Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

For those who want to change the subject....

Damon Linker seems to have abandoned the blogging business. At the very least, his site has been down for the past 24 hours or so.

And here’s a review of Andrew Sullivan’s new book.

Finally, this group has issued a voters’ guide. Here’s the section on abortion:

Is it okay to vote for a “pro-choice” candidate?


When confronted with this question in 2004, Cardinal Ratzinger
(now Pope Benedict XVI) responded that it could be acceptable
for a Catholic to vote for a “pro-choice” candidate if
“proportionate reasons” exist, and if the voter is voting based
on those reasons and not the candidate’s “pro-choice” beliefs. It
is never acceptable to vote for a “pro-choice” candidate merely because of that candidate’s position in favor of legal abortion (CRM).


Here Cardinal Ratzinger is speaking about prudence. Many “prolife” candidates talk a good talk on ending abortion but don’t
produce results. On the other hand, there are candidates who don’t believe in making abortion illegal, but who support effective
measures to promote healthy families and reduce abortions by providing help to pregnant women and young children.


Catholics must look at a candidate’s position on other life issues. Can one really claim to be “pro-life” and yet support the death penalty, turn a blind eye to poverty, and not take steps to avoid war? Our Church teaches that the answer to this question is “no.”

Several critics have noted the problematical character of this approach, which operates above to provide for cover for those who won’t take opportunities to put even the most modest limits on access to abortion.

Discussions - 10 Comments

Look at it the other way - against abortion, but for genocide. How do you vote then? I agree with the Pope that you can’t use any one issue as your basis of voting for someone. Candidates are too complex for that.

This is the ol’ "seamless garment" approach, no?

Really, I think what is happening is that a number of people--myself included--have become fixated on the sin of abortion as the One Great Thing we know for sure. We’re hedgehogs, if you will.

The other things are harder to sort out--the necessity (or not) of war, the true causes and cures for poverty, and whether an execution of a guilty person really equates to the dismemberment of the innocent.

Daniel K. - Which candidate is for genocide? I will give you the complexity of candidates. That is easy to do this week, given the Foley thing. Were his constituents aware of his "complexities" when they voted him into office?


cassandra, This issue is The One Great Thing we know for sure. I see nothing wrong in that. Surely, it is a legitimate absolute. As a measure of the man, it is usually a fair one. Yet, if Congressman Foley’s record is pro-life, or if my local candidate is pro-life and yet I know him to be entirely unsuitable, I would not vote for him and neither would you. You may be a hedgehog, but you are not insensible.

TO rephrase what the Holy Father said, the reason that you vote for a pro-abortion candidate must not be that he is pro-abortion; there must be other reasons than that.

That would be like voting for a candidate BECAUSE he wanted to legalize cannibalism.

I’m sure it’s always good to change the subject to the gloriously successful, Bush-led Global War on Terrorism (AKA, the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism), so how about this.

The priceless parts:

"U.S. Senate majority leader calls for efforts to bring Taliban into Afghan government

The Associated Press

MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2006

QALAT, Afghanistan U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Monday that the Afghan guerrilla war can never be won militarily and called for efforts to bring the Taliban and their supporters into the Afghan government.

The Tennessee Republican said he had learned from briefings that Taliban fighters were too numerous and had too much popular support to be defeated by military means.

’You need to bring them into a more transparent type of government,’ Frist said during a brief visit to a U.S. and Romanian military base in the southern Taliban stronghold of Qalat. ’And if that’s accomplished we’ll be successful.’"

Something other than military means? I guess Frist is a RINO now, too...

Just for a little clarification on what the voter guide says, the Catholic Church is against abortion in ALL cases, but the Catholic Church has never been against capital punishment in all cases. Doctors of the Church, including Aquinas and Augustine, defended capital punishment, and the Church’s official position is that capital punishment is acceptable in grave circumstances. So to argue that a candidate can’t be pro-life, at least in the eyse of the Church, if he or she supports capital punishment is illigitimate.

"I guess Frist is a RINO now, too..."

Except that Sen. Frist issued a specific statement that the AP article you quote "badly distorts [his] remarks and takes them out of context."

You have to keep up with the news in the web age. Especially given the frequency with which the MSM is inaccurate, plain wrong or intentionally misleading.

Well, that’s interesting, but it does not alleviate the out-of-context problem. So, what WAS the full context of his remarks, and did he or did he not say "You need to bring them into a more transparent type of government"? If not, what DID he say?

Kate, just to clarify, I was posing a hypothetical. Clearly, there is no pro-genocide candidate. Actually I suppose there is somewhere in the US, but that candidate will remain well under the radar.

Daniel K., I know. I was laughing, not that anyone can tell such a thing in a blog comment.

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