View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Catholic "Honeymoon" With Obama is Over

George Wesolek says his honeymoon is over with President Obama - and should be for Catholic pro-lifers who voted for him.

Wesolek, the director of Public Policy/Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, wrote a piece for the Archdiocese's website in which he acknowledges some positive steps taken by the President in some areas - his "push for advancement on healthcare access," and his "offer of friendship to the Arab speaking world by his effort to communicate with them with a sense of reasonable dialogue," for example.

But ...

"My sense of apprehension and unease, however, has been around the life issues. Being pro-life and considering abortion as the preeminent social justice issue of our day, I have been warily watching President Obama's actions on these issues."

He says he "heard during the campaign from pro-Obama Catholics and Catholic organizations established to promote his candidacy that Obama would accomplish more than the previous administration to curtail abortions and promote life using `non-divisive' strategies. I have been eagerly looking for indications that this was indeed the case.

"I have not seen anything that would indicate a "pro-life" openness or even a small move in that general direction. On the contrary, I have seen just the opposite."

Instead, he says what we have seen is the "appointments of pro-abortion staff to key positions, there have been three policy shifts by Obama that have signaled clearly where he is on the issue of life and where he intends to go."

He cites The Mexico City Policy reversal, the impending reversal of the Federal Conscience Rights for Health Care Workers, and the "Reversal of the Ban on Federal Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

The stem cell decision, he argues "clearly delineates President Obama's intent regarding the life issues." He says "it demonstrates that, in his mind, these embryos either are not human life or they are human life of such a second-class nature that they are not worthy of respect and protection."

In addition, President Obama "rescinded an executive order that provided resources for innovative forms of adult stem cell research, the type of research that is ethical and very productive in terms of scientific results. This move ominously implies an ideological mindset that is unscientific and predisposed to follow the trail of embryonic research even though there are no cures and serious problems with this kind of approach."

But even as the President pursues this anti-life path, Wesolek says he has heard "no reaction from those pro-Obama Catholics and Catholic organizations that were and are apologists for Obama and his policies. These organizations - Catholics United, Alliance of Catholics for the Common Good, Network and others - provided Catholics with a scenario that painted Obama as `pro-life.' Some of them openly said that they were pro-life and would work to move policy in a pro-life direction under Obama."

And then he asks of these Obama supporters, "Where are they now? Where are there any policy initiatives that would blunt the irrevocable thrust of these Obama actions early in his presidency?

"The culture of death is making deeper inroads in our national policies and there is almost no response from Catholics who helped elect President Obama. It is time for them to step up to the plate."

(Thanks to the Catholic Key Blog for the heads up. This is a great blog showing what Catholic newspapers can do. )


Blogger Chris Dickson said...

I used to become angry when my protestant brothers and sisters would say that Catholics are not saved. But now I can see that clearly 54% of them are not saved.

We have lost the abortion issue because we argued with logical arguments against people who don't know Jesus. What we should have been doing all along is working on Repentance and Penance. First,we need to lead them to Jesus. Once they fall in love with him, they wouldn't dare kill one of his babies.

Even the vast majority of today's Franciscans worry more about Eco/New-Age/United Nations "Foo Foo" than they do about winning souls to Christ!

It's well past the time we returned to the basics!

10:18 PM  

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