Parallel: Overlooking a Candidate’s Stand on Abortion or Concentration Camps

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“Litmus test” issues have been denigrated by the press for so long that most citizens are reluctant to suggest that some legitimate ones exist.

There is one foundational right without which all other rights cannot emanate.  It is one which the Supreme Court tied itself in knots in 1973 using bizarre logic regarding privacy to take away the Right to Life and legalize abortion.

Without protecting life at its very beginning, every other cause is irrelevant.

“It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop.” –Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life1

A certain way to raise a liberal’s ire is to say a particular judge should not be considered for the Supreme Court unless he/ she is pro-life.  They would rail against such a “litmus test.”

But suppose a candidate for Congress was asked for an opinion about the concentration camps in Germany during World War II.  What would the Left say if that individual passed on that by saying those killing camps were the business of the Germans and we should not have taken a stance at that time because their legal system allowed it?  Would the secular news channels have enough hours in a broadcasting day to declare that this candidate was unqualified?

Both the right to life and concentration camp issues are legitimate “litmus tests.”  It defies logic that only the second one is acceptable.  The only conclusion which can be drawn is that, to most “progressives”, all lives are not created equal.

 

1http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/abortion/living-the-gospel-of-life.cfm

 

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Democratic Candidate’s Research Paper Position is Not Unforgivable

“Local  Democratic party leaders decided not to impede the campaign of an upstart state representative candidate, but many still aren’t forgiving Ben Lindy for the anti-research paper he wrote in law school.”

The article proceeded to explain that the resolution to strip him of “the essential benefits provided a candidate in order to run a fair campaign” failed by just a few votes, 26-21.  Additional fuel for this uproar stemmed from the fact that “it was discovered last month that his Yale University research paper has been cited in a legal brief used in a U.S. Supreme Court case that could weaken unions’ collective bargaining agreement nationwide, including in Ohio.”1

Purpose  of  Research

It’s understandable that the party which counts on the backing of unions would be apprehensive of possible fallout from some of their supporters over this.  But let’s step back for a moment.  The purpose of the academic world is to make clear previously undiscovered conclusions.  It aims to shed preconceived notions in order to reach these conclusions objectively.

The fact that a research paper is “anti-union” does not make it intrinsically evil, worthy of disdain.  The presence of labor unions may or may not be beneficial.  Unions are not inherently good or bad because it depends on the circumstances and application.

Intrinsic  Evil  vs.  Prudential

This conflict exemplifies the confusion which has existed in our nation for a long time.  For example, Prohibition was instituted because a majority was not able to understand that alcoholic drink is a prudential issue.2,3  A drink for an adult is not necessarily a bad thing.  It can be if the person is predisposed to addiction or excessive use, but a drink itself is not inherently evil.  Thus, the 18th Amendment was not only inappropriate for the purpose of the Constitution but it incorrectly labeled all alcoholic drinks as something to prohibit under all circumstances.

Abortion, on the other hand, is intrinsically evil despite attempts to rationalize it with reasons ranging from “privacy”to the erroneous assertion that we don’t know when human life begins.5,6  The act of abortion is always morally wrong even though the level of moral responsibility may vary for each individual involved.

An “anti-union” research paper does not carry the same moral liability.  The subject of unions is a prudential issue requiring discernment for each situation.  Each position deserves to be evaluated on its own merits.  Regardless, “unforgiving” is not an admirable attitude.

Of course, if the Democratic Party strongly opposes a person’s views on this, perhaps he should switch parties.

 

 

1 –“Democrats back off sanctioning candidate,” by Jason Williams, The Kentucky Enquirer, 2/6/2016

2 – “Intrinsically evil acts are always immoral, regardless of the intention or purpose for which the act was chosen, regardless of the circumstances or consequences of the act, and regardless of the other acts that are chosen before, during, or after the intrinsically evil act. Nothing can cause an intrinsically evil act to become moral.” By Ron Conte, contributor to Catholic Answers Forums, http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=476417, 7/16/2010.

3 – Prudential issues are not clear-cut, but require sound judgment.  “Man is sometimes confronted by situations that make moral judgment less assured and decision difficult.” From paragraph 1787 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church,” Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997.

