(family member), thank you for your response. In the end I suspect none of us plan to change our minds before this election. This too will be my last email on the subject but I figure since everyone is airing grievances on the matter I should go ahead and say my piece. For the record I think I enumerated my stance informed by my faith in my previous email regarding the Catholic moral concept of proportionality
. I certainly respect a vote for Obama under those circumstances although I find it hard to believe that the proportionality is there. This may also be true for a vote for McCain ... I am in prayer on that matter ... It shouldn't be a matter we gleefully head to the polls and go YEA! I get to vote for "change". There are serious objections to overcome in choosing to vote for Obama.
Obviously I fundamentally disagree that Obama's policies will reduce abortion and all conjecture to support him as the more pro-life candidate holds no sway with me. Here is why ...
1) The poor will always be with us. It is one area Jesus tells us that treating the root cause eventually has diminishing returns. That said, I think an important indication we should get here is that our OBLIGATION to the poor is great, despite their reasons for being poor. They will always be there and we are called to their aid ... period. To that extent, I disagree with many of the actions of the right on HOW to deal with poverty in a realistic way.
2) The economy is heading south and based on the way it has been carefully delayed and avoided by fed policy for years now, it HAS to happen. Economically speaking, I am a realist. I expect poverty to increase under Obama, not because of his policies but because economies have a way of being cruel to cultures that engage in poor fiscal practice. The entire west, socialist nations and all, will suffer for their pursuit of greed at the expense of future generations. This isn't a left or right issue. This is a sin issue.
In light of the first two, I would like to quote the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), which refers specifically to the study forwarded to all of us by (family member)
Sometimes election years produce more policy myths than good ideas. This year one myth is about abortion. It goes like this: The Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision is here to stay, and that's fine because laws against abortion don't reduce abortions much anyway. Rather, "support for women and families" will greatly reduce abortions, without changing the law or continuing a "divisive" abortion debate.
Various false claims are used to bolster this myth. It is said that over three-quarters of women having abortions cite expense as the most important factor in their decision. Actually the figure is less than one-fourth, 23%. It is said that abortion rates declined dramatically (30%) during the Clinton years, but the decline stopped under the ostensibly pro-life Bush administration. Actually the abortion rate has dropped 30% from 1981 to 2005; the decline started 12 years before Clinton took office, and has continued fairly steadily to the present day. ... (source)
That decline, I suspect, is related to the Roe Effect
and to a relatively high time in American prosperity but that is a more suspicion on my part than anything concrete. I pray I am wrong and the downward trend continues. Our American prosperity was obviously false and based on a credit based system that supported consumption at scandalous levels and encouraged a thorough lack of self control in Americans. The hard realities of it are soon to be upon us if it is not already here for some.
Based on points 1 and 2 ...
a) I strongly question that policies with respect to poverty will have much of an effect on that subset of women citing "expense" as their reason for having an abortion. Rich people cite expense for all kinds of evil as well even if they can afford it. It doesn't require economic poverty to think a child not worth paying for so its extremely optimistic to assume reducing poverty will eliminate those abortions.
b) Even if I am wrong on point A, it would require a reduction in poverty the likes this nation has never seen under any administration. Obama will not "change" poverty in this country that much because of the diminishing returns I mentioned above and the inertia of a real economic downturn.
3) Furthermore the policies of Obama seek to eliminate an avenue of choice for pregnant women by reducing funding for crisis pregnancy centers. Crisis pregnancy centers are the bogey man of the pro-choice crowd. Alternatives to abortion should be encouraged, not discouraged. In this case, Obama is oddly anti-choice. Crisis pregnancy centers would not be considered a problem otherwise. Policies such as this fundamentally undermine the health care argument because care for the mother and child TO TERM with alternate information about abortion should be a priority, not an unavailable choice. I am for better health care options for Americans and not necessarily solely of the privatized kind sold to us by conservatives. This brings me to my 4th point -- a special interests point
4) The abortion industry who overwhelmingly donates and supports Obama for president stands to gain from policies increasing access to abortion. We are foolish to think their corporate interests are any more altruistic than, say, the oil industry. Abortions going down decreases their profits. I do not think they would be supporting Obama if they really thought their bottom line would be effected. His insistence that FOCA is one of his first priorities leads me to believe he, like every other politician out there, is in bed with special interests.
5) His policies also wrongly treat the symptoms and not the cause of abortion. A quick side analogy to develop my point ... The Catholic Church has seen a great decline in belief in the last 40 years. Modern catechesis has aimed to educate the faith from a primary angle of social responsibility. This was all good and well but it came at the expense of doctrines like, you know, Jesus came and died for us, rose again on the third day and sits at the right hand of the Father. It put the cart before the horse and American Catholics have seen the sad results of that fallout. It was a systematic turning from God in favor of "results". I see the same problem with education policies that do not attack the root cause. As (family member) indicated I see every reason to believe that abstinence education doesn't work. Secular sex education in the long run will fail because it doesn't attack the root cause. In fact, I typically think it encourages the problem. The root cause of unwanted pregnancy in this nation stems from a myriad of factors but the obvious elephant in the room is that SEX is the problem AND its division from marriage with its intended purpose by God. State education cannot, especially based on modern interpretation of the establishment clause, cite this as a cause. Abortion will not be solved merely by economic policy. It will be solved by removing it as a legal option and, more importantly, by conversion on a national scale.
The final point I will make is on the duplicitous nature of the modern day green movement in regards to contraceptive methods. Its points out the real idol that fuels abortion in this nation.
Some people have raised concerns regarding the impact of chemical contraceptives on the environment (source)
. I think that is a noble cause but the silence is deafening. After all, the choice between chemical contraceptives and the environment requires deferring the use of contraceptives to the health of the earth. I don't see people lining up on behalf of the earth here. Why is that? The point of this final rant is simple. "Consequence free" sex with anyone we please under any circumstances is our god and until our idolatry ends, our path to destruction will continue. God has a plan for how man, woman and sexuality function in the natural order of things. We should consider it and consider self control and reliance on God as the truly enlightened alternate path. I like this new focus on the natural. It causes people to think about these things. In the end, McCain's and Obama's policies will stand mute as a solution until our nation gives up this idol returns its worship to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
With love and great respect ...