A Black Mark On Our History?

29 comments

It’s official. Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States. And while many of us disagree very strongly with many of Barack Obama’s policies, we can’t help but take pause and pride at this very historic moment in our American history.

A self-made man, who came from practically nothing, has worked his way up against all odds to attend the greatest schools and now to hold the highest office – President of the most powerful country in the entire world. It’s the definition of the American dream. And finally, it has been done by somebody many never thought possible – a black man.

And in a country stained with the guilt of slavery and past oppressions, this is something to take pride in. It’s a recognition that we have come a long, long way. And it’s proof that our country is not the down-right mean and racist country many have accused us of and that we have feared we may be for so long.

And with as much as I very strongly disagree with Barack Obama on many things, while watching his victory speech last night and reflecting on his story I couldn’t help but admire the guy. He’s come a long way and he did it against great odds. And it will forever represent one of the great moments in American history – our first black president.

But I also believe, unfortunately, that one day we will look back on this part of our history with great shame. Just as many of our founding fathers and early great leaders of American history are stained with the shame of slavery, many of our current leaders will be stained with the sin of abortion.

Because eventually our country will win this great battle for the civil (and natural) rights of the unborn. It may seem hard to imagine a world where abortion is unthinkable. But it wasn’t so long ago that our country could not imagine a world without slavery. But we overcame that.

And just as many older adults today can admit that they were wrong about certain racist views they held 40 years ago, in the future many will also look back – from the perspective of a drastically different cultural landscape – and shamefully admit that they were wrong about being “pro-choice.”  And a few of our grandchildren will still have some really old pro-choice grandparents where we’ll excuse their inappropriate views on account of them just being “too set in their ways.”

And Americans will look with shame back on a time when people actually thought abortion was okay.  We won’t understand how such a thing could even be possible.  Abortion will be unthinkable.  Just as slavery is unthinkable today.

And then there in history will be America’s first black president – one of our great achievements stained with the sin of also being the most pro-abortion president of all-time.  Will history forgive him?

It’s more than ironic that the man who represents victory over the oppression of his race also happens to be the greatest oppressor of the most innocent among us – the unborn.

This is truly a black mark on our history.  I’m just not sure history will view it the same way many are viewing it now. What do you think?

29 comments Add comment

Jason November 5, 2008 at 8:18 am

I couldn’t agree more!

Jonathan Walz November 5, 2008 at 8:21 am

I agree with everything you have said here but unfortunately racism did play a part in this election. According to some of the exit polls I’ve seen this morning between 90-95% of Black voters voted for Obama. This is clearly racism.

Michael Capehart November 5, 2008 at 9:20 am

Thanks for posting this. I like how you tied slavery to abortion as two travesties of our world. You’re right…we will overcome and God’s Divine plan will be revealed in the midst of oppression.

Bill November 5, 2008 at 10:25 am

Russia watched the election results and waited to deliver their ultimatum…not 6 months into office but 6 hours after he won the election. Russia will test the new president by deploying missiles near NATO member Poland in response to U.S. missile defense plans.

In a scene outside the whitehouse where adoring Obama fans were celebrating his election victory one of the drunken crowd waved a communist flag…

The “emperor has no clothes”…we had better pray that Obama puts responsible and professional people into the various offices he must fill or we will see great trouble come to our shores.

Branedy November 5, 2008 at 3:17 pm

And I thought that you folks were Christians. ‘Judge not lest he be judged’.

Lauren November 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Branedy,

As Christians, we are not supposed to judge people, but we are certainly supposed to judge actions. Meaning, there are right actions and there are wrong actions. I think you would agree that murder, stealing, lying, etc, are objectively wrong actions. Abortion is the murder of an unborn child – it’s as simple as that.

Phil November 5, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Matt, here is a different perspective, one I may not agree with, but nonethless, another view:

PRO-LIFE OR PRO-CHOICE?

This fascinating and important question is polarizing our country. Many persons of both groups have strong views, with a few young criminals resorting to violence and even murder.
But, in fact, the folks on both sides of this question are taking worthy and moral positions. Who can fault someone who wishes to prevent the termination of a teen pregnancy in order to save the life of the innocent unborn child? If you care to peruse “Life, Death, and Large Numbers” found at http://www.nutri.com/death you’ll realize just how precious life is, knowing the infinitesimal chance each one of us had of surviving the great number of gauntlets we had to run in order to be born. Yes, life is precious, it’s a miracle, and no matter how far along a fetus has developed, every aborted fetus has indeed been murdered. The pro-life stance will not accept an abortion, a murder, merely on the basis of poverty or inconvenience. (It is assumed the fetus and mother are known to be normal and healthy.)

