Friday, August 29, 2008

What Palin on the GOP ticket means...

Some quick thoughts...

> This shows the strength of the prolife constituency; so often people "in the know" will claim that the prolife constituency is overstated, or will "have no place to go" and be good soldiers. I think McCain would gladly have picked a pro-abortion running mate (and prolifers need to keep that in mind), but ended up picking someone who is being billed as "strongly prolife." A caveat: Gov. Sarah Palin's actual record on the subject is what counts most, not the PR; but the PR by McCain does tell us what kind of message they feel a need to send, and thus what was received by McCain: namely, that they know how much they need prolifers.

> This is hardly reason for prolifers to relax about the GOP ticket. Taking nothing away from Gov. Palin, but she isn't going to have any great role in these matters. If McCain doesn't want a prolife bill to advance in Congress, that's what'll count with GOP members of Congress, and Palin won't be able to overcome that; whoever McCain picks as judges, and what decisions he makes on executive policies affecting prolife, will be his decisions--no way he's going to "outsource" these decisions to her. So, while she looks good--and obviously, a pro-abortion pick would have been bad news--this does not, in my judgment, solve McCain's problems with prolifers or any other constituency that has been concerned with him.

> Remember, while Obama has taken a complete, pro-abortion stance, McCain has been uncertain on Roe v. Wade, at one point, a few years ago, saying he did not favor overturning it. Maybe he's had a change of heart; or a change to more careful rhetoric. Remember that McCain supports stem-cell research that destroys unborn children; he confirmed that in his Saddleback interview with Rev. Rick Warren--and for all those who pointed to the verbiage on McCain's website that really sounds like he was against this research...now you see confirmed what I've been telling you: politicians are masters of seeming to say something without actually saying it.

> Inasmuch as Obama's stance on abortion and baby-destroying "research" disqualifies him, then McCain's same stance on the same, so-called "research" equally disqualifies him. Am I saying you cannot vote, in good conscience, for McCain? No; but I am saying that McCain's problems make it very difficult for anyone to argue that the moral calculus here is crystal-clear. People who vote for Obama and say, "but I am not voting for him because of his pro-abortion stance, but despite it," are engaging in precisely the same reasoning on his pro-abortion stance, as voters for McCain are, regarding his stance on embryo-killing "research."

> How much does Palin being a woman help McCain? Hard to say; hard to see someone who voted for Hilary Clinton because of her liberal stances, now switching to McCain because of a woman veep who is a conservative.

> What about her lack of experience? I think it takes a lot of brass for the Obama-Biden ticket to raise that issue: she's actually run something (a city, and now the geographically largest state in the union); what have Biden and Obama actually been in charge of? She's been governor about as long as Obama has been a Senator; and if memory servers, didn't Sen. Obama advocate attacking our unsteady ally Pakistan, over Osama bin Laden, with nuclear weapons?

"But she's a heartbeat away from the presidency!" Yep, and Obama actually would be president.

> No, I think the Democrats would be foolish to focus on that; instead, to the extent they even go after her, they will label both of them "extreme" and look for some dirt or some mistake she made, or wait for it to happen. If people think McCain is the guy, it's hard to see them backing off because of her, assuming she's not some whacko; if people don't like McCain, hard to see Palin making them swoon. Same for the other ticket, although I do think Biden helps Obama some on the "experience" issue; but I think Biden's Catholicism may prove to be a negative given his pro-abortion stance and Speaker Pelosi rousing the ire of the bishops by treading directly on their territory. (If Palin were a Catholic, that would only have made the McCain folks happier; as it is, they're painting her as ardently prolife and the sort of person conservative Evangelicals will love--five children!)

Anyway, that's all I have for the moment...

61 comments:

Al said...

Fr. Fox,

I must take issue with this statement: 'Inasmuch as Obama's stance on abortion and baby-destroying "research" disqualifies him, then McCain's same stance on the same, so-called "research" equally disqualifies him. Am I saying you cannot vote, in good conscience, for McCain? No'

Voting for Obama is indefensible because his position on abortion is as extreme as possible. Yet you say they are equally disqualified but then state explicitly that McCain is not unacceptable. From this, it seems like you are implying also that someone could vote for Obama in good conscience?

wWolf said...

Palin's wikipedia profile (if you cant trust wiki), states that her youngest child was born with down syndrome.

is that stronger than someone who is pro abortion but would never abort his own children?

i think so, because her personal actions speak louder.

Father Martin Fox said...

Al:

My skill at writing syllogisms and symbolic logical forms is rusty, but I'll lay it out like this:

1. On the strict calculus, Catholics cannot normally vote for candidates who endorse a disqualifying, grave moral evil.

2. Both major-party candidates endorse a disqualifying, grave moral evil: Obama>abortion; McCain>embryo-destroying "research."

3. Therefore, Catholics by the strict calculus would not normally be able to vote for either of these, on the strict calculus.

4. Catholics can set aside the strict calculus, and vote for a candidate who endorses a normally disqualifying, grave moral evil if there is no alternative--no candidate who doesn't endorse grave moral evil.

Here there are differing next steps:

5a. One considers even minor candidates, as long as they actually appear on the ballot, as alternatives, and therefore one decided s/he still cannot vote for either McCain or Obama; or at least decides this is a preferred option (and it's mine). Matter resolved.

Or:

5b. One applies #4 only to major-party candidate, ruling out "fringe" candidates.

6. Now the Catholic has decided s/he will be voting for a candidate who would otherwise be disqualified for endorsing grave moral evil--and must somehow decide between candidates on other, broader, lesser grounds, and more subjective judgments.

7. However one does that, at this point, one is no longer applying the strict calculus, which applies a moral absolute, in #1.

8. The Catholic is now using a different moral calculus that allows one, in conscience, to vote for a candidate who endorses disqualifying, grave moral evil.

9. What new calculus is this? It is far more subjective; whatever calculus one uses here, one can no longer speak of "forbidden" and "must," precisely because one is now considering only candidates who are on the forbidden or disqualified list.

10. Therefore, whatever calculus is now being applied such that a otherwise-disqualified candidate can "pass," then...

11. It stands to reason either otherwise-disqualified candidate can pass the new, less-rigorous calculus.

12. It is invalid to re-apply the initial, strict calculus at this point if the "wrong" candidate "passes," forgetting the other candidate also failed the initial, strict calculus. I.e., the same strict moral calculus that says a vote for Obama is morally indefensible, says the same of McCain. And the same, looser calculus that lets McCain "pass," is available to another to let Obama pass.

13. I.e., what is "sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."

None of this is an endorsement of either candidate--I consider them both disqualified!.

Father Martin Fox said...

Al:

I might add...

This is not to say that once one has moved beyond the strict calculus, as applied to Obama and McCain, that they are, actually identical in all other respects. Obviously, they are not. But at this point--and this is crucial--one is no longer applying the strict calculus that said, "you can't vote for ___ because of ___."

Instead, one is applying a calculus of "better or worse,"--and one might say, reasonably, that Obama is "worse" because he's for abortion while McCain is for embryo-destroying "research"; but if another person found otherwise--that the endorsement of such "research" is actually worse, that would make a vote for Obama less objectionable. You may not agree, but on what basis would you say that is "indefensible"?

Or, that person may say, since I am stuck with both being equally bad on the "life" issue, then I have to look at other issues--and here Obama comes out ahead...or McCain. Again, on what basis do you call that, quote, "indefensible"?

gramps said...

I can't see on life issues how you could come close with Obama (pro every type of abortion including partial birth and also pro leaving a baby die who manages to survive AND also every manner of embryo research) versus McCain who you believe is pro embryo but good on his record on pro life issues. Which is worse, Hitler or Roosevelt both sent men to war but Hitler also had the death camps. Truman ordered the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and OK'd the firebombing of Jap cities. For the life of me, I can't see how there is even a close call on the issue of Obama versus McCain in the area of life. Obama is for the death camps called planned parenthood.

Father Martin Fox said...

Gramps:

We've had this argument before.

It's really plain:

Both major party candidates endorse grave moral evil.

I understand those who say, I feel like I have to choose among them.

But for anyone to say that one is obliged to vote for either one--which is your repeated stance--is not reasonable, I'm sorry. No one can be obliged to vote for a candidate who endorses grave moral evil.

To say that only one of these candidates is guilty of endorsing evil--which is what you keep suggesting--is actually a falsehood. I don't think you mean it, but you keep saying it.

I have to wonder why McCain supporters seem so at ease with his endorsement of the murder of hundreds of thousands of unborn children for "stem cell research." Is it because they are so tiny?

Morally, that is exactly equal in evil to abortion.

Further, by promoting embryonic stem-cell "research" (which means killing babies, for all you who think McCain is prolife), McCain makes it far more likely we'll end up with embryo farms, relying on cloning to produce an endless supply.

Gramps, this is your great "prolife" candidate you keep promoting. If you insist on promoting him as prolife, then you explain your ease with his embrace of so-called research that requires the destruction of an endless supply of unborn children.

Is murdering unborn children somehow better because they are used for research?

Father Martin Fox said...

Gramps:

I'm sorry, it's not a matter of my "believing" McCain is for killing babies for research--during the recent, highly publicized forum with Rev. Rick Warren, he was asked, and he admitted, he supported "research" that kills unborn, embryonic human beings. Of course he used more delicate language.

Are you so wedded to McCain you refuse to believe his own words when he endorses baby-killing?

Father Martin Fox said...

Gramps:

Oh, and don't forget: McCain (and Obama) want you to pay for this baby-killing research with your tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Father,

You are incomplete with your comparison.

It is not Obama pro abortion vs McCain pro ESCR it is actually Obama Pro- abortion, AND pro ESCR, vs McCain anti- abortion and pro-ESCR.

Obama is every bit as PRO- ESCR as McCain which you should mention. Obama is also very much against the defense of marriage act.

Tim Lang

gramps said...

