Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Upcoming Election

November 1st, 2010, Promulgated by benanderson

Reminder – tomorrow is election day! It is your duty and obligation to use your God-given ability to vote for a candidate that will do the least harm to society. Vote early tomorrow so you have time to attend the Vocations Rosary in the evening. There have been many updates to the chart below since I first posted. Admittedly, there are still many holes, so please help me out.

One of the difficult things about politics (and thus making voting decisions) is that things are not always black and white – they are blurry. Some of this is the nature of things, but some of it is purposeful deceit (like Barack Obama saying he wants to reduce abortions). The purpose of the below charts are to provide citizens a quick, simple view of each candidates’ positions on the non-negotiable issues. That is not to say that other issues don’t matter – merely that people’s opinions can differ and that they are not as crucial as these 5  issues. As a Catholic one cannot, in good conscience, vote for any of the 5 issues listed in the charts. Need proof of that? Here’s some links:

  • 5 Non-Negotiables from Catholic Answers
    Concise and to the point. Why can’t we get official Church statements with this type of clarity?
  • USCCB’s Faithful Citizenship
    Progressives will perform verbal ninjitsu with the above document to validate voting for pro-choice candidates such as they did in the last presidential election. However lengthy and roundabout the document is, it is clear that a Catholic in good conscience should not vote for a pro-choice candidate when a pro-life candidate is running against them (such as many Catholics did in the 2008 presidential election).
  • Our Cherished Right, Our Solemn Duty By the Catholic Bishops of New York State
    This document could use some prioritization, but nonetheless is pretty clear.

I’d also like to have citations as evidence of the candidates’ positions. If you can provide me with any of this information, please comment in this post, email me, or edit this post (obviously staffers only).

Here’s the ballot for Monroe County, NY

UPDATE 2010-10-16 13:44 – Check out this site recommended by a reader: http://www.votesmart.org

UPDATE 2010-11-01 05:45 – Check out this link (pdf) from the Rochester Area Right to Life. Very similar to the below chart, they name names of who to vote for / not to vote for.

party election candidate Abortion Euthenasia Emb. Stem Cell Res. Human Cloning Same-Sex Marriage
D Gov Andrew Cuomo ?? ?? ??
R Gov Carl Paladino ?? ?? ??
D L. Gov Robert J. Duffy ?? ?? ?? ??
R L. Gov Gregory Edwards ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
R US Sen. 1 Joseph DioGuardi ?? ?? ?? ??
D US Sen. 1 Kirsten E. Gillibrand ?? ?? ??
R US Sen. 2 Jay Townsend ?? ?? ?? ??
D US Sen. 2 Charles Schumer ?? ?? ??
R US House #25 Ann Marie Buerkle ?? ?? ?? ??
D US House #25 Daniel Maffei ?? ?? ?? ??
R US House #26 Christopher Lee ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
D US House #26 Philip Fedele ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
D US House #28 Louise Slaughter ?? ?? ??
R US House #28 Jill Rowland ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
D US House #29 Matthew Zeller ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
R US House #29 Thomas Reed, II ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
R NY Sen. #54 Michael Nozzolio ?? ??
D NY Sen. #54 Edward O’Shea ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
D NY Sen. #55 Mary Wilmot ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
R NY Sen. #55 Jim Alesi ?? ?? ?? ??
R NY Sen. #56 Joseph Robach ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
D NY Sen. #56 Robin Wilt ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
R NY Sen. #62 George Maziarz ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
D NY Sen. #62 Amy Hope Witryol ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
D NY Ass. #130 David Nachbar ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
D NY Ass. #130 Sean Hanna

comptroller, attorney general, NY supreme court, and state assembly are yet to come depending on how much feedback and assistance I get on the already lacking chart.

Also of interest, Cleansing Fire received this note from a reader – take it for what you will.

I just want to remind you that NYS assembly candidate Harry Bronson was on the Rochester Planning Commission and voted to allow Bishop Clark to strip out Sacred Heart Cathedral, during the cathedral renovation.

His vote is on record and was also tape recorded and video taped. It was presented to Judge Robert Lunn as part of the lawsuit to try and stop the cathedral from being destroyed.

Catholics should not vote for Harry Bronson.

