I have to say I feel abortion is in a totally different catagory than something like welfare.
I am not Catholic, but I am a committed Evangelical Christian. I would not say a person is not a Christian if they support abortion, but I would wonder about their understanding of the Bible and God's word.
If that was the lone problem, that would be one thing. Nobody has perfect understanding. But usually people who say they are Christians yet support abortion have a whole host of areas where they have problems with what scripture says. If you question them, it usually comes down to they don't really believe that the bible is completely true, and sometimes they don't even believe Jesus is God.
I have met many pro-choice "Catholics" that when I start questioning them this turns out to be the case. They are just sort of "used" to being Catholic, they are not one out of any personal conviction.
Dean is a classic example. He says he is a Christian, yet with every word that comes out of his mouth he shows his complete ignorance of what Jesus taught.
To: I still care
I agree that a lot of pro-choice Catholics are not really faithful -- they just grew up being called Catholic and came to accept that identity. I know other pro-choice Catholics who are very faithful -- raise their kids to be believers, attend church every week, teach Bible study, whatever. I think some evangelicals are being genuine when they accuse others of not being "real Christians" or even, a bit outside their own realm, "real Catholics." But others just have an agenda.
Abortion is NOT in a different category than welfare in one crucial respect: the Catholic church has long expressed support for enlarging the welfare state, just as it has expressed opposition to abortion. The Catholic church is also explicitly opposed to the death penalty and to any wars (like the one in Iraq) that don't meet certain criteria. Most evangelical Christians take the "conservative" position on all those: support for the death penalty, support for pretty much any war the president says we need, and opposition to the welfare state. And that's fine -- all perfectly justifiable positions. Just acknowledge that, by an orthodox definition, no Catholic could stray from the Church on any of those other doctrines, either.
Again, I'm no Catholic, so I don't feel the need to do what the Church says.
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