does not take away the sins of the world. Those who have forgotten that need to regain a grasp of the Church’s teaching concerning the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
The issue is not that those dedicated to pro life do not see the need to do other things in life such as to give to the poor, feed the hungry, or other areas you mention. In many cases, these things have become the mantra of those who want to distract from a parties support of the grave evil that has killed nine times more innocent babies than the six million Jews in the nazi death camps. The other issue is the manner we choose to do the works of mercy. I have never supported a huge government program to do any of the works of mercy especially when that government agency is a godless secular one and when those very government programs never seem to fix anything of truly help those they are spending billions to serve. I think the Church had it right that those type of programs work best on the local level closest to those in actual need. I don’t remember Christ advocating for the government in Rome to start up programs for the poor producing them with 2000 pages of regulations and lose of freedom. I do see Christ advocating for us to give to help others with love, something not really possible with a government organization I have ever seen.
I think you are thus wrong in your assumption that those who are strongly fighting for the pro life cause that they are somehow not fighting for helping others and do not do so in their own lives, but that the prince of lies has somehow made supporting medicare somehow an excuse for supporting abortion. What I have found that the party of death seems aligned to the prince of lies and thus any discussion of a fix for medicare or any other solution for helping those in need that does not involve a massive government solution is somehow not Christian. Most of the problems relating to healthcare today became huge only when the federal government got involved in the first place and now that same party comes back and says the only fix is more massive government and by the way, less freedom and religious liberty. The prince of lies could not have outlined it any better. If you do not stop 4,000 babies being butchered a day, all of whom are denied the works of mercy with their death, you will never get a country closer to God. It has to be ended and a united Catholic front on this one issue will change our country if successful in almost every way possible.
I think that Mark’s concern (and I’m hoping I’m not speaking out of place) is not with government fixes vs. local fixes. It’s with ‘opposition to abortion’ being the characteristic that covers for various politicians agitating for unjust war, torture, etc. The point being that just because you are against abortion doesn’t mean you get a pass for being in favor of unjust wars of aggression, torture, contraception, etc. The problem is that *many* (i’m sure you don’t fall into this category) ‘right-wing Catholics’ are quick to line up behind any politician that *promises* to DO SOMETHING about the abortion crises and ignore that politician’s other positions which include advocating for another ‘grave intrinsic evil’.
I agree with you about local versus government action to accomplish the works of mercy but I think you missed Mark’s point.
“I have never supported a huge government program to do any of the works of mercy especially when that government agency is a godless secular one and when those very government programs never seem to fix anything of truly help those they are spending billions to serve.”
Those huge governmental programs only exist because we Christians have failed to do the corporate works of mercy in the first place- just as economic abortion only exists (and serves to boost medical and lifestyle abortions) because we have failed.
The first thing to correcting the situation you name (creeping socialism in the service of Wall Street and capitalism) is to recognize that if we as Christians did our job, neither the power and might of Wall Street nor the necessity of the Government to take up our Duty for the Poor would exist.
I have to disagree. Government started nosing itself into many areas in the early 1900’s up to and including the largest power grab of FDR’s so called “Alphabet Soup” programmes, which pretty much socialised everything and pushed the religious and secular organisations aside. But the cherry on top had to be LBJ’s “war” on poverty, which I call the “war on the black family”, which is primarily responsible for the break up of the black and lower classed white families, because now the government is daddy and the traditional (or nuclear) family is now a minority. 90% of black children are born out of wedlock…..how does that help society and these poor people? The central government has gotten way to far out of control and they have never done anything right….
Mark, I see your point, especially re: politicians getting a pass on other issues b/c of their pro-life stance. But in my fwiw personal experience, those who devote themselves to pro-life activites only are rare. Even the lady from our parish who won the Layperson of the Year award at the diocesan pro-life dinner this week also teaches CCD and runs the Rosary makers guild.
I think there’s a typo where you say that “soteriology is the branch of salvation pertaining to salvation.” Or there’s a joke I haven’t had my morning coffee to sufficiently appreciate.
