Monday, November 17, 2008

Lay Catholics Take Lead in Changing the Conversation on Abortion


Catholic voters' shift
Why the flock disregarded some bishops' advice and helped sweep Barack Obama into office
By Patrick Whelan and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
November 16, 2008


Catholics voted decisively in this month's election for Barack Obama, 54 percent to 45 percent, according to exit polls. This was a big reversal from four years ago, when Catholics favored George W. Bush by 5 percentage points. Now the debate is on. The U.S. Bishops, meeting last week in Baltimore, wrestled with the implications of election results that showed Catholics rejecting the dictates of the most conservative and outspoken bishops, who urged parishioners to vote Republican.


The putative argument for these bishops was that only Republicans are sufficiently pure on the abortion question. The facts show otherwise. Analysis of abortion statistics over the past 28 years demonstrates that Democrats do a better job of reducing the number of abortions than Republicans. Significantly more progress was made against abortion during the Clinton administration than during any of the three Republican administrations that preceded or followed it.


Overall, the national abortion rate fell about 50 percent faster under President Bill Clinton than it has under President George W. Bush. We conservatively estimate that an additional 274,800 children might be alive today had abortion rates continued to drop during the first five years of the Bush administration at the same rate that they fell during the same period under Mr. Clinton.


In other words, while the Republicans have been focused on laws such as the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act that have not been proved to have stopped even a single abortion, the Democrats oversaw meaningful reductions.


What was stunning about this election is that a number of leading pro-life Catholics, including some staunch Republicans, switched their allegiance to Barack Obama. Law professors M. Cathleen Kaveny, Douglas W. Kmiec and Nicholas P. Cafardi joined groups like ours in vigorously advancing abortion-reduction strategies. Indeed, Mr. Obama included these strategies - such as expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program, expanding prenatal care and facilitating adoption - in the Democratic platform for the first time. We believe such strategies have been shown to be much more effective than the Republican focus on promoting the possibility that some abortions in some smaller states might be made illegal if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned someday.


When the Democrats used Catholic language to advance the reduction strategies, Republican operatives, conservative columnists and some bishops accused the Obama advocates of "misusing" the bishops' words to support the more liberal candidate. A few, such as Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City, went so far as to suggest that a trip to hell was the likely outcome for voters who marked Mr. Obama on their ballots.


All this talk about abortion and the need to vote Republican demonstrates what is really at the heart of some of the bishops' concerns: They wanted the Republican to win. But Catholics care about many issues: torture, war and peace, health care, immigration - as well as how to be a good neighbor, how to care for the least among us and how best to work for the common good.


That is what most of the bishops care about too. In fact, bishops have told us in private that they applaud our efforts to advance a Catholic ethos within the Democratic Party. We hope that in the course of their deliberations, these bishops will speak out and recommit to the "faithful citizenship" ideas that represent the heart of Catholic teaching.


This election has demonstrated that American Catholics want leaders who are serious, deliberative and have a sense of gravitas about the questions confronting us. Pope Benedict XVI has reached out to President-elect Obama, and there is a new spirit alive in the Vatican for focusing on the big questions of our day. We stand ready to join our bishops, in this moment of new hope and opportunity, to work for the common good.


Dr. Patrick Whelan, a pediatric specialist, is president of the Catholic Democrats. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a former lieutenant governor of Maryland, is on the group's board.

34 comments:

shiloh said...

Just the facts: 1) No one is in favor of abortion! one is either pro-life or pro-choice and you can use firmly held religious beliefs or firmly held constitutional beliefs to justify being on one side or the other.

Suffice it to say, it's a very personal decision for a teen or woman to have or not to have an abortion, for whatever reason.

2) Religions don't live or die on one issue, the Bible encompasses multiple issues in God's teachings and to base one's political vote on one specific issue is totally narrow-minded, imo.

3) As the article indicates, there were less abortions under the Clinton administration than Bush43. Maybe planned parenthood and sex education, etc. ain't such a bad thing, eh.

4) As I have stated previously, republicans don't really want to overturn Roe v. Wade, they want to keep it as a wedge issue because it's a cash cow when it comes to fund raising!

5) Off/Topic: Imagine the outcry from James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Hannity, etc. if it was the Obama's who had a 17 year old unwed pregnant daughter instead of Sarah Palin !!! ... 'nuf said!

take care, blessings

Anonymous said...

Shiloh,
You are an idiot.

Rustler45 said...

"Dr. Patrick Whelan, a pediatric specialist, is president of the Catholic Democrats."

He needs to stick to medicine. I hope he's better at pediatrics than he is at politics or religion.

shiloh said...

Anonymous said...

Shiloh,
You are an idiot.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanx for sharing ...

take care, blessings

Rustler45 said...

This article is like Shyster's post--one lie after another.

"Catholics voted decisively in this month's election for Barack Obama, 54 percent to 45 percent, according to exit polls."

The statistics I found said that Church going Catholics voted 54% for McCain and 45 for Obamma.

Church going Catholics are the only ones that count and even then we have a high percent of dissenters who either do not know their faith or chose to ignore it.

We have at least two generations of uncatechized Catholics in the pews as we speak. Shilow being an excellent example of one of those as proved by his comments.

shiloh said...

Rustler45 said...

Church going Catholics are the only ones that count
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No Rust, every vote counts: Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, agnostic, young, old, black, white, yellow, red, gay, straight ... which is why Barack Hussein Obama is America's 44th President !!!

take care, blessings

Anonymous said...

No Shiloh
when you are counting how many Catholics voted for what, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, agnostic, young, old, black, white, yellow, red, gay, straight ... do not count. You really have problems keeping a single line of thought, don't you Shiloh? You really need to stay with blogs of kids your own age. Grown-ups tire of you very quickly.
nuf said?

shiloh said...

Anonymous said...

Grown-ups tire of you very quickly.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And yet you and Rust reply to all my posts, eh. OK, many times Rust replies 4/5/6/7/8 times to one of my posts lol must give credit where credit is due.

Sooo, have a nice day anonymous, won't be expecting any more replies from you if you are indeed a grown-up and tire quickly ;) too funny!

take care, blessings

Anonymous said...

A Dangerous Time to be a Black Baby
by Anne Hendershott
October 28, 2008 Printer Friendly
Nearly half of all African-American pregnancies end in abortion, and social inequality isn't the only reason why.

It's never been a more dangerous time to be a black baby. While overall rates of abortion have declined to the lowest level since 1974, the Guttmacher Institute recently reported alarming increases in racial disparities between the rates of abortion for black and white women. Analyzing more than 30 years of data collected directly from abortion providers, Guttmacher found that black women's abortion rates are now five times greater than those of white women.

Currently, white women's rates of abortion have declined to 10.5 abortions per 1,000 women while black women's rates are an alarming 50 abortions per 1,000 black women. Put in terms of actual pregnancies, the figures are shocking: Nearly half of all African American pregnancies end in abortion. Since 1973, the number of abortions by African American women has totaled more than twelve million.

In some localities, including Mississippi, Louisiana, Maryland, and Georgia, more than half of all abortions are performed on black women. Similar rates are found for black women in New York City. And while the typical response from those supporting abortion rights is to dismiss the racial disparities by blaming income inequality for the growing minority face of abortion, the reality is that this phenomenon more likely reflects the emergence of a culture of abortion in the black community--where today, abortion facilities are as much a part of the urban landscape as dollar stores.

Indeed, the real cause for the disparities between black women and white women is far more complex than social inequality. The Reverend Clenard Childress, president of the largest African American evangelical pro-life group in the country identifies abortion providers like Planned Parenthood as marketing abortion services directly to black women. On his website, blackgenocide.org, Childress maintains that 90% of Planned Parenthood's abortion centers are in or near minority communities. He knows that their presence in the black neighborhoods decrease the stigma of such services by signaling social approval for the abortion decision--what economists call ''reducing the psychic costs'' of terminating an unwanted pregnancy.

The sad reality is that when an abortion clinic is located in the neighborhood, residents are more likely to see it as just another neighborhood service--like coffee shops and nail salons. Children grow up in urban neighborhoods seeing abortion clinics on their street corners. As they walk to school each day, children pass the very people on their sidewalks that provide abortion ''services'' to their own sisters--or their mothers.

Day Gardner, founder and president of the National Black Pro-Life Union in Washington told a reporter for the Los Angeles Times that the high abortion rates for black women '' . . . doesn't have as much to do with poverty as the fact that the abortion facilities are there--ingrained in the neighborhoods . . . This is a silent killer among us.''

Once the culture of abortion is established, the resistance of those who live there begins to break down. For Childress, ''the early seduction of black Americans by the Birth Control League and Margaret Sanger's eugenics programs set into motion today's dilemma.'' From the beginning, the birth control movement's ''Negro Project'' was especially appealing to eugenicists determined to check the climbing birthrates of those they defined as the ''unfit.'' This Planned Parenthood commitment to population control for blacks continues today. Last February, students from The Advocate, a student magazine at UCLA, released phone recordings of Planned Parenthood fundraising staffers approving of a donor who claimed he wanted his money to help ''lower the number of black people.'' In an undercover investigation, the students discovered that Planned Parenthood staffers were more than happy to accept contributions from a caller posing as a donor stating ''the less black kids out there the better.''

The belief that encouraging abortion for blacks will benefit society continues today--even within academia. Professors John Donohue and Steven Levitt of the University of California at Berkeley provided a powerful economic argument in favor of abortion that relied on the same stereotypes first promoted by the eugenicists of the Sanger era. In a paper published in the U. C. Berkeley Law and Economics Working Paper Series, No. 2000-18, entitled ''The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime,'' Donohue and Levitt use elaborate mathematical models to marshal evidence that legalized abortion has contributed significantly to crime reductions. Directly addressing the effects of race and abortion on crime rates, Donohue and Levitt conclude that more abortions by African American women will result in fewer homicides for society. They write: ''Given that homicide rates of black youth are roughly nine times higher than those of white youths, racial differences in the fertility effects of abortion are likely to translate into greater homicide reductions.''

For the pro-life community--and beyond--such assertions suggest racism. For the Reverend Johnny Hunter, leader of the organization Blacks for Life, ''abortion is racism in its ugliest form.'' At one time, other black leaders agreed. Take just one example. Back before all Democrats running for national office were required to hold a pro-choice position, Jesse Jackson argued that the privacy argument used to justify the Roe decision was--as he put it--''the premise of slavery.'' Relating the right to abortion to the right to keep slaves, Jackson noted that ''one could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside of your right to be concerned.'' But Jackson abandoned that position long ago--when he realized that a pro-life position was a liability in the Democratic Party.

Beginning this month, New York City's subways will display more than 1,000 pro-life ads--they are ads aimed at the very same urban women that abortion providers have been targeting for decades. In a campaign that echoes the ''change'' theme of the current presidential campaign, the ''Abortion Changes You'' subway message will be hard to ignore. The 22-inch eye-catching subway placards feature the voices behind real, personal abortion experiences--especially the plaintive voices of young black women who have been changed by their abortion and regret their decision to abort their babies. The black community has already been changed by abortion. At a time when 50 percent of their unborn children are aborted, many within the black community are beginning to recognize that their community has been devastated by abortion. Someday it is possible that their pro-choice political representatives will recognize this too.

Anne Hendershott is Professor of Urban Studies at the King's College in New York City. She is the author of The Politics of Abortion (Encounter Books, 2006). She is a contributor to Public Discourse.

FinishTheRace said...

Hey Shiloh & Kurt, do you guys claim to be on the side of life? If so, how many letters have you written to Pres-Elect Obama advising him of your dismay with his promises to fund abortions here and abroad, denying parents the right to know of their 13 year old daughter is obtaining an abortion, making partial birth abortion legal, increases in federal funding of embryonic stem cell research and supporting DOMA?

If you have, please post your letter here so that we know that there is truly "hope".

If my post is deleted or if there is no response I can make the leap that a letter of this type was not written and I can dust off my sandles.

Jesus said in Matt: 11:30 - "iugem enim meum suave est, et onlus meum leve"

Katherine said...

Professor Hendershott offers a very interesting analysis. Abortion rates are high in the Black community. The professor is quick not to suggest that it has to do with immorality among Black women. She notes social factors. She rightfully notes that "the real cause for the disparities between black women and white women is far more complex than social inequality."

I would agree with the Professor that social inequality is part of the issue, but it is more complex than that.

Planned Parenthood has long been in these neighborhoods. While it could have been done sooner, it is a welcome development that the pro-life community is realizing that it can't stay in the suburbs but that it too has to be present in minority neighborhoods. The subway ads are a welcome development to seek to educate women on life concerns and help them with crisis pregnancies.

Kurt said...

Dear FinishTheRace,

Actually, I am part of a pro-life group that meets regularly with the Obama campaign and now with officials from the Transition Team, that has raised the concerns you mention as well as discussing ways to work with the Administration to reduce the incidence of abortion.

Thank you for asking.

Kurt said...

P.S. I didn't notice your mention of DOMA. We have not raised that issue as we don't consider it a pro-life concern.

sean said...

Kurt,

I don't know how successful you will be with Obama, but I guess you can't do any worse than those who had the strategy of backing the presidential campaign of the GOP's greatest failure since 1964.

jay said...

I find the following statement from the article rather problematic:

"The sad reality is that when an abortion clinic is located in the neighborhood, residents are more likely to see it as just another neighborhood service--like coffee shops and nail salons."

I find the contention that African Americans cannot differentiate between an abortion clinic, a coffee shop or a nail salon to be ludicrous and even racist.

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

New transition website: http://www.change.gov

peregrinator said...

This is typical analysis and one that I have read over and over and over and over from the Kmiec/Cafardi supporting crowd (as though repetition convinces.)

I, think, however this analysis is an over-simplfication.

Frankly, I think even the most clear and direct statement from the bishops on the obligation of Catholics to vote against abortion (and not just in terms of who they supported for president, but also with regard to ballot props in the individual states) was too little to late.

Clear and consitent teaching over a longer period (even a year or two) is effective.

Case in point: In looking at county by county election results for the California ballot props 8 & 4, I was surprised to discover that Prop 8 passed by a very large margin in one county in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This wouldn't necessarily be completely shocking and could be explained by demographics. The county in question, Solano, has a somewhat higher black population than other Bay Area counties and also a very strong Hispanic population.

Except....

Proposition 4 (parental notification of abortion for minors) also won in Solano County.

Anything even portrayed as a restriction on abortion is a notoriously hard sell in California, due not only to Catholics who do not accept the Church's teaching, but also to majority of unchurched left-leaning citizens in the population centers.

So, despite being significantly less well-funded than Prop 8, Prop 4 won in a county in the hostile SF Bay Area.

It seems to me the deciding factor was this: Solano County is southernmost outpost of the Sacramento diocese. Bishop Weigand has very consistently and publicly supported the prolife position and there is a high Catholic population in Solano County.

The most reasonable explanation for the passage of Prop 4 (and also Prop 8) in Solano County is that the inhabitants accepted the teaching of their local bishops on both issues.

I think perhaps the election results should be subjected to closer scrutiny, before anyone decides that bishops teaching in public is or was completely ineffective.

It seems to me that if the bishops clearly, consistently and publicly present the Church's teaching on abortion, not just for a few months before the national election, but for a year or two, we might just see a reduction in the number of Catholics voting for pro-abortion candidates.

Kurt said...

Interesting analysis. Now also Solano County went overwhelmingly for Barack Obama, as did the Sacramento Diocese as a whole (even sections uninfluenced by the 'San Francisco Bay' area).

It seems a good number of people accept the Church's teaching on marriage and abortion as well as her public policy recommendations and they vote accordingly when given a chance in a referendum.

But the lay faithful also see candidates as more complex and a multi-issue concern -- in fact, multi-factors, as there are factors such as character and ability and honestly beyond simple policy statements.

