The Measure of Sincerity

November 8, 2008 § 12 Comments

A number of people seem to have misunderstood my last post, so I’m going to make this more explicit.

Catholic Obama supporters justified their support of the most pro-abortion presidential candidate in history by appealing to the principle of double-effect. (Even those who did not work this out explicitly must have done so implicitly, in order for it to be justified). In other words, they supported Obama knowing of his wicked and vicious policies on the theory that there were other proportionate reasons to support him. Whether explicitly or implicitly, they appealed to the moral theology of double-effect to justify material cooperation with his vicious policies because they thought it would be good for him to be elected in spite of his vicious policies.

Any Catholic Obama supporters who did not vote for him on this basis were formally cooperating with Obama’s wicked and vicious policies, committed a grave sin, and will go to Hell for it if they do not repent, confess, and do penance. I’m not really addressing those Catholics in my posts, but I do pray for their damned souls, that they may repent before it is too late.

Now that the election is over, the measure of Catholic Obama supporters’ sincerity will be how vocally, publicly, unequivocally, and persistently Catholic Obama supporters oppose his vicious and wicked policies. They no longer have any proportionate reason to cooperate with his vicious and wicked policies, because the election is over. Furthermore, the fact that they materially cooperated with his wicked and vicious policies in the first place brings upon them an especially grave obligation to oppose those policies, just as a country which engages in war has a grave obligation to mitigate and repair damages – however unintended – caused by that war.

And it is in this vocal, public, unequivocal, and persistent opposition to Obama’s vicious and wicked policies that Catholic Obama supporters can count on the help of social conservatives.

(Cross-posted)

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§ 12 Responses to The Measure of Sincerity

  • Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, there were no proportionate reasons that would justify voting in a President who would increase access to and the right to abortions in our country, and around the world through international family planning policies. None. At all. End of Discussion. So, these Catholics were perhaps guilty of bad judgment, but perhaps not mortally sinfully guilty. This is not surprising, given the sorry state of education in faith and morals nowadays.Sam

  • zippy says:

    Sam:I agree that, as an objective matter, there were no proportionate reasons. (I didn’t think that there were proportionate reasons for the average voter to support McCain either, for that matter, which was quite the controversial opinion).But that is a different subject. The subject of this post is the measure of <>sincerity<>. Sincere Catholic Obama supporters in the election will now become his most relentless critics when it comes to his vicious and wicked policies.

  • Marion (Mael Muire) says:

    Zippy, let us be clear. Those Catholics who supported Obama will now undoubtedly vigorously oppose those of his wicked and vicious policies to which all Catholics have objected all along. And they will give us pro-lifers a lead by modelling for us the most efficacious posture from which to do so.Although bending over and grabbing one’s ankles may not seem, at first glance, the most efficacious posture from which to oppose the wicked and vicious policies of our new President, I await with confidence the million and one reasons that Catholic Obama supporters will share with us as to why this is, in fact, the most favorable position for Catholics everywhere.

  • zippy says:

    Marion:You almost made me fall out of my chair laughing. The phrase “the Kmiec position” just took on a whole new meaning for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy – in your estimate what percentage of the ~55% Catholics that voted for Obama would feel obligated to go to confession for this vote because they fear they will go to Hell. By the way great to know that you are somehow in position to know who goes to hell and who doesn’t.

  • zippy says:

    <>Zippy – in your estimate what percentage of the ~55% Catholics that voted for Obama would feel obligated to go to confession for this vote because they fear they will go to Hell.<>Notice that I did not say that a Catholic who voted for Obama needs to go to Confession. A Catholic who formally cooperated with Obama’s wicked and vicious policies (that is, for example, who voted for him <>because<> of his support for legalized abortion) needs to go to Confession; but my post is addressing Catholics who voted for Obama <>in spite of<> his support for legalized abortion.As for the numbers, who knows?<>By the way great to know that you are somehow in position to know who goes to hell and who doesn’t.<>Formal cooperation with grave evil is a mortal sin. If one does not repent, confess, and do penance for mortal sin, one goes to Hell. All I have done is restate Catholic doctrine. I don’t claim to know (for example) whether God in His grace gives everyone a final chance at the moment of death to repent in full knowledge, so I certainly don’t claim to know who in particular does and does not go to Hell. But I do know the doctrine. Sorry if stating it outright makes you uncomfortable.

