Santorum's Speech: Capturing the Kennedy Mystique, Correcting the Kennedy Mistake
has lost its soul. Like many of my fellow Catholic Americans, I grew up equating being Catholic with being a Democrat because I thought Democrats cared more about the poor, the working class, the marginalized and those with no voice. I was wrong. The elite of the Democratic Party have embraced a notion of "freedom" as a power over others and "choice" as a right to do whatever one wants.
The failure to hear the cry of the child in the womb while mouthing the language of caring for the poor is unbridled hypocrisy. Medical science has confirmed what our conscience has always known, that child in the womb is one of us. His or her voice cannot be heard because it is muffled in the once hallowed home of the womb and disregarded by political opportunists. Yes, there may be a few truly Pro-Life Democrats. However, after the experience of the Health Care debate this past year, even this former Democrat is beginning to have my doubts.
Then there is the Republican Party. One of the earliest heresies in Christian history was Manichaeism. The Manicheans held that all matter (including the human body) was evil. They rejected the authentic understanding of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Christian claim is that the Second person of the Blessed Trinity really truly became a human person, fully Divine and fully human. The human person is an integrated unity, body and soul. Well, there is a kind of political Manichaeism injecting itself into the political debate in this nation. It seeks to divide "social" and "economic" issues. This is political dualism which will have dangerous results.
This "political dualism" is being touted once again in Republican circles; the idea that there are "social" and "economic" issues and they must be kept separate. Proponents claim "we" can "only win elections if we stay focused on the economic issues". The most recent example of this was found in comments made by Governor Haley Barbour. We must reject this political dualism and reject candidates who espouse it!
The reason we care about expanding economic opportunity is because we respect the dignity of every human person, including our smallest neighbors, and we want to expand participation. The reason we want to ensure the proper application of the principle of subsidiarity so as to keep government at the lowest level is because we respect the primacy of the family. The family is the first society, the first government, the first church, first school, first economy and first mediating institution. Senator Rick Santorum does not fall prey to the error of seperating "social" and "economic" issues. He is an integrated conservative and a faithful, morally coherent Catholic.
The Republican Party has also not fared well on placing in the positive law protection for the inalienable Right to Life. However, that Right is acknowledged in their platform. They have sometimes fed the stereotype used by their opponents that they care about children only when they are in the womb. Some Republicans seem to favor a "survival of the fittest" approach to the market economy which does not recognize our obligations in human solidarity.
Some Republicans have decried centralized economic planning as leading to collectivism and warned about the growth of the Federal Government - but then participated in propounding the problem when they were in power. Also, though "big government" solutions have not worked well in the delivery of charity the Republican Party has not talked enough about empowering the mediating associations to deliver that charity.
Some Republicans espouse a brand of "libertarianism" that cares little about our social obligations to one another. We are our brothers/sisters keepers and Catholics must never forget that. Rejecting big government solutions doesn't mean rejecting our obligation in solidarity. It means building a ground up model of economic opportunity which expands opportunity and participation to all.
This historic speech by Senator Rick Santorum in Houston, Texas reveals him to be a consistent Catholic, genuinely patriotic American and impressive leader. He understands the clear direction of his Church to be morally coherent and he understands history. He thinks clearly and is unafraid to speak the truth. He is a man to watch, listen to and pray for.
Catholic Online will be following the midterm Congressional elections in the United States and the coming 2012 Presidential race very closely. There is too much at stake to remain silent or passive.In anticipation of the letters I am sure this article will generate, I want all of our readers to know that Catholic Online is structured as a for profit limited liability company, not a nonprofit organization. One of the reasons - so we can be free to engage the vitally important political issues in the days ahead. We intend to do just that.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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