Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Statement of Faith -- and Policy

Mikaela says:
We've talked often on m-pyre (for example here ) that progressives need to talk more about their values -- not simply rail against everything we hate.

Maggie's post below, in particular in the comments discussion, begins to question what values underlie the pro-choice position. To be pro-choice is NOT to be pro-abortion, but rather pro-women and pro-children, as Marjorie points out.

This week, religious Democratic legislators are releasing a position statment that explains how their faith informs their politics. This signals a recognition that Democrats have been sorely lacking in leadership and bravery in talking about spiritual matters and values in general and also that Democrats are unwilling to cede the "moral" ground as the purview of Republican politicians only.

It's a welcome shift of power and purpose.

From the Washington Post: Statement of Principles By Fifty-Five Catholic Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"As Catholic Democrats in Congress, we are proud to be part of the living Catholic tradition -- a tradition that promotes the common good, expresses a consistent moral framework for life and highlights the need to provide a collective safety net to those individuals in society who are most in need. As legislators, in the U.S. House of Representatives, we work every day to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being. We believe that government has moral purpose."

After a paragraph on Catholic social teaching about the obligations to "the poor and disadvantaged," the writers insist that "each of us is committed to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and creating an environment with policies that encourage pregnancies to be carried to term."

"In all these issues, we seek the church's guidance and assistance but believe also in the primacy of conscience. In recognizing the church's role in providing moral leadership, we acknowledge and accept the tension that comes from being in disagreement with the church in some areas."