The Gospel Truth

Democratic Pretenders

October 18, 2012
5 Comments

The one really poignant moment in the recent debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan was when each gave his understanding of their Catholic church’s teachings on abortion.

Biden’s was of course nothing deeper than the old bait and switch of pro-choice–that became the Mario Cuomo Notre Dame Doctrine that gave our lexicon the phrase—personally opposed but…

The perfect dodge

The vacuity of that statement has fallen by the wayside as Biden’s Democratic Party has virtually abandoned any pretense they had to support both sides in this argument.

Most Democrats have never met an abortion that wasn’t suitable or useful for their political futures.

This should not surprise anybody because the very first “pro-choicer, was a Democrat.

I am talking about Stephen Douglas, the Little Giant of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858.

He also ran for the presidency in the pivotal 1860 election.

But the issue was not abortion but slavery.

He was indifferent to the morality of enslaving another human being.

Of course the linchpin of the slave movement was the belief, seconded by the Dred Scott decision in 1858 that black people were not human–they were property and could legally be owned and sold and even destroyed.

Precursor of the inhuman fetus

He called this property right–popular sovereignty and laid a historical foundation for the pro-choice movement.

The people of any community were free to vote on having slaves or not having slavery.

Democrats today has dispensed with any pretense of allowing people to vote on it.

There is only one acceptable choice and it’s a thumbs down for the baby.

They, not only support abortion rights but actively promote it through their auxiliary organization, Planned Parenthood, which as has as much to do about true parenthood as the Nazi Party once did.

Abortion has been a thorn in the side of American society since the Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973.

Comparable to Scott’s Taney

Since then abortion has become the most verboten of all subjects for polite conversation.

It has divided political parties, households, churches, and has even lead to arguments in Catholic men’s Bible study groups.

Its wicked cords of recent history have knotted America’s moral structure in a conundrum that is subtlety more complex than that, which tore the nation apart in the 19th century.

Like its ante-bellum counterparts, the house of abortion abolitionists is torn between those who wish to rip abortion from the public and legal landscape by its root and branches and those incrementalists who believe a piecemeal policy is the only realistic way to go.

Because of the failure of its political leaders to make any real progress in the last 40 years, Roe is still deeply embedded in the historical landscape.

This is true because too many practical politicians, who lack the courage of their pro-life sentiments, have allowed for certain “exceptions” to abortion.

Unfortunately Ryan’s distillation of his Church’s teachings, erroneously allowed for the usual exceptions–rape, incest and the life of the mother.

A portrait shot of Paul Ryan, looking straight ahead. He has short brown hair, and is wearing a dark navy blazer with a red and blue striped tie over a light blue collared shirt. In the background is the American flag.

Wrong on the exceptions

The only reason anyone should be against abortion is that it takes an innocent human life, albeit it in its nascent stages.

To admit any exceptions undermines the thrust of Thy Shall Not Kill, which literally is a commandment against murder…a specific kind of killing.

I know what Ryan really meant to say–I can’t believe that he or any real Catholic would ever be in favor of these exceptions.

Otherwise he would wade out into an ocean of reality where the ends justify the means.

This is much more Machiavelli than it is Jesus Christ, who despised the violation of any type of human innocence.

But the political realities at this juncture do make it a virtual impossibility to ever secure a majority would oppose it.

While these exceptions amount to no more than 19,500 out of 1.3 million unborn babies annually, these innocent victims are deserving of public protection, without consideration for the relative circumstances of their conception.

Politicians with exceptions fail to understand that to allow the slaughter of these innocents undermines the rationale for their opposition to all other abortions.

The sad fact is emotional appeals have high standing in this debate.

Few people can envision “forcing” a young woman to bear her father’s child or that of a total stranger.

It would take the heroic act of a real saint to bring these children to term.

Yet sometimes we are called to perform acts of moral heroism and saintly courage.

Mothers and fathers and sometimes, even total strangers will risk their lives to rush into a burning building to save the life of a child.

Police officers, firemen and women do it every day.

We cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated by a pro-abortion media that wants the abortion privilege to reign in American culture.

Of all the exceptions it is the life of the mother that poses the most difficulty for the Church and for pro-life people.

The secular media has unfairly painted the Church in misogynistic hues for the last 50 years.

Church leaders have had to walk on eggshells to avoid lending any credence to these vicious attacks.

I recently re-read The Cardinal, a 1950 book by Henry Morton Robinson

It included a graphic scene where the aspiring young Monsignor Stephen Fermoyle was asked to permit a craniotomy, that is, the crushing of a baby’s head upon delivery, to save the life of his unmarried sister who had been in labor for three days.

Under great emotional duress, he told the doctors to save both of them.

Of course only the baby survived.

I believe that the foul taste of seeing this depicted in the subsequent movie 20 years later might have helped fuel the underground swell for Roe.

Monsignor Fermoyle’s decision was very difficult but often the morally correct decision is not the easy decision.

The other side knows this is our Achilles heel.

Onion Magazine recently printed a satirical article about a new anti-abortion pill that killed the mother without harming her fetus.

The Church’s opposition to abortion is based on the principle of the sanctity of all human life.

A person cannot will the death of one as a means of saving the other.

I recognized years ago that this is a tough sell for a growing secular culture.

Taking my inspiration from The Cardinal, I wrote my second play that was produced in 2010, entitled A Perfect Choice.

A young father rushed home from Vietnam to confront his wife’s difficult delivery.

Like the doctors in the Cardinal, they suggested they crush the baby’s skull to save his wife’s life.