Father, I have yet to see the perfect candidate for President of the USA. With Obama, you have a candidate that is for every type of murder of the baby and that makes him far worse than McCain. I suspect that McCain would pick a far more conservative judge for the court than Obama. That judge would rule on a number of issues and bring a more conservative future to our country on social issues than an Obama judge would. The result will be less babies killed and a far better society on many fronts. I pray every day that God will guide McCain on his stance on embryo's care and feel that his choice of VP will have an influence as well. If she is a clue to the type of judges he will pick, it is a good choice. Not long ago, you seem to be saying that McCain might pick a pro baby murder VP and now that he picks a clear pro life conservative, you still seem to be in the same mode. You say we have had this conversation before and I agree. Having voted for candidates to back to IKE, I will tell you that it is always trying to find the lesser of two evils in this race. I also find that when I look int he mirror, I try each day to be the lesser of two evils as a human being myself and as a grandpa and father. I am certain that each day you try to be the better of two priests as you guide others to Christ who is the only perfect human. He two saw that in life concerning the government, you give to Caesar what is Caesars and to God what is Gods. My point has always been in life that you have to stay in the reality of the human species when making decisions about human beings and that none ever give us the perfect choice as a friend, spouse, father, or grandpa. The reality is that we have a choice of two people who will be our next president, not twenty. If we attack McCain, we help the worse one in these efforts and more babies die. That is the fact of this election and of every election. I will vote for McCain and love the fact that he chose Palin and will pray for him each day as I do for our priests and others in need of our prayers.

gramps said...

Oh by the way, did you see Dobson is now supporting McCain for President? He sees that we have to stop Obama as a duty to the unborn and to our society in general and loves the choice of Palin.
Lets get fighting for McCain and then continue to hold his feet to the fire and hope that God will lead him in the right direction.

gramps said...

And do you also understand that Obama will have us paying for a lot more than McCain in the area of baby killing? If McCain is a five on a scale of 1-10 which I think is too high, Obama is a 70 on the same scale. That was why I was trying to draw the distinction of Hitler and others. Obama is a firm believer in the need to have baby killing and will do all to give it more support, not less.

Father Martin Fox said...

Tim:

I repeat:

Both candidates (I mean Obama and McCain> endorse grave moral evil.

And that is the problem. Yes, it is also true that Obama goes on to endorse several varieties of grave moral evil; but that does not make McCain "our guy."

In other words, "not quite as bad" does not equal "good."

Gramps:

Dr. Dobson is a good man, but he doesn't speak for the Catholic Church. Catholic teaching says one may not cooperate with evil.

And I will say it one more time: I am not telling you not to vote for McCain. That's your choice.

But when you vote for McCain, you are making a prudential decision to vote for a candidate who endorses moral evil. You clearly understand that to be the case with Obama; but you don't seem to acknowledge it with McCain.

Your argument about the "perfect" candidate is a red herring--it is not what I'm talking about; no offense, but I really don't think you are reacting to what I am talking about: candidates who endorse grave moral evil such as:

> abortion
> baby-killing "research"
> cloning
> same-sex marriage
> euthanasia
> torture

You say there is no perfect candidate -- true but utterly irrelevant; because there are candidates who don't endorse any of the above--there were several in the primaries; and as far as I know, Gov. Palin passes this test.

If McCain did not endorse evil, then you could make the argument that only one of the major candidates is morally disqualified; but you simply cannot make that argument.

They are both disqualified; at which point, as I have said repeatedly, either one chooses not to vote for either (my choice), or one knowingly votes for an advocate of grave moral evil despite that endorsement of grave moral evil.

That's what you are doing with McCain.

And that's not an unreasonable choice given the circumstances, but...

contrary to what you claim, it is not the only choice a moral person can make given the situation.

Have you written McCain and expressed your displeasure with him about his endorsement of evil? You get mad at me for pointing out his stance and the consequences of it. Your problem isn't with me; it's with his endorsement of evil which costs him the moral high ground against Obama who also endorses evil.

Al said...

Fr. Fox,

In your reply, you said: 4. Catholics can set aside the strict calculus, and vote for a candidate who endorses a normally disqualifying, grave moral evil if there is no alternative--no candidate who doesn't endorse grave moral evil. (italics mine)

One would still need a proportionate reason and as you say it would be more subjective, but one would still need to find it. So for McCain, it's fairly easy I think to say that although his position on embryonic stem cell research is detestable, his stance on abortion makes up for it since there is no candidate who has an acceptable position on both. Now, I am not saying that someone would be obligated to vote for McCain, but I think it would be much easier to defend than a vote for Obama.

What possible proportionate reason could one find to support a candidate who wants abortions to be legal and subsidized by taxpayers for those who can't afford it besides supporting embryo-destructive research.

Father Martin Fox said...

Al:

I could not find such a reason; but I can't rule out someone else believing there to be one.

Also, I think you are applying the "proportionate reason" rule in the wrong way. That applies when one favors a morally-disqualified candidate over a not-morally-disqualified candidate. That is not the case with McCain and Obama--as far as "non negotiable" issues for Catholics, THEY ARE BOTH DISQUALIFIED.

So with this choice between these two (we keep forgetting there are other candidates seeking the presidency, who as far as I know, are not similarly disqualified), one either a proportionate reason as much for either McCain or Obama...because they are both disqualified...because they both endorse grave evil.

I would dissent from your statement that McCain's position on abortion "makes up" for his detestable support for baby-killing "research." That is simply the wrong way to evaluate it--McCain simply cannot "make up" for supporting evil, other than stop supporting it.

It would be like someone coming to confession and saying, "yes, I committed adultery, but I didn't murder anybody, so that 'makes up for it.'

Once the full weight of the evil that both these candidates support, then the differences between them, while real, are not as glaring as they would be, if only one of them endorsed grave moral evil -- but they BOTH endorse grave moral evil.

I suppose some would say, ok, McCain gets one or two strikes, while Obama gets three or four--and that is a valid prudential way to decide, but--I say it again--because they both endorse grave moral evil--then this comparative difference doesn't render the less-bad "clean" of grave concern.

And for that reason, in my judgment it is impossible for anyone to say there is any sort of "ought" attaching to a vote for either of them, which is the argument I think Gramps is making--one "ought" to vote for McCain. No, because there can never be an obligation to vote for someone who endorses grave moral evil...as they both do.

Anonymous said...

A no-vote is a vote for Obama. A vote for Obama is a vote for pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice nominees (picture Hillary Clinton) who will be rubber-stamped by a Democrat-controlled Senate. The lives of hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake. Not voting for McCain is voting for Obama.

Father Martin Fox said...

Sorry, that is fallacious. If no votes are cast, who wins?

Also, someone could just as easily say a refusal to vote for Obama is a "vote" for McCain.

A refusal to vote for someone is just that, a refusal to vote for someone.

On the other hand, a vote for someone is a cooperation in the evil that person intends--even if only materially.

A vote for Obama is a cooperation in the evil he intends; and a vote for McCain is a cooperation in the evil that he intends. They have both endorsed grave moral evil.

If you insist on taking that line, then it is fair to ask why you're okay with supporting baby-killing research by McCain, insofar as it seems that is who you plan to vote for? There are hundreds of thousands of lives at stake with such so-called research. Why are you prepared to vote for someone who supports that, when you could vote for someone who doesn't?

For my part, I plan to vote for a candidate who does not support any of these evils, because I refuse to have anything to do with their endorsement of evil. I realize others calculate the matter differently, but that's how I see it, and I have to answer for my conscience--not yours.

TerryC said...

n inquiry than a comment. At the present time (in the United States at least) isn't fetal stem cell research limited to certain lines of stem cell which were previously harvested? Doesn't that mean that these babies were already killed long ago?
If I used the eyes form a murder victim, which I had no part in killing, to restore the sight of a blind man, am I materially culpable for the original murder?
Certainly at the present time anyone who uses wind chill factor tables is profiting from the Nazi death camps, because that those tables were composed using information collected by Nazi doctors in the death camps. Is the use of those tables support of a grave evil?

Father Martin Fox said...

TerryC:

No.

It is true that when Bush allowed federal funding for baby-destroying research, he said he would only allow it for use on cells of babies already destroyed.

The problem is, that's not enough for some people; there are hundreds of thousands of tiny, embryonic humans, kept in cold storage, around the country, that McCain, Obama and many others want to have ground up to be used for "research." And have you pay for it.

And this is why I am distressed that people are labeling McCain "prolife"--how can you be for killing babies and be called "prolife"?

This problem started, seems to me, with the National Right to Life Committee giving George W. Bush a pass in 1999: at that time, Keyes and Forbes were beating up on Bush for being for abortions in the case of rape and incest (they were campaigning on a 100% prolife stance); and the NRTLC actually attacked them and said they should back off on Bush, because he was the best hope--too bad he's less prolife than they were!

Now, we see a similar dynamic at work: McCain is being heralded as "prolife" despite many problems.

No, Palin is prolife; her sterling qualities do not magically transfer to him.

Theresa said...

Wow! Fr. Fox thank you for this post and the many recent entries you have written related to the support of candidates who endorse grave moral evil. We have these kinds of discussions among our parishioners (we usually get nowhere, sorta like you and gramps!) You lay out the logic for your position more clearly and consistently than anyone I've heard before. I find your argument quite compelling, and will be giving the matter much prayer and thought in the coming months. I will recommend your blog to many people who are sure to find it interesting and enlightening! Keep up the good work.

I remember NRLC's position in 1999/2000- made me think they are interested in something other than seeing an end to abortion in this country, and I withdrew my support of that organization at that time. (They strengethened my suspicions when they endorsed Fred Thompson this go-round.)

As for the Palin pick, I find that many people are more excited about the McCain ticket now. But I can't really see why. Personally, I'm underwhelmed. I think there were other pro-life potential VP picks who would have been more qualified for the job. She was chosen b/c she's, well. . . interesting. I guess it all comes down to winning elections, and Palin may just help in obtaning that end. She brings some interest for those who would like to see history made in the election of a woman VP, and we pro-lifers can at least be glad we didn't get a slap in the face. It seems the race is between celebrities, now though: Who's better lookng? Which ticket is more young and vibrant? Which is more exciting and new? My son made an interesting point, that television has done a lot to bring our country to this point. It's less about what a candidate does and says, and more about how he says it and what he looks like.
Both parties are looking for the shallow vote this year, not the votes of those who are interested in electing the pair best suited to leading the country.

I have a good idea! Why don't we just put out a new reality show: "Who Wants to be the Next President of the United States?" That would generate a lot of interest in the election, and there'll be record voter turn-out!

