A new addition.
I’m pleased to announce that Paul Lauritzen, director of the Program in Applied Ethics at John Carroll University, has agreed to join our esteemed roster of dotCommonweal contributors. You may recall Paul’s most recent Commonweal article, “Holy Alliance? The Danger of Mixing Politics & Religion.” Here’s a reminder:
How did we get from a situation where the working assumption was that “no Catholic prelate would tell the president how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote,” to one where a Baptist pastor asks members of his congregation to resign if they plan to vote for John Kerry, and Catholic clergy issue voting guides that all but endorse specific candidates?
I do not have a ready or easy answer to this question and what I will suggest is incomplete. Still, part of the answer comes from examining the growing-and to my mind troubling-alliance between conservative Evangelicals and Catholics. (When I refer to conservative Evangelicals and Catholics, I largely follow the definitions of these groups found in the “Fourth National Survey of Religion and Politics” conducted by the Bliss Institute at the University of Akron, specifically white Evangelicals and Catholics committed to orthodox belief, high levels of religious engagement, and a desire to preserve traditional beliefs and practices in a changing world.)
There are many ways of explaining this alliance, but I want to focus on one particular area of common ground that, more than any other, sheds light on the alliance-namely opposition to abortion.