On a wonderful new blog, The Catholic Thing, my dear friend, Hadley Arkes, offers, in his own elegant way, an assessment of the reasoning of Doug Kmiec and other like-minded Catholics who have come out in support of Senator Barack Obama. Here are some excerpts from Hadley's entry:
Douglas Kmiec, a good friend, had been Dean of the Law School at Catholic University and Cathleen Kaveny, is a professor of law at Notre Dame. Kmiec joined a meeting of Catholics with Obama and pronounced him a “natural for the Catholic vote.” Kmiec became persuaded that Obama, radically pro-choice, would nevertheless be open to serious measures for “reducing the number of abortions.” Kaveny could hardly be unaware of Obama’s position on abortion, and yet she thinks that other parts of Obama’s program would fit a Catholic vision--most notably, "ending the unjust war in Iraq, providing decent jobs, ensuring affordable health care for all, and working for comprehensive immigration reform."
On the matter of reducing the number of abortions, imagine that there is a wondrous scheme for diverting women from choosing abortions: Let’s suppose that, in counseling centers, we find that playing “You’d be So Nice to Come Home To” had the wondrous effect of stirring 90 percent of the women not to abort their babies--especially if the music is accompanied by the offer of a DVD player. Surely it would be a boon to save those lives, but we should tremble at what the move reveals about the terms of principle on which we live our lives together. For what is left intact is the understanding, deeply absorbed by our people, that there is nothing less than a “right” to order the killing of an innocent human being for reasons that need not rise beyond convenience or whims, and with no felt need even to offer a justification. To offer this state of affairs as a gain is to celebrate a law that has the most pronounced effect in misshaping the souls of our people.
Read the entire entry here.