Just reading through a précis of last night’s Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden, Obama’s number two and Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate, billed as the clash of the Catholics.
On the question of abortion, Biden said the following, which is being lauded by the liberal left:
“My religion defines who I am,” says Biden. “I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life, and it has informed my social doctrine, which is about taking care of those who cant take care of themselves. With regard to abortion, I accept my churches position on abortion. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on others, unlike my friend here. I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that women can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor.”
Being a practicing Catholic means taking care of those who can’t take of themselves, such as, in this instance, the unborn. Since when was the unborn, with it’s separate DNA and unique genetic fingerprint part of the mother’s body? Controlling one’s body should not extend to destroying another’s.
Accepting the church’s position does not mean that one has a right to force that view on other people, that is, he can’t make other people subscribe to the same ideas.
As a Catholic politician however, he has a duty to work hard for legislation and other methods to reflect his view in society. Working to bring about social change based upon one’s views, ethics and beliefs is the role of any principled politician. It’s not the same as forcing people to hold identical values.
Biden’s personal views on abortion could be applied to any area of policy that affects individuals, such as, for example taxation. Is it fair to impose his view of how much tax everyone should pay on society or more pertinently to impose his view of whether institutions should pay for contraception in their health care and force them to go against their beliefs?
That’s what politics is all about isn’t it, working to mould or change society for the better according to a set of beliefs, be they politically, ethically and/or religiously defined. In a democracy you will always be ‘imposing’ beliefs upon those who disagree with you.
Otherwise his politics are all just crowd-pleasing, insincere and cowardly. Joe Biden is prepared to flaunt his Catholicism card, prepared to let his faith influence his social policy; a social policy that doesn’t extend to the weakest of all and does not reflect his Church’s doctrine in the most important of areas – right to life. Pilate-like he washes his hands of the unborn.
2 thoughts on “Baleful Biden”
The problem for Biden is the Catholic Theology has a coherence about it, making it difficult to pick and choose. Social teaching is grounded in an understanding of human dignity, which in turn is grounded in an understanding that this dignity comes about because humanity has the capacity to live in communion with God. Issues such as abortion and euthanasia is grounded n an understanding that this dignity comes about because humanity has the capacity to live in communion with God. Both rely on the awareness that God created out of love and each human being is God’s beloved.
We therefore cannot pick and choose when human dignity is to be applied. It has to be consistent to mean anything. It is non-sensical for him to support the Church’s social teaching and not the teaching on abortion. Both or neither are the only truly consistent positions. And ‘neither’ would mean he couldn’t claim any Catholic credentials.
Sorry, should read “Issues such as abortion and euthanasia are grounded in an understanding of human dignity that comes about because humanity has the capacity to live in communion with God.”