Thursday, October 30, 2008
DALLAS, Texas, OCT. 22, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Voting for a pro-abortion candidate when there is an alternative option is to cooperate in evil, and therefore morally impermissible, clarified two Texas bishops.
In a message made available to the faithful during this Respect Life month, bishops Kevin Farrell of Dallas and Kevin Vann of Fort Worth seek to "dispel any confusion or misunderstanding that may be present among you concerning the teaching contained in" the U.S. bishops document on faithful citizenship.
"'Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship' clearly teaches that not all issues have the same moral equivalence," the bishops explained. "Some issues involve 'intrinsic evils'; that is, they can never under any circumstance or condition be morally justified. Preeminent among these intrinsic evils are legalized abortion, the promotion of same-sex unions and 'marriages,' repression of religious liberty, as well as public policies permitting euthanasia, racial discrimination or destructive human embryonic stem cell research."
Thus, bishops Farrell and Vann stated, "we cannot make more clear the seriousness of the overriding issue of abortion -- while not the 'only issue'-- it is the defining moral issue, not only today, but of the last 35 years. […] This electoral cycle affords us an opportunity to promote the culture of life in our nation.
"As Catholics we are morally obligated to pray, to act and to vote to abolish the evil of abortion in America, limiting it as much as we can until it is finally abolished."
The prelates acknowledged that there are a number of important issues voters must consider "such as immigration reform, health care, the economy and its solvency, care and concern for the poor, and the war on terror."
"As Catholics we must be concerned about these issues and work to see that just solutions are brought about," they wrote. "There are many possible solutions to these issues and there can be reasonable debate among Catholics on how to best approach and solve them. These are matters of 'prudential judgment.'"
"But," the prelates emphasized, "let us be clear: Issues of prudential judgment are not morally equivalent to issues involving intrinsic evils. No matter how right a given candidate is on any of these issues, it does not outweigh a candidate's unacceptable position in favor of an intrinsic evil such as abortion or the protection of 'abortion rights.'"
Salvation at stake
The Texas bishops, citing the U.S. episcopal conference document, addressed the question of if it is "permissible for a Catholic to vote for a candidate who supports an intrinsic evil -- even when the voter does not agree with the candidate's position on that evil."
They said there are only two conditions when voting for a pro-abortion candidate is permissible: "A. If both candidates running for office support abortion or 'abortion rights,' a Catholic would be forced to then look at the other important issues and through their vote try to limit the evil done; or,
"B. If another intrinsic evil outweighs the evil of abortion. While this is sound moral reasoning, there are no 'truly grave moral' or 'proportionate' reasons, singularly or combined, that could outweigh the millions of innocent human lives that are directly killed by legal abortion each year.
"To vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion or 'abortion rights' when there is a morally acceptable alternative would be to cooperate in the evil -- and, therefore, morally impermissible."
The bishops concluded affirming that the decisions made on such political and moral issues "may affect each individual's salvation."
"As Catholics, we must treat our political choices with appropriate moral gravity," they wrote, "and in doing so, realize our continuing and unavoidable obligation to be a voice for the voiceless unborn, whose destruction by legal abortion is the preeminent intrinsic evil of our day."
I'm glad they brought up Eternal Salvation and how cooperating in the abortion industrial complex can threaten it. I know we can't judge the state of someone's soul, but don't you have to wonder about a Catholic like Senator Joe Biden who said "I strongly support Roe v. Wade....That’s why I led the fight to defeat [Robert] Bork. Thank God he is not in the Court or Roe v. Wade would be gone by now." What's the defense for that on judgement day, knowing that we'll be judged for every careless word we speak?
Ironically, Robert Bork was received into the Roman Catholic church in 2003. But he's not Slow-joe's kind of Catholic since he never got smacked by a Sister with a 18-inch ruler and reportedly has never played Bingo either. Those are the types of things which comprise what Biden calls "the culture". Along with the disregarding of any controversial teaching of the church like "don't kill babies."
[BTW, I know that's a crappy pic of Bork, but the page is good....]
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Hat tip to Roger H from the comments.
Well, maybe there were some of these nut preachers saying stuff like "f*ck America" so when Wright says "God damn America" it's deemed much better, plus it sounds more religious since it has the word "God" in it. Or maybe this was before he turned into a liberation theologian nut-whack. Fat chance.
Also it's funny that Obama has to make sure he tells the mindless zombie interviewing him that his faith isn't traditional or institutional. That's the way people talk when they feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about something.
Our own common sense tells us that not every issue is of the same importance. At various times in history, a people or nation is confronted with an issue that transcends others in importance and that demands a courageous response.
