Posts Tagged ‘human value’

Archbishop Rips Moral Idiocy Of Obama’s Abortion Democrats

October 21, 2008

Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput had a lot to say about Democrats and abortion:

DENVER (AP) – Denver Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput labeled Barack Obama the “most committed” abortion-rights candidate from a major party in 35 years while accusing a Catholic Obama ally and other Democratic-friendly Catholic groups of doing a “disservice to the church.” ….

Chaput, without getting into much detail, called Obama the “most committed” abortion-rights major-party presidential candidate since the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion in 1973.

“To suggest – as some Catholics do – that Senator Obama is this year’s ‘real’ pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse,” Chaput said according to his prepared remarks, titled “Little Murders.” ….

The Obama campaign has been promoting an unusual-suspect sort of endorsement from Douglas Kmiec, a Catholic law professor and former legal counsel in the Reagan administration.

Kmiec wrote a book making a Catholic case for Obama. He argues the Obama campaign is premised on Catholic social teaching like care for working families and the poor and foreign policy premised on peace over war. Democratic efforts to tackle social and economic factors that contribute to abortion hold more promise, Kmiec said, than Republican efforts to criminalize it.

While applauding Kmiec’s past record, Chaput said: “I think his activism for Senator Barack Obama, and the work of Democratic-friendly groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, have done a disservice to the church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn.”

Pro-Obama Catholics “seek to contextualize, demote and then counterbalance the evil of abortion with other important but less foundational social issues,” said Chaput, who wrote a book this year, “Render Unto Caesar,” about Catholics and politics.

I have heard many people say that world hunger, global poverty, and other social welfare issues should be primary, and that abortion is of relatively minor significance in comparison.  It doesn’t work that way.

First of all, a fetus is a human being, every bit as much as you are or I am.  According to the most rigorous scientific categorizing of all things – taxonomy – a human fetus is of the Kingdom Animalia, of the Phylum Chordata, of the Class Mammalia, of the Order Primates, of the Family Hominidae, of the Genus Homo, and of the Species Sapiens.  From the moment of conception, that is how a human being is classified.  And nothing else in existence is so classified.  As a matter of funamental reality, you who are reading this are no more or less human than a human zygote.  An unborn human being is human by virtue of its parents, and a being by virtue of the fact that it is a living, growing, developing thing: it is a human being.

Either human beings are fundamentally, intrinsically, and incommensurably valuable as human beings in and of themselves or they are not.  If they are not, and a woman can subjectively choose to terminate her pregnancy – and kill her child – then human beings have only subjective value.  Human beings in this sense would be little different from a pet dog: my dog has a great deal of value to me, but not much to anyone else.  One woman loves and cherishes the baby growing in her womb; another despises it and wants it dead.  Neither is any more “right” or “wrong” than the other.

The baby who emerges from its mother’s womb in the delivery womb would be the kind of thing that could have been killed only moments before.  And as that child grows into adulthood, it is always the kind of thing that could have been terminated without moral consequences.

I remember seeing a bumper sticker on a car that read, “Pro Child, Pro Choice.”  If you can be pro-child while strongly supporting abortion, then why can’t you be “Pro Jew, Pro Holocaust”?  We have in the United States aborted nearly 50,000,000 innocent human beings for the simple reason that they were unwanted.  And the view that one can care about children so much that one supports that babies’ death because it isn’t wanted by its mother has rather terrifying implications about other “unwanted” people.

That’s not a real strong position from which to argue about social and economic justice.  The desperately poor, starving child in Africa?  Does he or she have rights?  Does he or she matter?

Is a newborn baby a precious human being, or is it merely an abortion that didn’t happen?

If his or her value is merely a matter of subjective determination, then the answer may be yes or or it may be no, depending on how you personally feel about the baby in question.  If, on the other hand, his or her value is a matter of objective ontological status as a human being, then the answer is an unqualified YES.  And if you don’t care about that baby, then the issue isn’t about that baby’s humanity, but about your appalling lack of human decency and compassion.

Why should a woman’s decision to have her child or to kill it alter the reality of that child’s value?  Who is she to decide, “This child is valuable,” or “This child is worthless”?  “Oh, she had her child, so therefore it matters, and I should care” is a bizarre thought to hold at the same time as “Oh, she aborted her child, so therefore it didn’t matter, and I shouldn’t care.”

That’s the archbishop’s point.  If you’re not pro-life, nothing else really matters.  It’s such a bunch of subjective posturing once you have abandoned the fundamental dignity of human life.  We’re just meat puppets, then.  We’re just primates who are somewhat more “evolved” than the very animals we eat for food or allow to live as pets.  We’ve killed untold millions of such primates in wars, and untold millions more have died of neglect.  What does one more – or one million or one billion more – matter?

Please watch this video: