Monday, August 25, 2008

Is Nancy Pelosi a liar or just extraordinarily stupid?

It's a fair question and one that makes for yet another great follow-up to the recent comments from Archbishop Burke.

For those who have somehow missed this, Pelosi went on Meet the Press this Sunday and did a remarkable job of making a fool of herself. Here's the first relevant bit:

MR. BROKAW: Senator Obama saying the question of when life begins is above his pay grade, whether you're looking at it scientifically or theologically. If he were to come to you and say, "Help me out here, Madame Speaker. When does life begin?" what would you tell him?

REP. PELOSI: I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator--St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose. Roe v. Wade talks about very clear definitions of when the child--first trimester, certain considerations; second trimester; not so third trimester. There's very clear distinctions. This isn't about abortion on demand, it's about a careful, careful consideration of all factors and--to--that a woman has to make with her doctor and her god. And so I don't think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins. As I say, the Catholic Church for centuries has been discussing this, and there are those who've decided...

It truly confounds the mind. Reflect for a moment that this woman is technically the third most powerful person in the country. If Bush and Cheney got whacked, this would be our president. This is a frightening thing. Let's break down, Nancy's response, shall we?

She's an "ardent, practicing Catholic." Arians would have said the same thing, Nancy. What exactly makes one Catholic? Dare I say, believing what the Catholic Church teaches? And you know what She teaches, right?

Of course you do. You've "studied" this issue for a long time. This comment is very important. Pelosi has just claimed to have actively pursued knowledge on this subject over an extended period of time. This means that her next comment is either a lie or a comment so stupid that it defies the boundaries of language.

The "Doctors of the Church" have been unable to define when life begins. Let's play a game, Nancy. Name some of these "Doctors" for us. It should be pretty easy for a scholar like yourself. Oooh. Augustine. You got one. You are hanging this point on a guy whose medical knowledge was from 17 centuries ago. Did you also know that every Doctor of the Church who discussed this issue thought that abortion was either homicide or indicative of a homicidal will in the event that no "ensoulment" had taken place? Do you really think that Aquinas and Augustine would have even considered the issue if they had anything like today's modern medicine?

How about this one, Nancy? Who said this?

To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom: "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin" (Jn 8:34).

Or this?

Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, in communion with the Bishops-who on various occasions have condemned abortion and who in the aforementioned consultation, albeit dispersed throughout the world, have shown unanimous agreement concerning this doctrine-I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.

I'll give you a hint. He's a guy who actually has the authority to define such things (and this is ex cathedra, IMO). The Doctors, however brilliant they may have been, are not the Magisterium. Oh, and in case you want to get cute with that whole "when life begins" deal:

But no word has the power to change the reality of things: procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth.

Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae.

But let's keep going. Nancy is about to outdo herself. She takes this whole question of when life begins, and then proudly announces that it doesn't matter. That's right. Whether life begins at conception or at birth has no bearing on a woman's right to an abortion. She has now crossed the line from stupid to monstrous.

Perhaps realizing that she has exposed herself as sanctioning murder by anyone's definition (except maybe Peter Singer), she moves back to her position that the Church "for centuries has been discussing this." This is actually correct. The Church has been discussing it. And saying that it's a horrible crime. To try to hide behind the fact that some might not have considered it direct homicide is like saying that theft should be legal because it's not as bad as murder.

But it doesn't end there. Brokaw actually tries to grow a pair and press her on this.

MR. BROKAW: The Catholic Church at the moment feels very strongly that it...

REP. PELOSI: I understand that. (She's studied it, Tom. Didn't you hear her? How dare you question her credentials?)

MR. BROKAW: ...begins at the point of conception.

REP. PELOSI: I understand. And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that. So again, over the history of the church, this is an issue of controversy. But it is, it is also true that God has given us, each of us, a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And we want abortions to be safe, rare, and reduce the number of abortions. That's why we have this fight in Congress over contraception. My Republican colleagues do not support contraception. If you want to reduce the number of abortions, and we all do, we must--it would behoove you to support family planning and, and contraception, you would think.

Sigh. Fifty years, Nancy? It's been a controversy for 2000 years because the Church has been trying to get people to stop doing it. But hey, let's just look at fifty years then. What exactly makes the Supreme Court's thinking on this from 35 years ago right and the Church's thinking wrong? Shouldn't an ardent person like yourself try to contemplate that the Supreme Court's "clear distinctions" might be wrong, especially since they admitted they were wrong in Planned Parenthood v. Casey? Let me guess. You've "studied" that too.

Your free will doesn't give you any more rights to have an abortion than mine gives me the right to burn down my neighbor's house.

Note to Nancy. "Ardent, practicing" Catholics aren't real big on contraception either.

To conclude, here's Archbishop Chaput's response.


Timothy said...

"you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten."

The Didache 2:2 (ca 70 AD)

God bless...


Throwback said...

Hmmm. Seems a lot farther back than fifty years.

Dan said...

Here's more where that came from:

I'm happy the Archbishop is speaking out!!!