15 January 2009

The Folly of a Pro-abortion Catholic

During the 2004 and 2008 Presidential campaigns, Kerry-Catholics and Obama-Catholics argued that Catholics could "in good conscience" vote for these two abortion rights extremists b/c both wanted to "reduce the number of abortions rather than outlaw abortions all together." This alleged reduction would be achieved through "eliminating the socio-economic pressures that make abortion attractive to poorer women." I still wonder how one reduces an undesirable behavior by making it moral, legal, and free of charge? Regardless, last November, some 48% of Catholics bought into this fantasy and helped to elect this nation's first promoter of infanticide to the White House. Yes, our soon-to-be Great Leader believes that it is morally and legally permissible to kill children and/or to let them die if they survive their mother's attempt to kill them.

Aquinas argues that we move from wisdom to folly as we sin. Each sin weakens the gifted-ability of the conscience to recognize the Good and the intellect/will's ability to choose the Good and do it. In other words, in the same way that choosing and doing the Good makes choosing and doing the Good easier and easier, sinning makes it harder and harder. At some point, the conscience is no longer capable of distinguishing between Good and Evil, and our inordinate passions consistently win the battle of conscience as we mire ourselves in folly.

Case in point: Eric McFadden, the former head of "Catholics for Clinton," "Catholics for Kerry," director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for Ohio's Democrat governor, former field director for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, past president of Catholics for Faithful Citizenship, most recently Hillary Clinton's State Faith & Values Outreach Director for Ohio, a Knight of Columbus who supported Obama, and a pro-abortion Democrat was arrested yesterday for running a prostitution ring that included minors.

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics for Faithful Citizenship are both front groups run by former Democratic Party officials. Both groups provide "cover" for Catholics who support abortion under the conscience-killing rubric of "Catholics are not one issue voters," that is, it's OK to support pro-abortion politicians so long as those politicians support only those parts of Catholic social justice teaching that agree with the Democratic Party's socialist tendencies.

Once your conscience tells you that it is OK to kill your child, running a prostitution ring that includes children is easy-cheesy. The idea is that "on-balance" McFadden was attempting to reduce the number of child hookers by providing them a fair wage. I wonder if he let them unionize?

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  1. Anonymous7:03 AM

    How horrible. How terribly horrible. But as you said, his conscience is so numb, he can't see that right now, that is, what he did was very evil.

    Kmiec just this week wrote a 9 page "essay" of how the right winged Catholic bloggers have poisoned his relationship with the Vatican. And how he supports Obama still in "good" conscience.

    Do you think that is enough to make some people wake up?

  2. I'm reminded of something that Fr Pavone always says - "you can't practice vice virtuously."

    I'd like to link to this at my blog if that's ok.

  3. Larry,

    Please do.

    I've added a permissions at the bottom of the post

  4. Anonymous12:56 PM

    Your post is based on a false assumption. You assume that Catholics who voted for Kerry or Obama did so because they wanted to "reduce the number of abortions rather than outlaw abortions all together." In fact, the Church teaches that we can never share a candidate's anti-life positions, but we can vote for them despite those positions, if we have proportionate reasons for supporting them.

    I suspect you already knew that, but chose to omit this basic Catholic teaching in order to antagonize those who don't share your political leanings.

  5. Jess,

    I didn't mention that particular teaching b/c it's not relevant.

    Had you read my post more carefully, you would have noticed that McFadden is not a "pro-life but pro-Obama for proportionate good reasons." He's just a plain ole pro-abortion Democrat.

    "Proportionate good reason" does not mean "because I think I have good reason." Hundreds of bishops have made it perfectly clear that nothing in Catholic social justice either singularly or held together outweighs the evil of abortion.

    I'm curious: what in your mind is the proportionate good reason that outweighs the murder of 48 million children since '73 and the some 6 million that will die under B.O.?

    This I gotta hear...

  6. Fr Philip - took me awhile, but I finally got around to posting about this. I'd be honored if you checked out my thoughts. Thanks

  7. Anonymous7:20 PM


    Since Father's too nice, I'll say it: get over your paranoia, and you'll be happier.

