Father Bechtel wrote:
When you write what you write on the subject of Abortion, you forget that mothers do NOT have the right to murder their children. Tell me: do you feel the government should get involved if a mother tries to murder her child outside the womb? If so, what is the different INSIDE the womb? Why should the government forbid a mother to murder her child outside the womb, but all bets are off INSIDE the womb? Why does it magically become the mother's "choice" when talking about INSIDE the womb? What is the difference in your mind?
Also Steve, with all due respect-you can't claim to be against abortion, and at the same time believe a women "has the right to choose" Such is an oxymoron. It just doesn't work. If you believe the "choice" should be left up to the mother, then you are by definition pro-abortion.
In response...There is a distinct difference between what a mother does to something inside of her body and what a government does to a functional human being outside the body. I say this in large part because a person can have morality, but governments are (at least in my opinion) amoral. By that measure it's reasonable to argue questions of morality when it comes to issues such as:
- When exactly does a new life being?
- What happens if there is a choice between the life of a mother and that of something inside her body?
While we may have differing opinions on the answers to both questions I can still respect your moral position...even if you don't respect mine. Conversely, I can not accept a moral position that a government has the "right" to end a life. Governments simply don't have any morality. Put another way, I can argue that people of good conscience (again, because people can have a conscience) can differ on questions about abortion, I don't believe the same about the death penalty. If Father, in your estimation, that makes me "pro choice", then so be it. You will not find me arguing for abortion on demand...but you will not find me marching against it either. I'll leave the world of black-n-white to the Church.
Father Bechtel wrote:
For example the people will claim "You darcen't speak out against abortion becasue of 'Seperation of Church and State'" ironically will DEMAND that the Church speak on on the "right to health care" or the "right of people to have housing" or the "right of people to immigrate" or whatever social justice issue happens to be in vogue and trendy at the time.
In response...I have not argued that a Church (or "the Church") shouldn't have the right to speak out about issues; to the contrary, I encourage it...to the extent that it carries not more weight than anyone or anything else does. While I will point out the hypocrisy of Bishop Martino's forceful denouncement of anything that isn't anti-abortion but relative silence when it comes to the death penalty (side note...I have heard of Bishop Martino's admiration for former Senator Rick Santorum, which is odd since the former Senator consistently voted against Church teaching in support of the Federal death penalty...but so I digress) I would never argue that he doesn't have the right to express his opinion. My point is this: Joseph Martino is a man, just as David Bechtel is, just as Stephen Albert is; none of the three of us should have any more ability to shape public policy than the other simply by virtue of our respective employers.
By the way, I don't believe that healthcare is a "right", but as I noted in the original post I view it as a shared obligation on the part of both individuals and the government. Some very liberal individuals may view that as being cruel, but so be it.
Father Bechtel wrote:
I am not sure I fully agree with you here, but for the sake of argument let us assume what you have written is true.
In response...Of course it is true, as true as any set of personal opinions can be. In some respects, this is your most interesting comment Father Bechtel. I fully know that my opinion on the subject of abortion puts me at odds with the position of the Church. I wrote it. The scary part Father? I'll bet that many, many Catholics have similar opinions, but simply will not state them out loud out of sheer fear. Is that what the Church as become? Are we back to the Middle Ages when people never disagreed with the Church out of fear that Cardinal Biggles and Cardinal Fang would come and impose a Spanish Inquisition (sorry for the bad Monty Python reference)? I'll argue that the Joseph Martino's of this world have failed to act as Good Shepherds simply because they choose to lead by dictation, not persuasive Faith and example.
Therein lies the real rub Father Bechtel: The Church, at least in the guise of the "pay, pray and obey" faction, wants to impose absolute rules and require absolute obedience, but yet they act with surprise, shock and anger when some simply don't go along. Talk about contradictions! I know, I know, we are talking about God here, so absolutes apply, right? Well here's my counter point: Faith, at least as I understand it, should be in God, not in men (including Joseph Martino who seems more interested in personal obedience than anything else).
Thanks for the mental push-ups Father!