Saturday, March 3, 2007

Two America's

The liberals and Dorothy Day Catholics believe that two America's do exist. I to feel the same way. Except my view of 'Two America's' is based on faith and fact, while the other 'version' is based on emotion and irrationality. Two America's exist because of the moral divide that has occurred here in the United States. A recent Cybercast News Service (CNS) has a great article on this topic.

"It's been said that there are two Americas, and what I'd argue is that if there are two Americas, we're not divided economically, we're divided morally," Wendy Wright, president of the group Concerned Women for America, said during a panel discussion entitled "Beyond Our Pocketbooks: Social Issues and the Conservative Movement." On one side, Wright noted, "we have hedonistic Hollywood that imposes their sense of indulgence that the only life worth living is one that indulges itself." "We have the entire Planned Parenthood mentality that says other human beings should be used for your own sexual pleasure, and if someone else is a burden to you, if they are unwanted, then simply eliminate them, abort them," she told the gathering." And then, we have the other America that respects morality, that wants to end pornography in our society because it uses women and children as objects for other people's pleasure," Wright said. That side of America "wants to put an end to the killing of little human beings who have been designated as less than human" because "of where they are located -- inside a woman -- or because of how small they are, or because they don't yet look like you and I do," she added. "This is also the moral America that wants to protect marriage because we recognize that marriage is the distinct union between a man and a woman, and it is the foundation to a stable society."

(...)

On Thursday, syndicated columnist Ben Shapiro agreed with Wright's description. One reason for the moral division in America, he said, is what the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan called "defining deviancy down" because "when society tolerates deviance, it propagates deviance." Moynihan used the example of single motherhood, Shapiro said, which "used to be taboo, then it reached a rate at which we decided that we were going to recognize it as normal and legitimate." "When that happened, it skyrocketed," and now, 40 percent of children born in the United States are born out of wedlock, he noted. "The rise in homosexuality, abortion, single motherhood and pornography is just plain bad," Shapiro said. "Common sense used to tell us these things were bad, but common sense is dying." "Now, we have to have social scientists prove to us that chopping off your own leg hurts your self-esteem and therefore is bad before we decide that we're against self-mutilation," he stated. "Social liberals don't pretend to know right from wrong, or even to care," he said. "They simply claim they have a right to act as they please as long as they're not physically harming you." He described this as a "phantom" right - one that is never explained but "just spring up anonymously, magically." "Conservatives understand, by contrast, that rights are granted to us by our Creator to enrich human existence," he said. As a result, "conservatism is not about standing idle in the face of immorality. It never has been. Slavery didn't hurt white Northerners physically, but they sure had a right to destroy the institution."

(...)

"We've got one party fiercely dedicated to the most radical stances on abortion, homosexual activism and expanding the public square while shrinking the freedoms of tradition-minded Americans," he said. "And they've got the media squarely in their corner, defining the issues in a way that makes the opposition seem mean, churlish, even evil." "The other party doesn't seem to acknowledge or understand the interrelationship between the social and economic issues," he continued. "They think they can do one without the other." As a result, social conservatives "have to talk about these issues a lot to make sure they are the mainstream issues they really are," Knight stated. Also, "we have to talk to the conservative Democrats who were elected the last time around and who stood for family values allegedly and make sure they're doing this in Congress. "Finally, we have to confront candidates in both parties and ask them where they stand on these issues," he said. Wright cautioned against accepting political leaders' rhetoric at face value.

"We have to watch out now for politicians who are giving lip service but are promoting policies that accommodate the immoral lifestyles, the immoral America," she said. "Our challenge is to dig deeper, dig past the slogans, past the titles of laws" to determine if they are "promoting policies that protect human life, that respect life, that honor God. Or are they simply trying to fool us?" Knight also defended the need to focus on and discuss moral issues even during the ongoing struggle against terrorism. "If the social liberals have their way and say the profoundly important cultural issues are no longer on the table because we're fighting this war overseas, I think they are seriously deluded," he stated

(all emphasis mine)

Pretty good stuff. (Hat Tip: LifeSite.net) To read the complete CNS article click here.

15 comments:

Interesting crusade you have going against Dorothy Day, and yet so little knowledge or understanding for reinforcement.

Tito said...

