Will Pope Francis Sunder the Religious Right?

But if Francis is successful at shifting the focus of American Catholicism away from the cultural issues of marriage and contraception and toward the policy issues of poverty and economic inequality, then this coalition may well dissolve. Perhaps the most pernicious legacy of the religious right in this country is that it has made issues of private morality — who and how we love, how and when we plan our families — matters of public policing, while turning public issues — inequality and poverty — into matters of private moral failing.

Pope Francis and the End of the Religious Right?”
Steven Conn
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Huffington Post
December 19, 2013

Does this mean that we are witnessing the birth of the Religious Left?

One wonders about how challenging it might be to fuse a coalition of atheist progressives and Catholic faithful. In the end, I think, the matter would not rest on an agreement about the evils of poverty, but on the solutions to the problem.

There will still be those Catholics who believe that the solution to poverty lies with the government, others who will argue that it is incumbent upon the Church, and many who will say that it is the obligation of individuals to take care of our fellow men. Gaining a consensus among Catholics will not be easy.

Those of us trying to get the bible out of the ballot box and the government off the pulpit, though, hope this all leads to a secularization of the political agenda.

Can Social Conservatives Really Be Fiscally Conservative?

Social conservatives who are not fiscal liberals are either hypocrites, sadists, or unrealistic. Think about it. If you vote against abortion or birth control, are you not making a silent choice to underwrite the fiscal burden all of those unwanted births will impose on society? Because if you are not, then you are making a series of choices with only one possible outcome: a larger underclass increasingly dependent on either government handouts or NGO support.

It is time for all of us who carry the monicker of “conservative” to realize that we must make a choice between running the country on the one hand and engaging in moral crusades on the other. It is time for us to put the social agenda back in the freezer, or send it to church. We have bigger fish to fry than worrying about what’s going on in America’s pants.