Monday, March 28, 2005
One MOJ reader responded to my post earlier today with a fair criticism of my observation that "leaving aside the question whether Congress had any business at all getting involved in the Shiavo matter, it is difficult for people to take seriously the claims of support for the dignity of life made by Republican lawmakers who have at every turn undermined human dignity by their decisions about health care, tax policy and the like." Conor Dugan writes:
"I have to admit that I find it difficult to take seriously your claims when you paint such a caricature of Republican lawmakers. I don't doubt that Republican lawmakers have in some instances undermined human dignity by their policy choices in Congress. But I do doubt whether such a blanket assertion without more can really withstand serious criticism. Furthermore, the simple fact that so many Catholics of good will tend to support the Republicans and their initiatives -- not just because of the abortion issue -- but also because they believe Republican economic policy generally helps to further the common good and foster human dignity would at least counsel caution in making such broad assertions."
Quoting language from the Bush's acceptance speech in the last election, he continues:
"Those words, seem to me to stand for the fostering of the common good and the protection of human dignity (in more than its unborn form)."
I agree that "at every turn" was overbroad and unfair and I deserve to be taken to task for it. At the same time, I stand by my fundamental critique of the inconsistency of the present administration (as well as the concern that inconsistency undermines efforts to get others to take seriously an ethic of life).
I don't disagree that a lot of the rhetoric sounds good. However in too many ways the rhetoric has not matched the reality and, in my view, many of the steps taken by this admistration have undermined the human dignity of many groups of persons in our society.
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Rhetoric and Reality