Sep 4, 2007

"You can't be truly pro-life unless..."

Liberal Catholics like to tell pro-lifers, "Oh, you're not truly pro-life unless you are against the death penalty and for a host of our liberal issues."

So when any liberal Catholics tell you that, be sure to reply, "You can't be truly pro-life unless you are against aborting babies and you do something about it."

Most liberal Catholics want the "not truly pro-life unless" equation to work only one way, in their favor. They would rather drop dead than associate with real pro-lifers to fight abortion and save babies.

Some California pro-lifers say to liberals, "Okay, we'll be happy to fight the death penalty, which kills less than one person a year in this state, if you will fight abortion, which kills hundreds of thousands of babies here every year. What are your priorities, and where should they be?"


Anonymous Liam said...

Every Catholic—indeed, everone who believes that every human life and every human being is sacred—should say that the sanctity of human life is a non-negotiable issue and I WILL NOT VOTE for any politician who supports abortion (no matter what euphemism is used, e.g. "pro-choice") any more than I would vote for any politician who is racist or anti-semitic. If we all did so, the sanctity of human life would no longer be debatable.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Liam,

Well said, indeed! Thank you for writing. Hope you'll communicate these sentiments of yours to everyone you know in the hierarchy, clergy, religious life and laity.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Pete said...

while one cannot vote for someone BECAUSE that candidate supports abortion, you can vote for a pro-abortion candidate for other reasons.
A prime example here is the last presidential election. I don't think there was any moral obligation to vote for Bush because of his 'pro-lificity.'
my point is that abortion is a serious issue for the voter, but one needs to consider whether the pro-life politician will be able to have an effect on abortions in his district, and if he/she is competent at governing/legislating his/her district.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Pete,

If a pro-lifer is running, you cannot vote for a pro-abort.

If you can't stomach voting for a pro-lifer, you can just not cast any vote for that office, or you can write in someone else.

But if you can't stomach voting for a pro-lifer, how can you stomach voting for a politician who facilitates aborting babies?

The war in Iraq and Afghanistan has killed many people, but the baby death toll from just one year of abortions dwarfs that figure.

If no pro-lifer is running, only pro-aborts, that MIGHT be a different story. But in that case you would still NEVER catch me voting for any pro-abort.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Liam said...

Dear Pete,
I disagree. Would you vote for someone who says that blacks are inferior to whites, or would you dismiss that candidate out of hand as simply a bad candidate? Would you vote for someone who holds that women should never have been given the vote or would you dismiss that candidate as misogynistic and not worthy of your consideration? Would you support someone who said we should start using nuclear weapons to promote our foreign policy aims or would you disqualify that candidate as a war-mongering nut? We have many issues which force us to say that a candidate is bad, no matter what other qualities that candidate may possess. Abortion is (or should be for Catholics) one of those issues.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Pete,

Ask yourself what kind of mind and what kind of soul a politician has who supports the MASS MURDERS of MILLIONS of little INFANTS.

Do you really want such a cruel, conscienceless, heartless monster to represent you? (I use those descriptive terms advisedly.)

The Popes say abortion is THE issue -- is above all others. Its victims are totally innocent, it deprives them of Baptism and it directly attacks God's creation.

Abortion is NOT "just one issue."

Vatican II called abortion "an unspeakable crime," although the "spirit of Vatican II" types ignore that Vatican II statement.

Vatican II used the word "crime" there to mean an attack on the whole social order.

The U.S. bishops say that a politician's support for abortion invalidates any "good" votes of his on other matters.

Go to for lots of info on what our Church teaches about abortion and voting.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous pete said...

I appreciate the feedback, and thanks. I'm just not sure I understand all of the points here.Can someone clarify these points for me, though, please?

1)Where does the Magisterium (Vatican/USCCB) say you must vote for the more pro-life. In fact, last election I recall that the USCCB specifically avoided saying it.

2)Help me with this hypothetical vote: Candidate A: votes pro-life, is somewhat racist, and says he will start an (unjust) war if elected; he will not oppose gay marriage/adoption, as it would be political suicide (his child is gay).Candidate (B): supports abortion, is not racist, and will avoid war. He does not support gay marriage. Furthermore, neither candidate is predicted to influence the actual number of abortions performed.

3)Do you see what I mean? Now, specific candidates might not fit this profile. But should "the more pro-life candidate" ipso facto receive our vote, or do we need to consider these other factors from the point of view of political jurisprudence?

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Liam said...

Dear Pete,
Thank God, your hypothetical example rarely if ever occurs...our politicians almost never have that kind of crossover.

But in a realistic situation, I would rule out the pro-abort in every case and if the anti-abortion candidate is not completely pro-life (say, he supports the war in Iraq, or he supports using capital puishment), I'd vote for him because war and capital punishment can sometimes be morally justified whereas abortion never can be.

I appreciate your dilemma, Pete. But 4,000 innocent human beings slaughtered every day has to take precedence as far as I am concerned.

And, as Quintero notes, if both major party candidates are unacceptable, there are always minor party candidates the write-in opton.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Hillary's Fat Legs said...

The bishops can't say, "Vote for the anti-abortion candidate and don't vote for the pro-abortion candidate," because, in reality, that would have been tantamount to saying, "Vote for Bush and don't vote for Kerry." That kind of partisan politicking is forbidden to tax exempt religious organizations.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous pete said...

or maybe the USCCB hasn't said anything, nor the Vatican, because that isn't the teaching of the Church?

The person I described isn't very far fetched, actually. I was basically describing Dick Cheney, with a few dramatizations.

My point is that even if you would still vote for Dick, I wouldn't, and the Church doesn't say anything contrary, so long as we are following our well informed consciences.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Pete,

Thank you for writing back.

Here is an excerpt from Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted's 2006 article "Catholics in the Public Square":

"• Are all political and social issues equal when it comes to choosing a political candidate?

Absolutely not! The Catholic Church is actively engaged in a wide variety of important public policy issues including immigration, education, affordable housing, health and welfare, to name just a few. On each of these issues we should do our best to be informed and to support those proposed solutions that seem most likely to be effective. However, when it comes to direct attacks on innocent human life, being right on all the other issues can never justify a wrong choice on this most serious matter.

As Pope John Paul II has written, " Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights - for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture - is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with the maximum determination ." (Christifideles Laici , 38)

• Are there any “non-negotiable” issues for Catholics involved in politics?

There are several issues that are “not negotiable” for Catholics in political life, because they involve matters that are intrinsically evil. In an address to European politicians on March 30, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI stated: “ As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge clearly today:

• Protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;

• Recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family – as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage – and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;

• The protection of the rights of parents to educate their children.”

May I (Quintero) re-emphasize what Bishop Olmsted wrote above -- we should never forget the words he quoted from Pope John Paul II:

" Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights - for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture - is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with the maximum determination ." (Christifideles Laici , 38)

This is why Bishop Olmsted then wrote, "However, when it comes to direct attacks on innocent human life, being right on all the other issues can never justify a wrong choice on this most serious matter."

You can find more statements from individual bishops, from the US bishops and from the Popes and Vatican offices at:

10:17 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Pete,

Just to add: Not everyone understands that we can never have a well-informed conscience until we thoroughly investigate to find out what the Church teaches.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Pete,

Here is another resource for what our Church teaches about voting (sorry it's not clickable here):

3:19 PM  

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