Friday, October 12, 2012

Quick Takes: The "Biden makes my brain twist into a pretzel" edition

I hope I can get an answer from a pro-"choice" Catholic on this first one…

1) I have a question that never gets an answer.

Biden says he agrees with the Church (and science, of course) that human life begins at conception. But he goes on to say that although he believes the unborn are real human beings, he will not "impose" his belief on others when it comes to abortion law. (Note: For him, this "non-imposition" means aggressive advocating for abortion rights -- go figure).

My question is: How is what Biden says different from someone saying, "I personally believe that slavery is wrong, because black people are human beings. However, I will not impose my beliefs on others"?

Remember, the key here is that Biden believes that actual human beings are killed during abortions.

Can anyone give me a coherent answer? I'm sincerely asking.

2) I am so pleased that my own pastor, Fr. John Ehrich, addressed the absolute scandal of (Catholic) Joe Biden's statements in the recent debate. Fr. Ehrich minces no words, and I applaud his courage in calling Biden out. He begins:

Perhaps lost in all of the buffoonery of Vice President Joe Biden during the vice presidential debate was his demonstration of infidelity to Church teaching.

As we know both Joe Biden and Paul Ryan are Catholics. However, I saw only one faithful Catholic last night and it was not the Vice President….

Read the rest here:

The Buffoonery of Biden

And please remember to pray for our priests! The devil always targets them first.

3) This is the coolest, simplest little video from Catholic Vote that explains, from a Catholic perspective, why we are not required to support massive government entitlement programs. Watch it with your children. We must begin to educate our kids and ourselves on this stuff, because no one else is going to! Please, share it far and wide, especially the next time a "social justice" Catholic tells you that she's a faithful Catholic and you're not, simply because she supports the federal welfare state (and probably abortion "rights" too)…

And if someone could share it with the goofball hypocrites who make up the bulk of the faculty of Georgetown University, that'd be nice. Not that they'd listen, but still.

4) Here's a brave Catholic business owner who is fighting back against the immoral, unconscionable and unconstitutional HHS mandate that threatens so many Catholic institutions and all of their employees. If you are still unsure about voting for Romney (which is a vote to limit the evil that Obama can and will do), then look into this man's eyes and decide if you want to be on his side as he steps out in courage to battle Obama and his adminstration. God bless him, and for his sake and thousands of others like him, let's get Obama OUT:

5) Some well-done political cartoons and images, to make you laugh and/or cry:

6) St. Thomas More knew a thing or two about weathering the dangerous politics of his day. When the King demanded obedience to an evil mandate, St. Thomas kept his integrity and stayed loyal to Christ and His Church, even though he knew it would cost him his life. He's a saint for our time, and his quote is relevant to us today:
“You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds…. What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little bad as you can.” -- St. Thomas More

7) Suffering special needs orphans do not care about American politics, they just need families.

Here is Janelle, a beautiful 5-year-old girl who is facing transfer to the adult institution and will remain bed/chair-ridden her whole life if not adopted:

Click my photo for more information!


And here is sweet little Sophia, who turns three years old this month. Practically a baby and yet already so marginalized. She does not have a good prognosis in her own country, but in America, she could have the best of medical care and a good life, full of love and possibilities:

Click my photo for more info!

Families considering Sophia should be experienced with significant medical needs. 

Thank you for praying for these girls and considering them for your own family, and thanks to Jen for hosting Quick Takes!



  1. I know I'm not the pro-choicer you hope will answer your question, Leila, but I wanted to chime in and say that I think it's a good question, and one we all are wondering about. What is the difference? My theory is that the difference, which makes it "right" in so many people's mind, is that it's simply because the baby is so small and therefore, is "insignificant."

    Any pro-choicer can feel free to call me out on this theory, because again, I also am curious.

  2. Also not a pro-choicer but my theory is a lot of people are missing the difference between doctrine and dogma (which is why your post should be printed and required reading for all Catholics).

    Doctrine: No I don't get to insist that everyone fast along with me on Ash Wednesday.
    Dogma: I do get to say that murder is wrong ~ and it is wrong whether you believe in God or not!

    1. Joy thanks and you are right that people don't get that at all! But just a quick correction that you mean "Discipline" for the first category (changeable). And the second category could be called "Dogma" or "Doctrine" (there are differences, but basically those are unchangeable truths).

      Here is the difference between Discipline and Doctrine/Dogma:

    2. 'Discipline' ~ right, thank you, sorry.

  3. Both Biden and Ryan said that they personally believe abortion is wrong because life begins at conception. Then they both said it should be legally OK to abort in some (or most, in Biden's case) circumstances. They both separated their personal beliefs from what they would do as VP. How is there a difference, beyond the degree to which their policies go against Church teaching? They're both absolutely guilty of the same thing.

  4. Becky, it's worse than that because Biden did not say the unborn are insignificant. He says he "believes" the Church's teaching on the sanctity of life and the humanity of the unborn. So, that can't be it. He knows they are human and accepts it fully. That's what he said. Makes it worse, I think.

    Chris, listen more carefully (and read what my priest said). He said that "a Romney administration" believes in exceptions, not that he does. He is walking that line on purpose. Think about it. If I were the same person I am today, with my beliefs, could I work in the Romney administration? Yes, I could. Let's say I'm in his Cabinet. I could say the same words Ryan said and be telling the truth. The exceptions? Those are Romney's issue and culpability.

    And also, there is MUCH more guilt for the person who is for abortion on demand without apology vs. the person who is 98% pro-life (legislatively, personally) but allows for rare exceptions. Not "absolutely guilty of the same thing" at all, even if both are Catholic.

    And believe me, I don't approve of folks like Hannity, who do claim that they are for the "exceptions". It is frustrating and wrong. But there is a reason that both sides (NARAL and National Right to Life) give percentages and ratings on who is more "on their side". Those are actually helpful and we can see how folks vote. You can check Ryan's vote and Biden's.

  5. Yes, I was just speaking of the pro-choice stance in a general way, not necessarily what Bidden thinks. I'm thinking that a lot of the pro-choice people don't really ponder too deeply about when human life begins. But yes, knowing as Bidden does make it worse. And for those who know what they're doing makes it worse.

  6. Becky, totally understood. Pro-"choice" people in general find a myriad ways to get around the axiom that we don't kill innocent people. Some go the personhood route, some the viability route, some go with "it's part of a woman's body", etc. But that is the thing that is troubling about Biden and other Catholics like him. They are publicly stating that the believe what the Church teaches, so either they are lying about that (which is immoral in itself), or they truly do believe what the Church teaches, and then the question about slavery seems relevant. And I think if we start with the premise that "I believe what my Church teaches, but…", then it's unanswerable. But I am trying to find any "pro-choice" Catholic who can answer that slavery question. Because if one truly believes that others are truly human, it is unthinkable that they could still compartmentalize that and work hard to make sure they have no legal protections. That is the disconnect. It seems crazy, or evil, or both….