On the other hand, who can fault anyone who defends the soon-to-be mother’s right to make a life-and-death choice by her own free will. Surely she understands the ramifications of her decision. She will clearly have weighed all the reasons for not murdering her baby, and the decision process must, and will, tear at her heart. By whatever way she arrives at her final decision to kill the fetus, should anyone have the right to force her to bear an unwanted child? If a pro-life government had its way, then all sorts of rules and regulations and exceptions and penalties would be created to force the girl not to have an abortion. The large bureaucracy created to enforce these regulations may be agreeable to many pro-lifers, but remember, if the government, today, had the power to prevent a girl from having an abortion, how long will it be before a future government will have the power, for whatever reasons, to force a girl to have an abortion? In fact, during the Eugenics movement of the early 20th Century, well over 65,000 legal sterilizations (representing only what surgeons chose to report), here in the United States, were forced upon unwilling persons, mostly retarded and criminal, to prevent the proliferation of similar defectives so as to protect our gene pool and to prevent a huge drain on our financial and social resources in the future. Not to be outdone, between 200,000 and 350,000 defectives were sterilized in Germany between 1933 and 1945.

The collection of bureaucrats, that we call a government, clearly shouldn’t be given the right to tamper with very difficult and personal decisions that’ll be made after much reflection and with much heartache. Any government policy will have been arrived at politically and thus irrationally, derived from the superficial opinions (or dogmas) of religious or uneducated or propagandized groups or minorities whose votes are coveted by unconscionable bureaucrats who will risk the future of our country so they can collect some votes today. But, you ask, what about the millions of fetuses lost to freedom of choice? The answer is another question: What about the millions of young, educated, patriotic Americans (and their descendants), in the primes of their lives, who have been murdered and maimed fighting for our freedom to choose? Should their sacrifices have been in vain? These lost Americans were loved and wanted, but the lost fetuses were unwanted. Consider the lost fetuses as soldiers in the war against government bureaucrats who want to intrude into your private life and dictate your most personal decisions.

Finally, we should note that most Pro-Life advocates want to limit, or even decrease, world population. This obvious inconsistency poses a paradox that’s difficult to reconcile with logic and common sense. Pro-Lifers discourage the conception of wanted children while compelling the births of unwanted ones. Pro-Choicers kill unwanted babies after conception, and Pro-Lifers kill wanted babies before conception.

And there you have it. I’m a Pro-Choice advocate because:

1. The government won’t be able to regulate our private decisions, thus avoiding yet another case of do-gooder bureaucrats deciding what’s best for us.
2. There’ll be no need for a multitude of laws that will be enacted and tested and revised, ad nauseum, and at great cost.
3. There’ll be no need for the enforcement of these laws, at great cost, by officers who often detest the laws themselves.
4. No need for jailing young girls, at great cost, nor building more prisons, at great cost.
5. No need for costly clandestine abortion clinics where girls would face legal and health risks.
6. And no need for young girls to go to Mexico for dangerous abortions.
7. Pro-Choicers needn’t deal with the illogical Pro-Life/Overpopulation inconsistency.
8. The money saved by the government can be used for informing the young folks about methods of preventing unwanted pregnancies, and possibly convincing (or sueing) the media to control their fetish for sex, violence, and vulgarity.
9. Lastly, I detest the actions of the tiny fraction of Pro-Lifers who have killed, maimed, or intimidated doctors, nurses, and patients, at many abortion clinics. Terrorists, of whatever ilk, should be forcefully and swiftly punished.

Andy W. November 5, 2008 at 10:04 pm

It’s very simple concept to most………but almost half of Pennsylvania’s Catholics voted for B.O.! This IMO was the difference in that state. I don’t think the Catholics are getting their message out strongly enough! I judge those actions as irresponsible and ignorant. We (Catholics) should preach from the pulpit just like other religions! It’s a moral issue…not political ! Morality is morality whatever your party affiliation. We all have an obligation to support moral behavior no matter our religion. We need to quit tip-toeing around these controversial issues and make sure our people are informed and motivated. Our church was very clear that we should “vote for life” regardless of our political party affiliation. I think that is enough informatin for any catholic to get it right. How do we motivate catholics to be true catholics and not water down their faith with selfish interpretations for which they have no authority!

