Former Commonweal columnist, Liz McCloskey, now a doctoral candidate at Catholic University, and her husband contributed a column on politics and abortion to the op-ed page of Tuesday’s Washington Post. How much impact it will have on either party is an open question, but to judge from the comments submitted to the Post’s website, one can doubt that it has succeeded in elevating the quality and tone of the conversation.
Political Orphans In 2008
Is There Space for Our Pro-Life Ethic?
By Liz McCloskey and Peter Leibold
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
In this political season, with all the talk about the role of faith in public life, we as a Catholic couple feel very much at home in the conversation and yet still homeless with respect to a perfectly compatible political party or candidate.
When we were born in the early 1960s, it was possible to be both a Democrat and a Catholic without any agonizing pangs of conscience. John F. Kennedy was president; John Courtney Murray was a public theologian; Pope John XXIII was opening a window to the world at the Second Vatican Council. But as we came of age politically, we felt orphaned by the Democratic Party, whose pro-life positions on war, poverty and the environment did not extend to the life of the most weak and vulnerable, those not yet born.
While the moderate wing of the Republican Party provided us a foster home when we worked on the Senate staff of John C. Danforth (R-Mo.), with the likes of former senator Mark O. Hatfield (R-Ore.) and others, the Grand Old Party’s move to the right, including its hardening, dominant positions on the Iraq war, access to guns and the death penalty, among other issues, have made it an inhospitable place for us to dwell permanently.
Read the rest here.