Commonweal Says Taco Bell Can Exploit Workers, Environment

Does Taco Bell have a moral responsibility to justly compensate workers in Florida’s tomato fields?

Does Taco Bell have an ethical obligation to treat its immigrant employees fairly?

Does Taco Bell have a social duty to conserve resources and reduce its environmental footprint?

According to the Catholic Left, the answer to all these questions is “no.” You heard it first in publications like Commonweal and the National Catholic Reporter.

These “social justice” sources openly ridicule the idea that people who operate Taco Bell or any business have a conscience that could be bound by religious duties.

Such esteemedeconomic justice expertsassert instead that the government can coerce Catholics in business to violate their beliefs, because they have no conscience.

Gallicho, Winters and Schneck have therefore “proven” that businesses have no moral duty to do justice to their workers, the community, or the planet. If someone has no conscience, she has no conscience for any purpose.

I’ll bet you thought that left-leaning Catholics actually believed the Catholic faith requires care for labor and the environment. But now we know they quickly throw these faux “social justice” issues right under the Nuns’ Bus when important things like free hormones and electioneering are at stake.

The Catholic Left is leading the way to justify corporate plundering of labor and the environment, by making sure we all know that people in business have no conscience. I can see the bumper sticker now: “Commonweal Mag: Championing Economic Exploitation Since 2012.” Now that’s “progress.”



  • catlady101

    I like tacos

  • tomcj

    I have never heard of your Site before.

    I read your column and was struck at how completely you mis-represent “The Catholic Left”. Either you only want readers who already believe in your sneering defense of whatever it is you are defending or you must think readers will not click on your links.

    Don’t you think that you have an obligation to be truthful? If not to the people you hate on what you call the “left”, to yourself?

    Your argument with Teej is an example of a person willfully ignoring the points that someone has made to him in good faith, and your answers show a frightening level of self satisfaction and shallowness. Ask an intelligent friend, preferably one who has a College Degree, or go to a local college and ask a Professor to read your “argument”.

    There is an aggressive and ignorant flippancy in the original post that gets less informed and more flippant and sadly more aggressive as you continue your policy of non-engagement. It is sad because a human with passion, Teej, exposes the weakness and epic, as young people say, immaturity of your futile attempts at sounding like you are saying something.

    It is clear that there are no editors here, and perhaps this is an undergraduate blog, but, even so, this column and the responses you make are pathetic. Even as an exercise in futility, this page is deeply lacking in pride, even as its intentions are all too obvious and all too juvenile.

    The author’s original entry and then evasion of the polite and devastating exposure of his intellectual lack of formation and lack of integrity is like a high school boy wants to commit what he has been told (but does not believe) is the sin of fornication with his girlfriend, but is too lazy to do anything but write the word ‘bosom’ on a piece of paper in pencil before telling his girl he is too tired to go out that night.

    Please have more pride in yourself, and please take some courses in reading and writing at a local GED Tutorial center or Community College.

  • Liberal Agitator enslaved to G. Soros

    Well, I think it’s great that the Catholic Right is now finally championing workers’ rights to fair wages, decent health care coverage, environmental protections, etc. When will you join the AFL-CIO in endorsing President Obama? And when will you honor Cesar Chavez, a pious Catholic, whose work in organizing migrant farmworkers went a long way in ending their exploitation.

  • Teej

    If I understand their arguments (and yours), I think you might be misunderstanding them. They are not arguing that businesses don’t have obligations to employees or the environment but that, specific to the HHS mandate, secular businesses like Taco Bell cannot properly appeal to religious freedom as the grounds for an exemption which, if I understand you correctly, they should be able to. The HHS mandate in their view is specific to the question of religious freedom and of a different bird then more general labor laws or environmental restrictions. It is an apples and oranges argument that you are making. Not every law that applies to businesses is about religious freedom or conscience.

    • Matt Bowman

      If businesses have no capacity to follow religious beliefs, they have no capacity to follow any beliefs in moral promotion of the environment, labor, or anything but profit. Conscience is conscience, and the lack of conscience is the lack of all conscience.

      • Teej

        They are not arguing about conscience. They are arguing about who, constitutionally, is protected under the first amendment when it comes to regulations levied against a business. They are arguing that a secular business, Taco Bell, even if it is owned by a Catholic, cannot appeal on the grounds of religious freedom in a way that an avowedly religious institution can. There is, from their perspective, a category difference between these types of institutions that makes them, from the perspective of the Constitution, different. In their analysis, they are starting and ending on the level of the institution, whereas you are drilling down further and arguing that such protections should, in the relation to the business the person owns it, apply to the owner as well (on the basis of individual conscience it seems).

        As an aside, while I am not sure where I fall on this question just yet, it would seem to me that there is a potential practical problem with the latter one. If an individual owner can opt out of a regulation(s) because it is in opposition to one’s conscience, that could make a complete mess of the regulatory system, with individual businesses of the same kind opting out of all sorts of things. a further consequence is that where the die is finally cast on this point will prove to be a much bigger issue than healthcare regulations.

        • Matt Bowman

          Your distinction is neither made by liberal Catholics, nor does it make any difference in this discussion, nor is it in the constitution. If someone says business people are categorically excluded from claiming moral obligations, then it necessarily follows that assertions of moral obligations on those people to act justly to workers or the environment etc. would be meaningless. The constitution protects free exercise of religion in any context, it doesn’t have an exception for activities in business. If Catholics advocated that such an exception exists, they would be right back where I say they are: proposing that moral obligations don’t exist for business activities. That is impossible to reconcile with Christianity.

  • Randall

    LOL!!!!!! Well we all knew that “social justice Catholics” weren’t actually Catholics. Turns out they’re not social justice advocates either!!! So, what are they? I’ll tell you: liberal agitators, sent in to our ranks by George Soros to turn us against each other. Folks, it’s not difficult: as soon as you hear a “Catholic” start talking about social justice, it’s time to get rid of them. Ban them from your parish – they are a liberal infiltrator and trust me they aren’t there to receive the Body of Christ (not that they deserve it)!



Receive our updates via email.