On a funnier note – apparently you can name a political party whatever you want. I found these ones in particular to be quite comical:

  • Joseph Huff, Rent is 2 Damn High
  • Vivia Morgan, Anti-Prohibition
  • Mary K. Wilmot, Cut Taxes Add Jobs

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36 Responses to “Upcoming Election”

  1. avatar Ricky says:

    What a laugh! Paladino owns properties that include a Planned Parenthood building, and two homosexual bars in this state. Cuomo may be a stinker but…. “better the thief that you know, than the one that says that they aren’t.” There are no decent choices.

  2. avatar Dr. K says:

    Although Alesi attends Spiritus Christi and his heart is pro-gay marriage, I believe he voted against a homosexual marriage bill in the state senate. However, if the climate were favorable, he would be in the pro- homosexual marriage camp.

    Slaughter is in favor of almost everything.

  3. avatar benanderson says:

    @Ricky – thanks for your input. However moral or immoral renting spaces to PP and homosexual bars is, that’s not to say he would enact pro-choice legislation or push the homosexual agenda if he were the governor. I’m curious as to what you mean by your comment, “what a laugh!”. Are you saying comparing candidates on these issues is a laugh or just that you think it’s funny that someone might consider voting for Paladino?

  4. avatar Anonymous says:

    Joe Robach is a lector at St. John the Evangelist church in Greece, so I hope he’s pro-life. Certainly not a guarantee though. Not in this day and age.

  5. avatar Nerina says:

    Ricky,

    I have to say that I’m pretty depressed about our choices for Governor, too. While Cuomo is another political insider, Paladino certainly has made statements and done things that give me pause. He does appear to be solidly anti-abortion (which I use instead of “pro-life” because I don’t know where he stands on issues like euthanasia and ESCR – he has even said that those issues don’t matter in a year like this since we have economic problems to deal with).

    It seems impossible to find a decent, upstanding, candidate in NY. I’m sick of the whole state government. Our assembly is a mess and it looks like it won’t get cleaned up anytime soon. And how is Kristen Gillibrand doing so well as a candidate? What has the woman done? She’s also another “pro-choice Catholic.” Please.

  6. avatar Mohrstress says:

    Dan Maffei has co-sponsored HR 1024 (with Jerrold Nadler) and HR 2517 in support of homosexual marriage. Dan Maffei supports embryonic stem cell research as he indicates on his wall in his Face book Page. In Syracuse.com Maffei confirms his full support for the Healthcare legislation which includes “end of life” issues. I read that as support of euthanasia.

  7. avatar Bill B. says:

    There is a person running for comptroller, I believe name Wilson. I know nothing of him yet except he is for a forensic analysis of state bucks. I agree with that for it would show a true picture of the hands in our pockets. Once you do that, then the other issues will fall out for us to go on the voting attack. This guy Maffei may have check out, in person, the Youth in Asia for a long time. Perhaps he would find a following there for supporting that issue.

  8. avatar Jim R says:

    I haven’t lived in Rochester in 27 years, so I’m not familiar with the stances of individual candidates. Nonetheless, I believe my experience in other parts of the country probably translates back pretty well into Rochacha. I have run into VERY FEW if any candidates of either major party that actually support the Catholic position on abortion. At the very least everyone I’m aware of would allow abortion in the case of rape and/or incest – meaning they are in FAVOR of abortion.

    Admittedly some are more in favor than others. Nonetheless, once a candidate opens that door, he also opens the door for voters to consider other issues in an exercise of prudence. Since all candidates favor abortion – all voters are free in the exercise of prudence to consider other issues in voting for or against candidates. Like it or not, as useful as the Catholic Answers guide is, it is incomplete and misleading as to abortion. Similar or related concerns attach to the other 4 “non-negotiables.”

    That being said, the CA guide is truly superior to the USCCB guide which is certainly muddled.

    With all due respect to CA and many on the blog, the answer to the abortion nightmare is not, IMHO, laws, rules or regulations. The answer lies in changing the hearts and minds of all Americans as to this issue. We’ve come rely on a LIE, i.e., that the law is the answer to all our moral and social issues. Frankly, that thinking is mostly bass-ackwards. Until we Americans – especially Catholics and the Bishops – undertake the long and hard road of teaching morality and living morally the law won’t follow suit. People need to begin to really believe that abortion is morally reprehensible or there is no hope concerning changing the law.

    I hate to say it but part of the fall-out from the recent scandal is that it has diminished the moral authority of the Bishops and the Church. The Church in her priests and Bishops failed to live morally in a startling and widespread way. Further, Bishops, such as HE M. Clark, who fail to teach the faith and its moral principles further erode the very moral fabric of society and the civil law simply follows suit.

