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Wrap it up

posted by awelborn

The self-identified pro-life case for Obama is subject to scrutiny here – by Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Gergis.
It’s tight. It’s one-stop shopping, with links to other supporting pieces.
In addition, John Breen has several posts at MOJ on the subject. Just go here and scroll here and around.
And then this – at HotAir, from Ed Morrissey and The Anchoress (Elizabeth Scalia.)

Even beyond this, though, consider why the Church supports social-justice issues.  Our faith does not emphasize fighting poverty and oppression as mere Boy Scout merit badges, or to give Catholics something to do on the weekends.  The emphasis on social justice springs from the foundational belief that all human life is sacred, anointed by God for His purposes, and not ours.  The need for social justice is for us to recognize the spark of divinity in all of us.
What does abortion says about human life?  It reduces it to commodity, and values it based on convenience.  If that is what we think about human life, then that rejects the entire idea that God created humankind at all, let alone for any divine purpose.  Without that fundamental understanding of the faith, then all kinds of horrors become possible — abortion, euthanasia, genocide on massive scales, war for acquisition, and the exploitation of the poor.
Why care about the poor if humans have no divine purpose?  If we can kill millions of our offspring without a second thought, why not leave the poor to their own devices?   Abortion represents the ultimate rejection of God and God’s plan.
And bear in mind that Barack Obama is no moderate on abortion.  The FOCA will federalize the question of abortion with the specific intent of striking down every moderating state law concerning abortion: parental notification, waiting periods, term limitations, and information requirements will end with its passage.  It will also re-impose federal subsidies of abortions by repealing the Hyde Amendment, forcing taxpayers — including Catholics — to pay for the abortions of others.
The question, then, boils down to one of reason: does your reason tell you that Sen. Barack Obama – a mere human being with a thin resume and a seeming propensity for shutting down, punishing, intimidating or otherwise harassing those who do not fall in line (through the force of government, if possible) – is going to heal the human heart through his social programs and his redistributionism?
Matters of the heart are never resolved through worldly machinations. More importantly, to expect a human man – who because he is human carries within him another broken, imperfect heart – to successfully, righteously and most of all disinterestedly resolve issues which have tested mankind for thousands of years is to assign onto him inhuman abilities; this smacks of idolatry and thus flies in the first and most fundamental priority of a believer: to have no gods before the One, the Creator.
Catholicism does not reject reason for faith but demands integration of the two, and prayerful discernment, before taking any action.
One’s vote should come after weighing reason.
Reason tells us that a human fetus is a human being and as such deserves inclusion into the whole notion of “human rights.” A candidate with consistent notions of human rights should be able to acknowledge that.
Reason tells us that an “abortion reduction agenda” is inconsistent with the stated priority of signing into law a sweeping, tax-payer funded abortion-rights legislation.
Reason insists that an ideology embracing the idea of genocide – whether that means eliminating people conceived with an extra chromosome or of wiping a sovereign nation off the map – is a warped ideology that is inconsistent with a commitment to human rights. Reason wonders why an electorate is not permitted to hear what a presumptive president might say to some such ideologues, and reason becomes very uncomfortable.
Reason tells us that one human man will not eradicate poverty. One human man will not eradicate war. One human man will not distribute justice to the nations. History is pockmarked with the graves of those slaughtered to the ambitions of human men who have tried to perfect and justify the world, according to their lights.
Barack Obama – inconsistent though he be – is no Hitler, or a Stalin or a Pol Pot. However, developing a fanciful notion of Obama’s ability to do and be more than man has ever done or been before – based on nothing more than a bit of charisma and an highly overprotective press – is to surrender, rather than apply, one’s use of reason.
Tomorrow is Election Day. By all means, each of us must vote for the candidates we believe will best serve the nation. ACORN aside, you only get one vote. Before your pull the lever, take some time to consider whether you have really applied your God-given gift of reason to it. And as Catholics, consider carefully which candidate best fits within our view of human life and God’s purpose for it.

Agreed.



