Would you have voted for Obama?

Few regular readers of Second Sight would have qualified to vote in the US presidential election, but my wife and I had a discussion on what we would have done.

The attractions of Obama are obvious, although a great popular landslide vote all too often ends in tears. But our main problem with Obama is that he actively supports both part-birth abortion and live-birth abortion. I am afraid that the next two paragraphs are not for the squeamish.

Part-birth abortion is a procedure whereby the baby is partially extracted by the legs, having been manipulated into breach position. While the head is still inside, the brains are literally sucked out, decreasing the size of the skull so that it can pass out easily. Dead, of course.

Live-birth abortion is just that. The baby is induced, born, and, by law, given a birth certificate. Ironically facilities for baptism are sometimes provided. But the baby must then be left to languish until it dies. This can take up to eight hours. And, to keep things trim, a death certificate must be provided. Oddly it seems that the baby is regarded both as a citizen and a condemned “product of abortion” at the same time. If that isn’t playing both ends against the middle, I’d like to know what is.

In our view, leaving aside “life” questions, we thought that Obama had the better platform. We don’t care for McCain for a number of reasons – Guantanamo Bay and state-sponsored torture being among them. But we remembered a certain country with a politician who had done much to benefit national pride and economic prospects. But he also singled out a category of human beings for removal and extermination. Would we have voted for him?

We decided that, were we US voters, we would have had to abstain. But what would you have done?

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About Quentin

Science Editor, Catholic Herald. Portrait © Jacqueline Alma
This entry was posted in Church and Society, Moral judgment. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Would you have voted for Obama?

  1. James H. says:

    I followed the election run-up on my favourite blog, Catholic And Enjoying It, by the talented Mark Shea. Mr Shea had what I thought was an ethical suggestion: vote for a third candidate, no matter how quixotic or doomed they seemed to be. When faced with a choice between candidate who wanted to start WWIII, and another who was a baby-butcher, it was hard to discern which was the less of two evils.

    Many commentators on his blog begged to disagree – in fact he was accused of helping Obama to win, even though he was hilariously disdainful of the messianic hype.

    Though I think it wonderful that a non-white man (he’s not really black, as it happens) could become president of the US, I am extremely uneasy about the Obamessiah. There’s a rather strong word for a politician who can make his followers believe in his ability to bring about heaven on Earth, though I hesitate to use it: it starts with the term ‘Anti’.

  2. Frank says:

    Quentin refers to Hitler, I take it; and James H refers to the Anti-Christ. I agree with the sentiments of both; I think I would have abstained – or voted for Huckabee (if that had been possible?)

    It is truly a tragedy that this President-elect – whose election is the fruit of the great Civil Rights movement and whose wife is the great-grand-daughter of slaves – should be so anti-life.

  3. tim says:

    No.

    But most of us will wish him well, now he has been elected. All candidates for election try to make us hear what we want to hear, and ignore the rest. I hope he will succeed in uniting the American people. That will mean discarding any promises to liberalise abortion.

  4. Frank says:

    I fear he is already on record as saying he will remove the Presidential vetoes, re stem cell research and partial birth abortions, as soon as he is in office. He has the power to do this, apparently, without going to Congress. The instant George W Bush gained power, he vetoed partial birth abortions. Obama is set to undo this with a stroke of the pen.

  5. If you want to follow up Frank’s point, have a look at what the National Catholic Reporter has to say on the Freedom of Choice Act. http://ncronline3.org/drupal/?q=node/2551

  6. Frank says:

    Another thought: who should I vote for in the next General Election over here? Our MP, John Bercow (Conservative) has a huge majority which will not be dented; he wants to extend pro-abortion laws to N Ireland and has a terrible voting record on all these ethical questions. Suppose the Labour and Lib Dem candidates feel as he does (more than likely): should I not vote at all?

  7. Iona says:

    I’m in a much more marginal constituency than Frank, but will probably be facing the same lack of choice as regards pro-life candidates.

    Not voting at all would make one appear indifferent, which Frank clearly isn’t. I suppose he could say “since I have no opportunity to vote for a pro-life candidate I’ll ignore the life issue and vote on the basis of other issues” but that also would make it appear he’s indifferent to the “Life” issues. Perhaps the only way forward is for him to pester all the candidates with awkward questions like “Why do you want to impose a law in Northern Ireland which the majority of the people who live there are opposed to?” and “Do you feel any satisfaction in the fact that the UK has the highest teenage abortion rate in the whole of Europe; also the highest STD rate among teenagers?”

  8. I like Iona’s Socratic approach of asking questions. It puts pressure for a proper reply. I am fortunate: our MP here in Wimbledon (not a Catholic) has a good record as a pro-lifer. I don’t think this is because Wimbledon is positively pre-Reformation in its number of Catholics but sincere. I have discussed the issue with him.

