Abolitionism and the Presidential Election

I am an abolitionist.  I want all induced abortion abolished.  I do not think there should be “exceptions” for rape or incest, as if we could “except” those little humans’ lives because they were conceived in a horrible situation.  Punish the rapist, punish the child molester, but don’t punish the child.  That makes no logical sense.  In the limited number of cases where the death of the child results from trying to save the life of the mother (e.g., tubal pregnancy), I pray Kyrie eleison.  The parents have a heart-rending decision to make, and they need God’s mercy in Jesus Christ, especially if they feel guilty about the choice they make.  That’s where I stand, because I believe the Son of God entered His mother’s womb as a fertilized egg, a zygote, an embryo, a fetus.  What He assumed, He has redeemed.  And our callous disregard of human life, our discussion of it as “the rule” and “the exceptions,” is foolish and destructive.  It becomes even more ridiculous when those (especially politicians) who claim to be pro-life are subjected to continual questioning about what “exceptions” they would allow to their positions, when the pro-abortion lobby wants no exceptions whatsoever to its unlimited abortion license, and is never questioned by the media about this hypocrisy.  When was the last time President Obama was asked whether he believed there should be any exceptions to his parroting of Cecile Richards’ position that abortion is a fundamental human right?

So I want abortion abolished.  Even the difficult decision that has to be made when the doctor says it’s your life or the baby’s is a result of sin corrupting and poisoning God’s good creation.  One day, this will happen, when all things are made new, when every tear shed for lost children will be wiped away by the finger of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  But this is not that day, and I highly doubt that the day will will come in these United States when abortion will once again be either illegal or socially condemned (although I will vote and pray and work within my vocation for that day).  The fact is, if pro-life candidates for the presidency do not play the silly little exception game, and if they do not say they will allow, at least, exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother (as the litany goes), they will not be elected.  Politics, for better or worse, is compromise.  No compromise, nothing gets done.  A truly pro-life candidate being elected president is about as likely as a pro-life Democrat securing his or her party’s nomination.

So what’s an abolitionist to do?  There are essentially two positions (especially as I survey my pro-life friends’ Facebook posts): 1) make the best of a bad situation and vote for the candidate who will defeat the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history; or 2) vote for a third-party candidate who is truly pro-life.  At this point I am in the first group.  I do not trust Gov. Romney to do much substantial work in turning back the culture of death, but I also do not think he will hasten it on.  If this were a truly open election, and the Constitution Party (read their excellent platform here) had even a slim chance of having its candidates elected, I would vote Goode.  But since that’s not going to happen, I can’t help but think that those who vote for a third-party candidate are simply trying to salve their own consciences.  They can say, no matter who is elected, especially if things get worse, I had no hand in that.  But if they take their votes from the support of the less immoral (and politics always has a twinge of the immoral about it) position to support what they view as a wholly moral position, they do, in fact, end up supporting the status quo.  I know the electoral college enters in here, but if enough people vote one way, the electors almost always vote the way the people of that state vote.  So votes do matter practically, even if they wouldn’t have to theoretically.  And that means that practically those who vote for a conservative third-party candidate are essentially voting for the liberal or progressive main party candidate (usually the Democrat).  And those who vote for a liberal or progressive third-party candidate are essentially voting for the conservative main party candidate (usually the Republican).  If you want to deceive yourself that your vote is clean because you didn’t vote for the “lesser of two evils,” go ahead, but I’m not convinced.  This is the system we have, good or bad, and we really only have a single choice when it comes to the presidential election.  When it comes to local elections, we have much more control, and we are also much more likely to have truly pro-life candidates to support.  In NW Minnesota, we even have a pro-life Democrat!

I’m an abolitionist, but this year I’m forced to vote for a presidential candidate who is not.  Because I will take a little promised progress (and maybe even a surprise SCOTUS nomination!) over a guarantee of Planned Parenthood’s political arm running the country.  And I take solace in the fact that Cecile Richards and her NARAL and NOW counterparts are scared witless by the thought of a Romney/Ryan Executive Branch.  No compromise on my abolitionist principles; compromise to gain any available political advances.  That’s the way it goes in the civic realm.  But also no compromise within the Church’s proclamation of the Law of God against taking blameless human life, along with the Gospel of God in Christ that all sin is forgiven and there is mercy for all at the font and altar.  Politics are one thing; the Gospel is another.  They intersect, but they are not the same, and they are not run the same way.  Vote for Romney/Ryan, and don’t give the enemies of life and religious freedom another four years to carry out their designs–all the while recognizing that politicians will never accomplish all (or even the majority) of their promises.  (Of course I’m hedging my bets; how could I not?  Trust not in princes.)  I’m voting for the devil I may not see, against the devil I can clearly see.  I welcome your attempts to convince me otherwise.