Theresa

gramps said...

Father says
So with this choice between these two (we keep forgetting there are other candidates seeking the presidency, who as far as I know, are not similarly disqualified), one either a proportionate reason as much for either McCain or Obama...because they are both disqualified...because they both endorse grave evil.


THERE ARE NO OTHER CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT. IT IS EITHER OBAMA OR MCCAIN WHO WILL BE PRESIDENT MY FRIEND. YOU FAIL TO ADDRESS THIS FACT OVER AND OVER. THAT IS THE CHOICE. SO YOU WILL HAVE SOMEONE THAT WILL SUPPORT ONE FORM OF EVIL OR SOMEONE THAT WILL SUPPORT MANY MANY SOURCES OF GRAVE EVIL. ONE COULD HAVE SOME BABIES DIE SHOULD HE NOT CHANGE ON ONE POSITION, THE EMBRYO RESEARCH. ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU HAVE SOMEONE THAT HAS DEMONSTRATED NO THOUGHT ABOUT THE MANY GRAVE EVILS HE SUPPORTS.

YOU FAIL TO TALK ABOUT CONTRACEPTION MY FRIEND AND THAT KILLS BABIES. ACCORDING TO YOUR THEORY, NO ONE WHO SUPPORTS CONTRACEPTION SHOULD BE VOTED FOR EITHER YET I FAIL TO SEE A SINGLE POST ON CONTRACEPTION. AS A CATHOLIC PRIEST YOU HAVE TO END UP NOT VOTING FOR ANYONE THAT SUPPORTS THIS GRAVE EVIL AS WELL AND YOU SHOULD MAKE YOUR BLOG A DEDICATED POST TO THIS AS WELL. WHY DON'T YOU? BECAUSE THE VAST MAJORITY OF CATHOLICS USE CONTRACEPTION WHICH IS A GRAVE EVIL AND YOU ARE SILENT. I SUSPECT YOU ARE SILENT SO AS NOT TO OFFEND THE MANY WHO NOT ONLY SUPPORT, BUT WHO USE THIS TYPE OF KILLING PRODUCT DAILY. SHAME ON YOUR SILENCE.

FOR ME AND I HOPE MANY OTHERS WHO LIVE IN THE WORLD AND HAVE TO MAKE CHOICES EACH DAY AND THIS IS ONE MORE. I REPEAT THAT THERE ARE NO CANDIDATES BUT OBAMA AND MCCAIN WHO HAVE ANY CHANCE OF BEING ELECTED IN THE REAL WORLD, NOT SOME THEORETICAL WORLD. I WILL PRAY FOR MCCAIN TO CHANGE ON THIS ONE POSITION AND COUNT ON GOD TO CONTINUE TO BRING ABOUT WONDERS IN OTHER AREAS OF RESEARCH TO MAKE KILLING EMBRYO'S END OR TO CHANGE HEARTS. I HAVE NO HOPE OF OBAMA AND THE EVIL THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY REPRESENTS CHANGING AND AS TO TAX DOLLARS BEING USED, WHAT MCCAIN MIGHT PROPOSE WILL BE A SMALL AMOUNT COMPARED TO THE BILLIONS THAT OBAMA AND HIS PARTY WILL FORCE DOWN THE THROATS OF THE TAXPAYERS FOR ABORTION WORLDWIDE. A NO VOTE OR A THROW AWAY IS A VOTE FOR OBAMA IF YOU ARE PRO LIFE. BY THE WAY, I AGREE THAT IF YOU ARE AN OBAMA SUPPORTER AND VOTE FOR SOMEONE ELSE, YOU ARE GIVING A VOTE TO MCCAIN. IF YOU LOVE BABY KILLING AND VOTE FOR NADER, YOU HAVE GIVEN A VOTE TO A PRO LIFE CANDIDATE IN MCCAIN BECAUSE NADER DOES NOT HAVE A CHANCE OF BEING ELECTED. MILLIONS OF BABIES ARE AT STAKE IN THIS ELECTION. IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOMEONE THAT COMMITS A CRIME ON A SMALLER SCALE THAN ANOTHER? IS SOMEONE THAT KILLS ONE PERSON AS BAD AS SOMEONE THAT KILLS AND TORTURES MILLIONS? AS BAD AS MURDER IS, WE DO NOT READ ABOUT EVERY MURDERER, BUT WE READ ABOUT HITLER. THERE ARE LEVELS OF EVIL IN THIS WORLD AND WE HAVE TO MAKE THE BEST CHOICE POSSIBLE TO LIMIT THE EVIL.

BY THE WAY, I HAVE VOICED MY COMPLAINT TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ON A REPEATED BASIS AND TO THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN. I THINK BY NOW YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT I VOICE MY VIEWS LIKE THE OLD WOMAN THAT KEPT POUNDING AWAY AT THE JUDGE UNTIL HE MADE A CHANGE. I HAVE OVER A THOUSAND LETTERS I HAVE SENT OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS AS I SEE A DRIFT IN THE PRO LIFE PARTY. I WENT TO WASHINGTON TO PROTEST THE CHOICE OF MEYERS AND GO TO WASHINGTON EVERY YEAR ON THE PRO LIFE MARCH SINCE THE FIRST ONE. I AM ON A FIRST NAME BASIS WITH MY REPRESENTATIVE AND HIS OFFICE AND VOICED MY STRONG DISAGREEMENTS. I ASK YOU THE SAME FATHER.

YOU DO NOT SEEM TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE HAVE A TWO PARTY SYSTEM AND THAT ONE IS FAR BETTER ON LIFE ALTHOUGH NOT PERFECT. IF YOU SUPPORT LIFE, YOU HAVE ONLY ONE CHOICE TO MAKE AND I FAIL TO UNDERSTAND HOW YOU THINK GIVING THE OTHER EVIL PARTY POWER FURTHERS THE MOVEMENT TOWARD LIFE. MILLIONS MORE WILL DIE AS A RESULT OF YOUR POSITION IF FOLLOWED AND YET YOU DO NOT SEEM TO AGREE THAT THIS WILL RESULT.

YOU WILL ALSO HAVE JUDGES THAT WILL BE APPOINTED THAT WILL BRING ABOUT MANY OTHER EVILS BECAUSE WE HAVE A COURT THAT SEEMS TO BELIEVE THEY HAVE THE POWER TO LEGISLATE. ONE DAY, THESE SAME JUDGES MIGHT DECIDE THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOICE CONCERNS OVER GAY MARRIAGE AND ARREST YOU FOR A HATE CRIME. WHICH PARTY WOULD APPOINT THIS TYPE OF JUDGE?

Anonymous said...

Dear Father Fox,

Thank you for this insightful discussion on the forthcoming election. I certainly can see clearly now. I’d like to add a few comments.

First of all, there are nine ways a person can be an accessory to another’s sin. I will only mention two that could be pertinent to this discussion.
1. By consent (voting for the candidate)
2. By praise or flattery (‘This candidate is great!’ OR ‘He’s a lot better than the other one.’)

If one commits a mortal (grave) sin, and they do not repent, they will go to Hell. Now instead of the Mansions of Heaven, they would suffer in the pits of Hell. Hell is still Hell, no matter how you got there.

Suppose you have Art and Bob who are both murderers. Art murders his victim by strangling. Bob Murders his victim with a knife, and cuts up the body parts. Question: Does either one get to Heaven because one method might not be as brutal as the other? Of course not.

Both murders are a mortal sin and deserve eternal punishment in Hell. Granted, Art might be in a pit that has less suffering than Bob, but it is still Hell.

Both of these candidates are promoting murder of innocent lives. We in good conscience cannot support these candidates by consent, praise or flattery. We cannot argue that one is better than the other – they both endorse the killing of innocent human beings.

I would urge everyone to understand thoroughly and completely what Father is saying.

Murdering of the innocent is a Mortal Sin no matter what happens to that human being afterwards. One cannot commit evil for a 'good' cause.

Please do not put yourself in a position that you might fall prey to vote for these candidates just because one method of disposal is better than the other.

Andrea Brown

P.S. Theresa – I love your comment about the reality show!

Father Martin Fox said...

Gramps:

When you write in extended all-caps, that gives the strong suggestion that you are SHOUTING. And that leads me to believe you are getting way too AGITATED. In any case, with respect, it is off-putting.

There are at least two other candidates seeking the presidency who will have electors. As such, they are legally qualified to be elected, so your assertion that there are only two is factually wrong; I know what you meant, but for those who aren't as familiar, it is misleading.

As to the rest, I think I've said all I care to say.

Father Martin Fox said...

Gramps:

Oh, another factual error: if you read my homilies, you will find I have, indeed, spoken about contraception. I don't often use the word contraception, but my meaning was clear enough. Try a search.

Anonymous said...

Fr Fox,
A KEY point to keep in our conscience with this 2008 election is who is election has the ability/power to appoint pro-life judges for the Supreme Court that could end ROE vs WADE - a 35 year intrinsic evil.

WE MUST KEEP OUR HEART ON THE END OF THIS CULTURE OF DEATH THAT THE LIBERAL PARTY HAS STOOD FOR IN THE PAST 35 YEARS. God Bless us all!!

Father Martin Fox said...

Anonymous:

That is the issue every federal election, and it's more about Congress. If McCain wins, and if he really is determined only to appoint justices who will overturn Roe (there is good reason to doubt that), then they have to be confirmed by the Senate. Only if there are enough Senators given to confirming such choices will such justices actually be confirmed.

But more than that, if not, then will McCain even name such justices? Or will he not say, "I woulda, but I didn't have the votes, so I went for someone who could be confirmed."

So the Senate is key.

I think it's a big mistake to focus everything on the Presidency and one election cycle.

I, for one, place very little hope in McCain actually naming good justices, not only because of the expected makeup of the Senate, but because he himself said, a few years ago, that he opposed overturning Roe, and because such justices would almost certainly be hostile to his signature legislation, the "McCain-Feingold" so-called campaign "reform" law.

Is it really reasonable to expect him to name justices who will strike down this legislative achievement of which he is so proud?

Yes, we hope for the best, but--I think people are fooling themselves (as we are so prone to do every four years) if they think McCain is "our hero."