Not because of his Church’s teachings but more humanly for his fear of his wife, who was the devout Catholic, he told them to save both because she would never forgive him for sacrificing their child…even for her life.

Well they both die.

His surviving child, age five, doesn’t understand why her mommy had to die.

She blames him for taking her for denying her a mother.

The whole play takes place in a single act some 30 years later on the eve of the dawning of 2000.

The moral principle of double effect applies in cases where the death of the child is only the secondary result of, for example, radiation treatment for the mother’s cancer.

The mother does not have to sacrifice her life for her child but many have, such as St. Gianna.

None of the “exceptions” are easy choices but they all demand exceptional courage and the solid application of Catholic principles on the sanctity of human life.

Being a Catholic is never easy.

Abortion separates the believers from the pretenders.


The Attack of the CINOs

August 11, 2010
5 Comments

No, this is not about an old horror movie I found on cable.

It is about the belligerent, scandalous attitudes and policies of some of my fellow Catholics.

I believe they have poisoned the body politic with a venom worst than an army of scorpions.

I am talking about what my wife calls Catholics in Name Only.

The Republicans have their RINOs and now we have our CINOs.

The old term has been cafeteria Catholics, those who regard the individual teachings of the Church as they would food on a buffet line.

The sad fact is that virtually every Catholic in Congress is a CINO on the life issues.

By life issues, I am not talking broadly about the late Cardinal Bernardin’s seamless garment, which is probably the biggest single cause for this untenable situation with our Catholics in government.

I mean the big three–abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research.

The new dodge of Cinos is the freedom of conscience gambit that grew out of the turmoil in the wake of Vatican II nearly 50 years ago.

The latest to use this clever bit of verbal legerdemain was Senator Richard Durbin recent admissions.

This past month, at their Faith Media Roundtable, several US Senators shared their views on the intersection of religion, politics and much more.

Illinois Senator Durbin explained his strong support for abortion rights by relegating it to a matter of his personal conscience.

Gone seemed to be any pretense of his being pro-choice, that is personally oppsed but publicly unable to force his morality on Americans.

No, the  Senate Majority Whip, a practicing Catholic, has a new Bush to hide behind–his right to dissent from his Church’s traditional teachings.

I am always amazed at the verbal gymnastics that some people  in public life will go to hide the truth of their lives from the public and maybe from themselves.

The truth of Dick Durbin is that he can not face the fact that he has put his soul in jeopardy by following the political dictates of Machiavelli, instead of the teachings of Jesus Christ, as presented by the Catholic Church.

I say this without the presumption that Mr. Durbin is a lost soul, only that he is taking a serious chance with his most prized possession in supporting and advancing such an unmitigated evil in American society.

While there is breath in his body, there is always the hope that he will admit his public moral degradation and repent for all the harm his support has wreaked on the unborn, the most endangered members of our human species.

abortion picture 13

ONE MAN’S CONSCIENCE

I say all this because Durbin’s position and that of all other Catholics, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former presidential candidate, John Kerry and several others, who have chosen to sit in his bark, which is not of Peter but of Satan.

All this being said, let me play the role of the Devil’s Advocate, a fitting analogy for my point.

I will allow the Senator his reliance on his conscience–how it was formed I have no idea since it is a such variance with the Church’s long and consistent teachings on life.

Perhaps he slept through most sermons that addressed the 5th Commandment—Thou Shalt Not Kill.

If Mr. Durbin is entitled to freedom of conscience, then other public figures should be allowed the same luxury.

This idea is self-evident in a society that coddles its criminals with all sorts of psychological excuses for some of the most heinous and brutal crimes under the sun.

Only Catholic priests and conservative figures, such as Mel Gibson are to be judged by traditional moral and legal standards.

I wonder if the Senator would allow secular historical figures of past history the same luxury, such as Roman emperor Caligula, Blackbeard or Billy the Kid.

Most likely he would follow the title of writer Nate Hentoff’s book from years ago, aptly entitled: Free Speech For Me: But Not For Thee.

That is a typical liberal idea–do as we say, not as we do.

But for argument’s sake, should not the important idea of freedom of conscience apply to say–Adolph Hitler?

Why should Senator Durbin and his fellow Catholics deny their prized freedom to a fellow Catholic, like Hitler?

I have read a great deal about Hitler and his personal motivations and his desire to resurrect Germany after its near destruction in World War I.

Hitler thought Germany had been sold out by the Dolchstoss or stab in the back.

I think it fair to assume that Hitler’s conscience told him that the best way to restore Germany to its past national glory was to rid his country of all the inferior races, cultures, and defective human beings, whom he classified as Untermenschen, a sort of underclass, he deemed unfit to live.

The term he used was Lebens unwertes leben-life unworthy of life.

ANOTHER MAN’S CONSCIENCE

This is is the same rationale we have been fed since Roe v. Wade in 1973.

We have been told that the fetus is not human and is not worthy to see the light of day.

We could play this same scenario with Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong and many others who have had the blood of millions on their hands.

If Mr. Durbin wants to use such a term of relativity–that is where  there are no absolutes, then I am free to extend his idea to all others who might also find room in his bark.

This would make the Senator a commissar in the dictatorship of relativity.

He will deny any such comparisons, in the spirit of Hentoff”s book title above.

But that is what I would expect him or any other liberal worth his salt to do.  Like the scorpion, it is in their nature.

I suggest the Senator find a new boat because his current vessel holds as much water as his reliance on his freedom of conscience.


About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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