McCain and Obama on Life Issues

How do Senators McCain and Obama really stack up on all the life issues that have been championed by the Catholic church over the years?  Catholics United has a clever way of laying them out on their website, for anyone uninterested in slogging through position papers.  Here it is.

James Martin, SJ

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
9 years 1 month ago
It seems that Cardinal George has a message for Fr James Martin and Doug Kmiec I hope that they both pay attention: "You’ve got children being killed every day. It goes on forever. That’s the great scandal, and that’s why there’s such a sense of urgency now. There’s no recognition of the fact that children continue to be killed, and we live, therefore, in a country drenched in blood. This can’t be something that you start playing off pragmatically against other issues"
9 years 1 month ago
Can each please vote without recrimination or evaluation by self-appointed judges -- or bishops -- aboout who is a good or "pro-life" Catholic? Stop this all, please!
9 years 1 month ago
This is such an awful and sad state of affairs. On the one hand, we have Sen. Obama, a man who seems to be on the right side of many Catholic 'common good' issues...except the largest one, abortion. On the other hand, we have Sen. McCain, a decent man whose policies and party will do little to address issues related to Catholic social justice teachings...but he's against abortion. Sen. McCain may try to appoint judges to end Roe v. Wade, which may lead to states changing their laws, eventually. Obama will try to help women who are pregnant and chose to keep their children, but will sign the Freedom of Choice Act, drastically increasing the numbers of abortions. We are, in a word, stuck between two unacceptable positions. I have decided, after long months of study, prayer, and conscience searching, to vote for neither of them. I'll go and cast my ballot, but I simply can't pick between two visions that I find so diagreeable. May God bless America. We are going to need His help.
9 years 1 month ago
Ohenryo-- you've made some salient points. I don't doubt that there are sincere people who consider themselves prochoice and are committed to abortion reduction (as there are prolifers who work for abortion reduction through non-legal means as well). But there are also those prochoicers who also think that abortion is a good thing for society. Consider how enormously successful the book Freakonomics was despite attributing (and thus, endorsing) legalized abortion to decreased crime rates, particularly among black men. Add to this the abortion industry lobby for which the destruction of the unborn is a business, I'm not surprised that the old politics is rearing its head again.
9 years 1 month ago
Catholics United receives funding from George Soros, a notorious promoter of "abortion rights." The guy is no dummy. He knows that the Catholic Church is the main obstacle to the triumph of legalized abortion. Fr. Martin and this blog are carrying his water in the battle against the Church and the pro-life movement. I have more respect for George Soros than I do for any Catholic who promotes abortion. At least George Soros is honest about what he is all about.
9 years 1 month ago
More apologetics for legalized abortion. It is a disgrace.
9 years 1 month ago
I hope Obama wins. I have a small, nice apartment in the basement of my house. Two undocumented immigrants from Mexico live there rent free plus they join me for dinner. They are both from Sinaloa, Mexico. I do this so that they can send money back to their wives and children. They are comfortable with me since I am fluent in Spanish. I think my friends have a better chance with Obama and the Democrats. I am voting for Obama.
9 years 1 month ago
*er, that should have read voted for a bill supporting torture, not terror.
9 years 1 month ago
Fr. Martin, I love you, I really do, and I've been following you for several years. However, that is nothing even close to a fair representation of the two candidates on life issues. It is very clearly an Obama endorsement. It does everything to paint Obama in a positive light, and McCain in a negative light, even to the point of outright deception. Right from the top, starting with the abortion issue, it says that Obama supports measures to reduce the number of abortions, which just isn't true. He actually has said that his first act as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which will increase the number of abortions, not decrease. And it says that McCain says making abortion illegal is the best way to eliminate it, but he and no one else has said that. He believes, as do I, that the unborn deserve to have abortion be illegal, but much more than just passing a law must be done to eliminate it. That pro-Obama flyer attempted to make the two candidates basically equal on the issue of abortion, even if attempting to paint McCain in a less rational light. But that's not all. With regards to torture, and this is perhaps the most despicable part of the flyer, it only mentions that Obama voted for a bill banning terror and McCain voted against it. It mentions nothing of the reasons why McCain voted against the bill, and makes it seem as if McCain is somehow pro-torture. MCCAIN WAS TORTURED!!! He has stood up more strongly against torture than any politician in American politics, hands down! This Obama endorsement claiming to present a Catholic view is nothing short of despicable and condemnable. I love you, Father, but you should not be promoting this deceitful trash.
9 years 1 month ago
The question as asked has a serious flaw. It assumes all the so-called 'life issues' an equivocal phrase are on the same moral level. The Pope has indicated that abortion/euthanasia have a much greater weight than the examples he used waging war or capital punishment about which there can be disagreement. See his letter (then Cardinal Ratzinger to the US Bishops on worthiness to receive Holy Communion 2004) The real question is assuming one disagrees with Obama on his pro-abortion voting record what would be a proportionate reason to allow a Catholic in good conscience to vote for him to justify his/her remote material cooperation with this evil?