So good for the bishop that he was able to properly evangelize these folks.

peregrinator said...

"But the lay faithful also see candidates as more complex and a multi-issue concern -- in fact, multi-factors, as there are factors such as character and ability and honestly beyond simple policy statements."

Kurt, I think this betrays a poor understanding of how California politics works.

Those who vote the Catholic view in CA, can barely (just barely, as elections show) muster enough votes to pass measure that support that view.

Mustering the votes means convincing enough of the voters (roughly 20%) who "swing either way" in the election.

However, those who promote voting Catholic teachings are greatly out-manned and out-funded in CA. There is only enough in the way of man-power, time and funding to run one successful campaign per election cycle. This is just a hard fact.

Prop. 4 didn't pass, for example, because most efforts went to Prop. 8 (the Prop 4 campaign had literally 1/14th the budget that Prop 8 did.)

Given the pressing issues "at home," not one California bishop (that I can think of) commented on the presidential candidates.

I can only suppose if the same attention that was devoted to Prop 8 were devoted to a presidential candidate or to other propostions, the same effect would be felt.

peregrinator said...

Although, I guess I should qualify the above statement slightly....

It might be that even if the efforts of the bishops had directed toward the presidential election, Solano County still would have swung toward Obama, because of people voting along party lines.

Solano is a long time Democrat stronghold- never mind that it's largest city (and now possibly the county seat will follow) has had to declare bankruptcy because of inflated public safety union contracts...

Kurt said...

peregrinator,

I appreciate your observations, I'm just not sure I agree with all of your analysis. Of course, we can all legitimately have different opinions on matters of political science.

I would agree with you that I hope the bishops would take a long term look at promoting Catholic values in the civic forum rather than give voting instructions on the eve of an election.

And the long term initiative should be for ALL of our Catholic values -- life, justice, peace, respect for creation, family, and the dignity of labor.

Quick solutions are not Catholic solutions.

Again, thnak you for your thoughts.

peregrinator said...

Kurt,

My analysis of California voting trends is common knowlege in the state, no matter what side of the divide you fall on. Here is the same analysis given by the No Prop 8 campaign: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/04/MNCC13QR90.DTL&type=politics

As to the bishops' teaching- I think the case of Solano County is pretty illustrative (fair disclosure: I lived in California for 28 years; Solano County for 4; surrounding Bay Area counties for the rest of it.)

As far as promoting the Catholic view of "ALL" our values- "justice, peace, respect for creation, family, and the dignity of labor"- all of these "values" are undermined by a lack of respect for the sacredness of human life.

Working for justice in this world is meaningless, if you think that human life (esp. of those who are less "recongnizeably human" the unborn, the aged, the disabled) must not first be preserved.

The dignity of labor has no value if human life has no value.

One cannot encourage peace while promoting selective violence against the unwanted.

Nothing undermines the creation of strong families more than the notion that one may licitly kill a family member because he or she is inconvenient.

And, frankly, as long abortion, euthansia, embryonic stem cell research, etc. are legal attempts at educating people on their evils will be undermined by the stamp of moral approval these practices recieve from the law.

No one supposes that passing pro-life laws will solve all the ills of society, but we undermine our work when we pass laws that approve murder.

Kurt said...

My analysis of California voting trends is common knowlege in the state, no matter what side of the divide you fall on.

Yes, I understand the trends. My academic background and my professional work is in political science.

As far as promoting the Catholic view of "ALL" our values- "justice, peace, respect for creation, family, and the dignity of labor"- all of these "values" are undermined by a lack of respect for the sacredness of human life.

All of these values are undermined by a lack of respect for any one of these values.

Our Lord left the 99 sheep to find the one lost sheep. We really are not at liberty to say we do not care about one Catholic value in favor of another. We are called to be 'all of the above' Catholics.

Anyway, the good people of the county voted the same way I would, yes on the parental notification and yes for Obama.

ray jay said...

<>Solano, has a somewhat higher black population than other Bay Area counties and also a very strong Hispanic population.

