Tuesday, August 27, 2002

I posted this comment to this post from Amy Weborn's site about the Catholic pro-choice candidate for governor of Michigan:

I've read a lot about this, and so far I have not read a compelling argument for why it is incosistent to be pro-choice and Catholic. All I've seen from pro-life Catholics (and I include myself in that) is sarcasm and "will you look at that!" type posts. Indeed, I would say that archdiocese's statement is a much more proper response than all this cackling.

It would be nice if someone could take a break from throwing rocks at Ortman and Granholm to explain why Granholm is wrong, and all faithful Catholics must support a ban on abortions.

I am not saying no such arguments exist. I probably should make them myself. For example, we Catholics see abortion as killing, and the state's approval of killing is a tacit societal approval of the process. Furthermore, legalized abortion supports a culture of death that sees human life as disposable.

But it strikes me that if one were an extreme libertarian (which I don't think is incomatible with Catholicism), believing that the state should have very little involvement in people's lives, then it's possible that this person could consistently be both pro-choice and a failthful Catholic.

Granted, most pro-choice Catholics are liberals who believe the state's power should be used to accomplish social justice goals, so we're not usually talking about principled libertarians. But I'd still like to see a convincing argument.

Let me be clear -- I am utterly aginst abortion, and I think Roe vs. Wade is about the worst decision in history. I believe all Catholics are called to prevent abortions, and work to end it.

What I'm struggling with is seeing why that must include favoring making abortion illegal. In fact, sometimes I think that if abortion were banned tomorrow, there would be a tremendous backlash that would lead to more abortions in the long run.

I'm not seeing many answers to my struggle, just sarcasm and name-calling. I'm not trolling for flames; I'm sincerely looking for answers. I hope someone can help me out.

For example, if someone could point me to a rebuttal of Rev. Ortman's letter, I'd like to see it. If I don't; I may attempt one myself.

This brings me back to one of the themes of my blog. We need to answer dissent with more assent, not by directing scorn and sarcasm at the dissenters. I really would love to see an detailed rebuttal of Ortman's letter -- it would help me and better equip me to argue the pro-life point of view.

But pointing fingers doesn't accomplish this. All it does is further separate us. There's the "good" Catholics who agree with me, and the "bad" Catholics who don't. But if we really think the "bad" Catholics are straying from the path, wouldn't it be better to try to instruct them on how they're going wrong rather than point at them and laugh at them as they continue to get lost?

We're all connected here. Let's help each other out and point us in the right direction when one of us is going wrong. I know I'll appreciate it when I inevitably start moving away from God.
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