The bishop is Robert J. Hermann, Archdiocesan Administrator of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He is solidly in the McCain camp.
The election on November 4 may be "Judgment Day," says the pious preacher of the "good news" of god.
Voters have to decide whether to follow the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church (i.e. God), or go with the devil. And that decision will determine where a voter will spend eternity. Your immortal soul is in peril.
Bishop Hermann explains it this way: "If I value the good of the economy and my current lifestyle more than I do the right to life itself, then I am in trouble. ... My desire for a good economy cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion. My desire to end the war in Iraq cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion."
Abortion, for the Bishop and other Roman Catholic hierarchs, is THE deciding issue. For support of that position, he refers to "the writings of Pope Benedict XVI, that the issue of life is the most basic issue and must be given priority over the issue of the economy, the issue of war or any other issue. These same teachings," says Hermann, "inform us that when both candidates permit the right to abortion, but unequally so, we must choose to mitigage the evil by choosing the candidate who is less permissive of abortion."
Notice that the Bishop did not mention Obama's name. That would have been a no-no, and illegal, to boot. But, he didn't have to. There is absolutely no question as to how he thinks the "faithful" should vote.
But the bishop fails to make his case. One cannot merely quote papal writings or cite the teachings of the RC church. Too often, both have been seriously wrong and umitigated evil has resulted.
It would be helpful, though, and give credence to the bishop's pious pronouncement, if he would recognize that the economy often has a direct connection to abortion. Many abortions occur because those involved are caught in an economic situation that does not allow them to give birth and care properly for a child (or another child!).
It would also be helpful if the bishop took just as seriously the matter of war, which he dismissed as not comparable to abortion. In Iraq, over 4,000 of our own men and women have been killed for no good reason whatsoever. Perhaps a million more Iraqis, including innocent women and children have also had life crushed from their bodies.
What about capital punishment? Does the bishop defend the taking of life by the state as a means of punishment or revenge?
As with so many "pro-life" people, pro-life is circumscribed by the "unborn." Death rears its ugly head in many manifestations in our world, but for Bishop Hermann and other prelates of the Roman persuasion, compared to abortion, those deaths are not politically worthy.
We might carry this a step further and speak of psychological "death." How many people have come forward to charge their priests and bishops "killed" them psychologically through physical and sexual molestation? Their lives were "aborted" in a very real sense as for years they lived with the psychic pain and shame of these priestly attacks, which ruined their basic self-definition and left them in pyschological limbo.
Unfortunately, the hierarchy of the Roman church lives in a world foreign to most of us, even to those prayerful parishioners who still show up for Mass. It is a world of incense and smoke, the befogging numbness of celibacy, and the mystifying nonsense that truth and salvation derive from believing what the hierarchs say about ancient, tribal writings that have no relationship to anything we experience as reality today.
If you really think that Obama's position on abortion, which is anti-abortion, but pro-choice -- a position that treats women with respect and as equals -- will send you to an eternal fate of hellfire and damnation, then vote for McCain, the warmonger and his know-nothing, self-righteous, fundamentalist Christian sidekick.
On the other hand, if you think woman should be responsible for their own persons and not the government or a moribund and outdated religious institution which after 2,000 years still refuses to grant that women are the equal of men, then forget Bishop Hermann's dire predictions. He doesn't know what the hell he's talking about anyway (and I mean that literally!).
Vote for Obama!