9 years 1 month ago
The Jesuits who are in charge of this magazine and also for this particular article could really do with an encounter with a Spanish Saint called Ignatius of Loyola. The greatest thing he could teach them at this point is indifference. Something they are so far from it hurts. When I struggle with issues of morality and doing what is expected of me I take solace in knowing that there are ordained Priests who spent years in formation who are even further from the goal than I. Seriously do you really believe that anybody sees these kinds of articles as anything less than whitewashing?. It is not even Jesuitical in the negative sense as being that of a wily sophist as anybody who reads it is faced with nothing like subtlety. The one who hopes to convince with an air of impartiality should first hide his cheerleaders pompoms. Try harder next time
9 years 1 month ago
I understand the frustration of many commenters regarding this post, but Fr. Martin is a true gift to the Church. I think he is wrong on this article, and I am one who frequently is critical of many of the heterodox Jesuits out there, but I also think we need to be a bit more reserved in our blanket condemnations here. I can tell you personally that Fr. Martin's writings have assisted me greatly in my own Catholic journey, and one day I will be able to say that I owe my own priestly vocation in large part to his guidance through his writings (plus it always feels good to say that a Jesuit will have made me such a good Augustinian :-P But what dismays me in a few of these comments is the idea that Fr. Martin is intentionally misleading anyone, when he has proven himself time and again to be a Catholic with an authentic faith and an honest and searching heart. I'm as critical as anyone when it comes to calling out people who seem to justify voting for pro-abortion candidates when the justification just is not there, but I think we have to be careful when we accuse someone of being disingenuous, which is clearly what Mr. Power seems to be doing here.
9 years 1 month ago
It is clear whose candidacy this magazine champions, as evidenced by posting this link. With the exception of Fr. Kavanaugh who has asked probing questions of both candidates, there has been a concerted effort to promote Sen. Obama and oppose Sen. McCain. In doing so, a blind eye is turned to serious questions about Sen. Obama's clearly stated intent to expand legal access to abortion. Doug Kmiec coins the pejorative but sometimes accurate term "Republican Faith Partisans" to describe those who value access to political power over honest devotion to faith. If Sen Obama does become President and a hindrance to the prolife cause that many expect, I hope the likes of Prof. Kmiec and the editors of this magazine will have the intellectual honesty to speak out in protest. If not, one could only speak with equal earnestness about the "Democratic Faith Partisans".
9 years 1 month ago
I am shocked that America: The National Catholic Weekly did not screen this website. Was the editorial board asleep at the switch? These "Catholics United" are anything but! They actually think legal abortion is okay! Anyone who does not recognize that abortion is an intrinsic evil should not be placing the word 'Catholic' next to his or her organization's name. In the future, please vet your websites more carefully, because giving these folks a platform is an intrinsically evil act perpetrated against the millions of innocent children aborted since Roe V. Wade descended on our culture of death.
9 years 1 month ago
Vote For Life so we may be known as defenders of the helpless and the weakest of all human beings: Any baby and all babies in their mother's womb. A human being has to be alive to have the right to life, to have the dignity of a human person,to have the ability to enjoy all the goods of human life, to foster peace and to enjoy security, to enjoy and share a family and a home, to have health and to seek employment. Freedom, liberty and love in America begin with the cry of a new born baby saying: ''Let me live.'' Remember what Jesus says: “Let the children come to me; do not stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mk 10:14).
9 years 1 month ago
Never having voted other than a straight Dem ticket, I was moved and cheered when Obama, early in his campaign, seemed to promise a nuanced pro-life position that would assist women and reduce the numbers of abortions. I heard Michelle's convention speech as an affirmation of the same direction and began to imagine a day when advocates for women would find common ground taking us beyond the impasse. But then, a couple of weeks ago, when Obama came to court the South Florida condo vote, I heard strident pro-abortion pledges of an order that one never hears on broadcasts. This was the politics that sees any consideration of reductions in abortions as an assault on Roe. Ringingly and repeatedly Obama shouted for No Retreat on the right to take the developing life. For the first time in my life I went away wondering whether my faith-formed commitment to the Common Good requires me to make common cause with candidates of such libertarian persuasion. Thank you america for the forum.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Images: CNS/Composite: America
On Nov. 11, the Catholic Church lost a moral titan in the long struggle for racial equality and justice in the United States.
Shannen Dee WilliamsNovember 22, 2017
Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar military commander-in-chief, speaks during the Union Peace Conference Aug. 31 in Naypyitaw (CNS photo/Hein Htet, EPA).
Gen. Min Aung Hlaing wields great political power in the country.
Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts in “Wonder” (CNS photo/Lionsgate). 
‘Wonder’ is a tween melodrama on a mission of mercy.
Simcha FisherNovember 22, 2017
The change was in “no way” a response to the C.C.H.D.’s persistent online critics, an archdiocesan official says.
Kevin ClarkeNovember 22, 2017