Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Voting for Catholics

Catholic politicians get strict orders from pope - International Herald Tribune
BOLOGNA: Pope Benedict XVI strongly reasserted Tuesday the church's opposition to abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage, saying that Catholic politicians were "especially" obligated to defend the church's stance in their public duties.

"These values are non-negotiable," the pope wrote in a 130-page "apostolic exhortation" issued in Rome, forming a distillation of opinion from a worldwide meeting of bishops at the Vatican in 2005.

"Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce laws inspired by values grounded in human nature."

So, if a politician is a good Catholic, he's got to vote against three positions I hold:
  • that gay and lesbian people are people entitled to all the rights I enjoy
  • that euthanasia can be the most humane option in certain circumstances
  • that every woman has the right of abortion
If the politician is not a good Catholic, why is he or she a Catholic at all? Such a person ought to bolt the Church in favor of another. The Unitarians would let them enjoy the sorts of social benefits attributed to churchgoing while indulging particular spiritual needs.

I happen to think the honest politician would acknowledge his or her non-theism, politically suicidal though it might be (I'm pretty sure many, maybe most, US politicians are closet non-theists).

"Non-negotiable". Right.


jj mollo said...

You really can't trust those Unitarians. If you elect them to office they're going to try to impose the values of the Enlightenment on the US Government. Where might it go from there?

And not that I disagree with the thrust of your post, let me point out that the only right that is technically denied to gay and lesbian people is the right to announce their sexual orientation when they're serving in the military. They are free to marry if they chose, and many of them do.

What you're really asking for is a social change, more than a legal change. The understanding of rights should be broadened to better accomodate the pursuit of happiness. (Personally, I would like to pursue my happiness by taking cocaine, but the Law prevents me.)

I'm not really worried about Catholics in office because everybody knows what their bias is, and they are required to swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. Robert P. Casey, a Catholic, was governor of PA for two terms. Except for the abortion issue, he was a pretty good governor, but except for the abortion issue, he wouldn't have been elected.

Anonymous said...

How do you figure that gay and lesbian people are free to marry?

Sure, they can declare to each other in front of 20 people, "I marry you. I marry you. I marry you." and take up joint residence. Or some such. But the ruckus about gay marriage I keep hearing about seems to be about unequal rights, no?

Anonymous Steve
(on accounta I don't have my password handy)

jj mollo said...

Like anyone else. They can marry a member of the opposite sex.

OK. That has a high snark value. Nevertheless, the real problem is social.