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.
I think you kind of missed the mark on this one. Admittedly I do not know much about the organization who put out the guide, but I think you could be accused of the same flaws you pointed out in this guide.
I enjoy your blog tremendously and I often agree with you. I like that you focus on abortion, euthanasia and other social issues. These are issues that are one of the greatest threats to our society and are largely ignored by politicians (especially ones trying to please everybody).
But I think being pro-life, and being a responsible Catholic encompass more than just these social issues. The war, the economy, healthcare, torture (which I don’t believe was addressed in the guide by I personally find despicable), and immigration to some extent all fit in to the same Catholic teaching that you are extolling.
All of these issues are important to a Catholic voter. This is why I, along with many others are struggling about whether or not to vote at all. Yes Obama is one of the most pro-choice senators in the senate. This fact is not lost on me (this one fact more than any of my other doubts about him is what is making it close to impossible to consider voting for him). But McCain is not our generation’s leading proponent of life. His positions on the war, on healthcare, and the economy, with also lead to the death of may innocent people.
Anyway, sorry for the long reply. I don’t mind somebody focusing on the issues that are important to them. My only problem is when you call somebody else out for doing the same thing. As I said I am a huge fan of the blog. I just wanted to make you aware of a general pet peeve of mine: that the Catholic teaching of compassion spans party lines. It extends to ALL people, and all issues, not just those most important to you.
The saintly founders of Maryknoll are probably turning over in their graves.
Carefully avoided in the talk of how to correct the higher rates of HIV/AIDS in blacks is any reference to changing their sexual and social behavior.
No surprise. We’re supposed to be one big happy world with the US bailing everyone out of whatever ails them. Bleh.
Hey – you’ve won an award. Come over to my blog to collect! (Even though I doubt you’ll do it, you’re definitely one of my favorite blogs.)
Right on Jeff! We need to focus the jugular, AGAIN!
This is a copy of my post today at Inside Catholic:
“I’m stunned that, ONE week is passed since the Gianna Jessen TV red herring video, and the enraged-scared out of their minds Obama’s campaign response, and you (Deal Hudson), author of the catch phrase “the infanticide candidate”, in your not precisely modestly named InsideCatholic blog have ignored this BOMB!!!
Let me quote myself in your blog-post of September 19th, 2008 | 3:23pm
”The jugular of the genocide, as I wrote to your post 09/07/08 is:
If we Christians Pro-Life were a serious MAJORITY, anti-abortion legislation would have been passed, and we wouldn’t be accepting scraps from the Republican Party table.
God send us Christians, this ready made spot (like the one that Atwater used to sink Dukakis):
Gianna Jessen, survivor of abortion, compelling video in Dawn Eden’s and many other blogs:
IF OBAMA HAD HIS WAY I WOULDN’T BE ALIVE!!!
And? (this video) is being ignored, by the (McCain) “serious” political consultants.
I could go on several volumes. So please, I ask again:
Focus the jugular!”
And in The Curt Jester blog you can watch the hysterical Obama spot, calling Jessen testimony “sleazy”. Plus some comment:
“Jill Stanek: It is despicable, repulsive and beneath contempt that Barack Obama would attack Gianna Jessen. She is a courageous abortion survivor and living miracle who would not be with us today if Obama’s policies had been in place when she was born. Mr. Obama continues to mislead the American people on this issue, he voted four times against medical care and protection for babies who survive abortions in the Illinois State”.
How come you still ignore this BOMB?”
This was directed to Mr. Hudson scandalous SILENCE in the Jenssen all pre-election time BIGGEST news.
Keep up fresh this TRUMP CARD Jeff!
Given that the Maryknoll superiors punted on the Fr Bourgeios incident at the Womynpriestess No-rdination, basically giving tacit approval on his attending that sham, is it any surprise that they would focus on non-intrinsic evil aspects of Catholic Social Justice? Are they hoping that if they ignore it, it’ll just go away? Or are they afraid that if they mention the life issues, they’ll lose monetary support from the (few?) donors they have?
Organic farming? How far into outer space do you have to be make that a priority?
but I think you could be accused of the same flaws you pointed out in this guide.
