What is integralism?
Dunno, and I care less, but it’s been a topic on #CatholicTwitter lately. As far as I can tell it’s what some people call that part of Church teaching (disputed by some) known as the Social Kingship of Christ.
The ins and outs of the degree of authority regarding this set of teachings is simply “above my pay grade” and I don’t have the time or energy to study further. I’m a home schooling housewife, not a theologian.
I have laboured here and there over about 12 years to understand this set of teachings – the Social Kingship of Christ – as well as I reasonably can, given my external limitations, so I’m slightly resentful about committed Catholics who seem to blow this off.
I wrote in a piece a while back, what I thought was a reasonable blog post, about the idea, which I think is true, and which I think I had explained pretty well, that the state is always confessional (update: a confessional state means having a particular religion as the religion of the state). Even when, for that historically very brief moment the state seemed to be neutral, it never really was. For example, it has been a long time that Catholics have suffered under wicked divorce laws.
Indeed, in any state which recognises civil divorce at all, abandoned Catholic spouses are denied justice, both in law, and socially. Such a state is NOT neutral. It is whatever it is – protestant, or some other weird hybrid thing. And in this state, Catholics are at a disadvantage, particularly with the divorce laws. These laws enable all manner of family strife – and legally impose or sanction it at the expense of the innocent – and actively destroy the religious beliefs of Catholics regarding marriage. Nor does it take very long – in one generation everything can change. How nice and neutral!
I’d be very happy never to discuss the topic, except that it does seem to me to be one of those things which some potential converts will have to at least navigate at some point. It could be a block to conversion, and wishing it away won’t do anything, so I have endeavoured to explain it to others as well as I can.
One of the reasons it seems to touch a nerve is that pragmatists seem to think we all have some kind of plan to actually abolish Sunday trading, for example, in spite of such a policy having (allegedly) only 1% of popular support.
No. I can’t answer for other integralists (if that’s what I am) but for me it’s important to know what a just society looks like – in order to evaluate current laws etc. Whether we can change *anything* is another matter. So far, we can’t even prevent millions of babies being slaughtered in the womb, so the disgrace of Sunday trading is not high on my own list of preferred reforms.
Anti-integralists believe we should do the best with the system we have. In fact, I agree with them there, because it’s not practical to do otherwise. But discussions about whether or not certain policies are a help or hindrance to virtue are extremely important, imo. And that’s the value of discussion the Social Kingship of Christ.
Secular society is not neutral, whatever else it is.
I need a drink