Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The smartest guy in the room

Joe Biden, ladies and gentlemen:

MR. BROKAW: But if you, you believe that life begins at conception, and you've also voted for abortion rights...

SEN. BIDEN: No, what a voted against curtailing the right, criminalizing abortion. I voted against telling everyone else in the country that they have to accept my religiously based view that it's a moment of conception. There is a debate in our church, as Cardinal Egan would acknowledge, that's existed. Back in "Summa Theologia," when Thomas Aquinas wrote "Summa Theologia," he said there was no--it didn't occur until quickening, 40 days after conception. How am I going out and tell you, if you or anyone else that you must insist upon my view that is based on a matter of faith?

The good senator is a few weeks behind the times. Cardinal Egan has already acknowledged this "debate" in our church:

Like many other citizens of this nation, I was shocked to learn that the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America would make the kind of statements that were made to Mr. Tom Brokaw of NBC-TV on Sunday, August 24, 2008. What the Speaker had to say about theologians and their positions regarding abortion was not only misinformed; it was also, and especially, utterly incredible in this day and age.

Just update the title and the day of the interview, and it's the same press release. Did Biden think that referencing a different Doctor of the Church would change how this was going to go? He somehow missed what Cardinal Egan said regarding Speaker Pelosi's comments? Seriously - you'd think someone in the Democratic camp would pull him aside and say, "For pity's sake ixnay on the eologythay..." But that would be acknowledging that the evidence of the case is against them, and they are still emotionally invested in making this case: "closing the God gap" as Time Magazine put it a while back. They think the way to do that is to change Christianity to suit their own decisions, rather than change themselves in accord with sound teaching. It is the opposite of critical thinking, much less healthy formation of conscience.

Besides, this is not just a matter of faith, but of science. New life begins at conception. The debate was always about when God's part in conception - the creation and introduction of the soul - took place. That's what the Church has kicked around for centuries: not the actual presence of new life, which as a matter of morality has been protected by the Church since the first century AD, as outlined in the Didache. The teaching has always been that, whether or not the soul is present, the life is human and must be protected, not destroyed. And for this reason, His Eminence the Cardinal finished his statement thus:

Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.

Maybe Biden will notice it this time... or maybe another media-approved Catholic will give it another go with St. John Crysostom or something.

(big hat tip to CMR for the links - they've been all over this stuff)

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