OBAMA ON LIFE ISSUES AND MARRIAGE

Catalyst April Issue 2008

Senator Barack Obama recently proved that when it comes to the life issues and marriage, he represents a point of view that is in stark contrast to what the Catholic Church teaches about these subjects.

For instance, in a debate he had with Senator Hillary Clinton on February 26, MSNBC moderator Tim Russert asked both presidential candidates whether there was “any word or vote that you’d like to take back” in your “careers in public service.” Senator Obama cited his role in a unanimous decision by the U.S. Senate regarding the Terri Schiavo case. He said it was “a mistake” for the Congress “to interject itself into that decision-making process of the families” to settle her fate.

Not surprisingly, we jumped on this remark. “So now we know that Obama thinks it was a mistake—the biggest mistake he’s ever made in public life—to allow Schiavo’s parents the right to petition a federal court over the withdrawal of food and medical services necessary to save her life.”

Never mind that the vote was merely procedural: it simply allowed the patient’s parents the right to ask for federal review, never guaranteeing a particular outcome. Moreover, the bill was case specific—it had no bearing on any case other than Schiavo’s, and it explicitly said that “nothing in this Act shall constitute a precedent with respect to future legislation.” Yet Obama now says his vote “was not something I was comfortable with, but it was not something that I stood on the floor and stopped.” How revealing.

We also pointed out something that most people are wholly unaware of, namely, his support for selective infanticide. “Just as important as what Obama said is what he didn’t say: He could have taken the opportunity to say that the biggest blunder of his career in public life was his vote to kill a bill in the Illinois legislature that would have provided medical care for infants who survive abortions. In 2003, while chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee of the Illinois Senate, he led the fight to oppose a bill that would have mandated health care for a baby who survived an abortion, and he did so even though the bill explicitly said it would not imperil Roe v. Wade.”

If this wasn’t bad enough, on March 2, Obama told a crowd at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio that he believes the Sermon on the Mount justifies his support for legal recognition of same-sex unions. He also told the gathering that his support for legalized abortion does not make him “less Christian.”

Obama laid down a challenge to those who think gay civil unions shouldn’t be legal. “If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans.” He was referring to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans condemning homosexuality.

In the media, Catholic League director of communications Kiera McCaffrey took Obama apart for grounding his support for gay unions in the Bible.

So when it comes to the beginning of life, Obama thinks it is okay to let a fully born baby die on a hospital table without any doctor or nurse attending to his needs. When it comes to the end of life, he thinks it is a grave mistake for the state to intervene in saving the life of a person who is intentionally being starved to death. And when it comes to marriage, he basically wants to give gays the same rights as married couples, short of calling it marriage.

To top it off, Obama claims that all of his positions are in harmony with Christian teaching. The Illinois senator is a member of the United Church of Christ, the same church that Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State belongs to. It is not for nothing that its enrollment has plummeted over the past few decades.


Written by Bill