I also understand the conservative/liberal thing. The only thing I claim for myself is that I'm Catholic. I must admit that I think of myself as moderate, but not in the Catholic Lite sense of it. I see orthodox Catholicism being the middle, and the liberals go beyond the middle farther to the left and conservatives going beyond the middle in the opposite direction. Perhaps I'm incorrect. Perhaps I should say that I'm an orthodox Catholic (very careful to make sure it's not confused with Eastern Orthodox) and say that politically I'm moderate (since I think liberals are flakey and conservatives are stingy prudes--perhaps these are stereotypes). It's destructive in Catholicism; Christ wanted unity. Anyway, I'll keep the present title for my homepage and I'll try to get everything updated. It's slow going because I'm on Christmas break from college and I like the free time to do NOTHING.
I hear you on liberal/conservative political labels. As you can probably see from my website, the two political issues I am most concerned about are defense of unborn life and fairness for immigrants. It is hard to find a politician who is both pro-life and pro-immigrant. Catholic social teaching goes back to the Old Testament principle of making special provision for those who are most defenseless (e.g. Deut 24:20ff. regarding the "sojourner, the fatherless and the widow"). The immigrant, the fatherless child and the widow are still often at a disadvantage, but today of course the most vulnerable is the unborn child. While I am not "single issue," still abortion is the paramount issue of our society, like slavery and anti-semitism were in other times.
What do you think, Joe? I guess the news about caucuses & primaries has gotten me thinking a bit about all this. Are you involved politically? It is part of our Christian responsibility even tho it is not the most important way we effect society. And of course it always involves prudential judgments on how to apply the basic principles of Catholic social teaching to complex situations.
Fr. Phil Bloom
Bush, McCain and Gore