The transcending issue of our day is the intentional destruction of innocent human life, as in abortion. We wish with all our hearts that no candidate and no party were advocating this heinous act against the human person. However, since it is a transcending issue, and even supported in its most extreme and horrific forms, we must proclaim time and time again that no intrinsic evil can ever be supported in any way, most especially when it concerns the gravest of all intrinsic evils: the taking of an innocent life.
We bishops of Pennsylvania quoted from the late Pope John Paul II’s Post Synodal Exhortation on the Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful and I quote him again here: “The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights — for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture — is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination” (Christifideles Laici, 38).
At this moment in our country’s history, defense of innocent human life is a moral responsibility for all of us. The same God who thundered from Mount Sinai: “Thou shalt not kill,” thunders still. When life in the womb is destroyed, God thunders: “This is a child!” When by the most barbaric means, unworthy of any civilized people, the brain of a child is sucked out of his or her head by a vacuum, God thunders: “This is a child!” When a baby is left to die of exposure on a shelf because of a failed abortion, and this is considered a “right” by any leader, God, the Source of all law and authority, thunders: “This is a child!” When we are faced with every modern means of education and communication, in addition to the law placed in our hearts at creation, no one, and most especially, no Catholic, can ever say: “I did not know.”
The human dignity that we proclaim works two ways: it affords us a great privilege but it also demands a responsibility. The feeble defense “I did not know” cannot be used by any responsible person in our time when confronted with the reality of abortion. We do know. We know because we can reason and think and see. Along with this position, which is confirmed by modern science, comes a command: “Thou shalt not kill.” It is not a question of politics but a question of the gravest of intrinsic evils; and just as the reality of what it is cannot be explained away, neither can our responsibility.
Throughout our history, Catholics have earned their right to call themselves patriotic Americans. Faithful citizenship not only includes dying for one’s country or working towards its prosperity, it also includes being faithful to a law which is higher than the expediency of the moment with the same generosity of body and heart, and the same courage that is given on the battlefield and in the workplace. We remind ourselves of this as we continue to be called to faithful citizenship and respect for life in the “earthly city” without forgetting that we are ultimately called to live as citizens of heaven forever.
Yes, we all know it's a child. As Cardinal Arinze recently told an audience, something to the effect of "Why do you need a theologian to tell you abortion is murder? Any second grader in a First Communion class could tell you that." But there are many euphemisms for the claim "I did not know", one being "Answering that question...is above my pay grade."
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
I meant to post this when it appeared in the Washington Times, but here it is now. It's a debate between Barack Obama and Patrick O'Malley when they were both Illinois State Senators. I'll include it in it's entirety; it's stunning to read.
The most telling debate Barack Obama ever had was not with John McCain but Patrick O'Malley, who served with Mr. Obama in the Illinois Senate and engaged him in a colloquy every American should read.
The Obama-O'Malley debate was a defining moment for Mr. Obama because it dealt with such a fundamental issue: The state's duty to protect the civil rights of the young and disabled.
Some background: Eight years ago, nurse Jill Stanek went public about the "induced-labor abortions" performed at the Illinois hospital where she worked. Often done on Down syndrome babies, the procedure involved medicating the mother to cause premature labor.
Babies who survived this, Nurses Stanek testified in the U.S. Congress, were brought to a soiled linen room and left alone to die without care or comforting.
Then-Illinois state Sen. Patrick O'Malley, whom I interviewed this week, contacted the state attorney general's office to see whether existing laws protected a newborn abortion-survivor's rights as a U.S. citizen. He was told they did not. So, Mr. O'Malley - a lawyer, veteran lawmaker and colleague of Mr. Obama on the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee - drafted legislation.
In 2001, he introduced three bills. SB1093 said if a doctor performing an abortion believed there was a likelihood the baby would survive, another physician must be present "to assess the child's viability and provide medical care." SB1094 gave the parents, or a state-appointed guardian, the right to sue to protect the child's rights. SB1095 simply said a baby alive after "complete expulsion or extraction from its mother" would be considered a " 'person,' 'human being,' 'child' and 'individual.' "
The bills dealt exclusively with born children. "This legislation was about preventing conduct that allowed infanticide to take place in the state of Illinois," Mr. O'Malley told me.
The Judiciary Committee approved the bills with Mr. Obama in opposition. On March 31, 2001, they came up on the Illinois Senate floor. Only one member spoke against them: Barack Obama.
"Nobody else said anything," Mr. O'Malley recalls. The official transcript validates this.
"Sen. O'Malley," Mr. Obama said near the beginning of the discussion, "the testimony during the committee indicated that one of the key concerns was - is that there was a method of abortion, an induced abortion, where the - the fetus or child, as - as some might describe it, is still temporarily alive outside the womb." Mr. Obama made three crucial concessions here: the legislation was about (1) a human being, who was (2) "alive" and (3) "outside the womb."