  • Quite right, Zippy. I never believed all those guys were really pro-life at all anyway, but this is their chance to show it.

  • e. says:

    “Zippy, let us be clear. Those Catholics who supported Obama will now undoubtedly vigorously oppose those of his wicked and vicious policies to which all Catholics have objected all along. And they will give us pro-lifers a lead by modelling for us the most efficacious posture from which to do so.”Pray tell, how will you be preventing Obama from overturning the Bush restrictions on ESCR research, which the markets are anxiously anticipating and that Obama had promised to do so once taking office?By the way, do you carry any stock in STEM yourself?

  • Anonymous says:

    A truly pro-life position (consistent with Catholic social teaching) demands a seamless-garment approach. In other words, anyone who is prolife must be in opposed to abortion, euthanasia, death penalty, war, health care, and poverty. See e.g. Catechism of the Catholic Church 2267 (death penalty), 2324 (euthanasia), 2211 & 1509 (health care), 2186 (poverty), 2314 (war). Applying Zippy’s reasoning (if you can call it that) means that those who voted for George Bush (in 2000 and 2004) and John McCain were equally culpable as those who voted for Barack Obama if they did not do so in spite of their candidate’s respective positions on the aforementioned issues that run contrary to the explicit teachings of the Catholic Church. As Catholic’s are required to follow their conscience (see CCC Ch. 1, Art. 6), we can draw one of two conclusions: either 55 percentage of Catholics voted for Obama and ignored their conscience or 45 percentage of Catholics who failed to vote for Obama and ignored their consciences. But, this analysis assumes that all Catholics follow their consciences. The funny thing is that I don’t remember Catholics taking to the streets to oppose the war in Iraq (despite the fact that Joseph Ratzinger said that there is no such thing a preemptive strike in the Catechism). I don’t remember the Catholics taking to the streets when Tookie Williams was executed despite the fact that he had repented, become a staunch advocate for peaceful resolution of conflicts, and was in no position to hurt anyone in prison. One issue Catholics who assume that God has a horse in any race can deserve their theocracy. Move to Vatican city and leave us to our democracy.

  • Marion says:

    Dear Anon Nov 10 6:17 PMI don’t get it. Dude, Senator Obama won the election, hadn’t you heard? They’re getting ready to roll out the red carpet for abortion-on-demand 2.0. It’s Springtime for NARAL and RU 486, Winter for the Pro-Life Movement.Shouldn’t you be out celebrating? Instead of, you know, hanging out here with . . . frankly, the losers? What’s up with that?

  • zippy says:

    FWIW, I <>do<> think that voters for Bush had a concomitant obligation to oppose his doctrine of preemptive war and his institution of a regime of torture. < HREF="http://markshea.blogspot.com/" REL="nofollow">And some did so, rather vociferously<>. As for more arguable positions which remain more arguable, well, they are more arguable.So while I think the “seamless garment” trope is little more than an excuse to ignore abortion – which in all its forms is objectively the highest priority – I do think that the principle is consistent. When we materially cooperate with grave evil, we take on a concomitant grave responsibility to oppose distinctly those very evils with which we have materially cooperated.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    There’s also the fact that in 2000 nobody (that I know of) was talking about preemptive war and torture, at least not in connection with Bush, who as Governor of Texas had (AFAIK) never taken a position on either of these things. You might say he was ad libbing in the presidency. I suppose a lot of that is inevitable, but it makes a difference to people’s involvement in everything he subsequently did if he wasn’t announcing an intention to do it going in.

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