Hudson and Fournier: Catholic Countdown to Election 2012. On the Lord's Day, Voting for True Progress
There is much more to life than politics. However, participation in politics is a part of faithful citizenship
The positions being espoused and lifestyles being affirmed as "progressive" by those currently using the term as a political label are anything but. They turn the clock back on true human progress.They show us that we are dealing with competing definitions of human freedom, human flourishing and human progress. What is also threatened in this particular election is the vital role of religious faith and institutions and the values and services they offer society.
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - For almost forty days we have been writing a series of articles entitled "Catholic Countdown to Election 2012". For some reason, our counting seemed to get lost along the way and we were about to fall one day short. So, we thought on the Lord's Day, the last Sunday before the election, we would address themes which are, in a sense, outside of time.
From antiquity Christians have pointed to this day as the "eighth day", the day on which the new Creation began in the Resurrection. The Catechism reminds us, "Jesus rose from the dead "on the first day of the week." Because it is the "first day," the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the "eighth day" following the sabbath, it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday." (CCC# 2174)
There is much more to life than politics. However, participation in politics is a part of faithful citizenship and fulfilling our obligation of building a truly just and civil nation worthy of the human person. It is also a key to authentic progress. Today, we focus on a broader perspective. We want to consider whether the current political, cultural and policy agenda calling itself "progressive" is progressive at all.
The term implies progress toward something better. In fact, much of the agenda being offered under the moniker of "progressive" is regressive. The dictionary defines "progressive" as an adjective, meaning "Moving forward; advancing." We have lived through the word games many times in the last few decades.
The misuse of the word "progressive" is one more example of what the late great C.S. Lewis, in his "Studies in Words" called "verbicide." Lewis warned about allegedly "progressive" governing schemes wherein a collectivist ideology built upon moral relativism is unleashed in his book entitled "The Abolition of Man." In it we find these insightful words, "A dogmatic belief in objective value is necessary to the very idea of a rule which is not tyranny or an obedience which is not slavery."
One of his Essays found in "God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics" and entitled "Is Progress Possible? Willing Slaves of the Welfare State" warned, "Let us not be deceived by phrases about 'Man taking charge of his own destiny.' All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others. The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be."
There is a concerted effort to paint those who adhere to the classical Jewish and Christian vision of the human person, the family and a truly just civil society as "backward." We are deluged with direct and indirect efforts to portray us as committed to a kind of return to some perceived "dark age". In fact, what we offer is the path to true progress. True progress passes through authentic human freedom.
We are further accused by some of forcing "our view" on others. While those who engage in this kind of word game, using the word "progressive" to promote a regressive political, social and cultural revolution, are actually the ones who are intolerant of any view other than their own. Let's consider three of many policy agenda items of the political "progressives" of our age and consider our alternative claim.
1) Abortion on Demand
Abortion on demand is the current state of the law in the United States since the infamous decisions of Roe and Doe. Our youngest neighbors in the first home of the whole human race can be killed by surgical instruments, chemical weapons or suction, at any time, for any reason. While restrictions on the practice are being slowly enacted in the States, the current state of the federal law has not changed.
However, our medical science has advanced. We now routinely reach into the womb and offer surgery to these same children in order to help them live fuller lives after birth. Our criminal codes have advanced. We now prosecute a criminal offender who, in the course of committing another felony, takes their lives as well as their mothers. We take 4D images of them and send them to our friends. Sadly, the same technology guides the abortionist in his or her execution of those who are "unwanted".
We all know the truth, that child in the womb is our neighbor. We also recognize the Natural Law written in every human heart which gives us the basis for our criminal codes. The real "Right" is the Right to Life. Without life there can be no other "rights" or liberty. The Right to life is the foundation of the prohibition against killing our innocent neighbor. All human persons have a right to life.
Those currently stealing the label "progressive" made up a so called "right" to reach into the womb for any reason ...
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