Thursday, September 11, 2014

Crucified Between Two Thieves: Catholic Moral Teaching vs Right and Left

If I received a penny each time someone suspected me of having far Left sympathies, I would be a rich capitalist today! And why? Because I introduce considerations from Catholic social teaching into my arguments. I am sorry to add that often these accusations come from none other than my fellow Catholics! Yet, even when I point out the encyclical where the idea was first introduced, the result is predictably the same: with much guile and little critical thought, the insights of a century old Catholic tradition are dismissed outright. What is this? Are we still laboring under the spell of McCarthy's paranoia? Does questioning the justice of a market system that holds laissez-faire economics as its ideal automatically earn you the stigma of being a Marxist intellectual? What's going on here? We may be demoralized by the frequent dismissals, but if we Catholics don't speak out for economic justice, who will? It seems that "liberal guilt" has not yet moved the upper middle class to legitimate the "economically challenged" by including them in their politically correct pantheon of marginalized minorities. Certainly the rich have nothing to gain by speaking out for social justice. The media, a small set of very large corporations, reports that the economy is always getting better, but hardly clarifies the issue. Better for whom? Large corporations like the media?  (more...)

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