Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Paul in Virginia considers himself a “Burkean” (that’s Edmund Burke for any beginners out there) and believes that the First Principles laid down by the Catholic Church are the ones that must be defended. And the Federal Government, who comes in with their “better” way of doing things, don’t know anything about tradition or the metaphysical principles of the church. I’ll let Paul speak for himself in today’s transcript…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: We shall next talk to Paul in Virginia.
Caller Paul: This rift that Andrew brought up between Libertarians, Republicans and conservatives or Burkean conservatives. I’m a Burkean. I’m a Catholic conservative. In the tradition of Edmund Burke, there is a role for the government to preserve and safeguard tradition. The libertarian that stands for tradition is of great concern for me, because all tradition is is the embodiment of first principles, presuppositions, sensibility, i.e., foundational ideas, organically gathered together by community and put forth in an expression like an institution or song or ritual. That’s tradition, an embodiment of first principles.
For example, VMI and the Citadel is an embodiment of a tradition in which the first principle of valor is articulated. That was a complex matrix that goes way back to Medieval Christianity, goes back to the Roman legion. The government here, to dispute Andrew, I say we know your first principle of valor better than you do, VMI and Citadel, and we want to impose our conception of valor, which does have a gender component. I happen to know quite well — look at Special Operations Forces, not a single woman in any U.S. Special Operations Forces right now.
Furthermore, this is happening in the Catholic Church. The government is telling the Catholic Church, [mocking] “By the way, we disagree with some of the first principles enshrined in your institution and we’re changing them because we have better first principles.” The role of government, according to Catholic social theory, is when subsidiarity help subsidium, to help the organically-developed institutions and traditions of a culture preserve themselves against modernist forces like [unintelligible] who think they know better. By the way, Fistian and Tonkin Libertarians are in that mix. That’s what Andrew doesn’t realize because he doesn’t have a Jesuit education. When he calmly says, “I think women should have every right,” hmete doesn’t know. He hasn’t read through [unintelligible]. Has he read the Arthurian legends? Where is his knowledge of military valor?
AG: But Paul —
Caller Paul: He can so lightly say that he understands the principles of military valor better than an institution like the Citadel does.
AG: Paul, the question I would then have is, if an institution, whether it be the Citadel, or I’m not sure of the specifics of VMI, takes public dollars, are they giving away the ability to make their own rules and standards?
Caller Paul: In the modern world, yes. In a Burkean world, the government should have helped the Citadel against the ACLU to suspend its policy of male-only. That would be my ideal. You’re correct, in our world we have accepted the notion that public dollars carry with it a secular material philosophical presupposition, that you have to yield your first principles to — see, Andrew, the government is imposing [unintelligible] in its position. This is why we all need a good Jesuit education. Everything has causal principles, but you have to discern philosophically, prudentially. You have to go back to what are the premises, what are the terms? Using [unintelligible], how does one arrive at certain policy conclusions from those first principles in well-defined terms?
The government has right now very strong first principles that are not metaphysical. They are therefore not in alignment with what I would call me as a Catholic. Right now, if you’re an institution, unfortunately since we don’t live in a Burkean conservative world, don’t take public dollars. I just want to say, Andrew, there is a strong — Libertarians and Burkean conservatives have to have this great debate, because I think it’s essential to our liberty that the government act the subsidiariate way.
End Mike Church Show Transcript