I’m what you might call a conservative – although politics are funny and there are some who might call me a liberal – yet, I believe some things are more important than tribal loyalties (read: virtually everything). That’s why I find it disgusting when I see fellow conservatives willing to throw such sacrosanct matters like freedom of religion or human beings’ right to life under the bus for the sake of maintaining tribal purity. Like Diana West urging pro-lifers to stay away from Muslims in the fight against abortion because they’ll taint our “respectability” or Fr. Z when he openly mocks Ambassador Doug Kmiec when Kmiec comes in from the cold and sides with the Church regarding the HHS mandate and freedom of religion.
Yes, Muslims and liberals both disagree with the right on many things – some of them issues of such gravity that we must be uncompromising in our own resolve when faced with such opposition. Yet, one of the central pillars of Catholic social teaching remains solidarity and we must find common ground and foster friendship with all our brothers and sisters in Christ – even those who may remain our bitter enemies. Is this naive? No, because as Christians we realize that sometimes turning the other cheek means martyrdom; after all, Jesus died on the cross – not in the midst of battle hacking down his enemies, but willingly on the cross praying for those who persecuted him. Are we not called to be like Jesus Christ in every way? A true conservative Christian will recognize and embrace Catholic solidarity and ally himself with any person of any creed willing to join in the fight for human life and dignity.
I think Mark Shea of Catholic and Enjoying It! does a good job of pointing out the absurdity of this blind partisanship when talking about the public mocking of Kmiec:
Kmiec is ritually impure. It is more important to punish and ridicule him for past sins than to let him do the right thing in the present. What matters is pure tribal identity, not the success of the struggle to defeat this atrocious attack on religious liberty. We don’t want to win converts or form alliances. We want to settle scores and gloat over heretics. We want to hate Obama more than we want to defeat him.
Division does not lead to justice but only serves to further fracture humanity. The Catholic church recognizes this and thus we have the Catholic principle of solidarity, precisely so that we may forgo our human pride and instead be equipped to fight evil with a puissant arm.