We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Elizabeth May, the Green Party and the limits of conscience.

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, appears to be having a crisis of conscience. She finds herself in conflict over her party's policy regarding Israel and the Palestinian people.
Elizabeth May says she could step down as Green Party leader later this month if her party doesn't reconsider its decision to endorse a movement that calls for the boycott of Israel.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/elizabeth-may-green-party-israel-1.3716764
May is taking a week off for some family time on Cape Breton. She expressed on a recent radio program (August 10th) that she had hoped to have time for more serene thoughts. However, her party's current trajectory presents for her cause for concern. Her down-time will necessarily include serious reflection on her status with her party.

Why is it that May, who claims to be Christian, is conflicted over her party's Israel policy, yet her party's abortion policy has not caused her to question her ability to function as leader of her party?
(D)uring her recent by-election campaign in London, Ms. May said that although she does not personally support abortion, she believes it should be legal—the Green Party officially supports unrestricted abortion access and requires all members to endorse that position.

Surely, for a Christian—a faithful Christian, at least—one's political party's policy of indifference or active support of the termination of unborn human life should be cause for pause. For a leader whose conscience should be patterned on core Christian doctrine and centuries of Christian practice of the defence of the weak and innocent, her party's support for the termination of innocent life should be grounds for packing her bags. What of a consistent life ethic that should form the conscience of every Christian, regardless of sectarian affiliation? Apparently, her religion poses little or no problem regarding the servicing of two masters, i.e., 1) the god of environmentalism which has no problem having humans sacrificed to itself so that some may become politically powerful to defend that god at the expense of reason and the dignity of human life and 2) a version of Christianity confined to the private closet under the stairs.

Perhaps for some people, some lives matter more than others, thus allowing them to defend their seemingly arbitrary selection of priorities. At least, that's the impression some politicians give when they create artificial allegiances or adhere to party platforms that are, to put it mildly, weakly humane.

Then again, we are living in times when people tolerate the curious and the crazy. Crazy, as in the 'personally opposed (to abortion) but politically pro-abortion' sophistry that divorces Christian belief from Christian practice and somehow frees law-abiding Christians from the obligation to oppose unjust laws (or an absence of laws that permits injustice free reign) and from the defence of society's weakest members.

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