Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson

3/9/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This is why I think his suggestion should be taken: the phrase

At the annual Paul Weyrich Awards Dinner this week, Foster Friess, a well-known philanthropist and leader among conservatives, made a simple suggestion: social conservatives should become, and refer to themselves as, cultural conservatives. When I heard him say it, I thought to myself, "Friess is exactly right!" Then wondered, given the purpose of this series of columns, why didn't I think of that?
A cultural conservative will preserve the hierarchy of moral concerns as they pertain to political participation, but at the same time will invite those who have been perceived as the opposition to think and work together to alleviate what we can of needless suffering and lack of opportunity in this nation and around the world.

Deal Hudson

Deal Hudson

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/9/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: culture, absolute, art, music, forgiveness, healing, peace, Mercy, Love, culture of forgiveness, prison, prison ministry, teaching, education, politics, hierarchy of values, social teaching, moral coherence, Deal W. Hudson


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - At the annual Paul Weyrich Awards Dinner this week, Foster Friess, a well-known philanthropist and leader among conservatives, made a simple suggestion: social conservatives should become, and refer to themselves as, cultural conservatives. When I heard him say it, I thought to myself, "Friess is exactly right!" Then wondered, given the purpose of this series of columns, why didn't I think of that?

The examples given by Friess, of the difference between a social and cultural conservative, were primarily those of human suffering that social conservatives are regularly accused of not caring about.  For example, the plight of low income single-mothers and their children and the percentage of African-Americans incarcerated on drug charges (Friess stated they're being tried and convicted at a rate far exceeding other races).  These examples, of course, could be multiplied and should be.

This is why I think his suggestion should be taken: the phrase "social conservative" has become a political codeword for a small number of specific issues: abortion, marriage, traditional values, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, and abortifacient contraception. From a Catholic perspective, a social conservative is someone who stands on the right side of the non-negotiable, or settled, moral teachings of the Church as they apply to political participation. 

Until now, calling someone, or yourself, a social conservative has had a useful purpose.  But like all buzz words and brand names its usefulness has come to an end.  In our zealousness to protect innocent life and marriage, social conservatives have allowed themselves to be perceived as uncaring about other forms of human want and suffering. 

I know most of this nation's social conservatives and can attest to the fact that they do not lack concern or compassion for the poor, single mothers, and the unfairly incarcerated. But as long as they are described, or describe themselves, as social conservatives the misperception will stick. 

Let me add, however, that social conservatives do need a reminder that they care about more than a handful of issues, even though those issues are the most important moral problems in our culture.  We cannot let, to borrow an analogy, our opposition to abortion become the enemy of our compassion for the poor, the vulnerable, and the suffering. 

In upcoming columns, I will be drafting a list of proposals for those who would become cultural conservatives.  This is not to say that I am declaring myself the leader of such a movement, but Foster Friess put into words the full significance of a new direction I have taken in my own life, after many years of being seen as a Catholic social conservative in politics.  When I initiated this series of columns on January 1, it was called, "Culture: Its Delights and Diversions." This is the 40th column in that series, and only at this moment have I realized how this turn toward culture would impact my politics. 

Though much that can be said about a cultural conservative is a matter of common sense, the one thing that must be said at the start is this: to believe in the protection of human life, to be pro-life, means that you care about all of life, all of human existence, from beginning to end, encompassing the life of an individual in a society.  Thus, a cultural conservative will address the kinds of social prejudices, lack of opportunities, lack of justice and compassion, and the presumptive sense of entitlement that obstruct persons in their quest for human happiness. 

A cultural conservative will preserve the hierarchy of moral concerns as they pertain to political participation, but at the same time will invite those who have been perceived as the opposition to think and work together to alleviate what we can of needless suffering and lack of opportunity in this nation and around the world.

Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D

-----
Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, Senior Editor and Movie Critic at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.This column and subsequent contributions are an excerpt from a forthcoming book. Dr. Hudson's new radio show, Church and Culture, is heard on the Ave Maria Radio Network.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Islamic State's seduction, recruitment of Americans under scrutiny Watch

Image of At least 25 Probable American recruits have been detained since January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. prosecutions of would-be recruits to Islamic State has grown exponentially. ISIS has used both brutality and perceptive propaganda to attract members worldwide, in ways that are far more sophisticated than al-Qaeda and other jihadist adherents. LOS ... continue reading


'Man of peace, tenacity and courage,' Cardinal Francis George dies aged 78 Watch

Image of Polio during childhood had left the prelate with a weakened leg and a pronounced limp throughout his life. With his death, the College of Cardinals has 223 members, of whom 121 are under 80 and thus eligible to vote for a pope.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Retired Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George has died after a decade of battling cancer at the age of 78. The first native Chicagoan to head the archdiocese, he is being remembered as "a man of peace, tenacity and courage" by his successor Archbishop ... continue reading


Genetic rescuing considered for shrinking wolf population on remote Michigan island Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are only three wolves left on Isle Royale, a small island in Michigan Lake's Superior, according to biologists. Researchers said that they do not know what to do or what should be done in order to save the wolves from dying and disrupting the ecology. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Another scandal shakes Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions as IRS reports she took millions from foreign governments Watch

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken another hit to her reputation with new information coming out that could compromise her chances at becoming president or even the Democratic nominee. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Recent information has ... continue reading


Controversial 'Killing Jews is Worship' posters soon to be seen plastered around New York City Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After being the center of a legal debate, posters with the statement, "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah" are going to soon be seen plastered on New York City buses and subways due to the victory of American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) against ... continue reading


Where will the next big quake be? It may not be in California Watch

Image of The American midwest is seeing a rise in the number of earthquakes, likely caused by fracking for oil and natural gas.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Central and eastern portions of the U.S. have been suffering from a spate of earthquakes over the last few years, and the U.S. Geological Survey believes that human activity may be responsible for this uptick. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Geological ... continue reading


Bishop Robert Finn's resignation officially accepted by the Vatican Watch

Image of Bishop Finn served a two-year suspended sentence and the diocese was fined $1.1 million. Finn remained at his administrative duties until just recently and did not serve any jail time as a result of the conviction.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican has announced the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph. "The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert W Finn from the pastoral governance" of his diocese, the Vatican said in a statement. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'Spill all of their blood' Suburban American girl joins ISIS, encourages others to terrorize 'non-believers' Watch

Image of Hoda Muthana was described as a quiet girl in school.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hoda Muthana, 20, shocked her entire suburban community when she joined the extremist Islamic State back in November. Muthana was allegedly brainwashed by the terrorist group when she fled to Syria using her university tuition fee. The young American refused to go back ... continue reading


5.3 MILLION chickens euthanized on Iowa farm as bird flu epidemic devastates Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The H5N2 bird flu virus took its biggest toll on a farm in northwest Iowa, in Osceola County. There are seven other Midwestern states that have been hit by the virus. The number of deaths in chickens and turkeys caused by the bird flu virus has been counted to around ... continue reading


Defend Marriage! Sign the Pledge in Solidarity for Marriage, Join the March

Image of Did you read that these defenders of marriage faced tear gas and clubs from the riot police of the French Socialist regime? They sang La Marseillaise, the French National Anthem, and called for the resignation of the President. Most US news sources did not even report on the Paris March. It was led by a growing movement in France called La Manif  Similar marches have occurred in Taiwan and around the world.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

One of the leaders I have the privilege of calling my friend is a great evangelical Christian and constitutional lawyer named Mat Staver. Mat is the Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Liberty Counsel Action.  We have joined together on many fronts, ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Psalm, Psalms 117:1, 2
1 Meanwhile Saul was still breathing threats to ... Read More

Gospel, John 6:52-59
52 Then the Jews started arguing among themselves, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2015 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter