Elizabeth Bruenig Discusses Supporting Young Families and More on Jesuitical

Millennial writer Elizabeth Bruenig was Friday’s guest on Jesuitical. She talks about her conversion, twitter, liberalism, and having kids at a relatively young age. You can listen to her interview and the full show here:

Past Millennial coverage of Jesuitical is available here. You can also subscribe and download Jesuitical on iTunes, give them feedback at jesuitical@americamedia.org, and follow them on twitter: @jesuiticalshow.

Democrats Should Not Let Faith Be a Partisan Issue

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware writes:

For a generation, the Democratic Party of which I’m a member has steadily moved away from communities of faith. Today, according to a recent Pew study, more than one-third of Democrats—including 44 percent of self-described liberal Democrats—think churches and religious organizations actually have a “negative impact” on the United States.

But the beliefs of those liberal Democrats don’t reflect the views of most American voters. The fact of the matter is this: The vast majority of Americans—including the majority of Democrats—are people of faith. According to a recent Pew study, for example, nearly 80 percent of Americans identify with a religious faith. Two-thirds of them pray every day….

So why have Democrats let faith become a partisan issue?

A pro-life church can still work with progressive groups to defend and welcome immigrants. An environmental organization that wants to fight climate change can team up with a faith-based organization that shares that goal, even if their members disagree on other issues. Jews, Muslims, and Christians can unite with Americans who practice no faith to march against a discriminatory ban on refugees.

The Democratic Party has to recognize that progressive values can’t be just secular values. It needs to see that we can only solve our nation’s most urgent problems and shape a more equitable America if we trust each other, listen to each other, and engage with those who are traveling along secular and scriptural paths.

White Christians Are Called to Embrace Anti-Racism, Not Just Non-Racism

Millennial writer Meghan Clark writes:

As Christians, we must recognize that there is no such thing as a non-racist. There is no third option. Non-racism is a passive rejection of racism, but it is also a rejection of human dignity, solidarity and the common good. It is a category created to allow one to feel comfortable in one’s own moral rejection of racism while tolerating it in society.

We must speak up, and we must stand up. It is a moral imperative that we respond not only with words but actions. We are called to emulate the courage and actions of the U.V.A. students and Heather Heyer, the woman killed in Charlottesville.

Solidarity is the recognition that we are all one human family and we all have equal human dignity. In realizing that my human dignity is bound up in yours, I come to understand that any violation of your dignity violates my own as well. Solidarity reframes our understanding of moral responsibility and recognizes that we have a moral duty to promote justice and the common good. More than just a negative duty not to harm, we have a positive duty to promote the dignity of others. We have a duty to confront and dismantle racism and white supremacy. As Christians, we have a moral duty to be anti-racist.

Christian Ethicists Denounce Racism, Anti-Semitism, ‘America First’ Nationalism

Dozens of Christian ethicists and theologians—including Millennial writers Meghan Clark, Nichole Flores, and Marcus Mescher—have signed a statement “firmly condemning racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim, neo-Nazi ideology as a sin against God that divides the human family created in God’s image.” The statement states:

  • We reject racism and anti-Semitism, which are radical evils that Christianity must actively resist.
  • We reject the sinful white supremacy at the heart of the “Alt Right” movement as Christian heresy.
  • We reject the idolatrous notion of a national god. God cannot be reduced to “America’s god.”
  • We reject the “America First” doctrine, which is a pernicious and idolatrous error. It foolishly asks Americans to replace the worship of God with the worship of the nation, poisons both our religious traditions and virtuous American patriotism, and isolates this country from the community of nations. Such nationalism erodes our civic and religious life, and fuels xenophobic and racist attacks against immigrants and religious minorities, including our Jewish and Muslim neighbors.
  • We confess that all human beings possess God-given dignity and are members of one human family, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or country of origin.
  • We proclaim that the gospel of Jesus Christ has social and political implications. Those who claim salvation in Jesus Christ, therefore, must publicly name evil, actively resist it, and demonstrate a world of harmony and justice in the midst of racial, religious and indeed all forms of human diversity.

You can read the full statement here.

Withdrawal From Public Life is Not Prophetic

Millennial editor Robert Christian writes:

Millions of Americans feel as though formal institutions have let them down — from the Church’s sexual abuse scandal; to the use of ugly culture war tactics; to Wall Street’s recklessness, immoral behavior prior to the Great Recession; to President George W. Bush’s rush to war in Iraq and the subsequent botching of the occupation and withdrawal.

But strong institutions are necessary for promoting human flourishing and establishing the common good. For Catholics, salvation is communal; we seek communion with God and one another.

The Church exists for the sake of this communion. It cannot be replaced by an extreme individualism that aims at individual salvation in splendid isolation.

Strong families are needed to provide the love, structure and support people need to flourish and reach their potential. Dependable friendships are needed for similar reasons. And government is essential for guaranteeing human rights and promoting social justice. Catholic social teaching has explicitly rejected not just extreme individualism but the libertarian obsession with minimizing government and maximizing autonomy that often accompanies it….

For a select group of culture warriors who fear American society is increasingly hostile to their values, the answer is withdrawal.

But this is no real option for Catholics. Christians have a right and a responsibility to participate politically and to defend human dignity, the common good and the poor and vulnerable. Pope Francis has told us that “a good Catholic meddles in politics.” This responsibility does not depend upon the end results of our actions.

As Michael Wear reminds us, as Christians, our primary goal is not victory or success, but faithfulness.

You can read the full article here.