Bishops Correct “Devout Catholic” Biden

Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, chairman, U.S. Bishops Committee on Doctrine, issued the following statement:

Recently we had a duty to clarify the Catholic Church’s constant teaching against abortion, to correct misrepresentations of that teaching by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on “Meet the Press” (see On September 7, again on “Meet the Press,” Senator Joseph Biden made some statements about that teaching that also deserve a response.

Senator Biden did not claim that Catholic teaching allows or has ever allowed abortion. He said rightly that human life begins “at the moment of conception,” and that Catholics and others who recognize this should not be required by others to pay for abortions with their taxes.

However, the Senator’s claim that the beginning of human life is a “personal and private” matter of religious faith, one which cannot be “imposed” on others, does not reflect the truth of the matter. The Church recognizes that the obligation to protect unborn human life rests on the answer to two questions, neither of which is private or specifically religious.

The first is a biological question: When does a new human life begin? When is there a new living organism of the human species, distinct from mother and father and ready to develop and mature if given a nurturing environment? While ancient thinkers had little verifiable knowledge to help them answer this question, today embryology textbooks confirm that a new human life begins at conception (see The Catholic Church does not teach this as a matter of faith; it acknowledges it as a matter of objective fact.

The second is a moral question, with legal and political consequences: Which living members of the human species should be seen as having fundamental human rights, such as a right not to be killed? The Catholic Church’s answer is: Everybody. No human being should be treated as lacking human rights, and we have no business dividing humanity into those who are valuable enough to warrant protection and those who are not. This is not solely a Catholic teaching, but a principle of natural law accessible to all people of good will. The framers of the Declaration of Independence pointed to the same basic truth by speaking of inalienable rights, bestowed on all members of the human race not by any human power, but by their Creator. Those who hold a narrower and more exclusionary view have the burden of explaining why we should divide humanity into those who have moral value and those who do not and why their particular choice of where to draw that line can be sustained in a pluralistic society. Such views pose a serious threat to the dignity and rights of other poor and vulnerable members of the human family who need and deserve our respect and protection.
While in past centuries biological knowledge was often inaccurate, modern science leaves no excuse for anyone to deny the humanity of the unborn child. Protection of innocent human life is not an imposition of personal religious conviction but a demand of justice.


First Pelosi and now Biden. I guess Democrats haven’t internalized the concept yet that the Catholic Bishops will no longer carry water for them.

Hating Motherhood

I was speaking to someone after Mass on Sunday about Governor Palin’s selection for the Vice-Presidential nomination and they commented favorably upon her, saying “That’s a real woman.” Five kids, likes to hunt. This is a woman a lot of Americans will be able to relate to. I added, referring to the lies told about Trig allegedly being her daughter’s child, that it really struck me that it seems that many on the other side really just seem to hate the concept of motherhood. While that whole false controversy was brewing, I couldn’t (and still can’t) understand why that, even if hadn’t been completely made up by persons our for political advantage, would be an issue.

Is it now wrong for a woman to help out her children and grandchildren to give them a better life? It appears so.

This was all before the news about Bristol’s pregnancy broke yesterday. Again we see attempts to use motherhood to discredit Governor Palin. The common thread between these reactions, other than sheer partisanship, seems to be the desire to have these children have been aborted. After all, children with Down’s syndrome and teenage mothers are often the “tough cases” used to justify abortion. If the Palins prove that these cases can be managed successfully, especially in such a now high-profile situation, wouldn’t that somewhat undercut the perceived need for abortion in these situations? The Palins show that these situations can be reacted to with love and that even greater love can come out of them if handled properly. (Note: I’m not arguing that the mothers and fathers of an out of wedlock conception should always wed. They may be too immature to handle that responsibility as well, or perhaps the father or mother is just a jerk. I’ve seen people close to me get in similar situations and have learned from their example that perhaps the best response in these situations is sometimes for one of the parents to walk away. I don’t know the particulars in this situation, of course, and neither do you, so it’s impossible for any of us to comment on what they should do.)

