Onan's common ground

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 08, 2007

Lisa Sowle Cahill, the noted Boston College professor and former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, has graciously offered instruction to the US bishops on the proper approach to election-year debates.

...the bishops can help foster a more civil and productive dialogue in 2008 by avoiding public denunciations of a candidate's position on a single issue and instead help illuminate the broad range of common-good values that animate our most critical political and moral challenges.

Right. It's that old-time seamless-garment religion. You want details? We've got details:

Can public officials who support a reckless doctrine of preventive war, turn a blind eye to poverty in the world's richest country, justify torture in the name of national security, or vote against health insurance for poor children really be called pro-life?

There may be some subtle moral distinction between the guilt of someone who supports dismembering unborn babies and someone who fails to take global warming seriously, but let's not quibble about such details. Instead Cahill forges ahead, and discovers that elusive Common Ground, embodied in a policy that any reasonable Catholic politician could support:

In fact, pro-life and pro-choice members of Congress have been working together on the "Reducing the Need for Abortions and Supporting Parents Act" that will do just this by seeking to prevent unintended pregnancies by expanding health-care services for low-income women and beefing up adoption programs.

Just what sort of "health-care services" will prevent unintended pregnancies? Vitamin supplements? Blood-pressure monitoring? No, I think Cahill's favorite legislators have something else in mind.

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  • Posted by: - Nov. 09, 2007 10:39 PM ET USA

    I first thought our host's last comment needlessly cynical. It probably is true that more or better access to reproductive health care (the real thing, not contraception or abortion) or health care in general would encourage some poor women to keep babies they might have otherwise killed. Lots of pro-life ministries offer such services on that very premise. But then I did a search.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 09, 2007 6:45 AM ET USA

    "beefing up adoption programs." If you survive the abortion, you can look forward to being raised by a charming, well-adjusted same-sex couple.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 09, 2007 12:21 AM ET USA

    "...and instead help illuminate the broad range of common-good values that animate our most critical political and moral challenges." Her "il-lumination" is more of a Catholic mystery than our newest rosary decades.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 08, 2007 7:12 PM ET USA

    We know what they call a woman who sells her body. What do you call a woman who sells her soul to the abortion industrial complex?

  • Posted by: - Nov. 08, 2007 5:16 PM ET USA

    This shows that Catholic bishops still wield moral authority when they speak for the Church, since such considerable effort is being made to shut them up before election year. Let's hope they won't be intimidated. Anne

  • Posted by: - Nov. 08, 2007 5:01 PM ET USA

    Let's not forget that a good part of the SCHIP promise was to reduce the need for insuring children by killing thousands of them before birth. No pious Catholic could ever support SCHIP in the Pelosi form.