Skip to comments.How can Catholics for Obama rationalize their support for the pro-choice candidate?
Posted on 07/13/2008 1:24:13 PM PDT by library user
In his column of June 24, Wall Street Journal writer William McGurn looked at the mostly NARAL-friendly Catholics named to the Obama campaigns National Catholic Advisory Council. Noting that Obama enjoys a NARAL approval rating of 100%, and that while in the Illinois State Senate he voted against a measure similar in intent to the unanimously approved 2002 Federal Born Alive Act, McGurn wonders how the council and other Catholics for Obama can rationalize support for a candidate who stands in such profound contrast to the churchs firm teaching that abortion is an intrinsic evil.
The line of argument is the Theyre-Just-As-Bad-As-We-Are defense. Thus the Web sites that go on and on about Catholic social teaching on war and poverty and greed and the death penalty the implication being, of course, that simply by enumerating all these concerns, you can somehow balance out the Democratic Partys singular commitment to abortion on demand. [link and emphasis mine]
On the surface, that argument seems reasonable so reasonable, in fact, that the ardently pro-life Archbishop Charles Chaput, of Denver, writes of forming his own conscience in just such a way in 1976:
I knew Carter was wrong in his views about Roe and soft toward permissive abortion. But even as a priest, I justified working for him because he was right on so many more of the Catholic issues than his opponent seemed to be. The moral calculus looked easy.
The moral calculus does look easy until one considers that war, torture, the death penalty, poverty, racism, and even the excesses of capitalism those evils so well defined in Catholic social teaching, and of concern to Catholics of all political persuasions are fully present in the act of abortion.
War is a struggle between two evolving powers over who will have dominance; whether just or unjust, it involves the murder of the innocent and the disruption of families. War introduces pain, fire, violence, savagery and torture into societies.
Abortion is a struggle between two evolving powers over who will have dominance; whether justified or not, it involves the murder of the innocent and the disruption of families. A vacuum abortion, saline abortion or a D&C introduces pain, fire, and a limb-shredding, relentless violence deep into the very being of a womans body, within her very womb. A partial birth abortion, which involves inserting a scissor into the base of the skull of a partially delivered fetus, then suctioning out its brain before fully withdrawing the fetus from the birth canal, embodies the sort of savagery and real torture which is the most abhorrent part of any war.
The death penalty is a legal execution of an individual judged guilty of heinous acts against the larger society; convicts are sometimes discovered to have been innocent of the charges made against them only after their lives have been taken. Many consider even the most humane means of execution to be cruel and inhuman, and even when the convict is guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, it may be well-argued that killing a murderer does not bring back the victim and that two wrongs do not make a right.
In an abortion, the fetus is as subject to the death penalty as anyone ever so ordered by a jury; the fetus is always innocent. Even the most humane means of abortion whatever that might be involves cruel and inhuman measures. And even if the fetus in its innocence is the product of a violent and guilty conception, it may be well-argued that one merciless violation cannot be healed by a second equally merciless violation and that two wrongs do not make a right.
Poverty steals hope, exposes the helpless to political, sexual, and economic exploitation (from friend and foe) and defers dreams. It breaks rather than builds and reduces human beings to the status of mere votes or workers or things.
Abortion destroys a hopeful life, exposes the mother and fetus to political, sexual, and economic exploitation (from friend and foe) and defers dreams. It destroys what is being built and reduces a thriving being, species human, to the status of mere products of conception and blobs of tissue.
Racism is the superficial and unjust rejection and/or exploitation of another human being or group of people based on race. Racism works to suppress; it denies opportunity and feeds stereotypes (your kind are not good enough!) Racism has inspired exclusionary rhetoric and genocidal movements, as may be found in the supremacist literature of the KKK. Racism exists to diminish another human.
Abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood have been observed agreeing to a superficial and unjust request to apply donated money toward the destruction of fetuses of a specified race. Abortion works to suppress; it denies opportunity and feeds stereotypes (your kind are too good/too poor/too promising to be punished with a baby!). Abortion has inspired exclusionary rhetoric and genocidal movements as may be found in the elitist literature of Margaret Sanger. Abortion exists to diminish another human.
Capitalism in the imperfect enterprise system by which free markets provide jobs, goods, and services in order to stir economic growth. Its excesses often result in among other things unlicensed or unscrupulous practices and the exploitation of the worker, in pursuit of maximum profit.
Abortion providers are capitalist enterprises that often indulge in among other things unlicensed and unscrupulous practices and the exploitation of women in difficult circumstances, in pursuit of maximum profit.
A Catholic conscience is a complex thing that must rely on more than bumper stickers and impassioned rhetoric. Catholicism does not reject reason for faith but demands integration of the two, and prayerful discernment, before taking any action. It serves both prayer and reason to consider that abortion is not separate from the evils of war, torture, poverty and the rest, but of a piece with them. In fact, abortion supersedes those issues by dint of its personal nature. Government policy affects war, poverty, and the rest, while abortion is like the casting of a vote a personal choice. But it is a personal choice for the physical and intellectual internalization of war, and of torture, and of the death penalty, and of poverty, and of racism, and of capitalistic exploitation.
