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I thought that this was an interesting article...

Explaining Ratzinger's "Proportionate Reasons"

Quote
Explaining Ratzinger’s "Proportionate Reasons"
Abortion Is the Black Hole of Moral Issues

By Jimmy Akin

"A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons."

So wrote Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in a confidential memorandum entitled Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles that became public earlier this year.

Many Catholics were at a loss to understand the cardinal’s statement. "Isn’t Ratzinger departing from sound Catholic theology?" some wondered. Others, including well-known dissidents, pounced on the statement as vindication for their cause and wrote newspaper columns trumpeting it as proof that in the Vatican’s view it is okay to vote for pro-abortion politicians as long as you don’t share their pro-abortion view. In other words, a voter can be "personally opposed but . . ."

Both responses fail to do justice to the Cardinal’s remark. Contrary to the first response, he is not departing from the established principles of Catholic moral theology. In fact, he is emphasizing them. Contrary to the second response, he is not offering an easy pretext for voting for pro-abort politicians.

Personally, I wish he had either not added this note to his memorandum or that he had elaborated the matter further to prevent the confusion that was sure to arise from it. But he was not writing for public consumption, and this may account for his writing on such a sensitive matter with such brevity.

Let’s try to clear up the confusion.

Cooperation

Humans work together to achieve common goals. But cooperation is not always good, particularly when the goals being pursued or the means used to achieve them are evil. It is tempting to take a rigorist position and simply declare that all cooperation with evil is sinful, but a few moments reflection reveals problems with this position.

Sometimes our own actions may be entirely innocent, yet they may be part of a chain of events that results in evil. For example, if you work in a bookstore you might sell someone an ink pen—an action innocent in and of itself—and be totally unaware that the person is planning to plunge it into someone else’s eyeball.

By selling him the pen, you cooperated with and enabled the action of the attacker. Yet a well-formed conscience would not say that you did something wrong by selling him the pen under the conditions described above. Clearly, then, some forms of cooperation with evil in some circumstances are not sinful.

Ignorance of the evil is not the only excuse here. Sometimes force is. Suppose you are in a convenience store when you encounter a man waving a gun. He points the gun at you and tells you to load up a bag with the money from the cash register.

Doing so would involve cooperating with evil—the robbery of a convenience store—but is it licit to do so with a gun pointed at your head? The Catholic Church places a high value on private property, but neither the Church nor, in all probability, the convenience store owner would tell you that a few hundred dollars are worth your life and that you must refuse to put the loot in the bag.

There are biblical examples of cooperation with evil being justified. When John the Baptist was preaching, Roman centurions and tax collectors came to him and asked what they must do. The Roman Empire was an institution that did all kinds of horrible things (including promoting emperor worship), but did John the Baptist tell them that they were morally required to quit their jobs because they were supporting an evil empire?

No, he told them that they personally should do no evil, neither collecting more taxes than their due nor oppressing anybody or extorting money out of him. They should be content with their pay and do their jobs (cf. Luke 3:12–14). As long as they did this, the kind of cooperation they were giving the Roman Empire was morally licit in their circumstances.

Situations such as this have forced the Church to examine what are licit and illicit forms of cooperation with the evil actions of others, and one fact that has emerged clearly from this reflection is that some forms of cooperation can be morally licit. In fact, since humans are sinners, the only way to avoid cooperating with the sinful actions of others would be to avoid cooperating with human beings entirely. That not only is impossible, but it would mean not doing the good that God commands us to do regarding others.

On the scrupulous "never cooperate when evil may result" view, even saving a drowning man would be prohibited on the grounds that the man surely will go on to sin in some way. Yet God expects us to save him if we can. By withdrawing from human society to avoid cooperation with evil, we would trade perceived sins of commission for actual sins of omission.

So we’re stuck. While we are in this life we have to cooperate with other humans, even knowing that they are sinners and that our cooperation will enable their sins in some circumstances. The question is not whether we should cooperate with others, but what kinds of cooperation with others are morally legitimate.

Traditional Catholic moral theology has discerned several different forms of cooperation. We do not have space here to offer a complete list of all the different kinds that have been proposed by moral theologians, but let us focus on the two Cardinal Ratzinger mentioned.

Formal Cooperation

The first is formal cooperation, which occurs when we mentally assent to the act with which we are cooperating. For example, if someone is robbing a bank, and we help him, agreeing to the bank robbery (not because we are being forced into it), then we are formally cooperating with the heist. In such a case, we share in the moral character of the act.

Ratzinger’s example concerns voting for a candidate for office "precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia." In such a case, by voting for him precisely because of his stand on these issues, we would be endorsing them, and thus we would be formally cooperating with abortion or euthanasia. For a Catholic to do this would result in him being "guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion."

But not all forms of cooperation with evil are of this sort, so let us look at the other form Ratzinger names.

Remote Material Cooperation

If one does not formally cooperate with evil, he may materially cooperate. This occurs when one does an action that is not sinful in and of itself and where he does not endorse the evil that his action facilitates.

For example, in our pen-selling example, the action you performed (selling an ink pen) was not immoral in itself, nor did we consent to the evil that was to be done with it (attacking someone so as to blind him). Our cooperation in that case was material rather than formal.

There is more than one type of material cooperation, as indicated by Ratzinger’s mention of remote material cooperation. The alternative is proximate material cooperation, and the difference is how directly involved our actions are in the event.

Suppose in our pen-selling example that at the very moment you hand the pen to the attacker, he lunges for another customer and tries to blind him. You put the weapon in his hand immediately before he used it. In this case, your material involvement in what happened was proximate (near) to the commission of the evil act.

But suppose you didn’t sell him the pen but only manufactured it. In this case, you didn’t put the weapon into the attacker’s hand. You simply made it and someone else handed it to the attacker. While your actions were still part of a chain of events leading to an evil act, they were much more remote from the attack and would be described as remote material cooperation.

It should be obvious that it can be perfectly legitimate for us to have this kind of remote material involvement in what happened. If we are pen manufacturers, we need to make a living, and we can’t be expected to shut down operations simply because some people will misuse the pen points we make.

We thus have a good reason for allowing the remote material cooperation. That reason, in the language of traditional Catholic moral theology, is said to be "proportionate."

It is important to note that the mere use of the word proportionate does not mean that one is endorsing a dissident moral theology known as "proportionalism," which John Paul II condemned in Veritatis Splendor 75–6. This is what confused some people about the Cardinal’s note. They thought it sounded as if he was endorsing proportionalism, but he wasn’t. The word proportional may be involved, but that doesn’t result in proportionalism.

In essence, proportionalism makes the presence of a proportionate reason the sole criterion for whether an act is justifiable. In other words, you can do anything if you have a good enough reason. There are no actions that in principle can never be done.

It is clear that this is not what Ratzinger is suggesting. In fact, quite the opposite: He recognizes that some actions (such as abortion and euthanasia) are intrinsically evil and can never be justified. What he is doing is discussing how far away—how remote—your actions have to be from these for you to be able to act in good conscience.

In the case of voting for a pro-abortion politician, the act of voting is remote from the act of abortion. A person may vote for such a politician, but he usually will get elected only when this vote is combined with the votes of many others. Then, once he takes office, he has the ability to influence public policy regarding abortion, but he does not commit these actions himself (at least in his capacity as an elected official). He leaves that to doctors.

The chain of human choices that interpose between one person’s act of voting and the end act of another person committing abortion show that the voter’s cooperation with abortion is remote. If he does not approve of abortion, it is also material rather than formal.

Proportionate Reasons

Traditional Catholic moral theology allows that remote material cooperation with an evil action may be justifiable in certain circumstances. In Ratzinger’s words it "can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons." Some may find this difficult to accept, but traditional Catholic moral theology is firm on the point.

Consider a parallel: God does things that enable others to commit sins (e.g., giving them life, free will, the ability to act). He even continues to supply them with these things when they are in the very act of committing abortion and euthanasia. What the proportionate reasons are that justify God in doing this forms a major part of the problem of evil, but we do know that God is justified in all that he does. Thus Catholic moral theology is on firm ground in acknowledging that remote material cooperation with an evil can be justified when there are proportionate reasons.

We might ask: What kind of reasons could there be to vote for a pro-abortion or pro-euthanasia politician?

Here is a clear case: Suppose that in a given election either Candidate A or Candidate B is morally certain to win, but it is not clear which will win. Candidate A’s only policy is that he supports abortion, while Candidate B has two policies: He supports both abortion and euthanasia. In this case, more harm will be done to society by the election of Candidate B, and so based on principles touched on by John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae 73, one may cast one’s vote in such a way as to limit the harm done to society.

In such a situation, casting one’s vote for Candidate A does not amount to an endorsement of his policies. It represents an attempt to reign in the greater harm that otherwise will result.

This is something many seem confused about. It often appears that people regard casting their votes as if they were swearing to a particular proposition, such as "I support all of the policies of this candidate." If that were the case, then one could never vote for a candidate with a less then 100-percent perfect set of social policy views.

But voting does not entail this. Very likely votes are not to be understood as involving propositions at all, but to the extent that they can be translated into propositions, they would be something more limited, such as "Of the options available, I want this candidate to be elected this time."

That doesn’t involve a personal endorsement of any of the candidate’s policies. In fact, one might oppose all of a candidate’s policies and vote for him purely to keep an even worse candidate out of office.

This was the case with voting for Candidate A to prevent the election of the even worse Candidate B. Candidate A’s policy was evil, but Candidate B’s policies were even more evil.

In the real world, the principle is more difficult to apply, because candidates rarely have entirely evil platforms. Many will have elements in their platforms, alongside support for abortion and euthanasia, that Catholics are permitted to support, and some will be tempted to support them for these reasons.

Many suggested Cardinal Ratzinger was giving his blessing to voting for pro-aborts if there were enough other good things about them. But having a number of good points is not enough. As the Cardinal indicated, there must be counterbalancing reasons proportional to abortion.

Such reasons are not easy to come up with, particularly for candidates seeking offices that have the ability to impact abortion law significantly. These include the presidents who nominate Supreme Court justices and the senators who confirm them. One wants to weed out pro-abort candidates on the lowest level possible so that they can’t use their political track record to get elected to higher office. But the more impact the office has on abortion policy, the more weighty a reason must be to allow a vote for them.

What kind of reason would be needed to vote for a pro-abort candidate for president? Something unimaginably huge.

The Abortion Numbers

Consider: A million and a half new Americans are murdered every year by abortion.

While particular historical circumstances increase or decrease the number of Supreme Court appointments a president gets to make (some presidents get many and some get none), if we average out the differences, it turns out that a pro-abort president on average could extend the abortion holocaust by four years equivalent to the four-year term he spends in office.

At 1.5 million kids killed per year, that means that a pro-abort president would be responsible for extending the abortion holocaust to include six million additional murders.

When one takes into account the fact that about half of the recent presidents have had second terms, that would mean a pro-abort president would be responsible for extending the abortion holocaust to include approximately nine million Americans.

No other issue involves numbers that high. Nothing short of a full-scale nuclear or biological war between well-armed nation states would kill that many people, and we aren’t in imminent danger of having one of those.

Not even terrorists with weapons of mass destruction could kill that many people. As vital as the issue of terrorism is, it does not get us up into the number of deaths caused by abortion. It would take three thousand 9/11-size events in a president’s average term of office (more than one a day) to rack up sufficient deaths to make terrorism proportionate to abortion. Al-Qa’eda simply does not have enough suicidal fanatics to make terrorism proportionate to abortion.

Jobs? The economy? Taxes? Education? The environment? Immigration? Forget it. We do not have nine million people dying in a typical president’s term of office due to bad job programs, bad economic policies, bad taxes, bad education, bad environmental law, bad immigration rules—or even all of these combined. All of them together cannot provide a reason proportionate to the need to end abortion.

Make no mistake: Abortion is the preeminent moral issue of our time. It is the black hole that out-masses every other issue. Presenting any other issues as if they were proportionate to it is nothing but smoke and mirrors.


I always took the teaching to mean that if you disagreed with the candidate about abortion, but voted for him/her anyway because of the economy, the war, etc, you were wrong.

Vincenza
Some have found this interesting:

http://www.fwdioc.org/img2/homepage_items/joint_statement_eng.pdf
Originally Posted by Byzantine TX


So if this document is correct, would it be, for Catholics, a mortal sin to vote for a pro-choice candidate when a pro-life candidate is available, even if the Catholic disagrees with the pro-choice candidate on abortion?

