Thaddeus Russell on His Way to Rome?

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Alright, that headline is a gross exaggeration.

It’s downright clickbait, in fact. Clickbait for nerds, yes, but still clickbait.

But you’re going to be happy you clicked on it if you’re a Catholic libertarian.

Tom Woods recently appeared on Russell’s “Unregistered” podcast. The whole thing is enjoyable, but they get into libertarianism and Catholicism in the second half of it, starting shortly after the one-hour mark.

In the course of it, you’ll hear Tom Woods explain:

how Anarcho-Capitalism is steeped in natural law, with norms that transcend culture (with Russell dissenting . . . claiming there are no such norms . .  . which is his postmodern wont),

why the Latin Mass is important (with Russell agreeing . . . noting the modern Mass isn’t even Catholic, based on his outsider perspective),

why Anthony Esolen is great (with Russell agreeing),

why he’s Catholic . . . with Russell declaring, if he were going to become religious, he would definitely join the Catholic Church.

That’s the closest Russell came to declaring any intent of converting, so, yes, my headline is “clickbaity.”

But notable conversions in our history have started with a whole lot less. Most converts don’t come into the Church through a Saul/Paul moment. The journey starts with something little like that.

I disagree with Russell on many things, but I generally find him intellectually honest and a man of good will.

And more importantly, he realizes, like Chesterton pointed out, only dead things swim with the stream. Like any good Catholic, he’s vibrantly fighting against the modern stream all the time. He’s fighting it with postmodernist weapons, but he’s fighting it all the same.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that, if you combine his distaste for modernity and his obvious respect for the Catholic Church and its traditions, you might construct a Catholic convert.

Let’s hope he enjoys a long life and finishes his journey in Rome.