Tuesday, July 08, 2008

National Catholic Register on Catholics, Kmiec, and Obama

The July 13-19 issue of National Catholic Register has a couple of pieces on Sen. Obama, Doug Kmiec, and the Catholic vote:

"Catholics and Obama"
... In history, the direction of America has been changed by political leaders who have strong personalities that make their mark on the country: the noble Washington, Honest Abe, the sunny Ronald Reagan.

The difference, of course, is that the political leaders who changed the direction of the culture are men who share the nation’s founding principles and stick to them.

Douglas Kmiec, a Pepperdine University professor who made his name in the Reagan administration, at the University of Notre Dame and as dean of The Catholic University of America law school, says Obama is such a person, and so is supporting him for president.

He calls him a person of “integrity, intelligence and genuine good will” who “as best as it is humanly possible” will “respect and accommodate” those who disagree with him.

But Obama doesn’t just disagree with certain opponents. His record fundamentally disagrees with the nation’s founding principles.

The best summing up of the nation’s founding principles is in the Declaration of Independence itself: “We hold that all men are created equal … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights … among these are life ...”

Obama’s votes have him on record as believing that some people don’t have the right to life — not just the unborn, but those in the process of being born (he supports partial-birth abortion) and those who have been born accidentally during an abortion (he has helped preserve the practice of “live-birth abortion” ever since he was in the Illinois Legislature).

He also doesn’t think that alert but brain-damaged people like Terri Schiavo have the right to life — he calls voting to protect her the biggest mistake he made in the Senate.

Kmiec says that Obama isn’t pro-abortion because he doesn’t actively promote abortion, but only allows for women to choose it.

That’s not true. Obama doesn’t just want abortion to be a choice. He wants all Americans to pay for abortions, whether we choose to or not.


A President Obama would bring us the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that if enacted would prevent any federal, state or local government entity from restricting access to abortion. It would strike down virtually every state law on abortion.

The stated aim of this legislation is to “end the abortion wars,” by allowing abortion-on-demand in all nine months of pregnancy for any reason and without any restrictions nationwide.


This would eradicate state and federal laws that the majority of Americans support — such as requirements that licensed physicians perform abortions, fully-informed consent, and parental involvement — and prevent states from enacting similar protective measures in the future.

***
Kmiec has said that abortion isn’t necessarily the preeminent issue of our day, because there are other evils to deal with.

The U.S. bishops have given us three reasons why abortion must especially be opposed.


First, because it is intrinsically evil, and thus must “always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned.” State-sponsored killing is an intrinsic evil that outranks nearly everything else.

Second, the right to life is “the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others.”

Third, “A legal system that violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed.”


[More]
(emphasis added)


"Obama, Abortion and Catholics"
WASHINGTON — Few events in recent years have caused as much consternation among pro-life Catholic Americans as Doug Kmiec’s Easter Sunday endorsement of Barack Obama.

After all, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has earned a 100% pro-abortion voting record during his political career in the Illinois and U.S. Senates.

And Kmiec is a pro-life Catholic law professor at Pepperdine University who made his name in the Reagan administration, at Notre Dame University and at The Catholic University of America.

Father Richard Neuhaus, editor in chief of the journal First Things, says Kmiec has it wrong.

“He has now become a voice for Catholics who wish to back for president a candidate who has a long history of unqualified support for the unlimited abortion license imposed by the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973,” Father Neuhaus said in a commentary for the Register about Kmiec’s arguments (see complete commentary, page 12.)

And on the presidential campaign trail, Obama recruited a Planned Parenthood official to campaign on his behalf in New Hampshire, and he earned the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America over rival Hillary Clinton, despite Clinton’s own solidly pro-abortion credentials.

Obama has also made the promise that “the first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act,” a bill that if enacted would prevent any federal, state or local government entity from restricting access to abortion. It would strike down virtually every state law on abortion. The stated aim of this legislation is to “end the abortion wars,” by allowing abortion-on-demand in all nine months of pregnancy for any reason and without any restrictions nationwide.