Anonymous said...

Father,
I agree with you that no one is obligated to vote for a candidate who endorses a grave evil, therefore no one is obligated to vote for John McCain. You are not going to compromise on any of the non-negotiable issues. I am not going to take issue with that but am taking issue with some of your other statements.

In your reply to me you wrote,'In other words "not quite as bad" does not equal "good".'
That is a strong minimization of the situation. I believe a much more accurate view is; McCain is gravely wrong on ONE grave issue but Obama is gravely wrong on FIVE grave issues therefore Obama is much, much more worse than McCain. Voting for McCain to prevent a much, much worse candidate (Obama)from being elected is permitted and therefore can be doing good.

This leads to your point made to Gramps. You wrote, "Catholic teaching says one may not cooperate with evil."

Actually Catholic teaching according to then Cardinal Ratzinger regarding cooperation with evil is, "remote material cooperation can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons."

This leads to your reply to Al.
You wrote, "Also, I think you are applying the "proportionate reason" rule in the wrong way. That applies when one favors a morally-disqualified candidate over a not morally disqualified candidate."

Father I believe that is wrong. I believe it applies precisely to this situation when both candidates are wrong on one or more morally grave issues.

This is explained much better than I could at Catholic Answers by James Akin. I encourage everone on this thread to read how Cd. Ratzingers teaching applies to voting at
www.catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0411fea4.asp

I look forward to reading your homily when you post it. I am also hoping you'll post some of your labor day thoughts.

Tim Lang

P.S. I'll have a comment or two about your "our guy" quip later.

Jim said...

Father

This posting has certainly generated a great deal of discussion. The pick of Palin as the VP was a good one. She is pro life and has demonstrated her commitment to life in a way that you or I would never be able. As far as Senator McCain is concerned, I understand your reservations but do not agree with you. We are faced with one candidate who we disagree with on ESCR and another candidate who would have a born alive infant from a botched abortion tossed into a medical waste disposal bin to die. I know both are grave moral evils but I believe in this case as most others you must choose from the lesser of two evils. I suppose we could go live next to the Amish and remove ourselves from the evils of the world but that doesn't seem very practical. Instead we'll drive our cars, heat our homes and help fund middle eastern states. Sates which fund terrorism and all of the grave moral evils associated with terrorism. We'll watch our televisions, listen to our IPods, surf the net and blog on our laptops built in China. China which has forced abortions and slave labor. The world is inherently evil and that will not change. Sitting out an election because you can't bring yourself to vote for a particular candidate may soothe your conscience but will in all probability help elect someone whose policies will bring about far more grave moral evil.

gramps said...

Father, you say writing in caps is shouting. what is it when you use bold and caps? My caps were simply a response.

You wrote in bold "That is not the case with McCain and Obama--as far as "non negotiable" issues for Catholics, THEY ARE BOTH DISQUALIFIED."

I guess frustration is the real answer when you feel you have given an example and the other person does not address the issues you raise. You say there are other candidates but will not answer the question as to who the only candidates are with a chance to hold the office. That is Obama and McCain.

Lets say that two missles are coming in to our country and you have control of shooting down one of them. You have to make a choice. One is aimed at a small city with 100 residents and the other is a major city with millions who will die. your choice would me that both missles are evil and so you would shoot down one that will land in the ocean and have no impact on human life. I think it make sense to pull the trigger on the one who will kill millions and take it out. we have the opportunity to vote to end the possible presidency of a man dedicated to the killing of babies and much more. I will take that shot even if the end result is that a few die because I have one bullet and chose not to waste it on a missle going into the ocean. You because of some pride or theory will chose to shoot down the ocean aimed missle or fail to pull the trigger and the result is the city with millions will die.

The article quoted above from Tim Lang on Akins at Catholic Answers seems to do a great job of education.

Carol McKinley said...

Father,

A few rebuttals if I may-

>As you duly note, McCain felt the pressure and acted accordingly with the nomination. Obama would pay us no heed if he were to get into office and policies and appointments would be devastating to the unborn.

>ESR is moot. Women are not contributing their eggs and the number of offenses against the unborn cannot possibly equate to an administration that supports abortion up until the moment of birth and withholding treatment from a survivor of a botched abortion. This position is sociopathic.

>Palin will not attract the most extreme proabort feminists. This appointment will attract people who were uncertain McCain would kowtow to our pressure (he just proved he will enthusiastically. She will attract mainstream Mommies.

>There is no such thing as a "strict calculus" when two candidates take positions offensive to Catholic doctrines. If one candidate was believer in ethnic cleansing,abortion,moral ambiguity, the abolition of God from the public square and education and other communist philosophies and the other candidate supported ESR which is nearly non-existent, voting for the former instead of the latter is a collaboration in such grave societal evils that it defies common sense.

Keeping this lunatic out of office is the only sensible objective Catholics must use in evaluating their options.

Voting for a candidate we know can't possibly win is as senseless as twiddling one's thumbs when a drunk man gets behind the wheel of a car in our presence.

Anonymous said...

Carol McKinley has just sent you to school Father Fox. Her post has made more sense than any of the previous 29 posts.

Theresa said...

All,
The thing that strikes me about Father's reasoning is how important he thinks the ESCR issue is. Someone who supports ESCR supports the killing of innocent human life as much as someone who supports infanticide, and I it seems many here think that embryonic killing is not as bad newborn baby killing. As for numbers, if ESCR continues in the direction we are heading with it in this country, there will easily be many many human lives destroyed as a direct result of it. It is in some ways worse than abortion and infanticide, since it goes on unseen, and therefore troubles our consciences less. It appears that Father sees ESC killing as a grave moral evil, while many others are claiming that it is not so bad.

Another point Father makes that struck me is that McCain might not appoint the kinds of judges we would like simply because he doesn't think he has the votes. That is a reasonable thing to expect, since that is how many of us in the pro-life movement think from time to time. We put our support behind the person more likely to win, rather than the person who supports our beliefs more strongly. If more people would support candidates who more strongly supports our beliefs, then, and only then, would people who support our beliefs win elections. For example, going back to NRTLC and primary elections, why do they support candidates who are nominally pro-life, when there are others running who are obviously ardently committed to the pro-life cause?

If a person withholds a vote (or votes for a leser known candidate), that does not make him responsible for the choices of others who do vote for McCain or Obama. And if McCain wins, and causes a lot of unexpected destruction to the pro-life cause (and he may very well, since he has demonstrated that he is not personally terribly committed to it), then who is to blame? The Palin pick is a good one and a nod to pro-lifers in order to get our vote. I don't think it's an enthusiatic embrace of pro-life ideals or a promise of anything else from this candidate who prides himself on being a "maverick".

I am keeping you in prayer, Father. Thank you for your moral courage and defense of human life at all stages.

Theresa

PS Nine-week novena to pray for the upcoming elections begins today!

Carol McKinley said...

Theresa,

I don't think anyone is saying ESR is not a grave moral evil but not only does Obama support that and the numbers of exploited women may increase, his administration
supports murder up until the moment of birth and it's victims by omission via witholding treatment. Is this the moral leadership you want for your children?

Father, I have not read your writings before so forgive me if I misunderstand, but as a newcomer your assertions seem to imply that your discernment has no benchmarks for the gravity of sins which is extremely disconcerting given you administer the Sacrament of Confession.

Are you advising your flock that whether McCain had a vasectomy or his opponent was promoting ethnic cleansing that our Catholic duty as stewards of the earth is to consider the consequences of the two candidates as having an equal impact on civilization?

Father Martin Fox said...

Gramps:

You have the option of creating your own blog. I don't owe you anything. I think there is an obvious difference in using capitals, italics or bold for a word, phrase or sentence, as opposed to the majority of a long post. If this gets you this excited, maybe you should stop surfing the 'net and go take a walk outside. In any case, you are a guest here, and I ask that you remember that. That goes for a couple of other smart alecks in this thread.

Tim:

It seems to me you and others are using a "scorecard" approach--one candidate gets "one strike" while the other gets six. Without going over each item in the scorecard, if you choose that approach, then McCain comes out "better." And Jim makes the argument that one "must" support the "lesser of two evils," and so do many others.

But in my judgment, what is happening is people are collapsing what should be a two-stage evaluation into a single stage.

First stage: evaluate moral fitness of the candidates as measured, minimally, against non-negotiables. If any fail, rule them out and vote for one who remains.

If none are morally fit--because of support of non-negotiable moral evil--then one may use the scorecard.

But--and this is where many of you disagree with me, but oh well--at this point, it is no longer a question of moral "oughts" and "musts" for the simple fact that it is utterly incoherent to argue that one "must" vote for an advocate of evil! That is crazy talk!

Yes, I do maintain that if one votes for a morally unfit candidate over a morally fit candidate ("morally fit" here being artificially defined by these non-negotiables; obviously there is a lot more to moral fitness than these), it is here that one needs a suitably proportionate reason to do so; but then the ground levels considerably when both candidates have demonstrated their moral unfitness, and therefore, less in my judgment is needed to tip it one way or the other.

A lot of this is subjective, meaning--each of us has to make a subjective judgment evaluating all that remains. Many of you manifest the judgment you make, and lean toward McCain. I don't share your feelings about the man, but I understand it and can't disqualify that reasoning.

But there seems to be the idea that there is but one way to evaluate all this, but one right answer, according to Catholic teaching. And I invite anyone who says so to please cite anything from the bishops or from Rome that says one is bound to vote for an advocate of evil over another advocate of evil.

And my familiarity with Catholic moral teaching leads me to offer fewer absolute assertions than are popular, including here. The Church teaches certain things are intrinsically evil, and the Church teaches about formal and material cooperation at various levels of proximity, and the Church teaches that lots of issues in public policy have moral dimensions, some are more grave than others.

But when it comes to just how to determine ones vote, the Church is simply not as proscriptive as many think, or would like.

When faced with a choice between advocates of evil (and here is where many of you are using quantity inaptly; Theresa' image of mortal sin is more apt--it only takes one to go to hell), the process of deciding between them is not so clear-cut as many insist.

Tim cited the Jimmy Akin item at Catholic Answers, and I re-read it just now, and while I agree its a good article, I really don't see that undermining my argument at all, for two reasons.

