The Giuliani Choice
Catholic Church leaders are expressing frustration with Republican presidential aspirant Rudy Giuliani's abortion position. Like many Democrats before him, the former New York mayor, a professing Roman Catholic, says that while he is personally opposed to abortion, he doesn't want to impose his personal religious views on others.
According to a report in today's New York Times:
"One American bishop, Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I., recently wrote a caustic column for his Catholic newspaper calling Mr. Giuliani's position 'pathetic,' 'confusing' and 'hypocritical.' Other bishops said that they would not criticize a candidate by name but would not hesitate to declare Mr. Giuliani's stance contrary to Catholic teaching.
"Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark said: 'I think he's being illogical, as are all of those who take the stand that "I'm personally opposed to abortion but this is my public responsibility to permit it." To violate human life is always and everywhere wrong. In fact, we don't think it's a matter of church teaching, but a matter of the way God made the world, and it applies to everyone.'"
Funny how pro-choice people (and that's the best way to characterize Giuliani) say they can't legislate their beliefs about abortion in our pluralistic society but have no problem when it comes to murder, theft, or even gasoline mileage standards. The fact is, someone's morality is being legislated all the time, so why not on the sanctity of human life?
For Giuliani to defy church teaching on so clear a matter brings to mind the old warning from James: "Faith without works is dead." At some point, you have to walk the talk.
His candidacy also places evangelicals who traditionally put life issues first when they go to the ballot box into a quandary. In these days when terrorism threatens the nation, Giuliani, for all his sins, knows what evil is, and he looks like the kind of person who has the guts and experience to stand up to it. These are dangerous times, and this country needs a tough leader to defend it.
But if conservarive Christians vote for Giuliani, then what does that say about our commitment to the sanctity of human life? As I said, it's a tough question. Prayers for wisdom and guidance are definitely in order.