Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why Some Pro-Lifers Become Conservative On Other Issues

Not too long ago I posted Is the Pro-life Movement Just Republican Stooges? The blogger that is the subject of that post is a very devout Catholic and shows the need for the Pro-life Movement to be in all parties.

That post again came to mind when I read something at American Catholic. See this very good post Contact Conservatism

It references a former Democrat that started voting for Republicans because of the pro-life issue though he did not like it. He encounters that it became easier over time because he started listening to their arguments on other issues.

I think this is dynamic that is often missed. When people complain(and perhaps at times with justification) that Pro-Lifers are too linked to the entire Republican agenda perhaps they are missing out on how real life people interact.

People that interact in groups for a purpose do not just talk shop only. The work place does not work this way.

For instance the Pro-Life movement did more for true understanding between Catholics and Evangelicals than any other movement. Everyday Catholics learned their Evangelical neighbors were not crazed religious freaks that hated Catholics. Evangelicals learned we did not pray to Statues, think the Pope was God, or that all non Catholics were heretics and doomed to the pit.

In referencing this post the poster at Catholic American states:

I like this post because it was something which summarized what I had myself thought for quite some time. In my case, I was heavily conservative on many issues (my own main exception being immigration) from a very early age — but I’ve noticed more and more over the years that serious Catholics I know who I would not think of as being political seem to gradually get drawn into strongly conservative stands on a number of essentially secular issues. I think this is very much a result of the long standing association of the pro-life, pro-family movements with the wider conservative one.

At the same time, I think there’s a reverse effect: The influx of serious “life issues” voters into the conservative movement has also helped to change conservatism. Who, for instance, would have imagined Senator Brownback’s work on AIDS relief for Africa to be seen as a conservative project back in the Goldwater days. And yet few would question Brownback’s conservative credentials

I think this is very true and I saw this in my work for the Huckabee campaign. Many were exploring themes that could be found in the Compendium of Catholic Social Justice.

I still think we need to have the pro-life viewpoint in all parties and especially the Democrat party. But I think this post is on too something when people make the claim that others are "sacrificing their ideals" or "compromising" them just because of the abortion issue. They are being engaged and well some think the arguments are pretty good. If there was a viable pro-life movement in the Democrat party this might happen as well.

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