1. Mr. Akin talks mainly of a pro-abortion candidate vs. a not-pro-abortion candidate. He doesn't address baby-killing "research." I may be wrong, but I think he would agree with me that in the terms of his argument, and then-Cardinal Ratzinger's statement, baby-destroying research is the moral equivalent of abortion.

In that sense, both Obama and McCain count as "pro-abortion," and as he said: "What kind of reason would be needed to vote for a pro-abort candidate for president? Something unimaginably huge." (And at the end of this post, I will address my qualms about McCain's stated opposition to abortion.)

2. He does address an example that is very apt, but he doesn't say what some here say:

"Here is a clear case: Suppose that in a given election either Candidate A or Candidate B is morally certain to win, but it is not clear which will win. Candidate A’s only policy is that he supports abortion, while Candidate B has two policies: He supports both abortion and euthanasia. In this case, more harm will be done to society by the election of Candidate B, and so based on principles touched on by John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae 73, one may cast one’s vote in such a way as to limit the harm done to society" (emphasis added).

Note Mr. Akin uses the key word "may" which I bolded so you can easily see it.

"May." Not "must." Huge difference. At no point did I dispute the "may." I do vigorously contest a "must" -- and while Mr. Akin may believe that (I don't know), that's not what he wrote.

Now, Mr. Akin cites Evangelium Vitae, so let's look at that. It's too lengthy to quote, but you can find it here, then scroll down.

You will see paragraph 73 speaks not of voting for candidates, but how legislators vote on public policy. I agree with Mr. Akin the principles here apply, just as he said, in justifying the "may" in what he wrote.

If you read paragraph 74, you will also find our late holy father emphasizing the "moral duty" and "human right" to "refuse to take part in committing an injustice." He means mainly taking part in abortions themselves, but I think what he says applies also to those who refuse, as I do, to vote for either McCain or Obama.

Now, given the limits of a comment box, we've looked at relevant teaching on the matter, in the latter case, from the successor of Peter himself.

I find nothing that supports the argument being made here, in rebuttal to me, that where two candidates are disqualified because they both support some measure of grave moral evil, then it still remains the case that because one candidate endorses a wider variety of said evil, then there is an obvious moral superiority to his opponent.

That, it seems to me, is a key point of contention for many of you with me. I consider Sen. John McCain, for all his admirable qualities, to be morally unfit for this office due to his embrace of grave moral evil. I hold Obama the same--but I don't sense anyone here needs convincing of that.

Now, the subject of the born alive act comes up. No question that demonstrates Obama's moral unfitness; but it doesn't erase or even lessen McCain's moral unfitness because of embryonic stem-cell research.

But to suggest that Obama's election will mean throwing born-babies into garbage cans becomes policy is ridiculous. In fact, the Born Alive Act passed Congress by near unanimous votes. It's one thing to point out a candidate's moral bankruptcy--which I've been doing about both--it's another to turn that into absurd predictions.

Jim: I am not advocating "sitting out an election," and I would appreciate you actually reading what I say, and not making things up. I never said any such thing.

I don't consider this to be the last election we'll have. Nor do I consider the president a dictator, such that it's all about who is elected president. I note several of you talk about Obama's election as if he will determine policy all by himself, Carol compares him to a drunk behind the wheel.

It's as much or more about who is elected to Congress and the state legislatures. It's worth noting in passing that George W. Bush, often called a dictator, had a majority of his own party in control of both houses of Congress for most of his two terms, and had a lot of other advantages, and yet how much of his agenda--including what he endorsed on prolife--did he ram through? Passing legislation is hard, thankfully.

Since many of you cannot conceive how anyone concerned for the prolife cause can conclude other than that McCain is the morally superior candidate, I will share my basis for grave reservation about McCain on the abortion issue itself. This is an example of the kind of evaluation that comes into play, when one has both major candidates disqualified by their endorsement of grave evil.

I don't find his claim to being prolife very convincing, and I think he will have a damaging effect on how prolife the GOP is.

I believe that based on his comments in a debate in 2000, trying to downplay the prolife plank in the platform, his comments a few years ago saying he didn't want Roe v. Wade overturned, reports I find credible that he did seriously consider a pro-abortion running mate, and his alliance over the years with the more liberal wing of the GOP, where the pro-abortion Republicans are. That's why I said Palin's pick proved the strength of the prolife issue, because it overcame McCain's own clear preferences.

George Will had an excellent column yesterday about "post partisan" Arnold Scwharzenegger, as a possible forecast of where McCain's similar, post-partisan "maverick" approach might lead. Note that Schwarzenegger (sp?) was slated as a prominent speaker at the convention, although the hurricane may have scrapped that. And it's not just Schwarzenegger.

And, to return to it, I consider McCain's support of baby-destroying "research" to make his claim to be against abortion simply not very convincing.

The two ideas do not coexist rationally in the mind of someone who really gets why abortion is wrong. So when McCain said, at Saddleback, a baby has rights beginning at conception, then proceeded to endorse using said babies for "research" . . . that is morally and intellectually incoherent.

And when he reluctantly admitted he favored baby-killing "research"--and you compare that with the verbiage on his site addressing the subject that gave a completely different impression, which is why before Saddleback, many were citing it to show McCain was now against such research -- the inescapable conclusion is that McCain gets the incoherence.

I think that's why he was hesitant with Pastor Rick Warren, and why the way his site described his stance on such research was so carefully written to lead people to believe he opposed all such research, when by his own admission, he does not. This is an attempt to deceive, and it is disturbing.

My purpose here is not to convince anyone not to vote for McCain, although it may have that effect; rather, I am attempting to show my basis for not seeing him as so much better than Obama, as so many commenters here seem convinced, since so many of you don't see how anyone can doubt the obvious moral superiority of a vote for McCain.

Finally, a lot of this energy would be better invested elsewhere, which is why -- although I will leave this thread open and perhaps will comment again here -- I think after this I will have very little more to post about the election. This is perhaps a better discussion to have in live conversation than via a blog.

I rather thought trying to have this discussion would generate too much angst, because too many people treat the next election as if it were the last, and I see I was right.

We're too far into the political season. I am simply not going to persuade people to calm down and remember politics is, like baseball, a long ballgame...

It is a lot like chess, in which one can easily make the mistake of making it all about protecting the queen (and be more likely to lose overall as a result)...

And it is also a lot like football, in which sometimes you do better with your defense on the field, especially when your offense gives up points, and your defense is good at forcing turnovers.

Vito said...

I RECENTLY CAME ACROSS AN ARTICLE FROM THE WEBSITE OF THE GENTLEMAN BRIEFLY DESCRIBED BELOW ON HIS WEBSITE:
HTTP://JCRAO.FREESHELL.ORG/
ABOUT DR. RAO
Dr. John C. Rao, D. Phil. Oxon., is Associate Professor of History at St. John's University, Director of the Roman Forum/Dietrich von Hildebrand Institute, and former President of Una Voce America. A well-regarded speaker as well as writer, Dr. Rao presents a lecture series on Church history in New York and as part of the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium at Lake Garda in Italy. The New York lecture series is open to the general public, and applications for the Summer Symposium are available through the Roman Forum's website. Tapes of those and other lectures are available from Keepthefaith.org.

The article I’m referring to is titled “March for Life, Not for Bush” can be read on the site clicking on the title towards the bottom of the page. It seems to me to have implications for the current presidential election. I’d be interested in your reactions.

Carol McKinley said...

Father,

I hope you reconsider your decision to truncate political chatter on your blog. These discussions are sorely needed.

Let me try a different approach. This is my first reading of you, but you seem like an earnest orthodox priest. Along your sojourn, I'm sure you have known of brother priests under a pastor who under a guise of liberty oppressed the teachings of the Church on contraception, abortion, etc? The fellow in control at the top creates how things are to be perceived.

The dynamics of subsidiary operate on every level from a family to the highest position in the land.

I agree with you that teaching the GOP we are not going to go to the polls and accept their mediocrity anymore has merit that in the aggregate, more lives will be saved. The question here, is whether we are at that point.

McCain was not the GOP's candidate. They spent the last four years grooming Romney and they fully expected us to climb aboard the Mittmobile without examining his sincerity with the litmus test of his policies as Gov of Massachusetts. A lot of money and time went into Mitt and when we said adios, they were stuck with McCain. The choice of Palin indicates it may well be a cold day in hell before they try to clean up a phony and ask us to drink the koolaid.
They could have easily went with Ridge or Lieberman and picked up the disenfranchised Hillary voters and had more than a 50/50 shot.

Palin is an aggressive pick. They have conceded where the power lies. Temperance is required because the consequences of a subsidiary of Obameggedon is beyond what any of us can imagine.

Father Martin Fox said...

Carol:

If you read more of my blog, you'll see I am very familiar with politics.

With respect, "Obamageddon" says in one word all I have been saying about a vast over-reaction to what the election of any one candidate to public office. We somehow survived Nixon-geddon, Ford-geddon, Carter-geddon, Reagan-geddon, Bush(I)-geddon, Clinton-geddon, and Bush (II)- geddon.

And for those who saw Reagan and Bush (II) as the great saviors and heroes of the prolife cause (and I think highly of Reagan), I point out that they did not bring salvation in our time, no one but the actual Messiah will. In fact, a lot of damage was done to the prolife cause under our "friends": the original Roe Court was mostly Republican, the majority that upheld Roe in 1993 was 100% appointed by Republicans, Reagan gave us O'Connor and Kennedy, Bush (I) gave us Souter, and while Alito and Roberts are promising, they have yet to be counted on overturning Roe. Let's see what they actually do before we decide how to count them.

In fact, quite a lot of progress was made for the prolife cause during the Clinton terms--the Partial Birth Abortion Ban (which is very modest accomplishment) was passed under Bush (II) after being brought to the floor of Congress repeatedly under Clinton; when did it come up before? Lots of prolife policy came into being at the state level during those years.

Meanwhile, under Bush (II), we've made only minimal progress, and we've gone backward in other ways. When he had GOP majorities in both houses of Congress, only sure-to-pass, minimal prolife legislation was brought forward; other legislation--such as the Life at Conception Act that would overturn Roe legislatively (little known fact that it can be done, the Roe Court told us how) never came to a vote--where were the great prolife Bush et al. on that?

