Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Accepting the Obama/Kmiec Abortion Argument is Contrary to Caritas in veritate

Doug Kmiec stated that he accepted Obama's personal rejection of abortion and rethought his pro-life stance because of Obama's argument that as much as he was personally opposed to abortion he could not impose his religious beliefs on people who had a religious belief that allows for abortion.

This was further reflected in the pluralistic "ideal" proposed by Kmiec in his 2008 October editorial in the Los Angeles Times stating that in a pluralistic society like America we must accept the legal "space" that allows for abortion to accommodate the diversity of religious belief on the subject.

But, Pope Benedict XVI, in Caritas in veritate, reminds us that accommodation of all religious belief is just as bad as the intolerant persecution of religious practice which is in conformity with the common good: "There are certain religious cultures in the world today that do not oblige men and women to live in communion but rather cut them off from one other in a search for individual well-being, limited to the gratification of psychological desires. " CV Paragraph 55. In other words, the philosophy of radical personal autonomy, which of course includes the right to abortion.

We should not give those who espouse this belief, the right to act on it. We have the power to prevent this belief from being practiced and must due so: "Discernment is needed regarding the contribution of cultures and religions, especially on the part of those who wield political power, if the social community is to be built up in a spirit of respect for the common good." CV Paragraph 55.

In other words, Obama's and Kmiec's admitted lack of discernment regarding the religious belief of others that allows them to kill babies, is not a commendable and democratic act, but an abdication of responsibility that thwarts true human development and is in fact contemptible.

Christians cannot and should not waffle on abortion. Murder is wrong, we know it and it is wrong to let others hide behind irrational religious belief to practice their crimes. We do not let Islamic terrorists do it, we should not let pro-abortion/pro-choice people do it.

Full Quote from CV:

"Other cultures and religions teach brotherhood and peace and are therefore of enormous importance to integral human development. Some religious and cultural attitudes, however, do not fully embrace the principle of love and truth and therefore end up retarding or even obstructing authentic human development. There are certain religious cultures in the world today that do not oblige men and women to live in communion but rather cut them off from one other in a search for individual well-being, limited to the gratification of psychological desires. Furthermore, a certain proliferation of different religious “paths”, attracting small groups or even single individuals, together with religious syncretism, can give rise to separation and disengagement. One possible negative effect of the process of globalization is the tendency to favour this kind of syncretism[132]by encouraging forms of “religion” that, instead of bringing people together, alienate them from one another and distance them from reality. At the same time, some religious and cultural traditions persist which ossify society in rigid social groupings, in magical beliefs that fail to respect the dignity of the person, and in attitudes of subjugation to occult powers. In these contexts, love and truth have difficulty asserting themselves, and authentic development is impeded.
For this reason, while it may be true that development needs the religions and cultures of different peoples, it is equally true that adequate discernment is needed. Religious freedom does not mean religious indifferentism, nor does it imply that all religions are equal[133]. Discernment is needed regarding the contribution of cultures and religions, especially on the part of those who wield political power, if the social community is to be built up in a spirit of respect for the common good. Such discernment has to be based on the criterion of charity and truth. Since the development of persons and peoples is at stake, this discernment will have to take account of the need for emancipation and inclusivity, in the context of a truly universal human community. “The whole man and all men” is also the criterion for evaluating cultures and religions. Christianity, the religion of the “God who has a human face”[134], contains this very criterion within itself." Paragraph 55

Two Interesting Tidbits from Caritas in veritate

Improvement of constitutional governments should not rely on government expansion: "The State does not need to have identical characteristics everywhere: the support aimed at strengthening weak constitutional systems can easily be accompanied by the development of other political players, of a cultural, social, territorial or religious nature, alongside the State." Paragraph 41.

And, although advocating for religious freedom in general, not all religions need to have the same freedom, because my friends some religions are not just wrong but BAD and governments can make the distinction (side note, those lame "coexist" bumper stickers are impliedly condemned, take that syncretism!):

"The Christian revelation of the unity of the human race presupposes a metaphysical interpretation of the “humanum” in which relationality is an essential element. Other cultures and religions teach brotherhood and peace and are therefore of enormous importance to integral human development. Some religious and cultural attitudes, however, do not fully embrace the principle of love and truth and therefore end up retarding or even obstructing authentic human development. There are certain religious cultures in the world today that do not oblige men and women to live in communion but rather cut them off from one other in a search for individual well-being, limited to the gratification of psychological desires. Furthermore, a certain proliferation of different religious “paths”, attracting small groups or even single individuals, together with religious syncretism, can give rise to separation and disengagement. One possible negative effect of the process of globalization is the tendency to favour this kind of syncretism[132] by encouraging forms of “religion” that, instead of bringing people together, alienate them from one another and distance them from reality. At the same time, some religious and cultural traditions persist which ossify society in rigid social groupings, in magical beliefs that fail to respect the dignity of the person, and in attitudes of subjugation to occult powers. In these contexts, love and truth have difficulty asserting themselves, and authentic development is impeded.
For this reason, while it may be true that development needs the religions and cultures of different peoples, it is equally true that adequate discernment is needed. Religious freedom does not mean religious indifferentism, nor does it imply that all religions are equal[133]. Discernment is needed regarding the contribution of cultures and religions, especially on the part of those who wield political power, if the social community is to be built up in a spirit of respect for the common good. Such discernment has to be based on the criterion of charity and truth. Since the development of persons and peoples is at stake, this discernment will have to take account of the need for emancipation and inclusivity, in the context of a truly universal human community. “The whole man and all men” is also the criterion for evaluating cultures and religions. Christianity, the religion of the “God who has a human face”[134], contains this very criterion within itself." Paragraph 55