It’s also claimed that this exposes the hypocrisy of the Palins. Again, I fail to see how. They encourage abstinence education in order to reduce teenage pregnancy. The fact that their daughter became pregnant anyway doesn’t undercut their message that teenage pregnancy is usually a bad decision. (It should be noted too that the Palins are apparently accepting of the use of contraception, so that argument can’t be used against them either.)

This child is being welcomed and accepted and loved already and I think that’s what is really driving a lot of this bile: children just aren’t welcomed by the Left. If life begins “at the mother’s choice,” as Wesley Clark once put it, why are these children so reviled and their mothers being heaped with scorn? Is it because the Palins, and other Christians, don’t see Bristol as having been “punished with a child?”

I think many Leftists have built up in their minds an image of all Christians being one step removed from those who would burn single mothers and adulterers at the stake. This is a caricature, of course, based on exaggeration and some of the worst members of our faith. In fact, as National Reviews’s Byron York points out, most Christians won’t be bothered by this. The pro-sex message of our culture is so intense that it takes a strong person to resist that urge; it takes a strong couple to abstain. It’s very easy to screw up, if you’ll pardon the pun. On a pragmatic level, Christians teach their children to abstain from sex before marriage so that when sex happens, their children will be more mature, more able to handle the emotions that go along with it and more able to handle any consequences that result from it.

A couple engaging in sexual intercourse for the first time for each on their wedding night is the ideal held up by Christians; a failure to achieve that ideal doesn’t undercut our message or faith. In fact, it supports one of the essential messages of our Faith: we can’t live as we should; we need the forgiveness and support and strength of Christ. And even with His help, we often fall short if we rely too much on our own strength and will and not on His.

As the article linked above points out, there’s not a family in America that hasn’t gone through this in some way, even among the strongest Christians. (And liberal America has as well, they just make the problem go away by disposing of it, rather than accepting the responsibility.) If the Leftists aren’t careful, they’ll push America further into Palin’s camp as every attack on her for having a child who got pregnant too young is also an attack on countless millions of Americans who are in the same situation.

I almost wonder if the handling of this is another “rope-a-dope” attempt by the McCain campaign to get the Left to overreach as they are so wont to do.

Further, I think the push to build momentum to get her off the ticket is a sign of fear on the part of the Left. If she’s such a detriment, why not leave her on? Wouldn’t they want that anchor dragging McCain down? I think they’re afraid that if the American people have a chance to get to know her, they’ll find a strong, impressive woman they can believe in and support.

ABC Acknowledges the term “Pro-Life,” when talking about Democrats, at least….

From Creative Minority Report:

Dear ABC,

I see you have discovered the term “pro-life” which you mentioned in this piece entitled “Are Democrats Now Pro-Life?”

After all these years while folks who oppose abortion have been calling themselves “pro-life,” the media including, I believe, your organization consistently dubbed us as “anti-abortionists.” But in the aforementioned piece published yesterday you mentioned the term “pro-life” five times in just one article. This would be a stunning and pleasing turnaround for ABC News but I must admit that I’m puzzled. So why the change? I hope that it’s not just because the article is discussing abortion and Democrats.

As the letter goes on to show, the positive “pro-life” terminology is reserved for Democrats, while Republicans still get the negative “anti-abortion.” Ah, the “fair” and “unbiased” media!

Hat Tip: The Curt Jester

One Huge Reason to oppose Universal Health Care?

It gives the government an incentive to want you dead:

After her oncologist prescribed a cancer drug that would cost $4,000 a month, the newspaper reported, “Wagner was notified that the Oregon Health Plan wouldn’t cover the treatment, but that it would cover palliative, or comfort, care, including, if she chose, doctor-assisted suicide.”

It’s cheaper to kill people than to keep them alive. Today, it’s encouraging people to exercise their “right to die.” Tomorrow, it will likely be a “duty to die.”

Wonderful News!

The last abortion clinic left in South Dakota has closed:

Planned Parenthood closed its doors after their abortionists, who are flown in from other states, refused to work under the new law that went into effect last Friday. The law orders abortionists to inform patients of the humanity of their babies and that the procedure could affect their mental health two hours before the abortion is set to be performed. The law also provides that abortionists can be sued if they do not comply.