Guest Commentary By Joseph Meaney
(Meaney is Director of International Coordination, Human Life International )
FRONT ROYAL, Virginia September 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - It is now clear that the chief Catholic apologist for President Obama, Pepperdine Law Professor Doug Kmiec, ignoring the pastoral direction of many American bishops, has only increased his aggressive promotion of the most pro-abortion president in American history. For his successful efforts in confusing Catholics about the Obama administration’s stance on life issues, Professor Kmiec has been appointed to the prestigious post of US ambassador to Malta by the administration he helped to bring to power.
The fact that Ambassador Kmiec has taken his “Catholic Confusion Tour” to this solidly Catholic and pro-life country should concern all who care about life, especially considering that Malta is one of the three remaining Catholic countries being targeted by anti-life EU member states precisely for standing its ground in defense of life.
Although Ambassador Kmiec claims unfailing fidelity to the Catholic Church on life issues, his pro-Obama statements, to put it mildly, call into question his pro-life bonafides. For example, Catholics were shocked to read the following passage from his Sept. 20th interview with the Times of Malta:
Even though there were areas of disagreement, Mr. Obama pointed out the responsibility of government to provide a family wage, to care for the environment and to provide healthcare for the uninsured.
"When I thought about all these things, I thought 'this is my catechism come to life' because we are called to each of these things in the social teachings of the Church."
This is so obviously false that it boggles the mind to ponder how a Catholic who ostensibly understands his faith could believe such nonsense.
Nowhere in the Catholic Catechism are the faithful called to outsource the care of the sick and elderly to the state—especially a state that is currently run by an administration filled with people who think it’s time to debate whether or not the elderly and disabled, not to mention unborn children, have a right to the lives they already possess.
Further, nowhere in the Catechism does it say that the government itself is responsible for providing a ‘family wage’. To make the highly specious claim without any reference to the principle of subsidiarity (essentially the idea that the lowest possible stratum of society should address specific social concerns whenever possible) makes one wonder if Ambassador Kmiec is as familiar with Catholic Social Teaching as he claims to be.
And of course we are all called to be stewards of God’s Creation, and we can all support reasonable policies which forward this ideal. That there is a very high probability that President Obama’s environmental policies will actually have a deleterious effect on many families’ ability to earn a decent wage should not go without notice, but reasonable people can debate this question.
What reasonable people should not do is pretend that one politician’s policies, no matter what his party, reflect perfectly the teachings of the Catechism. This is outright dishonesty, and is a very dangerous precedent to set.
These highly problematic positions, however, are not the only problem with Ambassador Kmiec’s stated positions in the Times of Malta article. Later in the same interview he also seems to accept President Obama’s dismissal of the view that human life begins at conception as a concession to the religious plurality of the United States. After all, what can one do when so many American citizens of different faiths disagree on the beginning of human life?
Here’s what you do: hand President Obama any modern textbook in embryology, and open to the page that says that human life begins at conception/fertilization. IT IS NOT A RELIGIOUS QUESTION! And while you’re at it, ask the president if the various pluralities in America—religious, political, social, etc.—are always a reason for political restraint. Many Americans would love to hear the president’s answer to this question.
Perhaps even more troubling than Kmiec’s obsequiousness in accepting these pathetic lines of reasoning is how he describes being intellectually seduced by President Obama. The ambassador has bought—hook, line, and sinker—the false definition of ‘dialogue’ which always entails a serious, thoughtful pose and a polite nod of the head, and results in the even greater acceleration of the culture of death. Of course they "listen" when they’re in power! Then they do exactly what they were going to do and people like Kmiec get in line and become their apologists.
The ambassador should know that Malta, along with Ireland and Poland, have been targeted by the EU powers-that-be precisely for the pro-life legal protection that they still value as nations, and that Kmiec says he continues to support.
Now is the time for Ambassador Kmiec to demonstrate what he means when he says he is “pro-life”. It’s time for him to use his new post to speak up against the assault on these three European Catholic nations, in the name of the supposedly universally acknowledged rights to life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. Let us see the good ambassador praise Malta for their recent defense of their pro-life laws before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.