Monday, October 25, 2004

The Good Samaritan

Something Archbishop Burke wrote about in his recent pastoral letter and spoke about in an interview with Inside the Vatican, reminded me of a thought that has been tugging at me. It concerns the parable of the Good Samaritan. As I have mediated on this parable I have come to see it in a different light then probably most would or have.

Many Kerry Catholics advocate the idea that we should focus on the abortion "demand-side" theory. To sum up their thinking they believe it would be better to create economic and social conditions which would "allow" women to decide not to have abortions. To a certain extent, I agree with this idea. Yet, these same Catholics for some reason do not see the immediate need to affect the "supply-side" of abortion by outlawing or even restricting it. So as we work to create conditions in which most, but probably not all, women choose not to abort their unborn babies, we ignore the unjust laws which allow the killing to continue.

Maybe you see where the Good Samaritan parable comes to mind with me. What did the priest and Levite think when the saw the man laying naked on the side of the road? St Luke does not say, but could they have thought someone else will help? Maybe they thought 'I must do what I can to make these roads safer from robbers in the future'. And maybe they did, but that man needed help then and there. And innocent children in the womb need help right now. We should work to outlaw the horrible "procedure" of partial-birth abortion and not hope that as the unemployment rate declines so will abortions. We should allow parents to be notified if their daughters wish to have an abortion and not be dependant on the unproven idea that governmental social programs will "help" women decide not to have abortion. We need to stop and heed our Lord's command and do like the Good Samaritan and not just keep walking thinking we can better help in another way:

"And going up to him, bound up his wounds, pouring oil and wine: and setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him." Lk 10:34

We must no longer allow abortionists to brutally tear unborn children from their mothers’ wombs. We must not allow unjust laws to place an whole category of human beings in some lesser class, unprotected as others in our history were. My prayer is that Catholics act as the Good Samaritan did. I know most Kerry Catholics wish and pray for an end to abortion. Our disagreement is in how best to help. My conscience tells me Senator Kerry is not the right leader for this effort. As I see it, President Bush, like so many of us, is like the Good Samaritan.

I hope and pray more Catholics see it the same way.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

here is the substance of the bush v kerry abortion question for me:

some argue that abortion is sufficiently abhorent (and that bush is in a unique place to turn the tide) to warrant a 1-issue vote this election. there are others who argue that issues re: the iraq war, the environment, the discrepency of wealth, etc.. are of enough concern to NOT make this a 1-issue election vis a vis abortion.

that said, here is the question a large, diverse group of us have been asking in a loooong email debate:

lets grant the assumption that abortion is THE issue (ie, the hidden holocaust) of 2004. convince us in specific terms that a bush victory will significantly reduce the amount of abortions and create a 'culture of life'. here are the issues we'd like you to address:

1. bush is too polarizing a figure to make it happen... he can't (or wont) use bipartisan statesmanship to move the country towards a 'culture of life'. ie, he alienates the exact communities he needs to move the country towards said 'culture of life'.

2. the news today puts this at the forefront... the chief justice has thyroid cancer. I'm certain he'll be retiring. how will bush get a pro-life justice appointed?

3. why did bush balk at the question in the debates about a litmus test for judges? clearly he has a pro-life litmus test, no? why wouldn't he admit it?

4. if he does get prolife judge(s) appointed... what scenarios do you see taking place to put roe v wade on the dock, with a verdict that alters the constitution on this matter?

5. if the court reverses roe v wade, the issue is kicked back to the states, right? is so, will this ignite a nationwide war state to state on the issue?

we're looking for specific answers. i guess those that only political operatives could give? its just that the issue is important enough to move it past rhetoric any symbols into specific real world political machinations.

thoughts?

)( seraphim in seattle.

+s

10:57 PM  
Blogger Oswald said...

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7:42 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Legal speculation aside, let's also consider how President Bush is already helping to fight abortion. He reinstated the Mexico City policy, denying federal funding to NGO's that promote or practice abortion as a form of population control. (Kerry promises to revoke it as his first act in office).

Crisis pregnancy centers -- those who are on the front lines providing assistance to pregnant mothers and alternatives to abortion -- are also benefiting financially from the Bush administration. Liberals are furious about Bush's funding of crisis pregnancy centers, and Kerry -- with his 100% allegiance to NARAL -- will presumably follow their wish to revoke any financial support of CPC's once in office.

