MONDAY, 26 JULY 2010

No faith in the language

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This could be a many-part series under that heading….

Let’s look at what’s at stake in this particular campaign.

Catholics United aims to raise $500,000 to support congressional candidates who backed health care reform, the liberal-leaning Catholic advocacy group announced Wednesday.

It’s planning to pour money into four races in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia to start, and it hopes to widen its efforts as November’s elections approach…

The executive director of Catholics United accused “many political operatives” of “dishonesty” in their attacks on candidates they oppose.

“These groups are engaging in scare tactics and misusing the language of faith to score cheap political points and lead voters astray,” Chris Korzen said in a statement announcing the “Set the Record Straight” campaign.

Confused? Okay, let’s really set the record straight.

These Catholics are anything but united under the teachings of the Church on supporting anything that facilitates abortion, and Obamacare does that in many and assorted ways (NRLC lists and updates them, though fact check here, especially down under ‘Seeing Through the Smoke’). The name ‘Catholics United’ alone misuses the language of faith.  Not sure what they mean by the nebulous reference to “many political operatives…engaging in scare tactics…to score cheap political points,” but it would help the debate to clarify who and what they’re blaming.

This CNN item notes, correctly, how contentious this debate has been for members of the Church, complete with the key buzz phrase at core…

The health care reform debate was deeply divisive for Catholics, with some saying it would lead to government funding of abortion and others denying it. Catholic supporters of health care reform portrayed the bill as an issue of social justice.

There it is. The false dichotomy between the social justice crowd and the pro-life crowd, as if it’s an either/or proposition for faithful Catholics.

Which, speaking of language distortion, gets back to the issue of what is meant by social justice. I interviewed Fr. Robert Sirico again the other day on this issue, and he talked about the “creeping socialism” of government takeover and control of the private sector. Catholics have traditionally carried out the church’s teaching of subsidiarity and run everything from soup kitchens and shelters to hospitals and health care networks. But the “moral impulse” behind humanitarian services and civil rights movements has been co-opted by government. And he said he doesn’t see how it applies the Gospel. “Jesus is much more of a radical than the progressives are,” he told me. “He calls on us to conform our hearts and react from our hearts.”

Which means not killing the unborn under the guise of choice or reproductive health, stresses Especially in response to the ‘Catholics United’ congressional election campaign.

This confusion benefits some “political operatives,” but others are trying to clarify it.

Look for the clarity.

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Sheila Reports promises a perspective here that you may not be getting in mainstream media and the politically charged blogosphere. Don’t expect political correctness, because politics doesn’t determine what’s correct. This space is grounded in the natural law and moral order. And it expects civility, goodwill and an openness to truth and reason.

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