Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Catholics Organizing Against Kerry

The New York Times reports on a new campaign by conservative Catholics to discourage voting for Kerry...what with it being a sin and all.

In an interview in his residence here, Archbishop Chaput said a vote for a candidate like Mr. Kerry who supports abortion rights or embryonic stem cell research would be a sin that must be confessed before receiving Communion.

"If you vote this way, are you cooperating in evil?" he asked. "And if you know you are cooperating in evil, should you go to confession? The answer is yes."

They see the issues of abortion rights and stem-cell research, both of which John Kerry supports, as "non-negotiable issues." Liberal Catholics have begun a less well-funded couterattack campaign called "Life Does Not End At Birth" to address the seeming disconnect between conservatives' claims to value life above all else and their support of war and the death penalty. But conservatives do not see it as hypocritical at all.

In theological terms, these bishops and the voter guides argue that abortion and the destruction of embryos are categorically wrong under church doctrine. War and even the death penalty can in certain circumstances be justified.

A Catholic I know feels he can reconcile these seeming contradictory views because he feels that the life of an unborn child is innocent, while that of an enemy soldier or a criminal is not, therefore he values the latter's life less than the former. Original sin, notwithstanding, I suppose.


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