We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,735 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org


By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 16, 2008

 Last week Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, told John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter that he would "obviously" vote for Barack Obama if he were an American citizen.

Obviously? Forgive me for being dense, but why is it obvious that an African prelate would support one American presidential candidate rather than the other? Is it because Obama is African-American? That would explain a certain feeling of kinship. But you'd like to think that a Catholic bishop would feel a stronger bond with his brother bishops in the US, who have been decidedly uncomfortable with the prospect of an Obama presidency. Obviously. 

Yes, there's that pesky abortion issue. Obviously. Archbishop Onaiyekan explains why Obama's impeccable support for the slaughter of unborn children does not alter his opinion: 

You can be anti-abortion and still be killing people by the millions through war, through poverty, and so on.

How original. With political sophistication that would draw approving smiles from the teacher in a 1st-grade civics class, the Nigerian archbishop is suggesting that John McCain favors war and poverty, and these are greater evils than abortion, since they result in a greater number of deaths. 

Or do they? The war in Iraq is producing casualties by the thousands; abortion in American costs lives by the hundreds of thousands. It's true that millions of people die each year from the effects of poverty, hunger, and disease, but it's not at all clear how any given public-policy choice would alter those casualty figures. 

And we haven't yet come to the question of intention. Nobody actually favors poverty. One might argue that a particular economic policy will have adverse consequences on needy families, but there is invariably a counter-argument. American abortion policies, on the other hand, are tailored quite deliberately to allow doctors to dismember the bodies of unborn children in utero; that is the acknowledged intent of the policies. 

As for deaths in warfare, we can argue back and forth about the justice of American intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan; those are debatable issues. War is a nasty business. But consider this: Suppose a presidential candidate said that he supported a military campaign, and if enemy soldiers survived assaults and were taken as prisoners, those survivors should be deliberately and systematically exterminated. Could you vote for that candidate in good conscience? Of course not. Obviously.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($23,735 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,665.00
93% 7%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21