Common Ground on the Common GoodPosted: May 10, 2013
Conservative evangelical Michael Gerson makes nice with progressive evangelical Jim Wallis. Check it out here.
The book has broader value in challenging a variety of shallow modern ideologies.
• Contra libertarianism: The common good is not identical to the triumph of market forces. Constructing it is the shared duty of communities, corporations and government.
• Contra modern liberalism: The common good is not identical to the triumph of autonomy and choice. Humans flourish in the context of binding moral commitments such as marriage and family. And the most vulnerable members of the human community deserve special concern and protection.
• Contra secularism: The common good is not achieved by banishing religion from the public square. Religious institutions perform works of mercy, carry ideals of justice and should be sheltered by a generous interpretation of religious liberty.
In a political era of rights talk and special-interest pleading, a greater emphasis on the common good would make American politics more civil, admirable and humane.