The Politics of Abortion – Part II

In my November 4, 2008 column, I noted the great hoax regarding abortion, the Catholic Church and Democrat politicians:

“But this year hit a new low in marginalizing the truth and it involved the Catholic Church.

“There were two persistent rumors that traveled the political circles regarding the presidential race. The first was that the Democrat platform was more “pro-life” than that of the Republicans. The second was that the Church had declared that it would be a mortal sin to vote for John McCain. Neither was true.

“And that is what makes these rumors even the more pernicious. For years, the Catholic Church has condemned abortion privately but remained relatively silent when it comes to politics. There has always been reluctance on the part of the Church to engage in politics lest politicians respond by trying to compromise the Church. The result has been that there are now a whole host of prominent politicians who profess to be Catholics and who are among the nation’s most ardent supporters of abortion on demand, including taxpayer financed abortions. Let’s tick down some of those names: Sen. Edward Kennedy, Sen. Joe Biden, Sen. John Kerry, Sen. Chris Dodd, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, Gov. Ted Kulongoski, and on and on and on.”

The silence, until recently, coupled with a handful of priests, nuns and lay persons who are willing to compromise the Catholic Church’s teaching for continued prominence in the liberal community, has caused confusion in the Catholic community. They espouse a false doctrine that suggests that abortion cannot be viewed in isolation but rather in “proportionality.” In other words if a politician or a party supports other issues related to social justice, one can overlook the promotion of abortion on demand.

The invitation by Notre Dame to President Barack Obama to be its commencement speaker is the very essence of those who would confuse the Church’s position on abortion.

There is no politician in America that has taken a more extreme position on abortion than President Obama. While a representative in the Illinois state legislature, Obama was the single vote — the only vote — to permit the murder of a child born alive during an abortion procedure. In other words, if a child survives the gruesome ordeal of an abortion, Obama believes it is permissible to kill that child after expulsion from the womb. Not even Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA), the champions of abortion on demand take such an extreme position.

And yet there he was on the stage of the nation’s pre-eminent Catholic university being hailed as a hero – hugged, kissed, lauded and lionized by Catholic priests who, wrapped in the cocoon of academia bliss, abandoned the demands and admonitions of Pope Benedict, the College of Cardinals and the Catholic Bishops. No wonder over seventy percent of Catholics were confused enough that they thought it was alright to vote for the man who guaranteed that abortion on demand would be the law of the land for another twenty years — who assured that another million babies would be murdered every year.

And while there at Nortre Dame, Obama concocted one lie after another regarding the very issue which should have denied him his very presence on that dais.

First, Obama said we should all work together to make abortion rare. He lied. Among his first acts as President was to rescind the executive order of former President Bush that banned federal funding to international groups that promote and perform abortions. By doing so, he increased the number of abortions rather than make them “rare.”

Second, he suggested that we should make adoption more available and provide care and support for women who choose birth rather than abortion. He lied. There is not one shred of evidence that Obama, during his entire public life, has supported counseling on alternatives to abortion, improvement to the accessibility for adoption, or support for those who choose birth rather than abortion. In fact, Obama has acknowledged publicly that he views the birth of a child as a result of an unplanned pregnancy as a “punishment.”

And finally, there is the coming nomination of a Supreme Court justice to replace retiring Justice David Souter. There is no question that Obama’s nominee will have provided assurance that (s)he will not overturn Roe v. Wade. In fact, questions relating to whether the nominee should be a woman, a Hispanic, or a gay person are all secondary to whether such a person supports abortion on demand.

But all of this is merely incidental to the real problem confronting Catholics and the abortion issue.

The Catholic Church has failed to convey its unequivocal opposition to abortion to its own members. Forget about its public statements, its prayer vigils at legislatures, and its occasional sermons opposing abortion. Pope Benedict, the College of Cardinals and the Catholic Bishops have stated unequivocally the two critical elements to the Church’s position on politicians and abortion. First, the faithful may not support those who advocate abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research. There is a consistency in these positions — opposition to the taking of innocent human life. Second, that there is not proportionality in the Church’s opposition to these. In other words, there is not a balancing of a politician’s position on other matters of human rights — these are absolutes.

But saying it and enforcing it are two different things. Until the Church acts forcibly with regard to its high profile nominal Catholics by denying them the sacraments until there is repentance, until the visible apologists such as Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins are removed from positions of authority, until local priests who refer to the Democrat Party platform, replete with provisions for abortion on demand, as in keeping with the Church’s teaching on social justice are publicly reprimanded and forced to apologize, Catholics will continue to receive mixed messages regarding support of pro-abortion Republicans and Democrats alike.

Were I an alumni of Notre Dame, were I a parent of a child attending Notre Dame, I would end my financial support and remove my child until such time as Father Jenkins is removed from office and required to publicly apologize for his lack of judgment in giving America’s foremost abortion advocate a stage and a campaign moment at a Catholic institution. And for the pinheads on the Notre Dame faculty that supported such a decision, their prompt removal is warranted.

The opposition to abortion is a moral issue and the Church is morally bound to do more than just talk — it is obligated to exercise its authority over the actions of its members who would compromise that moral stand by word, act or omission.