Pelosi On Contraception & Faith: “I Do My Religion On Sundays, In Church”

Pelosi On Contraception & Faith: “I Do My Religion On Sundays, In Church”.

Because it’s “private,” obviously.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with how she goes about her job.  But, really, then: why bother?  If what you believe and what you do have nothing to do with each other, one of them is a sham.  At least since the first Roman Catholic was elected as president, this issue has been at the center of politics.  If you look at how thoroughly what Washington and Lincoln, even Jefferson, believed suffused the way they governed, it is a serious deficit when people think that what they believe does not affect how they go about their vocations.  This is not necessarily about Christianity.  I expect atheists to govern as if there is no higher authority to which they owe obedience; therefore, the State or the good of the nation (however that might be defined by an atheist) will determine what he does.  (However, the work of the atheist politician may still, by his recognizing of some order in nature, align with what the Christian thinks the government should do.)   Likewise, if I serve in the government, and I believe human life is not mine to give, take, or manipulate–even for what I think are good ends–then I will work for laws that support that.  If I believe that it is necessary to, first of all, protect all human life by virtue of its being human, then all other goods will be ordered by the standard of that good, whether that be foreign policy, health care, the economy, etc.  What comes first in the order of goods determines how other goods will be ordered.

The fact is, Nancy Pelosi does govern by what she believes (it is literally impossible not to do so), but what she believes is not the same as what the Roman Catholic Church teaches.  She is, in fact, not separating out her Sundays and the days when she is at the Capitol; she just hasn’t recognized the conflict between what she really believes and what her Church teaches.  Actually, she probably does recognize the conflict, but she thinks her Church is wrong.  That’s why she wouldn’t answer the question about the teaching of the RCC on contraception.  She knows she’s on the wrong side of the Church on that question.  Further, her highest good must be something other than a Creator of human life, if she can, in any way, support the intentional taking of that life.  I don’t know what she would say is her highest good, but it’s clearly something different than the highest good of what she does on Sundays, in church.  In other words, she is deceiving either herself or her constituents about what she really believes.

How much simpler it would be if politicians would simply state their highest Good, so we could evaluate how that Good might work itself out in their particular policy decisions.  They all have one, and it unites their political positions into a whole (although, I admit, politicians may still hold contradictory positions because they haven’t thoroughly worked through what their primary goods mean for what they want to do).  For those, like Pelosi, who support the unlimited abortion license, their highest Good clearly is not the same as those whose religion on Sunday proclaims a Redeemer who was conceived, born, lived, died, and resurrected for every member of the human race.


Minnesota DFL Ad

This ad was sent out by the Minnesotat Democratic-Farm-Labor Party (DFL).  I saw it here at the National Catholic Register online.  I e-mailed the head of the Minnesota DFL with this:

Mr. [Brian] Melendez [chairman of the Minnesota DFL],
I saw a postcard that your organization sent out (noted here), and though I am not Roman Catholic, I was surprised at the vitriol and the ignorance it displayed.  Please reconsider that postcard and perhaps issue an appropriate apology to Roman Catholics and, by extension, all Christians who work and care for the poor.  Surely, with a degree from a Divinity School with a concentration in ethics, you could not yourself have approved that ad?

And this is the response I got:

The ad is part of a two-piece mailing that highlights and criticizes the policy views of Dan Hall, a preacher who is the Republican candidate for the Minnesota Senate. I enclose both sides of both pieces. I understand that some Republican bloggers have taken one image from the first piece, and claimed that the mail is somehow anti-Catholic. But the text explicitly criticizes Preacher Hall for distancing himself from policy views that have been taken by the Catholic Archdiocese, by the [Evangelical] Lutheran Synod, and other leaders in Minnesota’s faith community. Dan Hall is willing to enlist God and religion in his campaign when it helps him — but in fact, his views hurt the poorest and sickest among us, and this mailing holds him accountable for those views.

