Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
Doug Kmiec, the Pepperdine law professor who has been widely denounced for claiming Barack Obama is pro-life, is making frequent appearances these days at Catholic institutions.
Pro-lifers understandably object to the use of these Catholic platforms for Kmiec to promote his misguided view about the president-elect.
The Daily Blog would like to propose a constructive alternative to staging public protests against Kmiec’s appearances, however. Why not show up at the events instead and demand he speak out forcefully against passage of the abortion lobby’s Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) legislation?
We’re not going to bother rebutting Kmiec’s arguments about Obama’s allegedly pro-life stance in this blog entry, beyond linking readers to the comprehensive demolitions of Kmiec’s specious argumentation provided by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, theologian and papal biographer George Weigel, Princeton law professor Robert George and First Things editor in chief Father Richard John Neuhaus.
But it’s worth noting that even Kmiec admits Obama’s commitment to sign FOCA is incompatible with the premise that the president-elect is pro-life. Last month, Kmiec called Obama’s FOCA position “boneheaded.”
Actually, that description would earn the Pepperdine professor no better than a grade of “C” in a freshman Pro-Life Studies class. The FOCA legislation is much more accurately described as evil and deadly, as the U.S. bishops pointed out this week in their statement about Obama’s victory and abortion.
Still, “boneheaded” is a start. And Kmiec now has an opportunity in the days ahead to prove he’s truly committed to the pro-life cause by publicly declaring, at each and every one of his public appearances, that Obama is dead wrong on FOCA.
As Archbishop Chaput said in a Nov. 6 letter published by the Witherspoon Institute, “Having spent months urging Catholics to vote for Candidate Obama despite the senator’s promises to remove all meaningful restrictions on abortion and to make abortion more widely available, Prof. Kmiec has a unique opportunity to press a newly elected President Obama to reconsider his most extreme positions, such as his support for partial-birth abortion (which the senator justified with the false claim that it is sometimes ‘medically’ required) and his opposition to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (which he untenably claimed was unnecessary because the laws of his state already adequately protected babies who survived abortions).
“Sen. Barack Obama has promised to sign a sweepingly abortion-friendly ‘Freedom of Choice’ Act; authorize human cloning to produce embryos for stem cell research in which they are killed; cut off funding for prolife pregnancy clinics; and nominate only ‘pro-choice’ judges to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Added Archbishop Chaput, “Maybe all of these commitments are an elegant charade. Maybe I’ve missed a ‘prolife’ theme in here somewhere. But no matter. Along with many, many other Catholics and prolife citizens, I look forward eagerly to Prof. Kmiec’s vocal advocacy against these profoundly unjust policies.”
So come on, Prof. Kmiec. It’s time to step up to the plate and accept Archbishop Chaput’s challenge, by rejecting FOCA with the same force and passion you displayed this year while campaigning to place Obama in the White House.
— Tom McFeely