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Challenge accepted

Matthew Miklavic | Thursday, September 20, 2012

In a Letter to the Editor on Sept. 19 (“Catholics and liberals”), readers were challenged to respond to an “irrefutable” contention that “it is not possible to be a liberal and Roman Catholic.”
And so here I stand.
To the author’s first argument, I respond that liberals are not encouraged by abortion.  I believe, as many do, that abortions are a tremendous societal tragedy. I believe, however, that combating this tragedy requires that we not ignore its causes, but attempt to assuage its underlying conditions.  
In this light, I would refer to a fact that our own Prof. Sebastian Rosato raised during a forum on just this subject:  abortions fell by more under the Clinton (read: liberal) Administration than under the Bush Administration.
To his second point, I agree wholeheartedly that private society can do things far more effectively in a broad spectrum of areas.  But private society’s reach is not perfect. In some aspects, government can, and I believe, should, positively impact lives.
I believe this because it wasn’t a desire to marginalize churches and communities that led to Medicare, but rather because private society’s handling of the issue led to 50 percent of seniors being uninsured.
As a Catholic liberal, I believe in the sanctity of life. I believe in it at all stages. I believe we must continue to care for life after birth, and abandon it neither in its most nascent stages of childhood nor in its final years. I believe government can aid in such endeavors, and thus find no issue with programs such as Medicare or USAID that protect the life of millions.
The author contends that to be liberal and Catholic are exclusive. I reject that notion as false. I look to a Catholic vote that has leaned Democratic and do not see legions of faux Catholics. I reflect on our nation’s only Catholic President and Vice President, liberals both.
Ultimately, I am a liberal.
And I am a Catholic.
I will vote the former in November, and practice the latter this Sunday in the Siegfried chapel. I invite all to join me in both.
Matthew Miklavic
Siegfried Hall
Sept. 19