A Seamless Garment

I linked to this previous post, but it's worth another mention--the latest US Catholic has a great interview with Mark Shields on politics and faith.

Here's the section that Evangelicals would do well to pay attention to:

I think the church diminishes its overall message if it does not address the larger social picture. I always thought that on this issue the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago made the most sense with his idea of the seamless garment: that we have a comprehensive responsibility to be totally prolife.

I don’t mean to be a wise guy, but it seems to me some people think life begins at conception and ends at birth. We’ve got people who are against abortions, but, given a choice between funding Women and Infant Care (WIC) and cutting taxes, would choose to cut taxes.

A few other highlights:

  • I think it’s awful tough for a Christian not to be an optimist.
  • Part of Kerry’s problem is stylistically he’s not a good fit with many Catholics. He doesn’t suggest a Catholic ethnicity most of us can identify with.
    He once told a reporter he greatly admired “Pope Pius XXIII,” who never existed. He meant John XXIII. The last Pius was No. 12—but I don’t know, maybe Kerry’s a visionary.
  • The inscription on FDR’s memorial reads, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” Can you imagine someone standing up in Washington today and saying that—Republican or Democrat? “What are you, a socialist?” they’d be asked. How narrow our perspective has become of what our mission as a nation is and what we have to do for each other.


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