Saturday, March 27, 2010

On passions

Passion is often difficult to deal with. When used for good it can be harnessed into a motivational energy that can change the world. Used wrongly it can corrupt anything it touches.

I look out at the Catholic landscape and I see (among other things) two main camps. Those who are concerned for the wellbeing of the poor, who often call themselves proponents of social justice. In another main camp we have those who uphold the right to life of the unborn (and soon the elderly and the infirmed).

Now ideally both camps would work together for the wellbeing of both the poor and the unborn. That all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. Both sides would operate passionate for their particular cause while recognizing the necessity of the other camp's cause. And both would work to insure that evil, regardless of the dimension, is not advanced. We would stand in solidarity with one another.

Sadly, the two camps are at war with another. Social justice folks view the prolife movement as an impediment to social justice causes. Likewise prolife folks view the social justice movement as being complict in the expansion of the culture of death. Both sides view the other not as allies, but at best an obstacle and at worst as enemies.

The problem is that both sides are right. The social justice movement, with their support of the latest health care debacle, IS complict in the expansion of the culture of death through the expansion of abortion. Likewise the prolife movement has failed to appreciate the very real problem of health care financing situation. The unborn, the poor, the infirmed. All of these are vulnerable and require our protection.

What we cannot do however is harm for the sake of good. Would that a politician would offer to end abortion if torture were to be legalized, we have an obligation to say no. We CANNOT cooperate with evil, even if good ends are sought. When we compromise with evil, only evil prevails.

We must recognize that if we are to truly fight for social justice and the common good, we cannot advance evil. We may not be passionate about torture, or abortion, or healthcare, or modern slavery. But we cannot support that which we know will bring more evil into the world. We gain nothing, and lose our souls in the process.

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