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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Rick Garnett Has the Right Response to Pro-Obama Catholics

Over at Mirror of Justice, Professor Rick Garnett has exactly the right response to pro-Obama Catholics like Doug Kmiec who think that Obama is the answer to all of society's problems (as long you don't think about abortion).
It seems to be a premise of many of these "for whom should Catholics vote?" discussions that "on every issue that matters, other than abortion, the election of Sen. Obama will actually yield meaningful policy actions that are edifyingly in concert with the Church's social teaching, while the election of Sen. McCain will actually yield meaningful policy actions that are distressingly in conflict with the Church's social teaching." But, this premise is false.

It is false because it ignores, or at least downplays, the political, social, cultural and economic realities that will almost certainly prevent dramatic changes with respect to most matters, and so it overestimates the "good" stuff about an Obama administration that, it is proposed, outweighs the "bad" stuff. It is also false because Sen. McCain's views (or, more precisely, the policies likely to be pursued by his administration) on a number of matters -- not just abortion -- are, in terms of consonance with the Church's social teaching, preferable to Sen. Obama's. Or, so a faithful, reasonable, informed, non-duped, non-Republican-hack, Commonweal-and-First Things-reading Catholic could conclude. It's a sad thought, but . . . I'm not sure that productive conversations -- even among friends -- are possible so long as this false premise is assumed.

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