MJ,

Here's your 'reinforcement': http://www.evangelical-catholicism.com/

Chris said...

Tito,
Your continuing pronouncements against "Dorothy Day Catholics" lack a rational approach, which you seem to desire.
Have you, in your research (or lack there of), found any instance where Dorothy Day actually supported abortion and the contraceptive mentality? If you have, I would be surprised, given the fact that she repeatedly condemned these evils (on numerous occasions in the New York Catholic Worker paper). For Day, abortion and contraception were used by the social elites as a way of eliminating minority groups, the disabled, and the poor. Dorothy Day simply stated the truth, against the pronouncements of Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood.
The real difficulty that I see in your arguments is that you have fallaciously equated discussion of poverty and pacifism with a permissive attitude to abortion. If this were in fact the case, why is it that the "conservative" establishment, especially represented by notable Republicans like Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, were instrumental in establishing abortion in this country (see the excellent article "Criss-Cross: Democrats, Republicans, and Abortion" in Human Life Review)?

Matt said...

Chris,

For Day, abortion and contraception were used by the social elites as a way of eliminating minority groups, the disabled, and the poor

There's the rub, if, as you say, Day opposed abortion because it was an attack on the poor, that is not the right reason, because it's a moral evil, and the destruction of innocent human life (regardless of their social status).

Ps. I don't remember seeing too many CW Catholics holding vigil at the execution of dozens of babies every day, they are more interested in other "social" causes... perhaps it's because they're all American citizens and not immigrants that CW doesn't show much interest.

God Bless,

Matt

Anonymous said...

Matt,

"Ps. I don't remember seeing too many CW Catholics holding vigil at the execution of dozens of babies every day, they are more interested in other "social" causes... perhaps it's because they're all American citizens and not immigrants that CW doesn't show much interest"

Abortion is everyone's responsibility, I agree with you on that. But, not everyone is called to stand in front of abortion clinics.

It's is everyone's responsibility to not vote for those who are proabortion and to tell the truth about abortion and the church's teaching on it.

Just because someone from CW is not there does not mean that they are proabortion.

We each have our purpose here. I am happy that you have answered yours every Satuday morning.

God Bless,

Anna B.

Chris said...

Matt and Anna B.,

I couldn't agree more on the fact that we should confront abortion on what it is, a objective moral evil.

This being said, in my own experience with the victims of abortion, they often fail to respond to arguments affirming that abortion is a moral evil. The better strategy is to remind them of a few simple facts, that there unborn child is a person and that they (the parents or the single women) should not fear the demands that a child places upon them, especially time and money, which are so emphasized in our world.

God Bless,
Chris

bing said...

There is absolutely NOTHING "liberal" about Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement. This is simply another case of a politically conservative blogger lumping people together as "liberals" when he knows absolutely nothing about her life, other than that she was a pacifist. Dorothy Day has inspired both liberal and conservative Catholics, but she is best described as a "radical." She transcended the liberal/conservative dichotomy that has been handed to us by secular politics, not by the Church. In the future, I hope this blogger gains a more nuanced view of the reality of things and stops letting secularism define who we are as Catholics. That's what you do when you categorize people as "liberals." It's ridiculous.

Matt said...

Anna,

It's is everyone's responsibility to not vote for those who are proabortion and to tell the truth about abortion and the church's teaching on it.


I'm afraid that this doesn't quite match what the Church actually teaches about the hierarchy of social issues. Abortion is not just another issue, it is the supreme act of evil, the deliberate killing of an innocent human life... it must be ACTIVELY OPPOSED, passive objection does not fulfil one's obligation to defend the defenseless.

Just because someone from CW is not there does not mean that they are proabortion.

I'm not sure you read my post correctly, I did not suggest that CW's are proabortion. I suggest that they have other "more important" social issues in their priority list, and perhaps they are afraid to alienate their allies if they are too vocal about this abomination.

Bing,

NOTHING "liberal" about Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement

You're a riot. I think you should have a look at the various materials put out their by CW, and a look at their "associates" before making such an amusing statement.

God Bless,

Matt

Anonymous said...

"Day opposed abortion because it was an attack on the poor, that is not the right reason"

So it's not right to oppose something because it attacks the poor?

