Tuesday, May 13, 2008

from America magazine, a Jesuit publication

In All Things

Abortion Politics Part I – The Paleo-Cons
Michael Sean Winters

If I were ever inclined to become a conservative Republican, I would only have to read the latest press release from Bill Donohue's Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights to be dissuaded. Donohue has called for Obama's Catholic Advisory Board to resign en masse because none of them "stand with the Catholic Church on all three major issues: abortion, embryonic stem cell research and school vouchers." School vouchers? How did that become one of the "three major issues" upon which Catholics should base their votes? More importantly, the chair of Obama's advisory board is pro-life Senator Bob Casey. He is joined by pro-life former Congressman Tim Roemer and pro-life Governor Tim Kaine. So, the factual basis for Donohue's demand is shoddy from the start.

It is where Donohue finishes, however, that is most disturbing. He falsely asserts that Obama "led" the effort to deny protection to babies born after a botched abortion. He labels this "a Hitlerian decision." As a general rule, when you find yourself using Nazi analogies for American politics, you have lost the argument. If Donohue really wants to change America's legal tolerance of abortion, then he needs to engage in the hard but noble task of persuading those who currently disagree with him that they are wrong. The adjective "Hitlerian" is not likely to incline their ears or their hearts to his case.

Donohue is a comic figure, but Deal Hudson is more a tragedian. Hudson played a critical role in soothing Catholic sensibilities for then-candidate George W. Bush in 2000 after Bush gave a speech at Bob Jones ("Rome is the Whore of Babylon") University. When Bush "won" the election, Hudson and many Catholic conservatives acted as if the eschaton was at hand, having created a political alliance with conservative evangelicals that they believed would dominate politics for decades, an alliance that has never quite materialized as they wished.

Hudson has entered the current debate to defend Donohue. He argues that Obama's supporters are wrong to suggest the GOP may be right about abortion but wrong about everything else. "Obama's Catholics talk as if a Republican never had a thought about healthcare, immigration, poverty, taxation, and so on," he opines. The problem is that Republicans think wrongly on these issues as far as Catholics are concerned. Even John McCain, who once championed the human dignity of immigrants, has had to abandon his comprehensive immigration reform proposal in order to appease the Republican base. His health care proposal does little to help the poor. And, he flip-flopped on taxes for the wealthy, discarding his once principled stand against huge give-aways to the wealthiest Americans.

The deeper problem with Catholic conservatives is that they have been complicit in the reduction of religion to ethics that was largely responsible for the inability of the Catholic Church to mount a more effective opposition to legalized abortion in the first place. Once abortion became a "moral issue" the pro-life movement was bound to fail. The issue of abortion needed to reach deeper than ethics, into the most fundamental existential questions the human person can ask: Who am I? What is personhood? What are the obligations of the commonwealth to persons? When the Church is reduced to being an ethical authority, it has lost its deepest self-awareness, and can no longer enter a political discussion as the Church. This was a danger the conservatives never perceived because they were too busy giving interviews: allowing yourself to become an ethical authority was a sure-fire way to gain access to the media.

So, this is where the paleo-cons stand in 2008. They will rant. Hopefully, no one will listen. Tomorrow, we will look at what more thoughtful conservatives are saying in this election year.


Rustler45 said...

Well that's just wonderful!!!

Obama is only the lesser of two evils. The Democratic Party gives us its BEST--Obama and Hillary! Two left-wing, MARXIST wacko, lunatics is the best they can produce from the entire Democratic Party.

The Republicans give us McCain. A loser, but it will be a landslide defeat for the Democrats because either one of their two losers are so much worse that funny is not good enoungh to describe it!!

Catholics for Obama???? You CANNOT be a serious Catholic or even a mediocre Catholic and be a Democrat at the same time.

Katherine are you going to ban me???? huh huh huh?????

Matt Talbot said...

Looking forward to the next installment, Katherine :)

Rustler45 said...

Jesus may love you, but it's the same as He loved the Pharisees.

Matt Talbot said...

Wow - you already have trolls, Katherine! Sort of a badge of honor - the Nutcase Right must feel awfully threatened by you :)

Katherine said...

Mr. Rustler, my dear brother in Christ, not only would I not ban you, I hold you up as a McCain conservative honestly speaking his mind and hope all of America looks upon you as such!

Matt said...

I was happy to just add you to my blogroll, Katherine :)

Katherine said...

Dear Matt,

I have returned the favor. Bless you!


Rustler45 said...

MATT CHIRPS IN: Wow - you already have trolls, Katherine!

RUSTLER REPLIES: Of course Matt. Anyone who doesn't agree is just a "troll." You cannot argue a point so naturally you as a non-thinker knee jerk a label. I understand completely.

MATT SAID: Sort of a badge of honor - the Nutcase Right must feel awfully threatened by you :)

RUSTLER ASKS: Really Matt? Now just explain what threat I must feel.

I am waiting for your dummass response.

Rustler45 said...

"I suggested once to my dear conservative friend Msgr. Horzensphart..."

Katherine, tell me. Did you make up that name or is that his real name?

"I got a look from him like he was about to call me something that rhymes with 'rich.'"


Maybe he is on to something!

Anonymous said...

Obama Is the Most Pro-Abortion Candidate Ever

By Terence P. Jeffrey
CNSNews.com Editor in Chief
January 09, 2008

Terence JeffreyBarack Obama is the most pro-abortion presidential candidate ever.

He is so pro-abortion that he refused as an Illinois state senator to support legislation to protect babies who survived late-term abortions because he did not want to concede -- as he explained in a cold-blooded speech on the Illinois Senate floor -- that these babies, fully outside their mothers' wombs, with their hearts beating and lungs heaving, were in fact "persons."

"Persons," of course, are guaranteed equal protection of the law under the 14th Amendment.

In 2004, U.S. Senate-candidate Obama mischaracterized his opposition to this legislation. Now, as a presidential frontrunner, he should be held accountable for what he actually said and did about the Born Alive Infants Bill.

State and federal versions of this bill became an issue earlier this decade because of "induced labor abortion." This is usually performed on a baby with Down's Syndrome or another problem discovered on the cusp of viability. A doctor medicates the mother to cause premature labor. Babies surviving labor are left untreated to die.

Jill Stanek, who was a nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., testified in the U.S. Congress in 2000 and 2001 about how "induced labor abortions" were handled at her hospital.

"One night," she said in testimony entered into the Congressional Record, "a nursing co-worker was taking an aborted Down's Syndrome baby who was born alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents did not want to hold him, and she did not have the time to hold him. I couldn't bear the thought of this suffering child lying alone in a Soiled Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived."

shiloh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shiloh said...

Yes, Katherine, as Matt says you have your own personal troll, whom responds to all your posts. rustler45 must go to sleep at night dreamin' of you ... ok, he never sleeps, he's at your site 24/7, 365 days a year.

I am jealous! ;)

btw, I went to Walsh Jesuit HS, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio ~ wiki

carry on