Joe
Quote
But let us
be clear: issues of prudential judgment are not morally equivalent to issues involving intrinsic evils. No
matter how right a given candidate is on any of these issues, it does not outweigh a candidate’s
unacceptable position in favor of an intrinsic evil such as abortion or the protection of “abortion rights.”
As Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship states:
“The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until
natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed.”
(28)
5. Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, in paragraphs 34-37, addresses the question of whether it
is morally permissible for a Catholic to vote for a candidate who supports an intrinsic evil – even when the
voter does not agree with the candidate’s position on that evil. The only moral possibilities for a Catholic to
be able to vote in good conscience for a candidate who supports this intrinsic evil are the following:
a. If both candidates running for office support abortion or “abortion rights,” a Catholic would be forced
to then look at the other important issues and through their vote try to limit the evil done; or,
b. If another intrinsic evil outweighs the evil of abortion. While this is sound moral reasoning, there are
no “truly grave moral” or “proportionate” reasons, singularly or combined, that could outweigh the
millions of innocent human lives that are directly killed by legal abortion each year.
To vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion or “abortion rights” when there is a
morally acceptable alternative would be to cooperate in the evil – and, therefore, morally impermissible.


JOE:

Christ is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

I think this section should answer both your and my own question in this area. It seems that the answer to your question is an unqualified "yes." But I'm not one to have the authority to pass on this kind of thing. I would consider it to be for me and I would offer this opinion to others who asked me. Then I'd tell a person who still had doubts to see his spiritual father and confessor.

In Christ,

BOB
Bob, I think you are right. I'm a bit confused though as to why the church didn't include torture in its list of nonnegotiables or unjust war for that matter. It seems like a very narrow list of nonnegotiables.

Joe
JOE:

Chrsit is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

Good questions. That's why I'm glad to be on the bottom of the hierarchical pile in the last pew. Less to account for and less to be confused by. wink grin And you know I can be confused easily. grin

I think it may be because if you aren't born alive, torture means nothing as does unjust war. The right to get started trumps virtually all other concerns. If you're simply not here, what else matters?

My favorite argument about abortion links it to being an environmentalist. If everyone is entitled to a clean, hazard-free environment--the one necessary for life to continue--why is the same consideration and right not to be accorded to the child in the womb? If the child's environment can be arbitrarily altered, where does it end? Eugenics? There are many people that others might consider environmentally threatening--Downs people, people with crhonic disease, people with chronic physical conditions. When I was injured, my "comp" nurse told me I was useless and was the reason the business environment was so bad in PA--I was making comp rates go up by being treated for job-related injuries. No one tried to abort me, except the guy in the car with the movie camera who almost ran me down to see if I'd jump.

St. Basil had a quote about not disturbing the "mold" in the womb--and I have this many hands and sources away from him and the Greek he spoke, but even such a primitive comment should give anyone pause who claims the Church came up with its stance about 50 years ago.

In Christ,

BOB
So why don't the U.S. Bishops, many of whom are usually pretty lame, frankly (but surprisingly in this election have come out VERY STRONGLY in defense of pro-life and Catholic voting procedures - no small thanks to Pope Benedict and his visit, I'm sure -) just tell Catholics unequivocally, "If you vote for Barack Obama you're committing mortal sin." Many have come close to this, but why don't they just come out and say it, if it's an accurate statement? Because the Church doesn't endorse candidates? Why not?

Alexis
Originally Posted by Logos - Alexis
So why don't the U.S. Bishops, many of whom are usually pretty lame, frankly (but surprisingly in this election have come out VERY STRONGLY in defense of pro-life and Catholic voting procedures - no small thanks to Pope Benedict and his visit, I'm sure -) just tell Catholics unequivocally, "If you vote for Barack Obama you're committing mortal sin." Many have come close to this, but why don't they just come out and say it, if it's an accurate statement? Because the Church doesn't endorse candidates? Why not?

Alexis


See, for an example: http://byztex.blogspot.com/2008/10/bishop-opens-can-on-permissiveness.html
-
Ohhh, so the Church can keep its tax-exempt status. Good to see where the priorities lie.

Alexis
When it comes to public discourse, people act like only the most recent documents on an issue are relevant. . . . So, the "Forming Consciences" document, in a lot of people's minds, trumps everyting else, Cdl. Ratzinger's 2004 letter is the high end standard, etc.

The "proportionate reasons" question was dealt with, along with the "incrementalism" question, by _Evangelium Vitae_. JPII said very clearly that, if you had two candidates who supported legalized abortion, you support the one who supports the most restrictions. Or, if you have one candidate who opposes abortion but supports euthanasia, while the other supports abortion and opposes euthanasia, then you can look to other issues.

It's also noteworthy that _Evangelium Vitae_ equates contraception with abortion as a social issue, saying we have a duty to fight *both*, but American Catholics conveniently ignore that bit.
Originally Posted by John C. Hathaway
When it comes to public discourse, people act like only the most recent documents on an issue are relevant. . . . So, the "Forming Consciences" document, in a lot of people's minds, trumps everyting else, Cdl. Ratzinger's 2004 letter is the high end standard, etc.

The "proportionate reasons" question was dealt with, along with the "incrementalism" question, by _Evangelium Vitae_. JPII said very clearly that, if you had two candidates who supported legalized abortion, you support the one who supports the most restrictions. Or, if you have one candidate who opposes abortion but supports euthanasia, while the other supports abortion and opposes euthanasia, then you can look to other issues.

It's also noteworthy that _Evangelium Vitae_ equates contraception with abortion as a social issue, saying we have a duty to fight *both*, but American Catholics conveniently ignore that bit.


So it is Catholic teaching that Catholics are supposed to work to make all contraception illegal? I'm guessing it is also Catholic teaching that Catholics are supposed to work to make civil divorce illegal. At least, this seems to be the case given the Vatican's intense lobbying in Ireland to prevent civil divorce from becoming legal. Am I right about this?

Joe
We also lobby against gay marriage. While the other things are important abortion is at the top. No one dies. These days most Catholics that take it seriously try to change people hearts and minds on contraception and divorce. However that can not be used on abortion because the victim is murdered.

I venture to say that most Orthodox I have met and have read would agree that abortion is the most important issue in our day.
We also lobby against gay marriage. While the other things are important abortion is at the top. No one dies. These days most Catholics that take it seriously try to change people hearts and minds on contraception and divorce. However that can not be used on abortion because the victim is murdered.

I venture to say that most Orthodox I have met and have read would agree that abortion is the most important issue in our day.
Originally Posted by MrsMW
We also lobby against gay marriage. While the other things are important abortion is at the top. No one dies. These days most Catholics that take it seriously try to change people hearts and minds on contraception and divorce. However that can not be used on abortion because the victim is murdered.

I venture to say that most Orthodox I have met and have read would agree that abortion is the most important issue in our day.


Yes, I recognize all of that. But is it a goal (perhaps long term?) for Catholics to make non-abortifacient contraception and civil divorce illegal?

Joe
As much as I would prefer a world without contraception and divorce it won't happen.Even if every Catholic voted that way. The protestants, and other groups would out vote us. Roe vs Wade could be over turned as the next president will put more Justices on the bench.
Quote
Yes, I recognize all of that. But is it a goal (perhaps long term?) for Catholics to make non-abortifacient contraception and civil divorce illegal?

Joe


JOE:

You're a serious Christian adult. You don't really think this is a goal or long-term vision--a hyperbole, maybe, but not something serious.

Humanae Vitae was meant to be for Catholics a definition of the traditional teaching concerning contraception and the dignity of both spouses and the marital union. It's our teaching. Whether the world accepts it is irrevelent because it is meant to further define what a Catholic Christian ought to do.

That said, it wasn't until the third decade of the 20th century that any Christian body considered contraception something that could be endorsed. The whole idea came from the eugenics movement and the liberalization of the 1920s--allowing women to be in the same position as men: promiscuous without having to worry about responsibility. The Anglicans were the first on board with this and the rest of Protestantism fell into place as the decades went by.

The Orthodox Church prefers to deal with this, in my understanding, in the internal forum--in confession and with the guidance of one's spiritual father. IMHO, a good place to have it.

But, again, we're moving off topic. Topic is abortion, voting, and Holy Communion. Questions that I'd have are

Why would you support, help, or be an enabler for someone to kill another human being?

Is voting for a person who supports, helps, or enables abortion by legislative effort directly related to the murder of another human being?

How does this affect my relationship with Christ? After all, that's what Holy Communion is all about--it is the supreme experience of the relationship we are called to in Baptism and Chrismation. Can I be in relationship with Christ and be one who is directly or indirectly a person who participates in the murder of the innocent?

Is this act--abortion--akin to Herod's order to kill the Holy Innocents (commemorated by both East and West in the week following the Nativity?

With all the advances in genetics can we any longer deny that a fertilized ovum is a whole other, new human being?

What are the consequences of our answers?

As I posted above, if one is not allowed to live, how can anything else matter? If I'm dead, what does contraception, just war, gay marriage, theological differences, environmental problems, global warming, or anything else matter? I'm already removed from all these things and it doesn't cross my radar in eternity.

In Christ,

BOB
Originally Posted by MrsMW
We also lobby against gay marriage. While the other things are important abortion is at the top. No one dies. These days most Catholics that take it seriously try to change people hearts and minds on contraception and divorce. However that can not be used on abortion because the victim is murdered.

I venture to say that most Orthodox I have met and have read would agree that abortion is the most important issue in our day.




While I agree with you about the rest, there are many Christians who do not see contraception in the same league as abortion. I do not think that the two should be equated and that by doing so, those who labor against abortion lose ground.

Alice
I agree. Maybe I didn't make myself clear. Some folks want to make it the same thing but that just not the case. I can tell people why I think birth-control is bad but I am not going worry about an unborn baby dying. As for divorce sometimes that is the only way to end years of hell. The Catholic church is much more concerned about remarriage than the actual divorce.
The hard truth is that if you add all the American deaths in 9-11 and the casualties of Gulf War II/Afghanistan they will equal the deaths caused by abortion in America in only 2 days.

50,000,000 abortions have happened in America alone (that we know of) since 1973. Just for comparison, there were 72,000,000 deaths due to WWII, and 2,500,000 in the Vietnam War (mostly Vietnamese.)

Abortion kills more people than any other disaster or war. There are 42,000,000 abortions (that we know of) per year.

There is no other issue that comes close the the Satanic horror of a people reaching up inside its mothers and ripping its children limb from limb.
"Yes, I recognize all of that. But is it a goal (perhaps long term?) for Catholics to make non-abortifacient contraception and civil divorce illegal"
Yes, it is.
_Evangelium Vitae_ (not to be confused with _Humanae Vitae_) says that contraception should be just as much a political priority as abortion.

It does not matter what other people think, or whether the viewpoint is popular. Contraception goes against the Natural Law. C. S. Lewis presents the pagan arguments against it in _The Abolition of Man_. The reason why the West is so adamant about forcing contraception on Africa and Asia is that, in addition to Catholicism, Islam, some forms of Hinduism (contraception interferes with the process of reincarnation), and most pagan religions oppose contraception.

JPII said that the argument that "it won't happen" or "it's too unpopular" is a form of the sin of despair. God wants it to happen. It's our job to work towards it happening.

So, if you have a candidate who is pro-contraception but anti-abortion (e.g., John McCain, George Bush or Bob Dole), running against a candidate who is anti-contraception *and* anti-abortion (e.g., Pat Buchanan or Alan Keyes), then a Catholic is morally obligated to vote for the candidate who opposes *both*. It doesn't matter if he's "likely to win" or he's "popular." The Church says *nothing* about moral obligations to vote for majority parties (except that, to say, "We have to vote for the popular candidate" is an argument that goes against both the principle of democracy and trust in the Holy Spirit).

Glory be to Jesus Christ!

An article that all should about Obama and his stance on abortion: Obama's Abortion Extremism

Mark T.
Originally Posted by John C. Hathaway
"Yes, I recognize all of that. But is it a goal (perhaps long term?) for Catholics to make non-abortifacient contraception and civil divorce illegal"
Yes, it is.
_Evangelium Vitae_ (not to be confused with _Humanae Vitae_) says that contraception should be just as much a political priority as abortion.

It does not matter what other people think, or whether the viewpoint is popular. Contraception goes against the Natural Law. C. S. Lewis presents the pagan arguments against it in _The Abolition of Man_. The reason why the West is so adamant about forcing contraception on Africa and Asia is that, in addition to Catholicism, Islam, some forms of Hinduism (contraception interferes with the process of reincarnation), and most pagan religions oppose contraception.