My problem with most so-called conservatives: Their “opposition” to abortion is a matter of lip service only, meant to cater votes. If the GOP really opposed abortion for what it really is, they might have made a point of really trying to do something about it over the past 40 years. But very few have. The GOP’s “opposition to abortion” is nothing more than the carrot dangling forever out of pro-lifers reach.
Yes, there are exceptions amongst individual politicians (of both parties). But when it comes to the Parties themselves, it’s about Power and Money and which tribe will sit on the Throne of the Elites. Shame on us for assisting in that.
Mark S. is correct. Look at effort & results. The Republicans simply don’t care about abortion. It emerges in the election cycle and then is stuffed away in the closet as an “embarrassment” until voters are needed again in the next elective cycle. Abortion has been the law of the land for 40 years almost nothing except for the merest of scraps has been “won”.
Republicans unlike the hapless DEMs tend to get what they want done. You don’t see Corporations seeking favors or the wealthiest seeking tax cuts or the ravenous Pentagon ever going wanting on their priorities. They don’t because this is what the Republicans care about, so these things get DONE. Pro-Life concerns……not so much. Karl Rove even let the cat out of the bag on the scheme a few years back. He essentially stated that they [the R’s] wouldn’t want to solve or end the abortion issue, thereby giving up such and “election” issue to stir up support. If the abortion issue went away, Pro-Lifers of modest or limited economic means might find it hard to get behind of fired up for Republicans focused on servicing the elite & Corp interests.
True. There are Donkey Socialists and Elephant Socialists…which crap dropping animal do you like best?
I learned a new term today: Corporate socialists, to refer to companies and politicians that make sweetheart deals to move jobs from state to state (like the 16 states that allow major corporations to withhold state income taxes from their workers but NEVER send that money in to State Revenue: http://blogs.reuters.com/david-cay-johnston/2012/04/12/taxed-by-the-boss/
Yes, that’s right- certain large corporations in certain states are now allowed, completely legally, to enforce income taxes on their own workers and divert that money away from state coffers into private funds, a $700 billion windfall for investors.
Corporate socialism, corporate welfare, internal improvements…….all of those terms have been used since the founding….at one time, someone who advocated for it got run out of town on a rail…now they’re elected…
So difficult to say. They are both so generally terrible and getting worse. The party animal I would want doesn’t seem to exist or sightings are extremely rare like a unicorn or bigfoot.
I would like to find a party that sees its job as helping families and individuals thrive. My party animal would see a healthy and strong traditional nuclear and extended family as the basic building block of a stable and truly prosperous state. The economic needs of families and small businesses would be the focus of govt. Large corporations would enjoy no special privileges. The focus on supporting the family and communities would make my party animal “conservative” in a much older sense of the world. The would probably all have read St. Augustine’s “City of God”. It”s a fantasy right?
Many of today’s so-called conservatives are actually shameless corporate lap dogs and/or free market radicals [or at perhaps more accurately harsh free marketers for those down the food chain from the country club set]. Comfy socialism never seems to harm the moral character the American elect.
Agreed. Distributism and the Fair Tax.
They do care. However, to what extent and how important is another question. Think, though, how the issue is a very core one for the other side. They will use terms: “So and so is against women’s health.”
The term is used as an umbrella (to use G.K. Chesterton’s meaning, purpose, and use of an umbrella from “What’s Wrong With The World” – had something to do with the universal walking stick since both a walking stick and umberlla may go into the same stand meant to social’ists the umbrella and wakling stand must be used the same – communaly) as an umbrella to deflect as a shield against universal elements (and, as Chesterton says, can serve a communal application similar to an awning.)
The point is the other side uses terms to deflect anything which they feel disagrees with their view of the core issue (i.e. women’s health being brought down by a p-life mentality.) The consequence will follow as though deflecting sun light (to use a metaphor between being p-life and p-choice) in the thought it were rain water (sun light meaning what is good and sane – p-life. The water would mean anything bad, wrong, and destruc’tive – p-choice.) So, the umbrella will be let down once the light becomes clouded and a flood will begin. The other side will find a need to have a boat which they had the money and time to spend to get one (since they spent the time and money on umbrella’s by conviction the sunlight were rain drops the whole time – an evolved form of confusion from the hat-stand principle described by Chesterton.)
