Speaking about Obama and abortion at the DNC, Bob Casey, Jr. said this:
“I know Barack Obama and I believe that as president, he’ll pursue the common good by seeking common ground, rather than trying to divide us.”
I wholeheartedly agree that we should seek the common good and that common ground plays an important role. If Obama and Casey are truly interested in the common good, however, they would be wise to change their approach to common ground on abortion.
Instead of simplistically "mov[ing] past some of the debates around which we disagree and ... talking about the things we do agree on," they'd use the goodwill of common ground to hit the core disagreement head-on: What is the unborn?
Assuming that the unborn isn't a human being by turning our eyes to other things (even very important things like reducing unwanted pregnancies) doesn't help. We're still left with a legal situation in the US that treats over a million of them each year as medical waste. If the unborn aren't human beings, that's possibly a promotion of the common good. But if the unborn are human beings, talk of "common good" and "common ground" while we overlook the destruction of a whole class of people is only that: talk.
Isn't it odd to speak of the "common good" when just this week we have heard both Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi go mute on the question of when human beings begin? What is the common good anyway, but the good of all human beings taken as a collective whole? If we can't judge who is a human and who is not, how can we discuss the good of those humans? (It's no matter. If Obama, Pelosi, or anyone else doesn't know who is a human, they can't reasonably keep abortion legal. After all, if you don't know what something is, how can you kill it?)
No, talk of the common good and common ground is only helpful if we resolve to ... well... resolve these things. That's where real unity can be found, in using our dialogue to actually get closer to the truth together. Otherwise, we are settling for a veneer of unity, one that will never satisfy.