Tuesday, February 10, 2004
I agree wholeheartedly with Vince that we are called "to confront structures of injustice through radical commitment to Christian love and the common good, grounded in the God-given dignity of the human person." This will often take the form of direct action through work with immigrants, the poor, the homeless, the prisoner and by our witness of Christian love "by refusing to acquiesce in social, legal, and politcal structures that debase and dehumanize certain human beings."
A (maybe THE) major structure of injustice in our society is a malformed anthropology, which provides the foundation for many of the other structures of injustice. The most prevalent anthropological assumption in our culture today is a form of secularist liberal individualism, which marginalizes and privatizes the transcendent and the good while exalting the individual as its own god --the maker of its own history and destination. In this sort of society (our society), Vince's call to pursue the "common good" becomes incoherent because "the good" is not held in common. All that is left is the power of the state to play traffic cop between competing conceptions of private good.
We cannot force someone to accept our anthropology - our understanding of what it means to be human - but I think (like Rick) that there is good reason to raise the question and also hope (not to be confused with optimism) that this anthropological perspective will resonate with others. More on these two points later ...