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, February 04, 2010

President Bush gets a pro-life award????

The Catholic business group, Legatus, is giving former President George Bush its Cardinal John J. O'Connor Pro-Life Award.

Forgive me while I choke on my coffee.

The group's executive director, John Hunt, reportedly said, "You could argue that he was the most pro-life president in our lifetime."

Argue? You bet.

He is pro-life only if you narrowly define "pro-life" as applying to abortion and embryonic-stem cell research. There, yes, he did support life - and is a stark contrast to the current pro-abortion President. And these are important issues, no argument there.

But when it comes to unjust and illegal wars, when it comes to support for the death penalty and torture, Governor and later President Bush is clearly not pro-life. Certainly not deserving of such an award.

Speaking as a Catholic pro-lifer, this is embarrassing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush is the man.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Ben Anderson said...

totally disagree w/ you on that one Lee. Not that I necessarily disagree with the other things you mentioned. But abortion greatly outweighs all those other issues (in proportion). A pro-life president matters greatly. GW is the reason we have chief justice Roberts. Here's a list of other things:

9:15 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

True - he is the man who led us into an illegal and immoral war, and squandered the international cooperation created after September 11, and failed the people of New Orleans, etc.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Ben - I won't argue with the importance of abortion and that Bush deserves praise for sticking up for the unborn. But his other actions - or failures to act - disqualify him for this particular award.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Persis said...

Have to say, I agree with you.
Also agree with Ben about abortion being importatant, but not sure if it "outweighs" the other issues. My belief is that if I am going to be "pro-life" that must apply to all life- equally, even if it is sometimes difficult.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Ben Anderson said...

I don't intend to change your mind, but I think those are all matters of prudence. They aren't so black and white as the bush bashers would like them to be. Bush was attacked by the MSM in a more gross and disgusting way than any public figure has been before. I'm not defending everything he did, but I believe he made what he believed to be the most prudential decisions at the time with the information he had.

I think the honor bestowed on him is deserved, but everyone has their opinion.

I'm guessing this means you wouldn't like giving him the title of America's first Catholic president :-)

11:16 PM  
Blogger Lightborrower said...

Perhaps Legatus may be planting a seed more than honouring a man, but we've noticed that awards and honorary degrees from here to Canada and all the way to Nobel peace prize judges mean less and less to all the world. They're becoming as inaccurate and inappropriate as selecting a Beijing to host olympics games. I'm not at all surprised.

1:27 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Persis - I believe it does does outweigh the other issues - Cardinal Bernardin, who enunciated the consistent ethic of life was very clear about that.

War, for example, is sometimes justified. Innocesnt lives are sometimes taken, but in a just war not intentionally, an efforts are made to avoid doing so.

In terms of the death penalty, at least the guilty individual did indeed do something terribly wrong, and the Church allows that under certain circumstances (that don't exist in the U.S., by the way) the death penalty is justified.

But with abortion you are always intentionally killing an innocent human being, and the scale of slaughter is so much greater. Every year in the U.S., for example, we are killing many times more babies than the number of U.S. troops killed in all of World War II.

5:17 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Ben said "I believe he made what he believed to be the most prudential decisions at the time with the information he had."

But the information he had was questionable - as many reasonable people noted at the time (including myself). He did not bother to do the extra work and his people attempted to discredit the individuals who were trying to point out there were problems with the intelligence. If Lee Strong up in Rochester could figure that out simply by reading a variety of reports and accounts, how could the President of the U.S. not do so?

Even if he did not willfully do so - and there are indications he had his mind set on going after Hussein and was looking for justification even where it wasn't - the decision was clearly wrong, as was obvious to a number of people at the time. Moreover the decision to invade Iraq distracted us from the justified goal of going after the people behind September 11. We are now getting back to that in Afghanistan nine years later, having wasted lives, time and opportunities.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Ben said "I'm guessing this means you wouldn't like giving him the title of America's first Catholic president :-)"

Hmm. He's not Catholic, but he does act more Catholic than some of our Catholic politicians out there!

5:34 AM  
Blogger Ben Anderson said...

all valid points, Lee.

5:44 AM  
Blogger Tmac said...

Former President Bush is no more pro-life than the man in the moon.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Ben Anderson said...

"Former President Bush is no more pro-life than the man in the moon."

And that is the kind of backwards logic that Americans use to elect a man like Barack Obama.

7:46 PM  

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