Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Obama, Abortion, and Being Nice

Reading the news, I get the impression that President Barack Obama wisely and generously suggested that the "divisive" debate over whether or not mothers should be allowed to kill their babies should have a nicer tone.

I see his point. Some people on all sides of the issue seem better at slinging verbal mud, than presenting facts or opinions.

Divisiveness isn't Necessarily a Bad Thing

I find some reassurance in abortion being a "divisive" issue.

Consider this alternative: What if, in America,
  • Abortion was legal for any reason, or no reason at all
  • A woman who couldn't be bothered with a baby could quite legally get the child killed
    • Provided that she put out the contract by a certain date
  • Or, if her husband/boyfriend/father/significant other/boss/whatever didn't want her to have the child, he could pressure her to kill her baby
That's very, very, close to the situation we have now.

What if people who thought that killing innocent babies might not be the nicest thing to do, were too polite and open-minded to try forcing their opinions on others?

I'm one of those people who think that killing babies isn't nice. And, more to the point, is wrong. I even think it's morally wrong to kill Senators, Representatives, judges, and convicted rapists: providing that there is a way to protect society from them.

I also think that slavery and cannibalism are morally wrong. Interestingly, it isn't generally considered "divisive" to say so, these days: despite the long history involving deeply-felt cultural beliefs that both practices have.

Obama, History, and Life

I ran across a homily on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website today. It was delivered this January, before the annual March for Life.

The Archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas, opened by pointing out the historic importance of President Barack Obama's election, comparing it to the election of J. F. Kennedy. He also discussed a very real issue that faces America:

"...While we celebrate the important threshold our nation has crossed, we gather tonight on the vigil of the March for Life, on the eve of the 36th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions of our Supreme Court that, in effect, struck down every state statute protecting the lives of innocent unborn children. In 1973 the Court usurped the right of the people and their elected representatives from determining public policy on abortion. Their decision has divided and frustrated our nation for the past 36 years...." ("National Prayer Vigil for Life Opening Mass" Homily of Most Reverend Joseph Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas, Trinity Washington University Notre Dame Chapel, usccb.org (January 21, 2009))

Where's the Common Ground on Slavery, Cannibalism, or Genocide?

The abortion president has called for finding 'common ground' on abortion. And, the traditional news media is dutifully repeating his message.

It sounds so 'divisive' to say that something like abortion is, simply, wrong.

But, can you imagine a public figure calling for finding common ground on the issue of slavery? This institution is still practiced in some parts of the world: does America have a right to deny people the right to own slaves?

Several court decisions and a major war settled that question. The answer is "yes." Slavery is illegal in America. Any effort to re-instate it would be, I'm quite sure, howled down in days. Maybe hours.

We've gotten used to the idea that it's not right for one person to own someone who is, legally, not quite a person.

Maybe, someday, America will get used to the idea that it's not right to kill a baby, even if the child is inconvenient.

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.