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Calling out from the Liberal Echo Chamber

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Mark Gordon writes today on his blog about Breaking Open the Liberal Echo Chamber on the Aleteia web site. (no code in that title) The main theme of his essay seems to be that abortion is the key issue for liberals and that are views are monolithic. Hardly unless you are a Democratic National Convention delegate from both NEA and NOW. You can find his essay at

Mark walks the talk in his charitable work (he is the chair of his St. Vincent DePaul chapter and runs a homeless shelter), but he seems to be throwing up strawmen in his argument. While there are liberal feminists who indeed make the right of bodily self control absolute, and with good reason, there are other liberals who simply reject the criminalization not for some feminist agenda but because the prohibition on abortion simply does not work out the way the designers want - in much the same way the prohibition on alcohol and the current war on drugs are abject failures.

I have a formulation that would make Gordon's head spin. It is where the General Will meets the Thomistic idea of free will as chosing among the alternatives presented to it - each of which have elements of the Good but none being the pure Good - which is God in direct face-to-face contact (not just by teaching). If each person has that Thomistic free will than the General Will argument against abortion regulation is clear - the extent to which the General Will is not unanimous is the extent to which a police state is necessary to enforce lesser agreement. Whether the Enlightenment wards of the Inquisition or not is not a matter of philosophy as much as respect for the Divine Right of Conscience defeating the Divine Right of Kings (or the Magisterium itself). The Inquisition, now the CDF, has only as much power as we ourselves give it. I tend to ignore them unless I can get a good blog post out if it.



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