I received an e-mail of a YouTube video a few months back trying to persuade me to vote for McCain because of Obama's partial birth abortion position. As horrible as partial-birth abortion is, is a position as pre-emptive war better? No, sorry.
The Church does speak to this. Abortion and infanticide are intrinsic evils. Pre-emptive war can be just. Pope Benedict XVI, when speaking at the United Nations earlier this year, affirmed that sovereign nations have a duty to protect its citizens (to keep them free and not harm them). He also noted that other nations have an obligation to intervene when a nation does not live up to its responsibility. The context of the Holy Father’s words was a chiding of the assembled nations for allowing Iraq under Hussein to become so problematic that military intervention was necessary. He saw the war as a failure, but not necessarily as unjust.
Most Republicans vote to restrict abortion and abortion funding. But they have generally bought into the notion of pre-emptive war, which is NOT found in the US Constitution, but could now be called "The Bush Doctrine."
Abortion and pre-emptive war are not at the same moral level. Pre-emptive war can be a just war. George Weigel speaks to this from the Catholic perspective. In short, a state that does not secure at least a minimal level of normative life and/or threatens other sovereign states (by being a “rogue regime”) forfeits the larger society’s normal respect of its sovereignty. The larger society has a responsibility to deny such states the capacity to create lethal disorder (both at home and abroad). Military intervention should be avoided, if possible, but it can be just. It is intrinsically evil to target innocents, but innocents killed by accident are not an intrinsic evil.
Here is my point, McCain believes in pre-emptive war which kills innocent people. Obama believes in pre-emptive killing of innocents in the womb. Whether we are in or out of the womb, all life is precious to God.
Senator Obama is on record as supporting pre-emptive war. He rejected the Iraq war but has spoken numerous times about pre-emptive war against Pakistan if it continues to shelter Al Qaeda.
Pope John Paul II was very clear about the Iraqi war and how it does not fit into the Christian just war theory.
Pope John Paul II did not specifically state that the Iraqi War was not just. He spoke to how even just wars must be avoided, and that even just wars are a defeat for humanity. The Church offers guidance regarding whether a war is just or not but it is clear that the final determination is left to governments. In 2003 Pope John Paul II declared that “War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations” and restated that “war cannot be decided upon . . . except as the very last option and in accordance with very strict conditions.” It should always be noted that his words were only partially aimed at the United States and primarily aimed at Iraq.
One can respect Bishop Botean but it is legitimate to consider whether he overstepped his bounds by declaring an action to be a mortal sin when the Holy Father did not. He is certainly correct that all war is “morally incompatible with the Person and Way of Jesus Christ”. But that would also include violence used in direct self-defense (of an individual or of a nation (an example of the latter would be our response to Pearl Harbor)).
Are all Republican politicians REALLY pro-life? Of course not. I don’t see anyone claiming that all of them are. Generally speaking most Republicans are pro-life while most Democrats are pro-abortion. One could certainly write in a vote for Ron Paul or vote for another third party candidate. But if one is voting among the major candidates one evaluates their positions on life issues. Even if one rejects the Catholic allowance of pre-emptive wars possibly being just, both major candidates support the right of a nation to engage in a pre-emptive war. McCain is wrong on embryonic stem cell research, though he does not go so far as Obama (who supports cloning). McCain has moved towards us on abortion and now supports a human life amendment, and has promised to appoint justices who support ‘original intent’ interpretations of the Constitution (which would not support Roe). Obama has promised to past the “Freedom of Choice Act” which would nullify all laws that in some way restrict abortion (including infanticide like partial-birth abortion and the killing of infants born alive) and to appoint justices that promise to uphold Roe.
Then, of course, there are the numbers. 4,000 babies murdered in the womb each day. Our country runs with the blood of the innocents. And one candidate wants to force taxpayers to pay for all future abortions because women have a "right" to murder them.