Thus weighed, the only counterbalance is life.
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1 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion,
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2 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A
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2 From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a "criminal" practice (GS 27 § 3),
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gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent
Notice the Catechism about a grave sin and excommunication. Those Catholics who support Obama are basically excommunicating themselves.
How can Catholics for Obama rationalize their support for the pro-choice candidate?
Obamas director of Catholic Outreach dodges opportunity to reach Catholics
Barack Obama Slams John McCain For Opposing Abortion, Activist Judges
Catholics and Obama
COMMENTARY: Quandry for Catholics At Election Time
The Latest Refinement (Obama on Abortion)
CNN Runs Biased News Story Covering Up Barack Obamas Pro-Abortion Record
Jill Stanek: Obama's biggest lie about supporting infanticide
The Battle for Catholic Voters
New Report Indicates Voters Most Interested in Barack Obamas Position on Abortion
Deal Hudson: Obama and Infanticide?
Ad asks Obama: If fatherhood begins at conception, when does life begin?
Embryonic stem-cell research immoral, unnecessary, bishops say
Catholics should not vote for Obama
Catholic Caucus: It is a sin to vote/support Obama/DNC [abortion]
More Catholics leaning towards Democrats, poll reports (really not Catholics)
The Catholic-Obama Problem (Pope Benedict XVI instructs Catholics about pro-abortion candidates)
Obama's Abortion Bombshell: Unrestricted Abortion....
NARAL Catholics Line Up for Obama
Editorial: Disagreeing with Doug Kmiec One More Time
State-Funded Embryo Research "Makes Taxpayers Complicit in Killing", say Bishops
McCain Meets Privately with Fr. Pavone - Says Constitutional Right to Life Applies to Unborn
Faithful Citizenship: Catholic Vote is very sought after
Has Obama dissolved his Catholic advisory council?
Commentary: Faithful Citizenship and the Formed Conscience
Catholic League: Where's Obama's 'Catholic Advisory Council'? [Not to be found!]
Right-wing Christians beginning to lean left (Misleading headline)
Catholics Debate Obama Vote
US Bishops Urge Voters to Give Priority to Life [Ecumenical]
Corralling the Catholic vote: Political necessity or pipe dream?
DOUG KMIEC: Catholic Reasons for Hope in the General Election
EDITORIAL: Why This Catholic Dreads the Campaign
The Catholic-Obama Problem (Pope Benedict XVI instructs Catholics about pro-abortion candidates)
Thoughts On Roman Catholics For Obama
How Obama's Catholics Will Dodge the Infanticide Question
Catholic Pro-Life Leader Feuds With Barack Obama's "Catholic" Backers
McCain and the Pope: McCain cannot win in November without the Catholic vote (Reagan re-visited?)
Catholics Cannot Vote for Pols Who Support Abortion, Except for Morally Grave Reasons: KY Bishops
Powerful graphic. Thanks.
Seems to me there are people who can rationalize anything.
Catholics who are pro-abortion feel that the Vatican is behind the times. They feel that abortion is a “social justice” issue, in that people shouldn’t be “punished” with a child if they don’t want one. They think Jesus would approve of abortion for these “social justice” reasons. Truly progressive Catholics feel that abortion would be approved of by God because of the concept of “creation care” - Jesus would not want the planet to be too overpopulated and polluted.
Excellent links! Thank you for posting these.
I’m a practicing Catholic and while abortion has never been a campaign changing issue for me in elections, hussien obama’s stance FOR live birth abortions, FOR partial birth abortion and FOR fedreally funded abortion should scare the life out of any anti-abortion voter...
and PLEASE!!!! hussien IS NOT PRO CHOICE- he is PRO ABORTION!!!
Catholics in Name Only.
Because they are just nominal Catholics, and their religion really doesn't mean anything to them anyway.
The Bible isn’t a like the Constitution is (or as they claim it to be), a living document. It doesn’t change with “the times”.
In other words, I want to get into heaven, but I want to get in doing whatever I please.
“I knew Carter was wrong in his views about Roe and soft toward permissive abortion. But even as a priest, I justified working for him because he was right on so many more of the Catholic issues than his opponent seemed to be. The moral calculus looked easy.”
This is the argument of a weak intellect and an even weaker soul. It is not in any way Catholic.
A good question but I don’t think it’s particularly relevant to just Obama. A whole array of Catholic politicians who support abortion have been hugely popular among their constituents - Kerry, Kennedy, Durbin, etc. What to me is most egregious is those who have supported “late term” abortions which are clearly nothing other than infanticide. The real point is not just how a Catholic but any CHRISTIAN can justify this. I think the probable answer is that liberalism, not Christianity, is their ultimate belief system.
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