Friday, December 18, 2020

Our Barbarian: Dreher vs Pell

Donald Trump gets a fair amount of loathing here in Australia by our "respectable" media but so does Cardinal Pell, who was recently released from jail after the Australian High Court overturned his conviction 7-0. i.e he was innocent.  Pell is ostensibly loathed by the Left here in Australia for his supposed role in the pedophilia scandal but he earned their hate long before with his outspoken Christian conservatism.  He was chosen by the Pope to clean up the Vatican finances and while he was always a man of controversy, the real heat was put on him while trying to clean up that mess.

While in prison he kept a journal of his thoughts and it was interesting seeing his musings on Trump;

Cardinal Pell also offered his evaluation of U.S. President Donald Trump’s single term in office, saying “he was a little bit of a barbarian, but he was our barbarian.”

Calling Trump a “controversial fellow,” Cardinal Pell also praised certain moves Trump made, such as his Supreme Court appointments and his decision to participate in the annual March for Life.

“I’m grateful for that and I’m not one running around trying to damn his memory,” he said, adding, <b>“In a democracy, we Christians have got a right, and indeed an obligation, to struggle to maintain Christian values in life, because the moment they start to disappear, notions like truth and reason and free speech” also go away.</b>

“On the whole I think Trump has made a positive contribution to the Christian cause, but in other areas, I’m not so sure he’s been sufficiently respectful of the political process,” Cardinal Pell said, adding, “and it’s important that people believe they’re getting a fair go, and if that’s not the case, <b>it needs to be established very, very clearly</b> because it’s no small thing to weaken trust in great public institutions” *

There's a couple of points I want to make here. Pell has definite conservative bona fides. His handling of the sexual abuse crisis, at the time, was groundbreaking but not without its faults, Theologically he is solid, so it's interesting to see his take on Trump compared to Dreher's.

Trump as a politician is measured by his policies and governance, not his personal failings. Secondly, he sees that the Trump presidency has been beneficial to Christians in a way that a Clinton presidency would not have been. Thirdly, he sees that Christians must be politically active and not simply accept whatever comes their way. While he sees that Trump has faults I think it would be fair to think that unlike Dreher, Pell does not think that Trump is a fascist.

The question to ask here is: is the Christian West so emasculated that we need to rely on "barbarians" to save us?