The National Catholic Review
Why am I as a ’mass going’ staunchly pro life Catholic, voting for Obama? Of course I disagree with his views on Roe vs Wade, but I think that his policies and programs more comprehensively follow Catholic social teaching than McCain’s--and they even result in fewer abortions.

There’s a lot of evidence that providing aid and support for women, children and the poor, lowers the number of abortions. Pro lifers can choose to see present results rather than repeating exhortations for the future.

After all, to roll back and change laws in a democracy, the legislators, the courts and the majority of voters have to be convinced, and this process of moral reorientation on abortion can be a slow process. Think of the arguments you have with your friends and family.

In the interim, when immediate overthrow of a flawed law is impossible it is morally permissible, as John Paul II expresses it, to recognize "the art of the possible" and try to "limit the harm done by such a law."

Moreover, Catholic pro life advocates for Obama desperately want to limit the grave moral evils and dangers to life arising from pursuing preemptive wars, defending the use of torture, continuing the death penalty, and flouting of Constitutional and international law. As billions are spent on the destructive Iraq war, the needs of the poor, the ill and the schools are neglected, and the whole economic system falters.

Our Bishops have instructed us in the 2008 document "Faithful Citizenship," to inform our consciences and choose prudently. We must seek the common good as well as avoid evils. Bishops carry out their role of teaching and transmitting the tradition when they state Catholic social teaching in its fullness and nuance as they have here. And yes, if others in public life misrepresent Catholic doctrine, it is the Bishops’ right and duty to correct them.

Moreover, in this document the Bishops firmly assert that they seek to inform consciences and "do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote." Yet certain Bishops (we know who they are) appear to be doing their best to coerce the conscientious decisions of their people by punitive uses of sacramental power. To deny Catholics the Eucharist because they have voted in a certain way seems to grievously overstep clerical authority as well as distort Catholic teaching on religious liberty.

While I think Obama is far and away the candidate most completely in agreement with Catholic teaching on peace and justice, I would never want to have McCain’s Catholic followers be denied communion because of their votes on preemptive war or embryonic stem cell research.

In fact such non pastoral exercises of clerical power involving worship give scandal. This is imitating Jesus? Christ the Lord showed unfailing charity to all, even his enemies. He welcomes all who seek him.

Jesus teaches, heals, inspires and proclaims in one of my favorite scriptural verses, "Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut."(Rev. 3:8)

Sidney Callahan


Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 12:42am
You're deceiving yourself in attempting to justify your preferences through this rationalization. Discern from the USCCB's instructions in this matter of choosing candidates where the pivotal word is "proportionate" in weighing the pros and cons of candidate's positions. Assuming you know that over a million lives are lost through abortion each year in the USA, it's hard to proportionately justify favoring any other issue(s). Perhaps you've rationalized (contrary to Church teaching) that those who die aren't really human. My gut feeling is that you are not pro-life at all. At best, you may be like many inactive Catholics who "wish" that there were fewer abortions and figure that makes you pro-life. Did you listen to the gospel reading today? It was about two sons - one who did his Father's will and one who did not. So which of these two sons are you? Are you actively working for the pro-life cause or just "wishing"?
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 12:33am
Sidney: Obama has promised to sign FOCA. FOCA will immediately invalidate any state restrictions of any kind on abortion from parental consent to informed consent and waiting periods. His appointees will run bureaucracies that will, in short order, make the work of crisis pregnancy centers more difficult. I have no earthly idea how you can say that Obama is aligned with Catholic teaching on peace and justice. He has agreed several times as to the importance of military intervention, has not ruled it out with Iran, has flip-flopped on missile defense and....I could go on. You cannot run from the issue of FOCA and Obama's debt to NARAL and NOW, which will come due on Jan 21. The day that you or Winter or someone from this blog directly speaks to that will be an interesting day. A just society cannot be built on the basis of denying a whole category of human beings basic human rights - this is basic Catholic social teaching. Basic.