    Vote for whomever you want, it really makes no difference as to these issues. Until we regain the hearts of the people, that battle is already lost in the halls of politics.

  9. avatar Bill B. says:

    I have to admit that the quote of Jim R. above (…Vote for whomever you want, it really makes no difference as to these issues. Until we regain the hearts of the people, that battle is already lost in the halls of politics.) says all that I have been telling my family for years. Everyone does not see the moral implications of abortion the same way that we do. We are highly outnumbered on the issue any way, so the best thing is to keep demostrating the morality of the issue in a teaching manner, not confrontational. The object is to sway, not make enemies of people who could be on your side. Like the rest of the thugs in office, there is opposion to them. We just can’t buckle. Keep praying.

  10. avatar Nerina says:

    Jim R,

    Much of what you say is true. I certainly agree that the “hearts and minds” of people must be changed to secure a fundamental and lasting change in decreasing the incidence of abortion. Simply put, abortion must become an unthinkable option. I guess I’m not totally convinced of the uselessness of laws, rules and regulations, though, when the stats show that states with stricter abortion access laws (e.g. parental notification, 24 hour waiting periods and informed consent – i.e. abortion actually kills a baby)have lower abortion rates. A Guttmacher policy analyst (and remember Guttmacher is the research arm of PP) said this in 2008:

    “State policy obviously plays a role in the number of abortions,” said Guttmacher policy analyst Elizabeth Nash, pointing to steeper declines in abortion rates in the South and Midwest where more laws restrict the procedure.

    As is often the case with our Catholic faith, I think a “both/and” approach is needed and not an “either/or.” Also, would we apply the “changing of hearts and minds” approach toward any other moral crime? What if this had been the stance toward slavery or Civil Rights? Why do we prosecute those who sexually abuse children instead of trying to change hearts and minds about pedophilia? Certainly the radical feminist agenda has done a great job in legitimizing and normalizing abortion as just another reproductive “choice.” Pro-lifers need to continue to stigmatize the procedure while at the same time show compassion to those women and men who have bought the big lie. I wonder if the “hearts and minds” of Americans were convinced of the moral good of unfettered abortion as has been institutionalized by Roe v. Wade?

    Fortunately, I think hearts and minds are being changed. A majority of Americans identify as “pro-life” (though I do realize that not everyone defines that term exactly the same way). I think it is safe to say that the majority of people feel our abortion laws are too liberal. And they are much more permissive than European abortion laws, ironically.

    I agree with you that the Church has lost credibility as a moral witness and we do need to clean our own house, so to speak – the abuse scandal is such a big, black mark on the Bride of Christ. But I also know that the message is what is important and not the messenger (though the message would be better-received from a credible messenger).

  11. avatar benanderson says:

    Nonetheless, once a candidate opens that door, he also opens the door for voters to consider other issues in an exercise of prudence.

    I don’t agree w/ this logic. I agree that abortion should be illegal is EVERY case, however the vast majority of abortions are just normal – no special circumstances like rape, etc. So, if a politician were to put in effect policies that made a normal abortion more difficult to get, then we could potentially have 500k less babies murdered each year. That’s a big deal! A mostly pro-life politician is exponentially better than a mostly pro-choice politician.

    Since all candidates favor abortion – all voters are free in the exercise of prudence to consider other issues in voting for or against candidates. Like it or not, as useful as the Catholic Answers guide is, it is incomplete and misleading as to abortion.

    Both of these statements are simply not true. Not all candidates are equal on abortion. Just look at Bush vs Obama. Look at the Supreme Court justices they appointed. Look at policies like Mexico, etc. These are big deals!

    the answer to the abortion nightmare is not, IMHO, laws, rules or regulations. The answer lies in changing the hearts and minds of all Americans as to this issue.

    I reiterate what Nerina said about both/and. Enacting policies should not exclude culture change and vice versa. Politics DO matter.

    Vote for whomever you want, it really makes no difference as to these issues.

    To have a vote is a big responsibility. If Catholics vote like Catholics, we can have a major impact on our states and country. Your attitude is sad. What if I woke up in the morning, looked at my kids, and said, “what’s it matter? they’re probably gonna start smoking crack and drop out of school when they’re teenagers”.