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Irenaeus

posted November 3, 2008 at 10:53 am


Thanks for the link, Amy — Ryan Anderson is fast becoming my personal homeboy.



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Jeanne in Tampa

posted November 3, 2008 at 1:26 pm


I already voted in Florida early voting. I have no health insurance, something I have a right to it according to the Catechism (2288).
I also have a right to a fair wage and against the bullying that is going on in this election.
What is the Bishop of Denver’s address, so I can send him my Cobra bill? I cannot afford it. Fly me out there to a so called pro-life doctor who will treat me for free. My husband is a diabetic and we cannot afford it.
Crock of crap. How pro-life are you?
I am still furious. Go ahead, walk away. God is watching you shake your head and walk away. This rich man has no intention of helping you. He is more interested in his blonde trophy wife.



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Greg S

posted November 3, 2008 at 1:49 pm


Jeanne – your plight is more than unfortunate. However, the cited passage from the CCC is:
2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.
Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.

Society does not equal government or a particular insurance program.
A hundred years ago – or perhaps even fifty – you could have gone to any Catholic health facility in the United States and received care that was good, inexpensive or even free. You can’t do that anymore, because those “non-profits” have abandoned their mandate to provide such care, in favor of, well, profits.
Perhaps your wrath could also be directed toward those institutions?



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lisas

posted November 3, 2008 at 2:21 pm


Some sources and advice for financial help with diabetes:
http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/financialhelp/
The Bureau of Primary Health Care, a service of the Health Resources and Services Administration, offers health care for people regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. To find local health centers, call 1–800–400–2742 and ask for a directory, or visit the bureau’s website at http://www.bphc.hrsa.gov on the Internet.
And a link to find a help center near you –
http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search.aspx



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Karen LH

posted November 3, 2008 at 2:34 pm


Jeanne,
McCain has a health care proposal. You can argue whether his or Obama’s plan makes more sense, but it’s not the case that he’s ignoring the issue. Personally, I prefer McCain’s plan hands down.
I sympathize with you on Cobra. We had to take that for a while several years ago, and it’s crazy expensive.



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marianne

posted November 3, 2008 at 2:38 pm


Of course, Obama “is no Hitler”. However, the way he has been covered by the credulous, adoring, excited media and the way his campaign has staged events is a bit suggestive of the propaganda movie “Triumph of the Will”.
Questions weren’t asked, people were swept away by their emotions – mostly “hope” and “change”.
If you doubted the rhetoric and objected to the manipulation you were “anti-German”- yesterday’s “racist” squelch of opposing opinion or follow-up questioning.



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Dennis Martin

posted November 3, 2008 at 2:39 pm


Jeanne,
I take it that you voted for Obama because you believe he will be more likely to find a way for you to have health insurance and that pro-lifers don’t care about that issue as much as the pro-death Obama does.
Both parties care about health insurance and health care. They disagree about how best to ensure that everyone has it. The entire health-care system has serious flaws, but both parties disagree about what caused them. One view is that the very presence of employer-based health insurance combined with government Medicare make both health-care institutions and recipients less attentive to hard choices regarding the costs of high-tech solutions to various diseases. That interpretation may be wrong, but it’s just one example of how honest people who care equally about health-care for everyone can disagree.
Obama has grossly misrepresented McCain’s proposed program. McCain’s program is based on the belief that portability of insurance would in the long run make health-care and insurance more affordable by increasing competition among insurers and providers across state lines.
Again, he may be wrong about that. But before one can decide whether Obama or McCain care more about people in your situation, one has first of all to dig to the bottom of all the spin that’s out there and find out what each is really proposing. But beyond that there’s the next question: which of the two can best be trusted to deliver what he promises? Which of their sets of promises is least unrealistic?
Given Obama’s extreme positions on infanticide and abortion, his proposals on health-care would need to be vastly superior to McCain’s before one could argue reasonably that his health-care “good” outweighs his pro-death “bad” positions. For the life of me, I can’t see that vast a difference between the two proposals on health insurance and Medicare.
But the first step, apart from careful comparison of their respective positions on care for the poor and sick and weak among us, is to recognize that the flat assumption that Democrats care about the weak and poor and Republicans don’t is, on the very face of it, very unlikely to be a true statement and, prima facie, likely to be propaganda.
Once one sets aside the obvious propaganda claims such as “Democrats caring, Republicans mean,” one can begin to assess what they actually do advocate and whether it’s compatible with Catholic teaching or not and to what degree.
To return to the starting point. One cannot vote for someone who openly and to the extreme advocates maintaining as legal the killing of the innocent in the most heinous manner, ripped limb from limb. One cannot, as a Catholic or even as a man or women of any creed endued with reason, vote for him. That does not mean one has to vote for his opponent. If indeed his opponent falls short on policy X, Y, or Z, well, then don’t vote for either of the two.



