Charles C. Camosy is a professor of Christian Ethics at Fordham University in New York City who is interested in fostering conversation and solidarity between groups that sometimes find conversation difficult. He believes that “a Roman Catholic understanding of the human person in both its individual and social aspects can serve as a bridge between ‘moral status conservatives’ and ‘social justice liberals,'” which makes him a great candidate for our first-ever Life & Justice Interview. Learn about Charlie’s most recent book here, read Slate’s coverage of the conference he organized on life and choice in the abortion debate here, and learn about his Catholic Conversation Project here.
L&J: You used to keep up a blog called “No Hidden Magenta: Bridging the Gap Between ‘Red and Blue State” Groupthink”. What does “magenta” in this context mean to you?
CC: The phrase hasn’t gone away, especially because my twitter handle is still @nohiddenmagenta, and because a few of my friends and colleagues now regularly talk about “magenta” Catholics and other Christians. Basically, what I mean by this is a person or ideology which doesn’t fit into our traditional, binary (and, in my view, intellectually lazy) categories of liberal/conservative, red/blue state, etc. Too often, people of faith are defined by a secular political party rather than their claimed religious tradition. I don’t think it is too strong to say that, for many Christians, a liberal or conservative ideology has become an idol which is more foundational for them than their religious tradition. Magenta Christians understand their source of ultimate concern to rest in a carpenter from the ancient Middle East, and thus they more easily resist the labels and binary thinking of the last couple generations.