Society Magazine

Why I'm Grateful to Be Catholic

Posted on the 17 July 2014 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni


That from a Facebook friend provides a perfect lead in I think to what I want to write about today.

A number of recent events have occurred where my thinking on and about them has parted significantly from those I've in the past considered philosophical allies.

And yes, I'm the one that's changing.

Whether it be Rush Limbaugh's branding of Pope Francis as a Marxist, Michelle Bachmann's labeling of illegal immigrants coming across the border as invaders, or most recently, the refusal by a Facebook friend to see tragedy in yesterday's killing of four Palestinian boys on a beach in Gaza, I am increasingly aware of how my decision to become Catholic and my choosing to, as best I can, follow the Church's teaching, is increasingly putting me at odds with certain elements of the conservative movement.

I continue to believe I'm still a conservative.  My abhorrence for nearly all things liberal stands yet I find myself wincing more and more at things being said by people with whom I've usually agreed.

So what's changed and why?

I believe there's one particular teaching, one particular component of my re-embraced Catholic faith, that can be blamed.  Or more accurately, can be given credit.

The Catholic Church  proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is  the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of  all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under  direct attack from abortion and euthanasia. The value of human life is being  threatened by cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and the use of the death  penalty. The intentional targeting of civilians in war or terrorist attacks is always wrong. Catholic teaching also calls on us to work to avoid war. Nations must protect the right to life by finding increasingly effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.

I've come to believe firmly that the Pope's views on economic inequality are sourced in this teaching.  I believe with certainty and firmness in the dignity of every unaccompanied child coming across our southern borders.  I see the loss of potential and cannot imagine what the parents are feeling about the deaths of the boys killed on that beach in Gaza yesterday.

Do I still believe in conservative values and principles and how the application of both are key to society's success?  Yes.  Hell yes.

But I also believe that they must be under-girded by this concept, so beautifully emphasized by Catholic Pope-babyteaching, of human dignity and its sanctity.

We have a responsibility to care for the poor.  Children cannot ever be dismissed as mere invaders.  And the deaths of innocent children must always be grieved.

To ignore this teaching is to begin to lose our humanity.  To dismiss this teaching is to cross a threshold that will not be easily stepped back over.  To ridicule this teaching is to admit to and confess a dangerous soullessness.

My embrace of Catholic teaching on the dignity of every person is making me more human. 

Trust me, and those who live or interact with me, when we all say I need to be more human.  

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