    1. *meaning, to lie about one's belief is immoral in itself, as lying is immoral

  7. Becky, check this out, ha ha!

    I am finally getting around to watching it, lol!

  8. Ha! Someone else discovered it too! It's such a fun video, you can't help dancing in your seat!

  9. Clearly I’m not a catholic ,so I can’t talk to that, but I am part of a church that sees abortion as permissible Our Pastor is pro-choice and I have spoken with him about his abortion views.

    Our church wouldn’t deny that life begins at conception, which as you stated is scientific fact. But I imagine they are pro-choice for the same reason…

    That most people believe a woman should be able to keep her miscarriage private but not the drowning of her 7 year old.

    Or that getting drunk while you’re pregnant is an entirely different thing than getting your 2-year-old drunk

    I think there is an acknowledgement that the obligations of pregnancy differ from those of motherhood. Pregnant women are allowed to put their fetuses in grave danger to jump on trampolines, refuse bed rest, get rip roaringly drunk, essentially do whatever they please without considering the health of their fetus—where women with born children would be charged with neglect.

    Our church believes that a pregnant woman is first and foremost---a woman. She can take whatever meds she wants, a Tylenol, Xanax, or abortion pill and in none of those scenarios should she be legally obligated to consider the outcome to her fetus.


  10. CS, do you see any difference, morally, in a woman targeting her child for death (abortion) and jumping on a trampoline with no intention to harm the child? Abortion is an INTENDED harm, an INTENDED death. You see a moral distinction there, correct?

  11. And right, you can't really speak to the issue of Biden, as he did not say he holds to your pastor's view of the unborn, but rather he said he holds to the Catholic Church's view of the unborn: Truly human, a child of God, innocent life that is sacred.

    I don't fully understand how a (Christian, I am guessing?) pastor could be pro-"choice", as not only is there no precedent for such a teaching in the revealed religion that is Christianity, but also I wonder if he believes that somehow the unborn are not children of God? Who or what are they, if not God's created, beloved children? If they are not gifts of God, then what are they? I would love to talk to him. I would love to ask him how many people are in the scene at the Visitation, in Luke.

  12. The obligations of pregnancy are the same as motherhood: One cannot intend to directly harm one's child, especially not kill that child.

    That most people believe a woman should be able to keep her miscarriage private but not the drowning of her 7 year old.

    Actually, that's because there is a recoverable body. If a child is miscarried past a certain date, there is actually a body that is recovered, and a death certificate issued. That is not a measure of a child's innate, objective value at all. It is simply how civil law covers births/deaths/investigations/registrations of citizens, etc. Nothing at all to do with intrinsic value, unless you think that "documentation" by the state is needed to give human rights? I doubt you want to go there.

    And, I miscarried very early, at seven weeks. The child's body was small, and not recoverable and identifiable among the rest of what was expelled (sorry for TMI). The state has no interest in getting involved there; goodness, why would it? But for a child drowning? This is a case where a child has a birth certificate issued by the state, a body exists in a condition to be buried (and autopsied if needed). Again, paper work by the state does not equal intrinsic worth. (If so, then a child who was born, locked away and beaten to death six years later would not have any worth, right?)

    Or that getting drunk while you’re pregnant is an entirely different thing than getting your 2-year-old drunk

    Morally, I don't see a distinction. If one knows that the act is reckless and will harm the child, then it is immoral to do so.

  13. Leila,


    I can absolutely see the difference in intent, but 1) I never think the intent is to kill and 2) while intent matters it doesn’t dissolve culpability completely.

    Afterall, do you really think that women INTEND to kill their child when they go in have an abortion?

    I very genuinely believe the intent is to remove, not to kill. To become un-pregnant, to get their bodies back, maybe even to get their boyfriend to stay, never to maim or kill. Do you disagree do you think most women seek abortions to kill their child?

    Furthermore, intent is just not enough to escape culpability. The charge just decreases from murder to negligent homicide. If an unborn is a legal child with legal rights, it is not sufficient to just not kill your child you have to actively protect them from harm even if it inconvenience , failure to do so is neglect.

    While jumping on a trampoline or getting wasted is certainly more innocent than seeking to actively terminate…these actions should still constitute criminally negligent homicide if they resulted in the death of a fetus no?


  14. Leila,

    There is a section in the bible, I don’t know where, where God doesn’t mourn or ‘count’ a miscarriage as a death. The pastor cited that for why he finds abortion permissible.


  15. CS, Where to begin?

    Okay, if I want to "remove" grandma from my life so that I can spend more time with my boyfriend or get her inheritance to go so school (those would be the "ends"), and I put a bullet through her head to "remove" her (remember, my intent was only to "remove" thus get more free time, or the inheritance!), then am I culpable?

    You see, you are saying that the "ends" (not being pregnant, getting their body back, making their slimeball boyfriend to stay) are good. But remember, the means also have to be moral for an act to be moral. So, one cannot directly murder an innocent to get to a good end. The act of murdering an innocent, no matter the "good intent" is in itself not morally allowable. It is evil to directly kill an innocent, period.

    Surely you would agree that we may not kill others to get to the end we want?

    As for you pastor, I have about a million things to say to that, but first of all, let's go back to the above. Miscarriage is not the same as willful murder, correct? Dying of natural causes is not the same as dying by bullet through the brain by a hired assassin, right?

    So, grandma A) might die of pneumonia, or grandma might B) die because someone deliberately put a knife to her jugular so that she would bleed out and die. Is there a moral difference between the two ways that grandma died?

    Would your pastor use grandma's death by pneumonia to justify grandma's death by assassin?

    As for drinking or bouncing while pregnant… usually those moderation will not harm the baby. If they drink or bounce to excess, knowing that harm or death could result, then they would be morally culpable. With you, CS, I want to always talk about the moral rather than the legal. Laws change, but morality does not. So, morally, what do you think?

  16. The intent to become 'un-pregnant' makes me think of the intent to become 'unmarried' by killing one's wife, ha ha.

    May one morally become 'unmarried' that way? I hope you would say no...


  17. “CS, I want to always talk about the moral rather than the legal. Laws change, but morality does not. So, morally, what do you think?”

    Haha and I always want to talk about what is legal which is why we have so much trouble communicating!

    See, when I talk about sex and abortion and such, I am not trying to get women to be the ‘most moral they can be’ though I would dissuade them from being grossly immoral. So in that, our aims differ, I am not trying to outline what should occur in a perfect world, I am outlining what I think is permissible at a bare minimum.

    And I know you don’t like talking about legalities. But at the end of the day I really worry about the legal implications of anti-abortion laws on women’s freedom. Chemical abortions are up and with Internet they are just going to continue to increase (esp. w clinics getting shut down). And as the end of the day I just find it insane that I or a woman like myself could be considered a legal MURDERER for taking a pill. That putting a pill into MY mouth could make me a 25 to life legal murderer---just wow

    And please don’t mention the illegality of street drugs. Yes many drugs are illegal but A) you won’t be jailed for taking them, only possession or distribution and B) while you could get in trouble for poisoning someone else you could never get a MURDER charge for putting them in your own mouth!


