Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Deeply held beliefs

You have got to read this article, by a man who was rejected by Republicans for a position on the federal bench. His view: He was rejected because he's Catholic. That's because this is what Catholics stand for:

In his 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum, (Pope Leo XIII) taught the dignity of work, the rights of the worker to a living wage and the justice of organized labor.

Since then, the principles of Catholic social justice have matured under successive popes and the leadership of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to include:

  • An end to racial discrimination.

  • A minimum wage.

  • Equal employment opportunity.

  • Housing assistance.

  • A consistent respect for human life, encompassing opposition to abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, the death penalty and war (with the current pope condemning the U.S. attack on Iraq).

  • More generous immigration and refugee policies.

  • An end to the Cuba embargo.

  • Increased Medicaid eligibility.

  • National health insurance and a patient's bill of rights.

  • And the list goes on.

    As the bishops (not Hatch) put it in the publication "Faithful Citizenship" before the 2000 election, America needs a kind of politics focused on "the needs of the poor … the pursuit of the common good" and a system designed "to pursue greater justice and peace."

    Republican rhetoric is more aligned with Catholic teaching on abortion, but that is the only point of convergence.

    This is the same thing I try to tell my friends when they ask me how I could possibly be a Catholic.


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