Friday, July 11, 2008

Is The Catholic In Alliance for the Common Good a New Kind of Catholic Politics?

Pro Ecclesia has the latest on Common Good Convention at Convention for the "Common Good"

First let me say that the people and groups that are participating at the Convention for the Common Good represent a viable and legitimate part of the Catholic Social Justice Tradition.

However I do take them to task for perhaps proclaiming something they are not and by implication casting others in a negative light.

They say:

Religion in public life has often been very narrow and partisan. We wanted to create a new witness for what faith can be in the public square," Gehring said. "It's not about single-issue politics or divisive wedge issues." ...

What they are talking about are the issues of Abortion and Gay marriage. OF course the fact that this part of a consistent Catholic Social Justice Ethic seems to be glossed over.

One of the sponsers of this event is Catholics United . Are they about the new kind of Catholic Politics? As I pointed out in a post not long ago here at Is "Catholics United" a New Kind of Politics? what they actually say raises questions. In one of their mailers as was pointed out by the Poster at Mirrors of Justice:
the letter from "Catholics United," which offers a book designed to "help put an end to the partisanship and acrimony that have prevented progress on the important issues of our day." "Catholics United" tells us the book is important because the "far right" is busy advancing its "narrow partisan agenda." The book, we are told, serves as an "effective counterbalance to the far right's own plans to advance an anti-common good agenda." Hmm! Beyond partisanship and acrimony?....

When we look at the Convention web site we see their schedule and list of events

Issues of Gay Marriage and Abortion it appears are of not much importance. However the war, Ecology, immigration , trade, and the economy are in abundance.

What makes the Catholics for the Common Good position on these issues not divisive? Why is the advocating of their positions on war, the economy, etc not "single issues" but those people that advocate mainly for the Catholic position on lets say School Vouchers, anti abortion legislation, and against Govt recognized Gay marriage sort of the bad narrow minded Catholic political folks?

I suppose that is my main objection. Not that they have perhaps different views than I do on lets say Iraq , but they have already segregated a huge part of Catholic thought in the political realm as something that is bad.

Their platform can be downloaded here and one sees of course many things that Catholics on both sides of the political aisle would agree with. I suppose I am more concerned at this point as to their tone and perhaps for people that wish to forward Catholic politics to a more truer Catholic viewpoint that perhaps they are not as "Universal" as they should be.

So what is Catholics Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good all about? Well the jury might still be out. However one of the Speakers at this Convention, E. J. Dionne Jr., had this to say in the New Republic:

After Bush's reelection, new organizations such as Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good were formed to battle Karl Rove and the GOP for the hearts of the faithful. Smart religious consultants began advising Democrats on how not to leave so many religious votes on the table.

Battle the GOP? Battle Karl Rove? Do they ever Battle Howard Dean? Perhaps they should put this on their web site among their mission statement of "Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good promotes awareness of the Catholic Social Tradition and its core values of justice, human dignity and the common good to Catholics, the media and Americans of all faiths."

More on this group later

Update- This is interesting.- Compare the powers that be in this Organization regarding the Hagee Controvery and how they treated John Edwards "Catholic problem" when we were told we needed "to move on" :)

1 comment:

Tim said...

James,
You are exactly right in calling out this organization for what they are. They are a liberal, pro-Democrat organization that hs formed to disseminate only information that promotes the Democratic party. Like you, I have not problem with them advocating for the liberal left. I do have a problem with their claining to be non-partisan and deliberately trying to falsely influence their fellow Catholics. I am more concerned that area Catholic leaders are endorsing this organization by printing their positions in official catholic newspapers. The legitimization is extremely disturbing and needs to be called out.
Tim H.