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.