Matthew Warner November 5, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Phil, Thanks for all the good info and perspective. To answer it without getting too long I’m gonna hit the main arguments you presented here that are in favor of being pro-choice.

1) That it is equally unjust to “force” a woman to keep her baby as it is to kill a living, human baby.

If we just look at that for what it is, we can see that the two are not equal in moral gravity at all. Not even close. One protects a human life from being murdered (as our government at least tries to do for the rest of us). And the other allows that baby to be killed in the name of a “personal choice” by the mother.

2) That somehow protecting humans inside their mother’s womb would somehow lead to forced abortion – so therefore we should not protect humans inside their mother’s womb.

This doesn’t make sense to me. How does a government enforcing our constitution (that each of us are endowed with a right to life) somehow equal a government forcing women to violate that right of their unborn baby? It doesn’t add up.

Protecting the already existing rights of a human person does not “give government more power” (power that later becomes corrupted and is used to force people to have abortions). Protecting human rights is not about government power, it’s about OUR power despite the government or ANYBODY else.

The problem is that a lot of “pro-choicers” view pro-lifers as wanting to take away a “right” of a woman. This could not be further from the truth. Again, protecting the right of a human being to live does not give the government the “right to tamper with very difficult and personal decisions” – as you say. It does quite the opposite.

Being pro-life is about protecting a far more fundamental right – a right to life. It’s not about taking anybody’s rights away. And certainly nobody has a right to take that right to life away from the most innocent and defenseless among us. But yet, that’s precisely what being pro-choice supports.

Being pro-choice is about denying somebody else their right to live. Being pro-life is about protecting that right.

Further, the pro-life/overpopulation inconsistency doesn’t make for me either. The pro-life movement in the US is overwhelmingly led by Catholics (not to take away from non-Catholic pro-lifers at all). And to say the Catholic Church is worried about an over-population problem is laughable. Not to mention that the overpopulation scares were largely exaggerated anyway.

But that point is thrown in there, along with many of those other arguments just to add to the quantity of the argument – not the quality. All the while missing the fundamental principles which I tried to lay out above.

Anyway, I appreciate the thoughts of whoever wrote this. I think they were making a noble attempt at seeing the issue from both sides, but ultimately I think they miss the mark and confuse the issue with a lot of less important and speculative thoughts.

Phil November 5, 2008 at 11:54 pm

Thanks for the response Matt.

You say “Being pro-choice is about denying somebody else their right to live. Being pro-life is about protecting that right.”

Pro-choice folks say “Being pro-life is about denying somebody their fundemental constitutional right to abortion. Being pro-choice is about protecting that constitional right”.

Obviously we both agree murder is wrong. However, a woman who is tragically raped and impregnated by her father should be able to draw upon the very constitution that has made this country so great – and so free. Our constitutional rights are not to be taken lightly.

But a woman should not be allowed to have an abortion based on the inconvenience a baby will cause her.

The fundemental arguement to have is not about whether or not it’s murder, but whether it’s constitutional. And forgive my ignorance on the subject…I am learning as I go…

Matthew Warner November 6, 2008 at 7:12 am

Phil, we’re all just learning – so no worries!

But, again, you are taking two arguments and assuming that just because they semantically mirror each other that they are equally as strong. But in this case, that’s not true.

Let me give you another example involving the analogy of slavery since that was the comparison I made originally in the post.

Here is the equivalent of your argument you just made:

Abolitionists say that “supporting slavery is denying a person’s right to freedom. Being an abolitionist is about protecting that right to freedom.”

Pro-slavery people say “being an abolitionist is about denying somebody their constitutional right to own private property. Being pro-slavery is protecting that right.”

The problem with the pro-slavery argument is that your right to own property ENDS somewhere before the point that it takes away MY freedom. Therefore, slavery is unconstitutional.

So the only way that the pro-slavery argument could justify slavery was to also take it one step further and say that slaves were not “fully human” and therefore do not have that right to freedom.

Are we seeing the similarities yet?

See, there IS no constitutional right for a woman to have an abortion. And we both know it isn’t in there. So I won’t waste time asking you to show me where it is.

And EVEN IF this so called “right to abortion” was covered under a right to privacy – as many claim – certainly that right to privacy ends at some point BEFORE it ends the life of another human. The more fundamental right is the right to life.

In other words, another person’s right to privacy can never trump my right to live. Period.

