If you’re middle class, then you probably know that you’re part of a dwindling slice of the American pie. Are you feeling like it’s harder and harder to make ends meet? You’re not alone. And while Pope Francis has talked about moral imperatives demanded by global poverty, has he forgotten the middle class?
In 1998 the then-newly-elected Iranian president, Mohammed Khatami, overcame the opposition of hard-line ayatollahs and sought rapprochement with the West, rejecting a decades old foreign policy of confrontation. Many contended that the future for the Islamic world and the West was inevitably a “clash of civilizations”—a conclusion many Western academics and policymakers agreed with.
Last week, Pope Francis issued his most urgent and sweeping indictment of the structural immorality of the global economy to date. It was an astounding talk presented in Bolivia before a conference of popular movements.
When the union’s inspiration through the workers’ blood shall run
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one
For the Union makes us strong –Solidarity Forever
Thus begins the age-old ballad of America’s labor movement, with subsequent verses describing solidarity as a power greater than gold, greater than the might of armies.
This is important. It’s down to the wire and not enough people are paying attention.
I’m grateful to the editors of US Catholic for inviting me to contribute to a weekly blog. As a professor at The Catholic University of America and head of an institute that considers public policy from a Catholic perspective, my engagement in public life takes place at the intersection of religion, policy, and politics. Since this is my first blog, I thought I’d use it to introduce myself a bit by offering my take on the big topic of Catholic culture.