Skip to comments.Why is Bush getting the bishop's blessing?
Posted on 10/14/2004 9:46:25 PM PDT by Coleus
Why is Bush getting the bishop's blessing?
|Thursday, October 14, 2004|
NEWARK'S ARCHBISHOP John Myers wrote an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal last month on why Catholics cannot in good conscience vote for a pro-choice candidate. It was titled "A Voter's Guide."
Myers wrote that abortion and research that destroys human embryos are evil and that no other issue outweighs that evil in this presidential race: not the death penalty, poverty, or the war in Iraq.
The archbishop did not name names, but his message is clear: Catholics can't vote for John Kerry. Since Catholics make up one-quarter of the voting population, Myers would hand the election on a silver platter to President Bush.
Another archbishop, Charles Chaput of Colorado, is even more blunt: Voting for a candidate who is pro-choice or supports embryonic stem cell research is a sin, and the voter must confess it before receiving communion.
These dire warnings are part of an attempt by both the Bush campaign and conservative bishops to deliver the Catholic vote for the 2004 Republican ticket. In other words, Bush is endorsed by God.
This is a hard pill for many Catholics to swallow. In any election, American voters do not like to be dictated to - and this is no ordinary race. How can it be reduced to one issue when so much is at stake?
Bush and Kerry have starkly different views on preemptive war, how to fight terrorism, reducing nuclear proliferation, preserving the environment and expanding health care. All of these issues have the potential to save or destroy a great many lives.
Yet Catholic Kerry supporters are being told they must put aside their opposition to Bush's policies, which many of them have reached on moral grounds, and vote for a man who they believe has done some rather immoral things: taken the nation to war on false pretenses and made the world less safe by recklessly concentrating his resources on Iraq instead of the war on terror.
Some Catholic voters would consider their positions on these issues "pro-life."
But Myers says in his article that it's a numbers game: What other issue can outweigh 1.3 million abortions in America each year? Sadly, other issues do rival those numbers. Millions have died in civil wars in Africa in recent years, and genocide is happening in the Sudan right now. Millions have died from AIDS, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, and millions continue to be infected around the world. Millions could die in a military showdown with North Korea, for instance, if nuclear weapons were used.
Bush is pro-life, although he said during his first campaign he would not try to overturn Roe vs. Wade. But this time around, if reelected, he would likely name one or two justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. Given that his favorites on the court are Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, it's certainly possible that a future court would have enough votes to ban abortion.
But so far, Bush has done little to significantly lower the abortion rate in the United States. In some places, abortions have likely increased due to unemployment. And the U.N. Population Fund estimates that Bush's repeated withholding of U.S. funds pledged for family planning programs has led to hundreds of thousands of abortions in poor countries.
The conservative bishops have the right to speak out, even organize voter drives, although in coming so close to campaigning for a particular candidate, they may be jeopardizing the church's tax-exempt status.
For the record, I am pro-life. I believe life begins at conception and therefore, abortion is wrong.
But I also believe most wars are wrong.
I believe it's wrong to stand by while half a continent needlessly suffers and dies from AIDS. It's wrong to allow people in this country to die of easily curable illness because they have no health insurance. It's wrong to condemn children to lifelong poverty and waste their minds by denying them even the most basic education. It's wrong to allow corporate greed and influence to take precedence over fairness and generosity in the workplace, in the environment and in how we care for the most vulnerable in our nation and the world.
All of these issues, and a host of others, are relevant in this pivotal, polarized election, which defies reduction to a simple referendum on abortion.
The church should be working to lower the abortion rate in this country. But telling people how they must vote, on condition of losing their souls, goes too far.
Mary Ellen Schoonmaker is a Record editorial writer. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
According to Kerry, God tells him to be a liberal, created homosexuality, and all those embryos are just going to waste.
Why is it people who do not believe what Catholics believe want to be Catholics? I am astounded by this idea that you can say you are a devout Catholic but I do not abide by its principles. I guess that is it, John Kerry in his religion, like everyhing else, is unprincipled.
Any catholics that feel they have chosen on "MORAL GROUNDS" to support kerry are as terribly confused as the lady that wrote this column.
