How Many Evangelicals Does it Take to Comment on an Encyclical?By Caleb Stegall for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC
68 apparently. I had to laugh when I saw this. I recognize many of them as my interlocutors from the old New Pantagruel days. And if I learned anything, it is that Evangelicals suffer from a bad case of church envy. Lacking a magisterium, they tend to compensate with outfits like the Center for Public Justice.* As such, unconstrained by the weight of a musty, tradition-bound, and world-weary humility, the magisterium-lite model tends to tug in the direction of world-saving schemes and delusions (I would argue that this is the problem with American Catholic neoconservatives as well, but that is a different argument). So it is no surprise that the 68 evangelicals in question take exactly the wrong message from Caritas in Veritate. They are globalists through and through, or rather, they are the “protagonists” of an “ethical globalization.” Which is to say, the only thing wrong with the current state of affairs is that the universalist impulse has not yet been imposed onto every nook and cranny of this recalcitrant old globe. They call for a “serious dialogue” in order to “call forth political action to secure” a “global common good” by proposing “new models of global governance [which] secure increased participation, transparency and accountability, and help strengthen the nation state relative to the power of global finance.”
Take it from me, sitting in the belly of the beast, when Evangelicals ask you for a “serious dialogue” about “new models of global governance,” reach for your gun. Or your rosary.
* Lest anyone mistake my playfullness for cruelty, I offer the obligatory caveat that of course places like CPJ do a lot of good work and are staffed by intelligent, thoughtful Christians, some of whom are my friends.