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What being "pro-life" really means

At the end of the vice-presidential debate, when Martha Raddatz asked Vice-President Biden and Mr. Ryan what role their Catholic faith has played in their views on abortion, Debi and I wanted to answer the question ourselves.

It was a golden opportunity to walk Ms. Raddatz (and the rest of us) back from the initial narrow framing of that question to the wider panorama of what being on the side of life really means in the context of the Gospel.

Had one of us been Biden, we’d have answered…

“Martha, here’s what ‘pro-life’ really means. Jesus didn’t say anything explicit about abortion, but I personally accept the Church’s teaching that its view is a logical extension of Jesus’ teaching on the sanctity of all life. But while not saying anything specific about abortion, Jesus unequivocally made clear that we, as a nation, will be judged on how we treat the poor, the homeless, the hungry, the naked, the ill, the imprisoned, the stranger. Not only that, but that how we treat ‘the least of my brothers’ will be how we have treated Christ himself. So to single out abortion as the one-and-only religious litmus-test, even though Jesus never talked about it, and then to systematically deny, warp, and ignore how close to Christ the poor are — in contrast to the absolute roadblock Christ says hoarding personal wealth is — to do that is, at best, rank hypocrisy. But what one is really doing then is perpetrating the gravest violence against the Gospel, and as a Christian-Catholic, I won’t stand here silently as that happens.”

Worst of all, by wrapping his politics in a pseudo-gospel that borrows more from Ayn Rand than it respects Christ’s teaching, Mr. Ryan is depriving those fooled by his mis-characterization of the very real benefit that Christ’s actual teachings could give us in these troubled days.


Thomas Friedman also addressed this subject in his NY Times Op-Ed article "Why I Am Pro-Life."

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Reader Comments (1)

Chris, I'm so glad to see this wonderful piece up on the Red Egg blog. I often wonder why/how anyone (myself very much included) remains a Catholic these days. It's lessons like yours that remind me that WE are the church-- not the bishops (you have to wonder how they get their mitered heads so far up their asses) and certainly not that gang of bullies in Rome. Thanks for speaking the truth. Breault

November 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBreault

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