  18. I have never commented before but as soon as we got to that part of the debate I said to my husband "I wonder what the bubble will say about this." I don't have an answer to your questions but will keep trolling the comments to see if anyone does!

    My local news channel tweeted this though: Biden: My religion defies who I am. I thought the spelling was a Freudian slip...

  19. CS, God's law supersedes man's law. If you (royal you) murder one of His children, even if it's a chemical murder ("taking a pill" into your body to get the job done), I assure you, you will ultimately be culpable no matter what man's law says.

    1. In other words, you may not be a "legal" murderer (heck, neither were Nazis or slaveowners!), but you would be morally culpable for murder before God who is the ultimate Judge. Please Lord, let none of us stand before the Lord with the blood of His innocents on our hands. It's a fearful, hopeless place to be, and at that point it will be much too late.

  20. Snarky McGee, I love your handle! And wow, Freudian indeed!

  21. CS, would this be an accurate representation of your pastor's views, do you think?

  22. Thanks, Leila! As usual a fantastic as well as informative post. I shared the Catholic Vote video on my FB page. Hoping that it will help alleviate confusion about Catholic social teaching among my left-leaning Catholic relatives. Thanks for your sharing your gift with us! I'll pray while you change hearts! :)

  23. Personally, I think Ryan's answer was as bad as Biden's. They both said "I disagree with abortion but I support an administration that will allow it."

    Sure, Ryan's answer was more carefully constructed, but in the end- they said the same thing. I don't agree with the good Father than Ryan's position is clear.

    If Ryan really believes abortion is evil- why didn't he say it? Because he's trying to win an election? Is that a reason to mince words about something as evil as abortion? I'm pretty sure I remember in the face of evil we are required to speak up- even at great personal cost. If Ryan had been my mother's child- she would not have been proud of that answer. It seems like there is a bit of a double standard here....

    Biden's answer shows his struggle to enforce the Church's teaching is because he wishes to be respectful to the rights and beliefs of his fellow non-Catholic Americans. His reasoning is flawed. But let's be honest, his reasoning is the same as thousands of Catholics in this country.

    Being a Catholic American means accepting that a vast majority of your religious beliefs are considered nuts by your non-Catholic friends.

    Transubstantiation? Nuts.
    Mary and the saints? Nuts.
    Showing Christ on the Cross? Nuts.
    Confession? Very Nuts.
    Kneeling in Church? Nuts.
    No Meat on Fridays? You guys can't be serious!
    Icons, Bathtub Marys, etc? Cuckoo.
    No communion in our Church unless Catholic? That's not very friendly.
    No Divorce? Really......not ever?
    Life begins at conception? Sure...maybe for you.

    It is flawed reasoning. But if you spend a substantial amount of time with non-Catholics you learn to expect to be treated like the old Aunt at the family gatherings who everyone humors but thinks is off her rocker.

    The devil works in subtle ways. It is a small but flawed jump: Everything else we love and hold sacred isn't viewed the same by our friends and neighbors.....why should the unborn life be different?

  24. I thought Ryan was very clear that the unborn are human from the beginning, including a discussion of his daughter's ultrasound.

    As for "supporting an administration that will allow (some abortion)", that is me and Fr. Pavone, too. So, what does that make us? We support the Romney ticket because it of all many ways it is better than Obama's. Let me count the ways. What you are proposing is that Catholics cannot vote for anyone this election. You are going way further than the Church goes on this. There are many guides out there, and none of the bishops or the Popes say what you are saying.

    And just to reiterate: In my mind, to not vote to limit evil when one can vote to limit evil is unconscionable.

  25. Here's what bugs me. Romney/Ryan support abortion rights in very few circumstances. It's not like a pro-choicer would vote for them, no matter what. So couldn't Biden have at least stated that abortion was a huge moral wrong or something like that? It wouldn't have cost him any votes, and he would have got a chance to at least clearly proclaim his beliefs, even if he wasn't going to enforce them.

  26. The devil works in subtle ways, making good Catholics sit out the election and/or throw away their vote when the chance to limit evil arises. The devil wants more than anything else to get Catholics out of the political process at all. Sit it out. Refuse to vote for the viable candidate who can limit the evil that Obama is bulldozing through, and the devil laughs.

    Don't be more Catholic than the Pope.

    People. Wise as serpents and gentle as doves fits what Ryan did. He is on record that abortion is dead wrong. Evil. We all know this. I support a candidate that doesn't think so in all cases. So does Fr. Pavone. So do millions of other faithful Catholics who are pro-life to the point of making it their whole lives. Wisdom and savvy are needed. We are not Jehovah's Witnesses or Amish, who do not engage in the public square. We are commanded to. And I cannot for the life of me get what is going on with all the Catholics who want to draw a moral equivalence between Romney and Obama vis a vis the Church and her interests. It's mind boggling to me, but I need to get to mass now….

    Blessings to all, and pray for our nation.

  27. Chris, good point. Why couldn't Biden have said that? The answer is that the Democratic party has enshrined abortion in its platform THAT much. It's the highest "good" for them. It's almost akin to a religion to them. So for Biden to have said that it's a "huge moral wrong" would have been a stab in the back to the whole party. Keep in mind, he could also run for president someday (again...God help us), and having that comment on record would ruin him among his own peers. Sad, but true.

  28. It's ironic that the whole moral vs. legal debate has come back up. It was the basis of my priest's homily this morning! He said that he was speaking to a Catholic grade school class about abortion and a hand went up. He called on the child who said, "But Father, my parents disagree with you. They say abortion is ok." My priest asked why, and the child responded, "Well they say it's legal so it must be ok." So in his homily, my priest warned that just because something is legal (he pointed to gay "marriage" laws as well) doesn't mean it's moral. And as Leila pointed out, he also cautioned that man's law does not supercede God's law, and we must work to hold up, of course, God's. Just thought the parallel was funny!

  29. First, I'd like to point out I never advocated for voting for Obama or not voting for Romney. I never said Ryan wasn't good enough so we shouldn't vote for him. I never said we should sit out of the election. I know other posters have said that but I wasn't one of them.

    Second, what's the difference between a Catholic American voter voting for Romney and Paul Ryan? Mr. Ryan is the vice presidential candidate. He has a unique position of influence over our political system and the American public. I would have liked to see him take a stronger stance on his views on abortion.

    I don't disagree with the concept we can cast a vote to limit evil. I do disagree with the concept a Catholic politician can water down his views or hedge his principles in order to win an election. I'm not saying Ryan was completely wrong, but I think he did mis-step. I would have had more respect for him and I think it would have demonstrated stronger character if he had given a strong answer to the direct question he was asked.

    I felt Biden's answer demonstrated a lack of understanding and flawed reasoning. I felt Ryan's answer demonstrated a lack of conviction.

    I was always taught "as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves" was never meant we could be deceitful or misleading. It isn't an excuse to refuse to state our principles. To be wise as serpents means to exercise prudence and judgment.

    Again, I did not say you can't vote for Romney/Ryan. I merely said I didn't think Ryan's answer was any better than Biden's.