In addition to vastly overstating what one president can do ("Obamageddon"), many vastly underappreciate the harm the wrong guy, on "our" side, can do: if McCain doesn't want legislation voted on, the GOP will be hard-pressed to advance it; if he puts forward another Kennedy, GOP Senators will be hard-pressed to oppose him. If he sides with moderates against conservatives in primaries, the way the Bush White House did (don't you wonder why Congress became less conservative during his term? It didn't just happen all on its own), the GOP will be less prolife than it is now. Don't assume Palin automatically gets the nod in four years. What became of Vice Presidents Rockefeller and Quayle?

My bottom line: it is such a mistake to focus so much on the presidency!

Carol McKinley said...

Father,

Agree with a lot of what you say but the distinction that the moral compass was equivocal between, say, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan and their pro-life leadership all balances out in the wash, is not justified by history.

Anyhoo - We'll have to agree to disagree on the communistic-like dictatorship of Obama and our duties as stewards of the earth. Luckily, this appointment has confirmed McCain's bent & it appears prolifers are energized and proactive!

Jim said...

Father

I read your entire blog. You stated

"For my part, I plan to vote for a candidate who does not support any of these evils, because I refuse to have anything to do with their endorsement of evil. I realize others calculate the matter differently, but that's how I see it, and I have to answer for my conscience--not yours."

Voting for a 3rd party candidate who may garner 2 or 3 percent of the vote is for all intents and purposes sitting out the election, (at least on the presidential level). I'm not making things up, I'm just taking you at your word.

Father Martin Fox said...

Carol says:

"Agree with a lot of what you say but the distinction that the moral compass was equivocal between, say, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan and their pro-life leadership all balances out in the wash, is not justified by history."

I did not say "the moral compass was equivocal between say, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan" nor did I ever refer to Clinton's leadership as "prolife." That you would say that suggests you aren't reading me very carefully, or that this is too subtle a discussion for a blog; it may well mean I am failing to express myself; in any case, all the more reason for me to move on from political topics on my blog.

As to how events and decisions associated with each man's presidency will work out in history, none of us can evaluate it; but it is far more complex as I noted: Reagan whether he intended it or not, played a key (negative) role in sustaining Roe (by appointing not only Kennedy but also O'Connor), and Clinton, certainly without intending it, nonetheless presided over a time of the prolife movement's greatest progress since Roe, as measured by the volume of legislation passed among the federal and state legislatures.

And I have no idea where you're getting the idea that Obama will bring about a "communist-like dictatorship," and I don't know what you mean in your reference to "stewards of the earth." But a "communist-like dictatorship" strikes me as, well, a wee bit much...to say the least!

Father Martin Fox said...

Jim:

You can call it "sitting out the election," because that's what it means to you, but that doesn't make it so.

To cite the famous story about Lincoln's asking some politicians, "if you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a sheep have?" They reply, well, five. "No, four--because calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one."

For one, I plan to vote up and down the ballot; you may think only the presidential race makes an election, but if so, therein lies a huge problem. I suggest you broaden your focus.

Second, being involved in an election begins long before Election Day. How did McCain and Obama get to be the nominees? I've been involved to the extent I can. I've been writing about problems with McCain since the primaries (and if you actually had read my entire blog as you say--I think you meant you read the entirety of this post--you would know that) doing what I could to help the cause.

Your mode of referencing my "own words" is--sorry to say--deceitful and self-serving. I'm sure you don't intend that; but it is.

Instead of saying what you did, and now justifying it based on your interpretation of my actual words (just who said you get to decide my words mean what you say they mean?), all you had to do was actually cite my words in your earlier comment, and then add your interpretation. That would have been fair, as both what I did (and did not) say, and the meaning you subsequently applied to them, would have been clear for all.

Father Martin Fox said...

Jim:

And, I'm sorry, but I simply reject your implied assertion that voting third party doesn't count. I accept that you feel differently about your own vote--that's fine--but kindly do not insist that your view of things must prevail in all cases.

You see, your argument seems to assume that my vote counts more if cast for a D or an R, than it does if cast for anyone else. But your argument is flawed.

In my entire life, voting for 28 years, I have yet to determine the outcome of an election. I don't expect to, alas, but it would be enjoyable--and frightening--if it ever happens.

My vote counts as exactly one vote, no more, no less.

My vote will make such a microscopically minimally more next-to-no difference if cast for McCain or Obama, than it will if cast for Barr or Baldwin. I agree, the latter two (Libertarian and Constitution parties, respectively), are unlikely to win; but I will bet a tidy sum that none of these will be elected because of my vote.

Yes, it is ever so slightly more probable my vote for a major party candidate will be decisive, and I admit I don't know probabilities, but my gut sense is the difference in probabilities here is vanishingly miniscule. To me, that makes your contention that it only "counts" if cast for Obama or McCain fallacious.

Am I saying my vote doesn't count at all? No; it counts in several ways: it counts as my vote--it stands for my values, judgment and choice--and as such, it is very precious to me. To cast a vote for someone I cannot abide holding the office is unacceptable to me, all the more if he actually gets elected! Then I live with the knowledge that he holds office with the little help from me that I controlled--and gave.

Second, my vote counts in the aggregate -- I become one of a many, whether a large many or a small many. When that 3rd party candidate is defeated, there will be a group of Ohioans who attached their vote to him, and that will send a message, and I will have helped.

Now, each election decision is sui generis. Sometimes I may choose to vote as you recommend, if I can live with associating myself with the result. But I feel no obligation to do so.

Finally, you may respond (as many do), what if everyone thought the way you do? Then your whole argument would collapse, because then we really could elect a third-party candidate!

On the other hand, because the vast majority of people do not think that way, then the idea that my refusal to vote for McCain or Obama actually hurts them (and it would have to, if casting it for them would "count" as you assert) is wrong.

Thus, since my vote will count for only a tiny bit in any case, I choose to apply it in the way most meaningful to me--since it is my vote.

Carol McKinley said...

Father,

I don't see the benefit of my enumerating how Obama's visions of civilization are similar to Joe Stalin because you don't see the difference between a candidate who has a vasectomy (or ESR) and a candidate who believes in ethnic cleansing (or ESR, abortion, witholding medical care from survivors of botched abortions, abolition of God in education and public policy, etc) and our duty to the victims of such policies (stewards of the earth).

For the record though, we were discussing the subsidiary of a political hierarchy and how that affects the moral compass of the inhabitants. You equated the Clinton and Reagan administrations as morally equivalent and pro-life equivalent - as you are doing with McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden in spite of their respective moral compasses and prolife records and positions.

Are you aware that Briston Palin is pregnant?

Is there any difference to you between a candidate who sees that a punishment for sexuality that must be aborted and a candidate who embraces that life?

:)

Jim said...

Father

On this blog, you have stated unequivocally that you find Obamas position on abortion to be a grave moral evil and McCain's position on ECSR to be a grave moral evil. You also said "For my part, I plan to vote for a candidate who does not support any of these evils, because I refuse to have anything to do with their endorsement of evil". I see no other way to interpret those words other than you plan to vote for a 3rd party candidate for the presidency who has no chance of winning. I did not twist your words or take them out of context. I simply equated the action that you plan to take, based on your own words as tantamount to sitting out the election on the presidential level. There is nothing deceitful or self serving in that. Finally, this is your blog and I am just a guest here. I believe that we have both made our feelings clear. Enjoy what's left of the long weekend.

Father Martin Fox said...

Carol:

I'm going to intersperse your comments, which appear below in italics, with my own, in normal type.

I don't see the benefit of my enumerating how Obama's visions of civilization...

so now you're not claiming Obama will establish a "communist-like dictatorship"? That's a big shift there...

are similar to Joe Stalin...

maybe because the comparison is ridiculous?

...because you don't see...

so what? Others presumably here can "see," surely they would like to know your basis for saying Obama will bring a "communist-like dictatorship" which you label "Obamageddon."

...the difference between a candidate who has a vasectomy (or ESR) and a candidate who believes in ethnic cleansing (or ESR, abortion, witholding medical care from survivors of botched abortions, abolition of God in education and public policy, etc)...

I vigorously reject your characterization of McCain's support of the killing of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of unborn children via embryonic stem cell "research" as having the moral equivalence of a "vasectomy" in relation to "ethnic cleansing." You may think the entire argument very clever, but I think it is fundamentally flawed. For one, vasectomies, while gravely immoral per Catholic teaching, do not kill anyone.

Second, you say, "you don't see the difference...." I see many differences; but I do not minimize the moral gravity of McCain's endorsement of evil, nor of cooperating with it, even if materially.

Yes, if two candidates run, one openly admits being in favor of murdering all left-handed people, and the other vigorously objects, and says, it's the right-handed people who I will murder...I will grant that the latter favors killing more people, if you will grant that neither one belongs in public office.

Also, since you persist in this line of reasoning, the facts are that abortion is already legal, as is stem-cell research; euthanasia is still mostly illegal, although likely happening in problematic ways. You seem to think Obama is going to impose a policy of letting babies die after they survive an abortion, despite federal law saying otherwise--what will he do? March his army into the Capitol, kill Congress, kill the Supreme Court, and suspend all such laws?

The fact is, that neither McCain nor Obama is going to make such a sweeping difference as your "Obamageddon" rhetoric suggests Obama will make. They can do some things, if they can get the votes in Congress (a big if, either for worse or better policy), they can make appointments and issue executive orders which their successors can replace, they can issue lots of rhetoric. Your whole line of argument depends on vastly overstating how many lives Obama can help destroy, or McCain can or will save.

My argument, on the other hand, has never been that; only that people who hold certain positions are morally disqualified.

and our duty to the victims of such policies (stewards of the earth).

For the record though, we were discussing the subsidiary of a political hierarchy and how that affects the moral compass of the inhabitants. You equated the Clinton and Reagan administrations as morally equivalent and pro-life equivalent...


No, I did not. I note you chose not to copy and paste anything I actually did say, and put quotes around it, to prove this assertion. What I actually said is above, and it's a little more subtle. Too subtle?

- as you are doing with McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden in spite of their respective moral compasses and prolife records and positions.

Actually, I think I have offered nothing but praise for Palin.