  8. Anonymous9:15 PM

    I'm really not sure where to start here. Contrary to what you say in your reply to Jess, nowhere in your post do you say that Eric McFadden is "pro-abortion." Now, that may be the case. But *as it stands*, your post implies this chain of logic: individual who votes Democrat (or "socialist," as you'd have it) for reasons unrelated to abortion = baby killer = pimp/pedophile. It should be clear even to the weak-minded that this is a glaring and unjustifiable ad hominem, but if you need any further proof, may I submit myself as a Catholic/Democrat/non-pedophile? :)

    Here's the other thing. I am pro-life. I know you won't believe me, simply because I don't vote for the (incidentally war-mongering, anti-immigrant, anti-health-insurance) GOP. But I would really like to ask, on behalf of my fellow pro-life Democrats, that you stop equivocating on this and labeling us as infanticidal maniacs ...

    Once again, Barack Obama does not support infanticide. Check the actual facts on that vote. It was completely set up by the GOP so these outlandish accusations could be made.

    And finally, I really think that the cheap shot at fair wages and unions is out of step with the spirit of Catholic social teaching. If you say I don't have the option of understanding Faithful Citizenship the same way as (we are told) at least 50% of the bishops who voted for Obama, then how can you just slam the "socialist" portion of Catholic teaching that advocates for the worker and the poor of the world, not the CEO so beloved of the Republicans?

    Robert C. Hamilton

  9. Robert,

    I've edited the post to make McFadden's pro-abortion stance explicit.

    This post is not primarily about abortion. It's about what happens to a Catholic who darkens his conscience to the truth of the faith. Once you have accepted that abortion is morally OK, it's pretty much anything goes. Secondarily, this post is about those Catholics who have darkened their conscience in support of pro-abortion politicians, most of whom are Democrats.

    I have no problem believing that you or any other Democrat is pro-life. Your party, however, is unashamedly pro-abortion. So, if you are pro-life, why support a party that believes abortion is OK. Please resist the error of assuming I am advocating supporting the GOP. I am not.

    I do not believe that all Democrats are socialist. I do believe that the D.P. has a unashamedly socialist agenda, i.e. the D.P. supports an EU style Nanny State.

    The GOP as a party is largely out of line with Catholic social teaching as well. On abortion, the single most important issue for CST, they are obviously correct.

    During an abortion, a doctor's only goal is to kill the child. If he fails to kill the child in the womb and the child is actually born, B.O. holds that that child (now born) must not be given medical treatment to help it live. This is explicitly what he argued for. He opposed a law that would require the aborting doctor to provide life-saving medical treatment to the infant. That's infanticide.

    That this was some sort of GOP political trick is irrelevant. If the purpose of the proposed law was simply a "set-up," then he should have voted for it, even if he thought it unnecessary.

    We do not know that 50% of the bishops voted for B.O. That's an unsupportable rumor and irrevelant.

    What you call a cheap shot is nothing more than my way of emphasizing the stupidity of the "all CST issues have equal weight."

    As a working class public school kid who started working for a non-unionized and exploitative company at age 16, I am 100% behind the Church's teaching on the rights of workers to unionize.

    The CEO's who caused this latest economic crisis should be arrested and put in prison, if not shot.

    Do not assume that b/c I loathe the Party of Baby-killing that I support the Party of Torture. I do not.

    I support the Catholic Church.

  10. I love this line:
    I still wonder how one reduces an undesirable behavior by making it moral, legal, and free of charge?

    I'm going to link to you also (although I'm a nobody with no readers!)

    Keep up the good work!

  11. Anonymous3:07 PM


    Re: your response to Robert

    Why don't we ever see vitriolic posts on here against the GOP? You have to know that your vicious anti-democrat posts lead many readers to the mindset that it's ok to go along with whatever the GOP does simply because they are not the party of "baby-killing." We are in a two-party dominated county. Unless you repeatedly state otherwise, people assume that when you mercilessly bash one party exclusively, you back the other.

