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The Catholic Culture Podcast

A weekly podcast hosted by musician and writer Thomas V. Mirus, exploring everything Catholic, with a special focus on arts and culture. Dedicated to the Holy Family. An extension of

Sep 9, 2020

Catholic theologian Douglas Farrow and Lutheran political scholar Andrew Busch join the show to discuss their recent essays on the coronavirus lockdown, and assess the reasons and prospects for civil disobedience.

In “The Health-First Heresy,” Farrow examines the responses of Catholic and other Christian leaders to the state’s orders to cease corporate worship. Whatever concessions the Church may make to the state as to the circumstances under which worship is held, she may not simply suspend her proper activities indefinitely until the state gives the word.

In “The Limits of Expertise,” Busch assesses where “following the experts” (which ones? in what fields?) has gotten us so far and points out the dangers of pretending to replace statesmanship with expertise.


[8:30] The “health-first heresy”; the priority of the soul over the body

[17:29] Making prudential judgments vs. suspending corporate worship indefinitely; how much can the Church concede to the state in matters of worship?

[23:37] We have to realize the world is run by people who have contempt for religious worship

[32:09] Areas of overlap between Church and state authority

[40:08] The modern desire to be in complete control surpasses the desire to avoid suffering

[42:58] Religious leaders need to plan for the next pretext to shut down worship

[49:56] Listen to—Which scientists? In what fields?

[56:30] The track record of the experts

[58:56] The legal fallout of accepting lockdowns

[62:47] Shifting the goalposts from “flattening the curve” to eliminating all cases

[1:04:13] Rule by experts is incompatible with the consent of the governed

[1:07:47] Other motives behind lockdown

[1:10:29] Why coordinated civil disobedience needs to begin NOW—no waiting for a vaccine

[1:21:06] Striking a balance between resisting irrational fear and taking appropriate precautions


Douglas Farrow, “The Health-First Heresy”

Andrew Busch, “The Limits of Expertise”

Douglas Farrow at Catholic World Report

Andrew Busch at The American Mind and Claremont Review of Books

Episode 56 on Yves Simon’s General Theory of Authority

Episode 27 with Online Great Books’ Scott Hambrick

Online Great Books opens a new enrollment period on October 13th. Join the waiting list via this referral link to get 25% off your first three months!

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