A Political Party based on Catholic Social Teaching?
In decades past, the Democratic party has often been largely aligned with Catholic social teaching. But since the 1970’s, that ideological parting of ways has grown dramatically problematic. So, what party can a Catholic get behind? Which parties and candidates can one support? It turns out, there is a growing new party that is based largely on Catholic social teaching.
The party is broadly characterized as conservative on social issues while supporting government intervention in economic matters. They support a universal healthcare system as well as an economy containing widespread distribution of productive property, in particular increased worker ownership and management of their production. The ASP is skeptical of free trade and free market trade policies.
David McPherson says that the American Solidarity Party “affirm[s] … the full spectrum of Catholic social teaching (namely, the teachings regarding the sanctity of human life, the common good, subsidiarity, religious freedom, solidarity, etc.),” as opposed to the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, each of which recognizes only some of these items.
What are the core principles of the Solidarity Party?
- The Sanctity of Life against a culture of disposable human life. They oppose the death penalty and other direct and intentional attacks on innocent human life from conception to natural death.
- Social Justice – Affirm a special responsibility to the most vulnerable members of society and call for structures that uphold the equal value and dignity of each person.
- Community-oriented Society – Humans are created to live in communities. Higher levels of government should exist to serve and support lower levels of authority rather than replace them.
- Centrality of the Family – Natural marriage and family are the central institutions of society and require support and strengthening. The state must advance the wellbeing of families as the primary nurturing environment of children.
- Economic Security – The state and organizations generate economic justice by creating conditions of widespread ownership of property and production. Personal, cooperative, and social ownership are all valid in a just society. Workers’ rights and family wage must be ensured.
- Care for environment – cultivation of good stewardship ought to characterize the relationship between humanity and creation. Government and civil society have a responsibility to protect natural resources now and for future generations.
- Peace and International Solidarity – Peace is the fruit of justice and requires solidarity among nations. Trade policies must advance justice, sustainability, and human flourishing. Diplomatic and non-violent means must be exhausted before violent means can be considered. Military must strictly adhere to just-war principles.
I would encourage everyone to be educated on authentic Catholic Social Teaching as it is distinctive in finding an equilibrium between respect for human liberty, including the right to private property and subsidiarity, and concern for the whole society, including the weakest and poorest. Catholic social teaching is distinctive in its consistent critiques of modern social and political ideologies both of the left and of the right: liberalism, communism, anarchism, feminism, atheism, socialism, fascism, capitalism, and Nazism have all been condemned, at least in their pure forms, by several popes since the late nineteenth century.
Please spend some time reading authentic Catholic social teaching as well as using those principles to evaluate the parties and candidates that come up for elections. Maybe the American Solidarity Party is a good match for you…