    The truth is that the same killing of conscience which you describe happening to Democrat Catholics is likely happening to Republican Catholics too who no longer think that things like health insurance for kids matters or think that torture is ever justified and that preemptive war is ok. I know some real jerks who are pro-life, kind people who are pro-life, jerks who are pro-choice, and kind people who are pro-choice. Supporting legal abortion is not the only way a person can come to commit atrocious moral crimes of their own.

    And I don't know how many times I've tried to point this out, but I'll do it one more time:
    Illinois already has a law that protects infants who survive abortions. The bill Obama rejected was a redundant bill. He knew this. What he was voting against was something entirely different. The infanticide clause was added so people like you could constantly invoke it as a scare tactic.

    -Sarah H.

  12. Sarah,

    I don't have to know anything. I do know some things...and don't know others. One of the things that I don't know is what someone who reads this blog might infer from my posts. Any number of things could be inferred from my "vicious anti-democratic attacks" (have you been listening to that wingnut on MSNBC again?).

    Why do you ignore my plain statement that I do not support the GOP as a party?

  13. Anonymous7:30 PM

    Regarding Sarah's comment, I also think that what is relevant should further be distinguished from what is not. She wrote:

    "I know some real jerks who are pro-life, kind people who are pro-life, jerks who are pro-choice, and kind people who are pro-choice."

    Beliefs and ideas translate into actions, which matter and have real consequence.

    In other words, there is more to this than kindness or one of modernity's favorite words: "nice"-ness.

    To quote Peter Kreeft, who takes up the issue of the "sincere", but misguided:

    "How do you know what God expects of us? Have you listened to God's revelation? Isn't it dangerous to assume without question or doubt that God must do exactly what you would do if you were God? Suppose sincerity were not enough; suppose truth was needed too. Is that unthinkable? In every other area of life we need truth. Is sincerity enough for a surgeon? An explorer? Don't we need accurate road maps of reality?

    The objector's implicit assumption here is that there is no objective truth in religion, only subjective sincerity, so that no one can ever be both sincere and wrong; that the spirit does not have objective roads like the body and the mind, which lead to distinct destinations: the body's physical roads lead to different cities and the mind's logical roads lead to different conclusions. True sincerity wants to know the truth."


  14. Anonymous3:50 PM

    Fr. Philip,

    Well, I have to say that I also get the impression that this blog, as well as the Catholic League, the Priests for Life, and other groups that focus an incredible amount of zeal blasting the Democratic Party, are nothing more than partisans for the GOP. I do believe you when you say you have issues with that party, but honestly, the evidence on here is almost nil.

    Sarah's right to point out that, in a two-party system, haranguing one of them implies support for the other. Also, attacking a whole party when you really wish to attack one plank of its platform also gives a misleading impression.

    I'm not sure what to make of this "socialism" business. You're living in Europe, so I am surprised that you don't realize just how center-right the US democrats really are. Anyway, I'm not sure it's relevant to the abortion stuff at all.

    It doesn't take a "wingnut on MSNBC" to realize that you're viciously attacking the DP.

    Here's the thing (and this is for Patrick, too, and what he has to say about "niceness"): the Democratic Party is absolutely imperfect, and I am not a member because I am delusional enough to think otherwise. Any self-respecting Catholic who is a member of either party has to realize that there are grave sins being supported by both sides, sins that are in fact intrinsically evil and violate the dignity of the human being. So they need to take exception to those, and they need to strive to change these parts of the platform. But I am in the Democratic Party because I feel that I can use my vote to stop, really stop within the next four years, a few of the really vile offenses our country commits. Of course I object to the party's platform on abortion, but those who support its pro-choice views do not do so because they want to be of the "party of death." Our priest today in Waco emphasized the role that a person's upbringing can play in his/her acceptance or rejection of the gospel. This is also true of abortion. People who vote for it don't do so because they are bloodthirsty maniacs, but because (this is my experience with pro-choice friends) they have seen women go through incredible difficulty and ostracization (often by sanctimonious Christians and social conservatives) after having children, and cannot abide the thought that a male-dominated government wants to claim authority over the inside of a woman's body.

