03 November 2010

Swiped from a Facebook Comment

Sad, but true.

I linked to a fun article on Facebook, "Am I the Last Person in America Who Still Adores President Obama?" from Slate.com. A friend of mine out in IL said that she does, too, but can't talk about him around her Catholic colleagues (she works for the local diocese), because he's pro-choice.

Now, keep in mind, this issue of the single-issue has been simmering for me since about 1986 when I first watched the marches on Washington on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. So it's a little...hm. Well, maybe you'll decide for yourself what it is.

You see, I get troubled by this because, as Roman Catholics, we don't have blinders like this on a single other issue where federal or state laws conflict with canon: no one demands that IVF be banned, no one's calling for divorce to be outlawed (as it was in Ireland for YEARS because of the Catholic Church's influence), no one's calling for meat to be banned on Fridays from February to April. President Obama is the most Christian president we've had in years when you look at his social justice programs, civil rights stances, and most of his foreign policy. He wants to feed the poor, and for people to visit the imprisoned, and for there to be "neither man nor woman, neither gentile nor Jew."

Some pro-life critics say that it's a matter of magnitude, but that argument rings hollowly for me. Abortion may have the greatest magnitude, but I can't help but feel that the other issues would get at least a little time if the conflict of church vs. state laws were really all there was to it. These single-issue folks seem to be hiding behind this one issue--and it's a big issue. Plenty of room back there, especially since it was one of the first things that Protestants and Roman Catholics ever agreed on, politically. But I have a sinking feeling it's because the discomfort they feel regarding various social justice issues--women, minorities, the poor--is not something they feel comfortable talking about, especially in public.