Mark Shea contra torture, abortion

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Is there anything worse than a Catholic Democrat? Maybe a Catholic Republican. I can’t tell. I do know I love Mark Shea, a great Catholic writer who is regularly being upbraided by right wingers for daring to criticize things like the carpet bombing of children and torture. The conservatives are pretty sure Jesus endorsed those things in scripture somewhere. Or perhaps it was that bloodthirsty Saint Francis.

But then Shea turns around and denounces the leftists for supporting abortion, euthanasia and such and then his readers get confused, because like typical Americans they think that political parties are built on consistent ideologies, and not on convenient political coalitions that have nothing to do with morals, ethics, or even common sense.

At any rate, I like Shea so much because he says things like this:

I have abandoned the game of supporting candidates who advertise themselves as “30% less evil than the other leading brand.” I will not support candidates of any stripe who ask me to support intrinsic grave evil. Please don’t tell me that’s expecting perfection. It’s not. It’s a bare minimum request for least common denominator civic decency. I don’t ask perfection of either GOP or Dem. I simply ask that they stop telling me I have to support policies which Catholic moral teaching describes as “worthy of the fires of hell.” Both parties do this in various ways, therefore I will not support any candidate from either party that does. Conversely, if any candidate from either party tells me he will not be supporting grave and intrinsic evil, I will at least consider voting for him. So far, the pickings are slim.

And also…

I don’t think conservatives (real ones, I mean) are the scum of the earth. I don’t think our Faith allows us to think of people that way, even really scummy people like child molestors [sic], terrorist [sic], and what not, much less mere fellow citizens of a different political persuasion. As to conservatives, I consider myself one. However, much thinking that calls itself conservative today is not about conserving anything. It is about sucking the economy dry on nation-building experiments, radical expansions of power for Caesar, salvation through leviathan by any means necessary and, last but not least, exploitation of sincere and well-meaning social conservatives via the continual false promise that, eventually, our “conservative” pols will do something about abortion. When serious effort is made to raise the US above sub-Carthaginian levels of respect for the unborn, I will take the GOP seriously.

Few things are more unbearable than listening to a Catholic Republican attempt to justify torture or the fire bombing of women and children; except maybe having to listen to a Catholic Democrat tell me that he loves the Church’s position on “social justice” but that killing babies in the womb is A-ok.  Yup, that sounds socially just.

People like Shea and Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, who are always being accused of being “liberals” simply oppose killing children both in utero and ex utero. It is an absolute triumph of partisan politics in America that any Catholics at all find this position difficult to understand.

8:58 pm on September 3, 2010