  12. avatar benanderson says:

    We are highly outnumbered on the issue any way

    not true – america is now a pro-life nation – just not in the media, academia, politics, and other places of power. We have the vote – let’s use it.

  13. avatar Bill B. says:

    Then why is it such a hot button? If we are a pro-life country, why all the “death?”

  14. avatar Dr. K says:

    If we are a pro-life country, why all the “death?”

    Because people vote stupidly and elect Barack Obama who got to pick 2 Supreme Court justices, and possibly some day a third.

  15. avatar Bill B. says:

    Few vote with their conscience. Right now we face it worse than ever.

  16. avatar Stephen Hayford says:

    For more information on the candidates’ positions on social issues, please see http://hq.thevoterguide.org/v/nyfrf/.

  17. avatar Dan says:

    Thank you for posting the note about Harry Bronson’s vote on the Rochester Planning Commission, which allowed Bishop Clark to strip out Sacred Heart Cathedral.

    All Catholics should not vote for Harry Bronson.

  18. avatar Anonymous says:

    http://www.realcatholictv.com/cia/02fake/
    Please take the time to listen to this Catholic Investigative Agency report on Catholics and politics and how we got into this state of confusion and what we can do about it. Please forward to your friends and family before tomorrow.

  19. avatar Pat says:

    Why was there not a category for ‘Supported An Unjust War’? It seems moral issues can be cherry picked to end up with a desired slate of candidates.

  20. avatar Scott W. says:

    Why was there not a category for ‘Supported An Unjust War’? It seems moral issues can be cherry picked to end up with a desired slate of candidates.

    That’s easy, a candidate can be honestly mistaken about whether a war is just or unjust. Now, I happen to believe Iraq II was unjust, and I would certainly think twice about voting for a supporter of it because it throws his judgement in quetion, but it is not a disqualifier like abortion is. There is NO SUCH THING AS A JUST ABORTION to be mistaken about.

  21. avatar Gretchen says:

    What if I woke up in the morning, looked at my kids, and said, “what’s it matter? they’re probably gonna start smoking crack and drop out of school when they’re teenagers”.

    Ben, while you are posting this as an example of extreme ridiculousness, this sums up perfectly the attitude and actions of society today. (Why else would birth control be so heavily promoted and available in public high schools?) Thanks for putting it in black & white. Thank you for trying to sift through all the candidates to figure out who is the best choice.

  22. avatar Pat says:

    “There is NO SUCH THING AS A JUST ABORTION to be mistaken about”.

    That is easy for you, a male, to state. You will never be subject to rape and an unwanted pregnancy.

    “That’s easy, a candidate can be honestly mistaken about whether a war is just or unjust”.

    Well, I suppose one could take cold comfort in the actions of a politician who was honestly mistaken in starting an unjust nuclear war so long as they were not pro-choice.

  23. avatar Scott W. says:

    That is easy for you, a male, to state. You will never be subject to rape and an unwanted pregnancy.

    There are plenty of females who are well aware of this truth and say so. In any case what should not concern us is not whether something is easy to state, but whether or not what is stated is actually true. Rape and unwanted pregnancy is surely a trial which I do not dispute, BUT the child created by a rape is innocent, and it is always wrong to deliberately kill the innocent.

    Well, I suppose one

    I don’t believe you suppose at all. Let your yes be yes and your no be no.

    could take cold comfort in the actions of a politician who was honestly mistaken in starting an unjust nuclear war so long as they were not pro-choice.

    I don’t see how anyone could calculate whether a candidate will start any nuclear war, let alone a just one if such a thing were possible, so I am going to just chalk this up to overheated rhetoric. The bottom line is, unless you can demonstrate that a particular candidate supported an unjust war knowing full well it was an unjust war and supporting it anyway, then attempting to make this morally equivalent to deliberately killing the innocent through abortion is a bad argument. Some might say that is an impossible standard, but not for abortion recently. Pro-abortionists have largely abandoned arguing against the humanity of the unborn and are more and more using the trope, “yeah, she’s human. Yeah, we are killing her. So what?”

  24. avatar benanderson says:

    @Pat – two things.

    1) The guidelines proposed are simply reflecting what the Catholic Church teaches. You don’t have to agree that every abortion is unjust, but you can’t disagree and claim to be inline with Church teaching. This conclusion is based on many factors – none of which take the subjective experience of the individual coming to the conclusion. Doing so, is the dimantling of a just and ordered society.

