion, morals or a so-called god. It has everything to do about biology and people being who they were born to be. Human beings being human. Why is this so hard to for people to get?