<>Proposition 4 (parental notification of abortion for minors) also won in Solano County.

--> Doesn't this fly in the face of the previous racist contention that Black folks commonly see nail salons and abortion clinics simply as storefront service providers or not much different from coffee shops?

And why in the world assume that Black folks were influenced by what the Bishop said? (Otherwise, I am not clear why the Black population was brought up).

I also want to note that the claim that Vallejo went into bankruptcy because of unions appears to be caused by some objective disorder. A good healthy dose of John Paul II's Laborem Exercens is in order here.

While I'd agree with the statement that "The dignity of labor has no value if human life has no value," I disagree with the implied contention that Obama or folks who voted for him, including me, have no reverence and respect for the value of human life.

peregrinator said...

Ray Jay,

I brought up demographics because that is that is the way the secular local press (Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, local TV news, etc.) were explaining Prop 8's win statewide.

I don't actually think it's a good explanation (it's not the one I offer in the end), but it's accepted by a lot of people, so I brought it up in order to refute it.

I have no idea if the black population specifically was influenced by the bishops' teaching or not; I mere conclude that since Prop 4 also won in Solano, the argument that Prop 8's win was due to the demographic divide is faulty and something else influenced voters (which specific ethnic groups I couldn't say) to pass both props.

Given the fairly high Catholic population in Solano County, and Prop 4's win there, I think it's reasonable to assume that Catholics there were listening to their bishops this election cycle.

As to the implication that "... folks who voted for [Obama]... have no reverence and respect for the value of human life," I'm not implying any such thing. I assume everyone who voted for him did so because they thought he would accomplish some good. However much I might disagree, I don't condemn anyone's motives.

(However, having seen our President-elect's public speeches and his unscripted response at Saddleback, and being familiar with his unblemished pro-abortion voting record, I pray he has a lot more respect for human life than he appears to.)

The part of my post you were quoting was addressed to Kurt's highly mistaken contention that respect for human life does not hold primacy of place in the Catholic view. (This post'll get too long if I try to address that here. I'll post again.)

Finally, I don't understand what you're trying to say about Vallejo's bankruptcy. Heaven knows the city has never managed its finances well (or one could say, anything, for that matter: look at the Marine World debacle, or look at the school district.) So, I'm sure the argument could be made that the public safety union contracts are just a symptom of the overall problem. However, the city's inability to fulfill those contracts are the immediate reason it declared bankruptcy.

peregrinator said...

"All of these values are undermined by a lack of respect for any one of these values."

Not for Catholics.

If your contention above were true, then we would fit the description given us in outside world- namely that we pursue these values only out of unreasoning obedience to the Church.

While we certainly are called to work for all things you listed, we do so because we recognize human beings as utterly unique and valuable; "made in the image and likeness of God."

If we don't work for those things out of profound respect for human dignity, then we do so out of blind obedience- because we are told to do so, or because we vaguely recognize these are "good things."

And, frankly, if we cannot persuade people to recognize each other's lives (even in utero) as similarly sacred, there will never be peace or justice or anything of the sort.

There can be no compelling reason for people to stop harming each other unless they recognize that human life is sacred.

"In giving life to man, God demands that he love, respect and promote life." Evangelium Vitae 52

"The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some are more precious, but this one is fundamental - the condition of all the others. Hence it must be protected above all others." From the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith- Declaration on Procured Abortion

ray jay said...

Or maybe most Black folks also think it's a good idea to require kids to report to their parents, heh?

And you didn't write earlier that union issues were just a sympton of the larger problem. Look at what you wrote.

peregrinator said...

Ray Jay,

I'm not trying to say anything about about black people in general; I avoid generalizing about any group of people when possible.

As far as Vallejo's bankruptcy goes, it was part of an aside on politics in Solano in general (i.e. the county swings Democrat come heck or high water), I wasn't (and still am not) trying to discuss it in depth. I am still not understanding your angst.

Kyle, did my follow on comment on the primacy of life issues in the Catholic view get lost in cyberspace on the way to you? I will re-submit it in that case.

Kurt said...