    Obviously, you and I find flaws with this argument, but isn't it in everyone's best interest to assume that these motives (care for women) are good, and then show how the pro-life movement can also provide true shelter and hope for women in terrifyingly difficult circumstances? Or if it cannot, working to change the pro-life movement? Is not this a better "pastoral" solution than viciously attacking these people (and even those who try to understand them, like myself and Sarah) and making them feel like pro-lifers must be a bunch of reactionary curmudgeons?

    I will comment on some of your other points on other posts ...

    Robert Hamilton

  15. Robert,

    OK...I'm "viciously attacking" the DP. Doesn't bother me in the least to viciously attack a political party that holds as one of its holiest planks of political activity the defense of the murder of children. Won't lose a wink over that.

    I don't buy the argument the moral equivalence argument that the GOP is just as bad b/c they too do stuff that Catholics like. As a party they do not support abortion.

    For the Church, abortion is the root issue, the rock bottom social justice plank that defines all the others...if we can't support the right of the human child to live and grow, then nothing else in that list of CST makes any sense.

    I, for one, will not be among those who hear the Lord say, "What did you do for the least of mine? Nothing, that's what. You compromised with people who squirmed under the condemnation of a bad conscience so that you might not feel icky at cocktail parties. Join the goats."

    If women who have had abortions or want to right to have them want to see laws that prevent the murder of children as an effort by male-dominated governments to claim authority over their bodies, so be it. It's nothing of the sort. Outlawing abortion is a human rights issue. The child's right to be born and live and grow outweighs any inconvenience that a pregnancy might cause the mother. We can and should do a MUCH better job of organizing the social and economic life of the country to do everything we can to support pregnant women and mothers. That includes streamlined adoption procedures, universal health care for mother and child; frankly, anything the mother and child need.

    If changing the image of the pro-life movement requires it to compromise one iota on the issue of abortion, then I couldn't care less what pro-aborts think about the pro-life movement. Can we do some polishing to make the movement prettier? Sure. But there can be no compromise on the core belief that moves the movement.

    To the degree that pro-aborts truly care for the health and welfare of the women involved in abortions, I applaud them. But more and more research is showing that there is nothing about abortion that can be good for the health of the woman. As far as I can tell, pro-aborts see pregnancy as a disease that can be cured with abortion.

    One consequence of "the woman's right to choose" here in the EU is that women who are pregnant with children that might require medical services after birth are being forced to abort or face losing their health insurance. That's not choice. That's coercion. "Choice" has dulled the outrage over abortion to the degree that some doctors and insurance companies now see abortion as a way of saving money.

    How long before American insurance companies start telling pregnant women that they must abort a Downs Syndrome baby or lose medical coverage? My guess: within the next four years.

  16. Anonymous12:27 PM

    Fr. Philip,

    I am not asking you, or anyone, to compromise your views on abortion. But listen. In this post you have somehow managed to call me, a fellow pro-lifer, one of the "goats" who will go to hell, and implied that I vote or believe a certain way because of a superficial desire to make an impression at "cocktail parties." If you're capable of alienating ME to this extent, how much more those who actually have deeper disagreements with you? Or is your calling in life simply to galvanize your fellow extremists?

    Can you cite an official Vatican document (not a private opinion) that says that *abortion* per se is the highest issue? I would have thought it was "life," which would embrace abortion as well as murder, torture, unjust war. Maybe I'm misinformed.

    Robert H.

  17. Robert,

    Once again, I have no control over how you choose to read my remarks. If you choose to be alienated by my post, not my problem. Stop reading my blog. Be Free! Go elsewhere! It's America.

    I said quite clearly in my post that I did not want to be labeled a goat by the Lord. If, by some bizarre logic, you want to think that my desire not to be goat means that I want you to be one...nothing I can do about that.

    Folks, notice the difference in tone btw my posts with Reynardine above and these posts with Robert.

    Robert, you are choosing to read my posts in the worst possible light. Reynardine didn't. Your defensiveness, unfounded accusations, and freakish leaps of logic are laughable.

    Why do you need a Vatican document to tell you that murdering children is an abomination? Anyone with a half-formed conscience can figure that out.

    Let your next comment be a rational question (sans the "why always me mewling?") or don't post.

    Easy cheesy.