Anonymous | 10/2/2008 - 3:26am
Since when did Catholics vote Republican? It has been a fact of my life that Catholics always vote Democratic for one important reason: They are for the little guy. Republicans believe that all Americans have the same shot at the American Dream. Convenient denial. We just HOPE and PRAY that people voluntarily give through charity to causes that help the disenfranchised. Democrats tax for social services, Republicans tax for war. I am not surprised at all that Republicans believe women are capable of ''abortion'' as a means of birth control. They have put us in the same group as those on welfare. This is legalized racism. Nothing more nothing less. Thinly disguised as ''right to life'' - what grandiose hysteria allows them to speak for the unborn? Pray to Mary for guidance all you Republican woman haters. Maybe She will ask her Son for mercy upon you. Do not be fooled into thinking that this is a moral issue for Republicans, because it is an immoral party. Because someone can does not mean that they will.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 10:42pm
Well done.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 10:16pm
I'd like to encourage all readers of this blog to read the press release by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good about the publication of the first U.S. study to examine the long- and short-term effects of public policy on the abortion rate over a twenty-year period. The press release is available at Even better it may be to read the report itself, found at Each one of us will always be able to find a good reason to support our favorite candidate, no matter of what. I do wonder though what amazing difference we could really make should we be willing to work together for the common good. Of course we can keep fighting instead, and miss the opportunity to even make a small difference .....
Anonymous | 9/28/2008 - 10:55pm
As far as denying communion, the great example I think of is when -got to go look it up in Hugo Rahner's Church and State in Early Christianity - Ambrose denied the Roman Emperor Theodosius even attendance at Mass for his ordering a massacre at Thessolonica. This was in the year 390. The Emperor, a Christian, did repent publically for many months. Some crimes are so offensive to G_d and the Church that to allow the offenders into communion is the bigger scandal. My judgment about what these offenses may be would probably be the real scandal! Thanks be I am not a Bishop.
Anonymous | 10/15/2008 - 8:29pm
Catholics who say they are voting for Obama because his views align more closely to the social justice teachings of the Church are liars. They are voting for Obama because he appeals to their ENVY and GREED. They want him to confiscate the hard earned savings of others and redisribute it to themselves through heavy taxation. I would urge everyone who is for "Change" to rent the movie, "Dr. Zhivago," and find out what "change" brought to the Russian people for more than 75 years.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 1:00pm
Your thinking is inconsistent and your comments are dangerously naive. Despite the obvious sadness that comes with the loss of life with respect to the war in Iraq, what if the actions by this country actually saved lives in the long run? Would your opinion change?
Anonymous | 10/7/2008 - 8:15pm
This pro-life Catholic is unabashedly voting for Obama, proudly and with the blessings of my conscience. Keep Republicans in office and we will see Americans starving to death as we did in 1893 Depression. I've never seen such hard cruel response to need as I have seen come from the Republican Party.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 7:09pm
In the circles of social justice, especially among those who study liberation theology, and this typically ends up being people who are likely to vote liberal, one of the most oft-cited passages of Scripture is from Matthew 25: "Whatsoever you do for the least of these..." There is no more least among us than the unborn. Read Matthew 25 again, and find out what Christ has in store for those who abandon the least among us, and remember that voting for Obama is abandoning over one million of the absolute least among us every single year. I am not a Republican, nor am I a Democrat, because I think both parties fail miserably. But we as Catholics need to abandon our party allegiances altogether and work to improve both parties. We need to get Republicans to recognize the need to care for the poor, to work towards greater health care, to seek a just foreign policy. But perhaps more importantly, and we need to work to convince the Democratic party that any attempt to portray themselves as the party of justice, as the party concerned for the most disadvantaged members of the human family, will always fail miserably so long as they continue to be the party of death, the party that allows the unborn to be devalued completely, to be regarded, in Sen. Obama's own words, as nothing more than a problem to be stuck with, and as being unworthy of our protection.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 7:08pm
A just society must reflect justice first and foremost in its laws. If our laws by their very nature are unjust and tyrannical, then the society itself will be unjust and tyrannical. Of course we need to work to improve the conditions that cause over one million women every single year to decide that killing their unborn child through abortion is the best choice for them. But we absolutely must keep our eye on the first step forward in our tyrannical laws regarding abortion - we must remove the legal obstacle which prevents us as a nation from inscribing justice into our legal code. In other words, we must overturn Roe v. Wade. That has to be the first big step. Then we must work state by state to make abortion illegal there, while working towards getting enough votes to amend the constitution to protect the lives of the unborn. Yes, during all this time, because this will be a decades, if not centuries long fight, we must ameliorate the conditions that contribute to so many abortions in the first place. But as Catholics we are bound to recognize that abortion is the single greatest threat to human life in existence today, it is proportionally the greatest intrinsic evil that our world faces, and that nothing else even comes close to it. Sen. Obama has an abortion rights record and position that is among the most radical in Congress today. There is simply no way in good conscience that a Catholic can justify voting for Sen. Obama. It is a rationalization that betrays reason, that betrays faith, that betrays the unborn, and that ultimately betrays Christ.
Anonymous | 10/15/2008 - 6:30pm
'' Thou shalt not kill'' is a commandment established by God through Moses then, now & forever; it is not a choice. Never was then, not now nor will it ever be. It is a COMMANDMENT FROM GOD!!! All the teachings of the Catholic Church evolves around this respect for life from conception to natural death & no Catholic leadership, particularly the Popes have ever waivered in this teaching. This is also the reason why the Catholic Church has been & always is involve in all aspect of life including the social issues you mentioned. Like Jesus said, ''you are either with me or you are against me''. Jesus came to this world as a fertilized egg (by the Holy Spirit)in Mary's womb (this is why Jesus is both human & divine as taught by the Catholic Church) & abortion is an intrinsic evil because of the killing of what is already a human being with a soul, like Jesus & this is also why we are created in the image of & likeness of God. Jesus even confirmed this when James asked Him show us the father & Jesus answered ''haven't I've been with you...'' Jesus is God. The Holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ's Body, Soul, & Divinity, that's why anyone who does not believe this should not receive it or you judge yourself doom to hell. Receiving the Holy Eucharist unrepentant of your sinful behavior of proclaiming erroneous teachings such as right to choose to kill/abort an unborn child or take contraceptive pills (which spontaneously abort an already fertilized egg)will doom you to hell. GET IT?! OBAMA IS PRO ABORTION! Voting for him(an action on your part) is sinful because of his intention to keep abortion (immoral/sinful)legal. No true practicing Catholic should commit this sinful act of supporting an anti-God person! GET THIS TOO?!
Anonymous | 10/12/2008 - 6:22pm
Boy, When I read things like this is it is embarassing to call yourself Catholic. I do not know anyone seriously pro-life who believes this article. Listen this argument is at best a rationalization and at worse just another expression of worshipping at the golden calf. We often apply that admittedly harsh statement only to those who are wealthy but to put dollars for social programs above the priority of abortion or killing is just that. I think the argument is intellectually dishonest. They first thing the Obama camp has said they will do (within 48 hours) of taking power is stop the Hyde amendment, which means they will use taxpayer money to start funding abortions worldwide. So rationalize away but please don’t pretend that anyone voting for Obama wants to reduce abortions. It is simply intellectually dishonest to imply they that they will reduce abortions or that the government social spending out-weighs killing. If anyone really cares what the Bishops just said regarding the matter , it was “..we cannot make more clear the seriousness of the overriding issue of abortion – while not the "only issue" – it is the defining moral issue, not only today, but of the last 35 years. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, more than 48 million innocent lives have been lost. Each year in our nation more than one million lives are lost through legalized abortion.” Sadly, arguments like the one in this article just diminish anyone calling themselves Catholic.
