Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bill Donohue: "I'm Catholic, Staunchly Anti-Racist, and Support David Duke" [UPDATED]

The Catholic League's Bill Donohue offers up this parody of certain prominent pro-life Obamaphiles:
I believe racism is an unspeakable evil, yet I support David Duke, who is pro-racism. I do not support him because he is pro-racism, but in spite of it. Is that a proper choice for a committed Catholic?

As someone who has worked with minorities all his life, I answer with a resounding yes. Despite what some say, the list of what the Catholic Church calls "intrinsically evil acts" does not begin and end with racism. In fact, there are many intrinsically evil acts, and a committed Catholic must consider all of them in deciding how to vote.

Last November, the U.S. bishops released "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," a 30-page document that provides several examples of intrinsically evil acts: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, torture, racism, and targeting noncombatants in acts of war.

Duke's support for racist rights has led some to the conclusion that no Catholic can vote for him. That's a mistake. While I have never swayed in my conviction that racism is an unspeakable evil, I believe that we have lost the racism battle -- permanently. A vote for Duke's opponent does not guarantee the end of racism in America. Not even close.


Deal Hudson writes that one prominent pro-life Obama supporter, Dr. Nicholas Cafardi, has resigned from his position on the Board of Directors at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Let me say that I think this is an unfortunate development, and I don't believe anyone should be gloating over this result. While I disagree with Dr. Cafardi's and Prof. Kmiec's decisions to publicly support Sen. Obama, I don't think it merits their resigning their positions from prominent Catholic institutions or being denied Communion or anything of that sort.

Let me reiterate what I've said here many times: I DO NOT think it is immoral or objectively evil or putting one's soul in jeopardy for someone to make the prudential determination to cast one's vote in favor of a "pro-choice" candidate for office, as long as one is voting for such a candidate despite that candidate's views on abortion. I am uncomforable with those who proclaim that such a vote is forbidden. I believe that a Catholic should not vote for such a candidate, but it goes too far to say that one may not do so.

The thrust of my diatribes against Prof. Kmiec and Prof. Gaillardetz (and, by extension, Dr. Cafardi - who I haven't addressed on this blog until now) is NOT that they have decided to support Sen. Obama, but rather that they've twisted the pro-life argument and the teachings of the U.S. Bishops on the matter of abortion and overturning Roe v. Wade in order to come up with a pro-life reason for their doing so. I believe their efforts risk misleading people about what the Church teaches on this matter, and I vociferously object to that.

I'll say it again: if you believe that there are "prorportionate and/or truly grave moral reasons" for supporting a "pro-choice" candidate despite that candidate's position on abortion, then, by all means, vote for that candidate. But don't pretend that your reasons for doing so are in any way to advance the ball on reducing abortion.

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At 10/07/2008 2:56 PM, Blogger Darwin said...

According to the LifeSiteNews article I saw on Cafardi's situation (and keeping a little skepticism as I don't always trust LifeSite) apparently Cafardi had given as one of his reasons for endorsing Obama that "the pro-life movement is dead".

As a Steubenville alumnus, I can imagine a lot of the students making it very, very uncomfortable for someone who'd given that as a reason for endorsing Obama. And frankly, it strikes me as a pretty stupid pronouncment (if accurately reported) on his part.

Whether one should resign from boards because of saying stupid things is, I suppose, a matter of opinion. But if the report is accurate I can't say it sounds like much of a loss for FUS.

At 10/07/2008 3:41 PM, Anonymous Boethius said...

Jay, you said: "'if you believe that there are 'proportionate and/or truly grave moral reasons' for supporting a 'pro-choice' candidate despite that candidate's position on abortion, then, by all means, vote for that candidate. But don't pretend that your reasons for doing so are in any way to advance the ball on reducing abortion."

Jay, I respectfully disagree with you on this. "Proportionate reasons" has a precise meaning and it is not to be rendered subjective, which is what your interpretation suggests. A "proportionate reason" would have to be something comparable to the intrinsic evil which is at issue, i.e. another intrinsic evil of similar magnitude.

Now, determining whether another intrinsic evil is of similar magnitude would require the use of the prudential judgment of a well-formed conscience. To this date, I have not heard one argument in favor of Obama which has produced a "proportionate reason" for voting for him despite his support of legalized abortion. Instead, liberal Catholics have followed Kmiec's route of justifying Obama's abortion position (which you have rightly and repeatedly condemned) or have offered various other reasons for their support of Obama (to help the poor, provide universal health care, because they oppose war). All of these issues, however, involve the application of prudential judgment to determine which policies are best. Such issues can never be used as a "proportionate reason" to justify a vote for Obama.

I, therefore, echo Archbishop Burke: "What is a proportionate reason to justify favoring the taking of an innocent, defenseless human life? That’s the question that has to be answered in your conscience. What is the proportionate reason? . . . It is difficult to imagine what that proportionate reason would be."

At 10/07/2008 8:22 PM, Blogger Fredi said...

And I echo Boethius' comment.

At 11/12/2008 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Boethius, help me out here. According to your line of thinking, if David Duke had been running against Barack Obama, then Catholics would have been obliged to vote for Duke because he is the "pro-life" candidate and no other issue is proportionate to abortion, correct?


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