4 – “On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in the case of Roe v. Wade, which recognized that the constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions — including the decision to have an abortion without interference from politicians.”  https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/abortion-access/roe-v-wade/

5 – “I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition.” spoken by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to Candy Crowley of CNN’s “State of the Union,” http://www.cnsnews.com, 7/28/2014 as reported in “Pelosi Blatantly Lied Regarding Church’s Teaching on Abortion, So Why Not Misrepresent Hamas, Too?” https://cartaremi.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/pelosi-blatantly-lied-regarding-churchs-teaching-on-abortion-so-why-not-misrepresent-hamas-too/, 8/7/2014.

6 – “Furthermore, what is at stake is so important that, from the standpoint of moral obligation, the mere probability that a human person is involved would suffice to justify an absolutely clear prohibition of any intervention aimed at killing a human embryo. Precisely for this reason, over and above all scientific debates and those philosophical affirmations to which the Magisterium has not expressly committed itself, the Church has always taught and continues to teach that the result of human procreation, from the first moment of its existence, must be guaranteed that unconditional respect which is morally due to the human being in his or her totality and unity as body and spirit…” from the second paragraph of section 60 of “Evangelium Vitae,” by Pope John Paul II, http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae.html, 3/25/1995.

Senate Republicans Concede To A “Pro-Choice” Fallacy

The Senate approved a defense bill unanimously on December 4 “with an amendment sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., that provides medical coverage for military personnel to obtain abortions at military facilities in the case of rape or incest.” 1  Therefore, are we to conclude that the way to deal with a heinous crime is to kill the innocent?  This was UNANIMOUSLY accepted?  Then it follows that the rapist should be executed, too?  Logic would demand this.

Before I expose one of the obvious errors of the “pro-choice” camp, let me be clear about my pro-life position because it must extend to capital punishment as well.  Killing, except as an unintended outcome of self-defense, is a very serious wrong.  I continue to hope for widespread agreement on this.  A pro-life position must oppose nearly all executions for capital crimes.  Only if an incarcerated criminal is still able to devise and have capital crimes implemented outside of the prison may society even consider execution.  If incarceration prevents new crimes, then it is no longer a self-defense situation, merely revenge.

As Pope John Paul II expressed more fully in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), “that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral.”   In addition, he wrote, “The deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil and can never be licit either as an end in itself or as a means to a good end.” 1

MERELY  EXISTING  IS  A  CRIME?

Here’s what the Senate amendment does:  A reprehensible crime has been committed, involving three human beings directly.  We attempt to fix the situation by killing one of the innocents with taxpayer money.  The only possible “crime” attributed to the baby is for simply existing.

By doing so, we are reviving the philosophy which justified lynching in some people’s minds.  For years, white supremacists who took uncontrollable offense because people of color had the audacity to breathe the same air.  At least such killings were illegal back then.  Now, we’re going back to those days by rationalizing that this is different and that the presence of the innocent baby is just too much for us to deal with.  So, we blindly accept the Supreme Court’s Great Mistake of 1973 which declared this form of murder to be legal and make it worse by using money from people of conscience to implement the executions!

WHAT  ABOUT  EXTENDED  MENTAL  ANGUISH?

True, the lasting emotional pain and disturbances associated with many crimes often go underappreciated.  The effects of the crimes of rape or incest are not confined to the time of the act itself.  While the physical harm may be overcome in a relatively short time, the tormenting memories and fears remain – usually for a lifetime.  (The same long-term anguish is also true for a woman who submits to an abortion, contrary to what Planned Parenthood and other “pro-choice” groups will admit.)

Back to the victim who becomes pregnant.  In a society which does not truly value human life, the woman faces much more than nine months of emotional trauma.  The rejection by an uncaring society adds to her understandable feelings of resentment, unless she has the strong will from great spiritual formation in her life.

If killing the totally innocent baby is still an option to the “pro-choice” individual, please consider this parallel.  Someone commits a robbery and, in addition to the theft, the victim is seriously disabled.  This affects not only the victim, but also close relatives and friends.  This is not a short-term affliction easy to dismiss.  The mental anguish and stress will impact all concerned, possibly for the remainder of the victim’s life.  Who would have the audacity to suggest that everyone’s deep emotional pain (or perhaps inconvenience?) would be taken care of if the disabled victim’s life were ended?

I sincerely hope none of us would want to live in that place.

1 – Steve Weatherbe, National Catholic Register web site, 12/27/2012

Unions Are Necessary For Balance of Power, “Right-to-Work” Laws Instill Fairness

Yesterday’s passage of a “right-to-work law” in Michigan produced civil displays of emotion in Lansing. Their “enthusiasm” has been exceeded only by those demonstrations commonly seen across the state when Detroit wins a championship… but in this case, the driving force was losing, not winning.  The issue at hand, a “right-to-work law,” means that workers are prohibited from having to pay union dues as a condition of employment.1

Michigan is the 24th state to do this according to several news sources.  However, in a state which prides itself with a long history of thriving unions, this was a culture shock.  James Hoffa (son of the late union leader Jimmy Hoffa) said prior to the vote, “Let me tell the governor and all those elected officials who vote for this shameful, divisive bill – there will be repercussions.”  On the other hand, Reuters also reported that “Republican Representative Lisa Lyons said during the debate in the House that such laws were not an attack on unions. ‘This is the day Michigan freed its workers,’ she said.” 2

The new law will not go into effect until ninety days after the end of the legislative session and will not impact current existing labor contracts. Nevertheless, the battle lines have already been drawn and some options exist, including a possible referendum.

History

Management vs. Labor and Labor vs. Management.  The conflicts have been occurring since humans began working for other humans, voluntarily or otherwise.  The success of any relationship is dependent on the potential for an equitable give-and-take, amicably if possible.  There must be some sort of balance of power between the two entities.  This balance may come from a natural division of advantages each has over the other or might require the intervention of a third party.

Historically, it’s evident that each side in business situations is capable of running roughshod over the other.  In the late 19th century, the advantage was so blatantly in favor of management that union pioneers like Samuel Gompers (cigar workers) literally had to take up the fight to achieve a semblance of fairness for the work force.

Prior to that, Presidents Jackson (1834, construction of Chesapeake and Ohio canal), Hayes (1877, violent rail strikes) and Cleveland (1894, Pullman strike) had sent troops to control labor’s uprisings against bad work situations. 3  By the 1960’s, labor had the upper hand in many companies which greatly impeded the possibility of sensible decisions by management.

In succeeding decades when the national economy improved, the influence of labor unions decreased as they were decertified or were unable to organize workers in new locations.  Their loss of revenue quickened even with the existence of the aforementioned requirement that all employees of firms with union representation were required to pay union dues.

Current

Unlike the earliest days of management/labor bargaining, federal laws are in place which protect all workers, not just unionized.  For example, management is not permitted to restrict workers’ attempts to organize.  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ensures that such laws are enforced.  OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has numerous standards which must be implemented in work places, procedures protecting workers’ rights to report violations, etc.

“Right-to-work” laws bring opposing views face-to-face literally.  Organized labor is concerned that these laws will further reduce union membership; thus, weakening its bargaining power evens more.  It also claims that these laws do not increase job opportunities as the proponents claim.  Those promoting “right-to-work” say that it creates a more stable and fairer management/labor balance which produces more reasonable wage/benefit levels.  The resulting level playing field encourages investment leading to more employment – a priority of organized labor.

Conclusion

Human nature requires a balance of power for any relationship to thrive.  Even major league baseball began to understand this in the 1960’s when it instituted the amateur draft and established the maximum number of times a player could be sent to the minor leagues after which he would be available to other teams.  This prevented the wealthiest teams from securing an unfair advantage by hoarding players and keeping them stuck in their organization forever.

Management should not have a monopoly on decision-making affecting workers’ lives.  As the Catholic Church recognizes, unions have a role, “not only in negotiating contracts, but also as ‘places’ where workers can express themselves.” 4

Each hourly worker must have the right to choose to be organized or not.  No one should be coerced into joining a union nor should anyone be intimidated into not joining.

Understanding all of this, it becomes clear that the absence of “right-to-work” laws would be a contradiction to fairness.  If a specific union represents the obvious advantage of representing workers’ rights, then the union should not need a law requiring membership.  The worker will readily recognize the value of joining it.


1
– Sean Sullivan, The Washington Post, posted12/10/2012 at 10:48AM
2 — Bernie Woodall, Reuters, posted 12/11/2012 at 6:28PM
3 – U.S. Department of Labor, Monthly Labor Review, October 1975 article by Jonathan Grossman
4 – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005 Labor Day message quoting the late Pope John Paul II in his Centesimus Annus, #7