Monday, March 8, 2010, 1:42 PM
Joe Carter

On his radio program, Fox News’ Glenn Beck encouraged listeners to leave their church if it proclaims a concern for social justice:

I’m begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. I beg you, look for the words ’social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!”

Listen to the audio here.

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Although many Protestant denomination express concerns about social justice, the term is most closely associated with the social teachings of the Catholic Church. A Jesuit priest, Luigi Taparelli D’Azeglio, coined the term in the 1840s and based the concept on the teachings of Thomas Aquinas.

According to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, “a large part of the Church’s social teaching is solicited and determined by important social questions, to which social justice is the proper answer.” Social justice is even given a section in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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