The Convention for the Common Good : Catholic, or Just Liberal?
The group’s position on abortion is rather anemic. It wants to . . .
Promote policies that prevent and reduce abortions by supporting women and families. Ensure robust alternatives to abortion, including adoption.But then what does it say about the death penalty?
Abolish the death penalty.Johnson notes:
Now, I have no bone to pick with the moral truth-value of either of these demands; I support both. But why is it that, in comparison to the pithy demand on the death penalty, the demand on abortion appears to be a serpentine and supine wish, with which no one in contemporary politics disagrees? It was the Clinton administration of the 1990’s, after all, that gave us the desire that abortions should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Was the Platform, by addressing abortion in a verbiage ratio of almost 4-to-1 compared to its treatment of the death penalty, really saying nothing much?There is a bit more rhetoric about abortion in the statement, all of it equally mealy-mouthed.
Johnson then concludes:
Policy-promotion and ensuring alternatives rarely attain to what abolition accomplishes. If the death penalty can only be abolished by laws—would the Platform be satisfied with “policies that reduce” the death penalty?—then it stands to reason that the same will be true of abortion. If the angel Gabriel were to appear to me today with the offer that abortion would be steadily reduced to the point of complete extinction, but would still remain legal, would I take the offer? Yes, in a heart-beat. But since law exists both to restrain and to instruct, I would ask Gabriel to take back to the Lord my prayer that the law would soon reflect and perpetuate the community’s conviction that citizenship and civil rights exist from conception forward.Johnson, in fact, understates the leftist bias of the document, which endorses every leftist policy one might think of.
This is all too typical of the things that happen when the more established types of Catholic political activists tackle an issue. They pay lip-service to the Catholic position on abortion, but in their hearts of hearts they are liberals. They feel uncomforatble taking positions like those of the Christian Coalition or the Republican party, and they’re happy taking positions consistent with voting for Barack Obama.
Christianity, of course, has a 2,000 year history of struggling with a worldly culture sharply at odds with Christian culture, and with some frequency it has lost. This appears to be the latest example.