Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Church Shares in Blame for Catholics who Publically Support Abortion

The public argument between Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Bishop Tobin in RI begs the question,…

Why do so many Catholic politicians favor “abortion rights” when the Catholic church itself is clearly in support of the life of the unborn?  Many who call themselves Catholic have supported abortion for decades and very publically. Organizations like Catholics for Choice for example, have been around since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.  So why the dichotomy, and how has this odd contradiction survived for so long?

In the early 1970’s, when the court ruled for abortion, Catholic pols often hid behind arguments like “As for me, I am personally opposed to abortion, but I do not favor government coercion of others to follow what I think is a matter of personal faith or conscience.”  Or “I do not wish to ‘force my religion’ upon anyone else.”

Other arguments would be aimed at having the freedom to choose (even though a bad choice which brings harm to another human being), or the rights of the mother to control her own body (at the expense of another).

In reality, Catholics who favor abortion are really political liberals who have “libertarian” views about their personal freedoms to the point of it being at the expense of others.  Such ideas overstep the bounds of personal liberty and the age old maxim that my right to swing my clench fisted arm in the direction of your nose ends a nanosecond from its surface.

One could apply the vain reasoning of these liberal Catholics to a lot of other bad behaviors, which, when attempted, can be plainly seen as patently absurd arguments.  For example, can anyone imagine a leader from the era of the Third Reich saying something like “As for me, I am personally opposed to death camps, but I consider their existence as a moral issue which is a matter of personal faith upon which I refuse to coerce others to follow.”  Or an anti-bellum Slave owner: “I am personally an abolitionist in my heart of hearts, but cannot in good conscience force my fellow plantation owners to give up their free help.”  Or “I should have the personal freedom of choice to decide what I do on my plantation – whether I have slave labor or not.” These arguments are laughable of course, yet we accept them on the subject of abortion all the time and go on our merry way. 

One reason they have survived is that the leaders of the Roman Catholic church have generally acquiesced in them and continue to this day to allow its members who are pro-abortion to remain members or “receive communion.”  In 1973, the Catholic church, had it really had the courage of its conviction, would have begun the wholesale expulsion of politicians and non-politicians alike with such beliefs.  They would have tossed them out the front doors of their cathedrals, and with great fanfare.  The views really cannot coexist.

So why has the Catholic church has been so tolerant? Why has it for the most part turned a blind eye to the masses who continue to support abortion yet continue to fill their pews?  It is in my opinion the church’s support on other so-called “social justice issues.”  The church opposes capital punishment, and it favors a more tolerant position on illegal immigration and the social justice and welfare of the indigent.  Many of these views are charitable at their core, and right for a church to foster, but are often on the very same agenda as the politically liberal social agenda with the only thing missing from that laundry list of social issues being a “woman’s right to choose…”

So what happens?  Those in the Church with the energy and momentum in supporting the churches social agenda are themselves caught up in the whole liberal social agenda. For that reason, the church should have long ago clearly and decisively incised the pro-abortionists from their roles.

I have an idea.  Do it now.  Use the Patrick Kennedy public debate as a moment in time where the Church comes forward with a public pronouncement, confesses its error for being so acquiescent in the past, and now sends a clear warning to other politicians and lay people to discontinue their support for government sanctioned abortion or be handed their walking papers.

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