Anonymous | 10/2/2008 - 11:04pm
I'm one pro-life Catholic who will vote for McCain without a moment's hesitation. Any man who could equivocate as Obama did with regard to the Infants Born Alive Protection Act is dangerous, no matter how civil he seems with regard to other issues.
Anonymous | 9/30/2008 - 10:21am
Obama supports and says he will push the freedom of choice act (FOCA) which legalizes abortion in all cases and overturns such things as parental notification, partial birth abortion ban etc. It characterizes and places into law that this act is an act of privacy which can not be curtailed by the government and concerns only the woman. It essentially claims that no consideration is to be given to the child - the child is only a mass of cells to be handled as a women pleases up to and including the moment of birth. This is monstrously evil and to vote for this man who has promised to pass this legislation is a form of cooperation with evil. Shame on this magazine and the author of this article.This is a grave scandal no matter how you try to rationalize it.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 9:50pm
17. Two years ago I ran as an independent for the U.S. Senate in Maine. With no organization save my wife and only $9000 I received over 29,000 votes. Recognizing that abortion takes human life and that the state has an obligation to safeguard human life, I could espouse neither the pro-choice or pro-life label. 1. I recognized the pluralist argument--that we have different moralities--and the Prohibition argument that some the wholesale violation of a law undermines law itself but found neither compelling. 2. On the otherhand, the abortion liberty is sufficiently settled in law, with 60 per cent of the population pretty steadily espousing it for 36 years now, that it is unlikely that a clear national majority will disallow abortion--nationally or in most states if Roe v. Wade were overturned. So better to dedicate one's energies to "making abortion safe and rare," and reduce the number as Reagan and the Bushes have not. One still has a responsibility to make clear that abortion takes human. I found this argument compelling and espoused it. 3. While Rome and the bishops oppose abortion and most would criminalize abortion by repealing Roe v. Wade and state laws securing the abortion liberty, I have yet to hear a U.S. bishop or cardinal anywhere or pope argue for jailing women who have their babies aborted. Two Portugese bishops last year openly opposed jailing them, in a country where the law would jail them. Why, then, criminalize abortion. I stated my view, at candidate nights and in debates. Although I am a fairly prominent Catholic in Maine, no bishop or cleric or Catholic, to my knowledge, took issue with my position. Granted, many--perhaps most-- missed debates and never saw my position paper, but it is very likely that as many as 10,000 of my votes came from Catholics.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 11:35am
Who want the government to be able to dictate to women that they MUST have abortions? I think it is the anti-Roe v. Wade people, because they say that the government has jurisidiction over women's medical decisions when they involve the fate of their unborn children. How is leaving it up to religious institutions to convince women not to choose abortion and allowing women the moral responsibility to exercise their free will in accordance with their religious beliefs anything like the government of Nazi Germany seeking out Jews and killing them?
Anonymous | 10/4/2008 - 12:05pm
According to the CDC report, in the intial years after Roe v Wade, during a Democratic administration, abortions increased dramatically. The rate kind of levels off during Reagan and Bush I, then decreases quite a bit during Clinton.
Anonymous | 10/3/2008 - 11:42pm
How this article tears at my heart. It appears that we have become so educated that as Catholics we justify the political machinations of a candidate to make our decisions believeable. I wonder if the author would stand before Christ and justify these beliefs. They make it sound like those of us who vote Republican are hate mongers destroying everything in our paths. I would ask who they think give the largest contributions to the suffering of the world with their financial resources, volunteer what little time they have available and bless so many with their God given talents. I see over and over through personal examples those who would give their life to save others. I just attended a Birthright celebration for a local chapter. It was a joyous occasion women who sacrificed so much to volunteer to save children and to counsel the walking wounded. If you feel so inclined why not visit a clinic in your neighborhood and see what an abortion or even a partial birth abortion is all about. Oh how could you do that it would be so terrible to witness. I understand the war issue but really condemning anyone else to clear your conscience just doesn't fool this Catholic one bit. It seems to be the norm for people who accept this annihilation. Insted of fighting this destruction of a child and a mother this man stood by as his race was once again sold into the slavery of a profiteering business. Sara Palin choose to bring a life into the world that your candidate would sanction for destruction. You cannot tell me that God has accepted the deaths of over 40 million and the continuing 1500 a week. I suggest you open your eyes to reality. Please don't desecrate my faith. I pray that God blesses you and so many other lost souls with wisdom for life of the children. Thank God for the Vatican statement portraying the Democratic party as the party of death.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 11:24am
Check the CDC report on abortion rates. Since 1980, the rate of abortion has delcined, and it declined twice as fast during Democratic administrations as it did during Republican. I plan to vote for Obama. I am tired of Republicans waving the Pro-Life flag at election time and doing little but toss crumbs to the pro-life movement in between. Also, being pro-criminalization is not pro-life. Those who support war, torture, death penalty, and economic and civil inequality are not "pro-life".
