26th April 2012, 12:13 PM
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Manipulation Resistance Team
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Join Date: 5th February 2002
Reps: 2,623,770,022,360,780,800 (power: 2,623,770,022,360,874)
Are You “Personally Opposed, But…”?
Recent decades are rife with “opposed, but…” statements from Catholic politicians
who maintain that they do not wish to “force” their own personal opposition to abortion on their constituencies. Must they then stand aside, with their hands folded, while pro-abortion politicians grant a “license to kill” to pregnant mothers and medical practitioners?
It is high time to reconsider: how far does the obligation of a politician to further his moral commitments extend? It is generally recognized in democratic countries now that strictly private immorality is out of the boundaries of public control. Former laws in various states of the U.S. prohibiting contraceptive use and sodomy have fallen by the wayside. Some less private matters are also considered immune to legislation: no one is claiming that if a Mormon or Muslim, with strong views about abstinence from alcohol, were elected to public office, he or she would need to pursue ways of outlawing alcohol. We learned that lesson from the 1920s experiment with Prohibition. And if the mayor of one of the counties in Nevada permitting prostitution had strong moral objections against prostitution, would he be obligated to work to change the laws permitting prostitution?
On the other hand, moral positions are incorporated in some of our most important laws – laws against murder, theft, defamation of character, perjury, parental negligence, and – in the armed services and a few states – laws against adultery. Aside from non-legislation regarding adultery, it seems that last seven of the Ten Commandments were a major inspiration for our criminal code.
- Fr. Gregory Jensen
The more I follow the online discussions ... the more I follow the debates and disagreements in the Church about administrative unity, or the concerns expressed about the moral or personal or administrative or leadership failings of the bishops or the clergy, the more I become convinced that whatever might be the truth of these concerns, ALL of this is simply a distraction. No, it’s more than that. It’s a justification, an excuse, for not helping each other and those outside the Church fall in love with Jesus Christ. How easy it is to talk about everything, but about Jesus hardly at all.