A Cautious Man
October 14, 2008
Politics and Pasta
The explanation for the title will be clear at the end of this post. After reading about Sister Cecilia (see post below), some people may be confused. After all, they've been listening to high profile Republicans and Republican supporters (some of whom are church officials) suggesting that a Catholic couldn't vote for Senator Obama. Douglas Kmiec has been arguing otherwise for nearly a year now, but few in the other camp ever seem to engage his arguments.

Courtesy of dotCommonweal, I read an interview by John Allen of National Catholic Reporter with Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, who is described as "a past president of the African bishops' conference and is widely considered a leading spokesperson for Catholicism in Africa". Mr. Allen asked the Archbishop about the upcoming election in the United States, and received a thoughtful response:

Do you personally believe the election of Obama would change America’s role in the world in terms of the policies he might pursue?

I’m not a prophet. The idea we have, that we still have, is that there are those who are in office in America, and there are those who in power. Those in power are there permanently, they don’t change, and those who are in office are there to carry out the whims of those in power. No matter who you are, there are certain parameters within which you must operate, and even Obama can’t change that.

If you had a vote, would you vote for Obama?

Obviously, if I had a vote.

Even though he’s pro-choice?

Let me put it this way: The fact that you oppose abortion doesn’t necessarily mean that you are pro-life. You can be anti-abortion and still be killing people by the millions, through war, through poverty, and so on. That’s my own way of looking at it. Of course I believe that abortion is wrong, that it’s killing innocent life. I also believe, however, that those who are against abortion should be consistent. If my choice is between the person who makes room for abortion but who is really pro-life in terms of justice in the world, peace in the world, I will prefer him to somebody who doesn’t support abortion but who is driving millions of people in the world to death.

The choice is not just between a pro-abortion and an anti-abortion person. It’s bigger than that. It’s a whole package, and you never get a politician who will please you in everything. You always have to pick and choose. As they say in Rome, if you don’t take the pasta because of the sauce, then you take the sauce because of the pasta!

You can read the whole thing.



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