Monday, April 27, 2009

Catholics and the Public Square: The Domain of the Crazy Fringe?

I just wrote (here),

I’m disheartened by the way in which so many of my Catholic brothers and sisters of the center seem to keep missing the point: that . . . our jabber among ourselves about these issues, and the morally obtuse intellectual parsing that goes on in this intramural discussion, places us in a curious, irrelevant ghetto position when it comes to many of the most significant moral and political discussions of the day.

And I opined,

And as we parse and parse these issues and fume and fret about Notre Dame and Mr. Obama, nary word from any of our bishops about torture. It’s no wonder what we have to say to the culture at large is regarded as insignificant today. We have earned our insignificance, in spades.

And now, having written that, I scan the Commonweal blog again, to find an interesting post by Grant Gallicho (here), linking to the Vox Nova blog, where a blogger called Morning Minion has posted (here):

The Catholic right may think they have won a major tactical victory with the “watershed moment” over Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame, but nothing could be further from the truth. More and more, the core life issues of abortion and ESCR will be seen as the domain of the crazy fringe, and will become more disassociated from the broader culture of life issues that define Church teaching. The reaction of many supposed pro-life Catholics to Iraq and to torture will not be forgotten. And that is an absolute disaster if Catholics have any hope of persuading the general culture that abortion is not a “right” to be cherished, much as Catholics have slowly but surely been turning the tide against the death penalty.

Yes. That is my point. Absolutely so.

Except that I would include in the opening phrase, "The Catholic right and the center that is all too prone to defend and give voice and legitimacy to the right . . . ."