So, I disagree, the fundamental question here is NOT whether or not abortion is constitutional. The fundamental question is when does a human receive their natural (and therefore constitutional) rights?

And because these rights are endowed by a creator (only protected, and not GIVEN, by a constitution) they are present at the very moment that life begins.

Science has shown now without a doubt that this life begins at the moment of conception. The problem is that we have a portion of our population that just doesn’t believe it yet. (I suppose we even still have people around that believe the earth is flat too.)

Therefore, however, EVERY life has those rights; regardless of how that life came into existence, how traumatic it may have been for the mother, or what the relation is between the biological father and mother.

Paul Nichols November 6, 2008 at 7:36 am

Matthew, first, thanks for the kind words about my cartoons.

But I have to take issue with your claim that this election proves we’ve gotten past racial issues.

To me, this election showcases nothing more than the triumph of the public school system. The fact that so many of the younger generation would simply embrace “change” without really knowing what type of “change” Obama is advocating. The blacks voted simply because he was black (understandable), and many whites voted simply because of Bush (also understandable), and also because their “white guilt” could be relieved by saying they rode the Obama wave.

The Cult of Personality carried the day, precisely because the public school system has taught these kids that substance doesn’t matter. It has also formed in these kids’ minds the idea that the government is supposed to take care of everything.

I voted against Obama ( instead of “for” McCain ), simply because I don’t believe that socialism is the change we need. If he was white, I’d feel exactly the same way.

I think the Reps. need to take one of our bright lights (Michael Steele, JC Watts, Alan Keyes) and put their color-blindness to the test in 2012. I’d have no problem voting for those guys.

But back to the abortion issue – I think (and hope) that it will turn one day on the issue of when we legally consider it a LIFE. Right now, we’re a bit confused. A woman can get an abortion, but in some places, if she smokes crack or does some other drugs while pregnant, she can be prosecuted for endangering the baby. Same with laws that say a man can be charged with 2 murders if he kills a pregnant woman. I would think that eventually, the Courts are going to have to reconcile the issue – either it IS a life to be protected, or it’s not.

Matthew Warner November 6, 2008 at 9:04 am

Paul – you were reading my mind today! My post today is actually exactly on that topic: Charisma is a far cry from Character

However, I have to take issue with your taking issue with me. I never claimed anywhere in the post that “we’ve gotten past racial issues.” But I did say we’ve come a long way and that it shows we aren’t as racist as many have accused – which I believe it does show that.

Paul Nichols November 6, 2008 at 9:55 am

I’ll take issue with you taking issue with me taking issue…wait… What? hehe
Yes, it shows that race is less of an issue than people claim it is. The flip side, though is that anyone who voted against Obama is tagged as a racist. That’s why many substantive arguments against him fall on deaf ears.

Let him who has ears hear…

Phil November 6, 2008 at 10:54 am

Matt, great point on the Abolitionist analogy. Touchee.

Is it possible to be pro-life with prejudice? For example, if the health of the woman is in question, or if raped? I guess that is where I would stand. In either case, thanks for the enlightening convo.

Alex November 6, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Quote
According to some of the exit polls I’ve seen this morning between 90-95% of Black voters voted for Obama. This is clearly racism.

92% of black voters voted for Clinton. So no, not clearly racism.

Secondly, I plead that Christians would start acting like Christians. I disagree with Obama’s stance on numerous issues. That being said, it is ridiculous for Christians to preach as though they know who “God’s choice” is.

The Bible proclaims that all governmental leaders have been put in place by God. This includes the evil leaders of Jesus’ time. If Christians believe that God is in control, why do so many feel the need to spread hate and fear to convince people who “God’s choice” is. Doesn’t that make him a small “g” god? Do you actually think God was surprised by who won the presidential election?

God didn’t tell us to save the world by voting for perfect leaders … because they don’t exist. He also didn’t tell us to live in fear of the unknown. He said to love the world, love your enemies, and pray without end.

Sin falls on both ends of the political spectrum. So even if the “wrong” person was voted into the presidency, take a deep breath and remember who is really in charge.

Catholic debating pro-life April 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Hold on-who said that they knew who God’s Choice was?

Anyway, I still hold it’s racism. The minorities vote for who they think will help the minorities the most. The whites vote for who they think will help everybody. Which side is racist? Also, what if 90-95% of white voters voted for the Republican candidate? Would that not be considered racism?

