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.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Congressman To Respect: Faith Trumps Politics

Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao of New Orleans, a Catholic and the first Vietnamese-American congressman, said Saturday that the health care reform legislation being considered is contains a "stealth mandate” for abortion, and that he prefers to “save his soul” rather than vote in favor of it.

In an interview with the Times-Picayune on Saturday, Cao, who took office in January of this year, said he can't support any bill that permits public money to be spent on abortion.

“At the end of the day if the health care reform bill does not have strong language prohibiting the use of federal funding for abortion, then the bill is really a no-go for me,” said Cao, a refugee who who spent time in formation to be a Jesuit priest.

Cao said that as a Jesuit he did believe in the notion of social justice.

“I do fully understand the need of providing everyone with access to health care, but to me personally, I cannot be privy to a law that will allow the potential of destroying thousands of innocent lives,” he said.

“I know that voting against the health care bill will probably be the death of my political career,” Cao said, “but I have to live with myself, and I always reflect on the phrase of the New Testament, ‘How does it profit a man's life to gain the world but to lose his soul.’”

Now that is true political courage. I wish some of our other Catholic Congressional Representatives and Senators would show similar courage.
(ADDED: I should explain that he is a Republican first-termer elected in an overwhelmingly Democratic district when his Democratic predecessor, Congressman Jefferson, was indicted on corruption charges. So Cao's reelection was already less certain than is normal for an incumbent.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, bless him. Wonder what the response will be from his constituents?

4:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home