Tuesday, January 13, 2004

St. Louis is installing a new Roman Catholic bishop shortly, and he's Bishop Raymond Burke from LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Burke is already well-known, because in Wisconsin he announced that the Church would withhold communion from Catholic politicians in his diocese who support abortion or euthanasia. Presumably, he will be bringing this view to St. Louis with him.

This has some politicians in the heavily Catholic St. Louis area a bit on edge.

According to a story in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Missouri Democratic Party Chairwoman May Scheve acknowledges that she's in a fix.

Scheve, a former legislator from South County, is a practicing Catholic. She also supports abortion rights.

. . . ."I'm very passionate about my politics and I'm very passionate about my religion," Scheve said, noting that she sends her daughter to a Catholic school. "For the two to collide is an issue that troubles me to my core."
Good. It ought to trouble her. What troubles me is that one could claim to believe in the God of the Bible and not think that this God might just have something important--perhaps even binding-- to say about when life begins and when it should end. If it takes the Roman Catholic Church threatening to excommunicate chuckleheads like this until they can get it figured out, I say good for the Church.

It also removes the weaselly option currently taken by so many politicians.

"Of course I personally am pro-life," they inform us. "But it's not my right to make that decision for someone else." Imagine the silliness of this relativistic argument in any other context.

"Of course, I personally abhor wife-beating. But it's not my right to make that decision for some other husband." The latter is obviously ridiculous. But the former argument is made with a straight face by well-known politicians every day. Because abortion advocates have been so successful in framing the argument as a matter of mere taste, pro-life versus pro-abortion merely becomes another version of "tastes great" versus "less filling."

Of course, such a position actually takes a very particular stance on the issue. By claiming it's a matter of mere preference, one has already presupposed that there are no moral absolutes, that God has not created each individual life, and that He has no particular opinion on the matter--if He exists at all. Bishop Burke is taking this option away from the Catholic politician.

If you think your church is wrong on the sanctity of life issue, fine. Leave your church. If you think they're right, then they have conveyed to you the Word of God on the matter, and you must obey what you know to be true. In either case, stop being such a muddle-headed doofus.

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