Donald McFarland
Communications Director
Minnesota DFL Party

Here are the other parts of the ad, sent to me by Mr. McFarland: Mail_piece_2, Mail-Piece_3.

I’ve never heard of Dan Hall (though I found his website here, as well as this and this, and this is the map of the district he’s running to represent; looks to be south of the Twin Cities?), so I don’t know his views on the poor.  But “views” don’t hurt people, poor, sick, or otherwise.  Obviously, the implementation of certain views can hurt people, but I doubt Dan Hall is explicitly trying to hurt the poor.  The DFL may disagree, and I understand the nature of politics as we approach Nov. 2, but the part of the ad I saw first clearly does not differentiate between Dan Hall and those the DFL say they are not criticizing, such as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese (of where?).  And why the clerical collar?  Does Hall wear a collar?  (Not in any pictures on his website.) 

If Hall is promoting Republicans from his pulpit, he’s wrong.  If he’s preaching particular policies from the pulpit, he’s misguided, but not immoral.  And I think it’s strange for pastors to run for office.  I disagree with preachers promoting partisan politics, but I also disagree with the DFL making policy positions into absolute moral imperatives.  So much for democratic discourse.


Pelosi’s Favorite “Word”

So.  You know how the whole world goes apoplectic when a Republican politician mentions “Providence” or “God” or a “Higher Power”?  See, it’s funny, because that could be anything.  Whose god?  Whose higher power?  I mean, even George Bush saying that Jesus is his favorite philosopher is nothing compared to this:


I wonder if she realizes that the Word was made flesh beginning with an embryo.


The President and “Science”

From Robert George and Eric Cohen in the Wall Street Journal:

First, the Obama policy is itself blatantly political. It is red meat to his Bush-hating base, yet pays no more than lip service to recent scientific breakthroughs that make possible the production of cells that are biologically equivalent to embryonic stem cells without the need to create or kill human embryos. Inexplicably — apart from political motivations — Mr. Obama revoked not only the Bush restrictions on embryo destructive research funding, but also the 2007 executive order that encourages the National Institutes of Health to explore non-embryo-destructive sources of stem cells.

Second and more fundamentally, the claim about taking politics out of science is in the deepest sense antidemocratic. The question of whether to destroy human embryos for research purposes is not fundamentally a scientific question; it is a moral and civic question about the proper uses, ambitions and limits of science. It is a question about how we will treat members of the human family at the very dawn of life; about our willingness to seek alternative paths to medical progress that respect human dignity.

What is “anti-science” is pushing a political agenda on the back of measures intended to pacify the rabid, anti-life Left–when science is moving in the opposite direction.  As everyone should know by now, embryonic stem cells (apart from their very nature as human-life-destroying) have made possible no new cures at all, while adult stem cells, and the advances in producing pluripotent stem cells from other sources (e.g., the umbilical cord), have produced multiple treatments.  This executive order is anti-science by definition.



idiot: quoting an (unnamed) “international human rights attorney” (I heard you laugh!) to the effect that for the past eight years we have, unbeknownst to all but the left-wing, lunatic fringe, been living in a, quote, dictatorship, unquote.

Man, usually after eight years someone would have gotten wind of all the killings, political imprisonments, censorship, blatant propaganda, suppression of all voices but the State’s…or is that only in the Communist dictatorships?  I forget.  Anyway, good thing we have ol’ Keith to keep us up to date on what we didn’t know by quoting “international human rights attorneys.”  Otherwise, we never would have known about the dictatorship of the past eight years, which Comrade, er…The Anointed One, er…OMG, er…President Obama has only now saved us from.  Who knows what would have happened to all of Fuehrer Bush’s political enemies if Holy Obama hadn’t come along?


Abortion Versus Other Issues

First, the title assumes that abortion is just one among “other issues” (sort of like the Lord’s Supper is just one among “other parts of doctrine”).

But how is it that Christians, who admittedly “care” about having fewer abortions, can privilege health care, the ending of war or torture, or being nice to illegal immigrants over the fact that 50,000,000 and counting have died from the legalized murder we call abortion (in itself a euphemism)?  Perhaps it really is the case that one is a tragedy but one (or fifty) million is a statistic (Stalin, anyone?).

