Principles vs. Posturing

Friday, October 31st, 2008 @ 11:35 am | Uncategorized

Let’s get down to brass tacks here. If you actually care about creating a culture of life, your candidate is Barack Obama. Of course, many present and former Catholics who deplore abortion are incapable of looking past the gore-porn of dismembered fetuses, dumpsters full of body parts, etc., and actually asking themselves “what do I care about more? the letter of the law, or the work of God?”

Because the fact is, abortion will remain legal forever. Strictures will be placed on it at the state level many times, and these strictures will be overturned every time. There are many reasons for this; the dirty little secret of the right wing is that their highest-ups would sooner die than criminalize abortion, because it would cost them a precious wedge issue. They bait-and-switch their base on this issue election after election, and it’s been working like a charm for thirty years. Any voting Republican who actually believes his party intends to take the measures necessary to reverse Roe v. Wade is tragically self-deluded. They need your donations. Your righteous indignation fills their reelection coffers.

This being the case, the committed opponent of abortion must again ask himself the question posed above. Would we like to see a world with fewer abortions in it? “Fewer” is our only option; “none” isn’t on the table. If you have the courage of your convictions and not just the intoxicating ether of your indignation, then you must then look at how best to accomplish this. It isn’t by voting in candidates who will lie to you outright about how they actually feel about the issue – like Senator McCain, a pro-choice Republican all his life until he thought he needed the votes of the evangelical base. If you actually care, you choose the effective path, not the self-righteous one. Because “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10), and of those who place their righteousness above the ends they purport to seek, Christ said: “Truly I say to you, they have their reward” (Matthew 6:5) – by which, reader, He means “their self-righteousness is its own, and its only, reward.”

It’s popular among many neo-conservatives to deride the social aspect of Christ’s ministry – to minimize His love of the poor and his compassion for the suffering. But let them all note the following. Christ didn’t do anything through the Sanhedrin except throw their own words back at them. He did not attempt to overturn unjust laws. He took his case to the sick and the downtrodden, and they recognized in Him their hope and their salvation. If His cause is yours, your candidate is the one whose presidency will reduce the perceived need for abortion by those who are faced with the decision. That candidate is Barack Obama. The Republicans will never, so long as you live, give up the bone they have to throw you on this question. Remove the log from your eyes, the better to help your neighbor get the splinter out of his, for Christ’s sake.


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