Incredibly, just two weeks after Nancy Pelosi popped the cork on a long overdue episcopal reprimand, Sen. Joe Biden appearing on the same show is asked the same question and gives the same stupid answer.
Without a doubt, Biden had been prepared by his staff and likely the Obama campaign on how to address this question. Even though we know it to be a completely duplicitous answer, Biden gave the typical (and generally accepted) answer of personally opposed but I don’t want to legislate my religious beliefs nonsense.
“I’d say, “Look, I know when it begins for me.” It’s a personal and private issue. For me, as a Roman Catholic, I’m prepared to accept the teachings of my church. But let me tell you. There are an awful lot of people of great confessional faiths–Protestants, Jews, Muslims and others–who have a different view. They believe in God as strongly as I do. They’re intensely as religious as I am religious. They believe in their faith and they believe in human life, and they have differing views as to when life–I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception. But that is my judgment. For me to impose that judgment on everyone else who is equally and maybe even more devout than I am seems to me is inappropriate in a pluralistic society.”
Same ol”, same ol’. Now while we all know that this answer is underhanded and guileful, we have heard it so much that it fails to raise alarm bells. When Biden gave this answer, his staff and the Obama campaign probably breathed a great big sigh of relief that Biden had stuck to the script and hadn’t gone off on one of his rants. But of course Biden, being smarter than everyone else (just ask him) couldn’t leave well enough alone. When pressed by Brokaw, Biden just could not help himself.
MR. BROKAW: But if you, you believe that life begins at conception, and you’ve also voted for abortion rights…
SEN. BIDEN: No, what a voted against curtailing the right, criminalizing abortion. I voted against telling everyone else in the country that they have to accept my religiously based view that it’s a moment of conception. There is a debate in our church, as Cardinal Egan would acknowledge, that’s existed. Back in “Summa Theologia,” when Thomas Aquinas wrote “Summa Theologia,” he said there was no–it didn’t occur until quickening, 40 days after conception. How am I going out and tell you, if you or anyone else that you must insist upon my view that is based on a matter of faith? And that’s the reason I haven’t. But then again, I also don’t support a lot of other things. I don’t support public, public funding. I don’t, because that flips the burden. That’s then telling me I have to accept a different view. This is a matter between a person’s God, however they believe in God, their doctor and themselves in what is always a–and what we’re going to be spending our time doing is making sure that we reduce considerably the amount of abortions that take place by providing the care, the assistance and the encouragement for people to be able to carry to term and to raise their children.
Can’t you just hear the staffers screaming. “No! Joe! Don’t do it!?”Inexplicably, Biden falls into the same trap that Pelosi fell into just two weeks ago by trying to suggest that the debate over when life begins some seven centuries ago means that there is still debate today over whether abortion is acceptable. As been pointed out, such ancient theological speculation has absolutely no bearing on the morality of abortion.
It is my sincere hope that the same Bishops who have rightly taken Speaker Pelosi to task over her stupidity do the same for Senator Biden. I also hope that his Bishop in Delaware invites him to a meeting to discuss abortion and his reception of communion. Let Senator Biden spend the next two weeks defending the indefensible.
It remains to be seen how the pick of Palin as McCain’s running mate will play out. There is still a lot of time between now and election day and mistakes can easily happen. So the jury is still out on Palin. In my opinion, this is not so for the pick of Biden. When he was selected, I guaranteed that he would make mistakes because he thinks he is so smart and he just cannot keep his mouth shut. On Sunday, Biden proved the point. I am sure we can count on Joe to stick his foot in his mouth at least a few more times.
Keep talkin’ Joe, we’re counting on you.