It seems strange and it makes no sense (to claim to be "Catholic" while going against Catholic teaching). Clinton did something similar from a Protestant/Baptist point of view. And African-American liberals do that as well.
Not wrong enough to overcome her liberal mindset, obviously.
(Thanks for posting -- great job with the links!)
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THE FIVE NON-NEGOTIABLE ISSUES
These five current issues concern actions that are intrinsically evil and must never be promoted by the law. Intrinsically evil actions are those which fundamentally conflict with the moral law and can never be deliberately performed under any circumstances. It is a serious sin to deliberately endorse or promote any of these actions, and no candidate who really wants to advance the common good will support any action contrary to the non-negotiable principles involved in these issues.
The Church teaches that, regarding a law permitting abortions, it is "never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or to vote for it" (EV 73). Abortion is the intentional and direct killing of an innocent human being, and therefore it is a form of homicide.
The unborn child is always an innocent party, and no law may permit the taking of his life. Even when a child is conceived through rape or incest, the fault is not the child's, who should not suffer death for others' sins.
Often disguised by the name "mercy killing," euthanasia also is a form of homicide. No person has a right to take his own life, and no one has the right to take the life of any innocent person.
In euthanasia, the ill or elderly are killed, by action or omission, out of a misplaced sense of compassion, but true compassion cannot include intentionally doing something intrinsically evil to another person (cf. EV 73).
3. Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Human embryos are human beings. "Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo" (CRF 4b).
Recent scientific advances show that often medical treatments that researchers hope to develop from experimentation on embryonic stem cells can be developed by using adult stem cells instead. Adult stem cells can be obtained without doing harm to the adults from whom they come. Thus there is no valid medical argument in favor of using embryonic stem cells. And even if there were benefits to be had from such experiments, they would not justify destroying innocent embryonic humans.
4. Human Cloning
"Attempts . . . for obtaining a human being without any connection with sexuality through 'twin fission,' cloning, or parthenogenesis are to be considered contrary to the moral law, since they are in opposition to the dignity both of human procreation and of the conjugal union" (RHL I:6).
Human cloning also involves abortion because the "rejected" or "unsuccessful" embryonic clones are destroyed, yet each clone is a human being.
5. Homosexual "Marriage"
True marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Legal recognition of any other union as "marriage" undermines true marriage, and legal recognition of homosexual unions actually does homosexual persons a disfavor by encouraging them to persist in what is an objectively immoral arrangement.
"When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral" (UHP 10).
Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list
"These dire warnings are part of an attempt by both the Bush campaign and conservative bishops to deliver the Catholic vote for the 2004 Republican ticket."
So, "the Bush campaign" is issuing orders to bishops? How come they haven't ordered every bishop to make similar announcements?
"In other words, Bush is endorsed by God."
Well, yeah. Or at least he's doing a much better job of trying to abide by God's commandments.
"What kind of man would I be if I gave up my beliefs for votes?"
Fact: Horror of horrors, one of the two men running for president is more godly than the other.
The author neglected to mention the Archdiocese of Boston has filed denounciation of Kerry for Heresy
Kerry insists on using 'articles of faith' when describing his pro-abortion and pro-homosexual positions when actually they are defined as natural law. I supposed 'articles of faith' polled better.
How inspiring to witness these bishops and priests taking a stand like this. Abortion is the #1 issue and to vote for anyone who will prolong this murderous act is to share in it. I pray that the other Christian faiths will be more vocal in admonishing their flocks.
None, not even war. 40+ million dead since 1973.
Good gracious, I sure HOPE so!!
The NY Times had an article about this yesterday, or the day before. It won't be long before folks start screaming about separation of Church and state, and denial of tax-exempt status. I'd say discuss that action against the Catholic Church only after all the black churches that John Kerry has been in this year have been discussed. I haven't seen George W. Bush in any Catholic pulpits, has anyone else?
Kind of ironic when you consider Kerry's comments about the scriptures in the Book of James.
Talk about logic fallicies. A sixth grader could see right through the emotional argument.
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