Commonweal Article on Economic Justice

I’m always struck how Catholics who would readily identify themselves as “conservative” or “traditional” tend to be guilty of the same sin they ascribe to their more “liberal” brothers and sisters, namely that of a cafeteria approach to religion.  The offering that conservative Catholics tend to pass over is the one that deals with such things as social and economic justice, despite the fact that every Pope of recent history, including Benedict XVI, loudly proclaim such teachings, included the dreaded “redistribution of wealth” so that the God-given fruits of this world are not denied to the least among us. I wonder what the most currently well-known Catholics in the US — Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum — would have to say if the Pope himself were to call them out on the relevant planks of their platforms?

There’s a good article at Commonweal (Plutocracy or Democracy? How Bad Policies Brought Us a New Gilded Age) that takes on some of this stuff. As always, some of the comments are just as telling as the article itself. My own comment, in response to another’s condemnation of homosexuality as among the factors that has wrought “devastation” on so much of family and society, is also there:

Tim MacGeorge subscriber 01/31/2012 – 11:06pm

@Patricia McCarron: I find your naming “the spread of homosexuality” as one of the causes for a societal decline you lament to be offensive, uncharitable, and patently untrue. With a broad brush you so blithely denigrate the millions of loving, committed relationships that God’s gay and lesbian sons and daughters have formed for centuries; relationships which only recently are beginning to receive the societal recognition and support they deserve. All of us — including those of us whom God created gay or lesbian — are created in the image and likeness of God.  Yet, instead of recognizing this fundamental truth of theological anthropology, American bishops fight with every fiber of their being legislative efforts to recognize the loving, stable and committed relationships LGBT people form.

Where, one might ask, are the episcopal voices raised to proclaim the principles of Catholic economic and social justice Mr. Cochran identifies? They are too busy saying that gay people can’t adopt children in need of a loving home, or that gay people are “intrinsically disordered” and therefore society shouldn’t be surprised when violence is perpetrated upon them. Such rubbish would be funny if it weren’t so dangerous.

No straight, married couple has ever had their marriage harmed by the loving, committed relationship of a gay couple. To lay the blame of the decline of the “traditional family” or a high divorce rate of straight couples at the feet of gay people is preposterous.  And, as far children being a requirement for marriage, if two straight people who are beyond the age of bearing children are allowed to get married (for, in the language of Catholic theology, “the good of the spouses”), why can a gay couple not enjoy the same rights and blessings of marriage?

Believe what you will, Ms. McCarron, but please keep your hate-filled lies to yourself and let God’s LGBT children live the lives God’ created us to live.

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