Father Thomas D. Williams, LC has a great article in the National Review, in which he attempts to get at Joe Biden’s reasons for following in Nancy Pelosi’s footsteps on Meet the Press. Here’s an excerpt:
Now I’ve been racking my brains trying to figure out why Senator Biden would expose himself to such rebuke. Why would an intelligent man with years of experience set himself up for the same drubbing that Speaker Pelosi received just two weeks earlier? Forgive me for pointing out the lighter side to this, but the whole affair reminded me of a rerun of an episode of the Three Stooges, where Moe, Larry, and Curly all repeat the same pratfall to the delight of their adolescent audience. The irony is that what we used to call slapstick comedy now passes for politics. [LOL!]
I have come up with only four possible reasons that Sen. Biden or his advisers would have thought this was somehow a good idea, assuming that they did think about it before accepting the invitation.
1. Perhaps Biden thought that the bishops had spent their arsenal on Nancy Pelosi and moreover wouldn’t dare respond to a vice-presidential candidate, for fear of seeming political.
This reasoning might have had some grounding twenty years ago. But the U.S. bishops’ conference today is marked by unity and growing courage to speak out on moral issues. The 2001 sex-abuse crisis seems to have had the opposite effect to what most people expected on the American episcopate. It has left them with a clearer sense of purpose and mission, and a greater commitment to stand up for moral truth.
2. Perhaps Biden thought that his “religiously based” argument for abortion is so superior to Nancy Pelosi’s that his rhetorical slam-dunk would force the bishops into a silent recognition of their defeat in the debate.
Hmmm, this one is tougher to imagine, but still possible. If the historical argument didn’t work, how about the “I’m not going to impose my religiously informed moral beliefs on the population” argument? In the Denver bishops’ well-chosen term, this argument is “morally exhausted.” Our beliefs regarding the evil of theft, adultery, rape, and murder are all “religiously informed,” but they are also matters of basic human rights that demand civil legislation. Abortion is no different.
Moreover, when we advance religiously grounded moral viewpoints in the public square, we are not im-posing; we are pro-posing. That’s what we do in a democratic republic: We propose, we deliberate, and we vote. Oddly, many Catholic politicians understand this well when it concerns the death penalty, but are strangely reticent when it comes to protecting innocent unborn human life.
HT: American Papist
As I was driving to work this morning, I heard Father Frank Pavone on the radio, and his theory is that politicians like Pelosi and Biden want to keep people focused on debates like when life begins in order to avoid discussion of the sickening realities of abortion, like tiny living human beings being dismembered and/or having their brains removed. That makes pretty good sense to me. But really… who knows what those people are thinking?
I’m just grateful that our bishops and other clergy keep speaking out and exposing the lies of the politicians. They won’t just get away with this–not any more!