Deal W. Hudson
April 10, 2018
Pope Francis get’s it. He understands why 52 percent of Catholic voters helped to elect Donald Trump in the face of fierce resistance from nearly all the of the U.S. Bishops, and the pontiff himself.
What Pope Francis gets is precisely what has historically pushed Catholic Democrats to vote for Republican presidents such as Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump — the abortion issue.
To remedy this, the pope has published an Apostolic Exhortation, “On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World,” with the resulting headline from The New York Times: “Pope Puts Caring for Immigrants and Abortion on Equal Footing” (Jason Horowitz, April 9, 2018).
The headline, unlike most on the Catholic Church, is not an exaggeration, as seen in the following from the Pope, “Our defense of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned.”
This is no mere throw off line; he reiterates it, connecting the issue of abortion and immigration directly to politics: “Some Catholics consider it [migrants] a secondary issue compared to the ‘grave’ bioethical questions. That a politician looking for votes might say such a thing is understandable, but not a Christian, for whom the only proper attitude is to stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children. (Emphasis added) “Such a thing is understandable,” yes, Pope Francis gets it — he realizes that a political candidate who is pro-life will attract Catholic voters when pitted against a rival who supports abortion-on-demand while insisting our national borders remain porous for the thousands of illegal immigrants who cross it each month.
The context of these statements in an exhortation on the “Call to Holiness,” suggests Pope Francis realizes the issue of abortion for Catholic voters is not a “single issue” at all — abortion connects to concerns about the moral dissipation of the culture in general.
Catholics regard a pro-life candidate as someone who will stand against the increasing tawdriness of culture which mocks religion and puts deviance on display. In other words, a pro-life candidate resonates with the still socially conservative America. (This is why I predicted pro-life Catholics would support Trump as early as February, 2016).
In 2016, Catholic voters rocked the liberal, Democrat-aligned, Catholic establishment by ignoring the nonstop attacks on Trump and his “wall” by Catholic bishops, priests, nuns, professors, and journalists. Indeed, their voices chimed in with the same message throughout the campaign: Immigration is a “life issue,” putting it on par with the defense of innocent life. Pope Francis now seeks to codify that message. But it won’t succeed, and I will explain why.
His apostolic exhortation ignores the basic moral problem in equating immigration with abortion: prudential judgment (see my explanation here). Any Catholic’s opinion and action on what the bishops have called “Welcoming the Stranger Among Us” has no single answer.
Do we support the “catch and release” ordered by President Obama? Do we support enforcing our laws pertaining to entering the United States? Do we build walls? No church teaching obligates a Catholic to a specific answer to these questions of public policy.
On the other hand, the question about whether to abort or not to abort has only one answer — no. Abortion is not a prudential matter. Some have called it one of the “non-negotiables,” others a “settled issue,” but the moral difference is clear.
Certainly Pope Francis is right about this: at a general level, both abortion and immigration do meet on equal ground — the principle of loving one’s neighbor. But, as has been explained, that moral equality doesn’t confer equality on type of moral judgments Catholics are obliged to make, one is liable to a variety of answers, the other is not.
To give an example of the distinction, here is a portion of letter written by then President of the USCCB, Archbishop Wilton Gregory to President Bush about the Iraq War: As Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, then president of the USCCB, wrote to President George W. Bush: “People of good will may apply ethical principles and come to different prudential judgments, depending upon their assessment of the facts at hand and other issues” (“Letter to President Bush on Iraq,” Sept. 13, 2002).
I’m not convinced that Pope Francis recognizes the “good will” of those Catholics who disagree with his view of immigration. As he puts it, “This is not a notion invented by some Pope, or a momentary fad. In today’s world too, we are called to follow the path of spiritual wisdom proposed by the prophet Isaiah to show what is pleasing to God.”
Pope Francis has done his best to prop up the those Catholic Democrats who continue to promote abortion, support government funding of Planned Parenthood, and ignore the church’s teaching on life. His apostolic exhortation does not to change Catholic moral teaching because, as I have shown, the claim the Pope is trying to make cannot be rationally defended.
In spite of the headlines, the Pope’s gift to the Democrats will not be of much use to them in propping up their Catholic credentials. Lay Catholic voters will see through this claim just as they saw through the church’s barrage of anti-Trump rhetoric in the historic 2016 presidential election.
