Let me start by saying, this video isn’t going to be about arguments for or against legalized abortion, but instead this is going to be directed at those who consider themselves to be faithful practicing Catholics. It’s sorta like an internal memo or a family meeting. If that isn’t addressed to you or if you want to watch something that argues the issue of abortion, go check out another video I did on the topic which I will hopefully remember to link up here.
Now if you’re still left watching, let me start by saying, I get it, this is a difficult and controversial topic and my intention with this video isn’t to point fingers or position myself as a better Catholic than anyone else. My hope is that you would be willing to challenge your beliefs and therefore your voting habits which reflect them.
And if I stumble through this or I make this case in an obnoxious or even fallacious way, don’t let my short comings stop you from backing away from your default assumptions and taking a critical evaluation of them.
As faithful Catholics, we all know that the Church teaches that abortion is always wrong because it necessitates the killing of a defenceless and innocent human life by those who aren’t defenseless. It involves the strong killing the weak. And that’s never justified.
Now, if you’re a faithful, believing Catholic, that’s what you recognize and concede is going on systematically on a large scale. But, maybe you like to think of yourself as being more sophisticated than any single issue voter.
I can hear some of you saying, what about concern for the poor, the environment, and children at the border. Those are pro-life issues as well right? And for the sake of keeping this applicable, I’d like to focus this in the American political context, even though I’m not American, because that’s an example where these alternative seem to be focused in a clear way.
With both parties, you have instances in which they give lip service to issues that Catholics care about in their platforms.
You might say, yes Republicans oppose abortion, but the Democrats are more concerned with things like the welfare of the poor, the environment, and health coverage. So, the challenge for each Catholic is to choose which from among those concerns are the most important.
To simplify the dilemma about where our priorities should lie, let’s anthropomorphize these platforms as if they were two individuals and then use these two individuals to behaviourally represent all the issues and compare them.
So, which is more alarming, which is more critically in need of legal and moral intervention – a person who doesn’t give money to the poor or someone who is in the habit of murdering people in their spare time. And you could use this analogy to go on down the list of issues.
Maybe, one guy drives a gas guzzling truck and pollutes unnecessarily, the other goes on a killing spree every long weekend. One guy isn’t willing to pay for his neighbor’s health coverage, the other strangles babies whenever the opportunity arises. Isn’t it obvious which one you should be more concerned about? Isn’t it obvious which of those has far more moral gravity?
OK, maybe that seems too simplistic. Let’s broaden it back out to a national policy. Let’s imagine a political party that advocated for a government welfare program that, if possible ensures the livelihood of all (#7), the cancellation of high interest debts (#11), the expansion of old age welfare (#15), nationalization of businesses in the interest of sharing wealth and profits with the people (#13,14), free college for poor students (#20), a national childcare program, and a National Healthcare program. (numbers refer to articles in the 25 Point Program of the NSDAP aka. the Nazi Party)
But… with one little catch. They’re gonna… they’re gonna do a little genocide. Would you or I look at that and say, I’m not a one issue voter. I’m pro-life, but old age pensions and public health care are pro-life concerns as well. I won’t let a little genocide preoccupy all of my democratic decisions.
No reasonable or moral person would say that’s a fair or just trade. The right to life for all people takes priority over all of those other concerns. And in case you scoff at how hypothetical this all is, that political we were straining to imagine earlier, that was Nazi Germany. Those were articles from their policy and platform.
Like I said earlier, this is a question of trying to prioritize between all these issues because neither party represents them all. What might help here is to remember that we as Catholics believe that God revealed himself, and therefore what is good and true, in stages based on a priority of what should come first.
He didn’t give Moses the sermon on the mount. He started with the basics of the Ten Commandments because it’s no use telling people to pray for their enemies and turn the other cheek if they haven’t even figured out that you should maybe, probably, not murder people yet.
In other words, some concerns take a sequential priority. The decalogue of the ten commandments comes first. Once you have that nailed down, you can eventually get to the higher teachings of Jesus.
If you can’t all get behind the 10 commandments, you keep working on it until you have because it’s no use trying to be more ambitious with your moral goals by talking about making private health care illegal if you can’t agree murder in all its forms should be illegal.
Lastly, can I ask why we should believe the sincerity of someone who says they want to help the helpless when they are simultaneously advocating murdering some of the helpless? Doesn’t that strike you as a blinding inconsistency?
It seems like a lot of people are hedging their bets. Even if we granted that public healthcare, pollution restrictions, and public housing are just as important as protecting everyone’s fundamental right to life, how do we know that the Democrats are actually going to deliver on those things? How do we know that their policies will actually help the poor and vulnerable?
Because if you look at a lot of municipalities where the Democrats have been governing for a long time, they’re a disaster. The worst cities for homelessness in the States are Democrat run. The top 10 most dangerous cities all have Democrat mayors and you have to know that it’s minorities and the poor who suffer the most in those situations.
So it doesn’t seem that Democrat policies are a sure thing to helping the poorWhat we do know is that they are sincere when they say they’re going to expand abortion access and do everything they can to protect organizations like Planned Parenthood to make sure they can fire up the ovens without any interference.
What we do know is that abortion rates fell by 20% between 2011 and 2017. That’s nearly 200,000 lives per year in the US. Those are staggering numbers.
If the trade-off is between all the things that the Democrats claim to be able to fix (in spite of their record) and 200,000 people deliberately killed every year, it seems like a fairly obvious choice to me. I hope it does to you too.