JPII said that the argument that "it won't happen" or "it's too unpopular" is a form of the sin of despair. God wants it to happen. It's our job to work towards it happening.

So, if you have a candidate who is pro-contraception but anti-abortion (e.g., John McCain, George Bush or Bob Dole), running against a candidate who is anti-contraception *and* anti-abortion (e.g., Pat Buchanan or Alan Keyes), then a Catholic is morally obligated to vote for the candidate who opposes *both*. It doesn't matter if he's "likely to win" or he's "popular." The Church says *nothing* about moral obligations to vote for majority parties (except that, to say, "We have to vote for the popular candidate" is an argument that goes against both the principle of democracy and trust in the Holy Spirit).



Not that I'm a "Know Nothing," I'm certainly not. But when I read these kinds of views I have to confess that I can understand why Americans have historically been suspicious of Catholics and the Roman Catholic Church.

Joe
Anti-Catholicism runs deep in this country. They all were against birth-control until the 1930's so it wasn't about contraception. The treatment of Catholics was due to anti-Catholic protestantism. There was and is no excuse for this type of bigotry. Today you can't make fun of anyone's religion but Catholicicsm. Just look at Hollywood.

The Church is concerned with the culture of death. It has to work on its own people before it worries about making condoms illegal. I don't know any pro-life group who is working on getting contraception illegal. It is working at this point to get pro-life candidates elected, help those in a crisis pregnancy, and change the hearts and minds of America. The Catholics will never get contraception illegal because most every church out there supports it.

Originally Posted by MrsMW
Anti-Catholicism runs deep in this country. They all were against birth-control until the 1930's so it wasn't about contraception. The treatment of Catholics was due to anti-Catholic protestantism. There was and is no excuse for this type of bigotry. Today you can't make fun of anyone's religion but Catholicicsm. Just look at Hollywood.

The Church is concerned with the culture of death. It has to work on its own people before it worries about making condoms illegal. I don't know any pro-life group who is working on getting contraception illegal. It is working at this point to get pro-life candidates elected, help those in a crisis pregnancy, and change the hearts and minds of America. The Catholics will never get contraception illegal because most every church out there supports it.



How many Roman Catholics today choose not to follow the Church's ban on contraception? I would bet that it is over 50% of all married Roman Catholic couples. I think barrier contraception (and all artificial contraception methods) and abortion should not be treated seperately, as they both are trying to prevent procreation.

Ung
Quote
I think barrier contraception (and all artificial contraception methods) and abortion should not be treated seperately (sic), as they both are trying to prevent procreation.


UNG:

Here's where I have to disagree strongly. Contraception is the prevention of human life from forming. Abortion is the deliberate destruction of a human life already formed.

Genetics takes away the argument about the new life being less than a new life since a quick look at the DNA shows half coming from the father and half from the mother--a wholly new, unique code for a totally new, unique human being.

There have been arguments for the permission of the parents to take the life of a child once born out of the womb for a month or so after the delivery. I've read medical ethicists who argue that this should be permissible for various reasons.

The question becomes where we draw the line once we allow someone bigger and stronger to take the life of another just because he is inconvenient or weaker, or unable to take care of himself.

The same argument has been used in Western Europe in some countries to justify euthanasia of the helpless elderly. They have lost their utility and independence and are, therefore, an inconvenience or burden.

How about the disabled? There was a time after I became disabled where my comp nurse argued that since I couldn't go back to unlimited heavy lifting job that the company should be allowed to drop me before I was fully rehabilitated to save money. Why should they spend money for a three-year rehab? Why should they continue to pay for medications I need to keep chronic pain under control? She actually argued that I was no longer useful to anyone or to society--a throw-away person.

Where does it end? Who is safe?

In Christ,

BOB
I agree with Bob. Birth control is not the same thing as abortion. While the whole contraceptive culture has led to abortion it is not an abortion.

My Dad was born with deformed legs and had to have his lower legs removed at the age of 2. The thought of him being aborted makes me sick. Many kids like my Dad are aborted. 80% of down's kids are aborted. I have had 3 babies in the past 5 years. Let me tell you you have to take test after test to see if your baby has something wrong with it. It is all done so you can abort. I would always tell them I will never abort my baby under any circumstances. I would just say I am a by the book Catholic. That was all I had to say.


A friend of mine who lives on the border of Germany and Holland says to everyone he knows "If I get in a wreck do whatever you can to get me into Germany."


Originally Posted by MrsMW
I agree with Bob. Birth control is not the same thing as abortion. While the whole contraceptive culture has led to abortion it is not an abortion.

My Dad was born with deformed legs and had to have his lower legs removed at the age of 2. The thought of him being aborted makes me sick. Many kids like my Dad are aborted. 80% of down's kids are aborted. I have had 3 babies in the past 5 years. Let me tell you you have to take test after test to see if your baby has something wrong with it. It is all done so you can abort. I would always tell them I will never abort my baby under any circumstances. I would just say I am a by the book Catholic. That was all I had to say.


A friend of mine who lives on the border of Germany and Holland says to everyone he knows "If I get in a wreck do whatever you can to get me into Germany."




Interestingly enough, I believe that Germany's abortion laws are more restrictive than ours.

Joe
They're not the same thing, but they should be equal priorities. Even the Supreme Court ruled in _Planned Parenthood V. Casey_ that abortion must be legal if contraception is legal, because abortion is a "necessary" failsafe to contraception.

All offenses against the dignity of life that plague our society--especially In Vitro Fertilization and Embryonic Stem Cell Research--are only consistent if coupled with a condemnation of contraception.

Originally Posted by John C. Hathaway
They're not the same thing, but they should be equal priorities. Even the Supreme Court ruled in _Planned Parenthood V. Casey_ that abortion must be legal if contraception is legal, because abortion is a "necessary" failsafe to contraception.


No doubt, if past is prologue, under an Obama administration infanticide will become a necessary failsafe to abortion.

FrDD
It isn't like Obama hasn't said what he will do when he is president. We all should know what he will do.
Originally Posted by John C. Hathaway
They're not the same thing, but they should be equal priorities. Even the Supreme Court ruled in _Planned Parenthood V. Casey_ that abortion must be legal if contraception is legal, because abortion is a "necessary" failsafe to contraception.

All offenses against the dignity of life that plague our society--especially In Vitro Fertilization and Embryonic Stem Cell Research--are only consistent if coupled with a condemnation of contraception.


