Friday, November 05, 2010

Reading the Junkmail

...can sometimes be like reading Tarot cards or tea leaves. Here are the only two articles to arrive in my post box at home yesterday:



Is that spooky, or what?

I have written to Jo Tenner, and to James Merlino (Labor) and to Matt Mills (Liberal) with my questionnaire based on Your Vote, Your Values. Apparently, James (the currently sitting member, a Catholic in good standing and definitely pro-life), would need a swing against him of 6.8% if he were to lose the seat. That doesn't sound likely, but who knows what havoc the Greens vote might cause in Victoria this year. (BTW, self-disclosure: I am usually a Liberal voter - decision will be more difficult this year).

I do think I need to say one thing about the Greens, though, just in case you might take me for a melon-smasher. I thoroughly get the fact that Greens candidates and supporters are sincere in their beliefs and are committed to doing what they believe to be the "right thing". I was saying to DLP Senator Elect John Madigan on the phone yesterday morning (he rang me) that I believe we do the Greens a discourtesy if we treat them as if they were dishonest in their motives, or as if ethics and morality did not count for them. In fact, I believe they are almost as fanatical and zealous in their moral beliefs as we Catholics are.

Where we differ is not in our moral sincerity and honesty, but in what we believe to be "the right thing". Our argument against the Greens should therefore not be an ad hominum attack, but an argument about issues.

Nor are we opposed on all issues. On the back of Jo's flyer is the statement:
"The Greens stand for funding preventative Healthcare and early intervention in Mental Health services as well as making sure Ambulances, GPs and Hospital Beds are available where and when you need them.
That could be taken as a positive answer to the question in "Your Vote, Your Values" which says:
Will you commit to:
•strengthening preventative and early intervention measures [for mental illness], and committing sufficient resources to enable effective treatment?
So some of their policies are good, and some of their policies are ones that Catholics can support. The problem is with with those other policies, the ones on matters of human life and dignity from conception to natural death, on marriage and family, and on the freedom of religion and Church/State relations.

I have a lot of respect for Greens candidates. They stand for what they believe in. I like that. I also like watermelons. I just don't like the pips.

12 Comments:

At Friday, November 05, 2010 10:49:00 pm , Anonymous Tony said...

Where we differ is not in our moral sincerity and honesty, but in what we believe to be “the right thing”. Our argument against the Greens should therefore not be an ad hominum attack, but an argument about issues.

Amen to that, David!

Apparently, James (the currently sitting member, a Catholic in good standing and definitely pro-life) ...

Was 'in good standing' just a throwaway line? What does it mean? Are there any Catholic politicians not 'in good standing'? If so, on who's say so?

 
At Friday, November 05, 2010 10:54:00 pm , Anonymous Gareth said...

Is Tony's girlfriend Kristina in good standing?

 
At Friday, November 05, 2010 11:14:00 pm , Anonymous Paul G said...

I think all politicians can be a bit evasive, especially near election time, but the Greens are clearer about their hopes and goals than the major parties. For example, on the policy of a carbon tax, Julia Gillard has backflipped on her backflip, so we have to wait to see where she ends up when the music stops.

I don't know what its like in Victoria, but in Canberra and NSW, it is hard to work out what the major parties stand for. Julia Gillard seems to be only interested in processes, and doesn't do the "vision thing". As she says herself, she is more at home in a school classroom than talking about international affairs.

Here in NSW, Labor is doomed and Barry O'Farrell will be premier next March. Only the proverbial bus can stop him, the voters here are busy oiling their collection of baseball bats to hit Labor with. So it doesn't really matter what policy anyone talks about before March.

 
At Saturday, November 06, 2010 8:37:00 am , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

I wonder, then, how we can possibly claim that any figure in public life is a Catholic "in good standing"? How could we possibly know?

More to the point, how could we think that it is are place to pronounce such a judgment, in public, on anyone?

 
At Saturday, November 06, 2010 8:56:00 am , Anonymous Henrietta said...

Speaking of 'The Greens' and 'Melons'....I heard a good one today

The Greens are a bit like watermelons, green on the outside and red on the inside :)

 
At Saturday, November 06, 2010 9:16:00 am , Anonymous Tony said...

More to the point, how could we think that it is our place to pronounce such a judgment, in public, on anyone?

Very much to the point, Pere! Especially in the context of suggesting we avoid ad hominem!

 
At Saturday, November 06, 2010 11:14:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

More to the point, how could we think that it is are place to pronounce such a judgment, in public, on anyone?

Hmmm. When the soon to be ex-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi quite openly expresses her support for abortion, is it all that difficult to figure out that she is in opposition to what the Church teaches?

As far as being good caretakers of the earth that God has privileged us to live on, "Green" parties have my full support. The good fruits of the earth must be available to all and we should protect the wonderful diversity of species on the planet.

On life issues, i.e., the unborn, the elderly, etc. they do not. From the earliest days of the Church protecting the unborn and the elderly were positions that separated Christians from the pagan Romans who had no problem with disposing of both. How Pelosi will be judged in the eyes of God is not my business but her public dissent from Church teaching is just that and should be named as such.

 
At Saturday, November 06, 2010 11:33:00 am , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

My question is not about judging that people are not "Catholics in good standing", but about judging that they are. If the criteria that joyfulpapist suggests are correct, then in most cases I don't think we can know. More to the point, it is not our business to pass such a judgment.

 
At Saturday, November 06, 2010 9:30:00 pm , Anonymous Gareth said...

relativism displayed by the acatholics.

 
At Sunday, November 07, 2010 1:24:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

Ah, but making judgements of politicians IS our business, and we will all (all Victorians, anyway) be doing that on November 27. In assessing candidates who wish to be our representatives in the legislative assemblies of our State, we have every right to judge and scrutinise who they are, what their values are, what their vices and virtues are etc. We elect individual people to this task, and by putting their hand up for the job, they actually invite us to pass judgement upon them: is this person someone I want to represent me. Now, just as voters are not required to park their religious convictions at the door of the polling booths, so too candidates come as a whole package. Their religious standing is no different from their standing in any other aspect of their engagement with our society: it is a legitimate factor to take into account at the time of voting. If a candidate puts himself forward as a member of the Lions Club, but rarely goes to a Lions Club meeting, hasn't paid his membership dues and doesn't actually support what they stand for, I would want to say "This person is not who they say they are; they say they are a member of the Lions Club but they actually are not a member in good standing." On the other hand, if a candidate claims he is a Lions Club member, I can check on that and find out "Yes, he is a member in good standing. He has paid his dues, he does go to the meetings and he does support what the Lions Club stands for." If it is important for me that my political candidate is a member of the Lions Club (and this might sound like a complete irrelevancy to most voters, but if it is important to me that's quite legitimate for me to use it as a basis for me to decide whether or not I want to vote for him), then this is an important judgement for me to make. I see this as analogous to the question of whether or not a candidate who claims to be a Catholic is actually a "Catholic in good standing".

 
At Sunday, November 07, 2010 8:13:00 am , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

My point, David, is that while you may possible know that someone is not a Catholic in good standing, if you use joyfulpapist's criteria you cannot possibly know that he is.

 
At Monday, November 08, 2010 1:30:00 am , Anonymous Gareth said...

When I think about the Greens, I always think about that verse in the Bible about the end times, there will many false prophets that will decieve others.

 

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