Respectfully, this is incorrect. Absolute moral norms (the teachings against abortion, escr, homosexual acts, etc.) outweigh moral norms that are not absolute (avoiding war, helping the poor, caring for the environment.) And when a candidate formally supports an absolute evil like abortion, it doesn’t matter how fancy his environmental program is because it is like voting for the director of Auschwitz because he pays the guards a living wage and gives them a comprehensive health-care plan.
Exactly right, Scott. We’re talking about a Holocaust of 48+ MILLION butchered babies. At this point I don’t care what the guy’s policies on organic vegetables or free bus rides for war widows are.
So in your mind a single homosexual act (which I don’t condone) is worse than a single act of murder in an unjust war? An you will notice, I did not mention free bus rides, or organic farming in my reply…they are clearly not life issues which is what I was addressing…if does not help to prove your point of view by skewing mine
I’m with Emily on this one. First of all, yes, the Maryknolls DO still exist, bringing Christ to many parts of our world, at great personal sacrifice. Let’s not be snarky about that.
This voter’s guide does not purport to be an all-inclusive, final word document on voting in the US. All it does is bring several issues that we as Americans may not have awareness of. I could not find anything in it that contradicted Church teaching, and nowhere does it say things like conservation of natural resources or immigration takes precedent over right to life issues. Let us remember that the Maryknolls and other missionaries are daily faced with issues like HIV/AIDS, poverty, immigration, etc.
We are made with an intellect, and are required to form our conscience. This is only one small tool with which to do that.
So in your mind a single homosexual act (which I don’t condone) is worse than a single act of murder in an unjust war?
Both are evil of course. BUT no one is formally supporting the idea that unjust war is actually good. People most certainly ARE formally supporting homosex is actually good and seeking to ratify that through same-sex unions. It’s the formal support of intrinsic evils that hang up the works.
An you will notice, I did not mention free bus rides, or organic farming in my reply…they are clearly not life issues which is what I was addressing…if does not help to prove your point of view by skewing mine
He was just giving an example. Not all responses are about you. 😉
By the way, Obama is on record that Iran must not acquire nukes and will not rule out military options. The problem is that people are assuming that any military action against Iran would automatically be unjust. It certainly could be, but it also could be just.–It’s guesswork. And guesswork is a terrible guide when we have known support for intrinsic evils by the candidates.
“This voter’s guide does not purport to be an all-inclusive, final word document on voting in the US”
Surely a topic as important as abortion would need to be included.
So, every voters guide directed to the Catholic voter MUST address abortion? Why? Are all Catholics as radically uninformed as Pelosi and Biden on this topic? The Maryknoll voters guide simply gives some personal stories, discussion questions and insights on areas that we “may” not be as well informed about.
So, every voters guide directed to the Catholic voter MUST address abortion? Why?
Because the great error of our time is that there is no intrinsic good and evil–that things are only good or evil depending on our subjective judgement and relative circumstances. Unfortunately, way too many Catholics have become confused by this error, and the Church’s recovery hangs on (re)catechizing the faithful in the proper moral order of creation. The Maryknoll guide is a typical example of the error, even it is well-intentioned. That is, it demotes absolute moral norms to non-absolute ones and thus ends up short-changing both.
“So, every voters guide directed to the Catholic voter MUST address abortion? Why?”
Same reason every book about the Nazis must address the holocaust.
Emily, it’s possible for a faithful informed Catholic to argue about whether a particular war is just or not. It is not possible for such a Catholic to argue about whether a particular abortion or homosexual act is just.
Aye aye Ed! Bishop Martino demolished this in his statement he is having read at every one of his parishes:
“Even the Church’s just war theory has moral force because it is grounded in the principle that innocent human life must be protected and defended. Now, a person may, in good faith, misapply just war criteria leading him to mistakenly believe that an unjust war is just, but he or she still knows that innocent human life may not be harmed on purpose. A person who supports permissive abortion laws, however, rejects the truth that innocent human life may never be destroyed. This profound moral failure runs deeper and is more corrupting of the individual, and of the society, than any error in applying just war criteria to particular cases.”