Abortion - Immoral and Evil
Poverty - Moral and Good

OK...

Anonymous said...

Matt

"I'm afraid that this doesn't quite match what the Church actually teaches about the hierarchy of social issues. Abortion is not just another issue, it is the supreme act of evil, the deliberate killing of an innocent human life... it must be ACTIVELY OPPOSED, passive objection does not fulfil one's obligation to defend the defenseless."

Show me the document because I think educating people on the evil of abortion is actively opposing abortion. BTW, I know abortion is the most important issue. I have helped pregnant women in the Gabrial Project. So, by your logic, I am passively opposing abortion because I am NOT praying at an abortion mill. I have actually taken in pregnant women. The CW does what is does and part of the Body of Christ. Each are called to do his part.

Anna B.

Chris said...

Matt,

In emphasizing that abortion is a moral evil (which is certainly true), you seem to neglect that the underlying reality that abortion makes an object out of a human person. You abstract abortion from the persons involved, which, in fact, is exactly what the abortionist do. The Church bases its approach to abortion (and other moral evils) from a personalist perspective, which was shared by John Paul II and Dorothy Day. This can be seen in the opening of section of The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: "Discovering that they are loved by God, people come to understand their own transcendent dignity, they learn not to be satisfied with only themselves but to encounter their neighbour in a network of relationships that are ever more authentically human. Men and women who are made “new” by the love of God are able to change the rules and the quality of relationships, transforming even social structures. They are people capable of bringing peace where there is conflict, of building and nurturing fraternal relationships where there is hatred, of seeking justice where there prevails the exploitation of man by man. Only love is capable of radically transforming the relationships that men maintain among themselves. This is the perspective that allows every person of good will to perceive the broad horizons of justice and human development in truth and goodness" (5).
From this ground, the Church explicates its approach to the evils of the world, rooting its teaching in the concept that we, as creatures, are created in the image and likeness of God. This teaching is further explicated in the papal encyclicals dealing with human life.

God Bless,
Chris

bing said...

You're a riot. I think you should have a look at the various materials put out their by CW, and a look at their "associates" before making such an amusing statement.

Matt -

Sorry you found that statement "amusing," but it is the truth.

I have been a subscriber of the Catholic Worker paper for years and read every issue. I have read Dorothy Day's autobiography twice and countless other works on her and the Catholic Worker movement. I have connections with various members of the Catholic Worker tradition. There is a CLEAR difference between their spirituality and methods than what you are characterizing as "liberalism."

Dorothy Day was a doctrinal conservative. Her loyalty was to Christ and to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. Her loyalty to the Church is seen in her repeated pleas for Catholics to trust the Church's teaching. She was staunchly opposed to "liberal" ideas about sexuality, birth control, etc. The ONLY sense in which she could be described as "liberal" is in her anti-war stance, which is the stance of the early Christians (in this sense, pacifism is itself "conservative" when you think about it, and just war teaching is "liberal"), as well as a stance toward war that is upheld as consistent with Catholic teaching.

I suggest YOU read up on Dorothy Day and what she believed before you make assumptions. You do not know what you are talking about.

Matt said...

Anna,

have helped pregnant women in the Gabrial Project. So, by your logic, I am passively opposing abortion because I am NOT praying at an abortion mill. I have actually taken in pregnant women. The CW does what is does and part of the Body of Christ. Each are called to do his part.


Please don't make this personal, I am not saying you don't do your part, what I'm saying is that groups like CW (and Catholic Charities for that matter) are notoriously silent about the evil of abortion. It is not sufficient to say that they are called to other areas of ministry, that's like trying to pull a sliver out of the finger of someone who is bleeding to death. Worldwide abortion kills 125,000 babies per day, that's many times the number that die from every other cause combined, and what's worse, it is not out of neglect, but of an act of will.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_en.html see number 58.

God Bless,

Matt

bing said...

what I'm saying is that groups like CW (and Catholic Charities for that matter) are notoriously silent about the evil of abortion

Absolutely unfounded statement. Do you even read the Catholic Worker newspaper? They denounce abortion consistently.

Tito said...

Chris,

I'm not sure how you read into my postings that DD didn't speak out against abortion. I'm sure she did, I'll take your word for it.

Tito

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