Friday, January 23, 2009

Never Understood A Single Word He Said

One of Barack Obama's most early and ardent campaign supporters was Douglas Kmiec, a former Reagan hand and a professor and dean at Catholic University and Notre Dame. Kmiec has argued long and hard that Barack Obama is more pro-life than the Republicans who ran against him. Kmiec even has a well-wrought website that goes on in fulsome detail about why Barack Obama is the real friend of the unborn. Kmiec's vociferous support gave many Catholics the cover they needed to pull the lever for an unapologetically pro-choice politician.

Today President Obama repaid Kmiec for his service by restoring funding to international organizations that provide abortions.

We Catholics aren't nearly strong as our Protestant brethren in being able to quote Scripture, but Jeremiah (5:21) had the answer for Professor Kmiec:

Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.

And if Old Testament prophets aren't your thing, consider the words of a more modern Jeremiah:

He's a politician. I'm a pastor. We speak to two different audiences. And he says what he has to say as a politician. I say what I have to say as a pastor. Those are two different worlds. I do what I do, he does what politicians do.

And Barack Obama will be doing it for the next four years. And no matter how hard Doug Kmiec emulates Bertrand Russell in his ability to make distinctions, we could all see this coming right up Pennsylvania Avenue.


Anonymous said...

OK I haven't really paid much attention to Kmiec since I don't need any 'cover' to support pro-choice candidates. But if I understand his position correctly it is that Obama will support things like accessible birth control and comprehensive sex eduction that decrease the number of abortions and oppose things like abstinence only education that increase the number of abortions. So... if you want fewer abortions vote for Obama. Seems like a pretty sensible position and lifting the global gag rule is one step toward achieving it. If pro-lifers where actually concerned about abortion rather than about maximizing state control over peoples lives I'd think they'd be pleased about this.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

"If you want fewer abortions vote for Obama" seems like a stretch to me. Comprehensive sex education isn't going to reduce abortion and is an awful thing for kids (why do we insist on telling kids that they are going to have sex?) As for "maximizing state control over peoples lives", that's not on my to do list. I'm not quite sure how my being forced to fund other people's abortions is giving other people more freedom. That's a very impressive strawman though.

Anonymous said...

Nuke it from orbit just doesn't understand the pro life position. It's not about controlling people's lives, it's about the scanity of the human life.

My position might not be same as most people who oppose abortion, but I feel that life is sacred at any level. Because of this, I oppose abortion, and the any state sponsored death penalty.

If one respects life at any level, and one also believes that life begins at conception, there really is no way to support state sponsored execution, or state sponsored abortions.

Obama was elected in large part because of support from many Catholics who consider themselves to be pro life. Clearly he has no respect for that position. When the Freedom of Choice act makes it to his desk, you'll really see what he's all about, and the blood of millions of innocents will be on the hands of many who naively pulled the lever for him.

I wish that people like nuke it from orbit would realize the distiction about people who respect life. They don't have to agree with the position, but at least they could take the time to understand it.

Mark Heuring said...


The point here is that this guy (Kmiec) knows what the Church's stance is on all these issues (including birth control) and he constructed this elaborate rationale that has now been undermined by Obama's actions. In the next 4 years Kmiec's position will be further undermined, especially when Obama signs FOCA and then puts 2-4 more pro-choice justices on the Supreme Court.

And WBP is right -- the "maximizing control over people's lives" is a strawman argument. I have two reasons for wanting Roe v. Wade overturned:

1) It was a horrible judicial overreach, consigning the laws of 50 states to the dumpster based on the whims of the 7 individuals then on the court who voted for it; and

2) If it is overturned, we can then resolve the abortion issue the way it should be resolved, which is through state legislatures.

If we prolife people have the better arguments and can win the hearts and minds of others, abortion and its industries will lose. But if Obama props up Roe by packing the Court, that process gets kicked down the road another 25-30 years. And millions more abortions will take place. Kmiec should know all that.
Meanwhile, WBP and I need to work on your heart and mind on this issue, it would appear.

Gino said...

statistically, in schholds and such where comdoms are handed out, and 'comprehensive sex education' is taught, there is a lot more sex and abortions taking place.

where abstinence is the main teaching, the rates of abortions, and sex, are smaller.

if the proabortion folks really were honest in claiming they wanted fewer abortions, why do they insist on pushing the same failed policies?

what is it that they are trying to maximize?

i think we can infer a few things from these stats.

Night Writer said...

...but I helped him drink his wine. Yeah, he always had some mighty fine wine.

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought we were still playing the rock lyrics game. Never mind...

Duke Powell said...

Beating up on Kmiec is all well and good but we only have to look in our own backyard to see similar things happening.

While Minnesota Catholic clergy pay lip service to the issues of abortion, embryonic stem cell research, same sex marriage and the other "non-negotiables", the fact is that they have higher priorities.

As a conservative Catholic and former state representative, I can tell you from painful experience that Minnesota Bishops and clergy have no use for folks like me. They like the Democrats.

Mark Heuring said...


Thanks for visiting. Hard to argue with you -- it's been apparent for a long time that a lot of the Catholic clergy in Minnesota prefers Democrats. There's a reason that the most visible Catholic Charities ministry is called the Dorothy Day Center.

About all we get in my parish is an occasional visit from Mary Ann Kuharski. Otherwise months go by without much mention of life issues. But we host Isiah events all the time.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Isaiah is a travesty. I had to go to one of their meetings when I was doing a 2 week required indoctrination. I was not impressed.

Gino said...

duke" we seen the same thing here in The OC.
i think the local bishops are responsible for electing loretta sanchez, death record and all, over staunch lifer bob dornan (who i've met. he's real)
this was in the 90's, which ended the longest, most vociferous pro-life voice and record in the history of washington.

my name is Amanda said...

I started typing a comment, but then it just became a huge rant which is rather out of place for the moment. Basically, I understand this wasn't the point of the main post, but, since stats and "The Debate" was referenced, I can't help but add a couple thoughts: Accessible birth control and comprehensive sex education DOES prevent abortions. Gino, I'm sorry, but the stats you referenced are either completely skewed, or wrong. Perhaps some links to these stats? (I would read them.) Last year, teen pregnancy rates went up for the first time since 1991, and abortion was down. Proof the pro-lifers are working their magic, but not that abstinence-only works.
Also: there is absolutely NO way for pro-lifers and pro-choicers to truly understand each other's side, because they're not arguing about the same thing. Not even remotely. Thus, if either side expects to be a victor in this issue, it must be from a majority, and also, as Mark referenced, working on hearts and minds. And Mark, pro-lifers would be more successful with working on each of these for me, if I didn't get the hard-line "no contraceptives," "no sex education," "no sex at all" crap that goes with it. I don't believe abortion is right. But I passionately support prevention and education, and I will never, ever knowingly vote to elect a politician who would enact measures to pull back support on those two ideas.

Mark Heuring said...

Also: there is absolutely NO way for pro-lifers and pro-choicers to truly understand each other's side, because they're not arguing about the same thing.

I agree with that, Amanda. And that is part of what makes this "debate" so frustrating.

Gino said...

"Gino, I'm sorry, but the stats you referenced are either completely skewed, or wrong. Perhaps some links to these stats? "

OK amanda.
i know i've read a study somewhere (it was a long time ago), and have spent most of the day trying to find a cite for you.
alas, i cannot, so i hereby retract that statement.

i'm not the 'make it up as you go' type debater.
but when called on it, i accept that it is my responsibility to back it up.
sorry, but i've fallen short today.