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Moral equivalence writ large

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 29, 2004

Bishop Joseph Adamec, of Altoona-Johnstown, Pennsylvania, admonishes his people to realize that a presidential contest is not like a high-school debate. Then he continues with an argument that any capable high-school debater would demolish.

We are called to promote life, as a God-given right, at all its stages.... In that regard, we may not kill indiscriminately (such as in abortion or war) and we may not use another person’s life simply for the enhancement of our own (such as in stem cell research or political opportunity).

True, indiscriminate killing is always wrong. In warfare, a just military strategy avoids indiscriminate killing, by making sure that enemy combatants, not innocent civilians, are the targets. So warfare does not necessarily involve indiscriminate killing. To imply otherwise is to suggest that there's no moral difference between just and unjust wars.

Abortion is not indiscriminate killing, either. In an abortion, the "target" is carefully chosen: an unborn child. The moral problem is not that the killing is indiscriminate, but that it is intentional, and the victim is totally innocent.

And what on earth does he mean by that last sentence? Yes, it's wrong to "use" another person for one's own political advantage. But in politics-- unlike stem-cell research-- the person who is "used" generally doesn't die!

Anyway, thanks for the guidance, your excellency. And gee, I wonder who you'll be voting for?

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Fr. William - Oct. 31, 2004 1:04 AM ET USA

    His excellency, Bishop Adamec, needs to retire before he does any more damage to the people of his diocese and to the Church. Can't Archbishop Montalvo or Cardinal Re clearly see this heresy and this radical ideology coming from Bishop Adamec? They need to take Adamec to a hermitage where he can pray and do penance for the rest of his life... in solitude.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2004 6:56 PM ET USA

    Another garbled statement by one of our weak Bishops. No wonder the faithful are confused; this prattle is inane. Did the good Bishop ever take a course in Logic; obviously he failed. His statement is good enough to be issued by the USCCB. It obfuscates, wimps out and in finality; it says nothing. So much for the Church Militant!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2004 12:00 PM ET USA

    Sounds like another weak-minded, sloppy thinking, clock watcher at the helm in Altoona. Someday the stables will be cleaned.

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Oct. 29, 2004 11:52 AM ET USA

    The good bishop must have been suffering from chronic insomnia when he issued this nonsense. Obviously, his mind was so muddled and confused by lack of sleep that his thoughts were completely disjointed. Perhaps a long rest and then several years of meditation and daily confession might be helpful. I just hope that he doesn't drive or operate machinery when in such a state as this.

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