The argument goes like this: if we in the United States can guarantee health care and other essentials to women who are “struggling” with whether to have an abortion or not, then they will be less likely to choose to have the abortion because the future will appear so much brighter–like that silly, multi-colored sun on the horizon of possibility.  Hence, better and more affordable health care = fewer abortions.  Hence, also, “vote for Barack Obama.”

Hey, I’d be as glad as the next guy (or girl) to have cheaper insurance and more choices (I currently have to drive an hour to see a dentist who is “in network;” of course, I live in the relative middle of nowhere).  I’d also be happy to see Pres. Obama help struggling people and reduce the number of abortions.  The latter is made far less likely by his promise to sign the FOCA and by giving back money to international organizations that support or do abortions.  (Sorry, what does abortion have to do with helping people?  Of course, the link is clear to Nancy Pelosi and her ContraceptAid bailout.)

Nevertheless, the argument has a certain superficial plausibility to it: if you’re not worried how you’re going to support a child, then maybe you have one.  The problem is, children require more than money.  Not even the best daycare, the best nanny, the best health care, the best insurance is going to reduce the “burden” that children impose.  All that the purveyors of progress have is “hope.”  Now I know that hope is big right now, but hope can only get you so far when it comes to the (sinful) human instinct of self-preservation.  Because if I’ve got no bigger motivation than affordable insurance to make me keep and support a child I didn’t want in the first place, then I’m more than likely not doing it (at least, knowing what I know about three of them).

Even if my child takes less of my money, if I didn’t want her in the first place, that means she’s still taking my money, which I could use to buy a Wii or a nicer house, or a nicer car.  And that’s still unacceptable.  So I’m going to Planned unParenthood, so they can remove the burden.

Can Barack Obama’s policies reduce abortions?  I sincerely hope so.  But I’m not staking anything on it.  If someone can be so sure that the unlimited abortion license and the support of my tax dollars for said license are right, and yet the question about when life begins is above his pay grade, then there is little to no chance he’ll be right about how to help those mothers struggling with the choice.  My guess is that his idea about how to “help” them lines up with NARAL’s, not mine.  And that’s morally, ethically, and democratically unacceptable.  If he does not know basic biology, then he’s either betting (shall we say, hoping?) that it’s not yet a child, or he’s betting that it doesn’t matter.  Either way, he’s not The One I want setting or signing policy that determines what is good for either unborn children or their mothers.

Christians who support policies that they hope will reduce abortions are either naive, or they have bound themselves so tightly to the (il)liberal, Democratic line that they find it impossible to extricate themselves.  They have put the proverbial cart before the horse and are in favor of health care (who isn’t?) that will take care of health that will be non-existent (because the babies are in the dumpster out back).  But hey, their mothers still have opportunity to make a good life for themselves and their (future) children!  Because abortion is still legal in all nine months of pregnancy, and if Pres. Obama makes good on his promises to the radical blood-lust lobby, there will be no restrictions whatsoever.  So go ahead, let the 12-year old abort her baby without her parents’ knowledge.  After all, her crazy, fundamentalist parents will probably kill her if they knew.

Whatever you do, don’t worry your pretty little heads over all the burning babies: health care will be cheap and those crazy Muslims will only blow up themselves!


Like Democracy? (Part 2)

If you think votes actually count the first time, you’re wrong.  Votes only count if Democrats say they should count.  Although Minnesota Democrats must be better organized than Washington ones, because it took Washington three recounts to elect Christine Gregoire, while it only took Minnesota one.  (Re-re-re-elect Rossi!)

Makes you wonder about the integrity of every election across the country.  Why are they so sure they got things right this time?  The first count yielded just over a 200-vote margin in favor of Coleman, which triggered an automatic recount.  Why doesn’t this 200+ margin trigger another recount?  And where were 400+ votes hiding in the original count?  Absentee ballots that were ruled out?  Why did nearly all of them favor Franken?  It defies rational thought.

Minnesota elected a professional wrestler, and now they’ve “elected” a professional joker.  Make ya feel good, Minnesotans?  Take it to the Supreme Court, Norm!

