Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Catholic Left and clerical authority

Our friend Jon Schaff calls attention to this letter, written a couple of weeks ago. Led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, fourteen Catholic Democrats in the House call upon the American Catholic hierarchy "to join with us in mobilizing support for Congress’ efforts to end the war."

Jon’s comments are worth reading:

These liberal Democrats are calling on Catholic clergy to work to change public opinion. Further, they say, simply speaking against injusitce is not enough; action must be taken. One assumes this means legislative action. The Catholic Democrats are asking the bishops to use their moral weight to fight injustice through lobbying for legislation. If the bishops were being asked by other parties to work against the injustice of abortion instead of the war in Iraq, one would expect an outcry about the bishops seeking to impose their values on the public. Predictably, we’d read blog posts and opinion columns about "theocracy" and "separation of church and state" as the Catholic bishops were denounced for trying to write their own religious values into law. "It’s all right for them to be opposed to abortion," we’d hear, "but why must they seek to impose their values on everybody?"

One sees liberal Christians increasingly discussing their policy preferences in terms of their religious faith. This is a welcome addition to the public rhetoric. Let’s have people of various political and religious perspectives express their policy preferences in both terms of secular reasoning and demands of faith. The American people can then work through the competing claims as diligent citizens ought. Then let’s drop the silly rhetoric about "imposing values" and "theocracy."

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