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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Convenience of Politics

Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy is at it again, publicly complaining about Bishop Thomas Tobin's publicly responding to Kennedy's public attacks against Catholic bishops for their opposition to taxpayer funded abortions. Kennedy recently revealed Bishop Tobin, nearly three years ago, asked him (privately) to cease presenting himself for communion, a perfectly reasonable request since by his advocacy of abortion, a mortal sin, Kennedy has already excommunicated himself.

It is likely this brouhaha will lead to another chorus from the left deploring the "politicization" of abortion, notwithstanding those opposed to it do not regard it a political issue at all, rather a moral one. To the Catholic Church, and many others, opposition to the killing of the innocent, whether babes in the womb or adults in the street, can hardly be considered "political;" murder is murder regardless the venue and the Church of course forbids it.

It is people like Congressman Kennedy who politicize abortion and they do so because they have to: any "moral" arguments in abortion's favor are quickly reduced to a defense of homicide, the taking of a life to ameliorate ill effects that life may have on somebody else's. Even in this narcissistic age that appears monstrously selfish so a different ploy must be used. By wrenching abortion into the political sphere not only do Kennedy and company avoid sticky moral issues, they can also insist, by citing separation of church and state, the Catholic Church and other religious "extremists" stay out of a "political" matter.

To a 15-watt bulb like Congressman Kennedy that probably seems clever but to most Catholics, especially Bishop Tobin, it is galling and downright disingenuous. Kennedy would do better to consider the view of this liberal opponent of abortion:
While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized -- the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.

I share the confidence of those who feel that America is working to care for its unwanted as well as wanted children, protecting particularly those who cannot protect themselves. I also share the opinions of those who do not accept abortion as a response to our society's problems -- an inadequate welfare system, unsatisfactory job training programs, and insufficient financial support for all its citizens.

When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.
The abortion foe who wrote the above, in a letter to a voter (and who later, sadly, apostacized) was the Congressman's father, the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

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