This would eradicate state and federal laws that the majority of Americans support — such as requirements that licensed physicians perform abortions, fully-informed consent, and parental involvement — and prevent states from enacting similar protective measures in the future.

***
Kmiec said it was wrong to characterize Obama as pro-abortion despite his perfect pro-abortion voting record and his campaigning on an abortion-rights platform with the endorsement of NARAL and leaders of Planned Parenthood.

***
Kmiec said that it’s not accurate to say the U.S. bishops have instructed American Catholics to place abortion ahead of other issues when considering who to vote for, even though the bishops’ November 2007 “Faithful Citizenship” document states Catholic voters should ask political candidates how they plan to “address the preeminent requirement to protect the weakest in our midst — innocent unborn children — by restricting and bringing to an end the destruction of unborn children through abortion.”


[More]
(emphasis added)

My Comments:
The Register has Obama's (and Kmiec's) number. Although I believe the Register has, on a number of occasions, gone overboard in its cheerleading for the pro-ESCR McCain, I'm glad they at least call Kmiec on his disingenuous cheerleading on behalf of Obama, including his outright distortion of the U.S. Bishops' position on the preeminence of abortion as a political issue.


Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Prof. Hadley Arkes: "Political Distraction Among the Catholics"

Doug Kmiec - What He Said Then vs. What He Says Now Re: Constitutional Jurisprudence

What is the "Pro-Life Position" Regarding Abortion?

Doug Kmiec Again Places Platitudes Above Policy [UPDATED]

Traumatized

Unrequited Love

Doug Kmiec: "After Meeting with Barack" [UPDATED]

Cranky Conservative: "But At Least He Says It with a Smile"

Doug Kmiec Again Places Platitudes Above Policy [UPDATED]

Prof. Bainbridge on "Obama, Abortion, & Catholics"

Prof. Rick Garnett on Kmiec's Latest Nonsense

Deacon Keith Fournier: "Why I Disagree with Doug Kmiec, Once Again"

Give It a Rest Already, Prof. Kmiec!

Deacon Keith Fournier: "No More ‘Left’ or ‘Right’, Time for a New Catholic Action"

Doug Kmiec's Newfound Celebrity Status Among Those on the Left

Doug Kmiec Soon To Be Sorely Disappointed

E.J. Dionne on Kmiec Being Denied Communion [UPDATED]

Deal Hudson on Prof. Kmiec and Blurring the Lines Between "Pro-Choice" and Pro-Abortion

Did Doug Kmiec Just Now Catch On That Obama and NARAL Are Politically Conjoined? [UPDATED]

Deal Hudson on "How Obama's Catholics Will Dodge the Infanticide Question"

Kmiec's Dishonesty [UPDATED]

Catholic Teaching and Political Risk Taking: When Credit Isn't Given Where Credit is Due [UPDATED]

Kmiec's Wishful Thinking on Obama and Abortion

The Curt Jester: "Shameless Garment" [UPDATED]

So-Called "Catholic Reaganite" Doug Kmiec Endorses Obama [UPDATED]

"No'bama for Me, Thanks"Can a Catholic Vote for Obama?

Obama's Pledge to Planned Parenthood: “I Will Not Yield"

Deal Hudson: "Barack Obama's Catholic Problem"

"Why American Catholics are Supporting Barack Obama"

Catholics at the Ballot Box

"How the Catholic Left Will Tackle McCain

Why Does Kmiec Criticize McCain for Positions on Which He Gave Romney a Pass?

Deal Hudson on "Douglas Kmiec and the Lure of Obama"

Douglas W. Kmiec on "The Moral Duty to Inquire"

Professor Bainbridge: "Will Catholic Reaganites Go for Obama?"

Deal Hudson: "Preacher Man: Barack Obama and the the Gospel of Liberalism"

"Sorry, Doug Kmiec, But This Catholic Isn't Buying Obama"

Ramesh Ponnuru on Douglas Kmiec and "Catholic Reaganites for Obama" [UPDATED]

Romney Advisor Says Obama "a Natural for the Catholic Vote"

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