Kmiec Comes Home: Ambassador Resigns Position in the Obama Administration
To this day, I am of the opinion that Doug was used by the Obama campaign.
To this day, I am flabbergasted by Doug's position during the last presidential campaign and his decision to support Barack Obama. However, I still consider Doug to be a friend. Friends can make wrong decisions. If we care about them at all, we pray for their conversion. If being deceived by a Presidential candidate is Doug's major fault, we have all made the same mistake. Welcome home Doug, give me a call.
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Readers of Catholic Online recall the series of back and forth disagreements which flowed between now Ambassador Doug Kmiec and I during the last Presidential campaign. Doug is a friend, albeit one with whom I held a very serious disagreement. His quickly written book released during the last Presidential campaign was entitled "Can a Catholic Support Him?" and subtitled "Asking the Big Question about Barrack Obama". It made a serious impact on the last Presidential election.
In the forward to the book he was kind enough to acknowledge me with these words "Deacon Keith Fournier's writing and editing of Catholic Online is courageous and wise." However, when I reviewed the book, I made my absolute disagreement with his position unequivocally clear. He asked the wrong question.
The proper question was not "can" but "should." The word "can" addresses the issue of capacity and ability. Any Catholic can exercise their right to vote in any manner in which they choose. The question is should they vote for someone whose position will not promote the fundamental truth that every human person has a fundamental right to life?
The Church to which Doug and I both belong does not tell people how to vote, in the sense of which candidate to choose in an election. "Should" on the other hand examines the morality of that choice given our obligation to exercise our freedom with reference to the truth.
In short, what is our duty? Sadly, in his argumentation in this book, Doug confused and conflated the two. It is on that fundamental point that I completely disagreed with Doug Kmiec, and I made my disagreement widely known. I stand by that decision and that disagreement. Doug Kmiec was wrong. Sadly, he also led many astray.
To this day, I am of the opinion that Doug was used by the Obama campaign. Why, I will not speculate because I would be led into sin. However, as a result of Doug's support, President Obama received votes which put him into the White House. In light of the effects this election had on the fundamental human rights issue of our age, the Right to Life, the result was absolutely horrendous. Thousands have died because of this and the world is worse off for their loss. The You Tube lead in to this article is an example of the sophistry which Doug Kmiec not only promoted but advanced.
Doug and I share a Catholic Christian faith which proclaims the existence of a profound body of Moral teaching, a subset of which is called "Catholic Social Doctrine." At its foundation is the insistence that every human life has an inviolable dignity and must be protected against unjust aggression from conception, through every age and stage of life, up to and including natural death.
This position respecting all human life at every age and stage is not a single "issue" but a framework through which all moral considerations and the positive law must be viewed. Human rights are goods of the human person, not free floating concepts.
They require human persons to both receive them and to exercise them. Catholic Moral teaching is rooted in an affirmation of the existence of a Natural Law which is knowable by all men and women because it is written on the human heart. This is the basis of the very hierarchy of rights which Doug Kmiec had spent his career attempting to espouse and train others to serve.
To the Christian believer this Natural law is understood to be a participation in the Divine Law and is further expounded upon by Revelation. However, the existence of this truth is an objective reality and does not require one to have any religious belief. It is also binding on all men and women. This is where Doug lost his way.
For example, it is always and everywhere wrong to take innocent human life and it is always and everywhere wrong to kill our neighbor (outside of a legitimate exercise of self defense). Ascribing to these truths does not require one to be a religious believer. In fact these truths form the very core of Western positive law and the Jurisprudence which it birthed.
Voting, like any human action, involves an ordering toward an end. Doug attempts in this little book to explain the morality of human action but does so incorrectly and inadequately. I asked my readers during the last election to examine the section entitled the "Morality of Human Acts" in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Par. 1749 -1761) and compare it with Doug Kmiec's short treatment on page 135 of his little book which is abysmally deficient.
Further, it is essential to read Blessed John Paul II's Encyclicals entitled "The Gospel of Life" and "the Splendor of Truth" and then consider Doug Kmiec's approach to analyzing the morality of a human act. It is immoral to vote in a manner which fails to protect innocent human persons from being unjustly killed. This is what occurs ...
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