Abortion, slavery, and politics

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A Plumbline in the Wind asks?

Given that abortion is currently the law of the land in the United States, is there any way to participate in politics at all without being complicit in the occurrence of abortions?

What say you all?


I sympathize with any desire to influence the electoral process. It demostrates a true spirit of citizenship. I could do the same in the Michigan caucuses, since we do not have party registration in this state. However, I would have great difficulty voting for anyone who publicly favors abortion rights. Mr. Gephardt is candidate who is most identified with organized labor, and Rerum Novarum and other Catholic teaching does favor the right of workingmen to organize. I think it is open to some discussion whether organized labor as it functions in the US (and other countries) is carrying out the teachings of Leo XIII and his successors, so not everyone may agree that Mr. Gephardt most exemplifies Catholic teaching in areas other than abortion, marriage, the family, and so on--where all the Democratic candidates fall far short. I don't think I will become a Democrat for the occasion and vote, tempting as it might be. I think I might favor Senator Lieberman or Senator Kerry if I did, because I believe that in general the Republic might be safer in their hands than in those of the other Democratic candidates. That would be a vote for the common good; but on the other hand, either of them might have a good chance of winning, which would mean the prospect of a judiciary permanently committed to abortion, against marriage and the family, and in general inimical to freedom of religion and other individual liberties. But deliberately to vote for a candidate I hope will lose would be deceptive, and therefore wrong. If I were you I would not vote in the Democratic primary, but I would not blame you if you did. I'm sorry I can't be more definite.

The question creates a false equivalence between "the law of the land" and "politics." If the law of the land as it relates to abortion were principally the result of a political process, such an equivalence might exist. But since Marbury v. Madison established the right of judicial review, the law of the land also includes "laws" which are not a result of any political process.

Additionally, since short of armed rebellion, there is no means *other* than that process to change the law. The constitutional amendment process is political, if cumbersome. So, one could argue that *failing* to participate is in fact complicity, since only by participation can we hope to end the evil.


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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on January 12, 2004 4:42 PM.

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