If one looks at which party is more supportive of abortion and which party is not, I have a simple way to evaluate the two parties. Why not look at which party the abortion mill blasts and which one that praise? Or even better, how about looking to the abortion mills own web site where they talk about the History & Successes of abortion. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/who-we-are/history-and-successes.htm
It doesn’t take long before you can see how much the abortion mills hate the Republican Party and what they have done to them over a long period of time and how wonderful the Democratic Party has been for abortion. Note that with Obama and democrats in congress elections, they are overjoyed with the fact that they have a PARTNER IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND ALLIES IN CONGRESS. So this old adage that the two parties are the same is not born out by the very party that pays attention to this issue every day of their existence.
Anyone who knows how the system of government works knows that the Republicans have been severly limited by the abortion loving democratic party by blocking judges who are pro life and by blocking legislation that would curtail abortion. The abortion loving democrats learned in blocking pro life Judge Bork, that they had a new weapon to keep the abortion mills humming and they were aided in this battle by those who put out the lie that there was no difference and that the Republicans had not done more. For those advocating this, list the year the Republicans had 60 votes in the Senate and the Presidency or with legislation, also a majority in the house. Never happened in history that I know of since Roe. Thus pushing the lie of no difference is supporting abortion. Read the history of the abortion mills and they certainly have identified who is good for them and who is bad for the abortion industry.
The difference between most D’s & most R’s on abortion is much less than you think. They are not the same, but it hardly matters in the real world in practical terms. Many or most D’s do support abortion and do so openly. Many R’s SAY they are Pro-Life but DO nothing of substance to fight or roll back the abortion regime. How many R’s are committed to Pro-Life? How many attend the “March for Life” or speak strongly about the issue AFTER the election cycle? How many push and publicize legislation to roll back abortion? How many use their high profile status to pray for or counsel women outside abortion facilities, risking arrest or highlighting the unfair arrests of other Pro-Life protestors exercising their 1st amendment right to speak out & demonstrate on this life & death issue? There are probably a few, but very few. Essentially the silence and activity is deafening. Talk is very very cheap. Truth is most R’s are happy to USE abortion as an issue to drum up votes but otherwise find it to be a nuisance or embarrassment.
Judge them by what they DO. After 40 years the abortion agenda rolls on and except for odd the minor of gesture it make NO difference who controls the White House or Congress. This is all you really need to know about commitment to a Pro-Life ethos.
Republicans consistently deliver Tax Cuts for the wealthy, favors for large corps, massive Pentagon budgets and curtailments rather than improvements in the social safety nets. The Pro-Life agenda is simply not there. They are what they DO. R’s are not Pro-Life in any MEANINGFUL way.
Sean and all other pushing the lie that it makes no difference should take a close look at what I posted and visit the abortion mills site. As I commented above, the abortion mills certainly do not like actions taken by the Republican Party and love the Democratic Party so your coninuing mime that the Republicans are like the Democrats does not jive with the abortion mills own website blasts and boast page I linked above. The list of things they see the Republicans doing to them is long and plentiful.
I note you also do not address the point that the Republicans have never been in position to do everything we would like since Roe because Catholics voting for Democrats on issues that do not come close to 54 million dead babies prevent Republicans from having a majority to really do what they would like which is put judges in place to overturn Roe.
Those here who foster this ‘it makes no difference” thus are aiding the democrats and their abortion mill partners and that is sad. You close with the usual Democratic talking points about taxing the rich and putting more from defense into already exploding and unsustainable ‘entitlement’ programs that are slowly destroying this country.
Wonderful piece, Mark! I love it. Love it. Love it. As a reluctant Dem who’s trying to reform the party from within, it’s very heartening to see thoughtful conservatives doing the same in their “tribe”.
Darn, wrote a great comment on this subject, then failed to copy and paste it here before it disappeared off into moderation land on the other page.
Good thing your moderation is quicker here on patheos- American Catholic Blog seems to be quite slow. I posted that comment more than 6 hours ago, and it has yet to show up- as have *any* comments on this article.
Marr’iage didn’t take away the si’ns of the world in Noah’s time.