Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/20/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Along with his late wife Eunice, Sargent Shriver belonged to America's dwindling population of Pro-life liberals

Eunice and Sargent Shriver were Pro-Life Democrats. There was another interesting news story on the same day of the sad news of the passing of Sargent Shriver which has implications for the Democratic Primaries for President. Because I would still like to see Pro-Life people in both parties, I believe it is time to shake them both up.The first challenger to President Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination has emerged, Randall Terry, the long time Pro-Life champion.

The late Sargent Shriver at the funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy.

The late Sargent Shriver at the funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy.

Article Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/20/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Eunice Shriver, Sargent Shriver, Ted Kennedy, Pro-Life Liberal, abortion, Choice, Bob Casey, Randall Terry, Deacon Keith Fournier


BETHESDA, Md. (Catholic Online) - On Tuesday, January 18, 2011, long time public servant Sargent Shriver died at the age of 95. In August of 2009 his beloved wife Eunice Kennedy Shriver predeceased him. Together they founded the Special Olympics and dedicated their lives to caring for those to whom too many pay little or no attention. They were the last of an increasingly rare breed of people in political circles these days, consistent liberals who recognize the dignity of every human life from conception to natural death and actually allow that fundamental truth to inform their lives of public service.

Sargent Shriver was the first director of the Peace Corps and was chosen to serve as a running mate for George McGovern's failed Presidential bid in 1972. He ran for the Presidency in 1976. He was instrumental in what was called the "War on Poverty" under the Johnson administration. Whether one agrees with the underlying view of the role of the Federal Government which permeated the brand of political liberalism espoused by this good man and his good wife, there is no doubt that it was informed by a sincere recognition of the dignity of every human life.

A New York Times editorial written by Ross Douthat on August 30, 2009, the week Eunice Kennedy Shriver died, was entitled "A Different Kind of Liberal." It drew comparisons and contrasts between Ted Kennedy, who died the same month, and his sister, Eunice Shriver. He noted "Liberalism's most important legislator probably merited a more extended send-off than his sister. But there's a sense in which his life's work and Eunice's deserve to be remembered together - for what their legacies had in common, and for what ultimately separated them."

He continued "What separated them was abortion. Along with her husband, Sargent Shriver, Eunice belonged to America's dwindling population of outspoken pro-life liberals. Like her church, she saw continuity, rather than a contradiction, between championing the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed and protecting unborn human life. Her brother took a different path. Not at first: In 1971, in a letter to a voter that abortion opponents would have many opportunities to quote, he declared that "wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized - the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old."

I grew up in Massachusetts during the heyday of this brand of liberalism. I actually remember consistent liberals. Sadly they are now nearly extinct. The Shriver's stood in the proud tradition of the last truly great Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States; the late Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey. He was a great champion of all the poor and a candidate whom I proudly supported in his bid for the White House. He was censored at the National Democratic Convention when the forces of death on demand in the name of "choice" took over that once great Party. He and the Shriver's heard the cries of all of the poor, including those whom Mother Teresa rightly called "the poorest of the poor", children living in the first home of the whole human race who have no voice but our own.

Under the leadership of the late Governor Casey, a full-page advertisement appeared in the New York Times during the Democratic Convention in July 1992 called "A New Compact of Care: Caring about Women, Caring for the Unborn." Both Eunice and Sargent Shriver signed this document , I offer a small excerpt in honor of Sargent Shriver:
 
*************

Beyond the False Dichotomy: A New Compact of Care

"The advocates of abortion on demand falsely assume two things: that women must suffer if the lives of unborn children are legally protected; and that women can only attain equality by having the legal option of destroying their innocent offspring in the womb. The cynicism of these assumptions reflects a terrible failure of moral imagination and social responsibility and an appalling lack of respect for women.

"We propose a new understanding, one that does not pit mother against child. To establish justice and to promote the general welfare, America does not need the abortion license. What America needs are policies that responsibly protect and advance the interest of mothers and their children, both before and after birth. Such policies would provide maximum feasible legal protection for the unborn and maximum feasible care and support for pregnant women, mothers, and children.... a public policy that more adequately expresses the traditions and convictions of the American people will do more than restore legal protection to the unborn.

"It will take seriously the needs of women whose social or economic circumstances might tempt them to seek the abortion "solution." It will recognize our shared responsibility, in public and private settings, to make realistic alternatives to abortion available to such women. It will support women in caring for the children they choose to raise themselves, and it will help them find homes for those they cannot raise. It will work to provide a decent life for mother and child before and after birth.

"In sum, we can and we must adopt solutions that reflect the dignity and worth of every human being and that embody understanding of the community's shared responsibility for creating policies that are truly pro-woman and pro-child. What we seek are communities and policies that help women to deal with crisis pregnancies by eliminating the crisis, not the child...

Common Choices, Common Destiny

"The rhetoric of abortion advocacy contains a truth that abortion advocates often fail to perceive. Abortion is a question of choice. The "choice," though, is not one faced by isolated women exercising private rights. It is a choice faced by all the citizens of this free society. And the choice we make, deliberatively and democratically, will do much to answer two questions: What kind of a people are we? What kind of a people will we be?

