At Least Catholics Can Agree on Dignity
by Lisa Graas
November 26, 2010
Faithful Catholics who are involved in politics are bound to end up debating both conservatives and progressives who are not Catholic or who are Catholics who don’t understand or value their own Faith. We see some rather shocking views on both sides of the aisle. With progressives, we generally take issue with a government that is becoming too socialist and policies concerning abortion, contraception and homosexuality. With conservatives, our disagreements generally have something to do with healthcare, immigration, war or poverty.
All of the issues we Catholics disagree with conservatives and progressives on have something to do with human dignity. It can be said, then, that if there is one thing Catholics can claim unity on during these troubling times, it is that we all seek to advance human dignity. Those of us on the Left and those of us on the Right in the Catholic Church in America share a desire for justice which is reflected in our desire to help in the fulfillment of human dignity. Ultimately, the goal of the Catholic Left should not be to “convince the Catholic Right to vote for Democrats” and the goal of the Catholic Right should not be to “convince the Catholic Left to vote for Republicans”. We should all be working together to make both parties reflect our values.
In my meanderings around the online political community, I’ve seen an appalling level of ignorance about dignity on both the Left and the Right. I know that my Catholic compatriots on both sides of the political aisle would agree with that, though they may point fingers of blame in different directions depending on whether they identify more with Republicans or Democrats. We all should be identifying with our Catholic values FIRST. Until we do, we will be talking past each other when we discuss these issues…and we will continue to talk past each other unless we, and the people we deal with daily, can come to an authentic understanding of what dignity is.
Those Catholics who have embraced far right views in opposition to human dignity have failed to live up to their duty. Those Catholics who have embraced far left views in opposition to human dignity have failed to live up to their duty. As it stands, we have two large political parties to choose from on election day. Both of these parties have strayed so far from our values that both are indeed practically unworkable vehicles for Catholics to work within to advance respect for human dignity. I will be speaking here to those Catholics on the Left and the Right who know we have to get our act together as Catholics and reject such failures wherever we see them. We need to look to our catechism, particularly what it tells us about human dignity.
Below is information about dignity from the Catechism that every Catholic should agree with, regardless of party.
The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.
More “food for thought at LisaGraas.com…
Lisa graciously allows AlwaysCatholic to post her work with abandon. We are extremely grateful to have LIsa as a colleague and a friend.
Lisa is a pre-emminent Catholic blogger and we are so proud to have her here on ACBlog.
Lisa’s Blog is http://www.lisagraas.com and is on Twitter @LisaGraas and on Facebook. Lisa also is a regular blogger at David Horowitz’s News Real Blog.