When the 2008 Presidential Race narrowed to McCain and Obama, I received a slap in the face from the culture of death. In a speech given last week, Archbishop Chaput commented, “I believe that Senator Obama, whatever his other talents, is the most committed ‘abortion-rights’ presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973.” The natural reaction, not response, by dissenting “Catholics” trying to undercut the issue is that we shouldn’t be focused on just one issue. Thankfully, Bishop Kevin Farrell and Bishop Kevin Vann of Dallas and Fort Worth issued a wonderful response to this line of thinking. (Credit to AmP for posting the info.)
The USCCB provided guidelines back in November last year and Bishops around the country are courageously responding to Democrats and “Catholic” organizations trying to peddle their version of Catholicism. In this open war, lives literally hang in the balance. Some might scoff at the term “war,” but I recommend today’s post from AmP to provide justification.
So with less than two weeks left, I have discerned (a bit late) that I could not stand before Christ one day without having tried to stand for what the Church is teaching in this election.
So let’s make it real. Here’s our personal perspective on the candidates, neither of whom we endorse, but one of whom is the clear choice for the best chance of promoting the culture of life in America for the next four years.
- Through Obama’s website, words, and past political actions, Obama has said that he will initiate, support, and approve legislation that will protect killers, violate the sanctity of life, and annihilate millions of defenseless and innocent babies living in their mother’s wombs. We cannot support such an institution of death.
- McCain’s words and record prove him to be more pro-life than Obama, and he will support and approve legislation protecting life in the womb and the family while advocating to overturn harmful legislation. However, McCain’s stance on abortion is not perfectly in line with Church teaching. He thinks abortion would be permissible in cases of rape, incest, and protecting the life of the mother.
- McCain supports federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Obama supports increasing embryonic stem cell research. Both of these stances are incompatible with the dignity of human life. Thankfully Palin has stated that "My personal opinion is we should not create human life -- create an embryo and then destroy it for research -- if there are other options out there... And thankfully, again, not only are there other options, but we're getting closer and closer to finding a tremendous amount more of options, like, as I mentioned, the adult stem cell research."
Bottom line #1: McCain’s not perfect, but he’s a better candidate than Obama for the culture of life. The other issues are also important. The Democrats might argue that pro-lifers fail to provide for the future of the mother and the child facing abortion. These same Democrats would also criticize our current financial structure, which fails to support those in poverty. These and other issues are relevant and I don’t know that Republicans have an adequate solution. The Catholic Church does. Bottom line #2: neither party platform is completely in line with Church teaching. So we have to make the best choice as Catholics.
On making such a choice as a human, much less a Catholic…
God commanded: Thou shall not kill. The Jews from the Old Testament did not have Jesus to convert their hearts. They needed such a law to guide their choices. When Jesus came, died, and rose from the dead into heaven, His fulfillment of the Law gave humanity a new way to live: through love (Matt 22:37-39).
If we give Jesus our hearts, He heals and restores them. Then we realize that we don’t need God’s fifth commandment if, in our hearts, God's love reigns. “To love is to will the good of another”(CCC 1766). In loving, we want to see every soul live forever with God. (For us sinners, this is a continuous process and I’m not saying that anyone, especially me, is perfect.)
The Bishops of the United States have made it clear that danger to life is the most important issue to consider in voting. For those who have surrendered to Jesus, the Bishops are confirming what is in their hearts. For those who are confused, resisting Jesus, and/or resisting His love, the Bishops’ teaching is imperative.
We will vote for McCain and continue to pray for legislation to protect life within the womb. Because even though Jesus is holding out His Sacred Heart to us, some people still need the Old Testament law: Thou shall not kill.
Photo (ceiling shot of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the Catholic University of America campus in Washington, D.C.) credit: NCinDC