Letter to the Editor | Monday, October 27, 2008
The Observer article on Tuesday, Oct. 14 covering the “Pizza, Pop, and Politics – Morality and Social Issues” event brings to light an appallingly narrow definition of life issues. The fact that the “night focused almost entirely on the abortion issue” demonstrates a lack of understanding of the holistic nature of Catholic social teaching. While Professor Mary Keys brings up the strong point that “there is no common good if an entire class of human beings is denied protection by the law,” this quote could just as easily describe the Immokalee tomato pickers who work under atrocious conditions in Florida or the 50,000 women and children trafficked as sex slaves around the world as it does fetuses.
Parkinson, an Indiana Right to Life supporter, may want to acquaint himself with the Inquisition, the Crusades, the slave trade, and the hegemonic domination of colonialism before asserting that the “primary purpose of politics was to seek that which was just” throughout the history of western civilization. Also, Parkinson’s limiting description of materialism as all politics boiling down to economics falls far short of materialism’s concern for real individuals, their activities, and the material conditions under which they live. With an abundance of highly qualified academics at this University, ND Votes has the responsibility and the resources to hold their events to a higher standard.
With respect to the upcoming election, Obama is described as a supporter of Roe v. Wade without considering that upholding the reproductive rights of women includes supporting a woman’s right to have a baby. Many argue that Obama’s social policies will reduce the need for abortion, as paternity and maternity leave and closing the wage gap between men and women will make having children more feasible for all families, and will especially aid women in financially precarious situations who may otherwise turn to abortion. As a supposed nonpartisan event, this Pizza, Pop, and Politics discussion was skewed toward one particular group’s political agenda. The larger issues of morality and social justice were ignored, as a fair discussion would encompass poverty, immigration, discrimination, and the uninsured as well as other vulnerable groups. We urge ND Votes to live up to its declaration of nonpartisanship and host an event which covers morality and social issues in their entirety.
Mary R. DeAgostino