Friday, April 15, 2011

Andrew Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan is one of my favorite bloggers. He has been since I've been reading blogs. Here is one of his latest, and one of the reasons I like reading him so:
The Bishops are often cited by men such as Newt Gingrich as unquestionable authorities when it comes to questions of abortion, marriage and euthanasia. So it is perfectly fair to confront Newt with the stark distinction between his views on the budget and the Vatican's and the American Bishops'.
What is it that the Bishops have said about the budget crisis in the States?
The moral measure of this budget debate is not which party wins or which powerful interests prevail, but rather how those who are jobless, hungry, homeless or poor are treated. Their voices are too often missing in these debates, but they have the most compelling moral claim on our consciences and our common resources. A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons. It requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly.
Obviously there are differences in the moral implications between budgeting and, say, prison or euthanasia. However, if the likes of Gingrich et al. are all too willing to ignore variations of grey when citing moral authority of the Church regarding issues of personal choice, freedom, sexuality and morality (issues that are FAR more complex emotionally and physically than budgeting), then Sullivan is right to ignore the same complexities in citing the Church as a moral authority as well. What he's done here is taken the logic of the right and applied it evenly across the spectrum of ideas--which leaves him with results the right would most definitely not like. As for me, I look for no moral authority outside myself. And as for citing the Catholic Church as a moral authority, well--there's really no point in my even addressing that as an option.


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