Carl Anderson heads the Knights of Columbus. In reality — aside for the silly dress-up — the Knights is a Catholic insurance company competing with corporations that actually pay taxes. Last week he wrote, for The Hill, “Catholic politicians should follow conscience, consensus on abortion.” The headline is disingenuous — unless you happen to believe that following one's conscience and the consensus means obedience to the Church. We can substitute LGBT equality for abortion and achieve the same result. According to Anderson:
For more than 30 years, Catholics politicians in America have justified their support for abortion on the basis that while they are “personally opposed,” they should not impose their religious beliefs on society at large. The argument has always been a poor one, but it has never made less sense than it does today.In point of fact that is a good and perfectly sensible argument. Most officials, even at the state and municipal level, swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States. That document still precludes government from recognizing religion. Of equal importance is the simple proposition that Catholics do not have a monopoly on morality. If I had, say, a 13-year-old daughter and she got knocked up I would think that the moral thing to do is to encourage her to terminate the pregnancy. I would feel similarly if I had a wife who, while pregnant, contracted the Zika virus. The moral thing, in my opinion, is not to bring into this world a child with severe microcephaly. Anderson is free to choose otherwise.
I hate to break it to Mr. Anderson but abortion is a legal medical procedure. It requires the approval of neither Anderson nor the Church. I expect my elected officials to first have fealty to the Constitution and to serve their constituents — all of their constituents. Later on:
Such an argument by a Catholic politician was bogus then, and it is untenable now.Anderson, the Church and even a Catholic politician might contend that a fetus is a human life. Science and law disagree. It is reminiscent of their views on same-sex marriage which they pretend does not exist with petty scare quotes around the word marriage. Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for 43 years. If Anderson doesn't like that he can use some of the assets of the Knights to launch a drive for a constitutional amendment. At the end of 2014 the Knights had a net asset value of $2 billion. Go for it. Maybe they can fold Obergefell v. Hodges into the endeavor.
First, these politicians concede that abortion “destroys” a human life. Then they say they don’t want to impose that view on others.
Just how does that logic work? On what other issue could a government official allow something to continue that they agree directly kills the innocent on a massive scale?
… by a margin of 23 points – 60 percent to 37 percent – most Americans now say abortion is “morally wrong.” By contrast, only about one in 10 Americans say they want no restrictions of abortion.The polls on abortion have been relatively consistent since 1975. Slightly more people identify as pro-choice as opposed to pro-life. 29% favor legality in all circumstances. 50% favor legality in some circumstances and 19% want to make abortion illegal in all circumstances (2% have no opinion). Furthermore I suspect that many people who identify as pro-life would favor abortion for a family member in what they consider to be a crisis. It is all irrelevant. Roe v. Wade is the law of the land.
“Pro-choice” politicians now impose on the country a view held by only a tiny minority.
Here is where Anderson manages to make me very angry:
The irony is that these Catholic politicians claim that they agree that abortion is the morally repugnant killing of the innocent. They know that it kills a million human beings a year in this country alone — a number equivalent of the total number of people killed in Auschwitz.I barely know where to begin with this fuck-wit when it comes to differentiating abortion from the Holocaust. The most simplistic explanation is that the Third Reich, an autocracy, caused abortions by terminating the life of the mother because the mother happened to be a member of a religious minority. There is no choice involved nor any judicial accountability. The Third Reich murdered six million Jews for no reason other than the fact that they were Jewish.
Anderson needs to find a more appropriate comparison. What he has done is an act of anti-Semitism. It is immoral — perverse — to assert that there is a moral equivalency of abortion to the Holocaust. The Shoah remains a very sensitive matter for millions of people. I referred the matter to ADL which will send Anderson a nasty letter.