Steve Bannon Portrait

GAGE SKIDMORE is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Political Strategist Combines Several Theories to Promote Unique View of Catholicism

Steve Bannon, a name that that creates intense hatred or adulation. Known as one of the central figures in the meteoric rise of Donald Trump. A man who is seen as having a direct influence on the major policies of President Trump: immigration, travel ban, and national security. But for a man who claimed that Judeo-Christian West is in crisis, there is little known written about his religious beliefs.

Steve Bannon grew up Catholic and has professed his continued loyalty to the Catholicism. At the same time, he has gotten divorced three times and criticized the Catholic Church and Pope Francis for their support for immigrant rights. He criticized Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for “social –justice Catholicism.”

What is his definition of appropriate Catholicism? Based on a speech he gave in 2014 in the Vatican he believes in a mixture of religion with economics. The belief is in a laisse-faire protection of individual expressions of economics. Religion should not supplement governments, but provide the moral basis for governmental policy. Therefore, religion should not be about social services because it creates an increased control of the government over its citizenry, according to Mr. Bannon.


Additionally, he constantly explains the world locked into a global crisis against Islamic fascism. Therefore, the moving away from Western religious values would be extremely dangerous. So support for wedge issues like homosexual marriage is linked to the erosion of strength needed for this global conflict. He uses the specific title “church militant” to refer to more specific, conservative elements within the Catholic Church that are more traditionalist in morality guiding conservative political beliefs.

This is connected to the philosophic teachings of Edmund Burke, who has been referenced by Bannon as an influence. Mr. Burke argued is that a society is successful when it has long-standing traditions that are passed down. Therefore emphasis on Bannon’s interpretation of Catholicism is not the promotion of ethics like human rights, but following traditional interpretations.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter