Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) was on Meet The Press today with Tom Brokaw.
Two weeks ago, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was on MTP and committed scandal on a grand scale by her obfuscation of what the Church’s teaching is about the beginning of human life. Also, she said that it shouldn’t make a difference when life started, insofar as abortion is concerned. She and her spokesman later referred to ancient debates and quoted Augustine, etc. etc., despite the Church’s clear and well-known teaching about the sanctity of human life and abortion.
Now Catholic pro-abortion Senator and candidate Biden steps into the cage. Brokaw through him the necessary knuckler.
MR. BROKAW: You’re a lifetime communicant in the Catholic Church. You’ve talked often about your faith and the, and the strength of your feelings about your faith.
SEN. BIDEN: Actually, I haven’t talked often about my faith. I seldom talk about my faith. [Ironically, when he is next asked about Sen. Lieberman, he says "We Catholics believe in redemption". I think he might talk about it fairly often in some way or another.] Other people talk about my faith.
MR. BROKAW: I’ll give you an opportunity to talk about it now.
SEN. BIDEN: Yeah.
MR. BROKAW: Two weeks ago I interviewed Senator Nancy Pelosi–she’s the speaker of the House, obviously–when she was in Denver. When Barack Obama appeared before Rick Warren, he was asked a simple question: When does life begin? And he said at that time that it was above his pay grade. That was the essence of his question. When I asked the speaker what advice she would give him about when life began, she said the church has struggled with this issue for a long time, especially in the last 50 years or so. Her archbishop and others across the country had a very strong refutation to her views on all this; I guess the strongest probably came from Edward Cardinal Egan, who’s the Archbishop of New York. He said, "Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being `chooses’ to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name." Those are very strong words. If Senator Obama comes to you and says, "When does life begin? Help me out here, Joe," as a Roman Catholic, what would you say to him?
SEN. BIDEN: I’d say, "Look, I know when it begins for me." [When it begins... for him...] It’s a personal and private issue. [Okay... for me, Sen. Biden, it begins, say... just after your next calendar birthday, whatever that may be.] For me, as a Roman Catholic, I’m prepared to accept the teachings of my church. [Okay.] 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. [WHOA! Wait a minute. In a pluralistic society people can go to the polls and vote for representatives who will legislate and deliberate in a way that is harmonious with their views and the common good. Who wins, wins. It is not an imposition of a private judgment.] And I know you get the push back, "Well, what about fascism?" Everybody, you know, you going to say fascism’s all right? Fascism isn’t a matter of faith. No decent religious person thinks fascism is a good idea.
MR. BROKAW: But if you, you believe that life begins at conception, and you’ve also voted for abortion rights… [In other words, you believe one thing and do another in a matter of great private and social consequence.]
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. [First, you don't have to depend only on religious views, on the teachings of the Church. You can appeal as well to natural law and, simply put, common sense. The other part of this how religious views are hereby to be shoved out of public discourse, out of the public square. Religion is a matter of the private, not the public, sphere.] There is a debate in our church, as Cardinal Egan would acknowledge, that’s existed. [Okay... what the heck was that. There is a debate that existed. But that debate doesn't exist now. This is not the 5th or even the 13th century.] Back in "Summa Theologia," when Thomas Aquinas [+1274] wrote "Summa Theologia," [Summa Theologiae] he said there was no - it didn’t occur until quickening, 40 days after conception. [It is hard to beleive that, after all the holy hell raised in the last two weeks, Sen. Biden could put his foot so firmly in it, again. For most liberal, progressivist Catholics, the history of the Church didn't begin until Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council. Now, all of a sudden, these CHINOs are quoting Augustine and Aquinas. Do they seriously believe that the Catholic Church is debating whether or not "quickening" takes place at 30 days for males and 90 days for females? Has Sen. Biden not read a single bit of what bishops have clarified in the last 14 days? I think people should send him copies.] 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. [So, it is okay to resist it when it is a matter of money, but not just because it is human life, as he says he believes it is.] 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. [Hmmm... :carry to term" ... is this a slight modification of the "provide contraception" under the guise of health care?]
What is so disturbing about this is the Senators eagerness to shove religion entirely out of the public square.
The problem is… what then is the basis of desiring to lower the number of abortions or help women carry children to term? What is the basis of any of the social agenda they might have? If there is nothing of religious conviction to it, then it must be some natural law basis for the agenda. But if you can apply natural law to other social issues, then you can apply it to abortion as well, and not say you are imposing religious views.
No… his answer is just a slippery dodge without any foundation in truth.
Secondly, Senator Biden – absolutely incredibly – tracks back to the debates of the past about the "quickening" of the foetus, when the human soul is infused… whatever. The mind reels.
Regardless of what theologians said, and their teachings are not in fact the equivalent of the Church’s teaching, they always affirmed that abortion is gravely wrong.
And will Senator Biden, since he is living in the 13th century now, also debate with us such questions as whether women are fully human? After all, those questions were raised! Or how about… since the ancients wondered about quickening… do females come to be quickened only after 90 days?
Hey! There is a great question in the Summa Theologiae about whether heretics ought to be put to death. Aquinas says, well… yes… we can burn them at the stake, but… we should remember mercy.
Is Sen. Biden okay with that?
WDTPRS: Senator, since you are comfortable with a 13th century understanding of embryology and since you seem not to need to take modern pronouncements into consideration, what do you say to those who want Speaker Pelosi, such a powerful public individual, and possibily a heretic, to be burned at the stake if she doesn’t change her views?
BIDEN: Well… that’s outrageous! She is a great civil servant! What … what… who would suggest that could ever be tolerated?
WDTPRS: But lot’s of people have strong religious convictions that that is the right thing to do. Take a look at Summa Theologiae II. q.10 a.3…. I happen to have a copy here…. And may I remind you that St. Augustine argued that heretics and schismatics should be compelled by force to reenter communion with the Church? Speaker Pelosi quotes Augustine. You quote Aquinas.
So, Senator, if Archbishops Wuerl and Niederauer say Speaker Pelosi can’t receive Communion, will you advocate the use of force to compell Speaker Pelosi to alter her position or, barring that, she should go to the stake?
BIDEN: This is absurd! What about the Vatican Council’s document on religious liberty?
WDTPRS: What about the Vatican Council’s Gaudium et spes 51, which calls abortion a heinous crime?
BIDEN: That’s different…. that’s …. that’s…. I don’t want to impose my views on anyone. I don’t talk about my faith.