BJS Reviews Issues Etc Interview with Colleen Carroll Campbell, by Jon Townsend

We at BJS have created a new column where we hope to review at least one program from Issues, Etc. each week. Our hope in doing this is to help people to understand what types of programs are available on Issues, Etc. and perhaps to generate interest in the show by new listeners. We also hope to make it easier for you to introduce Issues, Etc. to friends or members of your church; you can print these out and hand them to people who might be interested in the topic. Listen to the show to learn more about this topic, or go to the On Demand page on Issues Etc for other programs.

Issues, Etc. on March 18, 2009: Colleen Carroll Campbell and the Co-Belligerence of The New Faithful

Colleen Carroll Campbell columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, author of the book The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy, host of EWTN’s Faith and Culture and regular guest on the flagship show of Lutheran Orthodoxy: Issues, Etc…….

Regular Guest?!? I almost think regular guest is a misnomer – she seems to have weekly segment on the show – 10 minutes weekly on either Wednesdays or Thursdays. The near weekly segments have become some of my favorite segments on the show because of the concept of co-belligerence (see Wikipedia for background on the term). In Colleen Carroll Campbell’s book The New Faithful, she makes a study on the much unreported trend amongst educated younger people towards orthodox Christian movements. Each segment to me is an example of co-belligerence between the Lutheran and Roman Catholic strains of what Colleen would term the New Faithful.

The segments don’t touch on the difference between Lutheran and Roman doctrines that divide us, but the segments almost always handle issues in the Kingdom of the Left where well formed Lutheran and Roman consciences cannot remain silent: Euthanasia, Abortion, the role of the Christian in the political realm etc. Doctrinal agreement is not necessary to give a united Christian front in these areas, because we share a common culture of what is given to us in sacred scripture to which we do agree, i.e. the Trinity, the Incarnation and Moral Law. Within our two communions we have a strong tradition of being able to deal in the Kingdom of the Left from the basis of Natural Law. One can see how these common understandings play out in these weekly segments.

The March 18th segment dealt with recent statements from Roman Catholic Bishops and Archbishops on the subject of pro-abortion Roman Catholic politicians. Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput has taken a hard stand on Roman Catholics in elected office who support abortion rights. Issues, Etc. played this quote from Archbishop Chaput:

Catholics cannot make peace with this kind of deeply evil law, without lying to themselves, lying to the believing community and trying to fool God. It doesn’t work. If someone were to disagree with the Church on abortion, I don’t see how they can call themselves a Catholic. They shouldn’t receive communion, ’cause they’re not in communion. The vanity or hurt feelings of an individual Catholic governor or senator or even vice president do not take priority over the faith of the believing community.

Colleen Carroll Campbell and Pr. Wilken went on to discuss the comments and the fact that although Roman Catholic politicians who support abortion may find for themselves parish priests that will not discipline them, the stand of the Roman Catholic church is very clear: Abortion is evil and political support of it is willful cooperation with evil. In his latest statements Archbishop Chaput is stepping into public statement role left behind in Archbishop Burke’s departure for Rome. Colleen went on to say that such statements actually should not be so shocking because all of the Roman Church’s bishops and religious should be making the same statements.

Colleen Carroll Campbell does not express much hope that pro-abortion Roman Catholic politicians will be swayed by such statements, but that these statements make it clear to other Roman Catholics that statements from the likes of Pelosi and Biden, who claim to be good Roman Catholics but support abortion, are definitely not the stand of the Church. In this clarity there is hope that future leaders will be properly informed and educated on what a faithful Christian should believe about the sanctity of human life.

Although Colleen Carroll Campbell does a great job of applying authentic Catholic thought and philosophy to the issues of the day, I am afraid that The New Faithful in both of our communions may be eloquent and correct, but we are a minority and I am not sure our voices are headed that far outside of our “New Faithful” circle. I found it shocking that a colleague who attends a Roman Catholic parish in my town voted happily for Obama. His parish has one of the best, most clearly pro-life priests, who is young, who preaches in a way that is 100% true to his communion and fills the parish every week: There could be no misunderstanding that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is not in line with Catholic teaching attending this parish. I know many Lutherans that also took the same path and I find that equally disturbing. Like Campbell, my hope is for the future.

As someone who is at the end of what some of us call the “John Paul II definition of youth”, (I’ll be 37 next week), I truly appreciate hearing female voices in public dialogue that are intellectual but not feminist intellectuals in the way many of us have been exposed to; especially those of us who have spent extended time exposed to academia or have worked in it. Issues, Etc. has done a great job in finding the best expressions of authentic feminism in the likes of M.Z. Hemmingway, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse and Colleen Carroll Campbell. Thank God that the smartest listeners in radio have the smartest women in North America to listen to!

(Colleen is also a great friend of the show – she signed the petition during the cancellation crisis in 2008.)

Listen to the show to learn more about this topic, or go to the On Demand page on Issues Etc for other programs. At Issues, Etc., we love our OnDemand listeners!


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