David Cloutier was interviewed by Crux on IPR’s recent Erroneous Autonomy conference and how he feels we need to reframe issues to better illustrate our larger commitments. See below.
Conference aims to debunk ‘higher standard of living’ fallacy
Date: Jan. 27, 2017
Author: Charles C. Camosy
Facing poverty, inequality and injustice, Christians can often feel powerless to effect real change to systems and structures. However, if we begin with lifestyle changes, there's a great deal that can be done -- including spending in ways that enhance human dignity and worker rights.
Camosy: Some heavy hitters showed up at this conference. What do you think prompted the event? What were one or two of your most important takeaways?
Cloutier: It was really an honor to take part in an event featuring figures such as Cardinal [Sean] O’Malley [of Boston] and Joan Rosenhauer of Catholic Relief Services. They are doing such important work in the Church today, and to share that conversation with others in politics and culture like Thomas Frank and Richard Trumpka was a particularly important feature of the gathering.
I think the series of “erroneous autonomy” conferences seek to fill a void in our discourse, both in the Church and in American politics. We talk about individual issues a lot, but ignore larger underlying visions or worldviews that emerge and shape how we debate the issues. A key one is this whole idea of autonomy - or freedom - being misunderstood.
It often feels like the only direction the conversation moves, on either left or right, is a direction where we increasingly defend the rights of people to do whatever they want. ...