As we saw yesterday, the core lie of the MAGA “prolife” cult is the insistence that in this election we face the Manichaean choice between the Most Prolife President in History vs. a Monstrous Radical Pro-Abort who is just itching to kill as many babies as he can.
For an awful lot of Catholics, this Punch in the Face tactic of Catholic Vote works with crude efficiency. Here it is in all its simplistic Manichaean glory:
Changes can be rung on this basic message such as “Vote Trump or the Baby Gets It”, “If you vote for Biden, you will go to hell” or “If you support Biden, you are a babykilling fiend.” It’s all one.
Here’s the thing: none of that is true and the teaching of the Church makes that abundantly clear. Let’s recap that common sense guidance:
A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons. – Benedict XVI
Now let’s take a look at the Most Prolife President in History.
It’s no secret that Trump’s interest in abortion is less than zero. He himself refuses to answer the question of whether he paid for abortions for his sexual conquests. In 2016, he literally took five different positions on abortion in the space of a couple of days, transparently to see which one polled well.
Meanwhile, his reverence for the sanctity of human life is so profound that his main achievement has been to teach “prolife” advocates to lie that when he mocks the disabled, it’s all good clean fun because he actually does that to everybody:
Three things are notable about this filthy lie about this filthy act.
- Show me another clip of him doing this to somebody who is not disabled.
- Even if this lie were somehow proven to be true, here’s reality: when the whole disabled community cries out in anguish at the mockery, normal people apologize, not double down. Trump taught the “prolife” MAGA cult to attack the disabled community for being hurt, not to apologize for his being a swine. There has, in fact, never been an apology for this.
- The pattern established here is what the MAGA “prolife” cult has done ever since: sacrifice every shred of integrity not to defend the unborn, but to defend this bullying swine.
Ah, but he is a Baby Christian and we have to overlook such peccadilloes as he grows and matures. The main thing is that he is prolife. He says bad things about Planned Parenthood and nominates prolife SCOTUS judges. That makes him waaaaay different than Biden who is endorsed by Planned Parenthood. You can tell because the prolife cult keeps recirculating that lie and when they tell the same lie over and over it ceases to be a lie and becomes an agreed-upon fact.
Until it doesn’t. For instance:
What’s this? Lila Rose of Live Action pointing out that Trump has, in fact, raised PP funding to record levels?
That sent a tremor of shock through the “prolife” community. Then came this report from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, confirming it:
And as a reward for his efforts, Trump saw the highest PP abortion rate in 15 years.
But wait! That’s not all! The biggest Participation Trophy in the GOP “prolife” arsenal of Pretend Measures Against Abortion is the Mexico City Policy. Prolifers love to point to it to show that the GOP is Totally Serious and Stuff about abortion. They always point to it when they vote the GOP into office to show that Voting GOP Makes A Difference.
It does. Thanks to that policy, abortion rates in sub-Saharan Africa have risen 40% under Trump. But since what matters to the Cult is performative piety, not actual real-world results, they don’t care. What matters to the Cult is saying you oppose abortion, not actually doing anything about it. That’s why they also don’t care that Trump’s allegedly “prolife” SCOTUS appointees have repeatedly refused to address Roe.
And they also don’t care that when Trump released his wish list of fantasy promises and goals for the convention last week, it included such priorities as a Moon Base, but said not one single word about abortion. Only as an afterthought did it occur to him to throw a meager bone to the prolife MAGA suckers, who gratefully accepted it with lickspittle cravenness. Because he does not care about the unborn, never has, and never will except insofar as the occasional invocation of the unborn is useful in making them human shields for all the lies, cruelties, crime, treason, and negligent homicide that Trump, his crime syndicate, and his prideblind cult really care about.
Here’s reality: The All Lives Matter cult only cares about the unborn when they need to defend the murder of brown and poor people and shout down Black Lives Matter. The moment that need passes, their contempt for human life reasserts itself and they are ready to offer all sorts of people as human sacrifices to the glory of Trump, including unborn children in the wombs of COVID victims, as well as schoolchildren, old people and those who inconvenience them with calls to wear a mask for a couple of minutes.
Indeed, as we speak, the Leader of the MAGA “prolife” cult is busy freezing out sane public health advisors and surrounding himself with unqualified quacks who will tell him what he wants to hear. And what he wants very much to hear is that he can simply walk away from responsibility for the Pandemic because he is bored with it. Increasingly, this feckless criminal is determined to embark on a program of passive euthanasia for hundreds of thousand of Americans (possibly as many as 1.5 million) by endorsing what he calls “herd immunity” but which essentially means leaving the Pandemic to rage through the population killing without check on the theory that if everybody gets it the survivors will be immune.
So the reality is that we don’t have a choice between a “prolife” president and a “pro-abort” Dem.
One the one hand, we have a a pro-choice Dem whose administration successfully handled ebola and created a Pandemic Response Plan and team and responsibly handed them to his successors.
On the other hand, we have a pro-Trump narcissist who burned that response plan to ashes, fired the response team, irresponsibly abandoned us to suffering and death who does not care if you or the unborn live or die. And given such a choice, the issue is precisely what Benedict XVI describes: “When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”
Because of this, it becomes necessary to talk about how our abortion regime works and what “proportionate reasons” are. And most especially it becomes vital to distinguish between supporting a lesser evil (which no Catholic may do) and working to lessen evil (which every Catholic must do).
Of which more tomorrow.