Friday, June 1, 2012

An Ad and Its Critics

In a recent political ad, Catholics Called to Witness (CC2W) tells Catholics to look at all of the issues facing America this November (including energy, jobs and the economy). Among these issues are gay marriage, abortion, and religious freedom/the contraceptive mandate. Near its end, the ad (which has gone viral in the nearly three months it’s been out) says votes related to these three latter issues “will affect the future–and be recorded in eternity.”
Personally, I thought the ad was right on point–abortion and the contraceptive/sterilization/abortifacient mandate are, in my opinion, two critical political issues this fall for any Catholic in good standing with the Church. However, this ad naturally drew controversy. MORE here.

I hadn't even realized the ad was controversial.  It seemed to me to be pointing out to Catholics the unquestionable facts that (according to Catholic teaching, or any remotely orthodox Christian teaching):

 1) some politically disputed matters involve prudential judgment on which Christians in good conscience can disagree (e.g., how, rather than whether, to help the poor or heal the sick), while others are non-negotiable (e.g., murder, abortion) because they involve intrinsically evil acts that are never justified; and

2) we are all accountable before God for the actions we take, including those in the political realm.  If you are a Catholic politician and publicly support abortion or assisted suicide or same-sex "marriage," however you rationalize that support, you are putting your immortal soul in peril.

I just thought the ad was optimistic in thinking that liberal-secularized Catholics could be reached by such a reminder, just because they may be too far gone, too secularized, and badly or weakly catechized in the first place.  
But who knows, maybe it will help some.  Most, however, seem to adhere in practice to the view that religion doesn't matter, but is just a personal idiosyncrasy.  In the words I put in Lucifer's mouth in relation to Gary Gutting, "In religion you can say whatever you like, as long as you do not claim that it is true.  The only heresy is orthodoxy."

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