So to the Doug Kmiecs and Nicholas Cafardis of the world, the Morning's Minions and the Radical Catholic Moms, and even the Joe Bidens, Nancy Pelosis, and all the others so proudly proclaiming "I'm Catholic and I'm supporting Obama, and you should too!" if you want to support the Infanticide Champion for president, I won't call your faith into question.Many of us who generally vote Republican aren't happy with the party generally or this election particularly. Some of us will decide, in the end, to subject the oft-abused olfactory organ to yet another squeezing as we vote reluctantly for party of most lives (embryonic lives used in stem-cell research not included; some restrictions may apply; void where prohibited). Some will decide they can't support McCain, or that since their state isn't in any danger of going to Obama they shouldn't increase his overall popular vote tally given the various things McCain supports that they don't. Some have already decided that doomed quixotic third party candidates are the only way to go this time around, and are trying to convince the rest of us that this is the only truly sane and/or truly moral option. I can easily see a thoughtful Catholic voter making a case for any of these options, and so I can easily see a thoughtful Catholic voting (or not) in any of these three ways.
If you want to vote for the party that holds ordinary people like Sarah Palin, Joe the Plumber and me in contempt, go ahead. If you want to stand with those who consider Christians to be rubes and fools, feel free. If you want to vote for the party that fought to kill Terri Schiavo, be my guest. If you want to support those who support recreational embryo-destructive stem cell research -- but not adult stem cell research -- that's your legal right. If you want to support the party that promises to replace our capitalist economy, which has been the engine that has enabled America's unequalled-in-history levels of charity within its own borders and throughout the world, with a socialist system that will make all of us poor, I'm sure I can't dissuade you. If it floats your boat to vote for the guy who'll repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, thus spreading gay "marriage" across the land, who am I to say anything? [...]
If you're this sort, I have only two requests of you: either don't come to my blog and try to show that your support for the Party of Death is consistent with your Catholic faith, or else, after you've won, that you spend even half, even one-quarter, of the energy you've spent on convincing Catholics to vote for abortion this year on getting the Democrats to turn away from their enthusiastic support for abortion next year.
Republican pro-lifers have been vocal in policing the failures of Republican leaders in living up to our pro-life standards. But we have seen no such activity from Catholic Democrats towards their own candidates or officeholders. As Bishop Naumann wrote, if every Catholic Democrat wanted to eliminate the abortion plank from the Democratic Party national platform, it would be gone tomorrow. But there is no credible pro-life movement within the Democratic Party. [Emphasis addded--E.M.].
But to decide to vote for Obama means, in effect, that as a Catholic you believe one of these things:
1. That it is neither desirable nor necessary for a Catholic in a non-Catholic nation to work for just and moral laws which promote the common good by protecting human life from conception until natural death if your fellow citizens appear to have decided they'd rather live in an atheistic/agnostic secular materialistic/deterministic/relativistic society which contains no such protection for innocent human life; that, instead, it is only necessary that you voice these principles while promising not to "impose" them on the rest of society, and confine any action on your part to whatever efforts in volunteering to aid in crisis pregnancies remain legal in a post-abortion-opposition society.
2. That while it might theoretically be desirable and necessary for a Catholic in a non-Catholic nation to work for just and moral laws which promote the common good by protecting human life from conception until natural death, it is not practically possible at the present time, and will not be again for the foreseeable future, thus mandating that you make your peace with the most vocal advocates in favor of the killing of the innocent unborn by supporting them and working with them in every way possible so as to escape the marginalization of this person's opponents that will occur as soon as he rises to power; the end game, of course, would be to be a generally good influence, though a terribly weakened one giving that a person in this situation has already revealed the extent to which he will compromise.
3. That abortion, troubling though it may be, is still a complex and multifaceted issue that can't be solved, especially not by banning it outright; and that in the grand scheme of things, it is not as troubling as hostility toward illegal immigrants, the prosecution of an unjust war, the delay in providing free universal health care to all in America, poverty generally, or any one of a number of other issues, on which you find yourself lining up completely with the Democratic Party. This convinces you that abortion isn't really your problem or America's problem so much as it is the problem of all those single-issue activists out there; sure, in a perfect world, there wouldn't be abortion, but as we don't live in a perfect world and as the already-born deserve the lion's share of our attention and concern, the idea that people would throw their votes away on the Republican candidate solely because of abortion seems disproportionate, and wrong.
Now, there are probably tons of variations on these three themes, but I've heard some version of them from more than one pro-Obama Catholic who insists that he is pro-life. But as several bishops have reminded us in recent days, none of these ways of thinking is really in line with justice: the unborn, some forty-eight million of whom have perished in the years since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton made abortion on demand until birth (and, in Obama's America, possibly even after), cry out to heaven for that justice, and woe unto us as a nation if we don't hear their cries, or find them less interesting than the calls for hope and change from the candidate who, as far as I can discover, has not even said that he is personally opposed to abortion.