  30. Nicole- I think Chris meant to say Ryan there. Why didn't Ryan say it was a moral wrong?
    It is unlikely he would've lost very many votes- so why not just say it?

  31. Oops- I re-read Chris' post- I guess he did mean Biden.

    Chris, I think he did say he believed it was a moral wrong. Both others don't believe it is a moral wrong and their Churches don't teach it is a moral wrong so he didn't believe the law should take that option away from them.

  32. StarFireKK, I want to apologize! I was rushing my answer trying to get out the door to mass, and then at mass I realized that you were responding to this post, and not the last one, where we had been vigorously hashing out this issue of voting as a Catholic. So, forgive me!

    Having said that, I still have absolutely no earthly idea how Ryan's answer (which amounted to "I am pro-life, both legislatively and personally") could be "no better than" Biden's (which amounted to, "I am pro-life but I vote for and advocate for abortion every chance I get and I will never let Planned Parenthood and our nation's abortionists down.")

    One guy is pro-abortion. One guy is pro-life. That is what the answers reflected. I can't for the life of me understand why you think those answers are the same?

    You may have been disappointed in his answer regarding "a Romney administration" regarding the hard cases, but it's a pretty big leap to go from that disappointment to (essentially) saying "their answers were the same".

  33. I felt Biden's answer demonstrated a lack of understanding and flawed reasoning. I felt Ryan's answer demonstrated a lack of conviction.

    Wait… you think Biden, a career politician who actively works to promote abortion at every turn, simply has "a lack of understanding" of this issue? He has had a lifetime in office and a generation of Catholic pundits, bishops and priests who have weighed in on his scandalous position. You seem to give him more of a pass for this great, great evil (and utter lack of integrity, thus my point that the slavery question has never been answered because it cannot be answered), than you do to Paul Ryan for stating the absolute truth. Ryan never said he would support those exceptions. He spoke the truth and never said he was on board with that part of the Romney belief. Not once.

    He has a unique position of influence over our political system and the American public.

    Exactly!! That is why we cannot say, "How could he support a Romney administration?!" when we should be rejoicing that a pro-life, faithful Catholic is in this position on a national presidential ticket! What a great opportunity for Ryan to be able to influence not only the political system, but also Mr. Romney himself, over the course of their years together as Pres. and VP. We as Catholics should WANT and be thrilled that a faithful Catholic can get where Ryan has gotten. I personally don't want faithful Catholics to be marginalized in politics, but if we require of them the level of outspokenness that some demand, we will never get to influence anyone in the public square.

    Maybe we have different strategies and tactics. I just don't get it.

  34. StarFireKK, maybe we can both agree that what Karl Keating wished Ryan had said:

    "Gov. Romney and I disagree somewhat on abortion. I am opposed to abortion in all cases. This comports with the teaching of my church. Gov. Romney, following the teaching of his church, thinks abortion is morally permissible in cases of rape and incest. I disagree, and I hope over time to bring him around to my view of the matter. In the meantime, I can say that the position he backs is much closer to my position than is President Obama's and Vice President Biden's."

    That would have been perfect. But even though he didn't state his position this perfectly, it's still an incredibly far stretch to say that his answer was "no better" than abortion-advocate Biden's!

  35. Sorry, one more, because this line really baffles me:

    "I felt Biden's answer demonstrated a lack of understanding and flawed reasoning. I felt Ryan's answer demonstrated a lack of conviction."

    So, Ryan said what he did (which was not a lie) due to political expediency or lack of conviction, but Biden is just honestly confused? Biden used to be pro-life (legislatively!) until his party moved and it became politically expedient to become a vociferous pro-abort. He did it knowing full well that he didn't have to. He chose between his Faith and getting elected, and in the process he has been a MAJOR persecutor of the unborn, working hand in hand, happily with their executioners.

    If that is not "lack of conviction" and mortal sin, and apostasy, I'm not sure what is.

    He is the worst kind of politician and Catholic. He knows exactly what he is doing. The warnings from his own Church could not be any clearer, and he's heard them for decades.

  36. Jumping on CS's concern over anti-abortion laws -- CS, take a look at anti-abortion laws before Roe v. Wade. I can't remember now if I already posted this on the Bubble in a previous conversation, so I am sorry if this is a repeat. This article outlines why women were not prosecuted for murder under anti-abortion laws, and I personally think the logic is sound and just. I agree that not all women fully understand their actions, but they do suffer from them. And many realize the fullness of their actions down the road. Regardless of whether they fully understand, I think this legal discussion is helpful for direction in crafting just anti-abortion laws.

  37. Sorry, jumping *in* on CS's concern...not trying to jump on your concerns :).

  38. I have to share Leila's astonishment at this line: "I felt Biden's answer demonstrated a lack of understanding and flawed reasoning. I felt Ryan's answer demonstrated a lack of conviction."

    I was completely satisfied with Ryan's response and felt that he did a great job of conveying his personal position vs. the position of the administration he will be working with. Would it have been ideal for him to use Karl Keating's response? Of course. But would it have been realistic? Never. We have to understand that, like it or not, we're dealing with politics. He's a running mate. He doesn't make the platform for the presidential candidate. The same could be said for Biden. He's a VP. He doesn't make the platform for Obama. HOWEVER, the difference is that, for decades, Biden has been a pro-abortion politician - long before he ran for VP. He has used that "I'm personally opposed" line for ages. Paul Ryan, on the other hand, has been a stalwart pro-life politician legislatively. Therefore, he can say that he will personally and legislatively be a pro-life running mate, despite the fact that Romney favors exceptions. And we can pray that Ryan will be a good influence for Romney to see the light and convert.

    Like Leila, I can't for the life of me see how you can give Biden a pass as though he's simply "confused and misguided" while condemning Ryan for somehow having a "lack of conviction."

    One more thing - I'm a Catholic pro-life activist in Delaware - Biden's state. I know the Bishop, I know many priests, and I know the priest who is the pro-life director for the diocese. I know people who have been around forever and grown up with Biden. It's a crazy small, tight-knit state. I can tell you with 100% certainty that he knows exactly what he's saying.

  39. Elizabeth, that was very helpful, thank you! And Nicole, thanks for articulating that better than I could have. The Delaware insight is especially interesting/sad.

  40. Hi Elizabeth,

    I just really don’t get the logic….

    A pre-roe society where abortions just aren’t legal is a very different society than one that views abortion as murder.

    One society merely doesn’t facilitate abortion, while the other recognizes the unborn as a legal person and citizens with the right to life—which have fundamentally different meanings for women.

    Which do you want?

    I understand that at the end of the day prolifers just want the number of abortions to go down and not to punish women, but we ultimately have to decide if the unborn have legal rights and status. If they don’t, the case against abortion is silly, if they do…women must be held legally responsible for their crimes. One who commissions a murder MUST be guilty of the murder too? Correct.

