Monday, April 21, 2008

Dust-Up Over Senate Papal Resolution Indicative of Political "Chasm" Over Faith in Public Square

Excellent insight from Darwin Catholic:
... More deeply, though, I think this speeks to a chasm that runs through American politics. There is a not-so-small portion of the American citizenry for whom the idea that Pope Benedict and the Church he leads should have anything to say on issues such as human life, the source and nature of human freedom, etc. is not only incorrect, but also offensive. The Daily Kos is so consumed with hatred at the idea that the pope might mean anything for Americans and American civic discussion that in its coverage of the stalling of the Senate resolution, it refers to the pope only as "this pedophile enabler". And Senator Boxer sees the pope so exclusively through the lens of American partisan politics that she sees the phrase "witnessing to the value of each and every human life" as offensive.

It's clearly not the case that all those who tend to vote Democrat are radical secularists and abortion advocates. However, a large enough number of those who are radical secularists and/or abortion advocates are also passionate Democrats that any national-level Democratic candidate who wants to be successful at this time seems to feel it necessary to do nothing that will seriously offend that constituency -- and a certain amount to please them. (Thus the invariable realization by any Democratic politican who decides to run for national level office that any pro-life convictions he personally held were only "personal".)

This is what makes me deeply, deeply skeptical of the claim, by self-identified conservatives and Catholics such as Prof. Kmiec, that an Obama presidency would somehow bring in an era of self responsibility and respect for others that would help heal the abortion issue more than anything continued restrictions and conservative Supreme Court appointments could achieve. It's not that many on the liberal side of the political spectrum do not have passionate feelings about helping "the little guy" as they identify him, but those feelings are always couched in terms that make abortion, euthenasia, and a host of other, smaller (and thus far more widely accepted) assaults on human life not only credible, but merciful.

Boxer, and a not small portion of the base she represents, seems to see the pope and the Church he leads in strictly partisan terms. So rather than taking the phrase "witnessing to the value of each and every human life" to be something that everyone could agree to in a spirit of welcome (while in her mind holding to disagreement as to what the term "every human life" could be taken to mean) she sought to have it struck out, along with the suggestion that religious belief had a place in public conversation and as the root of our liberties.

Until someone seeks to root this kind of thinking out of the Democratic Party mainstream, I think serious Christians would be right to remain leary of a claimed opennes in that party to "people of faith". If positions and beliefs are to be held to mean anything, it would seem that one of the things that the Democratic Party would like to tell us is: However much you may agree with us on other issues, pro-lifers and Christians need not apply -- unless you want to leave your faith at the door and act like a good little secularist...


Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Pope Too Controversial for Senate Democrats [UPDATED]

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At 4/21/2008 10:28 PM, Blogger Tito said...

Many, if not most, Daily Kossacks have nothing more than deep seated vile hatred for anything Christian. I've tried blogging there and not only am I assualted verbally. Just plain sad.


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