There’s no question the candidate has great appeal. He’s
intelligent, impressive, has great momentum. Joining his campaign has
been a movement more than a political act for many people.
But some were compelled to resist, in spite of the ‘coolness factor’, because of the human factor. Here’s a good explanation by one of them.
Let’s start with the Declaration of Independence crafted by the Founding Fathers.
That the specifics of that historic moment might be lost
on excited legions gearing up to vote is sad. That it’s not lost on
those who seem to own the current patent on Change is disturbing.
The Declaration of Independence could be viewed as the mind to the
Constitution’s body. Or, the blueprint to its structure. In it, the
Founders enumerated rights ranked in an order of priority—even if some
among us attempt Cirque de Soleil-worthy contortions to deny it.
The first of these is the right to life. That wasn’t minted in the
Vatican but rendered by the Founders themselves—a group largely
antagonistic to Rome. It doesn’t require episcopal ordination to
acknowledge that, in the unique edifice of state designed by the
Founders, the right to life was set as the cornerstone.
Why has this not been discussed more? Recall the wording of that document, at this late hour: “We
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Life, to repeat Kelleher’s point, is pre-eminent. But in politics, it has been re-defined.
In the case of abortion, as the science rolls in and the
facts become harder to refute, a new tactic has been deployed to shift
the focus. “OK, so, it may be a human life but that’s not the same
thing as a person.” Some are more honest, if more shocking. Last week
Rabbi Michael Lerner, leader of the progressive Tikkun movement, urged
Californians to reject a referendum requiring parental notification of
their child’s request for abortion, saying, “I would support a
different kind of ‘cooling off process’ were it proposed. I believe
that an abortion should be thought of as ‘justifiable homicide.’”
As reprehensible as this thinking about human life is, it is at
least intellectually honest for someone who believes in abortion. And
if a single abortion is homicide, roughly 50 million of them in the 35
years since Roe constitutes genocide. To affirm, uphold and
aggressively enshrine as law the ability to commit ‘justified homicide’
into the future is to choose choose “the curse” instead of “the
blessing”, as Moses presented it under the first Law.
Somewhere between Moses and Rabbi Lerner, things went off course.
Ours, thankfully, is a culture in which the suffering of animals is increasingly acknowledged and protested.
Yes, there are signs posted on beaches that destroying sea turtles is a federal offense, among other harms to God’s creatures.
Yet, the brutal truth of what abortion is and does
remains too horrific for us to face. This is why denial runs so
viscerally deep and why our response demands indefatigable commitment
to a clarity anchored in charity.
I’m so glad he used my favorite phrase….’clarity with charity’.
Assume good intentions. Just assume those who adhere to beliefs that
may be homicidal are terribly uninformed, or in deep denial.
To say, “one point three million deaths each year”
exerts a numbing effect on the mind. Of course, we are capable of
making a distinction and do so daily at a level of cognitive
dissonance. We know how it goes. When a pregnancy is embraced, it’s
obviously a child that’s growing in our midst. When it’s not wanted,
it’s a fetus—instantly a different thing.
Pause for a moment…..
Just this evening, I received an email from a cousin’s daughter I
very seldom hear from, but always in important family moments. She
attached ultrasound photos of her baby and remarked about how this
child is already sucking his thumb (she doesn’t know the gender). She
talked about the baby’s movement and how this child seems to sleep in
the morning and play in the afternoon and after dinner. Amazing, I
thought, how for the ‘pro-choice’ movement, it’s a child when it’s
wanted, and something other than human when it’s not…
Back to Kelleher’s piece:
Attempts to manipulate Catholics with the charge that
they’re single-vote obsessives driven by some pelvic theology, is just
bogus—a betrayal of the truth for today’s equivalent of thirty pieces
Good line, Tim.
And this bears repeating—the pre-born are so different in degree of innocence, they constitute a unique class of victim.
Genocide has been condoned as ‘ethnic cleansing’ (what madness
condones that?), and the atrocities against the Jewish religion are
beyond human comprehension. The new class of victims can be called ‘the
inconvenients’, as a devout seminarian pointed out to me last week.
I like Barack and understand the enthusiasm. He seems a
personification of the hope we presume is inherent to change. I wish I
could get on board. I might even seem as cool as the people around me.
Yet, behind the sheer charisma and smooth layers of nuance,
compatibility with prophetic gospel imperatives is hard to see.
Approval of the death penalty, an announced readiness to act militarily
against Pakistan in a move that would make Iraq look like a weekend
paint-ball game. These don’t point to consonance with Christian
concerns, not in a way that seems truly to distinguish him from his
opponents. And, then, there’s his willingness to countenance the fifty
million we Americans add to every day and which depletes us on every
We are gravely wounded by the depletion of all the human beings who
may have been professors and priests, lawyers and leaders, brother and
sisters and…Mother Teresas. By the pharmacicsts and psychologists,
prayer warriors and prime ministers. And maybe even a potential pope.
And a president. A pro-life president, who understands what a jarring
phrase that even is, since we used to know this. And can never deny.