Bear in mind, I am NOT saying that whites are no longer racist-of course there are racist whites. But I do believe there’s a double standard; contrary to popular belief, minorites can be and often are racist too.

I’m curious to see this verse in the Bible about public readers-where is it?

Anyway, while we shouldn’t panic because of faith in God just because Obama’s President, we also shouldn’t act as if we approve of his views or actions if we don’t-and Catholics don’t.

Phil November 6, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Bravo Alex, well said!

Christine November 6, 2008 at 7:25 pm

I am glad that I found this page, because I have a few questions. First off, I was raised pro-life, and still am. The trouble I have when voting is that on every other issue I am in opposition with Republican candidates. I know that to some pro-life is the only isuue, but what about who will take care of those children after they are born? Children who are here need food, housing, and health care, and I feel strongly that Obama’s plans offer that. Even with pro-life candidates in office, what is the likelihood that major change will occur on the issue?
Suppose the law was changed. Making abortion illegal won’t stop it. Murder is illegal, but it still happens. All that will happen is girls will find shadier and more dangerous places to go. Pro-life people that I know are also against sex education and birth control, but shouldn’t prevention be a major focus of the movement?
As a slight aside, what is the pro-life stance on in vitro fertilization?
I’m not trying to argue with anyone, but I would appreciate hearing some opinions.

Paul Nichols November 7, 2008 at 7:20 am

Christine,

Your question begins with the assumption that Republicans want to throw poor people out into the street.

The problem that Republicans have with the welfare state is that it perpetuates poverty, not that it helps to end it.

The claim that Republicans hate the poor, while repeated enough to become doctrine, has little to do with reality. The only scale back in entitlement programs we’ve seen is the Welfare Reform Act that was passed back in the late 90’s. It got people off the rolls who *should* have been off the rolls.
Just as a for instance, in my extended family, we have FOUR different families who are getting public assistance of one kind or another. In every instance, knowing their circumstances, there’s NO WAY they should be getting that assistance. In every household, they have luxuries that would make you say “Well, what do they need welfare for?” They have cable television, cell phones, big screen TV’s, etc. etc. This is the kind of “assistance” that Republicans think shouldn’t be allowed.

Back to abortion:
Yes, as you say, making something illegal doesn’t stop it from happening, but it’s one thing to keep something illegal. It’s quite another to make something “allowable” in the legal sense. Men slap their wives around, and no law will ever completely stop it, but would you argue that since we can’t eradicate wife beating that maybe we should remove the illegality of it? Of course not, because then it gives the impression that society affords wives no respect.

Our laws are an indication of what values we as a society hold.

Matthew Warner November 7, 2008 at 8:35 am

Great response, Paul! A few more thoughts:

1) If children are not getting food and housing, perhaps it’s not because the government isn’t doing its job – it’s because WE’RE not doing ours. In other words, there are many different solutions to helping those in need OTHER than expecting the government to do it. Many of us believe that in the long-run our country is better served if the people are as little dependent on an inefficient, corrupt government as possible. See this post for more: http://www.fallibleblogma.com/index.php/2008/10/22/the-freedom-to-freely-practice/

On the other hand, it is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government to protect our basic right to life. And especially to strike down laws that threaten that and to allow states to pass laws to protect that. Right now our federal government is not doing that. It is allowing well over a million innocent babies to be killed each year and striking down laws that try to protect that in the name of a really bad supreme court decision made 35 years ago. If you want more on why this issue far outweighs the other issues you mentioned, here’s a good video of some good thoughts (especially for Catholics): http://www.fallibleblogma.com/index.php/2008/10/30/in-case-it-wasnt-already-clear/

2) There is no doubt that abortions would be GREATLY reduced if it were made illegal.

3) In regard to your question about in-vitro and also to Phil’s question about “abortion in the case of rape” – the answer is related.

Catholic teaching on all of these life issues is consistent. A new human life and soul is created at the moment of conception.

Rape: While I can’t imagine the trauma and suffering involved with being a victim of rape, the fact is that a new, individual, human life may have been created. The reason the Church is still against abortion in the case of rape is because it doesn’t believe that a baby should have to die because of some other person’s immense suffering. NO matter how bad the situation is, there is no justification to kill another baby. it is inconsistent to be pro-life and against abortion but then allow it in cases of rape. It undermines ones entire position, too.

