Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Specter Of...

While a handful of prelates have skirted the edges in alluding to 1930s Germany over the course of this election season (and not for reasons of papal biography), at the aforementioned KU lecture last night Archbishop Joseph Naumann cited it head on:
“Our democratic institutions are founded upon the premise that there are certain inalienable rights,” including the right to life. Without that, other campaign issues like the economy and the war in Iraq mean nothing, he said....

He blamed cultural relativism for forming beliefs that “(impair) a culture from what is imperatively true.”

Naumann said this election was part of a battle for the soul of our society, and warned that bowing to pressure from pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage groups could lead down the road to totalitarianism, because democracy could “(devolve) into the will of the majority trampling on the rights of the” minority.

“If liberty becomes distracted from truth, it leaves society vulnerable to totalitarianism,” he said. “Remember, Hitler was elected.”
Before anyone gets worked up, however, give Naumann consistency points; in late September, a local ecumenical group honored the archbishop for his defense on behalf of immigrants and their families.