John,
IMHO, treating contraception and abortion as equal priorities is like considering striking one in anger and killing as equal. Or treating lust and adultery as equally treated.

The USCCB and others have called abortion an "intrinsic" which carries more weight. Don't get me wrong, contraception is wrong because it artificially prevents conception, but it doesn't kill a conceived person.

Otherwise, if you consider these equal, then you can argue that "deadly" or "mortal" sins are equal to "venial" sins. If that were true there would be very few Communions.

Fr Deacon Paul
Fr. Deacon Paul,

First, this is not just "my opinion." This is what Pope John Paul II taught in _Humanae Vitae_. It is also consistent throughout various Patristic writings that abortion and contraception are equated.

Yes, the bishops have listed abortion as an "intrinsic" evil; they do not even mention contraception in _Forming Consciences_, and that is a major fault of the document and shows how corrupt the USCCB is, more concerned about saying what people want to hear. Contraception *is* intrinsically evil.

I would argue you do not have the right analogy. You're saying it's like adultery versus lust or punching someone versus murder. In other words, you're saying that contraception is only a venial sin, which is untrue.

Contraception is a mortal sin; it is intrinsically evil. The more correct analogy would be to say that murder should be illegal but adultery should not.

Abortion and contraception are two different, yet related, evils, just as pornography and adultery are two different, yet related, evils. We cannot fight one without also standing up against the other.

Again, just look at what "the other side" says. On the one hand, they accuse us of being hypocrites for not supporting contraception to "prevent abortions," but, on the other hand, when they *see* a Catholic who supports contraception, they say, "See? Those Catholics don't really believe what they say they believe."

Personally, I'd rather be called a "kook" than a "hypocrite" by the other side. if you read pro-choice blogs, you'll see plenty of arguments that the National Right to Life Committee and the Republicans and James Dobson and others are not "really" pro-life, usually because these organizations and individuals support contraception, "incremental" measures and/or compromise.

You see no one questioning whether Bob Dornan or Joseph Scheidler or Judie Brown or Alan Keyes is "really" pro-life. They call them fanatical crackpots, but they don't question their pro-life cred., because these people are *consistent*.

Relevant Radio talk show host Drew Mariani is calling on listeners, there friends and families to pray the Rosary tonight during Barack Obama's 30 minute TV campaign broadcast. Got to hand it to Relevant Radio for the way they've gotten Mr Obama's culture of death message on the airwaves the last few days.
Originally Posted by John C. Hathaway

I would argue you do not have the right analogy. You're saying it's like adultery versus lust or punching someone versus murder. In other words, you're saying that contraception is only a venial sin, which is untrue.

Contraception is a mortal sin; it is intrinsically evil. The more correct analogy would be to say that murder should be illegal but adultery should not.

Abortion and contraception are two different, yet related, evils, just as pornography and adultery are two different, yet related, evils. We cannot fight one without also standing up against the other.

Again, just look at what "the other side" says. On the one hand, they accuse us of being hypocrites for not supporting contraception to "prevent abortions," but, on the other hand, when they *see* a Catholic who supports contraception, they say, "See? Those Catholics don't really believe what they say they believe."

Personally, I'd rather be called a "kook" than a "hypocrite" by the other side. if you read pro-choice blogs, you'll see plenty of arguments that the National Right to Life Committee and the Republicans and James Dobson and others are not "really" pro-life, usually because these organizations and individuals support contraception, "incremental" measures and/or compromise.

You see no one questioning whether Bob Dornan or Joseph Scheidler or Judie Brown or Alan Keyes is "really" pro-life. They call them fanatical crackpots, but they don't question their pro-life cred., because these people are *consistent*.


John,
I'm not completely convinced of your analogy; contraception is a sin but I wouldn't put in the "intrinsic evil" category. I do understand your point.
Many pro-lifers are taking a battle-by-battle approach to the war on the unborn, rather than try to risk everything in one great battle. This makes sense because of our human weakness and less-than-desirable faith.

I wish you the best in your endeavors and your idealism is to be admired.

May God be with you,
Fr. Deacon Paul
Let us not forget that McCain supports embryonic stem cell research; the Catholic bishops have also clearly stated this to be an intrinsic evil. This is not a position a pro-life candidate holds.

Also remember McCain's very vocal leadership of the "Gang of 14" who blocked some real pro-life judicial candidates.

McCain in the Washington Post, 1999:
Quote
But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.”

Not the words of a pro-life candidate nor someone who even has a basic understanding of life issues.

The so-called "battle to battle" approach has only ended in more compromise and failure to elect truly strong pro-life candidates. A case in point is Fr. Deacon's home state - he should well remember well when considering the fable of the "culture of life" as it relates to the Republican Party with the not-so-distant primary in his own state involving Senator Spector and Pat Toomey. McCain also supported Spector (as did Santorum).

John - in the case of this election I am sympathetic to your positions, as both candidates have endorsed positions that have been clearly stated as intrinsically evil by Catholic bishops. There can be no "proprtionality" between intrinsic evils.
I can agree with Father Deacon Diak that Senator McCain is not 100% pro-life. On embryonic stem cells he is wrong and the position he holds is not pro-life. However, one compares his position on embryonic stem cell research with that of his opponent, Senator Obama. McCain does not support cloning for the purposes of research while Obama does. So there is a difference here. If both were pro-life on abortion, and disagreed on this issue then Senator McCain would still be the candidate closer to our beliefs (the statement by the USCCB discusses such cases). But one cannot speak of Senator McCain’s failure on embryonic stem cell research while not mentioning at all Senator Obama’s support for any and all types of killing from conception to past live birth (infanticide). Any killing of the innocent from conception to natural death is an intrinsic evil. If one decides not to see a difference between the two on the issue of embryonic stem cell research then one still must see that Obama is not an acceptable choice because of abortion. One may, of course, vote for a third party candidate. But since none will win it is very acceptable and responsible to vote for the candidate who will best further the cause of life, even if imperfectly.

I would be interested to see more information from the Washington Post article Diak quoted. The Post is one of my local newspapers and I have long ago stopped believing anything they publish. If one read the Post’s coverage of the Biden and Pelosi tangle with the bishops in September one would walk away thinking that it was perfectly ok with the pope to be Catholic and support abortion rights. The Post says a lot of things that are not accurate. National Right to Life indicates McCain is strongly pro-life on abortion, as does Priests for Life. The two major abortion rights groups give him a 0% rating.

