It's going to be interesting to see how the GOP, especially Catholic Republican politicians, respond to the recent 'pro-life' directive from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that appeared on their web site Sunday. From their news release:
BISHOPS URGE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND COMPENSATION IN THE FACE OF 'PERVASIVE ECONOMIC PAIN'More details below the squiggly:
For millions of American workers and their families, economic hardship continues and grows. The US Catholic bishops have long advocated that the most effective way to build a just economy is the availability of decent work at decent wages,” wrote Bishop Blaire in a December 12 letter to Congress. “When the economy fails to generate sufficient jobs, there is a moral obligation to help protect the life and dignity of unemployed workers and their families.”
Actually, the bishops sent a previous letter to all members of Congress back on December 12, 2011. I have to wonder (don't you?) why this particular issue has gone unmentioned by the Catholics on the campaign trail. Could it be that in an uncharacteristic moment of religious pluralism, they decided to follow Mitt's Mormonism on this? After all, the bishops hardly minced words back in December:
[...]Something tells me that reducing the money allocated for health care for poor children won't meet the bishops' standards for "effective ways to assure...."
I strongly urge you and your colleagues to find effective ways to assure continuing Unemployment Insurance and Emergency Unemployment Compensation to protect jobless workers and their families.
The median length of joblessness has reached 10 months, and economists estimate that there are over four job seekers for every opening. Pope John Paul II, who called such prolonged and pervasive economic pain “a real social disaster,” said:
The obligation to provide unemployment benefits, that is to say, the duty to make suitable grants indispensable for the subsistence of unemployed workers and their families, is a duty springing from the fundamental principle of . . . the right to life and subsistence. (Laborem Exercens No. 18)
This could be the cue for Protestant fundamentalists to come in to the conversation. Anyone else remember when the main concern was that a Catholic president might be guided by Rome?