Monday, January 19, 2009

What's So Objectionable About ...

... this statement that Fr. Richtsteig made to the Salt Lake City newspaper about President-elect Obama?

My prayer is that God will enlighten him, keep him safe and help him do a good job. I didn't vote him, and didn't want him but he is our president and I will pray for him and support him in whatever way I can. My fear is that he will undo all the pro-life advances under Bush such as reversing the policy not to fund overseas abortions or reinstituting Bill Clinton's allowance of abortions on military bases. I also very afraid of justices he might appoint to the Supreme Court, including some who come down on the side of ACLU on the separation of church and state. I just hope I'm wrong.
The answer is that there is absolutely nothing objectionable about that reasonable and measured statement. In fact, this is quite a gracious statement from someone who so strongly opposed the election of President-elect Obama.

Nevertheless, Fr. Richtsteig says he has received grief from at least one Obama supporter:

Relatively restrained I thought. But apparently not restrained enough for the Obamabots. I had a 'nice' message on my answering machine this evening from a fellow who was very upset at my comments. I guess this will be what it will be like for the next four years. Criticize the One and the truth squad will be all over you.
So what gives?

I'll tell you what gives. It's not necessarily that the Obama sycophants will brook no dissent (which they won't), but it's that Obama's supporters - even the self-proclaimed pro-life Catholic ones (or, perhaps, ESPECIALLY the self-proclaimed pro-life Catholic ones) - just want abortion to go away as an issue while Obama is running the show. They know that, as long as he's in charge, abortion won't go away, so they just want the viability (no pun intended) of abortion as a political issue to go away. They want the subject to never be brought up. They don't want to bothered with having to hear about abortion for the next 4-8 years. But as long as this "divisive" issue keeps raising its ugly head, President-elect Obama's much-touted "bringing the country together" will prove illusory. And they just can't have that.

This was confirmed for me a couple of weeks ago when a fairly innocuous post I wrote praising the President-elect for his "brilliant" triangulation strategy in inviting Rev. Rick Warren to pray at his inauguration ceremony (a post that briefly mentioned the fact of President-elect Obama's pro-abortion agenda) elicited this comment:

Why not just take this at face value? I think Obama really is trying to reach out and try to bring some unity to this fragmented country.

Does it really do the country any good for you to keep on hating him over one issue? Over a minority position? Over an issue which 2/3 of American support him on?

The only difference between Obama and McCain on abortion is that Obama admitted that abortion was here to stay while McCain pretended he would buck the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Americans and do something about it. (Guess what? He was lying!)

Do you think, maybe, we could just give our President Elect a chance to do something about the war, or the economy, or the heath-care mess, or any of the dozens of pressing issues that face the country today?
This person went on to assert that the issue of abortion is "lost", so we might as well quit bringing it up. Yes, please don't remind us about the horror of abortion, especially when there are "more pressing matters" to attend to. Some "pro-lifer".

But, you see, that's what we had to endure during the election from these folks in order for them to justify their votes for Obama, and it's what we'll have to endure over the next 4 (and possibly 8) years from them. Anything to make the abortion issue moot.

There is absolutely nothing to indicate that the pro-life cause is any more of a lost cause today than it was, say, a decade-and-a-half ago after the Casey decision. In fact, there is every indication that the pro-life movement has made great strides. So, when we hear them say the abortion issue is "lost", we know what they really mean is that they just don't want to talk about it anymore.

Be prepared to continue hearing this from the "pro-life" supporters of Obama every time the issue of abortion comes up. Their objective is to make their assessment of the pro-life movement as a "lost" cause a self-fulfilling prophesy by sowing the seeds of despair among pro-lifers and by dismissing us as a tiny divisive minority trying to create trouble for the President-elect's "unity" efforts.

(Hat tip: Creative Minority Report)

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At 1/19/2009 4:19 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

If these people were really pro-life (Prof. Kmiec, for example, or his devotee at Vox Nova) they would be working to persuade their fellow Democrats at least as energetically as they worked to persuade Catholics to vote for Obama.

Instead, they are trying their best to persuade real pro-lifers that the issue is lost, and that we should just shut up and go away.


At 1/19/2009 4:36 PM, Anonymous David Ross said...

I have a question: What are Douglas Kmiec's pro-life credentials? He is supposedly a life-long pro-life activist, but I had never heard of the guy until he became Obama's apologist.

At 1/19/2009 10:25 PM, Anonymous Michele said...

I know that there are Catholics who want the issue to go away. But don't discount the organized effort that Obama's team will put into convincing people that those who don't agree with Obama are either racists, out of touch or really need to get over it.

I came across a rather startling article in the LA Times online. It talks about a group that Team Obama is starting to support his agenda. Here is a link, I would be interested in knowing your reaction to it:,0,2815566.story


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