Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democrats' Moral Confusion

I know I've posted a lot about abortion lately, but I just keep finding good articles. It is a pretty big political issue and it is a presidential election year, so I guess that explains it. Anyway, Newsweek actually posted a web article that is a pretty solid presentation of the pro-life side of the debate, and how this issue affects the Democratic party. It's a good read:
Throughout this lengthy campaign, the Democratic Party has worked hard to present itself as the party of intellect, competence and moral seriousness. Yet it's off to a very rocky start in addressing the substance of the abortion issue—which remains, 35 years after Roe v. Wade, one of the most volatile in our public life. Talk this week by Democratic leaders about lowering the incidence of abortion in America will rightly be welcomed by pro-life Democrats, including the large number of pro-life African-American Democrats. But the recent public record has to make committed pro-lifers of both parties wonder just how serious the Democratic leadership is about engaging the abortion debate.
The part of the article that caught my eye is about Nancy Pelosi:

Then there are the multiple confusions of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In her "Meet the Press" appearance Aug. 24, Pelosi was asked by Tom Brokaw whether she agreed with Senator Obama's statements on abortion at Saddleback. Pelosi, declaring herself an "ardent, practicing Catholic," told Brokaw that "this is an issue that I have studied for a long time"—and then got herself into a deep muddle, in which she seemed to confuse St. Augustine with St. Thomas Aquinas (neither of whom, in any case, knew anything about modern embryology); misrepresented the settled (and scientifically informed) judgment of the Catholic Church on when life begins by declaring it an open question, and concluded by suggesting that none of this really makes a difference, because what the scientists, theologians, and philosophers say "... shouldn't have an impact on a the woman's right to choose." The Speaker then misrepresented the legal impact of Roe v. Wade, arguing that the Supreme Court hadn't created a right to "abortion on demand"—which will come as news to those on both sides of the ongoing debates over partial-birth abortion and other late-term abortion procedures, parental- and spousal-notifications laws and regulatory oversight of abortion clinics.

Democrats who had hoped to persuade a good number of evangelicals and Catholics to return to their traditional 20th-century political home in November 2008 cannot be very encouraged by such intellectual disarray on the part of their party's senior federal official. For more than three decades, the abortion license created by the high court in Roe v. Wade has been an important factor in determining American voting behavior—in more than a few instances, the decisive factor. Yet, judging by her performance on "Meet The Press" (which seemed to surprise the usually unflappable Tom Brokaw), the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives is as ill-informed on the scientific and legal facts involved in the abortion debate as she is of the teaching of the Catholic Church. Speaker Pelosi is, like most "ardent, practicing" Catholics, a great admirer of the late Pope John Paul II. Was John Paul wrong, one wants to ask Speaker Pelosi, when he wrote in the 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae [The Gospel of Life] that "abortion ... always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being"? Was he wrong when he further stated that this moral truth could be known by reason, and was thus a matter of grave concern to public policy?

Obviously I understand that not everyone in this country is a practicing Christian and so not everyone will have the same moral stance on abortion that I do. But I find it beyond comprehension that someone like Nancy Pelosi (or Joe Biden) could claim to be an ardent, practicing Catholic and still support abortion. I guess it just demonstrates how confused and twisted their worldviews have become.

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