    I act these questions earnestly. Because the notion of punishing the doctor makes me question who is culpable when women self-abort? Surely if we make abortion illegal we understand that women will take a more do it yourself approach. Women have extensive medicine cabinets and the Internet, things they did not have in the 70’s how can we criminalize abortion and not make it illegal for women to tamper with their own pregnancies.

    How could we not prosecute women?

  41. CS, it basically comes down from evolved legal experience. So this part:

    Maryland: “While it may seem illogical to hold that a pregnant woman who solicits the commission of an abortion and willingly submits to its commission upon her own person is not an accomplice in the commission of the crime, yet many courts in the United States have adopted this rule, asserting that public policy demands its application and that its exception from the general rule is justified by the wisdom of experience.”7

    Minnesota: “As a first impression, it may seem to be an unsound rule that one who solicits the commission of an offense, and willingly submits to its being committed upon her own person, should not be deemed an accomplice, while those whom she has thus solicited should be deemed principal criminals in the transaction. But in cases of this kind the public welfare demands the application of this rule, and its exception from the general rule seems to be justified by the wisdom of experience.”8

    I'm not saying this is total justice for the unborn. I think it would be almost impossible to get total justice for the unborn. There are tons of barriers to prosecuting women for self abortion. First of all, like Leila noted earlier, there is no body for evidence, and the little evidence is easily disposed. An early self-inflicted abortion would be nearly impossible to prove. It would also be grossly unfair and unrealistic to investigate every miscarriage. Lots of women have miscarriages, and we need to make sure they are not afraid to see a doctor about it. Yes, that means some women will get away with self-inflicted abortions.

    Second, "In addition, another main reason for the non-prosecution of women is that relieving women from criminal liability provided states with a better chance of achieving convictions against abortionists—the principal."

    Successful targets of abortionist would require cooperation with women. The law has been offering these kinds of deals for a long time -- cut people some legal slack if they can get to the principal.

    In many of these states, women could have technically been charged for their own abortion, but they weren't for the above reasons. Even when the state could have charged them, they didn't. It was counterproductive and difficult to prove. I'm not saying this is perfect justice for the unborn, but it is this "wisdom of experience" that led to the most just and effective means of enforcing pro-life laws.

    We can acknowledge the right to life of the unborn child legally, prosecute abortionists, and still protect women. Yes, it is imperfect. Acknowledging the right to life of the unborn does not mean prosecuting women by default. In fact, these prior anti-abortion laws assumed the right to life of the unborn, even if it wasn't explicitly stated. Their existence doesn't make sense without it. Other medical procedures were not illegal in this way.

    Some women will still have abortions, just like some parents still abuse their children or kill their children. Some people use drugs even with drug laws. Some people will continue to get away with it, and it is likely that an early self-inflicted abortion would be easy to achieve with few legal repercussions. We fully understand that perfection is impossible. We just seek the most effective and the most just legal avenues to protecting the unborn and the parents of the unborn. The rest must be achieved through conversion of hearts on a different scale.

  42. I guess my point is this: We have to understand the ultimate limits of human law. The law will never be the final word, and it will never create perfect justice. We are responsible for carefully crafting laws to deal with this reality, while aiming for an (unreachable) ideal. We have a long history of abortion laws for reference, and these precedents are not lost on lawmakers or society.

  43. Elizabeth,

    But why would we want to protect women. They are murderers!!!! If women are going to kill their own children, why are they less despicable than the drs?

    Also. Women ARE being jailed for killing their unborn children. Even if they do it by accident. Women in the South are being Jailed for being drug addicts and giving birth to dead babies. IT IS happening women are being targeted.

  44. First, most pro-lifers view those women in two different ways -- victims or murderers. So we don't believe that all women who abort their children are murderers in the first place. It would take very specific knowledge of a woman to determine that she was, in fact, a murderer. We know that many women are given incorrect information, forced by their parents (especially youth), emotionally blackmailed, etc. The role of the woman is quite gray, especially when you consider the "medical professionals" reassuring her with incorrect information, and prior laws acknowledged this problem and found that treating them as victims was far more effective and just than treating them as murderers.

    In the end, only God knows the heart of that woman. Some women are just as bad as the doctor, but I am acknowledging that it is not in the interest of the country (or even the unborn when trying to effectively legislate on their behalf) to pursue that. And that is an injustice we must live with. Lawmakers have historically come to this conclusion based on experience. I'm arguing that experience is the wisest route, because prosecuting women for murder will ultimately result in more injustices than not. Again -- limiting evil when you can't control everything.

    I'll have to dig into your example and ponder the facts. I don't totally trust Think Progress to present the facts well :), so it may take me a little time to ponder it and respond.

  45. I think people view the law as a more black and white entity than it is in reality. The right to life from conception to natural death should be our legal framework -- a moral compass, a fact that cannot be forgotten. But we all know, even if only deep down inside, that some people will still find a way to have an abortion. And we all have to realize that the legal application must work within a complex reality.

  46. Elizabeth, thank you! I love that this discourse is happening. So interesting!

    And CS, self-abortion is illegal. Only the most radical pro-aborts have a problem with that. It's not controversial.

  47. Thank you, Leila! I am over thinking this -- I completely forgot that self-abortion is already illegal. So the simple answer: the handling of self-abortion would not change with pro-life legislation.

    Regardless of the simple answer, I have been digging up info on the Think Progress article, which primarily deals with endangerment laws (different case law), but I do see some murder charges as well. The Georgia law is absurd -- Franklin has been trying to pass it unsuccessfully since 2002, and I can't find a single conservative to even support it. A horrible proposed law that has zero chance of passing is really not relevant to the future climate of America. As far as the other examples, I am actually going to ask some family attorneys to weigh in for me. I want to understand those a little better.

  48. Elizabeth, even with my little comment that I stuck in there, I still think all of what you have said is relevant, and I can't wait to hear more of what you find. Fascinating stuff. And again, it's never a clean and neat thing when the moral law intersects with civil law. I mean, even when we see mothers killing their own (born) children, we often see mitigation and leniency in the application of civil law (depending on the circumstances). Same even with wives who murder their husbands. It doesn't make the killing less objectively immoral.

  49. I suppose I'll attempt to answer your abortion/slavery question, although it's admittedly a very effective comparison. This doesn't represent my actual thinking, because in reality I'm finding it harder and harder to see a difference.

    The difference between white people and black people is superficial. White and black people are nigh-identical physically, are both capable of the same types of thought, and can both clearly communicate their feelings. Thus, claiming they are intrinsically different is quite difficult indeed. Someone who regards slavery as wrong has all the objective facts on their side, and thus can not morally be "personally opposed," while still advocating its legality. In fact, it's an unsubstantiated, faith-based belief to say that whites and blacks are different enough to justify enslaving one or the other.

    On the other hand, an unborn child is physically very different from a born child or an adult. It is less capable of thought and is incapable of voicing an opinion (A slave can say "I don't want to be a slave," but a baby cannot say "I do not want to die"). Because of this, it is considered up for debate as to what rights an unborn child is entitled to, and whether it should be considered exactly the same thing as an older child. If someone who opposes abortion believes that their position is based on faith or opinion, rather than objective fact, than they may claim "personal opposition" without wishing to impose their belief on someone else. Someone who believes their opposition to abortion is fully based on objective fact cannot claim "personal opposition," because they *know* that abortion is wrong and are thus obligated to fight it.