He also used an odd redundancy: "temporarily alive." Is there another type of human?
"And one of the concerns that came out in the testimony was the fact that they were not being properly cared for during that brief period of time that they were still living," Mr. Obama continued.
Here he made another crucial concession: The intention of the legislation was to make sure that (1) a human being, (2) alive and (3) outside the womb was (4) "properly cared for."
"Is that correct?" Mr. Obama asked Mr. O'Malley.
Mr. O'Malley tightened the logical knot. "[T]his bill suggests that appropriate steps be taken to treat that baby as a - a citizen of the United States and afforded all the rights and protections it deserves under the Constitution of the United States," said Mr. O'Malley.
But to these specific temporarily-alive-outside-the-womb-human beings - to these children who had survived a botched abortion, whose hearts were beating, whose muscles were moving, whose lungs were heaving - to these specific children of God, Mr. Obama was not willing to concede any constitutional rights at all.
To explain his position, Mr. Obama came up with yet another term to describe the human being who would be protected by Mr. O'Malley's bills. The abortion survivor became a "pre-viable fetus."
By definition, however, a born baby cannot be a "fetus." Merriam-Webster Online defines "fetus" as an "unborn or unhatched vertebrate" or "a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth." Mr. Obama had already conceded these human beings were "alive outside the womb."
"No. 1," said Mr. Obama, "whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or other elements of the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a - a child, a 9-month-old - child that was delivered to term."
Yes. In other words, a baby born alive at 37 weeks is just as much a human "person" as a baby born alive at 22 weeks.
Mr. Obama, however, saw a problem with calling abortion survivors "persons." "I mean, it - it would essentially bar abortions," said Mr. Obama, "because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute."
For Mr. Obama, whether or not a temporarily-alive-outside-the-womb little girl is a "person" entitled to constitutional rights is not determined by her humanity, her age or even her place in space relative to her mother's uterus. It is determined by whether a doctor has been trying to kill her.
Emphasis mine. Re-read the italicized paragraph carefully, several times if necessary. Cart before horse, anyone? I guess this was before he realized this kind of stuff was above his pay grade.
God help us.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Check out the PD's endorsement of Jim Trakas over Dennis Kucinich.
Kucinich brought a three-inch binder detailing his work in the 110th Congress to our endorsement interview. The first page said it all: Kucinich "won passage of two bills signed into law." One was an innocuous measure to support education related to the Underground Railroad. The second renamed a post office. Bottom line: After a decade in Congress and with his party finally in control of the House, Kucinich remains a sandlot-league legislator, with little ability to make things happen for his struggling district or the myriad causes that consume his time and attention.
Perhaps the story would be different if Kucinich had not spent more than half his term pursuing a second, doomed run for the White House. Or if he had not devoted so much time to an impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney that the House leadership has no interest in pursuing. Of course, Kucinich considers not being a team player a badge of honor. He stood almost alone in opposing the critical Great Lakes Compact on specious grounds. He already is hinting that he will oppose the kind of health care reforms Barack Obama favors - for Kucinich, only single-payer is pure enough.
Independence is an admirable quality in a politician. Being so contrary that you cannot get things done is not. And you can be sure Kucinich's attitude gets noticed: When Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Cleveland this month to learn about alternative energy efforts, her guide was freshman Democrat Betty Sutton of Copley.
Republican Trakas was a middling legislator in Columbus, marginalized by the far-right members of his own party. We're also, quite frankly, disappointed that in addition to running in this race, he is doing campaign work for the pro-casino forces behind State Issue 6.
The people of the 10th District deserve an advocate focused on their needs. This is a tough call, but we think Trakas can be that advocate. He is conscientious, pragmatic and unlikely to be diverted by the bright lights of national politics. His roots on a city council suggest that he'd deliver strong constituent services, as Kucinich has.
Kucinich seems unfazed that his politics have strayed so far from reality that half the Democrats in his district voted against him in the March 4 primary. Perhaps that's because he is virtually certain to win re-election. What Kucinich should understand is that his uncompromising, unrealistic brand of politics is hurting the community he professes to love.
I disagree with Trakas on the casino issue, partly because it's a boondoggle which really won't help the state as advertised, and partly because it's going to increase crime; law enforcement agrees. And I think it's a horrible burden on the poor people who get wiped out by gambling. (Yes, it's their own fault, but I'm a conservative not a libertarian.)
BUT... Kucinich is an absolute disgrace as a congressman. Kudos to Trakas for taking him on. People in both parties have been going up against voter stupidity for years now. I was really hoping Kosar would step up to the plate, but nothing doing.
To help Mr. Trakas kick Dennis out, go here.