In vitro: In this process many eggs of a woman are fertilized (conception occurs). Then some of these fertilized eggs (i.e. new human people with souls and a right to live) are implanted into the mother – the others are killed. If more than one actually implants, often times the extras are removed and killed. This is not pro-life and innocent human life is destroyed as part of the process. That is why it is not good. Further, because the act of bringing this new life into the world is separated from an act of love BY the two parents – it is also against Church teaching for that reason. Instead, a new life is created in a petri dish in a lab by a scientist. This does not respect the way God gave us and intends us to bring about new human life.

Further reading on this from the Church here.

Paul Nichols November 7, 2008 at 9:08 am

With regard to rape – I’ve argued that the government should find a way to assist with adoption. In most cases, I would think, a mother wouldn’t want to keep the baby. This would show that no matter the circumstances, it’s a life to be treasured. Adoption should be offered and encouraged.

In talking with my own teenage daughter about this issue, she says the same thing many do “Well, what about rape?”. I told her that IF you accept that it’s a life, then the answer is simple. You can’t argue that a baby who’s the product of rape is any less a life than one conceived within the bonds of marriage (or even out of wedlock, as is the case too often today).

She agreed with this, thankfully. At least I did something right – she understands how to argue a point and recognize logical conclusions.

Bill November 17, 2008 at 3:49 pm

I’m seeing a lot of un-Christian sentiment in the responses to Obama’s election, so let me offer a slightly different take.

First, as a (nominal) practicing Christian, President-elect Obama already hears at least some of what God says to him. Pray that he hears all of it. How much more glory will it give to God when he changes his behavior to fully support Life by vetoing attempts to codify Roe v. Wade, than it would had the country elected someone who was (nominally) pro-Life but not necessarily willing to step up to the plate to protect Life? Not naming any names here, but you know it’s true.

Second, President-elect Obama is far more likely to make this change than any of the other potential Democratic nominees would have been. Be grateful to God for that. Not naming any names here, either, but you know this is true too. Be grateful that he also brings a more balanced sense of social justice than the other potential Democratic nominees had. Make no mistake about it — there was no way the American people were going to choose a Republican, no matter who the Republican nominee had been. God knows this, and so He gave us a President who just might be able to rightly form his conscience. Given prayer and urging from the rest of us.

Third, as you have said, it was high time (past high time) that the process of healing the racial divide in this country actually began. This may not rank at the same level as eliminating the practice of abortion, but it has been and continues to be a huge barrier to bringing about the Kingdom of Jesus.

Have some faith. God is still in charge. Be patient. This didn’t happen without Divine Providence playing a role in it.

John Keenan November 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm

I am new to the site so I am a little behind the times right now in this conversation, but in reading through many of the comments made, I have noticed a few things that are very common arguments when supporting the Pro-Life side of the abortion issue. There were also some generalizations made about the need for Catholics as a whole to step up and look at abortion, and all things, as a moral issue, not a political issue, and on the surface, they are correct.
However, just as this is a complex world that we live in, all problems we face, presidential candidates we vote for, and decisions we make in our ordinary lives must not be looked at as isolated, black and white situations. While morally abortion is wrong, many say that based on that fact alone, one should not have voted for Barack Obama. But are there not moral issues that the Republican Party has traditionally been on the “bad” side of? Republicans support capital punishment, and we, as “Good Catholics” should not support that either? Giving the death penalty is just as much killing, more so in some minds, than abortion. Is the support of capital punishment while condemning abortion not judging one life to be more important than another? This may seem like a loaded question, because that person did do something to deserve punishment, but their life is inherently equal to that of the unborn fetus.
There is also much gray area that has already been discussed in this blog, so I won’t bore anyone by continuing with Barack Obama’s argument about the heavy weight of the decision on anyone’s mind. There is also the idea that it is much more safe to have it legal than illegal, to where people may go to extreme and dangerous measures to have an abortion because it is not legal to have it done in a clean and safe way.
This is a conversation that I have had with my family and felt was applicable. It is also a large part of the reason that I am pro-choice, even though I don’t condone abortion.
What everyone needs to keep in mind is something that is apparent every time President elect Obama speaks in pubic and what I noticed after only reading a few pages of his book. Barack Obama is one of the most intellectual people that I have memory of witnessing (and that is saying something considering the professors whose classes I sit through every day in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech). I have total confidence, and everyone else should as well, that he will use only the best judgment as President of the United States of America, because that is what he has. Everyone can rest assured that he will take no decision lightly and apply wisdom, knowledge, and probably the most important thing, reason, to every decision made in the Oval Office, which is all you can expect from any elected official in a democracy, even if it may be more than the current lame duck.

