There’s a startling irony in the Bishop’s statement concerning Senator Joe Biden’s remarks on abortion on last week’s Meet The Press.
When asked when life begins or when rights are granted Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi all awkwardly dragged their religion into the debate. I think it’s safe to say that the reason they’re on the Sunday morning shows is because they’re politicians. The question of when life begins is put to them because they’re lawmakers, not because they’re great Christian thinkers. Yet oddly, they insist on answering the question solely on religious grounds.
But the funny thing is that while these lawmakers dragged their religions into the debate about abortion, the bishops have consistently pointed to the logic and the science concerning the life issue.
The bishops wrote in their statement published yesterday:
However, the Senator’s claim that the beginning of human life is a “personal and private” matter of religious faith, one which cannot be “imposed” on others, does not reflect Catholic teaching. The Church teaches that the obligation to protect unborn human life rests on the answer to two questions, neither of which is private or specifically religious.
The first is a biological question: When does a new human life begin? When is there a new living organism of the human species, distinct from mother and father and ready to develop and mature if given a nurturing environment? While ancient thinkers had little verifiable knowledge to help them answer this question, today embryology textbooks confirm that a new human life begins at conception (see www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/bioethic/fact298.shtml). The Catholic Church does not teach this as a matter of faith; it acknowledges it as a matter of objective fact…While in past centuries biological knowledge was often inaccurate, modern science leaves no excuse for anyone to deny the humanity of the unborn child. Protection of innocent human life is not an imposition of personal religious conviction but a demand of justice.
It’s almost an axiom that religion and science are at odds (see Galileo) but I’ve noticed that when it comes to the life issue, religious people keep pointing to science and the supposedly logical lawmakers insist on dragging scientific questions into the murkier realm of their religious convictions.
These politicians insist that they can’t impose their religion on others but they seem to be dragging it into the political sphere every chance they get. It seems to me that the pro-choicers are on shaky ground when they can’t or won’t speak to the logic of their cause.