    2) If an unjust nuclear war were on the horizons, it would become one of the issues in the grid. However, this just isn’t a fear given our current political climate. Take even the Iraq war, which I think most people can now say was unjust. But even that – let’s do a comparison of proporion. Proportion and relevancy are both very important when comparing the issues

    casualties since march 2003 (start of the iraq war):
    due to the iraq war : 100,000
    due to abortion in the US: 7,000,000

    which # is bigger?

  25. avatar Abaccio says:

    Pat, the fact that a child was conceived in a rape does not change the fact that it’s even more heinous to turn around and murder that child so the mother does not have to deal with the emotional stresses that could arise. On one hand, you have murder, on the other hand, you have feeling bad. I’ll GLADLY take feeling bad over murder, but that’s just me.

    That said, I will also note that certain psychologists have noted that the conception of a child from a rape can actually help refocus the woman–instead of focusing on the traumatic experience, she can instead focus on the creation of life, and becoming an example of strength in a trying time

  26. avatar Pat says:

    “it is always wrong to deliberately kill the innocent”.

    In general I have no argument with that statement. But when one uses the term always then one gets into gray areas. Because according to that statement then there are no justifiable wars because innocent people are killed in any war whether it is justified or not. Now, when I raise the issue of nuclear war it is an unlikely occurrence. But I become very uneasy when I think how close someone like Dick Cheney was to being president. If the Iraq had ended easily and successfully after two or three months with shock and awe then what would have the usa done subsequently. Easy wars beget more wars and possible escalation up to the nuclear level.

    As far being inline with Church teaching on abortion I leave that up to the individual conscience. I do understand that pro-life adherents want to protect the innocent unborn. But I also know that abortions are going to occur whether they are legal or not. Does the usa want to return to the days when abortions were performed out of sight and in less than safe conditions. Do we want to create a new industry of medical tourism abroad for abortions. I just don’t think one can legislate the problem away.

  27. avatar A Catholic says:

    Pat,

    Making abortion illegal may not end it completely but it would be a step in the direction of showing greater reverence for human life. Besides, why is it that we’re told by those who favor legal abortion it’s a “choice” and yet we who are pro-life have no choice in having millions of tax dollars taken from us and given to organizations such as Planned Parenthood that do so many abortions? If abortion is really a choice, then not one penny of taxpayer money should go to any organization that does abortions and no abortion should ever be subsidized. Abortion rates would decline if it weren’t so easy to get one.

    Those of us in New York State who are pro-life should be very concerned if Eric Schneiderman is elected as New York’s new attorney general. As a State Senator, he has been a prime mover pushing the Reproductive Health Act and in his recent attorney general debate he attacked Crisis Pregnancy Centers. I emailed him and politely asked him to visit a Crisis Pregnancy Center before demonizing them with NARAL-style rhetoric. Vote for Donovan as the lesser of two evils.

  28. avatar Pat says:

    “why is it that we’re told by those who favor legal abortion it’s a “choice” and yet we who are pro-life have no choice in having millions of tax dollars taken from us and given to organizations such as Planned Parenthood that do so many abortions?”

    Maybe its to give women with little money the same choice as women with more money.

    Unfortunately in this democracy we do not have the ability to choose where our specific tax dollars are spent. I do not want my tax dollars going as military aid to other countries. I wish we could direct our tax dollars to specific areas.

    Democracy is messy. But at least we are all free to state our opinions about any issue.

  29. avatar Scott W. says:

    Because according to that statement then there are no justifiable wars because innocent people are killed in any war whether it is justified or not.

    No, because of the qualifier “deliberately”.

    But I become very uneasy when I think how close someone like Dick Cheney was to being president. If the Iraq had ended easily and successfully after two or three months with shock and awe then what would have the usa done subsequently. Easy wars beget more wars and possible escalation up to the nuclear level

    As much as I dislike Cheney, there is simply no excuse to posit that he was more likely than anyone else to go nuclear. The only two uses of the atomic bomb were by a Democrat.

    As far being inline with Church teaching on abortion I leave that up to the individual conscience. I do understand that pro-life adherents want to protect the innocent unborn. But I also know that abortions are going to occur whether they are legal or not. Does the usa want to return to the days when abortions were performed out of sight and in less than safe conditions. Do we want to create a new industry of medical tourism abroad for abortions. I just don’t think one can legislate the problem away.

