Wednesday, August 26, 2015

QUOTATION: The Role of The Church in a Free-Market Democracy

Democracy and the free economy are not machines that can run by themselves. It takes a certain kind of people, possessed of certain virtues, to run self-governing polities and market economies so that they do not self-destruct. The task of the moral-cultural sector is to form these habits of heart and mind in people, and the primary public task of the Church is form that moral-cultural sector.  Thus the Church is not in the business of proposing technical solutions to questions of governance or economic activity; it is not within the Church's competence to decide whether bicameral legislatures are superior to unicameral legislatures, or whether parliamentary systems are preferable to presidential systems, or where the top marginal tax rate should be set. The Church is in the business of forming the culture that can form the kind of people who can craft political, economic, and social policy against the horizon of transcendant moral truths, truths that can be known by human reason.  

--George Weigel, "The Free and Virtuous Society", in Against the Grain: Christianity and Democracy, War and Peace, 2008