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Claiming that culture effects values is not “extremism” Catholic analyst says

.- With politics in Washington continually heating up over the culture wars pro-life politicians often being made to look like extremists, one Catholic analyst is trying to show that an anti-life culture plays a massive role in the U.S.‘s often skewed moral values. Deal Hudson, former editor of Crisis magazine has highlighted this battle in his latest column in the Window, showing that Catholic senator Rick Santorum is getting a bad rap from his largely anti-life opponents.

Hudson recalled a Philadelphia Daily News story in which Santorum was recently blasted for his views on the Terri Schiavo case and made to look like a “right wing, religious fanatic.”

Jphn Baer, the columnist who wrote the story cited an article written by Santorum three years ago, in which, according to Hudson, the senator “had described dissent in Catholic education and liberalism in culture as contributing factors to the difficulties in the Roman Catholic Church.”

Baer however, saw it as suggesting, “In other words, Harvard, the Kennedys, Kerry and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts are to blame for priests preying on altar boys.”

Hudson noted that this quickly caught the attention of many, including Senator Ted Kennedy, and said that “the Democratic Party has every gun in their arsenal aimed at Santorum who is being challenged by Bob Casey, Jr., in the 2006 election. Their task will be to make Sen. Santorum look like a religious fanatic, a Catholic extremist of the religious right.”

While the battle plays out on a partisan stage however, many are convinced that the issue has far less to do with right and left than with right and wrong.

Hudson points out that, “Santorum’s point is neither extreme nor fanatical: Culture affects values and influences action. His mention of Boston, almost in passing, could have been replaced by any number of cities, and perhaps American culture as a whole. In fact, in his just-published book, It Takes a Family, Santorum makes that exact point, without any mention of Boston.”

He goes on to say that “If Senator Kennedy is trying to say that Boston’s liberal environment does not influence culture and values, he’s ignoring the evidence of the many Catholic members of the Massachusetts legislature who spoke publicly in support of gay marriage and legalized the creation of human clones for scientific experimentation.”

Hudson continues by citing numerous influence Catholics and non-Catholics who are attempting a brick-by-brick breakdown of the Church’s teaching on life, family and sexuality.

Hudson cites many including Fr. Stephen Schloesser, S.J., an associate professor of History at Boston College, who wrote in a letter to Senator Marian Walsh that, “It seems helpful to me to recall what traditional marriage is: It’s a community's legal arrangement in order to pass on property. In it, a male acquires (in the sense of owning and having sovereignty over) a female for the sake of reproducing other males who will then inherit the property…[E]arly Christianity was really not into marriage and it takes a quick leap of the imagination to spin biblical Christianity" as somehow being part of family values."

He also claims that, "Catholic Canon Law is complicated and fuzzy about these distinctions and Catholic politicians who know almost nothing about Catholicism (Like Rick Santorum and Bill Frist) do not help matters by pretending they do understand it."

Hudson is convinced that Santorum is ready for the fight however. In his closing, he states that “Among Catholic members of Congress, there is no one [else] who has taken a more public stance in defense of the Church.”

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