Shining a light on Obama – Catholics for Obama are no longer Catholic no matter what they call themselves
Catholic World Report
Roman Catholics for Obama ’08
Some ignore his pro-abortion voting record, and others
by Paul Kengor June 2008
The first time I learned about the practice I was horrified. It was the mid-1990s. The source was Sharon Dunsmore, a nurse in a hospital NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) who wrote a small booklet about the experience. One day on the job she had been summoned “stat” to the delivery room to deal with an “oops abortion”—a failed abortion in which the baby unexpectedly survived, or, as Dunsmore quoted the pediatrician on the scene, “had the audacity to survive.”
The team struggled as to whether to continue intubating the child—now a little boy, not a “fetus”—who clearly was not going to make it, mangled and destroyed as he was. He gasped for air as the doctor left the room, allowing nature to take its cruel course, leaving the boy with Dunsmore. No further medical care would be administered.
Typically in these situations, the infant is left alone—on a cold metal table, in a corner, on a bare bed, in a trash can. Dunsmore did not have the heart to do that. She stayed with the boy.
In her account, Dunsmore went into painstaking detail about what happened next—the breathing, the wetting—with such vividness that I, a mere distant reader, couldn’t decide whether to cry or vomit. Recalling the scene she described never ceases to make me sad. She wrote of how she named him “Tiny Tim,” took him in her arms, held his little hand, and sang to him: “Jesus loves the little children….” The little boy fought as best he could, but to no avail. She whispered “goodbye” to him, and told him he “did matter to someone.”
I have never forgotten that story and since then have even met some of these abortion survivors, one of whom visited Grove City College to speak before a spellbound group of our students at the campus chapel a few years ago.
OBAMA’S STANCE ON ABORTION
The United States Congress has also learned about this grisly reality, and finally, in 2002, passed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, requiring that babies like Tiny Tim who survive abortions receive medical care from the medical professionals in their midst—medical professionals who suddenly must morph from killers to their traditional roles of healers and helpers.
The bill was so obviously necessary and became so popular that it faced no real opposition, even from the most fanatical of Congress’ pro-abortion extremists, including Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, and Ted Kennedy. Even NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League, supported the legislation.
Indeed, who could ever oppose such legislation? Actually, there is someone: Barack Obama, who appears as of May to be the frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, and possibly the next president of the United States.
Obama was not a member of the US Senate at the time that the Born Alive Infants Protection Act passed unanimously through both chambers of Congress. But he was a member of the Illinois state legislature, where similar legislation was introduced at the state level.
There, Obama twice voted against the legislation, in 2002 and 2003, and as chair of the Health and Human Services Committee blocked another attempt to bring the legislation to the floor of the Illinois Senate.
The pro-life community in the state of Illinois was aghast, and pro-life Catholics were horrified.
Yet today Catholics around the country are lining up to endorse Barack Obama’s candidacy for president of the United States.
They are stumping hard for Obama, who, if elected, has promised to do whatever he can to appoint justices and support legislation guaranteeing decades of protection for Roe v. Wade.
CATHOLICS IN HIS CAMP
Who are these Catholics? They are an eclectic bunch, from politicians like
Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.),
Democratic Governor Tim Kaine (Va.),
Democratic Governor Bill Richardson (N.M.),
Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-Mass.),
Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.),
and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)
to Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team.
The support of the Kennedys and Kerrys is no surprise; they are pro-abortion party hacks.
But the endorsement of Dan Rooney, known to be a daily communicant, is bizarre.
Among other reasons, his team’s brutal Steel Curtain and Blitz-burg defenses do not call to my mind the image of the man that National Journal ranks as the most liberal member of the US Senate.
There are also, of course, the predictable “Catholic” colleges that, in defiance of repeated warnings by the bishops regarding Catholic institutions and pro-abortion politicians, have offered platforms to Obama in the form of on-campus political rallies:
St. Peter’s College in New Jersey (in January) and
Loras College in Iowa (in March).
But no group of Catholics seems quite as odd as the one titled “Roman Catholics for Obama ’08,” which dubs Barack Obama “the best and right candidate for Catholic voters.”
The group asserts: “[W]e, as Catholics, believe Catholics can and should vote for Barack Obama because his platform aligns well with Catholic Social Teaching.”
Their website (http://www.romancatholicsforobama.com/) leads with a long quote from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which states, “The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of the moral vision for society … In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and euthanasia.”
But the group completely ignores the fact that Obama’s record contradicts this statement, instead underscoring Obama’s stance on the death penalty, terrorism, Iran, American diplomacy, regional diplomacy, nuclear weapons, the “21st century military,” gun policy, global poverty, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “new partnerships in Asia,” Darfur, and “the culture of secrecy.”
In short, the group focuses on everything except the primary moral principles taught authoritatively by the Catholic Church.
Navigating one’s way around the website of “Roman Catholics for Obama ’08” is a dispiriting immersion in inanity, moral equivalency, and delusional thinking. This is likewise true for another (ecumenical) website, http://www.faith.barackobama.com, which has posted a number of endorsements from Catholics like “Tamara S.” of Roswell, Georgia, who says, “I’m disturbed by the hijacking of the Republican party by far-right Christians.”
Or take this one: “I have no interest in living in a theocracy,” writes Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church in Chicago, who is most concerned with “issues of poverty and issues of justice and equal access and opportunity, especially when dealing with children and education and healthcare.”