  9. Lucius says:

    Well as a Yank I can say I didn’t vote for Obama. I don’t see how a Catholic could and yet the pollsters tell us that 54% of US Catholics voted for him. However a pollster also tells us that only 2% of Obama voters actually knew what he stood for.

    When they write the history of this election, there will be much commentary on a corrupt media that promoted a cult in supporting a presidential candidate. For example you have a supposed journalist-commentator like Christ Matthews (MSNBC) feeling thrills up his leg and telling another pundit that “we” the media have to make sure that Obama suceeds as President. Talk about bias.

    Worse than that you now have this media template that a new Camelot is in the making and we are on the verge of Shangri-La. Much of the American mainstream media are Hollywood “intellects” who think shows like West Wing represent reality. The original Camelot promoted by the media during the presidency of John Kennedy was smoke and mirrors and now you have a corrupt media looking to anchor their smoke and mirrors on the prior smoke and mirrors. Many Catholics have gotten lost in this smoke and maze.

    Given the remarks of Pope Benedict (while Cardinal Ratzinger) to the American bishops, a Catholic who did not share the pro-abortion stand of a candidate, and voted for that candidate would be guilty of remote material cooperation in evil which could be tolerated in the presence of a proportionate reason. War and captial punishment were not on the same moral plane as abortion/euthanasia Cardinal Ratzinger indicated. Thus the million-dollar question what issue is proportionate to killing human life in the womb or dispatching people who are sick, elderly, handicapped? For all other issues to matter this presupposes life.

    Or as one Diogenes has pointed out:

    “Flannery O’Connor published a short story in 1955 with the title “You Can’t Be Any Poorer Than Dead.” The point has not been communicated to the Kennedy-Drinan-Pelosi Catholics, whose verbal concern for the poor, combined with lofty disdain for those who would protect the unborn, results in a Marie Antoinette-like detachment from the grisly reality: “Call on us when you exit the womb, mon enfant, and we have a shiny new sovereign for your cello lessons!” And hey, if a million or so every year aren’t in a position to take them up on the offer, at least no one can fault them on their generosity. Liberals are more caring than the rest of us.”

    Hence it should have been obvious that no Catholic or person of good will should have voted for Obama.

  10. RBlaber says:

    There is quite simply no way I could have voted for Obama because of his stance on abortion. Much as I am pleased that America now has a black President, I am appalled that so many American Catholics chose to ignore Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life and to vote for someone who is so fundamentally anti-life.
    Furthermore, although Obama clearly has good intentions regarding closing Guantanamo Bay, ending the use of torture, withdrawing US troops from Iraq, and adopting a much more pro-environmental policy than his Republican predecessor, I am alarmed about the possible consequences of his economic plans. If he goes ahead with his proposals to increase public spending and borrowing, this could have a disastrous effect, achieving the very opposite of what is intended. The very same thing could happen here, of course.
    You only have to ask yourself the question – how did we get into this mess? The answer is – through excessive borrowing (stimulated by low interest rates) and ludicrously risky lending by the banks. Barack Obama and Gordon Brown want to solve the problem with lower interest rates and yet more borrowing and spending! We’re doomed, frankly, if we go down that path. The result will be either Weimar Republic style hyper-inflation or sovereign debt default, and if the US defaults on its debt, then God help us all. Its debt, btw, is already in excess of $10 trillion! And much of that debt is held by the People’s Republic of China – not exactly one of the USA’s biggest fans!

  11. claret says:

    I have come late to this debate because of the password difficulties that Quentin remarked on in his latest ‘news’ E mail, so my reposnse now is probably too late to engender any further discussion to this topic.
    The delay though has given me the opportunity to regularly read the other comments and yet I am still unable to decipher what Pope Benedict’s comments mean in those quoted from when he was Cardinal Ratzinger.
    Was he saying that a pro-life catholic ( are not all supposed to be pro-life?) who voted for a pro-abortion candidate was cpompliant in evil ‘unless’ such a vote was proportinate in some way to the candidates other views on the ‘wider pro life ticket.’ Ie. opposed to war and the death peanlty.
    If so , I find this view of the Pope to be in serious error!
    Similarly I struggle to equate Quentin’s view that he would have abstained rather than vote for either US candidate.
    Is there really some ‘equality’ between the horrors of abortion
    (one million a year innocent lives destroyed in the USA and set to increase,) with Guantanamo Bay and its housing of a few hundred real and suspected terrorists?
    The Bishop of Portsmouth (I think it was him,) went on his own ‘blog’ to issue fullsome praise on Obama and his victory, without a mention of his pro-abortion ‘credentials’. ) The Pope himself ( I expect for diplomatic reasons, congragulated this most pro-abportion, anti life President in the history of the USA on his election victory.) What chance the ordinary catholic, whose views on abortion have been influenced by what they believe to be the fundamental moral teaching of the Church, to make sense of it all when the leaders are in such disarray that their own moral courage either fails them or becomes woolly on this life issue when it suits?

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