Will McCain be perfect? Almost definitely not. But compared to the alternative, Senator Obama, he is far, far closer to us.

I agree with the Administrator. McCain's platform is flawed but it is better than the alternative.

A 3rd party vote is basically a vote for Obama (by default). If there was any chance of a third party victory, I would vote for Charles Baldwin, Independent. See http://www.votesmart.org/npat.php?can_id=53051

I love his platform, which is a carbon copy of Ron Paul's (who is not running). I suggest voting for him only as an alternative for Obama; please, for the defense of a favorable Supreme Court, vote for McCain and pray that he will not hinder the growing pro-life movement.
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vote for McCain and pray that he will not hinder the growing pro-life movement.


Any counsel suggesting support of a candidate who himself stands for what Catholic bishops have stated as an intrinsic evil, and thus suggesting a potential compromise of conscience is not appropriate or sensible.

All we can do as clergy is to outline the truth of both's positions (both are in opposition to Catholic teaching on one or more issues) and leave it to the discernment of each soul.

Personally I cannot and will not vote for either major party candidate based on my own discernment, faith, and understanding of objective truth. I will also not suggest, coerce, or counsel anyone to do anything other than look at EVERY candidate seriously and strongly in the light of what the Church teaches us, consider their past statements, deeds, and accomplishments in comparison with what they are "selling" in the last few weeks of the election, and act accordingly to conscience.

Quote
A 3rd party vote is basically a vote for Obama (by default).


This is absolutely not true - anyone could easily say some such nonesense and could easily turn this around as "basically a vote for McCain" if he should happen to win. You vote for the person. That is how it works. A vote for that person is a vote for that person, and not anyone else. The major parties have been spreading that tripe since Teddy Rooosevelt ran as an independent.

No vote cast in good conscience is ever wasted. A dying man on a Cross with 11 scattered and frightened Apostles was certainly not seen as a "major party" of the time.
I disagree with my brother, Father Deacon Diak.

Quote
From “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States”
36. When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.

37. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.

When there is no perfect candidate one may certainly vote for a third party or not vote at all. A voter may also decide to actively support a flawed candidate (in this example, on life issues) so that an even more seriously flawed candidate might not win the election. There is nothing inappropriate or insensible about it. Indeed, it can be very appropriate and sensible to support a candidate who is imperfect and supports much of our agenda over a candidate who opposes all of our agenda (on life issues).

Christians do have an obligation to be part of the political process and to promote candidates who hold our values. For this election we can certainly choose the imperfect candidate who is closest to us. For future elections we must work to promote candidates who hold our values at all levels of government (local, state and federal) so that that the pool of candidates who hold our values grows and our choices become better.

A vote a for third party candidate can not be equated with a purposeful vote for the more flawed candidate, but the effect can be to put the more flawed candidate in office. That is certainly something to consider.
And I likewise disagree with our esteemed Admin. Deacon Paul's comment went beyond what is given to us by our Church as a guideline for an informed conscience (and I have myself attempted to adhere to these two precepts throughout this discussion).

My issue with what is not "sensible" is a seemingly passionate suggestion by Catholic clergy of one candidate when that candidate stands for something that Catholic bishops have declared to be an intrinsic evil. Saying you will or will not vote for someone is one thing; to have a passionate plea for others to do as you do is something different.

A review of Deacon Paul's statement
Quote
please, for the defense of a favorable Supreme Court, vote for McCain and pray that he will not hinder the growing pro-life movement.
is far beyond sensible counsel to avail to one's informed conscience, not a position the Church would ever take publically in such a partisan manner, nor, I posit, one any Catholic clergy should be giving in this sort of manner.

Look at all of the candidates in all aspects of their record, inform your conscience, pray and vote accordingly.
Originally Posted by Diak

Look at all of the candidates in all aspects of their record, inform your conscience, pray and vote accordingly.


Father Deacon Diak,

This seems to me to be a subtle form of relativism. I remember seeing Michael J. Fox in an interview a couple of years ago and he said that he had prayerfully come to the conclusion that embryonic stem cell research is okay and if people came to the opposite conclusion, then that was okay too. That is, of course, relativism in it's fullest form.

Most likely I'm misinterpreting what you wrote, but it struck me as a relative statement.

In Christ,
Aaron
[quote=Paul B

Don't get me wrong, contraception is wrong because it artificially prevents conception, but it doesn't kill a conceived person.
Fr Deacon Paul [/quote]

In fact, some methods of artificial contraception can be abortifacient. The birth control pill can cause the wall of the uterus to harden, and reject a fertilized embryo, causing it to die-a very early abortion. The IUD is also abortifacient.

Dn. Robert
I have tried to avoid this thread, but I'll now give in to temptation. I respect those who choose third party candidates who stand no real chance of winning but they support them anyway because their consciences would be offended by voting for either major party candidate. On the other hand, I also respect those who choose whichever major party candidate they believe to be the least flawed.

In my opinion, voting has become a rather unpleasant duty for Christians. Any choice is problematic in some way or another. I believe that the current state of affairs calls for us to be understanding and charitable with each other with respect to voting, realizing that different Christians will reach different conclusions. However, we all ought to be able to agree to pray for the following: for God to guide all of us as we vote, for God to guide all who hold office that they might act in accordance with God's will, for God to convert our culture, and especially, for the coming of God's kingdom and the fulfillment of God's will.

In the peace of Christ,

Ryan
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
I have tried to avoid this thread, but I'll now give in to temptation. I respect those who choose third party candidates who stand no real chance of winning but they support them anyway because their consciences would be offended by voting for either major party candidate. On the other hand, I also respect those who choose whichever major party candidate they believe to be the least flawed.

In my opinion, voting has become a rather unpleasant duty for Christians. Any choice is problematic in some way or another. I believe that the current state of affairs calls for us to be understanding and charitable with each other with respect to voting, realizing that different Christians will reach different conclusions. However, we all ought to be able to agree to pray for the following: for God to guide all of us as we vote, for God to guide all who hold office that they might act in accordance with God's will, for God to convert our culture, and especially, for the coming of God's kingdom and the fulfillment of God's will.

In the peace of Christ,

Ryan


Nicely worded post, dear Ryan....

Alice
Christ is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

We did have a post in this section that suggested that we should all commit to praying for our country and her needs each evening at 9 p.m. Somehow it was "unstuck" and is lost.

