Monday, September 15, 2008

The Disqualification of a Candidate

I'd like to hear people's thoughts on this short article.


Fred said...

OK. I'll bite. What qualifies as an "adamant pro-abortion position"? China's one child policy or McCain's support of stem cell research, or something in between or otherwise...

Fred said...

oops, I meant fetal stem cell research

kkollwitz said...

"The conditions under which an individual may be able to vote for a pro-abortion candidate would apply only if all the candidates are equally pro-abortion."

I thought this was a useful clarification.

brett said...

for any christian that is considering voting for the pro-abortion canidate in this election....

it would be a sin for you to vote for a pro-abort canidate
please watch this:

if you can't get the link to work
look up The Catholic Church's Declaration on Procured Abortion.
from "The Congregation for the Doctorine of the Faith, Nov, 18th, 1974, No. 22"

I'm really speaking to the Christians and Catholic Christians...if you cannot bring yourself to vote for McCain, the prolife canidate that will appoint prolife judges to the supreme court. Then your only other option is NOT to vote.

as far as the thing about McCain supporting embryo/stemcell research.
well, look at it this way...
Obama supports embryo/stem cell research AND the silent slaughter of 3000-4000 innocent lives EACH DAY in the US.

which do you think is the lesser of two evils?

paul said...

He places fundamental priority where it rightly belongs - defending the least of these.

Incidentally, linked at the bottom of the Vasa article is what would appear to be a clear example of an adamant pro-abortion position:

Scott Lyons said...

I appreciate your comments. Brett, I couldn't get the Madrid video to work (computer's getting older), but I did print out the Church's Declaration on the Procurement of Abortion, which is excellent. In my first reading, I didn't see it saying what Bishop Vasa says, only that voting for laws for abortion are a grave evil. If I missed something, please let me know.

I would also agree that Obama is rightly considered a pro-abortion candidate. Arguably, in the retaining of the legal rights of women, an adamant one at that. I don't think he wants there to be so many abortions, just that he misinterprets it, as so many do, as a women's rights issue rather than a human rights issue.

I would also say that nobody on either ticket shares the Catholic Church's view on abortion. That is not to say that the GOP ticket's views aren't far closer than the Dems. But it needs to be remembered.

But here, fundamentally, is my problem with Bishop Vasa's statement: Why hasn't this teaching been "clarified" before? Why didn't Archbishop Chaput "clarify" the teaching of the Church on this when the group "Catholics for Obama" reared its head? Why doesn't the USCCB formally make a statement concerning it? To me, it seems, the point is that we are to form our consciences properly, within the Church, understanding the fundamental necessity of life's sanctity, and that we all vote starting from that position. I think the Church's position is intentionally ambiguous (not on the gravity of evil that abortion is, but on our voting for politicians) that we might wrestle with these issues ourselves. That we might engage other issues in our society and understand them and work so that both parties come nearer the Cross. And to realize that we can't simply throw our vote one way every four years and then forget about this struggle concerning life (and not only on the beginnings of life). There needs to be conversation that brings in the best of science and theology, which I believe is concisely stated in Tertullian's quotation in the CDF document, "The one who will be a man is already one."

While a vote for Obama may not be where my conscience leads me, hearing from people that a vote for Obama will send me to hell is tiring. (Not than any of you have done that.) This is the heart of fundamentalism - all us/them - the hubris of judgment.

Finally, to me it does not seem - and this is a terrible thing - the increase or reduction of abortions will depend on whether McCain or Obama is elected in 6 weeks. I'm not voting in the fall whether abortion ought to be legal - and this is an important difference for me, one that I don't feel is ever adequately addressed. (Maybe it can't be.) But at the same time I hear some Republicans say that 12 million illegal immigrants ought to be deported. That is hard stuff for me. And it ought to be. Our democracy, and more importantly how we practice our faith in our communities and country, ought to be more of a moral struggle than, "Well, this guy says he's pro-life." Even if, in the end, that is the plank on which we stand.

Anonymous said...

Do you agree or disagree that Obama and the majority of the Democtratic party support "moral relativism"?

Scott Lyons said...

Anon, I don't know whether Obama is a moral relativist - I would imagine that he is not completely since he confesses to be a Christian. As Christians we believe in objective moral truth - if not in all areas, certainly we ought to in some. This is debatable, of course, since many Christians today seem to be drifting into moral relativism.

But be careful to pigeonhole Dems or anyone else as moral relativists. Unless they are self-confessedly so, that is not our judgment, even though they may appear to be in practice. The charge can just as easily be laid at the Republicans feet, or at our own feet.

Scott Lyons said...

Anon, let me clarify my comment some and more directly answer your question - there are certainly moral relativists in the Democratic party. However, there are also, as many, in the Republican party. Perhaps not on the issue of abortion as we both may see it. But our political parties are not Christian. And I have a strong suspicion that the only reason that there is any kind of pro-life plank in the GOP platform has far more to do with garnering Evangelical and Conservative votes than with any strong allegiance to objective truth.

paul said...

Most of your last two comments make a lot of sense to me, Scott.

Yet your last statement strikes me as a little cynical since the GOP's consistently pro-life plank does have a strong correlation to the consitutional idea of holding certain truths to be self-evident, starting with life.

At the same time, it is a political reality that the pro-life position clearly resonates with a significant % of the American electorate.

Either way, on this issue of life & death, the GOP & most of it's candidates are oriented in largely the same direction as we believers, and in my opinion, that should not be discounted or merely acknowledged, but supported.

Scott Lyons said...

Paul, I appreciate your thinking/push back on these thorny (for me, at least) political issues.

Now, my last comment only sounds a little cynical because it is. And it's certainly not for me to judge why a Republican candidate is pro-life (i.e., whether he merely wants my vote).

You're also right that this fundamental right - the sanctity of life - ought to be supported when it appears, and while it is present. And I don't disagree.

I do wish, and maybe all my whining and bucking has more to do with what I wish were, that the Republicans' support of this fundamental issue would overflow into the belief of the dignity of all people and would be crowned with a preference for the poor.

paul said...

The two parties certainly contrast in how they approach those issues, but that's a huge discussion for another post I suspect.

Of course, I'd be happy to engage in it. : )

Scott Lyons said...

Sometimes, Paul, I wonder whether something like a preference for the poor can be approached in any way other than directly, with our own hands.

Of course, that doesn't say much about how the government ought to be involved.

paul said...

On the contrary, Scott, I think it says a whole lot.

There are countless historical & present-day examples to support what you are wondering.

Government just isn't equipped for it or certainly not for doing it very effectively or efficiently.

But what government can & ought do is to govern efficiently, keeping tax burdens low, while creating a legal framework that is conducive to, even promoting of true direct charity.