"All of these values are undermined by a lack of respect for any one of these values."

Not for Catholics.


I would disagree. If you view workers as people to be expolited, you undermine all human dignity.

If you have no respect for the life of people of other nations and wage unjust wars against them, you undermine all human dignity.

Just the doctrines of the Church all form part of the whole, you can't rank doctrines and decide only the top one or two are important.

peregrinator said...

If you view workers as people to be expolited, you undermine all human dignity.

If you have no respect for the life of people of other nations and wage unjust wars against them, you undermine all human dignity.


Kurt, you make my point for me.

If one does not acknowledge every human being as made in the image and likeness of God, then one is in danger of "viewing workers as people to be exploited" or of judging the lives of citizens in other countries as less valuable than the lives of the citizens of one's own country.

Both these correct attitudes towards others must come from a conviction that every human life is sacred.

Just the doctrines of the Church all form part of the whole, you can't rank doctrines and decide only the top one or two are important.

I think that to acknowledge that some doctrines flow from other doctrines is not to rank them, but to correctly understand why one believes what one does.

Christ himself acknowledges that some teachings are foundational when he teaches that the source and whole of the ten commandments (Matthew has it "the whole law and prophets (!) depend on these two commandments") can be found in "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" and "you shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Those things which are foundational we ought to attend to first and then we find that all the ancillary things fall into place. (Thus, if you have accepted "you shall love your neighbor as yourself" "you shall not kill" you should need no convincing of "you shall not commit adultery.")

If your concern for justice, peace, etc. is not based in the firm and prior foundation that all human life is sacred, then what possible basis could there be for it?

Kurt said...

We can certain hope all people accept that.

@na said...

Hail Mary, Help us...,

What Catholics are you people?

We need a realty check, if you can rationalize your way out of this one, then so be it...Just the Facts:

1)How would the Blessed Mother voted in this election after the word was made flesh in her womb?

2)How would the Apostles, Saints and Martyrs voted?

3)Should John the Babtist worked toward reducing the divorce rate instead of getting his head chopped off for critizing the King's adulturous marriage?

4)Alas, How would Jesus cast his ballot? Would Jesus say, let's try to reduce the number of abortions, the killing of his own creation, his very image and likeness? What did Jesus say about Lukewarmness?

Seriously Catholics, we need to stop drinking this Liberal Kool Aide-it may go down sweet but in the end, proven to be venomous. Let's all make a good confession and recieve the Holy Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord. But then the arguement remains, most of you here may not even believe in the Real Presence. If that is the case, then for the good of your souls, stop calling yourselves Catholics and using it for political gains and leading other catholics astray! That is the bottom line for some, not all! As you are so proud to point out the Catholic shift in voters! Abortion is the deal breaker for all Christians because LIFE is the condition for every other privilege we enjoy, like freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I don't even have the privilege to be poor if I don't get to live, right? Furthermore, the condition to have life is not dependent upon another person's choice! Does the end justify the means? It is an inalienable right given by God. There's nothing wrong with being poor, I came from a third world country, poverty is rampant there, but it keeps us humble, simple, and dependent on the mercies of God! The poorest among us are those who do not have a chance to live and those who cannot see through their blindness to let them live!
Shiloh, all the issues you say in the bible put together doesn't hold a candle to the issue of Abortion! Satan, is the Father of Lies, his handi-work is rampant here with the false ideology of democracy! If you people don't listen to the teaching of the church, I hihgly doubt you would listen to me.

In Christ,
@na

obamacatholic said...

1)How would the Blessed Mother voted in this election?
Obama not only won the Catholic vote, but Jewish women voted overwhelming for him as well.
2)How would the Apostles, Saints and Martyrs voted?

They would have voted their conscience.

3)Should John the Babtist worked toward reducing the divorce rate instead of getting his head chopped off for critizing the King's adulturous marriage?

Let's leave John and Cindy McCain alone. I don't think you should accuse McCain of wanting to behead anyone for raising this question about him.

Anonymous said...

catholics should be ashamed that they support "the culture of death" party and candidate. you WILL be judged for your actions.