Are you aware that Briston Palin is pregnant?

Is there any difference to you between a candidate who sees that a punishment for sexuality that must be aborted and a candidate who embraces that life?


Well, since you ask the insulting question, I'll let you answer for me--do you think I, as a presumably moral, rational Christian, see any such difference?

Theresa said...

"all the more reason for me to move on from political topics on my blog"

Father,
Please don't do that! I appreciate the forum andyour guidance on these matters. They are hard to come by anywhere else!

Theresa

Carol McKinley said...

Father, I enjoy your enthusiasm.

>so now you're not claiming Obama will establish a "communist-like dictatorship"? That's a big shift there...>

Beg pardon, there is no shift at all. I restate that the cult of personality and policies portend a communist-like dictatorship. We would be heading into an abyss with Obama.


>I vigorously reject your characterization of McCain's support of the killing of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of unborn children via embryonic stem cell "research" as having the moral equivalence of a "vasectomy" in relation to "ethnic cleansing." You may think the entire argument very clever, but I think it is fundamentally flawed. For one, vasectomies, while gravely immoral per Catholic teaching, do not kill anyone.>>

I am interested in your sources on the numbers of hundreds of thousands and millions of embryos being used. Could you cite them? Last I knew, as I said, the number of women who were willing to donate their embryos were miniscule which is making the entire scientific experiment collapse. This is germane.

Secondly, vasectomies, interfere with, intercede, intercept the direct creation of proposed life from God. If you want to cite numbers, I would say over history the number of lives prevented from being fruitful far exceed ESR and perhaps abortion itself. Add contraception and the numbers game you play is trumped.

You state so long as the two candidates fail a "strict calculus" regardless is the morass and gravity of the second candidate upon civilization, Catholics are called to throw their vote down the wind in face of civil anarchy when both candidates are polling at 50/50. There are conclusions drawn by such suggestions. Cartoonish drama aside, everyone is disqualified in your premise regardless of the gravity of moral corruption.

You are confusing your role as a prophet's call to repentance to that of the secular election where we weigh policies to project what the best outcome is under the circumstances. We are not electing the Pope.

My line of argument suggests that Obama will appoint and push agendas that align with his outrageous disregard for human life. This is what administrations do. Then, those policies and appointees hand down policies that affect Joe and Nancy America. The impact of a President is the most influential in the country and in the case of the United States, in the entire world itself. Such outrageous disrespect for life reflects something gone terribly awry in the hatrack. A man making life and death decisions for all of us perhaps on the spur of the moment - that is germane.


>>Actually, I think I have offered nothing but praise for Palin.>>

Yes, I noticed. For the record my enthusiasm for having to vote for McCain to avert an Obama Administration was less than stellar. I believe we will have to hold his feet to the fire, as we did occasionally with Bush.

>>Is there any difference to you between a candidate who sees that a punishment for sexuality that must be aborted and a candidate who embraces that life?

Well, since you ask the insulting question, I'll let you answer for me--do you think I, as a presumably moral, rational Christian, see any such difference?>>

Father, as a newcomer here, reading only these blog entries, I can say with conviction that if you see the difference and hold that there is no way to predict a difference in a Obama/Biden or McCain/Palin, with all due respect, I'm stumped.

Peace of Christ be with your spirit

Anonymous said...

Father,

Thanks for your in depth responses to me and everyone else who has posted on this thread.

I want to make clear that I never said or implied that you are obligated to vote for McCain. I admire your no compromise stance even though I won't share it this election.

It is actually what I have learned from you about politics that has helped me come to the decision to support McCain!

You once advised me over a beer to avoid putting faith in politicians and suggested instead to use politicians to achieve political ends. I hope my memory is accurate because I believe that to be very good advice.

I am certain that except for death or disabling illness or injury either McCain or Obama will be our next president.

I believe that it is very likely that the next President will appoint one and probably two supreme court justices. Most likely two liberal justices who support Roe will be leaving the court. Obama will replace old pro aborts with young pro-aborts and will have a very likely chance of getting them confirmed.

Why I believe thinks will be different with McCain.

Earlier you wrote(regarding McCain being anti-abortion but pro-ESCR) "the two ideas do not coexist rationally in the mind of someone who really gets why abortion is wrong." I agree completely. I would be much more comfortable if McCain was right on ESCR and wrong on another of the non-negotiable issues instead.(I am using the non-negotiable scorecard and also prioritizing the non negotiables.) Abortion and ECSR are so closely related, actually being just different types of the same moral evil.

That being said I do think he will nominate justices who will vote to overturn Roe v Wade, EVEN IF THOSE SAME JUSTICES WOULD RULE HIS SIGNATURE MCCAIN FEINGOLD LEGISLATION AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

Using YOUR healthy cynicisim I believe that signature legislation does not mean squat to him any more if he is now president. He got the ultimate in US politics! McCain Feingold so what? He nominates strict constitutionalists because he has said over and over again that he would. It would be more EMBARRSSING for McCain to have Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity, Dobson, Malkin, Ingraham etc. ripping him on T.V., in print, over the internet, on the radio for betraying, for lying. It would be brutal. Youtube clips, tape etc being played over and over again with McCain saying over and over again that he will appoint strict constitutionalists like "Roberts and Alito", "like Scalia and Roberts".

McCain is a tough guy but he does not want his integrity challenged and proven to be a liar. That is much worse than having the court nix his signature legislation. Hell he could use that to his advantage.
He could then say " Though I am disappointed the court found McCain feingold to be unconstitutional I defer to and respect the constitutional expertise of this court and am still very proud to have nominated blank and blank" and McCains supporters can say "only a man as big as John McCain would have nominated such jurists even after he was advised of the likelyhood of such an outcome".

It is simple, nominating liberal "living document" pro-aborts would be worse for McCain than nominating strict constitutionalists.

EVEN if McCain replaced TWO liberals with ONE strict constitutionalist and ONE liberal
that would still be enough to overturn ROE.

What McCain said back in 2000 regarding ROE won't bite him in the ass like contradicting what he has said over and over, published etc about Roe in 2008.

Now why I think McCain can get his picks through the senate.
McCain will remind his liberal and moderate Dem buddies that as one of them he not only reached across the aisle he voted to confirm clinton's liberal nominnees like Ruth Bader Ginsburg even though he disagreed with their judicial philosophy he believes that it is the president's right to choose the justices and if a jurist has the proper credentials must be confirmed regardless of ideology and judicial philosophy. He can sell his case to the American people who often buy into "fairplay" and "John confirmed their guys now they should confirm his." A former senator should have a better chance of getting his long time buddies to confirm his choices than an outsider like a governor.

time to start the grill.

Tim Lang

Father Martin Fox said...

Carol:

It is my understanding that there are hundreds of thousands of unborn children in suspended animation (or whatever the technical term is) in "clinics" around the country, that were a result of "in vitro" fertilization techniques. Sen. McCain has said, as have others, that they will "go to waste" since their parents have no plans to carry them to full development. These are being pointed to by advocates of "embryonic stem cell research" as the source for more stem cells.

In addition, this is why the same advocates also favor cloning -- they know as they ramp up this abominable industry, they will run out of the human "commodity" -- so they want to clone an endless supply. Now, I don't know where McCain stands on said cloning, but to ramp up the industry is to make such cloning vastly more likely.

Carol McKinley said...

Father,

First, I also want to say thanks for explaining your position so thoroughly.

>>It is my understanding that there are hundreds of thousands of unborn children in suspended animation (or whatever the technical term is) in "clinics" around the country, that were a result of "in vitro" fertilization techniques.>>

Correct. But now you are talking about McCain's position in in vitro fertilization, not ESR.

IV embryos are not fodder for ESR. They were obtained from infertile women whose intentions were/are to be implanted in their own wombs. The hundreds of thousands/millions belong to women who so valued life that they underwent rigorous treatment. They are not disposed to handing over those lives for Frankenstien experiments and they never will. It's the nature of the beast.

In fact, there are relatively few labs in the US working on ESR and they are so desperate for embryos, irrespective of the embryos in suspended animation that they can't get their grubby little hands on, they are placing ads for college age women to undergo massive doses of estrogen, produce eggs and it's been pretty much a bust and the funding is drying up, scientists are moving onto adult stem cell research and umbilical cord research. I'm telling how this operates on the ground, which few people actually know and it's important to understand the number of people exploited and destroyed if we don't get the right information before people to make informed decisions.

Cloning is in even more dire straights. The most fringe scientists have gotten off the bus.

Unless you're suggesting McCain going to take the embryos against the will of these mothers, it's a straw man's argument to say McCain is going to ramp up cloning - and for sure, the people surrounding McCain are going to be discouraging him - while the people surrounding Obama are going to be encouraging this. I don't really know of anybody in our camps who are giddy for ESR and cloning that will be surrounding McCain.

At some point, the strict calculus application to an election burns out every candidate because you have to include contraception, invitro fertilization, condoms for HIV and every other teaching of the Church - or alternately, you have to take a look at the gravity of people's positions and the outcome upon civilization and get your booty to the voting booth.
There is no contest between McCain/Palin administration and an Obama/Biden.

In fact, this week, the Repugs conformed their platform to include the strongest language ever against abortion.

http://www.lifenews.com/nat4222.html


We handed Romney back to the GOP and told them to suck wind and McCain was their nominee by attrition. Looks to me like the lesson has been learned. Let's not ride the tails of victory to conjecture based on misinformation or beat a dead horse.

:)

Carol McKinley said...

p.s.

You are a breathtaking gift to Christ's Church - that you love the truth and Christ so much to watch you fight the urge to compromise has been a blessing to me personally to taste. How lucky your parishioners are...

Would that we have this kind of dynamic in the wiles of Boston. But, the days are coming!

I truly hope you don't give up on your political fodder.

eileen said...

What great comments. I appreciate Carol's intelligence and wit throughout this thread. Thanks, Father, for letting us in on your compelling thoughts. However, my conscience tells me to vote McCain...

Anonymous said...

