Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Some of our friends at Commonweal seem to have figured out that I mean to express contempt for the claim made by signers of "On All of Our Shoulders" (some of whom themselves reject central moral teachings of the Catholic Church) that "we do not write to oppose [Paul] Ryan's candidacy" but are concerned only "for the integrity of the teachings of the Catholic Church." Good for them. Contempt is warranted by the statement's tendentiousness; its stunning one-sidedness; its lack of interpretative charity (and, for that matter, justice); its laying aside foundational principles of Catholic social teaching, such as the sanctity of human life and the importance to society of marriage as a conjugal union; and the timing and other circumstances of its release. If those responsible for the statement want serious intellectual engagement from those of us who do not share their views, they can put out a serious statement, free of tendentious claims and characterizations and laughable pretensions to non-partisanship. There are people among the signers of "On All of Our Shoulders" who are capable of writing such a statement. Let them do it. Then we'll have a serious discussion, if they like.