"If we abandon the principle of respect for human life by making the value of a life depend on whether someone else thinks that life is worthy or wanted, we will become one sort of people. But there is a better way. We can choose to reaffirm our respect for human life. We can choose to extend once again the mantle of protection to all members of the human family, including the unborn. We can choose to provide effective care of mothers and children. And if we make those choices, America will experience a new birth of freedom, bringing with it a renewed spirit of community, compassion, and caring."

******

On January 22, 2011 our Nation marks an infamous anniversary, the Supreme Court's "legalization" of the taking of innocent human life in the womb through its decisions in Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton.  These words need to be read by all who are dedicated to building a new culture of life and civilization of love. With the death of Sargent Shriver, one less consistent liberal is now in our midst. After what happened to Governor Robert Casey at the Convention, I left the Democratic Party.

The child in the first home of the whole human race is our neighbor. It is always and everywhere wrong to kill our innocent neighbor. Science has confirmed what the Natural law has written on our conscience, there is no "Right" to take innocent human life at any age or stage. No-one can claim to care for the poor when they fail to hear the cry of these children. No Political party which claims to champion human rights can be anything but Pro-life. Abortion is the great sin against human solidarity and its embrace by the liberal community has undermined its moral claim to care about the poor.

I would still like to see genuinely Pro-Life people in both parties. So, I believe it is time to shake them both up. There was another interesting news story on the same day of the sad news of the passing of Sargent Shriver which will do just that to the Democratic Party. The first challenger to President Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2012 has emerged.  He is Randall Terry, the long time Pro-Life champion. You can find out more about his campaign by going to Terry for President.This will be an interesting political campaign season.

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Report says Christianity should be taught Watch

Image of Religions place in public education is a hotly debated issue for Americas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is commonly, though wrongly, accepted knowledge that public school teachers are not allowed to teach the Bible, biblical values, or Christian history in public schools. It is a debate that dominates every part of life, from a single household to the federal ... continue reading


Obama has proposed 442 tax hikes since taking office and you won't believe what he could tax next! Watch

Image of Obama has proposed hundreds of tax increases and more could come within the last two years.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama has attempted 442 tax increases during his six years as president so far, and more are likely to come as the administration looks for ways to pay for their proposals. According to Americans for Tax Reform, the numbers suggest why it's important to have ... continue reading


Hey Eric Holder, where are the special prosecutors? Watch

Image of Hey Holder, why won't you answer simple questions?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At several federal judges said last week that in their professional opinion, Attorney General Eric Holder has exceeded his authority by giving federal prosecutors "improper instruction" to reduce drug sentences prior to official approval of new guidelines. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Corruption runs deep - Ranking member of Committee asked to explain 'surreptitious communication' with IRS Watch

Image of Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has suspicious contact with the IRS. He has also resisted efforts to compel Lois Lerner to testify.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The House Oversight and Reform Committee is asking its ranking member, Elijah Cummings (D-MD) why he had surreptitious communication with the IRS over a group that received unlawful IRS scrutiny. The committee says the public deserves a "full and truthful explanation" ... continue reading


Attorney General Eric Holder lashes out Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Attorney General Eric Holder has been under some intense, unflattering scrutiny as of late, stemming from the "Fast and the Furious" debacle. Holder went "off script" during a speech given at the National Action Network. While lauding the organization's effort ... continue reading


House Republicans contemplating jail for Lois Lerner Watch

Image of Lois Lerner could go to jail if she refuses to cooperate with investigators.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Republicans are contemplating the arrest of Lois Lerner for contempt in the event the Attorney General, Eric Holder refuses to act on their findings. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to investigate whether or ... continue reading


Attorney General Eric Holder gets 'ghetto' during hearing Watch

Image of Attorney General became angry and slipped into colloquial speech during a hearing with Representatives.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Attorney General Eric Holder might not be in contempt of a Congressional hearing, but he certainly behaved contemptuously in our opinion, when he was questioned as to why his department could provide documents to terrorists and their attorneys but not congress. After ... continue reading


Your government at work: Feds ATTACK lone cattle rancher with army --to protect a tortoise Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy is under siege on his cattle ranch by a small army of federal agents, over a tortoise and unpaid grazing fees.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A shocking paramilitary action in unfolding in the high Nevada desert pitting the Feds against a lone rancher and his cattle herd. It's the stuff of fiction, but it is happening right now and the U.S. government doesn't want anyone to know what they are doing. LAS ... continue reading


SEARCH AND READ - ACLU opens database of leaked NSA documents Watch

Image of Americans have widely condemned NSA spying, but little has changed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ACLU has launched its own database of documents leaked by Edward Snowden as well as other disclosures regarding at activities of the NSA. The ACLU says the documents will serve as a primary source for understanding the government's interpretation of its authority ... continue reading


Dominant-Issue Voters and Cultural Conservatism Watch

Image of Using dominant-issue language can help to close the unnecessary divide between pro-life and social justice Catholics. There's a clear continuity between providing someone with food and shelter and the willingness to defend his life when it's threatened.

By Deal W. Hudson

"Social conservatism" has long been the Good Housekeeping brand in pro-life politics. Its usefulness, however, has come to an end, not because the moral commitments it signifies are any less important, but because politics is about attracting voters. A new ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 50:4-9
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
8 I am estranged from my brothers, alienated from my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 26:14-25
14 Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 16th, 2014 Image

St. Bernadette
April 16: On April 16, 1879, Bernadette -- or Sister Marie-Bernard, as she ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter