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DOUG KMIEC: Catholic Reasons for Hope in the General Election Comments

"As a matter of Catholic teaching, who’s right? None of us. Who’s wrong? Also, none of us. Catholic teaching simply does not supply a single, definitive answer." Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 61 Comments

  1. Mary Agnes
    6 years ago

    Mr. Kmiec, Please, kneel before the Blessed Sacrament and pray for the strength and humility to repent. God is throwing you a lifeline through these comments. You are in my prayers.

  2. eric
    6 years ago

    I'm sorry but it goes, 'you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear'. Just to clarify. I'm going with the status quo until something better comes along, which Obama is not. Of course I'm very bitter and hanging onto my religion, sorry no guns, because I was a burden to my mother.

  3. Kyle
    6 years ago

    Get it through your head: there is more to 'life' than the issue of abortion.

    Once babies are born into this world, the Republican Party withdrawals their support, unless of course, the children are born into a rich household. The Republican Party, and their nominee, John McCain, are pro-capital punishment and pro-war. How can we as Catholics vote for a man like John McCain?

    So he's 'pro-life', in the sense of abortion. What about all the other situations that involve 'life' that McCain and the Republican's do no honor?

    Not all candidates who say they are conservative are good followers of Christ.

    Hitler was anti-gay's. I find myself wondering had he been running for president, if you people would have voted for him?

  4. Thales
    6 years ago

    So, to summarize Professor Kmiec's article:
    -Obama thinks abortion is a constitutional right.
    -McCain thinks abortion should be left up to the states to decide.
    -Therefore, the political positions of both candidates are equally pro-abortion.
    -So we have to look for what is the most effective manner to reduce abortion, and Obama's "emphasis on personal responsibility (conveying especially to young people the need to understand the maturity and commitment needed for sexual intimacy) is the course most likely to make a difference."
    -Lobbying both political parties to change their pro-abortion views is necessary, and Obama would be more open to this pro-life lobbying and to changing his pro-abortion views because "he is more dedicated toward reducing the partisanship of the past, has very responsibly and very consistently called upon our better natures, and has articulated -- long before he sought the presidency -- a genuine appreciation for the importance of faith in the public square."
    -Finally, it would be great if the Supreme Court directly outlawed all abortion entirely, finding an unalienable right to life from the moment of conception. But that is never going to happen. Therefore, it doesn't really matter which judge gets appointed. A Ruth Bader Ginsburg is just the same as a Clarence Thomas. So, it is pointless to talk about judicial appointments.

    I am astounded at the number of logical fallacies in Professor Kmiec's article.

  5. Dale Price
    6 years ago

    Yet another attempt to make a silk purse out of cotton candy. There is nothing whatsoever in the Illinois senator's record, and precious little in his rhetoric, which support the pro-life hopes with which the Professor invests him. How does his promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act square with the remotest of pro-life positions? It doesn't, as everyone who hasn't guzzled the Hopenchange-flavored Kool-Aid already knows.

    Frankly, Obama's Catholics are engaged in a multimonth novena which repeats "hope," "change" and "new politics."

    It convinces no one not already willing to look the other way on the Senator's record.

    That said, I suspect the Professor will get his wish and his "imperfectly pro-life" champion will be elected. And I have every confidence that no error will be acknowledged when President Obama who destroys every fragile pro-life achievement of the past generation, root and branch.

  6. truthfinder
    6 years ago

    Doug, I would suggest that you reconsider your position on fully supporting Obama and take into closer consideration your obligation as a catholic. Take to heart this quote from then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI,

    “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.” (WRHC 3)

    I would recommend that you read the voters guide for serious Catholics found at:

    God bless.

  7. Francis McNamara
    6 years ago

    100% sophistry. Shame on you, Doug Kmiec, for attempting to mislead Catholics!

  8. Joshua
    6 years ago

    99% Eloquence 1% Substance, at best. I see nothing here that address the level of each canidate's support of these pro-choice positions. Also I see nothing to confirm the accusation against the Supreme Court Justices, especially in the light of them upholding the partial birth abortion ban. I'm a simple man, fancy words mean little to me. Where is the substantive argument?

  9. Molly
    6 years ago

    The Cranky Conservative wrote great commentary on Kmiec's 'piece'. Here's a smathering:

    "John McCain’s position is one that is shared by most Catholics. He is firmly against abortion, and he recognizes that the Constitution is silent on the matter, neither absolutely prohibiting it nor absolutely mandating it. To insinuate that this is some sort of “pro-choice” position is complete verbal gymnastics. In order to justify this, Kmiec has to engage in a bit of constitutional interpretation that is simply baffling."...

    "It frightens me that a constitutional law professor makes this argument about the constitution’s purpose. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are not the same thing, and the former in no way was meant to be implement or enforce the latter’s meaning. The DoI was a propaganda tool - an elegant one, to be sure, that does contain significant meaning. But this idea of the Constitution held by Kmiec is simply wrong.

    I am beginning to believe that Kmiec is trotting out this nonsense solely with the purpose of making McCain look bad. The only way he can possibly show McCain to be no better than Obama on the issue of abortion is to make some ludicrous argument connecting the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Sorry, but no sale."...

    "Wait a second. Neither party has acceptable positions? The Republican Party has continuously had an anti-abortion plank in their party’s platform, and has called for the prohibition of abortion. That sounds pretty Catholic to me. Unless Kmiec is saying that the party merely want to reverse Roe, leaving the decision up the states. Because leaving the decision up to the states is bad because the Constitution absolutely forbids abortion, which is also insufficient, because prohibiting abortion won’t really have an impact without changing hearts and minds.
    My head hurts."...

    "Jumping Jupiters, is this guy serious? Is he now actually arguing that Barack Obama’s position on abortion is superior to John McCain’s because Obama’s made some vaguely nice things about faith (other than when he’s castigating religious people for clinging to religion?), and because he uses a lot of flowery but empty rhetoric in his speeches?"...

    "Yes, and some of us do that by voting for the guy who actually doesn’t favor abortion. You seem content on voting for the guy who not only favors abortion, but will do everything in his power to make access even easier. Which one of is right? Who knows."...

    "In the end, Doug Kmiec is left with only the ability to argue that John McCain’s position on abortion is really no different than Barack Obama’s because McCain doesn’t live up to a standard held by pretty much no person other than Doug Kmiec.

    Convenient, isn’t it?"

  10. Father Angelo Mary
    6 years ago


    An intelligent, balanced, nuanced assessment of the presidential candidates in this election. I commend Doug on his article. It is time that intelligent but unaware voters stop having the wool pulled over their eyes by Republican candidates who pay lip service and not much more to the prolife cause just to get elected. 2004's elections should be enough of an example. Now in 2008 we have an economy in shambles, a currency worth 40% of what it was just a few years ago, out of control energy prices, and rising unemployment. My guess is that sadly, all of these factors will increase the number of woman choosing abortion.

    Most pro-lifers are not party loyalists, they are baby and woman loyalists. Unfortunately, the Democratic party is The Abortion Party.

    Again, that the man with the worst possible record on life issues is the best or even an acceptable candidate to lead us into the culture of life is ludicrous, no matter how erudite the presentation.

    "Intelligent, balanced, nuanced assessment," here means an excellent exercise in rationalization.

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