It's more than the Supreme Court.

7:48 AM  
Blogger David said...

I'm not a political operative, but I'll give you my two-cents worth on these questions:

>>>1. bush is too polarizing a figure to make it happen... he can't (or wont) use bipartisan statesmanship to move the country towards a ''culture of life''. i.e., he alienates the exact communities he needs to move the country towards said ''culture of life''.

I think the nation is very divided, but I do not believe it is the president's fault. His record of working with Democrats while governor of Texas suggests he is more than ready and willing to work with Democrats. In fact, he worked with Democrats to get NCLB passed as well as much of his tax cut legislation, the HSA and the Patriot Act. I believe he is willing and actually is moving the country towards a "culture of life". He could force pro-life judges on the Senate promising to not sign other legislation until that happened. If the Senate balked he could recess appoint pro-lifers. He doesn't though. Why? I believe because he knows he would lose some of these battles and possibly other more winnable battles (think the likes of the PBA ban, more money for abstinence, parental notification, etc.) And though the president plays a large role in advancing a "culture of life" it is not solely on him to pull together those "communities" needed to make this happen. Our bishops and priests have a role too. And legislators have a role and responsibility too. Would you not agree Senators Kennedy and Durbin and Governors Pataki and Schwarzenegger have a responsibility to help advance the "culture of life" too? It is not just the president.

>>>2. the news today puts this at the forefront... the chief justice has thyroid cancer. I'm certain he'll be retiring. how will bush get a pro-life justice appointed?

Just like President Reagan got Justice Scalia appointed and President Bush got Justice Thomas appointed: With much effort and persuasion. Sure, the nation is much different than it was during those confirmations, but the President knows he will have to play some cards he has not played yet. And the Senate Republicans will have to as well. Serious Catholics expect no less. There are elections in 2006 and 2008 right? Catholics vote right?

>>>3. why did bush balk at the question in the debates about a litmus test for judges? clearly he has a pro-life litmus test, no? why wouldn't he admit it?

The president's comments about appointing only judges and justices who will interpret the Constitution and not legislate from the bench shows that his judges/justices would likely not have found or will uphold the Constitutional "right" to abortion. Look at some of his federal judge appointees (e.g. Judge Bill Pryor, Justice Janice Brown) and you see men and women who would not create new Constitutional rights. He also has pointed to Justices Thomas and Scalia as the type of justices he would appoint.

>>>4. if he does get pro-life judge(s) appointed... what scenarios do you see taking place to put roe v wade on the dock, with a verdict that alters the constitution on this matter?

I could see the PBA ban which lower federal courts have overturned being brought to the SCOTUS. There are likely to be other state laws challenged and brought to the SCOTUS. How would it happen exactly? Not sure, but rest assured it will happen.

>>>5. if the court reverses roe v wade, the issue is kicked back to the states, right? is so, will this ignite a nationwide war state to state on the issue?

There already is a nationwide war! Yes, the war will not have been won yet, but the state battles will be one step closer to winning. A leading pro-abortion law firm believes abortion could be quickly outlawed in 30 states if Roe was overturned. Besides overturning Roe, the hope would be that the SCOTUS would move and rule in a way that would uphold and protect the rights of unborn children. This ultimate battle could be fought in the courts and decided at the SCOTUS.

Bottom line: Though some do not think the president can do much in another four years, it is being shown that is likely he can and will. He has done much already. Senator Kerry would do much to reverse the advancement of the "culture of life". President Bush will do his part to help keep us on track.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the discussion I love to see us Catholics having, rather than some that I have seen in the past that were not thought provoking and contained a lot of name calling. Thank you so much for the wonderful questions and the equally wonderful answers. This is just one of the things that makes me proud to be a Catholic. I realize that many people are unaware of the many accomplishments of President Bush for our pro life movement, but the National Right to Life has President Bush's record on it's web site and it has John Kerrys too. It really is clear as a bell. Here is the site for you to go to:http://www.nrlc.org/

At first I was disappointed in President Bush not being more vocal about overturning Roe, but he was right when he said that the real key was the Judges that are appointed to the Supreme Court. Let's all keep in mind the fillabuster. Unprecedented in our history, just to keep pro life judges off the bench. We do need a few more Republicans to accomplish our goals or some pro life Democrats which there are some. We can do this now, in our history. I believe we have a responsibility to try. God Bless you all!!

8:57 PM  

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