Kathryn Jean Lopez: "Catholics for Obama?"
(Hat tip: Brian Burch at Fidelis)
Kathryn Jean Lopez finds that it's "a tough case to make":
Can a Catholic be for Barack Obama? ...(emphasis added)
The answer to the question is not up to me. The answer comes to the individual Catholic through prayer and reflection on the demands of his conscience, informed by the teaching of the Church. Neither of those steps can be glossed over. And there can be no mistaking what responsibilities the Catholic voter faces.
Catholics need to know what their Church teaches. Know your candidate. Know abortion isn’t just any issue. It’s a grave offense and betrayal to fail to protect the most innocent human life. If you’re a Catholic who honestly can see how Barack Obama’s election as president won’t contribute to or compound that offence, go in peace. I don’t see it. I don’t see how anyone can see it. And so for those who don’t get a vote, for those who have been mutilated and murdered in the name of “choice,” this Catholic will cast hers against him in November.
[Read the whole thing]
I often give Lopez a hard time at this blog for her commentary that is sometimes, shall we say, less than rational (whether it's her uncritical support for Romney as the "true conservative" candidate, her excommunication of McCain as "not one of us" for his opposition to water-boarding, or her hand-wringing over exit-polling data, to name just a few instances).
But in this editorial, I think she's hit the right tone. Can Catholics support Obama? I've stated many times that I believe the case for voting for Obama can be made, but that it is quite a difficult one to make (and, to date, Catholics like Prof. Kmiec haven't successfully pulled it off). And, once the case has been made that "truly grave moral reasons" exist that would justify such a vote, it is not likely to be one that I would agree with as a prudential matter.
The shorthand that I've given to my view on the matter is that it is inaccurate to proclaim that a pro-life Catholic MAY NOT, under any circumstances, vote for Obama; but it is a reflection of the seriousness of Obama's shortcomings on abortion to say that a pro-life Catholic probably SHOULD NOT vote for him.*
* Which says nothing about what the pro-life Catholic's posture toward McCain OUGHT to be. So far, I have withheld my support for McCain, and will likely continue to do so unless and until he gives some indication that he shares my policy priorities.)