Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Robbing Peter to play politics

I think some of my fellow Catholics would vote for the devil himself if he said he was "pro-life."

The past couple of elections, we've come close. And the pattern seems to be holding among orthodox Catholics in 2008.

"AHA!" some of you are saying. "This Favog crank is a pro-abort Obama fanatic! A real Catholic in Name Only type."

You haven't
read this blog much, have you?

NO, I AGREE with the much-maligned Catholic bishop of Scranton, Joseph Martino, that a Catholic faces some high hurdles indeed before he (or she) can vote for an abortion supporter with a clean conscience. What troubles me greatly, though, is "conservative" Catholics' assumption that means they can vote for John McCain.

Because the same reasons that keep a believing Catholic from blithely voting for the abortion enthusiast, Barack Obama, also keep him from blithely voting for the candidate who supports an unjust war, backtracks on his formerly unequivocal opposition to torturing "enemy combatants," remains silent when supporters cry out for Obama's death . . . and supports embryonic stem-cell research.

Embryonic stem-cell research. The increasingly superfluous "science" you can't carry out without murdered fetuses or cannibalized embryos. McCain's support of that little shop of horrors is kind of like condemning the Holocaust while bathing with a fresh bar of
Jew soap.

But that doesn't stop all manner of my fellow Catholics from robbing Peter to play politics . . . badly. I think
this slice of life from the Scranton Times-Tribune pretty much sums up the mess Catholics have politicked themselves into. The scene . . . in line outside an arena, waiting to get into a rally featuring GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin:

The line outside Riverfront Sports has dwindled to a a few hundred. Reporters at the scene said it appears that everyone who wants to attend the Palin rally will be able to get in.

One man walked the length of the line shouting out "reminders" to those waiting that " loaded firearms are not allowed inside."

Two vans full of students from St. Gregory's Academy in Elmhurst were juggling and performing as they waited to go through security.

17-year-old Ian Costello, a student from Oklahoma, said that he believed much of the student body was supporting the McCain/Palin ticket.

"McCain, definitely. Everyone is for McCain."

Matthew Schultz, a rhetoric teacher at St. Gregory's, said he had two reasons for bringing the students to the rally.

"To show support for Sarah Palin with regards to her pro-life stance. As Catholics, we support our bishop in his stances. I'd like the boys to see some rhetoric in action."

When asked about some of the anti-Obama outbursts from people at previous Palin/McCain rallies, Mr. Matthews said " It's not what a gentleman or a Christian should do."
I WONDER WHAT Schultz's opinion is of politicians who work the yahoos into a homicidal frenzy? How "pro-life" might that be?

The boisterous crowd, estimated at around 4,500, interrupted her speech several times with chants of, "Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!"

There were no incendiary outbursts from the crowd about Mr. Obama during Mrs. Palin's speech, as there have been during other recent McCain-Palin rallies.

However, someone did shout out, "Kill him!" during Republican congressional candidate Chris Hackett's remarks before Mrs. Palin took the stage.

The outburst came during a round of booing from the crowd after Mr. Hackett said Mr. Obama should come to Pennsylvania and learn what the state's values are.
AT LEAST the McCain-Palin-loving Catholic schoolkids got "to see some rhetoric in action."

And the rest of us got to see how the tomfoolery some Catholics put up with in the name of voting "pro-life" buries that cause
under a mountain of hypocrisy and does real, lasting damage to the Church's witness. It does violence to the gospel, and to those who have staked their lives upon it.

It comes down to this: God don't like ugly.

Catholic moral theology posits that we may not do evil in the hope good might come out of it. That applies to voting for abortion enthusiasts.

That also applies to backers of cutting apart frozen human embryos to fix what ails us former embryos . . . who support unjust wars . . . and countenance expressions of hate and homicide from newly minted mobs they've whipped up in the name of acquiring ultimate political power.

"Catholic" schools that can't grasp that aren't worth a dime's tuition, and a Church that compromises its witness for a sack of empty promises may yet prevail against the gates of hell . . . but it's going to be close.

1 comment:

Michael Creighton said...

"The Church equips its members to address political questions by helping them develop well-formed consciences. “Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act. . . . [Every person] is obliged to follow faithfully what he [or she] knows to be just and right” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1778). "

In other words, a well informed conscience is the highest arbiter of morality, not what a priest or bishop tells you to think.

"Other assaults on human life and dignity, such as genocide, torture, racism, and the targeting of noncombatants in acts of terror or war, can never be justified. Disrespect for any human life diminishes respect for all human life.

As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support."

"Opposition to intrinsically evil acts also prompts us to recognize our positive duty to contribute to the common good and act in solidarity with those in need. Both opposing evil and doing good are essential.... The basic right to life implies and is linked to other human rights to the goods that every person needs to live and thrive—including food, shelter, health care, education, and meaningful work. The use of the death penalty, hunger, lack of health care or housing, human trafficking, the human and moral costs of war, and unjust immigration policies are some of the serious moral issues that challenge our consciences and require us to act."

The quotes above were taken from a two page PDF summary for church bulletins, available at

The complete statement is available at