If Catholics on the Left are not willing to stand up for the unborn, we have, and should have, no credibility when we stand up for the undocumented or the unemployed or the other “un’s” in our society, the very people the Holy Father has asked out to embrace.
This really is it. As a conservative writing to conservatives, I often bang the drum for the fact that we conservatives have got to get past the idea that opposition to abortion taketh away the sins of the world. That is, we cannot point to our Precious Feet pins as a sort of 007 for approving of all the other mortal sins the Thing That Used to be Conservatism wants us to back.
But that does not mean that the slaughter of the unborn is has not ceased being the most important moral issue of our day. That is exactly what it is and, as much as the Left has gotten many things correct while the Right has made itself crazy, the fact remains that the Left’s commitment to the sacrament of abortion means that it has embraced as a core value one of the gravest crimes in the history of the world.
The problem, of course, is that the sins of each ideology aggravate each other. One can always point to the other and say, “Look at the awful stuff they approve of!” The hope is that, in grace, the strengths of the one can supply the weakness of the other.
The other day, there was a piece out on HuffPo, gloating over the fact that the Catholic Right is in dissarray over Francis’ papacy. Perfectly true, of course. He’s not saying and doing the kinds of stuff that comports well with the fetishes of the Right. So you get lots of attempts to massage his comments about gays, or freak outs about beach balls, or hemming and hawing about his notions that people are more important than globocorps. Very fun to watch.
But he presents just as much of a challenge to the Left now too and Winters understands why. Here is a Pope who is broadly perceived to be a “change in tone” from Rome. (He’s not really, and Pat Archbold showed why the other day Basically, the difference is that while he likes the Extraordinary Form just fine and says the same things his predecessors have said about Catholic social teaching, his natural home is not in a seminar but in a favela or ghetto. And he’s more plain spoken and far more casual about the niceties of Romanitas. And he is, like JPII, an obvious extroverty and not an introvert like the sweet-natured and much-maligned Benedict). So while there has been zero theological change between him and his predecessors, there has been a massive change in public perception. And because of it, the Mary Hunt-style Left is now faced with the fact that they cannot keep trotting out the “out of touch conservative Pope who doesn’t see the needs of the weak and vulnerable” stuff in order to cover up the real suburban American lefty agenda of “I want to do what I want to do with my groin and nobody can stop me”. The Pelvic Left can no longer use the poor as human shields for their commitment to unlimited pan-sexual adventures.
Winters gets that and recognizes this Pope constitutes a call to conversion for Lefties too. And scanning the comboxes on the piece, there is hope that the call is being heard. It will be interesting to see if conservative prolife Catholics will be willing to find some common cause with the MSW Catholics who stand with them on life, in order to put the Church’s teaching above ideological differences.
I love this Pope.