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 10:45am
The Pregnant Women Support Act, which proposes a wide variety of safety nets for pregnant women, including those contemplating abortion, has been pending in the Senate since December 2007. (It had originally been introduced in the last Congress, but it had to be reintroduced when when it was not acted on before that congressional session ended.) The PWSA is supported by many organizations, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as a worthwhile means to bring about a reduction in abortions. The measure has some bipartisan in the Senate, and even more bipartisan support for the version of the bill pending in the House of Representatives. Very conspicuously absent as sponsors of the Senate bill are Senators Obama, Biden, and McCain, albeit, I suspect, for different reasons. Pro-choice organizations such NOW, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL would never tolerate support of the PWSA by Senators Obama and Biden. Such organizations now exert tremendous influence within the national Democratic Party. As for Senator McCain, fiscally conservative Republicans would likely rebel at the sums that would be needed to fund the PWSA. On the much related issue of destructive embryonic stem cell research, all three of the Senate candidates for national office are in favor of federal funding for such research. I don't think either the Democrats or the Republicans have much to offer in this election cycle on the pro-life issues of abortion and destructive ESC research. It's true there are other aspects of the consistent ethic of life on which I think the Democrats score higher than the Republicans, but I can't put aside what I see as a lack of political courage by both parties on the issues of abortion and destructive ESC research, and that is why I am regrettably politically homeless in this election and will vote for a write-in candidate.
Anonymous | 10/4/2008 - 1:02pm
The decline in the abortion rate continued into the second Bush administration. As the Washington Post notes, the study does not conclude whether the decline is caused by increased use of contraception, including RU-486. WaPo article: Original report
Anonymous | 10/2/2008 - 12:59am
Most of the social views of Republicans differ little from those of Democratic politicians. Except the issue of abortion, where we find that almost all Democratic members of Congress strongly support FOCA, which would override virtually all state laws that limit abortion, and which would fund abortions as just another medical procedure. Since the Bork nomination, the party has demonstrated a fanatical attachment to Roe, v. Wade, because if it were overthrown, the abortioin lobby would have to go from state-to-state, trying to get legislatures to go against the sentiments of most people, which after nearly forty years remains contrary to the edicats of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. It is something that the people tolerate but do not want to see encouraged. Abortion-righs people hate to see the comparison made, but the simply truth is that Obama feels about abortion the way that Vice-president Breckenridge felt about slavery in 1960: that it was a constitutional right that should apply everywhere in the United States.