It might be well at this time to begin that again, at least for the next couple nights.

In Christ,

BOB
Here is a worthwhile address by Abp. Chaput of Denver entitled,
""The Homicides Involved in Abortion Are 'Little Murders'.”

http://www.zenit.org/article-23964?l=english

Here is an excerpt:

Quote
...We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue, and it’s never an end in itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of evil. Likewise, democratic pluralism does not mean that Catholics should be quiet in public about serious moral issues because of some misguided sense of good manners. A healthy democracy requires vigorous moral debate to survive. Real pluralism demands that people of strong beliefs will advance their convictions in the public square -- peacefully, legally and respectfully, but energetically and without embarrassment. Anything less is bad citizenship and a form of theft from the public conversation.

Here’s the fourth point. When Jesus tells the Pharisees and Herodians in the Gospel of Matthew (22:21) to “render unto the Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s,” he sets the framework for how we should think about religion and the state even today. Caesar does have rights. We owe civil authority our respect and appropriate obedience. But that obedience is limited by what belongs to God. Caesar is not God. Only God is God, and the state is subordinate and accountable to God for its treatment of human persons, all of whom were created by God. Our job as believers is to figure out what things belong to Caesar, and what things belong to God -- and then to put those things in right order in our own lives, and in our relations with others.
Oh, just to clarify, I've voted third party in the past, but I'm not necessarily advocating voting third party--just that it's not outside the realm of possibility. Many Catholics, when discussing this issue, emphasize "you have to vote for someone likely to win", which is not part of Church teaching.

My original point in bringing up _Evangelium Vitae_ is that that should have settled the question of "proportionate reasons."

John Paul says that you vote for the candidate who is going to do the *most* to outlaw abortion and/or contraception.

If you have a candidate who is 100% "pro-choice" and one who is 50% pro-choice, you vote for the one who's 50% pro-choice. But if you have one who's 100% pro-life, you vote for him, even if he's unpopular.

Then there are the nuances . Like, I'm a strict constructionist in principle. I'm an Aristotelian, and believe that the written law is what protects us from human corruption. However, I also believe, as a Catholic, that Natural Law should take precedence. So, if I'm forced to choose between two very similar candidates on "issues," then I'll look more at their philosophy. In the primary, I was torn between Huckabee and Paul (Brownback had already pulled out). I voted for Huckabee because he seemed to have the understanding of Natural Law. He also had a strong pro-homeschooling position. He also supported reasonable health care reform, but emphasized that it should be done at the state, not federal, level.

So I found Huckabee to balance the three philosophical principles the Church appeals to in politics: Natural Law, subsidiarity and solidarity.

Of Obama, McCain, Barr and Baldwin, none particularly jumps out at me as someone I want to vote for. OBama and McCain both disgust me, and, without Sarah Palin, I'd vote for Barr.

But Sarah Palin's my dream candidate. . . .
Originally Posted by John C. Hathaway


John Paul says that you vote for the candidate who is going to do the *most* to outlaw abortion and/or contraception.



Is it the Church's position that non-abortifacient contraception should be outlawed as well? Does the Church, for example, want to see condoms outlawed?

Joe
Quote
Father Deacon Diak,

This seems to me to be a subtle form of relativism.

Most likely I'm misinterpreting what you wrote, but it struck me as a relative statement.

In Christ,
Aaron


If it is a "subtle form of relativism" than the same would have to be applied to the position of the Church. Yes, I believe you are misinterpreting my post, as it is not much more than a condensing of what the Magiesterium maintains (see the references the Admin posted above).

Condoning a candidate (any candidate) who stands for an intrinsic evil by somehow justifying his position as acceptable is rather the position of a relativist.

To answer the Admin's previous question about a source for the McCain statements I quoted, they were originally included in an interview he did with the San Francisco Chronicle on August 19, 1999 and later picked up by other news (including that which I quoted). McCain has never rebutted any of the statements, so it appears he has no great issue with the record of his own statements.

On another note, the son of William F. Buckley has made an unusual revelation:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-10-10/the-conservative-case-for-obama/2/
I thank FDDiak for the reference. I searched and found the article. In it he does say that he was not working to overturn Roe v Wade because he felt that first we needed to change hearts. I can agree that hearts need to be changed but since many people take their morality from the law it is very important to overturn Roe immediately. To his credit he has moved in the right direction on life issues (though he is still very far from perfect). And McCain personally insisted that the call for a human life amendment remain in the Republican platform (something he did not have enthusiastic support for a decade ago):
Quote
Maintaining The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life

Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.

We have made progress. The Supreme Court has upheld prohibitions against the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. States are now permitted to extend health-care coverage to children before birth. And the Born Alive Infants Protection Act has become law; this law ensures that infants who are born alive during an abortion receive all treatment and care that is provided to all newborn infants and are not neglected and left to die. We must protect girls from exploitation and statutory rape through a parental notification requirement. We all have a moral obligation to assist, not to penalize, women struggling with the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy. At its core, abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life. Women deserve better than abortion. Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life. We salute those who provide them alternatives, including pregnancy care centers, and we take pride in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

Respect for life requires efforts to include persons with disabilities in education, employment, the justice system, and civic participation. In keeping with that commitment, we oppose the non-consensual withholding of care or treatment from people with disabilities, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, which endanger especially those on the margins of society. Because government should set a positive standard in hiring and contracting for the services of persons with disabilities, we need to update the statutory authority for the AbilityOne program, the main avenue by which those productive members of our society can offer high quality services at the best possible value.

Also, that Priests-for-Life, National Right to Life and other pro-life groups believe find him to be the most acceptable candidate among the viable choices and that the pro-abortion groups find him to be unacceptable all weighs in his favor.

As to Christopher Buckley I am aware that he has views that are far different than his late father.
Quote
To his credit he has moved in the right direction on life issues (though he is still very far from perfect).


We will have to disagree - his past record on stem cell research, judicial nominees, past statements, and an apparent eleventh hour "come to Jesus" position switch to garner votes from people he himself has declared his disdain for in the past does not in my mind move him in the right direction on life issues.

May God protect us all and have mercy on us.
Endorsements are fickle - some of us remember the vehemently anti-McCain ads that were posted by some of the same pro-life organizations during the primary season. There is the National Right-to-Life funded ad that ran in South Carolina that states directly "If you want a strongly pro-life president ... don't support John McCain."

Funny how things can change.

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