Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Earnestness of Being Important

Back in February, Catholic professor Douglas W. Kmiec endorsed Barack Obama for the presidency. On Tuesday BeliefNet's "God-o-meter" feature interviewed Kmiec about his decision (hat tip: Mark Shea). In an answer to a question about the "failed strategy" of trying to eliminate abortion by changing the law, Kmiec replies:

It’s even broader than that. It’s not the specific failure of this president or this administration, it’s the conclusion that trying to change the law on this topic [abortion] is a bit of fool’s game, that the thing that needs to be changed is more the heart of the individual person and the attitude of the larger culture. And that can hopefully be done by some of the things that Senator Obama talks about: the attitude of personal responsibility, of importance of the family, the well being of the culture, and quite frankly the economic policies that would affect the needs of the poor and the average American.

To which I reply: Poppycock. Balderdash. Nonsense.

Kmiec is playing the typical liberal Catholic's game here, the politics of the personally opposed. No one ever talks about changing the hearts of people when it comes to illegal drug use, theft, destruction of property, or even forms of murder besides abortion; everyone seems to accept that without laws against such things some people's hearts will always incline towards what is bad or wrong or even evil.

But somehow, when it comes to abortion, the American pro-life Catholic voter is supposed to abandon any notion of the laws being just, or reflecting the truth about the sanctity of human life. We're supposed to adopt policies of persuasion, which are always left conveniently undefined. We're supposed to believe that the real reason abortions happen is because the poor aren't getting enough in the way of food stamps or health care--that if people would just step forward and help no woman in America would ever abort.

Of course, this overlooks two very important realities: one, that many pro-life people already do provide these types of tangible aid to women in crisis pregnancies, and that the government response, especially when members of Obama's party are involved, is to try to shut these crisis pregnancy centers down or severely limit their scope; and two, that while poverty can certainly be a factor in some abortions, it simply isn't the case that only poor women abort. Or, as Mother Teresa was sometimes known to say, the kind of poverty that produces abortion isn't necessarily financial poverty; it is a poverty of the soul, that so easily turns against its own flesh and blood, or, in the case of the abortionist, kills for money.

Kmiec goes on to say:

As a Catholic looking at candidates, my faith instructs me to look at the whole person respective to the church’s social teaching on wages, education, issues of family, culture, responsibility toward the environment, the reduction of mindless or excess consumption. And the Catholic Church was quite explicit about the concept of preemptive war being contrary to the principles of just war. One of the things that happened to Catholics over the last two decades is because of the evil of abortion, we’ve been somewhat less mindful of the need to serve those around us—those who are calling upon us for assistance in a tangible way.

Which, again, is poppycock and balderdash. It would be like someone saying during the Nazi Holocaust, "Well, we've been so focused on the Nazi's habit of killing Jews and others they find undesirable that we've completely lost track of our duty to spread the Gospel and open homeless shelters." The fact of the matter is that abortion is the gravest moral evil known to man in our time (though I've seen shadows of some that are its equal in diabolical evil, and are only less in the sense of being less widespread, not less hideous and monstrous). All the other issues Kmiec cites are of less immediate gravity; though this does not mean they are unimportant it does make them of less importance relative to the continued practice of the legalized slaughter of unborn humans in America. It isn't rocket science to understand this; why do so many squishy Catholics find it difficult?

Commenting further on why his fellow Catholics aren't lining up to support Obama (and, in truth, the Catholic abortion quislings are shamelessly lining up for Hillary, perhaps mistaking her for Cthulu and deciding they'd rather not support the lesser of two evils), Kmiec says:

But I am a bit baffled. When I look at Obama’s eloquent speeches, his references to Dorothy Day and Martin Luther King, those are so much a part of modern Catholic education. And the preferential option for the poor or solidarity with the poor, how that is not heard by the Catholic mind has troubled me. So one of the reasons for speaking out at this point, and one of the reasons to (s)peak out on Easter Sunday, is to have my fellow Catholics reexamine this topic and listen with more careful ear.

Or it could be that your fellow Catholics are listening to Senator Obama with a careful ear already, and have seen him vote against protecting infants who survive an abortion, what I like to call Obama's "If Mom Wants You Dead, You're Dead, Baby!" vote. Some of us aren't inclined to hear much good from someone who so unhesitatingly supports evil--in fact, it seems naive (I can just hear Obama supporters in the future sputtering "But...but he said such good things! Before the election, that is! And now...and now we find out he lied? How were we supposed to know???" ). Here's a hint, people: someone who has no problem letting babies who survive abortion die afterward just might not be--shock, gasp--all that truthful! I know, it's hard to believe, but mark my words.

But here, at the end of his garbled interview, comes Kmiec's own moment of truth: when asked if he's heard from the Obama campaign since his endorsement, Kmiec replies:

They sent me a thank you note and an Easter card in electronic form.

Boy, have times changed: Judas got thirty pieces of silver for selling out. But I suppose in addition to his thank you note and e-card, Kmiec has something else: he has that warm glow, that feeling of being important and appreciated, which is so rare a thing in the life of an earnest professor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very insightful and interesting analysis, Red Cardigan.