Thursday, September 1, 2016
Not merely dancing with the devil but leading. . .
A very long time ago (1984) Mario Cuomo famously argued that he was “personally opposed but won’t impose” his views upon his public policy with regard to abortion. It was a “watershed moment” for pro-choice sympathizers and especially for Roman Catholics (for whatever reason well represented on the left side of Democratic politics). The University of Notre Dame gave Cuomo a highly visible platform in which to make his argument and also, it could be said, provided an official “nihil obstat” stamp upon his logic and his argument.
Notre Dame has a history of slighting its local Bishop and giving prominent place and exposure to Roman Catholics who violate Roman Catholic teaching. Senator Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's running mate, is, like Biden, resolutely pro-choice. Like Biden, Kaine supports same-sex marriage. Like Biden, who has endorsed the Obamacare contraception mandate’s incursion on religious liberty, Kaine co-sponsored a bill aimed at crushing with heavy fines the consciences of pharmacists who don’t want to sell contraceptives -- eliminating any conscience for those who disagree with the Obamacare mandates.
Note that Biden cannot claim as some do that their elected duties require them to go against their conscience. No, in this respect, Biden choose to violate church teachings by securing permission to do what was not his to do in the first place. Biden went out of his way to show his contempt for church teaching, his own church teaching, and therefore begs the church to do something -- anything -- about it. If the church does nothing, then the church is complicit in the actions of its very public members. Because this is public, it cannot simply be handled in private. The world is watching. How is it possible for a person who claims to be a pious Roman Catholic to violate church teaching in such an overt and public manner and the church to say nothing officially about it?
Roman Catholic, Lutheran (Missouri Synod), and other politicians who disregard the teaching of their churches and separate personal from public beliefs with regard to same sex marriage, abortion, and reproductive rights are not merely dancing with the devil. They are leading the dance for they are making it harder and harder to stand upon conscience and the Word of God in the face of public policy that violates the Scriptures, conflicts with the Judeo-Christian teaching on these subjects, and mandates that require the subjection of faith to the prevailing political mood. They are by example denying the truth of their privately held beliefs and proving that doctrine and practice are satisfied by a smorgasbord approach to truth and life.
Notre Dame is not only sanctioning these individuals but undermining the whole structure of the pro-life movement that is the true and real justice cause in America today -- indeed there can be no justice for any other group as long as the unborn are not considered persons, as long as the destruction of their lives in abortion or various means of reproductive technology is considered moral as well as legal, and as long as somebody gets to choose which lives matter.
It is a scandal. I feel for Rome and its difficult position but until the bishops and cardinals stand up for the positions they have taken in the face of highly visible and prominent Roman Catholic politicians, the integrity of their pro-life stance has been compromised by these individuals. It makes it appear that the pro-life movement is but a thin veneer upon a rotten core of expediency and political reality. I hope that I am proven wrong.