A reader sent me a link to the Maryknolls called "U.S. Elections 2008: Loving our neighbor in a shrinking world" pdf This is quite an excellent document. I really like how it informs the Catholic voter about such important issues such as abortion, euthanasia, cloning, ESCR, and homosexual marriage. It does a great job of making the difference between topics that are intrinsically evil and things such as government supported social programs that are prudentially decided upon. It is great to see a document that talks about loving our neighbors that includes both the financially poor and the unborn without any kind of moral equivocation. I am quite impressed.
And if you believe anything I wrote above about this document then you know nothing about the Maryknolls. The part I mentioned about "abortion, euthanasia, cloning, ESCR, and homosexual marriage" is of course totally missing with no reference whatsoever.
I bet the majority of my readers know what topic their "voting guide" starts off with – of course global warming. Yes organic farming and talking about the dangers of nuclear power are fundamental parts of Catholic social teaching. Though this guide like other progressive religious guides condemns corn-for ethanol subsidies though doesn’t mention why. I totally agree with this since it makes food prices rise, but ironically of course it came about mostly because of the global warming crowd. Even when I was a bleeding-heart liberal environmentalist I never understood the massive opposition against nuclear power. That somehow Japan was able to become the third largest user of nuclear power and we continue to stigmatize it since it is “nuclear.”
Then we get the typical boilerplate on immigration and while I agree with part of it, the impetus is always on the U.S. instead of the countries that are contributing to poverty through their policies. The reform called for is always on our side.
The section on HIV/AIDS could be written by any Democratic organization and there is nothing specifically Catholic about it and it is pretty much all on the medical side without a word about how teaching the truth of Catholic moral teaching on human sexuality. Like other parts of the document they once again blame racism for problems and ask "How would you address the racial disparity in HIV/AIDS prevention and services in the U.S.?" I guess if you just say something it must be true. Must be the racist administration, you know the same one that signed a $14 billion dollar international HIV/AIDS bill and has spent more in Africa than any previous administration.
Than some more boilerplate on the military and a call to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now I was quite dubious on the war in Iraq in the first place, but I don’t see how pulling out now will lead to peace. Afghanistan certainly seems to fulfill all parts of just war theory and once again I don’t see how pulling out will lead to peace. Even sillier is to "Begin immediately to convert the U.S. military budget to conflict prevention. … and peace education." Though I totally agree with them about ending torture in all its forms and circumstances.
But mainly what gets me about documents of this type is what they ignore and what they emphasize. There are many areas where Catholics can prudential disagree on something and it is usually these very areas that progressives seem to dogmatize as "social teaching." But to totally ignore abortion and all the other threats to life involving an innocent human person is quite another thing to do. It is like sitting in the middle of a concentration camp with people being slaughtered amongst you and then demanding that prisoners be fed from organic gardens. 45 million and counting people killed in abortion and yet that doesn’t even get a mention. Somehow the preferential love of the poor doesn’t seem to apply to the innocents in the womb. Somehow trying to create a non-violent culture does not include killing the unborn via abortion, euthanasia, physician assisted suicide, and ESCR. We need to preach the whole Gospel and not a gospel that runs along party lines – a lesson that needs to be learned by members of all political parties.