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Political Parties and Skull Cracking

Whether it’s an election year or not, I see to it that Priests for Life echoes loud and clear the duty of citizens to inform themselves about where the candidates stand on the issues. This evaluation starts, of course, with where they stand on violence against human beings, because if public servants cannot tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public, they don’t belong in public office. 

What if a candidate supported terrorism? Would citizens say, “Well, I disagree with you on terrorism,  but what’s your health care plan? Maybe we can work together on some social programs. After all, terrorism isn’t the only issue.”

The parallel, of course, is abortion. “Typically, the skull is brought out in fragments rather than as a unified piece” (Baby-killer Martin Haskell, in 1999 Court testimony in Wisconsin, regarding legal abortion). How can anyone make the case that this skull-cracking, which is still legal, is less violent than terrorism? How can anyone make the case that we can tolerate it while we work with the candidate on “social” programs? The heart of what is “social” is that it respects the other person – and that means not cracking their skull. We fight terrorism, and rightly so. But when we allow abortion at the same time, the evil we fight becomes merely a reflection of the evil we do.

And it’s not only the position of the candidates that matters. It’s also the position of the political party to which the candidate belongs. Elections bring not only candidates, but parties into power. How can the position of those parties on key issues not matter as we evaluate whom we will support?

Many will support a particular party because it’s a family tradition (or a Church tradition?), or because they are in bed with leaders in that party who support their social programs in exchange for their silence on baby-killing. That’s often the reason for the perplexing spinelessness often observed among Church leaders on the abortion issue.

In an interview conducted by Gianni Cardinale and published in October of 2008, now Cardinal Raymond Burke observed, “At this point, the Democratic Party risks transforming itself definitively into a ‘party of death’ due to its choices on bioethical issues.”

Not only is this an accurate observation, but it’s perfectly legitimate to say, even in Church. I know, because Priests for Life passed IRS scrutiny on these points. After all, it is a spiritual work of mercy to “instruct the ignorant.” That’s why at Priests for Life we have information both about candidates and political parties, and how to evaluate them. See www.priestsforlife.org/candidates

When I preach – and help other priests to preach – the clear message that candidates and parties must defend life, some – including clergy – complain to me that my message hurts their favorite candidate or party. My response? “Go tell your favorite candidate or party to get the babies’ blood off their hands and clean up their act regarding defending life. Then my words won’t hurt them anymore.”


(This update courtesy of the Priests for Life newsletter. You may contact Priests for Life at PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314; call 1-888-PFL-3448 or 718-980-4400; fax 718-980-6515; mail@priestsforlife.org; www.priestsforlife.org.)
  • Theodore Kobernick

    Thank you, Fr. Frank.
    Bemoaning abortion has proven ineffective. We must attack this evil through a focused, determined political program.
    You appear to be a single-issue political participant. Good, that is what we must all become in order to succeed with ANY political issue. Here is why. The more issues we insist upon, the more we divide ourselves. ONLY by making ABORTION our single criterion for our votes, will we progress against this evil.
    I do have to disagree with the position that we should vote only for Republicans, because of the Republican platform. Oodles of politicians SAY one thing and DO another. We need to vote them in, or vote them out, solely on their RECORD regarding abortion.
    Allow me to present one purely pragmatic argument for making abortion THE issue. In general, the issue which today is most important to a majority of Americans is not abortion: it is the economy. Unfortunately, it has proven pointless for us to elect candidates based on their position regarding the economy. We voted out the Republicans because their policies were destroying our economy. In came the Democrats. They continued the ruinous policies, even to the extent of retaining the very same individuals to run/ruin the economy. There are powerful influences running the economy. The giant “too big to fail” banking houses will continue to determine economic policies, and to get laws passed which serve their purposes: laws which most citizens cannot even understand.
    As an issue, abortion has the advantage of clarity and simplicity: either a politician votes to fund it and to support it, or the officeholder votes against every bill which supports abortion.
    My personal view of abortion is that it is the worst evil our society indulges. It is the one “issue” where we can get victory — but only by disciplined, determined voting.
    Interestingly, once we have reversed abortion, political candidates will be on notice that they cannot ignore us on any issues where we plant our banner — the Lord’s banner.

  • If we are going to pull up abortion by the roots, the only way to do it is by severely limiting the means of artificial contraception, because the contraceptive mentality is at the root of the abortion problem.

    As soon as a baby is no longer a gift from God but a problem to be avoided through whatever chemical, barrier, or surgical means are necessary, then the path is opened to abortion when those means inevitably fail. Calling for more and better birth control as a solution to the abortion problem ignores the fact that a man and woman inserting their choice into the mystery of conception is the intrinsic cause of abortion.

    Whether a baby is created when a man and woman come together has to be left up to God alone. If you don’t want or can’t afford a baby right now, then don’t come together. As Garrison Keillor says about contraception, “If you’re not going to Minneapolis, what are you doing on the train?”

    Many will object that this is an inadmissible religious argument against contraception. I know, society is allergic to any mention of God as the supreme measure or judge of our behavior. But I’m sure that plenty of arguments according to reason alone can be formulated as well. If we’re going to beat abortion, we need to start winning the dialog. I fear that there just isn’t any more time to lose.

  • goral

    Fr. Frank, you rock! Beware of the backstabbers in our own church for they vote their stomachs, pockets and lofty positions.
    When skulls are being cracked they smugly echo the words of the poet laureate, Milosz:
    “We who are alive are better off then those who are dead.”