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Mike Petrik

posted November 3, 2008 at 2:45 pm


Good post, Amy. The legalized slaughter of innocent children should be every decent person’s top priority. Even over a diabetic husband who cannot afford the meds that didn’t exist a decade or two ago. If an insurance company offered circa 1950 health care for inflation-adjusted 1950 prices would anyone take it? There are many reasons why health care is so expensive, not all of them good ones. But one important over-looked one is the price of constantly improving care. A circa 1950 banana is pretty much indistinguishable from a banana today. Not so with health care.



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Chris Sullivan

posted November 3, 2008 at 4:44 pm


I think Kmiec and others have laid out a convincing prolife case for voting Obama and that Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Gergis have basically done a hatchet job on Kmiec without adressing Kmiec’s argument.
The Bishops also argue for decent minimum wages, proper health care etc as prolife policies which will reduce abortions.
Then there’s the 1 million killed in Iraq in consequence of an invasion which McCain voted for and Obama opposed.
That’s a prolife issue too.
And Iraqi children and innocent children too.
God Bless



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Didymus

posted November 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm


The right to life trumps all issues, Chris. All other issues generate from that basic right, no matter how hard you try to equivocate. But my guess is that you’ve heard that before, but are still unmoved.
Kmiec, you and your followers of Obama have deluded yourselves into believing your own magisterium as superior to Church teaching. You’re Protestants, plain and simple.



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Maureen

posted November 3, 2008 at 6:05 pm


So… Iraqis are basically babies?
Is this one of those weird ideas about “little brown people”, and how they have no wills or ideas of their own but totally depend upon us all-powerful, ever-living, nigh-invulnerable, superpowered rich white Americans? And how they live in a world where Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda never killed anybody, and the death counts you’re giving are not as unbelievable as the official number of Chicago voters?
Moral equivalence of this kind promotes truth decay.



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Chris Sullivan

posted November 3, 2008 at 9:20 pm


The right to life trumps all issues, Chris.
Agreed.
But what about the right to life of the 1 million Iraqis, including innocent children, killed in consequence of an invasion McCain voted for ?
Or all those embryonic human persons McCain voted to kill for medical purposes ?
God Bless



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Clayton

posted November 3, 2008 at 11:30 pm


Kmiec’s last word is on BeliefNet tonight. Unflinching in his compromises.
Today is the final day of the 2008 presidential campaign. Given my somewhat unusual endorsement, I promised to report at the campaign’s conclusion whether any matter arose to cause me to second-guess my support for Senator Obama for the presidency.
None has.