Anonymous | 10/2/2008 - 12:50am
This moral relativism is exactly why neither my husband or I attend church. To think that someone could figure out a way to excuse murdering either the unborn or the newly born and to still claim to be a "Catholic" is absurd. But this is what I expect lately of Catholics: put a smiley face on it, and pretend that you feel "really bad" about something, but oh well.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 3:24pm
The letter is written in a style which is so dubious as to defy belief.First you are a Mass going Catholic.Hence you speak with great authority and we imagine you as a very pious person.Then you quote a Pope.Who can top that?Or even imagine that you have a poor moral reasoning or less than holy intention?Then you start on the War in Iraq and torture ,are you blind to the idea that Obama did not oppose the War because of his thorough reading of the cathechism but because he comes from a very liberal state that opposes anything George Bush does?Is John Mccain your idea of a man who supports torture?Denying Communion?It was Pope Benedict who stated that they should be denied communion if they oppose the teaching of the Church on the issue of unborn life and its protection.I guess the Pope has not been kept up to date on your more pastoral approach which dovetails nicely with the electoral needs of Obama. The heading is also wrong.Pro life CATHOLICS will vote with their consciences,the greater their ardour for the sanctity of life the greater their disparity from your ease of action
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 1:46pm
I recently wrote the following comments to a Catholic friend who also plan to vote for Obama. Since those comments seem relevant to the current discussion, I will simply copy and paste them here: I think you should know that we agree with each other in one matter. George Bush is NOT my favorite person either. I was a Democrat most of my life, but my wife and I did switch to the Republican party only in the past few months (so we could have a say in the Republican primary)--but it was not for love of George Bush that we switched, I assure you. No party is perfect, but we did switch out of religious convictions. Though you are correct that the moral/social issues and evils of our times are many and complex, the ONLY issue that our Catholic Catechism teaches to be INTRINSICALLY EVIL is abortion. No one, absolutely no one, is more poor and weak and vulnerable than the unborn child in the womb. And nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important that LIFE ITSELF, the very creation and preservation of LIFE ITSELF. What good is insurance for a child that was never allowed to be born in the first place, what good is world peace or a world without a death penalty for children/persons who were never allowed to exist because they were killed in the womb. This, stated briefly, is the sort of rationale that has led the Catholic Church to preserve the 2000 year old Tradition of a pro-life, anti-abortion, stance. Yes, there are many and complex issues, there is not just one issue, but there are priorities, and at the top of the list for good reason is the essential pro-life stance of the Catholic faith and Church. So, in the midst of an imperfect world with imperfect politicians and imperfect parties, I switched to Republican, but I am not 100% happy with that. The extreme right wing of the Republican party makes me sick. But I am even more disturbed by the extreme left wing of the Democrat party, for I see their positions on abortion and gay marriage, etc, as striking at the very foundations of life, society, and civilization itself. Please do not be too quick to judge and condemn me and discount me as some rightwing radical I am not. I am trying to steer a course down the middle of the road. In some matters such as immigration, death penalty, etc, I am on the liberal side. In other matters such as abortion, gay marriage, etc, I am on what the world labels as the conservative side. No party is perfect. I hope I can do something to change and soften the Republican party in those areas where they have hard edges. Have an open mind and let your politics be informed by authentic Catholic faith. I think we must bring our faith and our politics together. We cannot and must not separate them. Christ calls for TOTAL conversion--and that means our politics need to be converted too.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 2:40pm
Further, there is no evidence – none – that Democratic domestic policies lower abortion rates. There is on the other hand massive evidence that legalization resulted in huge numbers of abortions and continues to do so. Both the abortion rate (abortions per person) and abortion ratio (abortions per pregnancy) skyrocketed with the legalization of abortion in the late 1960s and went through the roof shortly after Roe was decided in 1973. The rate and ratio gradually have come down since 1980, but they are still at ghastly levels that far, far exceed pre-legalization levels. Also, reducing the number of abortions is not the only reason to outlaw abortion. In addition to facilitating the deaths of unborn children, legalized abortion makes us complicit in those deaths, corrupts our laws, coarsens our culture, and offends justice. This all brings to mind the words of the German writer Karin Struck, a woman victimized by abortion who wrote: “I am convinced that a society sacrifices itself when it is prepared to sacrifice laws that call killing by its right name. When killing ceases to be killing, we are all in danger – including those who so vehemently protest against abortion laws. I am convinced that all those who want to ‘decriminalize’ abortion call for the police when someone merely steals their car radio. Is their car radio more valuable and worthier of protection than a child?”
