Non-Negotiables: Just 5?

by Michael Sean Winters

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One of my favorite sentences ever penned comes from the pen of Leon Wieseltier who, in his short essay "Against Identity," wrote: "I hear it said of a man that he leads a double life and I think to myself, 'Just two?'"

Over at the rightwing agitprop website, there is a stunningly biased article about the distribution of cards at Catholic parishes in Florida highlighting the "5 Non-Negotiable" issues for Catholics in the election. This past week, Raymond Arroyo was still trumpeting the same "non-negotiable" meme. The problem? All the churches teachings are non-negotiable, are they not? Nor are there any issues that do not require prudential judgment in determining which candidate actually gives a hoot about the important issue at hand. Nor is there any issue, including abortion, in which we, as voters, can dispense with prudential judgments about how to achieve our objectives in a pluralistic democracy, even if we agree on the goal.

If you hear someone talk about "5 non-negotiables," understand that they are repeating a GOP talking point, they are not engaged in Catholic moral theology.

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