    Just substitute another evil act like “chattel slavery” or “armed robbery” for abortion in that paragraph. Chattel slavery isn’t acceptable just because one’s conscience says it’s so. Armed robbery is going to occur whether it is legal or not. If evil acts occur in a back alley, that is simply a problem of enforcement like any law. But evil acts don’t become acceptable because they are done in a sanitary and well-lit office. In fact, it is a compound evil in that there is a deception of legitimacy. We can’t control the evil acts of others if they want to run an abortion tourism industry, but that doesn’t make us doing it any less evil. There are lots of problems that go with re-criminalizing abortion. But it is nothing uniquely problematic that makes it incapable of being made so than any other laws we have. Abortion simply has no leg to stand on other than recalcitrance and darkened intellect.

  30. avatar benanderson says:

    But I also know that abortions are going to occur whether they are legal or not.

    sure, SOME abortions will still happen, but again think about proportionality here. I gotta believe that the vast majority of abortions happening now would not happen in this country were it illegal. Even if 50% still happened, that’s a lot of lives saved. The whole dark-alley abortion argument is just bogus. Obviously, we’re a long ways away from making it illegal, but there’s many other ways that political policies either encourage or discourage abortions.

    It’s also good to consider that keeping the woman from having an abortion not only effects the baby, but it is also a grace to the woman. She may think it’s her only option at the time, but studies have shown that many women have serious regrets later.

  31. avatar Pat says:

    “it is always wrong to deliberately kill the innocent”.
    “there are no justifiable wars because innocent people are killed”
    ‘No, because of the qualifier “deliberately”.’

    War, whether justifiable or not, is deliberately killing the innocent. When one bombs a city one knows they are deliberately killing innocent people. Some will argue that civilians are part of the war machine and so they are not so innocent. But if a pregnant mother is killed by a bomb is that unborn child still somehow not innocent?

    “Just substitute another evil act like “chattel slavery” or “armed robbery” for abortion in that paragraph”.

    I do not equate chattel slavery or armed robbery with abortion. Chattel slavery and armed robbery are evils visited upon one individual by another individual. Abortion involves a mother and an unborn child. The unborn child is a part of the mother’s body. At what point do they become distinct and separate individuals? At what point is one imbued with a soul? I know pro-life advocates will state that it occurs at the point where the egg is fertilized by the sperm.

    But I do know that if I, myself, had been aborted I would not have been conscious of it if it had been done early enough in the pregnancy. I did not have the ability to articulate thought. But if I am forced into chattel slavery or become the victim of armed robbery I am conscious of it and am very aware of it.

    Now I will save someone the bother of writing the following comment. Does that mean if someone kills you in your sleep they are not guilty of murder because you were not conscious of it? No, because my consciousness is developed but is temporarily suspended.

    Abortion is a very difficult issue to grapple with. That is one issue I leave up to the individual conscious. And yes, many women do have serious regrets later after having an abortion.

    One other item I will mention. About 30 years ago I know of a young woman who went to an abortion type clinic. There were people outside with signs. This young woman was made to feel as if she was doing something wrong. But she was sent there by her doctor. After trying to have a baby she finally got pregnant but the fetus was dead within her. So the doctor sent her to the clinic to remove the dead fetus. Just because one sees a person enter that type of clinic does not mean they chose to go there. The young woman did deliver a healthy baby boy a year later.

  32. avatar Nerina says:

    Pat,

    I appreciate the time you’ve taken to express your opinion about abortion. Unfortunately, you seem to be restating common pro-choice rhetoric. Abortion is really a simple matter when we look at it biologically. A person is killed. We know that, scientifically, a new human life begins at conception. That’s not the Church talking, that’s science. You say:

    “Chattel slavery and armed robbery are evils visited upon one individual by another individual. Abortion involves a mother and an unborn child. The unborn child is a part of the mother’s body. At what point do they become distinct and separate individuals?”

    The unborn child is a unique individual with his or her own DNA. Yes, the child is dependent upon the mother for maturation and growth, but to imply that the child is somehow parasitic dehumanizes him or her. When do you propose they become separate individuals? Arguing ensoulment is equally dubious since you can’t prove to me when it begins either. Perhaps you’ve heard the “hunter in the woods” argument which basically says a hunter would never just take a random shot at movement in the woods and hope it was actually a deer. In the same way, why would we say abortion is okay at certain points hoping that there is no new human life there? If you claim we can’t definitively know when human life exists, then why take the chance? Why NOT err on the side of caution?