Father,

Thank you so much for this blog. I had somehow made myself comfortable with McCain who I had found repugnant during the primaries(as had many of my friends and the Republican "Talking Heads".) I remember, in particular, Rush Limbaugh predicting various forms of doom should he receive the nomination. He has now found himself able to support McCain's candidacy. I would not be suprised to find that some of those posting here are in a similar position and a few may, like Dr.Dobson, have earlier in the primaries had the moral courage to say that they would not vote for McCain if he was the Republican nominee. I can not respect Dr. Dobson for his loss of moral courage. I won't condemn him, however as I ,too, had a similar failure of my moral courage.

But let's not forget how we got here. One of the two parties had a strong candidate with some of the strongest fundng early on and was the most strongly supported by our troops (in terms of dollars and actual number of contributors.) This candidate was right on all the non-negotiable issues and agreed with both the present and previous Holy Father concerning the war in Iraq. He is also the only candidate to propose a bill that would have reversed Roe v Wade by using the Constitutional right to take that issue out of the hands of the Supreme Court.

He was rejected for several reasons. Many did not vote for him because they were led to believe that the tiny nation-state of Iraq , which our army had previously defeated in 100 hours, posed a mortal threat to our nation. More disappointing for my bride were the comments on blogs, newsletters, and even from some of our friends, that they would not actively support him because he had no chance of winning. She feels that we will never throw off the yoke of the nearly identical two party system if we don't vote for what we want instead of what we think we can get.

Everyone understands, though I may not qoute it accurately, the old saying,
"They came for the gypsies, but I didn't say anything because I am not a gypsy, etc."
To sacrifice a few qypsies would seem to be a morally acceptable compromise because the numbers were very small compared to numbers of Jews and Christians for whom they came later.

The point is you can compromise an idea out of existence. We know that John McCain is in favor of very early abortions (ESCR) and based on recent rhetoric, we hope he is not in favor of all. In any event, his postion in favor of ESCR will dramatically increase the number of abortions, not reduce them. On prolife issues, this is the worst candidate we have had to accept from the nominally prolife party.

Remember too, as great a candidate as Palin is (and I do think she is wonderful) she was an unknown dark horse until very recently. I would not be surprised if the nomination of Palin and the strengthening of the Republican platform were the direct result of Obama's choice of Biden and the stubborn, foolish big mouth of Nancy Pelosi, and perhaps in no way represents a real conversion on McCain's part.

Thank you Father for your wisdom. My wife and I are through compromising away our non-negotiable principles

Mark

gramps said...

There has been some discussion about voting third party to send a message to the GOP. Exactly what message is it that pro life people will send in voting for a third party when the other major party has nominated Obama and you still cannot give your vote to McCain? If no form of baby killing is allowed in a candidate to gain the vote of Catholics who are strict in this area such as you are holding to be true Catholic teaching, then we cannot vote for a candidate that does not follow the teaching on contraception because that kills babies and is a grave evil. I suspect in the end that to find a candidate worthy of a Catholic vote, you would have to make them non-electible in this country. So what message are you and others taking your position sending? If the pro life vote is so stringent that to follow it means you cannot be elected, I suspect you will find few politicians who will ever pay attention and we will become marginalized. The fact that there has been some movement in abortion rights over the last 20 years at all has been that politicians have learned that they have to move in that direction or lose elections. By favoring the republican party based on its pro life leanings in general has been a good thing in this regard. Had the Catholic bishops, cardinals, and priests lined up solidly behind this movement, it would have had even greater impact. However, we have some old line liberation theology die hard liberals in these positions that have given the flock a lot of wiggle room to find other reasons to vote for democrats because of supposed favoring of the poor or open border immagration. Anything sent out by the bishops is so wordy that it holds no meaning. Even when it lists issues that are of great importance, the liberals change the wording to add things list racist attitudes in the same sentence and paragraph. I think this ultimately gave us candidates that are pro choice catholics in both parties. However, until there is a common voice in the church on these teachings, having a few break off in a protest movement does nothing but further weakens the pro life cause. I suspect that if 10% do not give the party their vote, you will see a much more pro choice position taken to fight with the dems for the independent middle that has little religious values.

I would rather see you holding up a position in public articles calling for the bishops to take a firm stand than in a blog encouraging the flock to vote third party and that is the impact of your writing.

You say that your one vote does not matter or count so what difference is made. I would bet that in Ohio, 2-3% for a Barr could end up deciding this election. By the way, I have looked at the third party candidates and for the life of me cannot see why you would want any of them to be president of our country.

I think you vastly underrate what an Obama presidency will mean to this country especially with large majorities in congress in that baby killing party. This type of event could take the country 50 years to heal. Proof??? Look at how much was done under FDR that became a major problem enhanced by LBJ and the war on poverty. The welfare nanny state is still here today and that is over 75 years ago that it started. Obama believes that government should give us everything and politicians know that the more they give, the more control they have. It is the working middle class that is under threat and has to pay for all that will come and that will lead to a communistic state. The others posting on this are very accurate. One day, when they come to arrest you for saying homosexual lifestyle is a grave disorder per church teaching as a hate crime, I suspect that you will then see the error of allowing this guy to get into office.

Anonymous said...

Mark,
Obama has said that the first piece of legislation he will sign is the Freedom of Choice Act. I believe this would not only codify Roe but supercede the Hyde Amendment. He also said he will rescind the Mexico city policy that restricts U.S. funding to non-governmental organizations outside the U.S. that perform and promote abortions. He has the authority to rescind that on his own. Support from Congress is not necessary on that one.

An Obama victory will mean an immediate(within the first two or three days of his presidency)increase of dollars for Planned Parenthood's overseas operations.

I,like you was very disappointed by the election of McCain as the Republican nominee.

I had not decided who to support in the primary as of the republican debate at the Reagan presidential library. That night I decided my primary pick.

When the moderator first asked Huckabee and the others about Ronald Reagan's appointment of Justice O'Connor to the supreme court and if that had turned out to be a good decision or not I felt I would get the final info I would need for the primary.

Huckabee cowered away from the question and McCain toadied up to Reagan saying how he would not second guess Reagan, he was proud of Sandra Day O'Conner etc. but he would nominate strict constitutionalists. I was not impressed.

I thought if someone had the guts to say, " Wrong Choice? It was a damn wrong chice that helped cost millions of innocent lives and even more upsetting is the fact that we now know by his own hand that Reagan ignored pro-lifers pleas not to nominate her because she was PRO_ABORTION! He nominated her despite her recorded vote to REPEAL Arizona's Ban on abortion."

The icing on the cake would have been if that was followed up with, "though less evil but still tragic was lying about nitwit Nancy's use of astrology as a means of decision making".

Ron Paul simply said "I would not have nominated her..." so he got my vote.

Even aside from the supreme court issues an Obama presidency will result in a lot more money for Planned Murderhood for more abortions and the spreading of more grave evil.

Tim Lang

El said...

It makes me crazy when politicians are given credit for being pro-life when they're not.

Making an exception for the use of abortion in cases of rape or incest is NOT pro-life.

The baby is still a baby, despite the circumstances of conception.

And, that baby is just as dead, when abortion is chosen, no matter the circumstances of conception.

The only thing that makes one pro-life is support of ALL life - from conception to natural death.

It's impossible to justify a vote for either of these candidates, if you choose life.

RP Burke said...

A factual correction.

Obama was a state senator from 1997 to 2005; then a US senator from 2004 to now. He had previously been a professor of law at the University of Chicago.

Palin was the mayor of an Anchorage suburb (pop. under 7000) for eight years after serving six years as a city councilor. She had previously worked briefly as a sports announcer, and then in her husband's business.

So Palin has been governor half as long as Obama has been a US senator.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Fox,

Have you thrown in the towel?

Ohevin

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

COMMENTS FROM ANOTHER ELECTION HOUSE:

Here in Canada, no one party is even discussing the abortion issue. Since we have NO abortion law at all that means no discussion.

Although the Tories are pro-life, they have absolutely no intention of introducing any kind of abortion law. The Tories have yet to do anything about requesting the GG of revoking Morgentaler's Order of Canada.

As for the Grits and NDP and Bloc, well they already have what they want - no law period. Gay "marriage" is a fait accomplis, and no party is going to revisit it so.... That leaves us looking at finances and environment.

Where does that leave the average Catholic Voter in Canada? - Either spoil the ballot, or vote for the candidate representing the party whose leader is least "suckish"

Maybe Americans should consider this same criteria when voting for the Presidency. Who Sucks the least? Put an "X" beside that name. Or spoil your ballot and say that, in good conscience, no one deserves your vote.

Anonymous said...

Tim,

Mexico City policy has already been largely rescinded. Look up the information. Bush did this to allow pro-death "family planning" organizations to distribute condoms to third world countries with high percentages of HIV infection. This frees up funds which these organizations use for abortions.

As to the Freedom of Choice Act, two things must happen for its passage. First, unless a Democratic controlled Senate has the resolve to change the cloture rules, (i.e. the Nuclear Option) 60 votes will be needed before the FOCA will be brought to a vote. Second, the Democrats would have to be far more sincere than the Republicans have been regarding actually bringing bills to the floor.

In every Congress since 1995, a Right to Life act has been presented. This act simply defines the term human person as including each and every member of the species Homo Sapiens at all stages of life including the moment of fertilization. In the 109th Congress (before the Republicans lost power) this bill had 101 co-sponsors in the House. As in several of the previous years, the Republicans held both Houses of Congress and the Presidency and had strong majorities in the committees. The Bill was never allowed out of Republican controlled committees, nor was it allowed to see public debate. Especially cynical was the 109th Congress after they had lost the elections and were a lame duck Congress. Despite the pleas of pro-life groups and a letter campaign, the Republicans still would not allow this bill to leave committee, see public debate, or be put to a vote on the floor.

As to your concerns about Obama increasing funding to Planned Parenthood, this would be no different than any of the previous administrations since the start of Title X funding. That is correct; Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr.(all of whom I voted for) allowed year in year out large increases to Title X and Planned Parenthood funding. This is no different than their Democrat counterparts. Since Planned Parenthood usually runs large surplusses, no abortion is ever denied due to lack of funding.

I am no fan of the Democrat party. I trust they will be as disingenuous to their constituents as Republicans have been to Pro-lifers. It profits both parties to keep this contentious issue unresolved.

Mark

Anonymous said...

Mark,
Some good points. There is still some tooth to the Mexico City Policy.

Tim Lang