Sounds like the beginning of a joke.
But it was the Vice-Presidential debate and the only jokes afterward were about how the current officeholder handled himself, buffoonery and all.
There’s enough out there about the Joe Biden smirks and awkward laughter and guffaws and general unbefitting behavior for the office and the occasion.
I’m interested in the point in the debate, and hour and twent minutes into a 90 minute debate, when moderator Martha Raddatz asked them how their Catholic faith shaped their views on abortion.
“I don’t see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith,” Ryan said. “Our faith informs us in everything we do. My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, of how to make sure that people have a chance in life.”
“Now, you want to ask basically why I’m pro-life? It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor, of course. But it’s also because of reason and science.
The Republican vice-presidential candidate shared how his eldest daughter’s nickname is “Bean” due to how she appeared in her first ultrasound. He also said that he’s troubled by what he feels is the Obama administration’s infringement on “our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals. Our church should not have to sue our federal government to maintain their religious liberties.
Biden challenged what Ryan’s characterization of the health-care reform as an assault on the Catholic Church, noting that “no religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy Hospital, any hospital, none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact.”
The US Bishops quickly issued a correction of fact.
This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.
HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.
USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.
Back to the debate…
[Biden] said that while he’s been a practicing Catholic all his life and his faith informs his social doctrine.
“The Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who — who can’t take care of themselves, people who need help. With regard to — with regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position on abortion as a — what we call a (inaudible) doctrine. Life begins at conception in the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life.
While he accepts the church’s doctrine when it comes to abortion, he refuses to “impose that on others.”
“I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that — women they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor. In my view and the Supreme Court, I’m not going to interfere with that.”
Thus representing the ‘morally opposed, but…’ Catholics who can’t make a coherent argument out of that position. And Biden, who must have internally struggled after trying to convince the president not to impose this mandate because of its violations against Catholic teaching, has quickly become an administration apologist for the cause of…what?….imposing on others a doctrine or mandate based on trumped up claims that it’s ‘women’s preventive healthcare services’, a thinly disguised cover for Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.
Two very different views of Catholicism were presented in a few short moments on that stage, but enough to speak for a generational gap.