The other day I posted a reply to a thread discussing secession at the blog of Catholic writer Mark Shea. I noted that the reflexive assumptions made by people in the comments, and perhaps by Shea himself, sounded more like an unthinking regurgitation of mainstream political thought — the kind of thing conservative Catholics presumably ought to hold in suspicion, not thoughtlessly repeat — than a serious engagement of the issue from a Catholic point of view. I strongly suggest reading it, whether you’re Catholic or not.
Shea considers the discussion of secession to be crazy talk, and smears everyone discussing it as a “violent fantasist.” Thus we are not even permitted to discuss whether the U.S. might be too big — this is crazy talk, you understand; the U.S. is just the right size — or whether life might be more livable if the political order were more decentralized. Presumably these are not altogether unreasonable questions, and merely posing them, instead of cowering in the little corner of approved ideas that established opinion permits us to have, might be a useful exercise.
Someone in the comment thread said this to Shea:
Mr Shea, I kindly encourage you to read a response to this article by fellow Catholic Tom Woods Jr;
He then goes on to ban the person making the request. But the entirety of his response to my post, which asks why Catholic bloggers instinctively side with Hobbes over the political order of Christendom, is that he won’t even look at it. “No,” is his full answer.
Now this is not because he might not be able to answer me, you understand. He is refusing to read my post entirely out of concern for civilization and decency.