Friday, May 11, 2007

Catholic-politician abortion policy

Morality in politics has a special place in the hearts of the conservative.  The number one issue among religious conservatives is abortion, and will continue to be for some time.  It’s not a pretty subject, but anger and emotions run hot when discussing it, and politicians tend to try and not rock the boat if they can get away with it.

All that to say that the Pope is definitely not a politician by this definition.

      Reporters aboard the pope's flight to Mexico City on Wednesday asked if he supported the decision by bishops there to excommunicate politicians who had voted to legalize abortion in the first trimester.

      The pope responded that excommunication for those promoting abortion is "nothing new, it's normal, it wasn't arbitrary. It is what is foreseen by the Church's doctrine."

Foreseen by church doctrine?  What does that mean?
Anyway, the writer of the article above ponders the plight of the Catholic candidates for President.  There are 5, did you know?  Four of them are Democrats, could you guess?  Giuliani is the only Republican Catholic candidate, and he’s having his own difficulties trying to come up with a stance that will play with the Republican base.

Giuliani comes from a pretty liberal environment (as large urban areas tend to be) and has supported freedom of Abortion politically for years, while claiming to be personally against them.  I.E. he wouldn’t sponsor a bill to make them illegal, but would personally council a woman not to have one (if he were ever in that position).

That’s a typical stance for a pro-abortion Catholic, and the question for the day is:  is it the wrong stance for a Christian in general.

First of all, let me say that I find the Pope’s need to comment on this interesting.  The Pope didn’t say “excommunicate,” he said “denied the right of communion.”  There’s not really a difference.  Excommunication just sounds more hellfire, and that’s the technical term that the Catholics have used in the past.  Basically, it’s removing someone from fellowship because they refuse to be disciplined in the area of some sin they are continuing to engage in without guilt.  The original church considered that harmful to the body, and Christ even set the standard in Matthew 18: “If he refuses to listen to them tell it to the church, and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a lawyer.”

Ha ha, sorry.  I added that last one.  It’s really tax collector, not lawyer.

Anyway, the question is, is supporting freedom to kill little innocent fetuses a religious moral issue, or is it another example of separating how we conduct our lives as individuals and the choices that we make.  You see, it’s hard to break through the liberal idea that we’re not just doing this because “God told us to.” Or perhaps you can say that we shouldn’t be legislating or litigating primarily on a moral issue.

So we go along with out lives honoring God in our individual decisions, but how far should we go to tell other people what they can and can’t do.  It’s a classical libertarian argument.

Personally, I have a beef in this from a secular policy argument, not a religious one.  I believe that it’s wrong, but it’s from the position that all fetuses are not actually part of a woman’s body and therefore the woman’s “choice” to do with her body whatever she wants doesn’t apply to the baby forming inside her.  Also, I believe that Roe v. Wade, if you actually read it, allows for regulation, like limiting procedures or when the act can be done.  But those are secular arguments.


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