    As a nurse, I’ve taken care of many patients who were no longer aware of their surroundings due to dementia and other illnesses like Alzheimer’s. Using your criteria, some could argue for euthanizing such patients. It may seem like a stretch, but we already have proponents making such arguments even suggesting that such people have a moral obligation to die (Peter Singer, call your office) since they are no longer productive or useful and have become a burden to society (often what pro-choice people say about an unborn baby who is not wanted by the mother).

    As for back alley abortions, let’s look at some facts. Most illegal abortions done before Roe v. Wade were performed by licensed physicians. Granted, they were done secretly, but it wasn’t like random people were providing these services. In fact, in 1972, 39 women died from illegal abortions in the U.S.(you can see http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5212a1.htm – table 19 for verification. This report will also give you more information about abortions then you probably want to know).

    You expressed concern about “less than safe conditions” if abortion were to be made illegal again. Let’s not kid ourselves, even though the procedure is legal, clinics are constantly found in violation of health codes and privacy violations. Abortion is a dirty business often attracting the “bottom feeders” from the medical profession. A quick google source reveals a number of recent stories about clinic closings. Here’s one example: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/jun/10061109.html.

    Finally, we certainly need to do all we can to provide for women in crisis pregnancies. Our local Focus Pregnancy center is out on the front lines every day offering assistance to women facing the decision to let their babies live or abort them. I hope one day that abortion is unthinkable. That we, as a society, would find the act so repulsive and contrary to our human nature that we instantly repel at the idea of killing our own children. Women who have made the life-changing decision to abort their children desperately need our compassion and God’s mercy (as do we all for our respective sins). They need to hear the truth as do those contemplating abortion. They also need to hear about the complications and far-reaching effects that no one wants to talk about like increased drug and alcohol abuse, increased risk of miscarriage in subsequent pregnancies, increased breast cancer risk, increased depression, difficulty bonding with future children, marital problems, profound grieving and spiritual malaise.

    One small thing I can do, besides supporting CPCs and educating myself and my family about abortion, is to vote for people who will not further liberalize the intentional killing of innocent human life.

  33. avatar Pat says:

    Nerina, I appreciate your comments and those made by others earlier today.

    I have no idea when the unborn becomes a separate, animated individual. I think you have come up with a reasonable solution by not taking any chances on when that occurs. But since I really do not know I am unwilling to impose my opinion on someone who is pregnant. It is up to that person to decide, not me.

    If ensoulment occurs at the time of conception then one would think that the Church Fathers would have found a way to baptize the unborn while still in the womb. The reason they did not was because there was no means available for having the baptismal water reaching the body of the unborn. But unfortunately such unborn who die in the womb never get baptized and therefore are perpetually excluded from the vision of God. However the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church softened this harsh stance by allowing hope for unbaptized infants by entrusting them to the mercy of God. Personally I find it inconceivable that God would exclude the unborn in any way.

    I would look at people who suffer from dementia and other illnesses such as Alzheimer’s similar to my argument whether it is all right to murder someone who is sleeping. Of course not. Looking at the complete arc of their life their consciousness is suspended and such suspension just happens to occur at its end.

    Anyway, I think we can all agree, everyone should vote their conscience on Tuesday.

  34. avatar Gen says:

    “I have no idea when the unborn become a separate, animated individual.”

    The Church does:

    “2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

    Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.

    My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.”

    “Everyone should vote their conscience on Tuesday.”

    Everyone should vote with a *fully formed* conscience on Tuesday. There’s a difference between willful moral dissent and uninformed consent.

  35. avatar Pat says:

    Gen, yesterday Ben stated that to date there have been 7,000,000 abortions in this country. If the unborn become a separate, distinct individual at conception then in the Church’s view what happens to all these unborn individuals who were not baptized?

    [In response to your comment about the post not appearing: sometimes posts get flagged by our spam filter. You do not need to post the comment multiple times. We try to check the spam bin at least once or twice each day, depending on our availability. The number of spam posts we receive per day usually exceeds 40. ~Dr. K]

  36. avatar Bill B. says:

    Ahhhh, the abortion issue. I love reading about it! I have to revert back to an old axium—When you look into your grandchild’s eyes, you are looking into your own. Thank God the D’sIL knew what a Grandpa I’d be, crawling on the floor making noise and drooling like them. Pro Choice, Pro Life? Wipe the drool off my chin, please…

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