Read Newsmax: Pope Can’t Equate Caring for Immigrants With Abortion | Newsmax.com
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Deal W. Hudson
April 5, 2017
President Donald Trump’s executive order to defund the United National Family Planning Agency (UNFPA) sends a message to political foes both on the political left and the right.
The pro-abortion left will should not be too surprised since President Trump has already cut $400,000,000 in population control funds when he reaffirmed the Mexico City Policy a few days after his inauguration.
Anti-abortion leaders across the country are deeply gratified and congratulate the president for his decision.President of the Susan B. Anthony List, Marjorie Dannenfelser, calls the defunding, “a tremendous sign to the nation and world about what we value and what we abhor. Removing funds from involvement in China’s coercive abortion and sterilization policies is the humane thing to do.”
Trump’s decision to defund was made on the same basis used by both President Reagan and President George W. Bush: UNFPA actively “partners on family planning activities with the Chinese government agency responsible for these coercive policies.” It’s well known that China employs coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization to enforce its “One Child Policy.”
The One Child Policy, begun in 1979, was “officially” phased out in 2015, to be replaced by a “Two Child Policy.” But as the nation’s preeminent expert of China’s population control, Steve Mosher, has said, “The one-child policy in China may be over, but the two-child policy will still mean forced abortions of second and third children, it may mean forced pregnancy in years to come, and it will certainly mean other abuses.”
Asked for his comment, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., responded, “The United Nations Population Fund has been involved with deeply troubling practices. Why would we give American taxpayer money to an organization with limited accountability, who have used these funds to participate in coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization? Public money should never harm life and the flourishing of families.”
UNFPA funding approaches $1,000,000,000 so the loss of U.S. funding — $32,500,000 will have only a marginal impact, but combined with the money lost by the Mexico City Policy population controllers have suffered a serious setback.
With the defunding of Planned Parenthood’s $500,000,000+ already moving through Congress, there must be panic setting in among those organizations whose budgets blossomed under the terms of the Obama administration. That will eventually add up to over 1 billion dollars in lost revenue to the abortionists.
In the lost of UNFPA funding, however, there is another loss — public credibility.
With federal funding comes prestige, a prestige that opens doors to private foundations and major donors. These foundations and donors themselves can profit from being connected to an organization who enjoys a close relationship to the White House and Congress.
Austin Ruse, President of C-Fam, regards UNFPA defunding as an important step toward President Trump keeping his promises to his pro-life constituency, “This is a very good thing because UNFPA is a wicked agency and the US should not be involved with it.
“However, defunding UNFPA is a bare-minimum of the pro-life things we expect from President Trump. It is an easy thing, an important thing, but an easy thing. We expect more and bigger things.”
The UNFPA, on the other hand, regards the decision as based upon “an erroneous claim” that the organization “participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in China.”
This is hard to swallow, given the evidence, but the more incriminating part of the statement is this, “We have always valued the United States as a trusted partner and leader in helping to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.” (Emphasis added).
First, a “young person” who is aborted will never have the opportunity to fulfill any potential. Second, the UNFPA does not have the power — no one does, to “ensure every pregnancy is wanted.”
What UNFPA really means is that they will supply abortions to all women who do not “want” their babies. Finally, making childbirth “safe” merely provides another excuse for UNFPA to provide abortion to women who live in poverty or in the undeveloped countries.
This press release serves to corroborate the decision made by President Trump about the character and intentions of the UNFPA.
To the Never-Trumpers on the right, such as the neo-cons at the National Review, anti-abortion fundamentalists, and those marching under the flag of surrender represented by the “Benedict Option” — President Trump has once again proven his bona fides as being anti-abortion.
However, the Never-Trump crowd all share one regrettable characteristic: they are not interested in counter-evidence, it’s an affront to their pride.
To their shame, they will ignore the half-billion dollars in federal funding President Trump has taken away from those who pro-abortion, marching under the banner of population control.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had not yet issued a statement when I contacted them yesterday, but I received a note that a statement would be issued today. Given that the USCCB has been consistently critical of the Trump administration, I was not surprised in the delay.
Read Newsmax: Some on Left, Right Don’t Get Trump Is Anti-Abortion | Newsmax.com
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