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 2:38pm
Has this blog ever considered whether it is wise to promote the ludicrous claim that a vote for Obama can be construed as a pro-life vote? Doing so only discredits you in the eyes of pro-life Catholics and others who are outraged by abortion. Do you think we forget that Senator Obama supports public funding for abortion, a repeal of the ban on partial-birth abortion, a pro-Roe v. Wade litmus test for judicial nominees, a dramatic expansion of federally funded research involving the destruction of human embryos, and the elimination of legal protection for the conscience rights of health-care professionals and hospitals that object to participating in abortions? Or are we supposed to believe that this program is “pro-life”? Fellows, I have news for you: the primary cause of abortion is not money but irresponsible and piggish men. A huge percentage of abortions result when the father fails to step up to the plate when he learns that he has impregnated his girlfriend. America is the richest society in the history of mankind and yet, somehow, blames lack of money as the reason for killing the million-plus children that it “can’t afford.” This is a spiritual poverty not an economic one. It is a poverty that, at its root, derives from the feminist – and decidedly unCatholic – view of mankind and life, a view that values power over love, and narrowly conceived self-fulfillment over self-sacrifice. A vote for the Democrats is a vote for this profoundly anti-life and unCatholic view of life.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 9:00am
" Of course I disagree with his views on Roe vs Wade, but I think that his policies and programs more comprehensively follow Catholic social teaching than McCain’s-- and they even result in fewer abortions" They result in fewer abortions? You mean, they will result...or they may result...? Since the Senator has no national track record of writing legislation that concerns social policy, there is no basis to this statement. Additionally, Senator Obama's support for abortion extends far beyond wanting to maintain its legality through Roe v. Wade. From the refusal as a State Senator to sign the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (and indeed, to forcefully speak out against it) to his promise to Planned Parenthood to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as soon as his feet are in the Oval Office, there is no question of his unqualified support not only for maintaining the "rights" enshrined in Roe v. Wade, but extending them through the office of the Presidency. I think the record of the current administration is atrocious on so many fronts and I fear how a President McCain would handle Iran. (Although, please, the tough talk on Iran and Russia is now coming from both candidates eager to claim the mantle of tough guy). As a prolife woman, I regret how the movement has tragically become aligned with the Republican party, when the cause for life is beyond political parties. But to essentially claim that a vote for Obama is somehow now a prolife vote is not logical.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 5:43am
Unintended Consequences, during the Holocaust Germans had more food, streets were less crowded and a more positive sense of Commonweal and solidarity with their fellow Germans.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 2:13pm
I am trying to better form my conscience and to avoid, as Father Mark Brummel said in his weekly online devotion, "mechanical obedience (that) in the end will take us away away from God." I feel Republicans are trying to manipulate Catholics, while they are indifferent to the pressures our corporate culture places on pregnant workers, making abortions more likely. I think all Catholics are pro-life, not just "pro-life" Catholics, but "pro-choice" ones too. We don't need the divisive terms. Let us focus on pregnant women, not on women per se or the unborn per se. Separating, in our thinking, pregnant women from the life within is mental abortion. It can lead to aborting the unborn or to aborting the woman, regarding her as less than fully human. Neither option is Christ-like. Love and support and understand pregnant women as much as you can. Then, if you must, throw legal stones at them.
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 5:34am
What does "repeating exhortations of the future"? Straining at gnat, swallowing camel?
Anonymous | 9/29/2008 - 1:11am
Thanks for your wise and articulate piece. This is the compassionate vision of our Church that I am happy to see is growing more prevalent. (Politicizing the Eucharist belongs to a different vision.) Fortunately, Sen. Obama's proposals recognize the tragedy of abortion and address it in a practical, humane way. Instead of turning women into criminals, his approach to the problem lies more in keeping with the Gospels' values of mercy and a sympathy for the vulnerable. With regard to the other life issues, it's clear that McCain's party of torture and preemptive war, the party of tax regimes and social programs indifferent to America's disadvantaged, stands in stark contrast to any sensible pro-life vision. That's why I agree 100% with the author. Obama is our pro-life candidate.

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