Darwin (and Others) on "Topic A": "We should, as Catholics, simply refuse to vote for any pro-abortion-rights candidate"
Darwin makes the case at American Catholic:
... Let us start by recalling why, as Catholics, we recoil at abortion. It is the killing within the womb, a place which has throughout many cultures been used as a metaphor for that which is safe and enclosing, of a child by his own mother. We naturally shrink from a person who kills his own children (Medea remains unwelcome in polite society even to this very day) and there is something particularly odious, perhaps the violation of an implicit hospitality, about the killing of a child in the womb, when it is at its most helpless. So our opposition to abortion as a moral act is simply as a result of its being gravely — nay, revoltingly — wrong.Darwin's American Catholic co-contributor, Donald McClarey, adds this in the comments:
Why is it a legal issue, while other grave intra-familial sins, such as adultery, are not? Because abortions are performed by means of medical technology, and at this place and time in history the medical field is completely regulated by the government. It thus naturally became a matter of law whether doctors should perform abortions. This would have necessitated at least some government involvement either way, but the Supreme Court decided to go all in by making abortion a “right” — thus putting the government in the business of making sure that it was freely available throughout the nation.
Abortion is, thus, both a horrific moral evil and also something in which the government has chosen to involve itself.
If we take both of these facts seriously, I find it hard to understand how we can reconcile ourselves morally with voting for a pro-abortion-rights candidate. For any office. Ever.
... we should, as Catholics, simply refuse to vote for any pro-abortion-rights candidate. It is not a matter of politics or divisiveness or “wedge issues”. It is simply a matter of moral decency.
[Read the whole thing]
As Lincoln said about slavery in letter to A.G. Hodges on April 4, 1864, “If slavery isn’t wrong, nothing is wrong.” Abortion is an evil of such a vast magnitude, the deliberate destruction of the most innocent among us, that it makes a mockery of any pretense that our society has to observing a moral code. In a society where abortion is celebrated as a constitutional right, there is no evil that cannot, and will not, be embraced as a good depending upon passing intellectual fashions and popular prejudices. For Christians not to fight against abortion makes a sham of the faith that we say we have in an all-loving God who shed His blood for our salvation.And my old buddy Rick Lugari contributes this:
... For many of us abortion is the primary issue because it is the most fundamental and glaring injustice of our state. The abortion issue is about the right to life, the fundamental reason for and justification of a state. It’s about being our brother’s keeper, caring for the poor and the least of these, and it’s about caring for the well being of women. Someone who can tolerate or call abortion a good or a right is someone who can go horribly wrong on any issue, if they’re right on another issue now, they’re only right by accident and it can change - for if it’s good to kill an innocent child in the womb because he is inconvenient, how much easier it is to kill handicapped, the infirm, or foreign populations.That last paragraph of Rick's comment echoes something that Regular Guy Paul wrote at his blog yesterday: "What if Catholics Opposed Abortion?"
Unfortunately the victims of abortion are concealed from us. We hear not the screams, we see not the destruction of their bodies, we don’t get to give them a burial, we don’t see the destruction of the mother’s soul, of her body, of her psyche. I think this plays a role in how many Americans, including some Catholics, can be comfortable with the status quo or consider it a lesser of many issues.
If all Catholics in this country, about a quarter of the voters, refused to vote for a pro-abortion politician, we’d be able to convert one party or both from the inside out, not just on the abortion issue, but all other life issues. But as it stands, as a body, we’re quite divided - torn between partisan politics and putting economic issues first. If I’m right, that as an unified bloc, us Catholics could easily transform this country on abortion, other right to life issues, and a host of justice and quality of life issues, it seems a great moral failure of the Church in America.
There's what? 60 million Catholics in the U.S.? That's enough to win a presidential election, even if everyone else opposed us.My Comments:
What if we opposed abortion? All of us, I mean. What if all American Catholics opposed abortion rights, and their exercise? Instead of only half of us, with the other half supporting abortion?
Yeah, yeah, I hear you. None of us support abortion, yeah, right.
No, really, I mean it. What if we all got together, and called a time out? No more abortion. No more infanticide, no more more euthanasia, no more recreational embryo-destructive stem cell research.
What if, somehow, we could make our voices heard?
What if, somehow, we could make both parties understand that abortion is a priority issue for us, and if they want to compete for our vote, they need to get the abortion issue right?
What would happen then?
Would the Democrats nominate a pro-life candidate for president in 2012? They would if all the Catholic Democrats worked and voted for that.
And if that happened, would the Republicans be a bit more careful about issues like war and capital punishment, knowing that those would be next on our list? I rather expect so.
[Read the whole thing]
Excellent contributions to the conversation over the priority of life as a voting issue in this election. Read them all.
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
"Separate But Equal" Redux - Pro-Life Edition
What is the "Pro-Life Position" Regarding Abortion?