Monday, June 04, 2007

Answering Cerberus re: McGuinty and the Church

Cerberus made some comments regarding McGuinty and his refusal to stand up for unborm children..

He writes:

When I vote, I don't vote for the implementation of that person's religion or to implement that person's religion.

When you vote for a person, you vote for a whole package. Sometimes you like some beliefs, and not others. But you can't parse a politician as if he were a platform.

People vote for a politician's values, whether they do it consciously or not.

If people vote for a Catholic politician, knowing full well he's pro-life and has every intention of supporting fetal rights, they can't complain, can they? You can't separate people from their most cherished beliefs.

If the Premier or Prime Minister are at odds with their church, that is there issue. The government is more than one person. If the church wants to bully the entire government through threats of excommunication then McGuinty should step down or defy the church. That is the essence of democracy. He campaigned and won a majority on the basis that he was pro-choice.

Indeed, it is the Church's issue. The Church requires all Catholics to support fetal rights. You do not become an exception simply because people voted for you.

Non-Catholics do not get a vote on this.

If the church wants to bully the entire government through threats of excommunication then McGuinty should step down or defy the church. That is the essence of democracy. He campaigned and won a majority on the basis that he was pro-choice.

And what if there is a change of heart? The Liberals won government on the basis that they were pro-traditional-marriage in 2000. Should they have stepped down?

If not, then why do secular Liberals get to change their minds, but not religious Liberals?

But he is also not enacting laws to ban Sunday shopping or to criminalize blasphemy or a whole host (no pun intended) of other fundamental tenets of Christianity and Roman Catholicism. If my reading of the Ten Commandments is correct, god didn't say 'well, you know, 6 out of 10 is alright, I'll let the other six sins slide'. So where is the outrage and the threat of excommunication?

Here is one of the things that secular people understand the least.

A Catholic is not bound to legislate every point of Catholic doctrine.

Natural law is that body of philosophy based on reason that is accessible to all religions, because it is not based on revealed truth. It deals with the order of creation and morals.

Then there is Divine Law and Revelation, which is not accesible to all religions-- thinks like Transubstantiation, the Virgin Birth.

Catholics do not have to legislate Divine Revealed Truths. Sometimes Divine Revelation and Natural Law concord-- that's a given. But Natural Law can always be argued based solely on reason. It is, in a sense, secular.

The Catholic politician is responsible for ensuring the proper role of government which includes the defense of human rights. Given that the right to life is the most fundamental right, of course the Church is going to come down hard on Catholic politicians who do not support fetal rights.

The Church is not going to raise a stink over laws on Sunday Worship, idolatry or other such issues because it is not strictly obligatory. Those are notions based on Divine Revelation, not natural law.

But the whole thing is a little ridiculous when it comes to abortion and Premiers. McGuinty never said anything about abortion nor would he have since he has no say in the criminal code and I have not heard of the Vatican trying to control our health care policy for example to force governments not to cover abortion.

Some issues are very black and white. The right to life is one of them. It is a negative prescription-- you do not kill. However, when you affirm a positive-- like you must provide health care-- the method of doing that is an open question. As long as it gets done, that's what matters to the Church-- whether it's through the State or private initiative, that is up to each individual society. The Church isn't into policy analysis and cost-benefit ratios. The Church simply says what must be done.

I also do not find that there are too many countries in the world that go out of their way not to have a health care strategy of some sort.

McGuinty merely said that he was elected a secular leader and to serve all Ontarians. I shocked that anyone would have any issue with that.

Because you're not Catholic. And if McGuinty were not Catholic, this would not be an issue. It would be between him and his church. How many Catholics have called on the bishops to excommunicate Stephen Harper because he favours legalized abortion? None, because he's not Catholic.

By the way, a majority of Canadians AND the Constitution support equal marriage.

The Constitution never said that traditional marriage was against the Charter, and Canadians *were* against same-sex marriage when the issue broke, but that didn't seem to matter.

Forgot one comment that I had about your title.

You make it sound like acting or not acting on the wishes of the public is a bad thing.

No, it's good to be open to the voters. I'm all for it. But not at the cost of losing your immortal soul. IF a person cares more about voters than his soul, he doesn't have integrity.

That just underscores even more how wrong and anti-democratic it would be for Ontarians for McGuinty to suddenly do the bidding of the Vatican.

We can't uphold democracy at the cost of personal integrity. If people are unhappy with McGuinty, they can vote him out.

Religions are not by their nature anti-democratic, but they are not democratic institutions and would without concern or hesitation replace democracy when in conflict with religious tenets.

Atheist regimes have been the least democratic of all.

The United States was founded as a religious country that promoted democracy. Britain was a religious democracy. Democracy is founded on religious tenets. The Constitution of the United States is based on Locke, which is in turn based on the writings of St. Robert Bellarmine. When you do away with natural religion, a country becomes a tyranny. It has been shown time and again-- when the state does not support the notion of religion, it persecutes religion. And that's not democratic.

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