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Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Less Than Dyspeptic Musings About Governor Granholm.

This is prompted by a discussion about Mercy High's Le Déjeuner sur L'ansing over at HMS Weblog. Emily Stimpson offered a useful corrective on the situation of people like the Governor:

On Friday, Duncan [Maxwell] called Granholm's religion "a campaign resource." Then today, Greg [Popcak] accused her of "trading on her Catholicism to burnish her image." Maybe that's exactly what she has done. To a certain degree, it's almost undeniable. But, at the same time, we shouldn't assume that that is all her religion means to her. I know plenty of people (who actually share my last name) who consider themselves pro-choice and who also consider themselves good Catholics. Their understanding of the faith is stunted, partially by the horrible teaching they've received from various priests in the post-Vatican II years and partially by their own sin. But, they do have faith and, in their own limited way, are trying to be "good Catholics."

Fair enough. It is impossible to deny that, because of horrible education, Catholics are often confused on moral issues generally, and abortion specifically. This is not helped by heterodox priests trumpeting in favor of "choice", nor the tepid response of the hierarchy, which has fuzzed the issue by decrying abortion but refusing to call politicians to account.

Which gets me to the point: the Governor says that she is personally opposed to abortion, but cannot let this affect the discharge of her public duties. This strikes me as incoherent, but possible. Perhaps one could be opposed to abortion, but believe that the proper way to address it is to change hearts, minds and the culture through protests, education, and the provision of alternatives to abortion, such as adoption, additional benefits for mothers with crisis pregnancies and so forth. One could believe that, compared to cultural change, pursuit of legislative change is unproductive and only inflames the culture war, hardening positions.

Perhaps. It certainly is food for thought: How would you feel about a world where abortion is perfectly legal but nobody ever has one? Or the rough Clinton (I know, I know!) approximate: "Safe, legal and rare." Funny how it was only 1.5 of 3 on that program, but....

While I don't buy into this approach (we abolished Jim Crow first, passed the Civil and Voting Rights Acts, and then hearts changed), it would certainly cause me to temper my views about the Governor (and the Catholic politicos like her). It would be much more of a reasoned position, and much less a mantra.

Is this the Governor's position? I don't see any confirming evidence. The only "evidence" is her declaration: "I'm personally opposed, but..." Before I buy into it, I need to see some evidence that she is indeed "personally opposed." Add to that the fact she is in favor of partial birth abortion, and the doubts harden into near-certainty.

But still: Has she protested abortion, e.g., even if only helping with the pro-life crosses at her church? Has she contributed to pro-life causes? Donated time and talents to such things as crisis pregnancy centers, adoption programs or the like? Is there any such evidence with respect to Granholm? Or other politicians like her? Does anybody have any clarification on this?

If there is such proof, then we have to pay heed to that, and take it into account in our dealings with them.

If there is no such evidence, then it is a fig leaf used to cover what are really pro-abortion views under a nominally "Catholic" cover. If this is the case, let the caning begin.

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