Friday, October 15, 2004

Two guys in black "duke it out" on abortion.

Amy Welborn posts the transcript from last Wednesday night's broadcast of "The O'Reilly Factor."

"In the 'Unresolved Problem' Segment tonight, the archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput says Roman Catholics should not support politicians who support abortion rights.

"Says the archbishop, 'If you vote this way, are you cooperating in evil? And if you know you are cooperating in evil, should you go to confession? The answer is yes.'

"Joining us now from South Bend, Indiana, is Father Richard McBrien who teaches theology at Notre Dame, and, here in the studio, Father Frank Pavone, the national director for Priests for Life..."

There's the usual cheap dodge by McBrien about abortion being one of a host of "life issues," yada yada yada. Anything to impress his friends at the clubhouse. That guy's starting to get on my nerves. I guess it's time I set everybody straight on this.

Alright, kids, let's all stop listening to the cheap-@$$ soundbites on CNN and Oprah for a moment and use our OWN heads for a change.

Okay, here we go.

The Church has consistently taught that the state has the right to administer the death penalty for heinous crimes such as murder, as a means of self-defense, and protecting the innocent, given that there are no other more effective means of doing so. The Holy Father has never revoked this. That's because he can't. What he can do, and has done, is make a prudential judgement, that capital punishment may be unnecessary, given other less severe means in the present day, for the state to accomplish the same end.

That's not the same thing as saying that capital punishment is immoral.

The Church has also consistently upheld the "just war theory," again, as a means of self-defense, and protecting the innocent. The Holy Father can't touch this either. What he can do, and has done (as did his predecessor Paul VI at considerable length), is make the formidable case for the grave risk of a disproportionate collateral damage, brought on by the use of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and the danger to humanity as a whole, given the recourse to such methods as a means of settling conflicts between nations.

That's not the same thing as saying that war is immoral.

Now, everybody with me so far?

Abortion -- that is to say, of a viable human fetus -- in and of itself, is ALWAYS objectively immoral. It ALWAYS takes an innocent human life. It is ALWAYS an act of murder. ALWAYS.

Notice how I didn't say "ALWAYS" about the other two things. Neither does the Holy Father. Neither does the Catechism. Neither does any bishop with the sense that God gave to a duck once the cameras start rolling. (And as we all know, God didn't give a duck a whole lot of sense.)

So, let's review. Capital punishment and war: potentially immoral. Abortion: always immoral.

Any questions?

(Footnote: For all you fans of Thomas Aquinas out there, the January 2004 issue of the journal The Thomist has a piece entitled "Capital Punishment." As to the "just war theory," type it in a search engine and look it up, or do a search in any online edition of the Catechism. All this deep thinking without any notes in front of me is giving me a headache.)


Anonymous said...

Whaddya mean, "viable?" The Supreme Court said that aborting a viable fetus is prohibited. The only exception, so far, is when the life/health of the mother is at stake.

David L Alexander said...

"Viable" essentially means, living. The unborn child is a living thing, not a blob of tissue. Terminating its life is murder.

As to choosing between two lives, such circumstances are extremely rare. The statistics from the Alan Guttmacher Institute (which supports Planned Barrenhood, among others), conceds that "hardship cases" such as rape, incest, and health of the mother, account for less than two percent of all abortions in the USA. That means nearly 99 percent are aborted for no other reason than the inconvenience of their arrival.