Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pope, Pelosi, Abortion, Politics

One of my favorite newspapers, the Arizona Republic (AR), published a "news briefing" on February 19 entitled "Pope urges Pelosi to reject support of abortion rights". Apparently, when Pope Benedict XVI met recently with Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic U.S. House speaker, he, according to the AR, told Pelosi, a Roman Catholic and an abortion-rights advocate, that Catholic politicians have a duty to protect life "at all stages of its development."

I find it amazing how people can identify themselves with a particular faith and not hold to some of the basic tenets of that faith. Is being a Roman Catholic for such a person simply something they do out of "family tradition" or perhaps out of political expediency? Why would such a person want to meet with the Pope and take the risk of being told they weren't being a good Catholic? Do the pro-Democrat, anti-abortion people of America really care that Pelosi is an abortion-rights advocate? Do the abortion-rights advocates really care what the Pope thinks? Would someone like Pelosi even seriously consider the request of her spiritual leader when the political risks are so high?

Here's my point. The answers one is likely to give to all these, and other similar questions, just point to the fact that somewhere along the line, we have lost the ability to think straight about some key matters because we have lost our desire to adhere to some absolutes.

For starters, even if we believe there is a God (which I do), we do not find it necessary to accept what He is likely to say about certain things, especially if it does not fit in with our own desires or goals. Secondly, organized religion for many has become more of a membership club than a collective means of worshiping and serving the Creator. Thirdly, personal faith has become just that to a lot of people -- that is, it's so 'personal' that they themselves stipulate all the ground rules of the very 'faith' they choose to have. For example, "I'll be a Christian, but I won't accept the tenets of Christianity concerning the virgin birth, the sanctity of life, total dependence on God, and the Great Commission, etc."

What does all this mean for the true Christian? The way I see it is simply this: I have to realize that unless a politician stands up for and personally adheres to the teaching of his or her faith, especially those claiming to be Christians, whether Roman Catholic or otherwise, then I must discard as completely irrelevant anything they say about their faith and possibly most of what they say outside matters of faith.

At least that's the way I see it. What do you think?

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