How to lose an argument
Thank god Mom decided at the last minute not to electrocute me in the womb
There are several ways to lose an argument, actually, but one of the most efficient is to say something like this:
As a violation of natural right, abortion is even more extreme than slavery.
This is the rhetorical equivalent of throwing a grenade into a basement, then running in after it and waiting for everyone to chase you. Other comparisons Michael Novak may wish to explore are the equivalencies between the 1972 Olympic Basketball semi-final and the My Lai massacre, or Forrest Gump’s Academy Award and the reign of Elizabeth Báthory.
But slavery’s not even Novak’s true target. No, the issue at hand is the claim by some Catholics that the church’s “pro-life” position should naturally extend to controversies like the Iraq War.
Despite the fact that Cardinal Ratzinger, not to mention John Paul II, forcefully reminded Catholics of their duty not to cooperate with the evil of abortion, many Catholic leftists continue to cite the same American bishops who were rebuked by the cardinal and the pope. Why, moreover, do these leftists argue from “the consistent ethic of life”? Under the flag of “consistency” they are able to put virtually every issue dear to them on the scales. The result is to downgrade the real, distinctive, sui generis evil of abortions, which are now performed at a rate of about 1.1 million a year. They put equal emphasis on capital punishment and the “unjust war in Iraq”–the very thing Cardinal Ratzinger said they cannot in good conscience do…
Whenever Catholics hear the phrase “consistent ethic of life,” they look for the coercion and self-deception implied in it. It is a made-for-all-purposes excuse. It does not describe the ethics of prudence taught by Thomas Aquinas and favored for many centuries by the Church, and by the Lord Jesus himself.
In addition, those who call the Iraq war “unjust” are entitled to their opinion, but they have no serious Catholic authority. Neither the pope nor the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith nor the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, even when some of them opposed it as imprudent, have ever called the Iraq war unjust.
So there you have it. “Leftist” Catholics oppose capital punishment and the Iraq War while supporting pro-choice candidates, which is a completely inconsistent position, unlike the correct position of Catholics on the right who support anti-choice candidates…that also support capital punishment and the Iraq War.
On more and more refrigerators across America, photos of brothers and sisters in mommy’s womb from just a few weeks after conception are already encouraging children more and more to find abortion abhorrent. The young easily identify with their siblings with tiny fingers and toes in the womb, and perceive with dark dread what it would be like if they had been aborted. Children after 1973 are prevented from feeling that they are gifts of God by the large figure blocking that sun–their mother, with the power to have turned thumbs down on their very existence. Children do not feel that they depend on the will of God but on the will of their mother.
I’d like to comment on this passage but…I mean, dear God. Just look at the fucking thing. It’s like some sort of self-sealing membrane of crazy.