Catholic Congressional Democrats Release Statment of…Something

Filed in Politics, Religion, Science, Social IssuesTags: Christianity, Democrats, Sanctity of Life

A group of 55 "Catholic" Congressional democrats have released a "Statement of Principles Prevarication" in which they take the untenable position of "work[ing] every day to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being" while (without explicitly so stating) being against making abortion illegal.

Seems like as good a topic as any for a Saturday-afternoon fisking, eh?

As Catholic Democrats in Congress, we are proud to be part of the living Catholic tradition -- a tradition that promotes the common good, expresses a consistent moral framework for life and highlights the need to provide a collective safety net to those individuals in society who are most in need. As legislators, in the U.S. House of Representatives, we work every day to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being. We believe that government has moral purpose.

The "living Catholic tradition"? I'm not a Catholic, so maybe this phraseology is accepted in the Catholic church. Of course, my protestant/evangelistic upbringing has instilled in me the unchanging and inerrant quality of the Word of God, which would contradict a "living tradition" with respect to doctrine in much the same way that words of the U.S. Constitution, as ratified, contradict the concept of a "living constitution" with respect to legal issues.

That little phrase aside, I am struck by this collection of words expressing nothing more than that the signitories to this Statement are adherents of liberal ideology. In so doing, it exposes the contradiction of that ideology on its face.

Expressing a "consistent moral framework for life" and working "to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being" would imply that adherents to such philosophies would 1) define life in a consistent and moral manner, and 2) work to advance respect for the life and dignity of every human life so defined. However, the signitories to this Statement will spend the duration of its text rationalizing away their disregard for both of these points.

The only scientifically, morally consistent definition for life concludes that life begins at conception. Scientifically, conception is the point at which a genetically unique entity comes into existence. Morally, respect for and sanctity of life presumes that benefit of the doubt must be given to the entity created by conception.

Therefore, advocacy of abortion becomes a moot issue with respect to consistent scientific and moral argument. Thus, unable to avoid this point, proponents of abortion resort to re-defining "life". So much for expressing a "consistent moral framework for life."

As for working "to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being" - several (if not perhaps, all) of the signitories of this Statement would oppose partial-birth abortion (so-called "late-term" abortion, a term used to disguise the fact that such abortions occur with all but the head of the baby having been birthed). To the contrary, advocating abortion serves to advance convenience versus responsibility and panders to the extreme ideologues who back the candidacy of such politicians.

I'll come back to the matter of government serving a moral purpose.

We are committed to making real the basic principles that are at the heart of Catholic social teaching: helping the poor and disadvantaged, protecting the most vulnerable among us, and ensuring that all Americans of every faith are given meaningful opportunities to share in the blessings of this great country. That commitment is fulfilled in different ways by legislators but includes: reducing the rising rates of poverty; increasing access to education for all; pressing for increased access to health care; and taking seriously the decision to go to war. Each of these issues challenges our obligations as Catholics to community and helping those in need.

Without question, the "most vulnerable among us" are unborn children. Abortion deprives these human lives of "meaningful opportunities to share in the blessings of this great country." Access to education by unborn children is greatly increased when we protect them from being aborted. The rest of the text here only serves as a distraction from the primary issue: so-called "Catholics" rationalizing their disagreement with the Catholic church in support of abortion.

We envision a world in which every child belongs to a loving family and agree with the Catholic Church about the value of human life and the undesirability of abortion—we do not celebrate its practice. Each of us is committed to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and creating an environment with policies that encourage pregnancies to be carried to term. We believe this includes promoting alternatives to abortion, such as adoption, and improving access to children=s healthcare and child care, as well as policies that encourage paternal and maternal responsibility.

I envision a world in which every human life has protected its God-given right to life. The Bible teaches that humans are created in the image of God, and that man does not have the right to take the life of another man in murder. The Bible teaches that even our lives are not our own, since we were bought by the life of Christ on the Cross. We no more have the right to murder unborn humans than we have the moral right to take our own lives.

