In light of the news that conservative reporter and commentator par excellence Tucker Carlson is parting ways with Fox News, where his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, became the most-watched cable news show, his massive fan base may ask what he’s going to do next. My answer is, “Become Catholic.” Much of the requisite ideological groundwork for Carlson’s conversion to Catholicism is not only laid but deeply ingrained in him.
Carlson delivered an address Saturday evening marking the Heritage Foundation’s 50th anniversary, and that address was filled to brimming with Catholic sentiment and philosophy. Early on in his speech, the veteran journalist noted that he had become so distraught over the rapidly deteriorating ideological state of America and the unraveling of its moral fabric that he sometimes forgot to pray for the nation; he returned to that idea at the end of his address, urging everyone to take even just ten minutes a day to pray for America.
In between his admission he wasn’t praying enough and his call to pray more, Carlson addressed the “theological” war being waged in America and, indeed, throughout the West today.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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Carlson’s description of that war aligns with an orthodox Catholic view of the same. According to Carlson, we no longer live in the age of “rational debate,” when society was comprised of two groups with largely the same goal but different ideas of how to achieve it; we now live in the midst of a cosmic struggle between objective good and objective evil.
Speaking of the old form of policy debates, Carlson said, “There is no way to assess, say, the transgenderist movement with that mindset. Policy papers don’t account for it at all.” This is not a matter of two groups seeking the common good but with differing ideas of how to achieve it; it is two factions at war, with little or no common moral ground. Carlson continued, “If you have people who are saying, ‘I have an idea, let’s castrate the next generation. Let’s sexually mutilate children.’ I’m sorry, that’s not a political debate.”
Such positions, Carlson says, are “irrational,” that is, they contradict God-given reason and order. Carlson has practically made a career out of adopting the rational position, which is always, of course, the Catholic Church’s position: from vocally condemning Marxism and abortion to staunchly supporting aesthetic beauty and the nuclear family. Carlson’s economic views—equally anti-communist and anti-corporatist—are practically lifted from Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, though Carlson may be unaware of the fact.
During his Heritage speech, Carlson defined abortion today as “human sacrifice,” a notion not uncommon in Catholic theology. “If you’re saying that abortion is a positive good,” Carlson explained, “what are you saying? Well, you’re arguing for child sacrifice, obviously.… When the Treasury Secretary stands up and says, ‘You know what you can do to help the economy? Get an abortion,’ well that’s like an Aztec principle actually.”
“What’s the point of child sacrifice?” he asked. “Well, there’s no policy goal entwined with that. No, that’s a theological phenomenon.”
In addition to the numerous positions Carlson shares with the Catholic Church, he is also seemingly aware of the deficiency of his own Protestant creed. “I’m an Episcopalian, so don’t take any theological advice from me because I don’t have any,” he quipped. “I grew up in the shallowest faith tradition that’s ever been invented. It’s not even a Christian religion at this point, I say with shame.”
Many ex-Protestant converts to Catholicism have said the same, and say so still, especially converts from Anglicanism, the theological progenitor of the Episcopal Church. Two of the most famous Anglican converts to Catholicism share an intellectual tradition and moral and social line of thinking with Carlson.
Considered a philosophical wit, a sharp debater, and, by his enemies, an incorrigible propagandist, St. Edmund Campion abandoned the Anglican priesthood and faced martyrdom for the sake of his Catholic faith. Like the former Fox News superstar, St. John Henry Newman was a student of history and philosophy, a prolific writer, and a controversialist. The 19th-century cardinal is credited with once saying, “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.” If that maxim is true, Carlson will undoubtedly turn to Rome.
Carlson’s friend and fan Eva Vlaardingerbroek, a Dutch reporter and cultural critic, converted to Catholicism on Sunday. A longtime conservative, Vlaardingerbroek explained her conversion was prompted at least in part by the exponential increase in moral degeneracy and the political-cum-cultural elites’ adoption and promotion of it.
When asked what drew her to the Church, the Dutch thinker responded, “[W]e aren’t just fighting a political fight (right vs. left), but…we are dealing with a spiritual fight (good vs. evil).” The Catholic Church, according to Vlaardingerbroek—and according to every saint throughout the Church’s long and storied history—is the sole force with the strength, competence, and authority to win the war against evil.
Since Tucker Carlson sees the same war Vlaardingerbroek, the saints, and the Catholic Church do, raging over the course of history and reaching an unprecedented stage today of dichotomous savagery, I sincerely hope his commitment to side with good over evil leads him into the open arms of the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]