(GodSpy) - G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “The whole modern world has divided itself into conservatives and progressives. The business of progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”
The tired categories of Left and Right, which we associate with Liberal (or Progressive) and Conservative, originated in the French Revolution, and have long outlived their usefulness. They are way too clunky to capture the complex political opinions that most of us make up as we go along, these days.
We are all “conservatives” in some sense, because we want to “conserve” some things while changing others. We are all “liberals” because we all want to be “free” in some respects. We are all “progressives” because we want to progress towards something: the question is, towards what? A conservative may have to be a revolutionary, for – as Chesterton also wrote – “If we wish to preserve the family, we must revolutionize the nation”. So instead of asking someone, are you conservative or liberal, right-wing or left-wing, why don’t I ask what you want to conserve, and what to change, and why? Then we might have an intelligent debate about politics – the kind of debate that Chesterton wanted to start.
Catholic social teaching certainly does not fit the old labels. It is not an ideology. It is founded on a person, not an idea – the Person of Jesus. It starts by respecting the human person in its full dimensionality, as an image of God. That is why, in a high-level discussion of economic development recently in Ghana, the Holy See insisted:
“It must be clear that development is not only about the growth of the economy in general; it is about the development of the human being with his/her capabilities and relationships with intermediary social groups - family, social, political, cultural groups etc. - within which he/she lives. This requires a change in perspective that recognizes peoples as united by a common factor, their humanity being created with the imprint of the common God creator. Only by starting from this premise can we aim, within pluralist institutions, toward the achievement of the common good, which needs to be the primary objective of any society. The common good is neither an abstract goal nor a simple list of targets. It is simply the realization of the primary needs of the person: the need of truth, love, and justice.”...
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It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired. I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue. I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe. I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great.....
Monday, May 26, 2008
Pope Is About To Change American Politics Forever
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It's not just American politics he's about to change, but that of the entire western world. A political earthquake is coming, and Pope Benedict XVI is going to be it's epicenter. His forthcoming encyclical is sure to be controversial, because it will forever change the direction of political discourse in the western world, and by the timing of this encyclical, it would appear this paradigm shift is set to begin here - in the United Sates of America...