Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dialogue, Shmialogue

The invitation of the infanticidal President Obama to be given an honorary degree is defended by Fr. Jenkins as a way to promote dialogue on the issue of abortion.

Let's consider how that would work. Imagine a boy, a bully, charming to adults but mean as a winter wind, who routinely beats up smaller boys and steals their money. The smaller boys get together and invite the bully to give a speech at their convention and receive an honorary degree, hoping that by doing this they will mollify him. The bully, naturally, accepts the honor, claiming that he has always been a friend of the bullied. He wants them to prosper.

The next day, the bully convinces the school to add a rule whereby all the boys must give their money to him, thus saving the bully the trouble of having to beat them up.

How did the dialogue go, between the powerless and the powerful? Was there any change? Does it make sense to think that a president who campaigned for abortion rights, promised to sign FOCA into law, and nevertheless still got 54% of the votes of Catholics, whose Church teaches that abortion is never permitted, would change his mind? That he would even admit the possibility that he is wrong? Why should he? If he can oppose laws outlawing infanticide (he did, here in Illinois. Look it up.) and still be honored by the "Premier Catholic University in the United States" (Just ask them, they'll tell you), then why should he ever change his position?

True dialogue happens when the powerful are inconvenienced, when the oppressed make themselves variously obnoxious, when protests, boycotts, and ballot-box pressure make it expedient for the powerful to listen to the powerless. It doesn't happen when we honor them.

See you on the 17th at the protest.

1 comment:

Throwback said...

Just to add. I think that a lot of folks have decided to abuse the word dialogue in this (and similar) situations. By dialogue here, the only conceivable meaning is that of dispute and refutation.

This isn't about some kind of mutually enriching conversation. There can be no mutual enrichment. The Church's teaching is the Truth. Obama's version is false. He has nothing to offer the Church on this point. Therefore, the only conceivable dialogue is one where Obama's points are publicly annihilated.

For some reason, people seem to shrink from this and want to see Obama and whoever from the Church chatting over coffee about "common ground" and other such nonsense.