Wrong Battle: An Open Letter to Cardinal Francis George

Your Holiness, Cardinal Francis George (and certain other Catholics),

The uproar you have started regarding President Obama’s upcoming visit to Notre Dame is disgraceful, unwarranted and a slap in the face to the moderate and liberal branches of the faith. This is yet another example of how you taken the faith away from the core principles that once guided the church.

Cardinal, you have been quoted saying:

Whatever else is clear, it’s clear Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation,” George said, “and didn’t anticipate the kind of uproar that would be consequent to the decision, at least not to the extent that it has happened.”

George said he continues to talk to the university about the invitation, which he said “brought extreme embarrassment to many, many people who are Catholic, including their own bishop.”

The embarrassment, sir, belongs to you and any other person of Religious faith who refuses to dialogue with others. This entire argument stems not from the “culture of life” that I was raised in, but in a right wing, dogmatic response to the question of abortion.

The President is pushing for Abortion Reduction, a series of interventions both pre and post natal designed to ensure the safety of the fetus, mother and the eventual child. The Church I remember, an organization that I once turned to for comfort and guidance, would relish the opportunity to work with someone to achieve that goal.

Instead, you and others of your ilk, cling to practices and beliefs that would force a nine year old victim of repeated sexual assault to carry a fetus to term. An action that is both life threatening and psychologically destroying. And while you scream from your self-righteous pulpit, you refuse to address the skeletons in your own closet:

A Catholic priest, the Rev. Kenneth J. Martin pleaded guilty to molesting a teenage boy in 2001, yet was found working for the Archdiocese of Chicago last month, despite promises from the cardinal that the convicted priest would not be coming back to Chicago.

Both of these behaviors are an insult to the memory of Cardinal Bernadin, your predecessor, who worked to clear the churches name. You foster a false division within the Church, and ignore the damage the shepherds have done to the flock.

You have chosen to fight a battle that you should not engage in. Defending the sanctity of human life goes beyond abortion. The Culture of Life also reflects questions about war, human rights and quality of life issues. You did not cry foul when the previous president, who waged a war completely against church teachings, spoke at commencement. This is yet another shameful act you have undertaken.

As a Bishop, you cannot pick and chose which battles to fight for. The Culture of Life, every aspect of it, must be defended by individuals of your rank. Your continued failure is just another reason why many Catholics of my generation leave the church. Your leadership continues to push away the rationed, reasonable and educated faithful away, and prevents reconciliation with those who struggle with the spiritual. Your zealotry has made you blind to the larger picture.


Let’s Talk Anti-Choice

From:  Aurora police probe incident near Planned Parenthood clinic — chicagotribune.com

Authorities are seeking a woman accused of harassing and grabbing an employee of an Aurora clinic that offers abortions and has been the site of protests and conflict.

Aurora police are investigating the months-old incident as a comparatively minor charge of misdemeanor battery, but it highlights the uneasy standoff between the protesters and the clinic, which offers family planning services, including abortions.

He alleged incident happened nearly one year after the opening of the clinic, on Oct. 2, 2007, and occurred during a 40-day protest by the Pro-Life Action League.

Eric Scheidler, spokesman for the Pro-Life Action League, said he first heard of the alleged incident Monday, but he doesn’t believe his group’s volunteers would physically harass Planned Parenthood employees.

I am going to refrain from using a large brush here; however, there are a number of documented instances of people being harassed at Abortion Clinics.   Mr. Scheidler should at least have the courage to say, “If this occurred, we are sorry.  We plan on cooperating with the police on this matter.”

He won’t.  Despite seeing this as a “holy crusade” to save babies, I honestly don’t think a many anti-choicers ever stand up and take responsibility for their actions.  They JUSTIFY their actions, saying that they need to defend fetuses; however, do they actually go to the mat for their beliefs?

If you are going to take a stand for something, then you take the stand all the way.  You do the deed and suffer the societal consequences:  Even if those consequences mean you go into hiding and forgo a normal life.

The only thing these so-called Pro-Lifers have in their favor is their rhetoric.  They’re prolife.  Peel the layer of “pro-life” and you find individuals who are , in fact, just Anti-Abortion.  Pro-life isn’t just about zygotes and fetuses.  Pro-life means Anti-Death penalty.  Pro-Life means a standard of living for all of God’s Children.  Pro Life means taking stances for ALL Life–not just the proto-human inside someone’s uterus.  How do I know this?  Once upon a time, I was a practicing catholic.  The church’s stance on what is Pro-Life is pretty well spelled out (emphasis mine).

The Church’s mission to defend human life applies over the entire course of life, from conception to natural death. And so the Catholic Church has been a strong supporter of the civil rights movement and a leader in international relief and development efforts. Catholic hospitals and other health-care facilities form the largest network of private, not-for-profit health care providers in the United States. Catholic Charities USA — one of a number of Catholic charitable groups — is currently the single largest provider of social services to all Americans, regardless of race, creed or national origin.

Being Anti-Abortion means you are Anti-Choice.  This philosophy removes a significant option from a woman’s right to chose what is to happen to her zygote or fetus.  Pro-Life is a bullshit term conjured to make some unsympathetic protesters palatable.   Pushing, pulling and yelling at women who are going through a difficult situation.  That is a deplorable method of achieving one’s ends.

The wonderful thing about this, in order to justify or take responsibility for their actions, most AntiChoicers have to take a position held by the Radical Saul Alinksy:  “The question is not do the ends justify the means.  The question is do these particular ends justify these particular means.”  Granted, he is not the originator of such a sentiment–but it is a sentiment popularized by a left winger.

So, for the last time, we as a nation should stop framing the Debate as Pro-Choice or Pro-life.  It is pro-choice and anti-choice.  Get it straight.

update 1:  Currently, an Anti-Choice organization was picked this article and not cited me.  I wrote them a polite letter and asked to have my content removed from their site.  I’m giving them 24 hours before I change the nature of this post.

Update 2:  Plan #1 wouldn’t work for two reasons: First, the changes would only appear to those who load the page. Second, and pointed out by my consiglari, the proposed changes would go against the tone I wanted for discussion.  Therefore, I need to think about Plan #2.