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last man standing

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 07, 2008

While Nancy Pelosi is waiting to dialogue with Archbishop Niederauer about whether or not he can still call himself a Catholic, Senator Joe Biden is discharging his duty to NARAL by singing the quadrennial "I can't impose my Catholicism on others" refrain. Back in 2004 it was John Kerry who led the chorus, insisting, "I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever." Joe Sobran's comments deserve repeating:

Notice that Kerry, nearly 60 years old, hasn't learned, or affects not to know, that Catholic teaching on abortion is not an "article of faith," that is, a revealed truth; it's a simple application of natural law, shared by many non-Catholics -- agnostics, atheists, Jews, Protestants, whatever. Even altar boys used to know the difference. And all the state laws on abortion struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court had been passed by Protestant legislatures.

Re-read that last sentence and let its political significance sink in. It's conveniently forgotten today that the Protestant denominations didn't break away from the Catholic Church over disagreements about morality, which was largely uncontroversial in content and acknowledged to be binding on all rational beings. The standard Protestant complaint was not that Catholic morals were erroneous but that Catholics scandalously failed to abide by them. It wasn't until the 20th century that liberal Protestants put classical sexual precepts into pawn in order to buy themselves approval from the cultural elites.

Case in point: the 1879 law banning contraceptives struck down by Griswold vs Connecticut reflected common Yankee sentiment, not the clout of Catholic bishops, and if opposition to contraception is in our time regarded as a Catholic issue, that's simply because the overwhelming majority of Protestants (no different from squishy Catholics in this respect) have discarded their own moral patrimony and employed a kind of historical amnesia so as to pretend it was never common ground. The same is true of abortion today, and, thanks to our Catholic legislators and their shills, will almost certainly be true of sodomy and polygamy tomorrow.

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