Our Lord so loved the world that He did create political parties, organizations controlled by greedy, utilitarian careerists who believe that citizens exist in order to enable them to hold elected office for most of their adult lives. Unfortunately, many pro-life Catholics at the beginning of the twenty-first century are making the same mistake that many immigrant Catholics made in the nineteenth century: viewing a particular political party as the means of secular salvation to such an extent that simple reason informed by the light of the true Faith must be suspended in order to give full, unwavering and unquestioning support to the candidates of policies of "their" party.
As I have demonstrated to the point of exhaustion in the past decade, the fact that the Democratic Party in the United States of America is so bad does not mean that the Republican Party is the friend of life. Indeed, one of the old tools of the devil is to raise up people and organizations who are so bad that anybody and anything else looks better by comparison. What winds up happening, however, is that the dose of the so-called "lesser evil" that we are supposed to accept so readily in one election after another actually becomes higher and higher with each passing election. So much so that there comes a point when there is no real distinction between the alleged differences in the gradations of evil embraced by candidates of different political parties.
Case in point: ordinary pro-life Americans, people who are genuinely concerned about the daily carnage of over 4,000 human beings as a result of procured abortions, confer a mantle of something approaching infallibility in politicians they deem to be "pro-life," including President George W. Bush, who actually believes that babies can be sliced and diced in their mothers' wombs in cases of rape, incest, and alleged threats to the life of a mother. Eager for any semblance of good news as they battle the culture of death, they seize upon what is presented to them as one major pro-life initiative after another given them by an allegedly pro-life presidential administration without wanting to examine the facts in any detail at all (lest their hopes and illusions be shattered in the process). Thus, it was only natural for a lot of very good people to jump up and down for joy when it was announced that the Bush administration would withhold $34 million from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which were allocated in a bill funding "international family planning programs" last year, because of UNFPA's support for forced abortion and forced sterilization in Red China. Lost, though, on the enthusiastic pro-lifers was the fact that those $34 million were being re-directed to the United States Agency for International Development Child Survival and Health Program Fund. As was pointed out in an excellent press release issued by American Life League on Wednesday, July 24, 2002: "This fund includes money for 'forecasting, purchasing, and supplying contraceptive commodities and other materials necessary for reproductive health programs.' 'These contraceptive commodities' are nothing but abortion-inducing chemics that kill the very children that the Fund claims to help,' said Mrs. [Judie] Brown. 'President Bush made a good decision to deny the UNFPA American taxpayer money for forced abortions, but turned right around and stabbed us in the back by giving the $34 million to USAID.'"
Contraception is a grave evil. It overthrows the Sovereignty of God over the sanctity of marital relations. It undermines marital fidelity, promotes promiscuity, and winds up feeding into the advancement of the sodomite agenda. After all, if conjugal relations are not meant to be used only by a man and woman in a valid marriage and left open to the transmission of new life, then all manner of perversion and wantonness become accepted all too readily (as we see with tragic results in Africa at present). Almost all contraceptives, however, also kill a living human being. They are abortifacients. No one who supports the funding of contraception in the name of international or domestic "family planning" or "reproductive health services" is pro-life.
Here are the facts that a lot pro-life Catholics simply do not want to face. Yes, I have recited these facts over and over and over again. As few people seem to be getting them, I must make them yet one more time.
1) No one who supports a single abortion as a matter of principle is pro-life. Such a person is less pro-abortion than one who supports abortion on demand with no restrictions. Words count. Words matter. The phrase "pro-life" should never be applied to any person who believes that the life of an innocent human being is negotiable, that innocent human life is subject to extermination in certain cases.
2) No one who supports contraception is pro-life or pro-family. The Bush administration supports a panoply of international "family planning programs" as well as domestic counterpart programs under the aegis of Title X.
3) No one who endorses a single pro-abort for public office is pro-life. Pro-aborts never endorse anyone who is pro-life. Why, then, do individuals who consider themselves to be "pro-life" (but who are actually simply less pro-abortion than others) get a free pass from pro-life citizens when they go out and campaign and raise money for pro-death advocates in their own political party? Should it not be clear to us by now that career politicians believe that the ties of political partisanship are more sacrosanct that the blood of the innocent unborn? George W. Bush has campaigned for one pro-abort after another (Michael Bloomberg, George Pataki, Douglas Forester, et al.) Would he campaign for people who were overt racists or anti-Semites? If not, then why does he believe that it is right to campaign for people who believe in the unrestricted killing of the preborn? How is it going to be possible to reverse the culture of death when one campaigns and raises funds for people who embrace that very culture of death?
4) No one who is pro-life appoints those who are pro-death to his administration (unless, that is, he believes that abortion is simply a "difficult" issue about which people of good will can disagree quite legitimately). The fact that President George W. Bush has appointed a veritable bevy of pro-aborts to his administration is precisely what dragged out the decision to de-fund UNFPA needlessly for eight months. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and his colleagues worked very hard to oppose any efforts to de-fund UNFA, even though Steven W. Mosher of the Population Research Institute had documented thoroughly UNFPA's support of the coercive population policies of the Red Chinese (as well as those implemented by the former President of Peru, Alberto Fujimori). There was no need for the eight-month delay. This was a slam-dunk if one is pro-life. Alas, though, when you include pro-aborts as players in your policy-making process, simple decisions that can be made in an instant are delayed interminably, if not undermined entirely.
