Monday, November 1, 2010


Tomorrow is Election Day here in the US (poor souls, indeed!) and though I am certainly not some sort of Rad Trad fascist or rexist or absolutist or royalist or any of the other affected little political pretensions they're always arguing about (trivializing religion into some sort of game of Dungeons and Dragons)...I have also expressed my ambivalence about American-style democracy and apathy regarding the political process in the past. Two further thoughts on this have come to me in the past few days.

The first is simply how ridiculous the process has become when I am able to dictate to my politically ignorant mother and grandmother whom to vote for, across the board, and they just nod and do what I tell them is their duty (and yet we need to hide this fact from my dad!) So much for women's suffrage...

The second is how badly I wish the abortion issue wasn't still on the table. Not only because, you know, I want millions of children to not die violent deaths...but because politics would be so much more interesting for me if that issue wasn't there outweighing all others.

And it does outweigh all others. Vastly. While Vox Nova, for example, has tried to argue recently that we needn't be "one issue voters" regarding abortion...we really do, in the end, as much as I hate to say it. It is just so much more massively important, everything pales by comparison to industrialized infanticide.

Of course, I suspect the Republicans will not do anything about abortion That they either can't or else don't want to, since it keeps so many people, like myself, who would otherwise vote Democrat in a heartbeat, reluctantly casting our ballots for the otherwise-evil GOP. Yet...I just can't bring myself to vote for a pro-abortion candidate, risk the chance of further funding or legal support for abortion, or risk missing the possibility (however slim) that someday one of the Supreme Court seats will flip from liberal to conservative and thus at least return the issue to the States (though I'd like to see them simply declare that abortion violates the child's 14th amendment rights to due process!) So, totally jaded and cynical, I just swallow the bitter pill.

I'm actually relieved in this election to have a few races where there are pro-choice Republicans in my area so I can afford to "throw my vote away" in those races on third-parties. The sad thing is, I could actually see myself becoming very involved with politics if abortion wasn't there outweighing everything else combined. I think the discourse could be so much more civil also if, you know, infant genocide were no longer on the table.

Then I wouldn't feel like there were any "non-negotiables" tying me down and could have real vigorous and dynamic debates (within myself and with others) about the best options in terms of healthcare, welfare, immigration, the economy, education, climate change, etc., Yet without caring
too much. And I would definitely feel more comfortable voting for third parties if not voting for the pro-life candidate were no longer equivalent to implicitly giving a vote to the pro-abortion candidate. Instead, I feel deadlocked in an awful status quo.

Although some bishops and neocons seem to say so, I don't even think gay marriage is non-negotiable. I vaguely don't support it, but I think anyone should be able to arrange a purely civil partnership with anyone else (family members, friends, lovers, etc). Why shouldn't people be able to order their financial affairs, inheritence, power of attorney, etc, however they like, with whomever they like? Sure, the state is within its rights to give certain incentives for a certain model (tax breaks, etc)...but at this point, we already allow no-fault-divorce and traditional marriage is already in shambles, maybe it's time the state just got out of it completely. I certainly wouldn't consider merely the word "marriage" in the purely civil sphere to be a deal-breaker if the candidate supported all sorts of other good things.

So, on Election Day...pray for an end to abortion. If only so that we can start using politics as a force for good, with civic discourse rather than constant vitriol...


Who Am I said...

It's depressing don't you think. The fact that we're pawned in our votes by a system that shows no actual signs of improvement. A system that merely panders a cause in name only, but RARELY initiates any actual change.

I have often thought that Catholics could begin a party that TRULY represented Catholic social teaching. However, it should be a party universal enough that people of ALL walks could get behind. At least we could with a CLEAR conscience and not have to play into the whole "lesser of two evils" game.

What say you A Sinner ?

Who Am I said...


Who Am I said...

You know, that's not a bad idea. Maybe get a party going like what you've got going on here. People who are conservative in mind, but liberal at heart. A party for The Church by The church, composed of SINNERS !!!

My my sir, I think the conspiracy thickens ;).

FrGregACCA said...

Yes, we need a "Christian Social Democratic" Party here in the United States.

In the meantime, asinner, I find it astounding that you only "suspect" that the Republicans won't do anything about abortion. They won't and here's why: being pro-life, including being anti-abortion, is fundamentally at odd with their social darwinistic ideology as a whole.

Besides, simply outlawing abortion will not end it. There were plenty of abortions taking place before 1973. What will end abortion? Women knowing that they can successfully raise children. That requires support, both financial and emotional, and the former, of course, probably involves government money. Case in point: here in South Carolina, thanks to all those "pro-life" Republicans, a woman on welfare (meaning that she already has at least one child) will immediately lose that assistance if she gets pregnant again. Guess what THAT incentivizes?

Anyway, please see Frederica Mathewes-Greene's book, "Real Choices."

sortacatholic said...

Yeah, the GOP pwns the USCCB and shakes down the clergy for shills (paging Abp. Chaput). Fr Greg nailed it, so no more on that.

So glad I'm out of the country right now. My manifest disgust with the US Church's politicking is part of the reason I'm hearing Mass with the Anglo-Catholic heretics. (Yeah, I know, straight to the fryer for this one. Breakin' the law, breakin' the law!) The church is for the most part the classical western liturgy without the berserk neurosis over the pelvic issues. Most people in the church are morally-theologically conservative. Still, they don't have to throw veiled conservative party stump speeches, obsess about pro-life, or pit their homophobic gay clergy against the gay laity. The clergy in my church aren't gay, but there are gay laity that are open about it. Life goes on! I'm relieved to not have to deal with borderline personality homophobic gay priests anymore.

Okay, this is getting OT rant. Still, it's clear that many priests and prelates are so intent on politicking the pelvic issues that pastoral concerns are increasingly neglected. Where's the Sacred Heart? The mercy? Hey, wasn't Jansenism a heresy? Don't tell the new elect this. The more they prattle on about abortion and teh geyz, the closer they are to heaven. Or maybe. Whatever.

Anonymous said...

Someone's a martyr..

LM said...

This is the issue I have. My state's right to life group sent me a "voters guide" that endorsed a particular candidate for lieutenent governor. Okay, fine. Except this individual then goes on to complain about "welfare grandmas" and other things of the sort. Why should I think that a "pro-life" politician of this sort has the best interests of the poor or minorities? I don't think it's this bad everywhere, but it illustrates why so many people who are against abortion don't trust the pro-life movement.

sortacatholic said...

Hey Anonymous,

Okay, yeah I am a martyr. However, the the pwn comment is dead on. Should we as Catholics just chum with whatever rightist party a country has just because of the pelvic issues? Should we let politicking take over the triumph of the cross? Methinks it's a grave error to conflate ballot box machinations with the Holy Sacrifice.

As for the sick sad rainbow that is the clergy: the sexual hypocrisy of the Church needs to stop before we can address the hysteria over other sexual issues. Since no one's stepping forward on that, I'm not surprised that the clergy and church aren't recovering their health.

FrGregACCA said...

Here is a prime example of the fundamental contradiction:

"I'm pro-God, pro-life, and pro-gun," says Sarah Palin and her ilk.

Say WHAT??? Last time I checked, the only purpose a gun has is to KILL.

sortacatholic said...

No, Fr. Greg, guns are there to defend us from the tyranny of the state and provide a substitute phallus. Seriously, what's the point of unconcealed handgun carry other than to boost the instant machismo?

The GOP deal is: pro-life til you pop out of the oven. The prelates have swallowed it all on down. We're losing the Gospel (and our sanity) in the process.