Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Doug Kmiec on Obama: moral confusion or worse?

I mentioned earlier this week a LA Times column by law professor Douglas Kmiec who's Catholic and active supporter of Barack Obama. His endorsement has generated attention because he's a Catholic and been viewed as a conservative.

It was bad enough he would support the strongly pro-abortion Obama, but since then he's attempted to justify his support for Obama by attempting to reconcile his pro-life beliefs with Obama extremist views on abortion. His attempts at self justification have only resulted in him digging himself a bigger hole which only further diminishes his credibility.

His effort to justify supporting a stridently pro-abortion political candidate in the context of his Catholic beliefs puts him in the same company as VP candidate Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who attempted to justify their pro-abortion views with their Catholic faith. Archbishop Chaput's recent comments on such efforts by Biden and Pelosi also apply to Kmiec. Chaput said, "To suggest--as some Catholics do--that Senator Obama is this year's 'real' pro-life candidate candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse."

Kmiec does seem hypnotized by Obama rhetoric. He points to Obama's comment in the last Presidential debate when he writes, quoting Obama, "Abortion is 'always a tragic situation,' he said, and we should 'try to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing appropriate education to our youth, communicating that sexuality is sacred ... and providing options for adoption and helping single mothers if they want to choose to keep the baby. ... Nobody is pro-abortion. ... We should try to reduce these circumstances.'"

Obama's comments are merely the rephrasing of Bill Clinton's "safe, legal and rare" mantra which merely served as a smoke screen for abortion on demand policies.

While paying lip service to the "tragic situation" of abortion, Obama remains radically pro-abortion. He opposes outlawing the partial birth abortion procedure unless it includes a "health exception" which everyone knows is a blank check for abortion for any reason any time.

And while an Illinois state senator he opposed the Illinois Infant's Born Alive Act which would have banned infanticide. I blogged on that early this summer.

And he certainly will appoint judges who will continue to uphold the current, judicially imposed "abortion on demand" regime.

Yet Kmiec is mesmerized by
Obama. He asks the question: "So can Catholics vote for a pro-choice candidate? The answer is yes..."

What's the basis for this view? Obama's desire to provide "appropriate education as well as adoption and assistance for mothers who choose to keep their baby."

In essence what Kmiec's saying is it's OK to support a person who actively supports policies which permit and encourage the unfettered killing of the unborn as long as the person also supports condom education ("Appropriate education" is a euphemism for condom and contraceptive education at the expense of abstinence education.) along with funding for adoption and government welfare programs.

The American Catholic bishops pointed out the inconsistency of this view in their 1998 "Living the Gospel of Life" statement which says,
Catholic public officials are obliged to address each of these issues as they seek to build consistent policies which promote respect for the human person at all stages of life. But being 'right' in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the 'rightness' of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as the "temple of the Holy Spirit" -- the living house of God -- then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house's foundation. These directly and immediately violate the human person's most fundamental right -- the right to life. Neglect of these issues is the equivalent of building our house on sand. Such attacks cannot help but lull the social conscience in ways ultimately destructive of other human rights.
Just because a politician may be right on other issues doesn't excuse their continued support for abortion. Kmiec totally ignores this reality.

Kmiec further seeks to justify his view by saying, the repeal of the judicial protection of abortion found in Roe v. Wade really isn't that important; it won't make any difference. Kmiec says, "Even if Roe were reversed -- unlikely, in my judgment -- it merely transfers the question to the states, most of which are not expected to ban abortion." That defies logic. The striking down of abortion laws by Roe v. Wade led to a dramatic increase in the number of abortions. It's repeal will no doubt change the public's understanding of the rightness of abortion and result in increased legal restrictions which will mean fewer abortions.

Of course, if
Obama is elected president his commitment to appoint pro-abortion judges will only insure continuation of the current abortion on demand regime.

Kmiec then curiously suggests that pursuing a pro-life position will only cause division in our nation and will impose a religious view on the nation. "Pursuit of that goal, too, has shaped Obama's campaign, which has sought to lessen the division between red and blue states in order to restore the nation. Compelled support for one religious view over another, or compelled support for the Supreme Court's view, would inevitably leave us divided for years. The way out is to remember that when there are differences among religious creeds, none is entitled to be given preference in law or policy."

Give me a break. He knows better than to suggest that protecting innocent human life is somehow the imposition of narrow religious tenet. If that's the case then our laws against murder are at risk because they're imposition of the one of the Ten Commandments found in Exodus. And do we back away from issues simply because they will cause division? If that's the standard then slavery and racial segregation would never have been challenged.

I think this statement shows Kmiec's true colors. It's an argument, tactic of the Left used to marginalize religious conservative voices. It raises questions as to the sincerity of his espoused support for the pro-life position.

Then Kmiec injects a postmodernist argument that we need to let indivdiuals decide what's true.
Sometimes the law must simply leave space for the exercise of individual judgment, because our religious or scientific differences of opinion are for the moment too profound to be bridged collectively. When these differences are great and persistent, as they unfortunately have been on abortion, the common political ideal may consist only of that space. This does not, of course, leave the right to life undecided or unprotected. Nor for that matter does the reservation of space for individual determination usurp for Caesar the things that are God's, or vice versa. Rather, it allows this sensitive moral decision to depend on religious freedom and the voice of God as articulated in each individual's voluntary embrace of one of many faiths.
Here Kmiec makes the pro-abortion argument that "this sensitive moral decision" depends on "religious freedom and the voice of God as articulated in each individual's voluntary embrace of one of many faiths." So does that mean if you believe the voice of God is telling you to kill your unborn baby go ahead and do it? He certainly seems to be saying just that.

Kmiec needs to engage in some truth in advertising by no longer calling himself a pro-life Catholic. He's embraced the Joe Biden view of "I'm personally opposed to abortion but I wouldn't want to impose that view on anybody else." That's moral relativism and fundamentally opposed to moral truth and the inalienable right to life.

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