Faithful Catholics will NOT vote for Obama, unless they are deceived or confused.
Pepperdine Professor Douglas W. Kmiec is the author of "Can a Catholic Support Him?--Asking the Big Question About Barack Obama" and former constitutional legal counsel to President Ronald Reagan.
Sadly, Professor Kmiec’s current political cause is supporting the presidential candidacy of Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. and convincing gullible Catholics that voting for Obama is sensible instead of sinful.
Like the late President Nixon’s faithful secretary, Rosemary Woods, trying to explain how she could have accidentally erased a substantial part of a critical Watergate tape, Kmiec gives his task his best effort but his explanation fails to pass the laugh test with knowledgeable Catholics.
On September 9, 2008, the Chicago Tribune published a Kmiec article titled “How Catholics can oppose abortion, back Obama.”
Therein, Kmiec confessed that he had earned “some political paddling” for endorsing Obama, but contended that it is “unfair” for “Republican partisans…to close the door on Obama in the name of the Catholic faith.”
In fact, Obama himself made himself an unfit presidential choice for a faithful Catholic by denying the God-given right to life of unborn babies and Obama's problem is with fundamental Catholic teaching, not "Republican partisans."
Unsurprisingly, Kmiec took a strictly legalistic approach in stating a sound proposition: “Obama does not advocate the reversal of Roe vs. Wade, and orthodox Catholics do” because (as Francis Cardinal George put it) "one cannot favor the legal status quo on abortion and also be working for the common good."
Then Kmiec presented the kind of argument that has given lawyers a bad name: “Obama believes there are alternative ways to promote the ‘culture of life,’ even given the law's sanction of abortion,” and therefore it is “wrong…for Republican partisans to claim that Obama “cannot favor the legal status quo on abortion and also be working for the common good."
Obama apparently has convinced Kmiec (or Kmiec has convinced himself) that “[t]he central hope of the Obama campaign is to find common ground--not by ‘favoring’ that which can never be acceptable, the taking of innocent unborn life, but by dealing with the legal reality in a way that at least reduces the likelihood of abortion.”
Alas, Kmiec appears to have become deluded as a result of drinking the Obama Kool-Aid.
Kmiec: “Unlike Obama, I regret to say the current Republican Party thrives on demonizing its opposition to win elections. Without ideas, there is only name-calling. That's too bad because additional avenues for strengthening a culture of life open up when we avoid demonizing those who disagree with our Catholic view that life begins at conception. Talking strongly pro-life, Republicans often do little, promising that some judge not yet appointed is the answer or advocating leaving it all up to the states to decide, seldom acknowledging that many, perhaps most, states would end embedding the ‘legal status’ of abortion--exactly contrary to [Cardinal George’s] thoughtful instruction.”
Kmiec bashes pro-life Republicans instead of pro-abortion Democrats, blames pro-life Republicans for not having done more than they legally could do as a result of pro-abortion political opposition to overturn Roe v. Wade, ignores Obama’s extreme view that Fourteenth Amendment protection should not be afforded to babies born alive as a result of botched abortions, portrays Obama as sympathetic to the unborn and appears to be oblivious to the fact that a President Obama would reverse the Reagan/Bush policy of promoting life across the world.
“Obama seeks to extend a helping hand (increased funding for prenatal care, maternity leave and less cumbersome and expensive adoption) with an astute understanding of how closely economic circumstances and abortion are related. Both reasonable extrapolations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics and a recent Catholic in Alliance for the Common Good study find that improving the economic well-being of the average family in general, and of the women facing the abortion decision in particular, can save unborn lives.
”From 1979 to 1990, during a difficult inflationary economy, the annual rate of abortion increased by 14.2 percent, resulting in an additional 740,000 abortions. In the more economically stable decade following, the annual rate decreased by 34 percent, meaning that approximately 2.3 million children who would have been aborted are alive today.”
First, Obama was caught on tape at a private San Francisco fundraiser claiming that rural Americans “cling” to “religion” (and guns) out of “bitterness” about their economic circumstances.
Now the abortion rate is explained simply as a function of economic circumstances.
Karl Marx would be proud.
Kmiec continued with Obama talking points instead of Catholic teaching:
“The pretense that the GOP is now an agent for change for what it, itself, instituted is far too Orwellian to be accepted. The Obama-Biden team says to the average working person in America: Your work matters, and it will be compensated at a family wage; your retirement will be safeguarded from corporate fraud and manipulation--be it by cooking the books a la Enron Corp. or the legal abuses of a shadow banking system that by profligate lending practice has precipitated massive government bailouts and the takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
”Sen. John McCain is an honorable man caught between a failed presidency and the tired ideas of his party that only invite repetition of that failure. There's no reason that failure should be extended in a way that blocks the greater protection of unborn life.”Kmiec may have deluded himself into believing that Obama’s election will somehow reduce the abortion rate, but his article offers nothing but his personal assurance that it is fitting for faithful Catholics to vote for Obama.
In fact, it is not.
Catholic voters need to reflect on what the esteemed Bishop Emeritus Rene Henry Gracida wrote in 2004 to help them understand what is and is not sinful when it comes to voting.
“When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons strictly defined.“Since abortion and euthanasia have been defined by the Church as the most serious sins prevalent in our society, what kind of reasons could possibly be considered proportionate enough to justify a Catholic voting for a candidate who is known to be pro-abortion? None of the reasons commonly suggested could even begin to be proportionate enough to justify a Catholic voting for such a candidate. Reasons such as the candidate’s position on war, or taxes, or the death penalty, or immigration, or a national health plan, or social security, or aids, or homosexuality, or marriage, or any similar burning societal issues of our time are simply lacking in proportionality.
“There is only one thing that could be considered proportionate enough to justify a Catholic voting for a candidate who is known to be pro-abortion, and that is the protection of innocent human life. That may seem to be contradictory, but it is not.
“Consider the case of a Catholic voter who must choose between three candidates: candidate (A, Kerry) who is completely for abortion-on-demand, candidate (B, Bush) who is in favor of very limited abortion, i.e., in favor of greatly restricting abortion and candidate (C, Peroutka), a candidate who is completely against abortion but who is universally recognized as being unelectable. The Catholic voter cannot vote for candidate (A, Kerry) because that would be formal cooperation in the sin of abortion if that candidate were to be elected and assist in passing legislation, which would remove restrictions on, abortion-on-demand. The Catholic can vote for candidate (C, Peroutka) but that will probably only help ensure the election of candidate (A, Kerry). Therefore the Catholic voter has a proportionate reason to vote for candidate (B, Bush) since his vote may help to ensure the defeat of candidate (A, Kerry) and may result in the saving of some innocent human lives if candidate (B, Bush) is elected and introduces legislation restricting abortion-on-demand. In such a case, the Catholic voter would have chosen the lesser of two evils, which is morally permissible under these circumstances.”
Faithful Catholics will NOT vote for Obama, unless they are deceived or confused.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.