    So I'd say the pro-choice Catholic idea about Church teaching on abortion is that it's just an unprovable tenet of the faith, rather than a logical reflection of objective reality. Because of this, they can't justify imposing their belief on others, as they're not entirely convinced of its truth.

    Also, don't forget that some of our founding fathers were slaveowners. Some of the other ones seemed to have had the idea that, even though slavery was wrong, they couldn't make their opposition to it a big deal, because then the country wouldn't have united. So our era isn't alone in people tolerating things they believe are wrong.

  50. Chris, I think that is an excellent analysis, and you are right about the last part, too.

    But there is one problem that Biden cannot get around. He claims to believe and submit to the Church's position. And the Church's position is that there is no objective difference in the humanity of the unborn vs. the born. They are equally valuable, equally human, equally inviolable, and that is taught as objectively true for all, Catholic or non-Catholic, as a matter of natural law. It is Truth itself. So, there is no way to break that teaching up into spheres (political, personal). There is no compartmentalization allowed. Not in the Church teaching.

    So, Biden either does not believe in Church teaching (and then he is lying by saying that he does) or he is unaware of Church teaching (which seems highly unlikely; see the last paragraph of Nicole's last comment).

    But again, I really appreciate your analysis! Are you really 16? Wow!

  51. CS, regarding the legal situation of abortion past and present, you might find this article helpful:

  52. I think the Biden comment is easily explained. He believes it is wrong a la murder, however the secular law doesn't recognize it as murder. He is not going to attempt the reconcile the two. It isn't any more convoluted than that.

    The same could be said for gay marriage, or really any subject where Catholic teaching and secular law are in conflict.

  53. "So, there is no way to break that teaching up into spheres (political, personal). There is no compartmentalization allowed. Not in the Church teaching."

    If I understand correctly that means a politician cannot truly believe the Catholic teaching unless they try to impose their beliefs on others. Or am I missing something? Can one be a Catholic politician AND not impose their beliefs on abortion on others? I'm neither a politician nor a Catholic but I'm curious as to the answer.

  54. Nicolas - except that Biden's record doesn't jive with that explanation. He's not just a proponent of abortion, but a proponent of abortion on demand without apology.

    If a man who TRULY believes abortion is murder can be an enthusiastic proponent of abortion in the public square, then why on earth should be trust a man who enthusiastically promotes what he believes to be murder?


    Abortion isn't a religious issue. It's a human rights issue. See (for example)

    Do you think it was wrong for abolitionists to impose their beliefs regarding the humanity of black people on others?

  55. First, I am answering a bait question, I am not discussing my own beliefs :-p

    Leila asked what was the difference for a Biden between unborn babies and black people. The answer is that black people do have Constitutional protections and unborn babies do not.

  56. The answer is that black people do have Constitutional protections and unborn babies do not.

    My response to that would be: Black people did not have Constitutional protections in 1865. Jews were not legal persons under the Nuremberg laws in 1930s Germany. Does that mean that those who advocated for the ability to legally kill either a black person or a Jew in those respective time periods were morally correct in doing so?

    If Biden TRULY believed that abortion was murder, he would not in good conscience advocate for murder in the public square. So, either he doesn't believe that abortion really is murder, or he's a man of zero integrity. Or both.

  57. That is not relevant to the question :-p You are certainly entitled to draw that conclusion based upon the evidence you perceive.

    If I had to guess I would say Biden falls into the category of individualist morality - he doesn't do things he believes are wrong, but he won't stop others from doing so feeling that is a matter between the other person and God. But that would only be a guess.

    So, I read Biden's statement as saying "it is a moral evil so I don't condone it, but it is a free country where we haven't outlawed it, so if people want to do it and face the consequences on judgment day, that is their free choice to do so. If I outlaw it, people will still do it anyway, and ultimately it is a matter for God's judgment."

    I am not arguing that is a good position to take, I am merely suggesting that given what we know, it makes sense to infer that is Biden's belief more or less.

  58. Also regarding the question:

    "I personally believe that slavery is wrong, because black people are human beings. However, I will not impose my beliefs on others"?

    That is the EXACT position that Abraham Lincoln took during the beginning of his presidency when his primary goal was preservation of the Union stating "If I could preserve the Union by freeing none of the slaves I would do it; if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union." - Abraham Lincoln

    And even after issuing the Emancipation Proclamation (for strategic and political reasons) he STILL only freed those slaves in States at war with the Union. The rest of the slaves would not be finally freed until much later.

    Clearly, Joe Biden is on the wrong side of history, but he is hoping that he will be remembered more fondly if his vision for America proves sound.

  59. Thanks JoAnna, I believe I understand your position now.

  60. JoAnna, bingo, bingo, bingo!!

    If a man who TRULY believes abortion is murder can be an enthusiastic proponent of abortion in the public square, then why on earth should be trust a man who enthusiastically promotes what he believes to be murder?


    If Biden TRULY believed that abortion was murder, he would not in good conscience advocate for murder in the public square. So, either he doesn't believe that abortion really is murder, or he's a man of zero integrity. Or both.

    That is exactly right!

    Nicholas, you are right that Abraham Lincoln was wrong, but he did not hold the analogous position that Lincoln did. Biden says he accepts and believes that the unborn are humans whose lives are sacred. And yet he aggressively advocates for their right to be unprotected, killed at will. He is happy to do so! Have you seen him when he talks about abortion rights to the abortion crowd? He is a "true believer" in what he himself supposedly considers the murder of innocents!

    It's mind-boggling, and of course, woe to him.

    Too bad the media won't press him on his hypocrisy. Oh, wait, the love abortion on demand, too….But at least most of them pretend not to know (or really disbelieve) that the unborn are human beings. Unlike Biden.

    1. *but Biden did not hold the analogous position that Lincoln did.

  61. The answer is that black people do have Constitutional protections and unborn babies do not.

    I'm glad JoAnna answered this, but maybe I should rephrase the original question, since it was misunderstood:

    A politician in 1860 sits on a stage and tells the populace that he believes and accepts the truth that black people are fully human. He also says he will not vote nor advocate that position in the public square, because it would not be right to "impose" such a view on others. In fact, he votes regularly to keep those human beings unprotected under the law (they currently have no constitutional protections), and advocates VIGOROUSLY for legal slavery, to the point of being a known champion of it, a hero of the slave trade.

    How is this different from Biden's stated position on abortion today?

    I submit there is NO difference at all.

  62. Here's what I don't understand. Why is it totally not legit for Catholic politicians to impose their "pro-life" beliefs onto others (religions, individuals, etc) but it's perfectly fine and accepted for pro-abortion politicians to impose theirs??? I've never understood why one imposition is taboo and the other is celebrated. In other words, Biden can't "impose" his supposed "pro-life" beliefs onto others, but he's perfectly fine leading the free world with a man who imposes his pro-death legislation onto the rest of us. In unprecedented ways.

