Saturday, October 11, 2008

Total Disaster?

From time-to-time I check out Catholic pro-life activist Matt C. Abbott’s blog. Recently he posted the following quote:

"It would be a total disaster if Obama were elected — abortion and homosexuality will go totally out of control. I understand that John McCain is not a perfect candidate, but if we don't stop Obama, he will put the nail in the coffin."
— Father James Farfaglia,
pastor of St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus
Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas

Now, “total disaster” brings to mind catastrophes along the lines of Hurricane Katrina, where lives and property are destroyed by an irresistible force, and calling an Obama presidency a “disaster” is well past hyperbole. Let’s look at the record.

Roe v. Wade makes just about every abortion, under any circumstance, legal. Unless we allow post-birth infanticide I really don’t see how things could be worse. And have the Republicans done anything about this? Aside from nuisance laws and completely marginal regulations (the Partial-Birth Abortion ban hasn’t prevented a single abortion) they have done nothing for the last thirty years. The record makes clear that we cannot expect McCain to actually do anything about abortion, and I don’t see how an Obama presidency would change anything about the status of abortion in America.

Homosexuality totally out of control? Like what — it’s illegal now? Does the good pastor really think that allowing same-sex marriage (which, for the record, I am against) would make homosexuality so attractive that myriads of otherwise straight men and women would go gay all of the sudden? Sure, social pressure can restrain homosexuality, but there is also a saturation point where all of those with homoerotic desires are “out” and active, and we have reached that point. Further liberalization would do nothing to increase the numbers of homosexuals and we cannot legislate a social climate that would bring back the social mores of the 1950’s.

How about the banking crisis? Is that a disaster? People are losing their homes and jobs, after all. Almost forty years of de-regulation, of dismantling the safety mechanisms that were put in by the New Deal has led to wild speculation and an inevitable crash. McCain promises us more of the same, would that be a disaster?

The war — that’s a disaster, isn’t it? Some 4,000 Americans lives wasted so far in a war based on lies and deception. McCain promises us another hundred years of imperialist adventuring, would that be a disaster?

Nearly 47 million Americans are without health insurance and this undoubtedly leads to higher rates of morbidity and mortality. Our for-profit healthcare system has left 16 percent of our population without access to health care, yet costs twice as much as the single-payer systems that every other civilized nation has. Yet McCain wants “the market” to solve this problem. How many have to die before that’s considered a disaster?

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