People like feel-good promises more than assertive guidelines. If
you distort the truth or flat-out lie with enough convincing authority,
people will believe you. Promise them anything…anything…and
sound smart and confident, and they won’t care that facts don’t back up
the words. Some people seem to believe that just saying something makes
it so.

Like, Catholics who oppose abortion can support politicians who staunchly defend abortion.
Especially when given a choice between candidates for an office. Doug
Kmiec is one of the more baffling cases of such politics of Wonderland
these days. And he’s out to make his case, in spite of Church teaching
to the contrary.

Obama does not advocate the reversal of Roe vs. Wade,
and orthodox Catholics do. We do for the very clear reason given by
George in a Sept. 2 letter—namely, “one cannot favor the legal status
quo on abortion and also be working for the common good.”

That’s exactly right, but what’s wrong is for Republican partisans
to claim this to be Obama’s position. It’s not. Rather, Obama believes
there are alternative ways to promote the “culture of life,” even given
the law’s sanction of abortion.

The central hope of the Obama campaign is to find common ground—not
by “favoring” that which can never be acceptable, the taking of
innocent unborn life, but by dealing with the legal reality in a way
that at least reduces the likelihood of abortion.

This is a play on words, and Prof. Kmiec is highly intelligent and
should know that. Hence, the bafflement of many of his colleagues and
friends. At least he should be honest about this instead of spinning
the rhetoric. Because his candidate has promised to make the Freedom of Choice Act one of the first documents he signs into law as president.

Tell the people it’s all a matter of conscience…but neglect to
empasize that conscience must be informed….and you can justify
anything. Just by saying yes, you can.

The bishops of the Catholic Church are continually clarifying these
political/cultural word traps by issuing declarations aimed at forming
consciences for faithful citizenship. Kmiec mentioned Chicago’s
Cardinal George. He was one of the latest to release a letter publicly.

And then there’s the entire body of US bishops, who saw the necessity to issue this news release about an ad campaign their Pro-Life office has launched, for further clarity.

Note this part…

A third ad underscores the extreme nature of current
abortion policy under Roe v. Wade: “The human heart begins to beat at
22 days. Roe v. Wade says a doctor can stop it for the next 244….Have
we gone too far?” The full-color ad directs readers to www.secondlookproject.org for more information on abortion law.
           
The final ad, newly designed, calls on Congress to “Pledge now to
oppose FOCA” — the “Freedom of Choice Act,” that is designed to mandate
taxpayer funding of abortion and eliminate virtually all current laws
regulating abortion. The ad features the eye-catching graphic of a red
octagonal sign with the word “GO” instead of “STOP,” and reads: “You
can’t reduce abortions by promoting abortions. If you agree, oppose the
‘Freedom of Choice Act’.”

You can’t reduce abortions by promoting abortions. No matter how much you close your eyes and wish it were so.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....