  63. Nicole, it's a brain twister for sure. As Dennis Prager has said, secularism and leftism is as much a religion as any other, and has fervent, zealous followers who are 'true believers'. They impose all day long and twice on Thursdays.

    I will say it a million times, echoing what David Horowitz (former communist activist) said: Liberals are liberals on two things, sex and drugs. On everything else, they want to control your lives.

    Talk about imposing beliefs!!!

    Good gracious, remember this video?? Still makes me laugh, but when the feds can mandate the food you eat and calorie intake, it's bad:

    1. Motto 1: It is wrong to impose beliefs, unless they are ours. It is good to point out mistakes, unless they are ours. Brought to you by the UGSC (United Group of Superficial Christians) Our motto is: We're so idealistically absurd, we'd like to think we could even fool Jesus. Remember, it's never ever *not about us. Thank you and have a contentious day! ~ Failing to live the Gospel, practicing the letter of the law, not its Spirit and subjection of weaklings since the dark ages. Look us up!

  64. I originally answered both questions in terms of 2012, not comparing 2012 to 1860. Certainly there are differences there.

    We are not arguing whether Joe Biden is right or wrong, we are just arguing semantics. Given that stipulation, the difference is that Biden separates his personal beliefs from laws of the state.

    Slavery is a black and white issue (pun not intended). Abortion is a much more difficult proposition because it intersects with so many other personal freedoms and responsibilities, which many people are unwilling to tackle. So Biden punts on it.

  65. Nubby, understood.

    Dellentie, were you here a few months or a year ago, also slamming Christians for being hypocrites? If not, you sound an awful lot like the other guy, and honestly he never stayed on point, either. You sarcastically said this:

    Motto 1: It is wrong to impose beliefs, unless they are ours. It is good to point out mistakes, unless they are ours.

    As to the second point, you keep refusing to answer whether or not you are a Catholic. My guess is that you are not. We Catholics actually confess our sins at every mass and ask forgiveness, and we also speak our sins (from venial to mortal) to a priest, regularly. Another thing you are not grasping here is that we are debating ideas and principles, not "mistakes" of others. So, straw man.

    As to point number one (which also is a straw man), everyone is allowed to try to "impose their beliefs" in the public square. That is the entire point of the political process! The problem comes when one side is told that they cannot do so, when free speech is squelched, and when the government or the left tells entire groups of good citizens (and yes, Catholics as a group are good citizens) that they may not have a say precisely because they are Catholic (can I have a nickel for everytime I have heard the term "separation of church and state" invoked when we speak out against about policies of gay marriage or abortion, which are not merely religious issues?).

    You are so off point and bring up straw men so often, that I've had at least one commenter advise me privately that you are a troll and not a serious commenter. I'm beginning to think she is right.

    So let's start with one question: Are you Catholic?

  66. I originally answered both questions in terms of 2012, not comparing 2012 to 1860. Certainly there are differences there.

    Nicholas, ?? What politician in 2012 do you know who would sit at a presidential (or any) debate and speak of his support for slavery? Clearly I could not have been talking about today. Obviously I was I was drawing a parallel to another time in the nation (1800s) when certain humans beings' lives were not protected under the Constitution. It was an analogy. If someone says that they truly believe someone is a human being, but then says they are "personally opposed" to laws which protect that human being from being treated as property and killed, the proper response is to be very afraid of that person. And that person would certainly not be fit to hold office.

    We are not arguing whether Joe Biden is right or wrong, we are just arguing semantics. Given that stipulation, the difference is that Biden separates his personal beliefs from laws of the state.

    We are arguing whether or not Biden's position is untenable and lacks any integrity, just as in the case of a politician in the slave analogy. It has nothing at all to do with semantics. I am truly confused?

    Slavery is a black and white issue (pun not intended). Abortion is a much more difficult proposition because it intersects with so many other personal freedoms and responsibilities, which many people are unwilling to tackle. So Biden punts on it.

    Nicholas, abortion is a black and white issue, too, and Biden himself admitted as much. The black and white question: Is an unborn child a human being? He believes (and it's true) that life begins at conception. He admitted it, and put forth NO qualifiers for his own belief. Black and white truth. Either the unborn are human beings or they are not. He knows they are. Black and white. Next, I am 100% sure that the issue of slavery back in the day was "a difficult proposition because it intersects with so many other personal freedoms and responsibilities, which many people are unwilling to tackle." It was a situation fraught with "difficulties" and "considerations" and "complications"!

    Also, Biden did not punt at all. He never punts on abortion, he actively votes and advocates for abortion on demand and without apology, i.e., the killing, by the millions, of those whom he agrees are human beings and whose lives are precious to God.

    That is not a punt, that is an aggressive, in your face, stance in direct opposition to one's own "deeply held" beliefs (which he stated clearly), and it's unconscionable, just as it would be on the slave analogy.

  67. We are not arguing whether Joe Biden is right or wrong, we are just arguing semantics. Given that stipulation, the difference is that Biden separates his personal beliefs from laws of the state.

    Nicholas, let me try a different analogy. A politician who has consistently championed and voted for the right to rape says, "Because of my faith, I am personally opposed to women being raped, but I cannot impose my belief on others who feel differently."

    Would you claim "semantics" there, too?

  68. Just a few unfinished thoughts on the prosecution of women. I am still trying to get to the bottom of the facts, and I have had a brief discussion with a family attorney, but it may be the weekend before I can have an in-depth discussion.

    I am still trying to figure out if women are being charged with murder or chemical endangerment. To the average person, we don't see the difference. But there is a huge difference when it comes to legal issues and precedent. So far, it seems that all these women were involved with illegal drugs. Killing or endangering someone from illegal drug use (or other illegal activity) does not fall under the same case law as abortion, which is very significant. (Again, I realize that there seems to be little difference to the average person, but the attorneys and law students thus far have been exasperated by the comparison -- I keep getting, "Those are two completely different things under the law." ) The precedent of hundreds of years of state abortion law prior to Roe is far more significant to the future of pro-life legislation than charges stemming from death or harm as a result of a separate illegal activity like substance abuse. I know that isn't a perfectly satisfactory explanation right now, so I am still clarifying :).

    Second, states could theoretically decide to prosecute women. We just have good reason to believe that it would not be common practice (or practiced at all) given the hundreds of years of legal "wisdom of experience". I have no doubt that some people will argue for prosecuting women for abortions. It was entertained in the past and would likely be entertained in the future. But the blanket conclusion, after looking at all the facts and history, is that this idea would ultimately fail.

    He also said that we could dig up any number of laws and go back and forth on scare tactics, but it never really addresses the issue -- Should abortion be legal? We can discuss the issue and decide on the issue without deciding on the subsequent laws at the same time. Acknowledging that the unborn have the right to life does not default to the prosecution of women. If we, as a country or state, decide to protect the rights of the unborn, then we can move on to discussing the legal nuances (although it is not bad for us to discuss the likely possibilities, as we are doing here). It is a common misconception that "the right to life" leads to concrete legislation. As we can see from the past, each state had different laws and different ways of handling illegal abortions. The one common thread is that none of them prosecuted women in the past regardless of the specific laws and even if the law allowed them to do so.

    We can have similar concerns about pro-choice legislation. We can draw parallels to China's one-child policy or evolved government intervention, with fear that this will ultimately become U.S. law stemming from advancing legal abortions. While that is a valid topic of discussion, it still avoids the ultimate issue -- Should abortions be legal, apart from concerns over potential prosecution of women or government-coerced abortions?

    Sorry for the super long entry, especially since the conversation is in a completely different place right now :).

  69. I'm not Joe Biden. I gave you an answer to the question you posed. You did not request an answer that would convince you Joe Biden was correct, or I wouldn't have bothered.

    However, as Devil's Advocate, I will soldier on! :-p

    Your rape analog doesn't work because rape (without further clarification) is already expressly illegal. To fit the analogy you would need an immoral, yet legal, form of rape.

    The only one I can think of might have been in less enlightened times where it was considered legally impossible for a man to "rape" his wife. Obviously though doing something like that to your wife would still (I hope) be an evil in the eyes of the Church. So in that case, if my Straw-Biden were to say "Yes, I am totally opposed to men forcing their wives to have sex when they don't want to, maybe even violently, but I refuse to change the law to match my beliefs" I would argue it was a similar case of semantics.

    Murder is a sin. Murder is also illegal. Abortion is not illegal, therefore from the POV of the Criminal Justice system Abortion =/= Murder. But if Biden says "I think it is murder, but since the law does not, I am going to stand by my constituents who want the law to stay out of it" then he would be using the logic I previously described.

    Again, I am not suggesting Biden is correct, you asked what his logic could be. This would be it.

    The logic of a Pro-Choice Catholic would be "I won't commit this sin, but I support the legal rights of other people to commit this sin and will let them answer to God for it."

    I am not saying that is the right thing to do, I am saying those are the excuses people use.

    And let us be fair here... There was only candidate who was actually willing to tackle this head on, and he couldn't even win the Republican Primary running on the Catholic position. There is not a lot of appetite for tackling this topic for a lot of people.

  70. Again, I am not suggesting Biden is correct, you asked what his logic could be. This would be it.

    Okay, now I get why we have not been communicating! I never asked anyone to get in Biden's head. Clearly, he has found a way to justify the unthinkable and live in cognitive dissonance, and that's his issue. I don't want to argue his subjective justifications for his own lack of integrity.

    What I asked is how his position is any different, logically, than someone who said the same thing about slavery.

    It was an objective question, not an attempt to figure out Biden's mixed-up morality.

    How is his position any different from someone who said the same thing about slavery in the 1860s. I think you are saying there is no difference. That is my position. I cannot logically se a difference. If someone can show me a real difference, based on the premise that Biden is a believer in the humanity of the unborn as he claims, then I am all ears.

  71. Your rape analog doesn't work because rape (without further clarification) is already expressly illegal. To fit the analogy you would need an immoral, yet legal, form of rape.

    PS: and no, because even before abortion was legal, pro-"choice" politicians still used the same argument Biden's using now (they just used it to push for abortion "rights" in the law). The point still holds.

  72. Elizabeth, I am so glad you are here!! That is good stuff!

  73. Thanks, Leila :). And thanks for allowing me to write these mini essays in your combox! I would love to see an attorney/judge/law professor write on this topic. Maybe they have and I just haven't stumbled upon it yet.

  74. A timely article:

    Why is Mr. Biden completely comfortable with policies that “impose on others” what he understands as Catholic “social doctrine”? He will use the government to forcefully take people’s money away and impose whatever policies he thinks Catholic social doctrine favors. Why, then, will he not impose on others his church’s definition of the worth of human life from conception?

    There are three possible answers. One is that he doesn’t really believe in his church’s position on abortion. A second is that he does believe in it, but would have to leave the Democratic party if he tried to implement that policy. The third is that he believes that the Church’s views on abortion pertain only to Catholics — and even then, only on a “personal” basis.

    If we are to take him at his word, that latter is what he believes: that his church’s view on abortion applies only to him personally: “Life begins at conception. That’s the Church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life.” But if that is his opinion, his religiosity is not morally meaningful. If an act is moral or immoral only for him, then it is not moral or immoral. Either something is immoral for everyone (in the same circumstance) or it is not immoral.

    Which is why the Church’s teaching is that abortion is morally wrong for everyone, just as neglecting the needy is morally wrong for everyone.

    But Joe Biden would never say that the Catholic Church’s social doctrine is only valid “in my personal life.”

  75. Oh my gosh, JoAnna, thank you! Dennis Prager is brilliant again. I especially love this part:

    Let’s analyze [Biden's] response.

    1. “My religion defines who I am.”

    If a conservative Evangelical Christian candidate for national office said that he defined himself by his religious beliefs, liberals would be screaming that the wall between church and state was in danger of being taken down.

    Bwahahahaha! Isn't that the truth!!

    Anway, I adore how he took every word of the statement and tore it apart, piece by piece.

  76. If you (royal you) murder one of His children, even if it's a chemical murder ("taking a pill" into your body to get the job done), I assure you, you will ultimately be culpable no matter what man's law says.

    Leila--do you think any woman who takes the pill will go to hell?

    Also, what is the difference between being "a proponent of abortion" and being "a proponent of abortion on demand without apology." (per JoAnna)? Thanks.

  77. Johanne, no, I don't think every woman that takes the Pill will go to hell. I believe most women have no idea that contraception is immoral (I took the Pill for years). I also don't think most women don't realize that the Pill is an abortifacient. I can't judge anyone's level of culpability.

    But we were specifically talking about a chemical abortion. CS was talking about deliberately taking a chemical, a pill (or pills) like RU-486 (ironic name, no?). That is simply a chemical alternative to a surgical abortion. If a woman goes in with full intent to kill her unborn child, then of course she will be culpable for that act. If she truly does not believe the unborn child is a human being (meaning she truly cannot see, not that she refused to see), then her sin can be mitigated. Also, if she goes in under duress, pressure from others, etc., then there is a possibility she is not acting with full consent of her will. There are mitigating factors for her subjective culpability. But yes, anyone who kills an innocent will be ultimately culpable before God. Whether the culpability rises to the level (or depths) of damnation is not for me to say. That is God's domain. But we know that it is an evil act to kill an innocent. That we may and must judge.

    Abortion without apology is the position of the Democrat Party, and Biden, of course. They took out the "rare" part of the "safe, legal, rare" on their abortion stance. When one is happy to advocate for a woman's right to abort, and when one spends his political career in happy collaboration with the nation's abortion lobby and providers (who generously fund one's campaigns), then one is a proponent of abortion on demand without apology. I know there are folks who are reluctantly in favor of keeping abortion legal even as they hate it and would never make it a rallying point. But that is not Biden.


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