5) Rhetoric must be translated into concrete and consistent policies. President Bush has said repeatedly that he wants to work for the day when "every child will be welcomed in life and protected by law," something that is contradicted by his own support for abortion in the cases cited earlier. He is simply mouthing the babble of the pro-abortion National Right to Life Committee, which itself believes human life is negotiable in cases where it is alleged that a mother's life is endangered. Bush gave us the horrible stem-cell decision in August of last year, has double-dealt pro-lifers on the matter of human cloning, and is permitting the use of stem cells derived from aborted babies to be used in various experiments. He has done nothing to stop the commercial use of stem cells derived from fertilized human beings killed after August 9, 2002, and does nothing to dissuade corporate America from funding Planned Parenthood and related organizations. Saying that you are "pro-life" does not make you "pro-life" if you are unwilling to understood that the first duty of an office holder is to stop the shedding of innocent blood without delay.
6) One Republican after another is adopting the line that was used by several candidates for state and local office in 2001: "Sure, I'm pro-life. However, there is nothing I can do about it. Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land." If human law is settled wrongly, then it is the obligation of civil leaders to work for the correction of the matter posthaste. The Republican candidate for Governor of California, William Simon, has been the latest to buy into this strategy, devised last year by Marc Raciot, the former Montana Governor who is the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
7) The biennial effort to pass a partial, conditional ban on partial-birth abortions will be heralded as a great success in the battle for life. "Finally, we have a President who has signed this bill into law." The passage of this needlessly flawed bill will not be a success for the babies. Not a single life will be saved, as I have noted over and over and over again. The life of the mother exception in the bill provides baby-killers with an excellent loophole to continue to use this method to kill children. Do we really think that people who kill for a living are going to abide by the letter of the law? Indeed, the fact that there is an exception in the bill is itself a tragic concession to the forces of death. Even the American Medical Association admitted in 1995 that there is never an instance in which it is medically necessary to save the life of a mother by using the baby-killing method known medically as "dilation and extraction." However, even if a complete ban on all partial-birth abortions passed the Congress and was signed into law by a President (and sustained by the United States Supreme Court), there are other ways to kill a child in the later stages of pregnancy that remain perfect legal. Partial-birth abortion was devised by a baby-killer in 1992 to be an alternative to "dilation and evacuation," a form of baby-killing that involves carving up the baby in the mother's birth canal. "Dilation and extraction," partial-birth abortion, provides a means to kill a child which is less invasive for a mother than the others. But those other methods would remain perfectly legal. Good pro-lifers have lost their minds when they contend that a partial, conditional ban on partial-birth abortions will save lives. It will not.
As Mrs. Judie Brown noted in the press release issued by the American Life League, "President Bush's decision to redirect $34 million in government funds from the United Nations abortion coercion activities in China to USAID's 'contraceptives' program is a purely political move with no consistency behind it. What he has given to pro-lifers with one hand, he has taken away with the other."
Mrs. Brown is entirely correct. This is a purely political move, especially in light of the redirecting of the funds earmarked originally for UNFPA. George W. Bush may not be the brightest bulb around. However, he and his people are no dummies. They are as clever as William Jefferson Blyth Clinton and his own cronies, engaging in a cynical policy of triangulation in order to keep members of the Republican political base energized for the upcoming mid-term national elections while doing nothing of any real substance to threaten voters outside of that base. And this contradictory move is being taken well enough in advance of the November elections so as to dim its memory in the mind of independent voters, many of whom will be focusing on matters of national security and the economy instead of Bush's decision to de-fund UNFPA while he funds programs that are just as evil.
It is sad to note that many good pro-life Americans, including a lot of Catholics, simply do not want to consider these facts at all. They are unwilling to admit that the Bush administration is pursuing policies that are essentially identical to those that were pursued by Clinton (and would have been continued by Albert Arnold Gore, Jr.). Federal spending on matters that undermine the natural law principle of subsidiarity is escalating fiercely. Bush believes that he can purchase the votes of those who will never support him by appearing to be more generous with taxpayer monies for unjust and wasteful programs than are the Democrats. Pro-lifers continue to be the targets of unjust Federal prosecutions. The administration has given in time and again to the sodomite agenda, including supporting a bill to provide death benefits to "domestic partners" (whether unmarried heterosexual couples or sodomite or lesbian couples) to the "survivors" of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. And the administration has the blood of many millions of innocent babies on its hands by its proud funding of family planning programs. Tell me how any of this is different from what Al Gore would have done? These are the facts. They have to be faced and recognized with honesty, ladies and gentlemen. Bush has been able to say one thing and do another because many pro-lifers are unwilling to admit that he is simply a kinder, more gentle version of Bill Clinton: a slick politician who wants to be all things to all people.
A Catholic understands that our hope is not in a political party. It is in Our Lord as He has revealed Himself through His true Church. In this month of October, dedicated as it is to Our Lady and her Most Holy Rosary, may we redouble our efforts to build up, as Saint Maximilian Kolbe worked so hard for until he was imprisoned in Auschwitz, the City of Mary Immaculate. For the only antidote to the poisons of secularism is true Catholicism. Our loving Blessed Mother wants to help us as we plant the seeds for the Social Reign of her Divine Son. May we come to understand that we live to give public honor to Christ the King and Mary our Queen, not to phony politicians who play us for fools as they betray the cause of life over and over and over again.
The babies lose in the schema of American electoral politics. They will be the big winners the day the United States of America places itself under the banner of Mary Immaculate and her Divine Son.
Thomas A. Droleskey, Ph.D.
For past columns in The DAILY CATHOLIC by Dr. Droleskey, see Archives