Matthew Warner November 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm

John – thanks for the thoughts. First, abortion is an intrinsic evil. it is always and everywhere wrong. Capital punishment is not a comparable issue as it is not always and everywhere wrong. So you can not equate the two on that level. Second, more innocent lives are taken from abortion in a SINGLE day in our country than are taken in years of the death penalty. The moral gravity of the two issues are not even in the same ball park. So a Catholic is not justified to support a candidate that not only strongly supports abortion, but promises to undermine all pro-life efforts made thus far (FOCA), simply by pointing to the fact that the alternative also supports some bad things. We must make an informed choice to limit evil as much as possible.

Also, I’m not sure how you can say that abortion is more “safe” legal than illegal. How can an abortion be deemed “safe” at all when it ends the life of a human being? Now YOU are putting one person’s life as more valuable than another’s.

The unborn lives saved by making this practice illegal would far outweigh in moral gravity any increase in risk for the mother in obtaining an illegal abortion. It’s sad that some women may attempt illegal abortions and put themselves at further risk. But that is no justification for legalizing the killing of more babies.

It is comments like these that really sadden me. It’s one thing for a non-Catholic to be confused on the pro-life issue. It’s another when it’s Catholics saying these things.

Unfortunately, there are Catholics out there that think this type of thinking is consistent with their Catholic faith. When in reality it directly opposes it. As already stated, we desperately need to do a better job teaching Catholics what their Church teaches on these matters. The Church teaching is very clear. And many Bishops spoke out and clarified it very well. If a Catholic still doesn’t get it it’s because they aren’t listening or they simply don’t want to listen to their Church.

Bill November 18, 2008 at 5:16 pm

John, if a Catholic didn’t care for McCain, and a well-formed conscience about abortion kept him or her from voting for Obama, that Catholic could have voted for neither, or for a third-party candidate (there were several) as a protest. Many Catholics did exactly that, and did all their voting down-ballot for candidates who would not support abortion, or in races (local judges, for example) where the moral issues were not a factor.

If a Catholic lived in a state such as Texas (where I am) that was going to give its electoral votes for McCain by an overwhelming majority, and if that Catholic did not care for McCain or the Republican candidates down-ballot, it would only be necesssry to not vote for any Democrat running for state or national legislative offices in order to comply with the bishops’ guidelines. (In Texas, all candidates on the Democratic ticket must take an oath to support ALL elements of the Democratic Party platform, regardless of their personal convictions, meaning they all had to swear to support the Pro-Choice position. It’s a sad situation — you didn’t see many, if any, Catholics on the Democratic Party ticket for any office because of this.)

Now that the election is settled, we need to get busy praying, and writing letters, making phone calls, etc., to get our elected Democratic (and some Republican) representatives to experience a conversion of heart on the issue of abortion, and to have the courage to vote in accordance with that conversion.

Have faith! Divine Providence will provide, as long as we do our part.

Bill November 18, 2008 at 5:24 pm

By the way, I kind’v wish the post at the top of this thread had a different title. It could be taken in a very bad way, even though that was not intended. Just sayin’ …

Matthew Warner November 18, 2008 at 5:46 pm

The title was intentional. I appreciate you realizing that nothing “very bad” was intended. It was recognizing two potential meanings of this black mark on our history…and added the question mark to pose it as a question for thought.

One meaning is a good meaning – that this is a very positive mark on our history for African Americans – for blacks in our country. And I noted the positive things that go along with that in this post. But that ultimately, Barack will end up truly being a black mark – as in a negative mark – on our history because of his strong support for the killing of unborn babies.

Anyone who takes that the wrong way didn’t read the post. But I appreciate your feedback and giving me the benefit of the doubt!

Bill November 18, 2008 at 11:25 pm

I did diversity and race relations training for many years. This pretty much sensitized me to the way some African Americans might sometimes see things, even though I can’t say that I “understand” those things the same way an African American does. I have an intellectual picture, without the complex emotions and associations that people of other races might have. It’s analogous to my understanding of the experience of childbirth. I only have the experience of being a father present at the birth of his child. Needless to say, my wife’s experience was completely different. Both our experiences are valid, they just aren’t the same, and never could be.

It’s complicated. Like so many other things. I’m not very good at explaining The Trinity either.

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