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MSW on race, labor and religion

Michael Sean Winters on Wednesday in National Catholic Reporter responded to survey data on frightened white people in the Washington Post. You can read his article (please do) at http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/whites-demographic-change... Then keep going with my rather lengthy response, which I hope he responds to (I have never seen him mention the M word in a column).

Let's not forget that many of the whites who are in fear of a declining white population are responding to fears by the opinon leaders of the Repbulcian Party. It is a form of radicalization and it follows old prejudices in the South, where a slave rebellion was their worse fear because they were outnumbered. It is also why voter suppression was official policy, and to some extent still is (althouth Eric Holder won't let it continue). Its also why immigration reform won't pass any time soon because certain factions think they can maintain control without it. Its also why the criminalization of African American males was the real reason behind the drug wars - and that is all you need to know about the break-up of poor families (which must also be broken to receive benefits - largely because of the Southern White inflence in the Senate - so much for an ideologically diverse party being a good thing).

Do extended family links still matter? Of course? Even if siblings don't hold together, this economy has forced chidren - who often have children - to seek safe harbor and the day of the corporation moving people around the country is over (unless they are military or military contractors). Whether this cohesion survies the Great Recession (such doublespeak, it was a legitimate depression) or not is to be seen?

Should Labor be brought back by Latinos? Of course - but it would take immigration reform first because any undocumented worker trying to join a union will trigger a call to the Homeland Security. African-Americans may be the vanguard as they come to work with cleansed records, thanks to the recent actions of the Administration to take the influence of Jesse Helms out of the drug laws entirely. In either case, however, the yeast to do so won't be Catholic Social Teaching - it will be something a bit more Marxist. It is not that Marxist will organize all the unions (although there is one case in the fast food world where that is happening how), but they will put the fear of Marx into the minds of factory owners and capitalists everywhere, thus getting them to cooperate with reunionization. Hopefully, this time, we won't allow ourselves to be sidelined i some renewed Red Scare - since there is no Joseph Stalin to demonize (Putin is not a Red, he is a nationalist). If labor does come back, by the way, union jobs will gain keep families in close proximity.

So, what is the prospect of the Republicans? As the old white male party, the prospects are not good. That is not good for the Democrats, because it will have too many people to hold together for long. Will the fault line be abortion? Probably not. Young people forget the issue when they start "hooking up." Since Roe, it has been an organizational tool, like race, for the Republicans. I fervently hope that those who would do so again die off with the GOP. I suspect it will be more about economics and that will be interesting.

It is true that the Church is becoming much more Latino among active members, but that is because so many members of the Church have fallen away into secularism or to another Christian faith - some going Evangelical (not sure why any Catholic who thinks the Chruch is too harsh would go to the Southern Baptist Convention!) or the the Disciples of Christ (the faith of my grandfathers) and more often going to High Church Protestantism, like Lutheranism, Presbyterianism and that liberal giant, Episcopalianism). I suspect the time will come when the prophesies on Christian unity will become true - although I suspect that to end anti-papism the Pope must submit to the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch - and divide the Church more nationally or linguistically. An American Catholic/Orhodox/Episcopal Patriarch may just end the divisions in American Christianity. Will that means that Sunday will no longer be the most segregated day of the week? I suspect not - since people join congregations where they love the singing and there are lines in time not likely to be crossed. The other thing that will help is a renewed hierarchy that learns emough about sex to know that Humane Vitae was a mistake. Admit that and mountains will move as people come back to the Church.

What then for the White Race? There is really no such thing. My mother was as white as they come but my father was a mixture of Bohemian Judaism, German Catholicism, Luxemburgois Catholicism (actually, the old home is now in Belgium and my very why cousins are in Denmark) and more than one line of assimilated Roma Sinti. He looked white enough, but anyone who knew his heritage may not think him (or me) so. Its not national, its cultural. MSW mentions the Knights of Columbus and affiliated groups, but they only came about as an alternative Freemasonry - which like it or not is the civil religion of the United States. Any examination of male jewelry on the metro among middle aged men will find quite a few Masonic rings and hats - my grand father's secret society is not so secret anymore - nor is it all white. African American and Latino lodge members will add their hues to the Shriners with their funny hats and cute little cars - and to their values of universal brotherhood that seems to still frighten the Catholic Hierarchy. Maybe it is time to abandon the fear and let some of us rejoin the lodge of our fathers without being considered excommunicate. (noticed I said being considered and not being - it is hardly a serious matter - especially when even Catholic schools teach civics in such a manner that might be acceptable in the Lodge).