Lifesitenews: Credit Where Credit Is Due

Lifesitenews: Credit Where Credit Is Due June 9, 2011

Lifesitenews is a very conflicting reality for a Catholic like me.  While I think that a pro-life news service is an absolutely essential tool for reducing and criminalizing abortion, especially in the face of a mainstream media that regularly ignores or misrepresents the issues involved, I am often disappointed with Lifesitenews.  I read their daily e-mail faithfully because of my concern to be informed about developments in this area, but their modus operandi often comes across as counterproductive.

Attacking faithful Catholics, including bishops, and misrepresenting Church teaching on things like homosexuality (I have engaged in long e-mail conversations with the editorial team about their claim, since slightly modified, that homosexuality is considered a psychological disorder in official Church teaching), doesn’t strike me as the best way to protect the unborn.  Finally, I seriously wonder whether the editorial team has, in the context of constant attacks and counter-attacks, lost the ability to be honest with itself about its’ motives and conduct.

All that said, it is my firm belief that you don’t help someone get over their problems by simply criticizing them.  I think that LSN doesn’t give the bishops the opportunity to be more supportive of the pro-life movement because the bishops can’t support the way LSN does business and because they cannot give the impression that the lobbying tactics and smear campaigns used by LSN are effective in forcing bishops’ hands.

But if I think that LSN needs to balance their critiques with a more positive approach, the same applies to me.  That is why I occasionally write a congratulatory letter to LSN when I find a good article or a healthier approach in their work.  People usually need more carrot and less stick.  In this light, I am very happy to share this article with you from this morning’s edition of LSN’s newsletter:  Is Environmentalism Infiltrating the Pro-Life Movement?

Now, one will certainly think, upon reading the title, that the article is more right wing nonsense about how we don’t have the power to damage our planet.  But, when we read the piece, we see that the author has his head on quite straight.  Furthermore, when I last checked, the comments (sometimes the scariest part of an LSN piece) were very supportive of Mr. Jalsevac’s position.

Make no mistake, this is good news.  It is a hint that the division of Catholic Social Teaching between right and left wings can be overcome.  Strangely enough, if I have one criticism of this piece, it is that the author doesn’t make the link with abortion.  The right wing is often criticized, sometimes rightly, for its myopic view in which nothing matters but abortion.

We here at Vox Nova are often criticized when we take on some left wing cause, like opposition to torture or justice for immigrants, simply because these things are less important than stopping abortion.  But the truth is that all of these issues are connected.

Jalsevac could have noted how the consumerism that drives our irresponsible consumption is the same consumerism that breaks down our children’s willpower from the time before they can talk.  It is the same consumerism that teaches us that immediate gratification is the only thing that will make us happy.  It teaches us that we are in a constant competition with our brothers and sisters for resources.  In all these ways it feeds the abortion monster.

But I shouldn’t complain too much.  A Lifesitenews story in support of the environment is something to celebrate.  The rest should come with time.  And a little support from one’s critics can’t hurt, so:  “Well done Lifesitenews!”

Brett Salkeld is a doctoral student in theology at Regis College in Toronto. He is a father of two (so far) and husband of one.

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