Sunday, November 02, 2008

Election Primer for Catholics

The Charcoal Fire
Friday, October 31, 2008

For those Catholics who want to give some sort of justification that voting for Obama is the moral thing to do, despite his appalling abortion record, the voice of the American bishops has been resounding increasingly and overwhelmingly to the contrary. is reporting that more than 80 bishops have spoken out that life issues have primacy over other issues. Despite what the media would have Catholics believe about the morality of voting one way or another, the Pastors of the Church have another thing to say altogether: Not all issues are interchangeable. The right to life is the prime civil-rights issue of our modern era. Democrats have themselves betrayed Catholic voters by their allegiance to the racist organization Planned Parenthood, and have rendered themselves unworthy of office until they stop clinging to the oppression of women and babies.

No issue comes close in comparison to abortion. To proceed, I must define one term in particular: Intrinsic. Intrinsic (adj.) - belonging to the essential nature of a thing.

When something is said to be intrinsically evil, this means that evil is ingrained in the very fiber of its nature (its "whatness") - i.e., something that is intrinsically evil can never be vindicated by circumstances. "Ethnic cleansing" is a good example of something that is intrinsically evil. "What if a people becomes particularly unruly or a drain on the State," a radical socialist or communist might ask. There would be no grounds for voting for someone who supports genocide because it is intrinsically evil, because there is no circumstance that could justify its acceptance. Forced sterilization is another example of something that is intrinsically evil. What about in the case of overpopulation? No circumstance, however inconvenient for a great number of people, could justify such an intrinsically evil action against women, no matter how dire the circumstances. Any politician who advocated forced sterilization would be unfit for office, unelectable.

So it is with abortion. It is intrinsically evil, always and everywhere immoral. What about in the case of rape or incest? These are dire circumstances, indeed, and situations which call for great compassion toward the victim. However, abortion does not alleviate the crime, as the baby is an individual in his or her own right, regardless of his or her origins (moreover, abortion frequently provides cover that perpetuates the duration of the incest and/or rape crimes). There are other means of emotional therapy that do not involve killing the child. Abortion is intrinsically evil.

These teachings are not my own, but those of the bishops of the Church.

What about in the case of the life of the mother? There are some profoundly rare cases (i.e., not 1.3 million a year) in which a mother's life could potentially be lost should she carry her child to term. What is the answer here? Both child and mother merit the best efforts of doctors and nurses to try and save both. This is a tough decision, an excruciating process for mothers waiting for cancer treatment, or some sort of treatment that would endanger the life of the child within her. Some women have heroically chosen to risk their lives to save the lives of their children. And this is a great sacrifice. But with fetal viability improving with science, these cases are extremely rare.

Here are the words of John Paul II:

"It is true that the decision to have an abortion is often tragic and painful for the mother, insofar as the decision to rid herself of the fruit of conception is not made for purely selfish reasons or out of convenience, but out of a desire to protect certain important values such as her own health or a decent standard of living for the other members of the family. Sometimes it is feared that the child to be born would live in such conditions that it would be better if the birth did not take place. Nevertheless, these reasons and others like them, however serious and tragic, can never justify the deliberate killing of an innocent human being" (Evangelium Vitae, n. 58).

But is not the issue of abortion overwhelmed by the other issues?


At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Steve Ertelt said...

Amen, vote for McCain bc he is pro-life!

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Denice Hanley, DPM, M.Div. said...

Of course. Between McCain and Obama, McCain is the clear pro-life candidate! See Priests for Life voter guide at

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Vote for John McCain, but do not forget to vote for Republican candidates for the House and Senate, especially the absolutely critical Senate seats.

If Obama takes power, Republicans in the Senate will be the only defense we will have against the very damaging Democratic agenda.

At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, the American bishops have ostensibly "decided" that not only is the most important election in US history, is in effect, a one-issue election, the right to life, which I support, but in that strained logic are hoping against hope that John McCain, if elected would see to it that Roe vs Wade, would be reversed, just like the outgoing corruption riddled Bush Administration was going to, I suppose. The same administration, of which Pope John Paul II, said to the same Republican President, would "have to give an account to God," for his actions taken against invading Iraq. There are many scholars and American's who rightly or wrongly, feel that Barrack Obama faces such entrenched ideological enemies both in America, and perhaps within our own government, that his assassination has been considered, perhaps, not only a possibility but maybe even a likelihood. There are a myriad of reasons to feel that the Republican Party has been using the "War on Terror," as a political mechanism to reign in civil liberties, to the point that America will not remain a democracy, in the real sense of the word. I would suggest that it is the Papal Magesterium alone, that is "infallible," and then only on matters of faith and morals. Perhap's the same Bishops who seem to feel that John McCain has a Christlike countenance, should examine THEIR conscience regarding there pronouncements against a true populist against the "moral" imperative of voting for the Candidate of a Party that can barely disguise their indifference to the sufferings of the same "poorest of the poor" who wander the streets of America, asking who cares for us? I wish Saint "Mother" Teresa were alive to address this issue, as she loved the poor, I wonder if the American Bishops can say the same.


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