The Enemy of my Enemy is NOT my Friend
Obama won. He's going to be inaugurated in 3 weeks. I"m not thrilled, but I do think it's a far better outcome than we could have had, had we been about to swear in Sarah Palin and John McCain (troll prophylactic: I regard Palin as unfit to serve. While of all the GOP candidates who attempted to run, I found McCain the least nauseating, it must be faced that he remains pro-war, anti-choice, pro-big oil, anti-labor, and pro-big-business. Bless his heart.)
But there are people out there who think it's a horrible, awful, no good, very bad thing -- and while many here at Corrente might find solace in such allies, I cannot -- no, I shall not.
Why? Well, maybe it's because the enemies of Barack Obama -- those who are NOT my friends, those whose beliefs I cannot espouse -- because of 'pro-lifers' like Fr. Frank Pavone. Excerpts from a screed Pavone recently put forth follow. My question is, how much like these lunatics do we want to become, in our opposition to Obama?
Grave Mistake and an Abiding Hope
by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
Americans have made a grave mistake in electing Barack Obama to the presidency.
Yeah, friar? How so?
The man elected to the Presidency said during the campaign that he does not know when a human being starts to have human rights.
Hmm. That's not the meaning I got from the statement Barack Obama, president elect, actually made.
"I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade," Obama quipped.
Pavone goes on:
Governing is about protecting human rights; to do it successfully, you have to know where they come from, and when they begin. The President-elect has already failed that test miserably.
At which point I'm sure I'm now a hellbound heathen, but let me just throw this right back at you, friar.
Including those of women, girls, and homosexuals; transgender and bisexual persons.
Whose rights your church does not recognize.
You're the one who fails, Friar Pavone. Miserably. That you champion the fetus first and foremost, that you give the Church dominion over other peoples' hearts, minds and bodies when those hearts, minds, and bodies aren't yours to hand over, is merely frosting on the cake. The demand that all considerations fail before the primacy of sperm -- because, seriously, without sperm the egg is going to be shed in the menstrual cycle, and there can be no child; and because sperm is the male contribution to procreation -- doesn't elevate your argument, friar.
What do I base my contention upon?
Your own column extolling birth, Friar, on 15 December 2008:
Every Birth Reflects The Joy of the Birth of Christ.
December 15th, 2008
As we enter the second half of Advent, the liturgy focuses more specifically on the Incarnation and birth of Jesus at the first Christmas. We think about Mary’s initial fear and uncertainty in the face of her unexpected pregnancy. Then, in every Church in the world, believers spiritually rush to her side to eagerly await with her the birth of the Savior.
The best way for a parish to celebrate Christmas is to rush physically to the side of those in the community who, like Mary, are uncertain and afraid about their pregnancy. We are to accompany them through their pregnancy with support and encouragement, and help them experience the fact that every birth reflects the joy of the birth of Christ.
No, Fr. Pavone, every birth does not reflect the joy of the birth of Christ.
My guess is, when it happened to Mary, she had reasons of her own to feel other emotions -- fear, dismay, unease.
Her child was born while she was far from home.
Her child was born under the shadow of bastardy.
Her child was born with no roof; her husband had no job; her new little family's future exemplified uncertainty, poverty, all the things a parent wishes to protect a child from.
A manger -- a stable -- is a dangerous place for a child up through about kindergarten-age, never mind an infant, especially one whose mother has no midwife by her for labor. One misstep, and the child is reduced to crushed remains; and stables, no matter how their keepers labor, are not pristine places to undergo labor and delivery, never mind nursery accommodations.
Mary had with her an extraordinary man, a trustworthy man; but Joseph was only a man.
They did not travel with servants; they did not abide in hostels; they had with them no helping hands of grandparent or parental sibling or even friend. Angels? Right. Why don't I get a picture of angels changing diapers, making beds, cooking meals? Oh, that's ... women's work.
Life is not like a Nativity scene, Fr. Pavone.
Unlike you, I've had the experience of carrying a baby, bearing a baby, raising a son. Two, in point of fact. Unlike you, I'm not at all sure that "conception" is the beginning of life. Unlike you, I've had the privilege of riding in the ambulance with my sister when she had a miscarriage, past two months. Unlike you, I know that a man can love a child as much as a woman can, whether either is tied to that child by blood or not; and unlike you, Fr. Pavone, I believe with all my heart that children deserve loving homes -- even if those homes come with two dads, or two moms, or with only one of each.