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Kevin

posted November 4, 2008 at 12:26 am


Chris—But what about the right to life of the 1 million Iraqis, including innocent children, killed in consequence of an invasion McCain voted for?
Chris, it is good to wrestle with issues of conscience in light of Catholic teachings, and the Iraq War is one area where debate is merited and there is no easy answer. You are entitled to your opinions; however, you are NOT entitled to your own facts, even if they serve to assuage your conscience in the event that you choose to vote for a candidate who supports a grave, intrinsic evil that cannot be compromised upon (I don’t know whether or not you are an Obama supporter, so I don’t wish to misrepresent you on that if you are not).
According to Iraq Body Count’s Web site (an anti-war site, it should be mentioned), the total estimated number of civilian deaths in Iraq since the US invaded numbers somewhere between 89,000 and 97,000 (http://www.iraqbodycount.org/) These deaths are tragic, and indeed some of them may have been avoidable had the war been managed differently. But you may NOT breezily claim that McCain somehow is complicit in the deaths of 1 million innocent Iraqi children, for it is simply grossly untrue.
Lastly, and without intending in any way to minimize the sadness of the potentially 97,000 Iraqi lives lost since the war began, one should consider the figures estimated by international intelligence sources and published by the Washington Post before and in the beginning of the war. I’m sorry that I don’t have the link at hand, but I’m sure a google search of the WashPost site could turn up the exact source. It was estimated that 30,000 innocent Iraqis died EACH MONTH under Hussein’s regime (yes, some from malnutrition, but also many from direct neglect, torture, exposure to chemical weapons, etc.) This is not to argue that the US should go around invading every country ruled by a tinpot dictatorial thug in order to save thousands of innocents in each country from their rule, but instead, I mean to show that one needs to look at the larger picture.
This is especially important when deciding between presidential candidates, one of whom is an avowed supporter of a monstrous law imposed 35 years ago by judicial fiat that has directly resulted in the deaths of 48 million innocent babies, while the other made a prudential judgment (which I disagree with to a large extent) about a war whose justness or lack of justness remains to be determined. Intellectual honesty is a vital component of the formation of one’s conscience.



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JoeH

posted November 4, 2008 at 12:51 am


Kmiec. Is this guy a Pope or bishop? Is he part of the Mageserium of the church? As a Catholic, what does the church teach about issues of faith and morals such as the grave sin of murder? It teaches that we need to follow the teaching of the Church and that has been stated that we must place the issue of abortion over everything else. Reason? Could it be that 48,000,000 babies butchered in this genocide on the innocent trumps anything else anyone can think of? Could it be fact that as long as we have legal murder, we can expect all other values to be distorted? Could it be that it is hard to follow how anyone can decide that a person who thinks it is correct to take a child who has survived abortion by the grace of God into a room to be left to die makes sense and should be protected? Pretend you are hiring a babysitter for your kids and one of the persons who applies believes this is OK. Would you hire him? Why would you turn him down? Could be because they have warped value system. Then by the grace of God’s mercy you decide to give him a break and find out that for 20 years he listened to a preacher that spewed out hatred and that he saw no problem hanging around people that thought it was OK to bomb and kill people? When is it you would draw the line and hire someone else?
But to the Obama supporters, nothing seems to matter in their headlong persuit of “change” whatever that means. The person above has an issue with health insurance and this trumbs 48 million dead babies in her mind. How much is each baby worth to her? If she witnessed the brutal murder of one baby where it had its limbs torn off without sedative while alive would she saw that this is ok as long as I get my health insurance?
Then there are those that think the way to lower abortion rates come through the government somehow giving those in need more things. She probably has not issue with the government stealing money from one person and giving it to her as her right. Healthcare is a mess and guess which party has had more impact on making it a mess than the other? Which of the parties pushes for no limit on lawsuits and refuses to block every form of litigation? Which party passed more regulation on the healthcare industry during their reign with the exception of abortion clinics having no regulation? Which party forced those who make products for the healthcare industry to add completly unnecssary saftey changes that proved to have no impact on end result and yet cost billions of dollars. And if Obama is elected and somehow gives everyone free access and pays for healthcare, what is his plan for doctors to cover the needs since we do not have even close to the amount we need now.



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ken

posted November 4, 2008 at 6:54 am


Barack Obama believes it is okay to take a living baby (temporarily living in Barack’s mind) and stuff it into a laundry closet because the abortionist didn’t do his job properly. That is the audacity of evil, pure evil.



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Gina

posted November 4, 2008 at 11:02 am


When I voted this morning, I did so with one child in my arms and another in my womb.
I voted to protect them.