To my knowledge, the Catholic church does not preach merely the "undesirability of abortion", but rather its utter moral reprehension. Advocacy of post-birth social policies does not constitute sufficient nor appropriate substitution for absolute support for the unalienable, God-given right of every human - born or unborn - to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In all these issues, we seek the Church=s guidance and assistance but believe also in the primacy of conscience. In recognizing the Church's role in providing moral leadership, we acknowledge and accept the tension that comes with being in disagreement with the Church in some areas. Yet we believe we can speak to the fundamental issues that unite us as Catholics and lend our voices to changing the political debate -- a debate that often fails to reflect and encompass the depth and complexity of these issues.

Read that first sentence one more time:

In all these issues, we seek the Church=s guidance and assistance but believe also in the primacy of conscience.

When did the Catholic church start teaching modernism, secular humanism and moral relativism? One cannot claim to adhere to Christianity, yet proclaim that the conscience is primary to the Word.

These issues are only complex because advocates of abortion must introduce non-existent and specious complications in order to justify their morally unjust position. Human life begins at conception, and every human life is sacred. Any act intended to deprive a human of his right to life thus cannot be defended morally.

As legislators, we are charged with preserving the Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom for all Americans. In doing so, we guarantee our right to live our own lives as Catholics, but also foster an America with a rich diversity of faiths. We believe the separation of church and state allows for our faith to inform our public duties.

And what of your duties to preserve the religious freedom for unborn humans? Protection of abortion is not a matter of religious freedom (please point out the religion that preaches abortion?). Religious freedom does not supercede the unalienable, God-given rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Is the right of polygamy protected as a religious freedom? Pedophilia? Sacrifice of children? Beheading infidels?

Thus we find the moral purpose of the government: to safeguard the expression of religious belief of everyone, by defining the point at which the exercise of one's beliefs encroaches upon the rights of another. Therefore, the key issue remains: unborn children are living humans; as such, their right to life trumps the right of religious expression of their mother, father, or anyone else.

As Catholic Democrats who embrace the vocation and mission of the laity as expressed by Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Exhortation, Christifideles Laici, we believe that the Church is the "people of God," called to be a moral force in the broadest sense. We believe the Church as a community is called to be in the vanguard of creating a more just America and world. And as such, we have a claim on the Church's bearing as it does on ours.

The church is called to be the light of the world. By advocating the destruction of human life via abortion, you extinguish your own moral light, silence your own moral voice, and render impotent whatever moral force you wish to exert. In what way does advocating or allowing the murder of unborn humans created "a more just America and world"?

And there you have it.

Plenty of reaction from the Catholic community (whom, for the most part, I will leave to discuss the Statement with respect to Catholicism - being that I am not Catholic). ProLifeBlogs does a great job distilling the argument to its bare essentials, and then taking it to the logical conclusion:

Here's what I don't get. I used to be one of these "personally pro-life" people who thought abortion was undesirable. Why do these people think it's undesirable? There can only be one reason. Because they, like I, know it's the taking of a human life.

So, why then aren't we allowed to put a stop to that? Why, on this one isssue, are we told we have no "right" to stop others from "choosing" to end human life?

If the goverment has no business being in the bedroom (does anyone here know of any abortion that's ever taken place in the bedroom?) why outlaw rape? Rape happens in a bedroom often. Why isn't a rapist free to choose to rape?

Why are murderers not free to choose to murder? What business does the goverment have in telling any of these people what to do?

The truth is, ALL laws tell people what to do. ALL laws take away certain choices, choices that hurt others.

Other commentary: LifeNews, EWTN Global Catholic Network, Catholic News Service, The Catholic League, BeliefNet, Mirror of Justice, Catholic Online, LifeSite,

Via Pro-Life Blogs.


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One Response to “Catholic Congressional Democrats Release Statment of…Something”
  1. These Dem are what we Catholics call CINOs, Catholics In Name Only. As I Catholic, I can say that they do not speak for me or the Church. For some reason many American Catholics think they can make their own rules and reject official Church teaching when it suits them, especially when they are up for re-election! They have been taught the truth about abortion and have still turned their backs on the unborn.


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