Many Catholic voters in blogdom, other web forums, and print media have indicated that they would support G.W. Bush for re-election because they believe he is a pro-life candidate.
I went to Bush-Cheney '04's Blog and typed "abortion" in the keyword search feature and received no hits to any position that Bush is against all abortions. It seems that other than a ban on partial birth abortion, Bush had no other pro-life agenda plans.
I then went to a site that explores the candidates on the issues and found Bush's stance on this issue. Once again, I don't see that Bush really has any other plans than signing the partial birth abortion ban, which is a done deal.
Indeed, in the race against Gore, the following observations were made about Bush on abortion:
- In a discussion with John McCain on exceptions to a pro-life amendment if it ever came before him, Bush states he would not sign it without exceptions for rape and incest. McCain accuses the President, then a candidate, of waffling on a key issue in the Republican party platform.
- Bush is wishy-washy on whether the Surgeon General was right to approve RU-486. Basically, Bush says the President has no authority here, and his main regret is that there is not more regulation of the drug, but he had no plans to try to prevent the drug's use.
- Bush clearly states that he will not use abortion as a litmus test in the selection of Supreme Court Justices.
- Bush clearly admits that if the American people did not support a pro-life amendment, he would not support it. This is exactly the position of pro-choice Catholic Democrats of yesteryear, such as Mario Cuomo.
- Bush states that even if a Right to Life Amendment gained enough support to pass, he would not sign it unless it has providions excluding rape and incest. Why should the child of a rapist be murdered?
President Bush has never once said that he believes human life begins at conception, nor even that he wants abortion illegal. Indeed, in his address to the nation on federally funded stem cell research, Bush explicitly called embryos "potential" human beings, which is not the pro-life position:Research on embryonic stem cells raises profound ethical questions, because extracting the stem cell destroys the embryo, and thus destroys its potential for life.Like a snowflake, each of these embryos is unique, with the unique genetic potential of an individual human being.Bush pays lip service to pro-lifers, and supports the late term abortion ban only because it is popular. I suspect that the only reason he agrees to cut federal spending on abortion is to offset his tax cuts to the rich!
I am glad the ban is popular, and elected officials should honor such an overwhelmingly popular piece of legislation. However, make no mistake, Bush has indicated no plans whatsoever of trying to overturn Roe or introduce any amendments that would protect the unborn from the moment of conception. He is no better than Kucinich was on this issue, and may even be worse. At least Kucinich may have been simply calling himself "pro-choice" simply to stay in the race. His voting record has always been pro-life, and he opposed the war and is liberal on social justice issues!
I tried to do some more searching on google to see if Bush is really more pro-life than these sites indicate. I was honestly seeking to find out if I am mistaken on Bush and abortion. Interestingly, I ran across an article claiming that Bush may have helped a former girlfriend get an abortion in Texas prior to legalization of abortion in that state. Of course, that was decades ago, and the allegation may be completely false. Yet, it makes me wonder.
I challenge pro-life Catholics (which includes myself) to demonstrate that Bush is truly a pro-life candidate for the next Presidential term!
Consider as well that in his first year in office, Bush reinstituted the federal death penalty. After over 30-years of no executions by the federal government, Bush decided we needed it. As Govoner of Texas, he lead the nation in executions. The Holy Father and the USCCB have urged us to stop using the death penalty, and numerous studies have concluded the following:
- The death penalty is an ineffective deterrent to crime.
- The death penalty is often implemented on the wrong person, as evidenced through DNA testing and a better understanding of how false confessions are ascertained.
- The death penalty is unequally administered by race.
Those who worship a man who taught us to turn the other cheeck and who was executed by the state unjustly should have grave reservations about using the death penalty.
One of the most consistent teachings of the Church through the ages has been that war is to be avoided, and that a war of unprovoked aggression is always and everywhere unjust. Iraq made no attack against the United States, and there is no evidence that an immanent attack was planned. No evidence ties the former Iraq regime to Al Queda or other organized terrorists. There is no evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
The United Nations had successfully contained the threat of Iraq, and the United Nations was the only body authorized under just war doctrine to enforce its own resolutions. The war in Iraq has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's, and hundreds if not thousands of Americans. It has left the region unstable for what will likely be decades. The war alienated the United States from the world community.
The war in Iraq was unjust, and is a product of a culture of death.
Bush has cut spending on some of the most effective social programs - such as school lunches and head-start. He has rolled back affirmative action despite overwhelming evidence that racial inequity persists in this great country. He has done nothing for the unemployed, who have grown in number under his watch. He has done nothing for the growing number of Americans living in poverty. His policies have been harmful to the environment. Yet, he runs up the largest deficit in history to wage his wars. He resists gun control in a nation with the highest gun death rates in the world. His so-called "compassionate conservatism" is anything but compassionate. These issues are also a product of a culture of death.
Now that the race is down to Kerry and Bush, the abortion issue will be exploited by Republicans to gain Catholic and Evangelical votes. Bush will talk as though he is the candidate for a culture of life. His past statements, voting, policies and actions demonstrate overwhelmingly that he is lukewarm at best on abortion, and very clearly and unambiguously supportive of a culture of death otherwise.
Bush is either a complete idiot incapable of moral reasoning, and manipulated by corporate interests - or he is a sinister deciever who knows that he can do whatever pleases as long as he does it in the name of Jesus and doesn't come right and say that he doesn't care about the unborn. In either case, he is not a President who builds a culture of life.
Is Kerry perfect?
No. I don't really like Kerry. I wish the Democrats gave us a better candidate. I wish he were against abortion. He's not, and that is extremely troubling for me - as it is for many Catholics. Nevertheless, Bush is not much, if any, better on this front - and he's worse when we look at the bigger picture of all life issues!
Unless he undergoes some radical conversion, a vote for Bush is a vote to get people killed! The killing has to stop! It's time for regime change in the United States.
Peace and Blessings!
Readers may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
posted by Jcecil3 3:03 PM