If you have an inordinate amount of extra time, you can browse the challenged ballots here.  (I’m just glad my ballot isn’t there.)

UPDATE: You knew it was coming:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s spokesman said Reid hoped Coleman would accept defeat.

“Now that the bipartisan state canvassing board has certified Al Franken as the winner, we hope Senator Coleman respects its decision and does not drag this out for months with litigation,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley said. “Shortly after Election Day, Coleman criticized Mr. Franken for wanting a recount and wasting taxpayer money. Now that it is clear he lost, Coleman should follow his own advice and not subject the people of Minnesota to a costly legal battle.”

If it is the Democrat who does not concede and allow the initial results to stand, it’s the Republican who is “criticizing.”  If it is the Republican who thinks that not everything was done correctly, he “should follow his own advice.”  You simply cannot win with these people.


History-Making Elections

I know I said I was done, but there’s something that’s been bothering me.  And that is all the triumphalist rhetoric issuing from every corner of our society over the fact that “we” have elected the first African-American president in our history.  I agree, that’s history-making.  And I can imagine how that might feel to African-Americans who have felt some sense of injustice in this country, especially if their (great-great-)grandparents were slaves.  I can imagine how it might feel if all the presidents up to this year were black, and we finally elected a white president.  But that makes me feel sort of slimy.  I mean, is that it?  Is that the final barrier to true equality?  Is that the marker of the fact that our country is now finally done with bigotry and intolerance?  That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

And I keep hearing people say that the best thing about Pres. Obama is that he’s a uniter and a healer, that he’s going to bring this country together.  Besides the fact that it’s the same Lefty therapeutic blather we’ve heard for the last forty or fifty years (or longer), what evidence do we have of this supposed coming unity?  All we have is the fact that a majority of both black and white people elected him president.  Which is all sort of curious, because it’s so circular.  See, a majority of black and white people elected him because he promised to bring unity and change; he’s brought unity and change because a majority of black and white people elected him.  There is no substance there whatsoever.  His vague platitudes and smooth talk convinced a majority of people to vote him into the highest office in the country.  For what?  We shall see.  But since Barack Obama has voted nearly always with the Democrats (more times, let’s remember, than John McCain voted wtih Pres. Bush), and since he wants all the same things Democrats want–no restrictions on abortion, more and bigger government running more and bigger programs, higher taxes on those who actually create jobs, etc.–where is this unity and change going to come from?  So far, it’s come from the fact that his presidency would make history (read: the color of his skin).  If that’s not about the farthest thing from a good reason to elect a person to the presidency, I don’t know what is.

You know what would prove that Pres. Obama is a uniter and not a divider?  Appoint Sarah Palin to a cabinet position that has some actual authority, say, something having to do with energy policy.  Then I might be able to finally believe the hype.

UPDATE: I also wonder what the pundits would be saying if someone like Alan Keyes were elected.  And: what will the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton do now?

And: here’s Touchstone‘s Mere Comments (you should all read James Kushiner’s editorial in the most recent Touchstone) on the same topic.


Some Random Post-Election Thoughts…

…and then I’m done (at least until our President-elect signs his promised multiple pieces of anti-life legislation).

1. Do you think that this will finally stop the Left from whining about Pres. Bush?

2. We all know that this election was about change.  Did anyone bother to ask what the change might be?

3. We all know we’ve got a steep climb and we’re going to get there.  Did anyone bother to ask where “there” is?

4. I can’t wait to see what more government and more spending looks like.

5. Do you think Pres. Obama will get the credit for the low gas prices?

6. How many different attempts have you heard by pro-life people to justify their Obama votes?

7. Is it really better to make sure live people have health care than to make sure people live?

8. Progress requires actually knowing where you’re going.  Do we?

9. I wonder if the people who are glad we made history in the U.S., and who are telling those who did not vote for Obama to just “let him govern,” would have said the same thing if history was made by having the first female Vice-President.

10. Will Pres. Obama listen to the voices of Democrats for Life?

11. You’re not happy?  You racist, intolerant, right-wing, fanatical bigot!

12. How much of our money will Al Franken waste proving he was not elected?

13. Pray for our President, Congress, and an end to the culture of death (why do I feel so queasy putting those three together?).

The end.