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Chris Sullivan

posted November 4, 2008 at 1:09 pm


Kevin,
The Opinion Research Business survey estimated 1,033,000 violent deaths as a result of the invasion in August 2007.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_death_toll
I think Kmiec has a solid case. His argument is that Obama’s polices will actually result in less abortions.
That’s a pro-life way of voting.
It’s a way of voting that gives primacy to the defence of innocent human life.
Although one might disagree with Kmiec’s judgement on the actual effect of Obama’s policies on the abortion rate, its clear that his argument is entirely Catholic and proportionate to the abortion death toll.
Kmiec is no dyed in the wool liberal. He worked for the Reagan and Bush administrations and is a long time member of the pro-life movement. His pro-life credentials are rock solid.
It’s a sign of how bitterly divided we are against ourselves that one section of the pro-life movement can attack another section of the pro-life movement (Kmiec ) with such viciousness.
That doesn’t bode well for the future of the pro-life movement.
God Bless



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marcum

posted November 4, 2008 at 3:11 pm


Give it up Chris,
Kmiec and you’re troop have come out of the closet against the clear teaching of the church as ‘Proud Protestants.’
The Church is crystal clear: Abortion trumps all
– a non-negotiable
Your personal views of what you believe is and isn’t church teaching is arrogant, self serving and blantantly blasphemous. You made your bed now lie in it!



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shana sfo

posted November 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm


You know, in talking about the war in Iraq, few on the Vote Obama side ever mention the rape rooms or the torture rooms and videos found in Saddam’s and his son’s palaces, or the mass graves of Kurds – women and children there, some buried alive. Why doesn’t anyone ever bring up that horror? Weren’t those people entitled to some kind of freedom from disappearing and being raped and tortured for the pleasure of the government, too? Why was it a bad thing to stop Saddam from using the yellowcake to make weapons (that yellowcake recently sold to Canada?)
And – what army are we fighting in Iraq? Can you define how this is a ‘war’ with Iraq when most of those we are fighting are not native to Iraq? How many of the dead are not Iraqis at all, but terrorists from surrounding countries? How long did it take for the US to withdraw troops from Europe and the South Seas after WWII? – Hey – we still have bases in Germany and Japan, don’t we?
40 million dead babies from abortion since Roe and over a million a year.
137 dead children an hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Reduced some in recent years because of more restrictive laws. Laws Obama wants to undo with one sweep of his pen.
40,000,000 murdered innocents since Roe V Wade. What other war has come close to that in terms of dead innocents alone? And how many worldwide, which are encouraged by the UN?
And I would like to know how signing in FOCA will result in less abortions, nor more, considering FOCA eliminates all restrictions, including parental consent. And using our tax money to once again fund abortions through the UN.
How many young girls, abused by older men, will be aborted without their parents ever knowing? How many women will be conned into killing their babies through UN tactics when more funding comes their way through our taxes?
THAT is NOT going to reduce abortions in the least. FOCA will increase them as predators take advantage of the situation. It will give more incentive to kill babies in the womb because it will be easier in all 9 months to kill them, or kill them shortly afterwards.
Don’t lie to yourself. Unrestricted abortions always mean more of them – check out states that restrict them and do not permit girls to be hauled over state lines. Abortion rates go down.



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Another Kevin

posted November 4, 2008 at 4:44 pm


Chris,
In following some of the links in wikipedia you get to the actual raw data from the polls. Of the one million dead it says that 20% were killed by car bombs. Assuming about 10 dead per car bomb, that means 25,000 car bombs in the period or about 15 per day every day since the war started. Which is about 7 times another estimate of 2-3 bombs per day. In other words there are some serious issues with the numbers in this poll.
Even if this poll were accurate this pales with the number of abortions that occur annually and your proportional reason fails miserably.
You are putting your poliitcal leanings first and then rationalizing your vote. We are supposed to put Christ first not our political part.
May God have mercy on our souls.



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