This past Tuesday, November 15, 2016, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops elected His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas, as their new president for a three-year term. Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, California, was elected vice president.
|Daniel Cardinal DiNardo|
Why is this important to an interfaith group that takes no stand on purely religious matters and leaves the internal affairs of a religion to its adherents? Because Cardinal DiNardo is a “conservative” (a term that really doesn’t have any meaning in a religious context; there’s “orthodox” and “unorthodox”) who might be more open to hearing about CESJ’s “pro-life economic agenda” than the so-called “progressive” (another word without real meaning in this context) members of the American Catholic hierarchy.
That’s not to imply that Archbishop Joseph Edward Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, the outgoing president, is a “progressive.” No, His Excellency is also labeled “conservative” . . . but he’s the outgoing president, and Cardinal DiNardo has an incentive, with the election of Donald Trump, to try and guide and keep the new U.S. president (as much as he can) on the straight and narrow.
And to do that requires sound principles to keep the straight and narrow as straight and narrow as it needs to be . . . and that requires the three principles of economic justice and the four pillars of a just market economy. And the principles of economic justice and pillars of a just market economy — not by coincidence — happen to be the core of the Just Third Way and thus a genuinely pro-life economic agenda.
|Can't we all just get along?|
Now, the interesting part of the Just Third Way take on a pro-life economic agenda is that it is the same as a pro-choice economic agenda . . . that is, if you truly believe in free choice. That’s because at the center of the pro-life economic agenda is respect for the dignity and sovereignty of the human person — and that requires that every child, woman, and man have power over his or her own life, and power, real power, only comes from direct ownership of capital.
Once someone has power, he or she can exercise control over his or her own life. And (as Daniel Webster reminded us nearly 200 years ago) “Power naturally and necessarily follows property.” If you have property, you will have control over your own life, and you will be able to make the choices you want. If others have property, they will control your life, and you will have to make the choices they want.
Thus, someone who is truly “pro-choice” should come to exactly the same conclusion in this matter: either we get a Capital Homestead Act as soon as possible, or “they” (meaning the stupid pro-lifers or the evil pro-choicers) will be able to force “their” morality (or lack thereof) on “us.”
The choice (if you’ll pardon the expression) is ours: own or be owned.