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

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

31 - 40 of 61 Comments

  1. Vincent DiCarlo
    6 years ago

    A sophist is a person who is ready to provide and articulate but specious defense of error. For some reason, Mr Kmiec has chosen to provide a sophist's pretext for Catholics who are indifferent to the killing of children and want to support a politician who will promote and extend that killing. I shudder to think of the judgment he may be putting himself under. Regardless of whatever defects in his knowledge, consent, or freedom may ameliorate or excuse his personal guilt for the tremendous evil he is doing, there is no excuse for the publishers of this periodical to give him a platform to accomplish his purpose.

  2. Elissa
    6 years ago

    Did Kmiec articulate the "proportionate reasons" for endorsing a pro-abortion candidate in this article, or will we have to wait for the next installment? He did mention taxes and the environment, but surely those issues aren't proportionate to 50 million innocent human lives.

  3. Jeff S.
    6 years ago

    After reading this article, I took comfort in the fact that Douglas Kmiec is a professor of law, NOT theology.

    6 years ago

    Professor Kmiec has an athletic mind! In Kmiec's world, McCain is pro-choice and Obama is more open to pro-life considerations, even though he voted against the born alive infant protection act. WOW!!!

  5. Dorothy
    6 years ago

    Kmiec thinks Obama is more likely to listen to pro-life concerns than McCain because Obama has "a genuine appreciation for the importance of faith in the public square." Is this the same Obama who used the term, "folks who cling to guns and religion"? Is this the same Obama who is endorsed by NARAL? Same Obama who promised that the first thing hed do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would overturn state pro-life laws nationwide and make abortion the supreme law of the land?

  6. Sarah
    6 years ago


    With all due respect, the "root causes" are not easily fixed. The root cause is an unwillingness to take responsibility for one's actions along with the denial that the fetas is, indeed, a human being. With free will at play, the only way we, as a society, can effect change is by making laws to protect human life from the moment of conception. That doesn't mean we shouldn't also offer all kinds of support and encouragement to the mother, but really the best place to find that is the Church. I had an unplanned pregnancy 17 years ago, left home and pursued an adoption. I found myself in a different state, alone, and popped into a Catholic Church for Confession. After spending a few hours with the parish priest, he literally placed me in the care of a wonderful Catholic family who looked after me during the pregnancy. About a month after the babies were born (twins!), I was having second thoughts about the adoption. My parents finally decided to make peace with reality, and they came to take the three of us home. Well, it's been a long, hard journey, but also a happily ever after story. I would never had the courage to go through with the pregnancy if it weren't for my Catholic upbringing and the support I received from the Church. I responded to your post because I disagree with you about the legalization issue. I don't judge you for your decision and pray that you will forgive and love yourself as God does.

  7. Thomas
    6 years ago

    I feel as though I should take a different tack from the previous comments (I do not believe that the good Professor does not "value" the right to life, nor that he "drinks the Kool Aid", nor that he is himself pro-choice, although he may be working on the just-war principle of "double effect", here.) That being said, I would have to agree with some of the more substantial, less foamy-mouth criticism.

    Chad Regan states that "All Catholics must first and foremost vote for this and then other less significant things." This is correct, according to Pope John Paul II in Christifideles Laici: "The common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights--for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture--is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination." His being a Professor of Constitutional Law at Pepperdine, and former Dean and St. Thomas More Professor of the Catholic University of America, I would it were the case that Professor Kmiec understands the meaning of "maximum determination" and that for the moment, this has merely slipped his mind. If we are to maximally determine our defense of life, it must take precedence, simply, over all other issues. This is natural, because as the Pope argued, it is "the condition for all other personal rights", and therefore the most important.

    What justification can there be for a society that does not protect the lives of its citizens, insofar as they are citizens? St. Thomas Aquinas, in On Kingship, argues that any city has three duties: to secure the order of the city by virtue of which it is one, to order that city to its best end, and to provide for the necessities of that end. A pro-choice candidate violates all three of these: a nation that kills its own naturalized citizens cannot be considered to be one, in that the killing of its own constitutes a violation of justice, according to which we say there is order in the state; they cannot be considered to obey the best end for the city, which consists in the good of all its citizens, not just the greatest number; and they cannot be considered to be providing the necessities, when life itself is a necessity and a good in itself.

    I would ask the good Professor to consider, too, the parallels between the establishment of slavery and abortion (and now, in California it seems, gay marriage): Both began in courts, with a ruling that the fetus/slave was not human, but property. Both were argued for by a significant chunk of the population (in the former case, broadly the North and South; in the latter, broadly the Right and the Left), and both are and were challenged by the statement that all men are created equal, with the provision that the fetus or the slave are both human. With what rational justice, then, can there be such a decision to support a thoroughly pro-choice candidate, given the non-negotiable understanding that the fetus is in fact a human person, formed and made in the image and likeness of God.

    It would not be an exaggeration, I think, to say that a vote for a pro-choice candidate ought to be seen as no less grave than a vote for slavery.

    Now, this is all addressing the issue of the matter as theoretical. What of the practical? Some say if we vote for a pro-choice candidate but express our dislike vocally for his positions, this will effect change. Perhaps this is true. But it is certainly not likely, given that the all-important factor in an electoral decision is not the opinion expressed, but the vote decided by the opinion. If we, opposing abortion ourselves, support a pro-choice candidate, the impression given and the effect obtained is not that we consider abortion an issue already understood as having "maximum determination", but rather that we consider it secondary to such wonderful things as nationalized health care, higher taxation, and other supposed benefits.

    The Professor must know that abortion is not a negotiable issue. Furthermore, with his prior title as Dean of the Catholic University of America, I hope I can assume that he is familiar with the natural law priority of life before other rights. The question then must be asked: What possible justification can supersede the censuring of one who would deny an innocent naturalized citizen and a child made in the image and likeness of God the first natural good given to him by that same God, the gift of life?

  8. Kathy McGourty
    6 years ago

    After reading all your comments, I have concluded that none of you truly care about the best way to end abortions. Abortions existed before they were legal. They will exist after it becomes illegal. As one who chose abortion 30 years ago as a pregnant teen with no where to go, has suffered through depression and forgiveness, has had 4 children and celebrated a 25th wedding anniversary, I can tell you that making it illegal would not have changed my choice. Offering support as I faced my authoritarian father who told me at 16 "If you ever get pregnant, don't come home" would have helped me to change my mind. Offering me a place to live and a job to support my baby so I did not have to be subjected to his control and anger would have helped. Teaching boys about the evils of HOOTERS restaurants and other 'accepted pornography' in media would have prevented the problem in the first place. The root cause of abortion is not its legalization. It is the disrespect of women's bodies that we condone and the control that everyone is fighting over without supporting the women who need it. Stop wasting time and money on the legalization fight, and start ending abortion by addressing the root causes.

  9. Chad Regan
    6 years ago

    It is unfortunate, Douglas, that you are with the group of Catholics who clearly do not value the right, especially of the innocent fetus, to life. All Catholics must first and foremost vote for this and then other less significant things. There is a correct candidate here, and it's John McCain- he supports the right to life and good practising Catholics, if to vote at all, must vote for him.

  10. Jack
    6 years ago

    Ignore the author's rhetoric. Look at the facts.

    As an Illinois senator, Obama led the fight to deny health care to babies who were born alive as the result of a botched abortion. He has a 100% pro-abortion voting record according to NARAL. He also has NARAL's endorsement.

    McCain has a 97% pro-life voting record, according to National Right to Life.

    Over 50 million children have been killed since Roe v. Wade.

    Don't drink the Koolaid!

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