The other day my wife and I were listening to the Hugh Hewitt radio talk show when he was interviewing Martin Sheen about his new movie, The Way. An excellent movie, by the way. During the course of the interview Sheen, a social activist of the first order and a very liberal Catholic (one of his heroes is Fr. Daniel Barrigan), stated that he was pro-life. We both agreed that this was laudable, but I mentioned that the fact that he is a committed Democrat and supporter or all things Democratic, is a contradiction that cannot be ignored. How can you be pro-life and be a Democrat? If you’re not aware, the Democratic Party is the most avid pro-abortion political party in the country. As a matter of fact if you’re pro-life you will not go anywhere in the Democratic Party because this is one of the most strident issue they have. Have you ever watched a confirmation hearing for a Supreme Court Judge? If you’re a candidate for the Supreme Court and you’re pro-life no Democrat will vote for you and will demonize you as if you were for slavery. Check out this short video clip of Ted Kennedy defaming Judge Robert Bork in 1987 because he was pro-life. If you’re pro-life how can you ignore this?
The fact that Catholics are no different from the general population when it comes to the pro-life issue is morally indefensible. In the last presidential election, 54% of Catholics voted for Barack Obama, the most left-wing, pro-abortion President of all time. He won the election with 53% of the vote. So, it can safely be said that Catholics are responsible for electing the most pro-abortion candidate of all time. This is a moral failure on the part of Catholics. If Catholics were united on the life issue no pro-abortion candidate would ever win office. As a consequence all candidates would re-think their position on the life issue. Most pro-abortion Catholics, like Vice President Biden and Senator Kerry have stated that they keep religion separate from politics. Check out this video clip of Joe Biden on this issue. This is a pathetic response. If you keep moral issues out of politics then you will get atheist and moral relativism in its place.
The fact that we dismiss the life issue as Catholics is moral cowardice. Now, I know, I know: “there are other issues than pro-life issues,” as the typical liberal Catholic will respond. Liberal Catholics will usually be of the Liberation Theology persuasion, a Socialist/Marxist philosophy, denounced by Pope John Paul II. The poor are their saints. Well, how many poor people died last year in the United States? We know that an average of 1.3 to 1.5 million babies are killed every year in the United States alone. Which is the more urgent issue? Do liberals help the poor more than conservatives? In a book by Arthur Brooks, Who Really Cares?, studies show that conservatives give more to the poor than liberals. This argument that liberals are the more compassionate, then, does not bode well for them.
The other issue usually brought up by the liberals is war. They are against war. Well, I’m against war too, but think that there are times when war is unavoidable. The Catholic Church is also anti-war, but recognizes that there are “just wars.” The church has a Just War Doctrine. As for Iraq and Afghanistan, both of these wars, experts in this field have argued that they qualify as a just wars. Check out this article by Professor Robert George, an expert on bio-ethics from Princeton University on why this is the case.
Let me put it clearly: As a Catholic, a Christian, or any reasonable person, you cannot be pro-abortion and be either a reasonable person, a Catholic or a Christian – they are incompatible. Unfortunately, the church refuses to do anything about Catholics that do not follow church doctrine. This, to me, is an abdication of your responsibility as a gatekeeper of the faith we practice.