Thursday, July 24, 2008

You know it's bad when . . .

You know you have a problem when a Jewish professor at Amherst, of all places, calls out the Catholic layman on his voting habits:

Is it a certain madness, a certain distraction of mind, induced by the sudden onset of summer heat? The polls in early June find Barack Obama notably behind among Evangelicals and whites, but--wonder of wonders--actually holding a slight edge, of a point or two, among Catholics.

. . .

Some of our readers know that I was associated with the drafting of the “most modest first step of all on abortion,” the bill to preserve the life of the child who survived an abortion. It was called, in that awful legislative style, the Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act. When it finally passed the Congress in 2002, not a single Democrat in Congress voted in opposition. But Barack Obama, as a Senator in Illinois, actually led the opposition to the comparable measure in that state, and as the chairman of a legislative committee managed to kill it. How does one explain then this close division among Catholics, with a tilt actually in his favor?

How indeed does one begin to explain it. Perhaps you think "ah, but what about the seamless garment?" Of course I seriously doubt anyone who would actually read this post would adapt that position but still, let's run with it for a few seconds. Well, the good doctor has a good answer, better than I've heard from most people:

As for the matter of “balancing” abortion with other issues, does that balancing not betray the most skewed principles of judgment? Put aside the case to be made for the why the war in Iraq was amply justified. Two days of abortion produce more deaths than the number of deaths suffered by Americans in the entire war. A year of abortion, at 1.2 million, dwarfs the number of Iraqis who have died in the conflict. Do we measure the “common good” --or what Prof. Kaveny calls “affordable health care”--by the convenient device of simply screening out those humans killed in abortion as persons that just do not count any longer in the reckoning?

During the debate between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, Douglas suggested the diversity of goods at work in our national life: Maine had oysters, Indiana had cranberries, and some of the states used slave labor. Are we being asked now to adopt a similar state of mind, in which the killing of the innocent, on a massive scale, is regarded as just one of several “goods” that our people are equally free to choose, one no better in principle than the others?

Hmm. Something to chew on. Though I do suspect that if I were to bring up this argument and attribute it, I would be acused of pushing my religion on others. Or other people's religion on other people. Or something.

Hat tip to CWN.

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